Officers & Trustees
President – Jane Morton Galetto was instrumental in the incorporation of Citizens United in 1986. As President, she coordinates various studies performed by experts in flora and fauna, organizes volunteers in construction of habitat projects, arranges meetings with various land trusts and local property owners on land acquisition projects, conducts river tours for interested groups, and gives conservation presentations to schools and civic bodies. For 18 years Jane chaired the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee (ENSAC) and she remains a committee member. While holding the chairmanship she served on the Fish, Game and Wildlife Council (both are advisory to the New Jersey Division of FG&W, DEP).
Jane played an integral role in the passage of New Jersey’s stringent 1987 Wetlands Law while serving on the NJ Freshwater Wetlands Advisory Committee. She sits on the boards of the Bayshore Discovery Project, South Jersey Bayshore Coalition, and previously on the South Jersey Land Trust, Stockton Alliance, New Jersey Audubon Board, and The Nature Conservancy Bayshores Program. She and her husband are local philanthropists. She has received numerous state, national and local awards for her conservation and community contributions. Jane has a degree in secondary education in social science from Elizabethtown College.
Treasurer – Suzanne Olah is a retiree from the City of Millville, Department of Revenue and Finance, where she served as the appointed Tax and Utilities Collector. She remains active in consulting and training for municipalities and is involved with a variety of related associations.
Suzanne completed her studies at Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School, Center for Government Services, where she has taught Government Policy and Finance since 1997. She also chaired the Education Committee, where she continues to serve as a board member.
Suzanne is treasurer/secretary on the board of directors for PAFA Community Services, which is committed to enabling and supporting people with developmental disabilities and other special needs. She is currently a member of the Millville Library Board, the Laurel Lake Property Owners Association board, and the Millville Development Corporation-Glasstown Arts District Board.
Suzanne has been an active member and volunteer for CU Maurice River for several years.
Assistant Treasurer – Irene Bird is a retired elementary school teacher. At the RD Wood Elementary School in Millville, NJ she was instrumental in the creation of an urban habitat project, translating her love of gardening to the schoolyard. In her honor, the school named the garden “Bird’s Nest.” This garden is a centerpiece in an urban revitalization project. Many neighborhood members participated with pride in the creation of this jewel. Irene has been active in Millville’s Shade Tree Commission, the Millville Women’s Club, and the Countryside Garden Club. She is also a member of the Cumberland County’s Juvenile Conference Committee and Child Placement Review Board. In 1999 she was selected as teacher of the year for the Millville School District, and she was featured in NJEA Review Magazine. She is a graduate of Glassboro Teacher’s College (now Rowan University). Born in Latvia, Irene is proficient in Russian with some German and Latvian expertise. She raised her family in Millville. Her hobbies include gardening, embroidering, cooking, and baking.
Corresponding Secretary – Jody Carrara lives in Leesburg where she has served on the Zoning and Land Use Board for nearly 20 years. Jody has been employed by the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions for over 17 years and enjoys working with municipalities. She wears many hats and contributes her time to various local festivals, events, and causes such as the Eagle Festival, Purple Martin Migration Spectacular, Bay Day, and CU Maurice River events. In her work with ANJEC, Jody won the NJAS award in 1999, along with Douglas Jewell and Concerned Citizens of Cape May County, for successfully running a campaign that amended the Water Quality Management Plan of NJ State in 2008 and led to the USGS study of the Cape May County water supply.
Past activities have included the Avian Rehabilitation Center in Seaville, Maurice River Township PTSA Secretary, and the Maurice River Environmental Committee and Green Team. Her property is planted with native vegetation and provides a haven for pollinators and birds.
Recording Secretary – Susan Leopold is a retired educator who has worked as a teacher, reading specialist, and principal. She is an avid skier, cyclist, traveler, and bird watcher. She and her husband John tend a thriving Purple Martin colony and have helped with bird banding. Susan helps coordinate the Chili Bowl Dinner, cooks dinner for the shorebird scientists, assists with Elevate and has participated in a great many Citizens United events.
Ethan Aronoff retired as the Cumberland County Director of Human Services, helping to oversee over $5M in federal and state contracts. Previously he taught middle school social studies; was a two-term Millville City Commissioner/Director of Public Safety; worked as town manager in Maine and Massachusetts; held the position of Millville YMCA executive director; and served a stint with LLBean. He has held positions on the Cumberland County United Way Board, the Millville Shade Tree Commission, Planning Board, was president of the Penobscot Valley Chapter of the Maine Audubon Society, is president of the Millville Public Library Board of Trustees, and is a member of Millville Kiwanis.
