BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Patricia Swartz
Patricia Swartz, Chair; CTRS, CPRP, RA

Patricia Swartz has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS) since 1982 and is also a Recreation Administrator by the NJ Board of Recreation Examiners; and a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional.   She successfully marketed the concept of community-based programs for people with disabilities, establishing and managing the first inclusive recreation program for people with disabilities in the Monmouth County Park System.  Patricia had been employed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for more than 35 years, where she started as the Administrator of the Athletics for Individuals with Disabilities Unit to oversee the expansion of the statewide non-profit organization.  Patricia has been with the NJ CRID since it was established in 1980 and was the first chair of the Outreach Committee; she served as the Executive Director of the Commission for over 25 years.


Theresa A. Dunwiddie
Theresa A. Dunwiddie, Vice Chair

Theresa Dunwiddie’s resume includes service in municipal recreation and non-profit association management.
Theresa earned her bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Park Administration from Montclair State College.  She has over forty years of experience in the parks and recreation profession.  Theresa has been with NJ CRID for numerous years, currently serving as Vice Chairperson.

 

 

 


Patricia Papenberg
Patricia Papenberg, Treasurer

Patricia D. Papenberg recently retired as a Recreation Program Coordinator from South Brunswick Township Department of Parks & Recreation. Her duties included developing, implementing, and supervising the Preschool to Adults Programs, Summer Parks, Special Events, Co-Volleyball, and Women’s Volleyball. She also schedules two indoor Centers and over 40 athletic fields.  Patricia is certified to teach K-12 Health and Physical Education. She is a Recreation Supervisor by the NJ Department of Community Affairs and certified in Red Cross Lifeguarding and Certified Water Safety Instructor.  For more than 25 years, Patricia has been with South Brunswick Township Recreation/Community Affairs. Previously, she was with Princeton YWCA for 11 years as a HPER Assistant Director where she developed, implemented, and supervised parent/child gym, pre-gymnastic, gymnastic, and fitness and sports programs for ages 6 months to adults.   Patricia has served on the New Jersey Commission on Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities for numerous years.


Paulann Pierson
Paulann Pierson, Recording Secretary

Paulann Pierson is currently the Disability Services Coordinator in the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services, in which position she serves on the County Human Services Commission, the ADA Planning Committee, and the Advisory Council on Disability Issues. Prior to this, she served as Disability Services Coordinator in Cape May County for more than eight years.  As the parent of a multiply handicapped child, she advocated for services within New Jersey for over twenty years, experience which has rounded out her knowledge and understanding of the NJ Human Services system.  Paulann was appointed to the NJ Recreational Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities Commission and currently serves as Secretary for NJ CRID.

 


Marta Haviland
Marta Haviland, Past Chair

Marta Haviland is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and is the Director of the Therapeutic Recreation Department at Care One of Somerset Valley.   As Director of the Therapeutic Recreation Department, Marta ensures the patients have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that are fun and therapeutically beneficial during their stay.  Marta has been with NJ CRID for several years.

 

 

 

 


Lisa Cohan Aronow
Lisa Cohan Aronow

Lisa Cohan Aronow serves on the board as a representative of the Aronow Family Foundation. The AFF is proud to support the work of NJ CRID.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shakira Linzey
Shakira Linzey, MPH

Shakira Linzey is a wife and mother of three children, one who has special needs, and is Regional Family Support Manager at Mid-Jersey CARES Regional Early Intervention Collaborative (REIC).  Shakira earned a MS in Public Health from Temple University and a BS in Health Science from William Paterson University.  A resident in Somerset County, she has worked in the healthcare field in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut; and is a resident in Somerset County.  Shakira has been with NJ CRID for numerous years.

 

 


Donna Marie Provenzano
Donna Marie Provenzano

Donna Provenzano is the Director of Family-Centered Care at Children’s Specialized Hospital.  She provides administrative and operational management of the Family-Centered Care Program.  She has thirty years of experience in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families at Children’s Specialized.  Donna has been appointed to serve on the NJ CRID and has held this position for the past twelve years.

 

 

 


Bobbi Bach Freedman
Bobbi Bach Freedman

Bobbi Bach Freedman is a retired Therapeutic Specialist.   Bobbie has worked at Camden County Psychiatric Hospital and at Princeton House, a facility that provides both inpatient and outpatient services for psychiatric, substance abuse, and dually-diagnosed patients.   Bobbi worked at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs on a federally funded grant; which offered in-service education for community recreation personnel and others, to learn how to plan and implement recreation services for individuals with disabilities.  As a result of work done on the federal grant, Bobbi was involved with the development of the NJ Commission on Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities.

