MEET THE NORTH JERSEY RC&D
Laura Tessieri, PE, CFM is Director for the North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D). She is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of mission and financial objectives. The North Jersey RC&D supports programs in areas of water resource protection, agricultural sustainability and community development.
Prior to RC&D, Laura worked with the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) as a Water Resource Engineer. Her career also includes time spent in consulting firms advising on stormwater management, site design and municipal engineering.
Laura is a licensed professional engineer in the State of New Jersey and a Certified Floodplain Manager. She holds a dual B.S. in Bioresource Engineering from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Laura lives in Holland Township, NJ and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two children.
Christian Bench is an Agricultural Specialist with NJRCD and a partner employee with NRCS. His specialty is production agriculture, protecting natural resources and promoting the soil health initiative. Prior to working for NJRCD he was employed with the USDA Farm Service Agency for 2 years and the USDA- NRCS for 8 years. Christian a has a B.S in Agricultural Science with a focus on crop science from Oregon State University . He and his wife operate a diverse farm in Stockton NJ where they focus on Hay, Straw, Sheep and Lamb production. Christian can be reached at the Frenchtown Service Center at 908-483-2358.
Bridgett Hilshey is an Agricultural Specialist at NJRCD. Her specialty is in promoting soil health initiatives and sustainable agriculture. Prior to NJRCD, she worked for the National Park Service and the University of Vermont, Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Bridgett holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University and a M.S. in Soil Science from the University of Vermont. In her free-time, Bridgett enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time outside with her three young children.
Eric Romaine, an engineering technician with NJRCD hooked up with NRCS to assist in the Hackettstown and Frenchtown offices with their engineering needs. Eric brings his love of the land and water and his education in botany and soils to NRCS as a partner employee. Eric has several years of experience in the golf course/turf maintenance industry. Eric enjoys the outdoors, running, fishing, and snowboarding.
Watershed Programs Coordinator
Kyle works as Watershed Programs Coordinator for the NJRCD and the Musconetcong Watershed Association, having a shared mission of protecting and improving water quality in northwestern New Jersey. Kyle works with municipalities, schools and communities to promote a sense of pride and stewardship for the Musconetcong watershed area as well as surrounding watersheds through education programs, restoration and green infrastructure projects.
Prior to joining NJRCD and MWA, Kyle taught environmental education for 5 years at YMCA Camp Bernie and worked on developing STEM education curriculum at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Kyle grew up in Southwest Florida and came to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University where he graduated with a B.S. in Marine Science. Kyle has successfully completed a Watershed Management certification program at Michigan State University. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, scuba diving and snowboarding.
Brenda has assisted in managing NJRCD financial accounting since October 2015. Brenda comes to NJRCD with over 10 years of accounting experience concentrating mostly in small business. Brenda graduated from Stockton University in 2000 with a B.A. in Communications and is currently pursuing her CPA education certificate from Raritan Valley Community College. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys knitting, hiking and spending time with her 4 dogs and 3 cats.