Sue Fenili is a retired teacher for whom family, students, and the environment are priorities. Sue and her husband, Dave, founded “Kids Against Pollution,” a watchdog group that worked to monitor the Maurice River. For years she has acted as an Environmental Commissioner and Chairperson of Arbor Day events in Vineland schools. She received both Millville and County Teacher of the Year Awards, and contributed to many Educational Committees including CU’s Down Jersey – Celebrating Our Sense of Place.
Sue has travelled to the rain forest in Costa Rica, with husband Dave, to research the Caterpillars of Costa Rica, and to Mexico to study the Migration of the Monarch Butterflies.
She was presented The Millville Chamber of Commerce Pride in Millville Award for the Adopt-A-Block Program that she coordinated. For the past five years she has orchestrated a program involving Citizens United and Vineland YMCA Camp Merrywood known as “Connect with Nature” (volunteers from CU visit the Camp most weeks in the summer and conduct activities that help instill in the young campers a sense of stewardship for their environment.) Sue volunteers at many festivals representing Citizens United, and serves as a nature guide at Wild About Cumberland, in addition to being the historian for Citizens United.
Recent Awards include:
The President’s Volunteer Service Award and The Cumberland County Women’s Hall of Fame, 2017.
Leslie Ficcaglia is a returning trustee, having acted briefly in that capacity in 1987-88. For almost twenty years she served as a member of The Maurice River Township, NJ Planning Board, was its chair for the last seven years of her tenure, and continued as vice-chair of the Cumberland County Planning Board until 2007. She was a member of the Wild and Scenic River Task Force and a trustee for the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. For 18 years she was also Cumberland County’s appointee to the Pinelands Commission and chaired its Personnel and Budget committee for part of her tenure. Leslie chaired her township’s Environmental Committee and was a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Delaware Bayshores Advisory Council. She currently sits on the county Tourism Council.
Because of her interest in fostering ecotourism as a means of protecting the area’s resources, Leslie developed and maintains a website about the Maurice River area. Retired from her former profession as a psychologist, she is presently a figurative artist and also paints commissioned portraits as well as depictions of France’s people and culture. In addition, she was the founding chair of the board of the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts and helped develop the Arts District in the City of Millville. She gardens organically and tries to focus on native flowers and shrubs in her ornamental plantings. Her property was featured in a recent CU garden tour with Pat Sutton.
For her individual contributions Leslie was awarded a 2003 EPA’s Environmental Quality Award. She also received the 2014 NJ Sierra Club’s Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Achievement for her courage and commitment as a member of the Pinelands Commission. In 2017 she was recognized by the Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission with their Paul Aiken Encore Award for her art and environmental stewardship. Leslie graduated from Vineland schools and received a bachelor’s degree from NYU and a master’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Her biography appears in Who’s Who in America.
Tony Klock is a teacher of the Gifted and Talented in Voorhees, NJ. He and his wife Marcia live in Port Norris, New Jersey. Tony has been a participant in the World Series of Birding as a member of the “CU Fish Hawks”. He enjoys leading walks for CU Maurice River and has as his personal mission to bring both young and old to a deeper appreciation of the natural wonders of the “Down Jersey” region. An avid gardener, Tony has opened his and Marcia’s property to the CU garden tours led by Pat Sutton. Tony is also active with the Bayshore Center at Bivalve (look for him shucking oysters at the raw bar on the docks) and with the Port Norris Fire Company. You can follow him on Instagram at “tkportnorris”.
Gary Moellers most recently served as Director of Community Services at the Cumberland County Guidance Center. His responsibilities included fundraising and development-oriented duties. A professional in human services administration for over 30 years, he also has experience in writing and administering grants. He is involved in many civic-minded organizations in mental health, business chambers, and Boy Scouts. For Boy Scouts of America he has dealt with two different units, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with over 30 years of involvement. CU Maurice River has gotten to know Gary in our work on the Guidance Center Serenity Trail. There he is enthusiastic, genuine, and digs in on all related work.
Mary Ann Russell is a retired educator. She has worked as a teacher, principal, curriculum supervisor, and superintendent for Downe Township Schools and as a district curriculum coordinator for the Bridgeton Public Schools. She was a member of the Bridgeton Library Board and currently serves on the boards of the Millville Public Library and CU. Mary Ann is one of the chief coordinators of the Chili Bowl Dinner, and has represented Citizens United at a great many events. Mary Ann and her husband Tim have hosted the new members’ orientation and campfire recollection events at their home on the Maurice River. They are both directors in the Laurel Lake Property Owners Association.