 


Karen Bourque-Scott
Karen Bourque-Scott

Karen Bourque-Scott’s lifelong career in the recreation field encompassed being a Manager of Recreation in East Brunswick NJ for over twenty years, including the oversight and revamping of the curriculum of the Daisy Recreation Program for Disabled Children and Adults.  For New Jersey Recreation and Park Association, she served as District Chair; on the membership Committee; the Therapeutic Recreation Committee; and represented NJ CRID on the NJRPA Board of Directors. She also served on various Program Committees and attended 22 years of Annual Conferences.   Retired since 2001, she is still an active volunteer beyond NJ CRID as the Vice President of the Daisy Recreation Program, various positions in her church, and local community.

 


Ann Marie Chesterman
Ann Marie Chesterman

For more than twenty-five years, Anne Marie Chesterman has worked at Kessler institute for rehabilitation. Her primary focus has been with the stroke and amputee population providing recreational and educational programs.   Anne Marie is a senior therapist in her current position. She is certified as a recreation administrator since 1980 and became certified as a CTRS in 1996. She facilitates 2 stroke support groups as well as community outreach for health fairs.  She has been board member of the NJ CRID since 2015 and is on the Program Planning Committee. She has been the team captain for the American Heart Walk for the last 5 years.

 

 


Michele Collins
Michele Collins

Michele Collins joined the staff at Essex County Hospital Center as a Recreational Therapist in 1989.   In addition to being an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University and at Kean University, Michele became one of the Chief of Therapeutic services at Essex County Hospital Center.  For more than twenty years, Michele has been very active in professional organizations, serving both elected and appointed positions on several boards and committees.

 

 

 


Linda Meyer
Linda Meyer

Linda Meyer has served New Jersey’s autism community since 1975.   She has taught doctoral and masters level students in educational, clinical psychology, and applied behavioral analysis graduate school programs.  Linda has more than forty years of experience as a public school teacher, advocate, consultant, adjunct professor, educational administrator, volunteer, personal fitness trainer, and non-profit manager.  Linda has been with NJ CRID for several years.

 

 

 


Erik Aleman, CTRS, AAC
Erik Aleman, CTRS, AAC

Erik Aleman has been Activity Assistant Certified (AAC) since 2013 and Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS) since 2014.  He began his career in a dementia unit at Alaris Health in Passaic County; and was also the recreational therapist for a behavioral program at this facility.  Erik Aleman works with Medical Foster Home Program at the VA New Jersey Health Care system, as well as with individuals at the mental health facility on campus.   As a member of the NJ CRID Website Committee, Erik communicates with members to keep information on the website current, as well as maintaining the NJ CRID presence active on the internet.

 

 


Joyce Ferejohn
Joyce Ferejohn

Joyce Ferejohn has served as an Executive Parks and Recreation Director for over twenty-five years with significant day-to-day experience in strategic fiscal management, departmental and summer camp administration, and multi-project coordination focused on serving all constituents within a given community.  Also during this time, Joyce has been responsible for program and fiscal operations within many local organizations such as The Poricy Park Conservancy, Middletown Township Department of Parks and Recreation, The Middletown Arts Center, and Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council.  She is an ambitious, results-oriented professional with demonstrated success in Parks and Recreation administration and programming.

 


Joanne Van Sant
Joanne Van Sant

Joanne Van Sant, an ordained Presbyterian Pastor is currently serving the Friends to Friends Community Church located in Ridgewood NJ. The congregation is people with developmental disabilities who have been worshiping here for over twenty years.   She graduated from Kean University with a degree in Recreation and worked for over 20 years in the Girl Scout organization throughout NJ.  In addition she spent the next 10 years in nonprofit management, programming, development and marketing for issues of health and social service.

 

 

 


John G. Trontis
John G. Trontis

John G. Trontis, CPRP, is currently the Assistant Director of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry.  He has been responsible for the overall administration of NJ State Park Service (NJSPS) since 2010, a system comprised of 39 park areas, over 50 historic sites and villages, and more than 455,000 acres of parklands and forests.   John has always been an advocate for barrier-free access to public parks and programs since he entered the parks and recreation field in 1980.  He is very proud that his design of the Marsh Discovery Trail at Richard DeKorte Park, in Lyndhurst, earned four design awards, including the first NJ Accessible Recreation Facility Award by NJ CRID in 1992.  He is even more proud that his son Andrew’s Eagle Scout Project, a barrier-free campsite in Lebanon Township, won the same award from NJ CRID, which had become known as the Ruth Hughes Innovative Accessible Recreational Facility Award, in 2007.  In his spare time, John has been a District Fire Warden for the NJ Forest Fire Service for many years, with national certification in various wildland fire suppression, prescribed burn techniques, and incident command/incident management activities.  He was also a volunteer EMT and a firefighter for over 20 years.  John has been active and continuously registered as a Scoutmaster, Commissioner, Council Board and/or Committee Member with the Boy Scouts of America since he was a Boy Scout himself.


RELATED LINKS:

 

New Jersey Commission on Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities

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