BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Patricia Swartz
Patricia Swartz, CTRS, CPRP, RA; President

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; Patricia has served on the New Jersey Commission on Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities for numerous years.

 


Theresa A. Dunwiddie
Theresa A. Dunwiddie

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.

 

 

 


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

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.

 


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.

 

 


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; Corresponding Secretary

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; Recording Secretary

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.

 

 


Sherlock Washington

Sherlock Washington, is an entrepreneur and a sports devotee who happens to be blind. He is well known for his athleticism in the vision impaired community having made the U.S. Paralympic Team in 1990, when he journeyed to the Netherlands where he won the bronze (3rd place) medal in the high jump. Sherlock also played goal ball from 1986-1995 and his team received the gold (1st place) medal in the 1993 national competition. Sherlock is the holder of 2 Beep Baseball World Series championship rings earned as a member of The West Coast Dawgs. In 2001 he made the offensive all-star team. He has played for other states for several years and each  he has played on has had top ranking but in 2009, he co-founded New Jersey’s first beep baseball team for blind athletes, the NJ Lightning.

An active motivational speaker, Sherlock voluntarily addresses students and other groups to dispel stereotypes and promote awareness of the capabilities of people who are blind.  Sherlock, who  is a graduate of Rider University with a degree in Computer Science lives in Matawan, NJ, with his wife Kim and son, Edward.

 


John G. Trontis
John G. Trontis; Vice President

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.

 


Leonard Celluro Jr.
Leonard Celluro Jr.

Lenny has been in the parks, recreation, and wellness fields for over 30 years. As Director of Recreation in Bloomfield, he was the recipient of the New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association‘s Excellence in Programming Award for their adults with disabilities life skills program “Horizons.” He is currently the Director of Recreation and Community Services in Plainsboro Township where they offer diverse programs and inclusive opportunities for their residents with disabilities, including the Special Olympics-Young Athlete Program.

Lenny believes every child and adult deserves the opportunity to participate in recreational programs in a compassionate environment that is both rewarding and conducive to personal growth.

 


Sean Bielefeldt

Sean is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and currently serves as the Director of Recreation Therapy and Adult Day Health Services at the Matheny Medical and Educational Center. Sean earned his Bachelors Degree in Recreation Therapy from East Stroudsburg University in 2002 and his Master’s Degree in Recreation and Sports Management from the University of Illinois in 2010.

Sean has been an adjunct professor at Kean University for the last seven years teaching courses in developmental disabilities and management. Sean currently serves as Past President of the New Jersey Eastern Pennsylvania Therapeutic Recreation Association.

 


Eric Jager

Eric Jager is the parent of a teenager with autism and a professional conference director.  He has over 20 years’ experience in market research, program development, marketing strategy and sponsorship sales development.  He is the owner of a company which has developed and promoted conference programs for publications, associations and business-to-business conference companies.  Eric has created and hosted a number of conferences serving the New Jersey autism community on topics including augmentative communication, employment and the transition to adulthood. He has written extensively on issues of importance to the autism and general disability communities and has a Bachelor of Communications from Ithaca College.

 


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