Mary Emilie Steinacker, Ed.D., has more than 30 years of experience in public school education as a teacher, curriculum supervisor, high school supervisor, elementary and high school principal, consultant, adjunct university instructor, and university supervisor for student teachers. Dr. Steinacker earned her master’s Degree from Rowan University, her ESL (English as a Second Language) certificate from Georgian Court University, and her Doctorate Degree with honors in Educational Leadership from Rowan University. She has received the honor of the New Jersey Governor Teacher’s Award as well as the Lite Rock 96.9 Teacher of the Year Award. Additionally, Dr. Steinacker’s love of the outdoors has been exemplified through her published dissertation entitled “The Leadership Skill Development of a Middle School Teacher Through the Examination of a Five-Year Courtyard Refurbishment Project.” This project was designed to give the students and community in Brigantine an outdoor venue to study and explore the natural habitats and develop an appreciation of nature. Dr. Steinacker received the Larry Marcus Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership Doctoral Studies from Rowan University for her dissertation project.
Tom Talalaj grew up in Millville enjoying the banks of the local waterways and the depths of the surrounding woods. He enjoys most things outdoors, especially hiking, boating, hunting, and fishing. Tom’s affection for the local outdoors led him and his wife to join CU in 2009. Tom has helped raise osprey platforms, acted as a CU Ambassador, led CU Paint-A-Landscape, and has assisted in set up at the Chili Bowl and other events.
Tom holds a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Drexel University and is employed as a Project Engineer in the construction field. Tom and his wife Suzanne reside on Menantico Creek with their two daughters, Nadia and Lera.
Mary Watkins, a retired Registered Nurse with a BA in Music Education, considers herself a “rabid birder” and has attended several seminars on bird I.D., behavior, song I.D. and migration. Mary volunteers for CU as a Chili Bowl chef and auction committee member, guides nature walks, and participates annually in Wild About Cumberland in the outdoor component. She also volunteers as an assistant trip leader with Cape May Bird Observatory, and participates in annual citizen science research including Cornell Feederwatch, Cumberland Christmas Bird Count, and raptor and black rail surveys. Mary captains CU’S World Series of Birding team, the Fish Hawks.
Berwyn Kirby – co-founder
Mary Lou Barbose
Donald Fauerbach – co-founder
Barbara Ann Logan
Dr. Mary Ann Westerfield
Berwyn Kirby, a graduate of Penn State University, is one of the original founders of Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc. (1979). Berwyn recently retired from 35 years of teaching and is a recipient of a Congressional Certificate of Recognition for his efforts as a Teacher of the Handicapped. He has been in education for 30 years. Berwyn has personally created permanent wildlife preserves on the Menantico River. He has sacrificed endless hours for the area’s resources through wildlife management projects, testimony before boards, property protection, letter writing, as The Nature Conservancy preserves monitor, and more.
Diane Amico is a life-long Vineland resident who has worked for the City of Vineland in several capacities since 1994. She currently works for the Vineland Municipal Electric Utility as an Environmental Specialist. She has also worked for several environmental consulting firms doing reptile, amphibian, and wildlife studies. She is Chairperson of the Vineland Environmental Commission, Chairperson of the Vineland Tree Committee, leader of Vineland’s Sustainability Team for the Sustainable Jersey Program, and she serves on the Downtown Green Committee. She has a degree in Environmental Science from Stockton State College and is a NJ Certified Recycling Professional. She has represented Citizens United at numerous events and functions, and is always ready to volunteer, whether it is for the NJ DEP Adopt-a-Swamp Pink Population Program, or to help the Shorebird Scientists at the Delaware Bayshore in any way possible. She is also currently active in several tree-planting projects, including a center-city project to mitigate urban heat islands. She has two sons, and enjoys doing stained glass, kayaking, dancing, geocaching, and scrapbooking.
Renee Brecht started with the organization as a Trustee in 2005. Then in 2006 she became our first paid staff member, holding a position of Assistant Director and advancing to Associate Director where she coordinated our volunteers, assisted in fundraising, and coordinated of both member and special events. She also led hikes and kayak trips, gave presentations, ran the botany website, and assisted with updating the general website. In the early part of 2011 she left CU to work in the IT program at the Millville Rescue Squad. Presently she is employed by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority as Associate Director of Marketing and Economic Development.
Her interests include amateur botany, local history, herptiles, website programming, ballroom dancing, and playing classical and electric violin. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Science and has completed a number of workshops and courses offered by the NJ DEP, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, and Cook College, as well as numerous computer-related courses. She has volunteered with US Fish and Wildlife Service for the Adopt-a-Swamp Pink program, treasurer of a local PTO, and webmaster for the Archaeological Society. Renee is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys opera.
Donna C. Dailey is an RN with a wealth of job experiences, from carhop at Stewart’s to proofreader in the engineering department of Duralith and most recently as a house nursing supervisor at South Jersey Healthcare’s Millville division. Since then she has dedicated herself to volunteering for those causes near and dear to her heart –namely South Jersey’s incredible ecology via Citizens United, animal welfare through Cumberland County S.P.C.A., and the performing arts with The Downtown Company of Performing Artists. She and her husband Rob have two sons and reside in Millville.
Steve Eisenhauer has been Regional Manager for the Natural Lands Trust since 1998. He previously was Director of Stewardship for The Nature Conservancy’s Delaware Bayshores Office, District Manager of a wood & yard waste recycling company, Operations Manager for the Cape May County MUA’s Solid Waste Program, and Realty/Reclamation Specialist for the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources Abandoned Mineland Reclamation Program. He has served in various volunteer positions with the Sierra Club, Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association and American Kiteflyers Association. His education includes a B.A. in English from Indiana University, an M.A. in Natural Resource Management from Ball State University, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Rutgers University. Spreading the word about water quality and quantity issues is one of his consuming objectives.
Donald L. Fauerbach was a co-founder of Citizens United in 1979. Mr. Fauerbach also served as a trustee. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his community service. From 1992 – 2008 he was the executive director of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. Since 2008 he has been part of the management team at the NJ Motorsports Park in Millville.
Richard Jones is a New Jersey licensed professional engineer and certified municipal engineer. He has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Construction Technology from Temple University. Richard recently retired his post as City Engineer in at the City of Millville. His primary responsibilities were the planning, design, and management of municipal projects from implementation through completion. In his 30+ years experience with the City, Richard has worked on a diversity of projects including civil and building construction, transportation systems, utility distribution, parks and recreational facilities, urban site design, and waterfront development. His primary responsibilities over the past decade have been the planning and design of Millville’s urban infrastructure that serves the Glasstown Arts District, including downtown streetscapes, public plazas, the waterfront park, boardwalk, public marina, and bikeway trail. Richard also participated regularly in planning and environmental studies and works closely with state and federal agencies on various permitting and regulatory issues. He previously served on the Federal Wild and Scenic River Study Task Force for the Maurice River and its Tributaries and was instrumental in the development of Millville’s Local River Management Plan. Richard has a special interest in waterfronts, and over the past 20 years has independently studied the planning, design, and economics of numerous waterfront communities and projects throughout North America.
Corresponding Secretary – Karen Johnson is well known for her interest in birds and nature; she shares her enthusiasm with others in an inspirational way. An Associate Naturalist for the NJ Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory since 2002, Karen leads walks at the northern end of Cape May County at places like Jake’s Landing and Belleplain. In Cumberland County her winter hikes at Turkey Point and spring meanders at a variety of locations are a much-sought-after experience.
For many years Karen has been involved in the Purple Martin and Raptor/ Eagle Festivals. In 2007 she was a key leader for the three student education days held just prior to the Eagle Festival. During these Raptor Discovery Days, over 500 students were introduced to birding and other habitat interpretation by CU leaders.
The NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program has used Karen’s keen birding skills to assess the population of Red Shouldered and Cooper’s Hawks as well as Barred Owls and Black Rails in the Southern NJ Bayshore Region. She also has completed a census at both Buckshutem and Peaslee Wildlife Management Areas for breeding grassland birds. Beginning around 2002 she surveyed American Woodcocks for the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.
Karen lives with her husband, Brian, in Eldora where they have created a special backyard habitat that attracts many bird, butterfly, insect, turtle, and frog species. In August up to 100 migrating Ruby-throated Hummingbirds search for nectar in their yard. She and Brian have opened up their property to educate others about ways they too can provide a haven for local and migrating wildlife species. We are lucky to have so dedicated a naturalist available.
Robert Johnson, a veteran of World War II, having served in France and Germany, received his BA and MBA from Cornell University and was a retired financial consultant for Merrill Lynch. For many years Bob worked as a Product Director for Johnson and Johnson. He was Co-Chairman of Commercial Township’s environmental commission and Vice Chairman of the municipal planning board. He advised PSE&G on their Estuary Enhancement Program for the municipality. Bob worked on an ecotourism guide for Commercial Township, and assisted in developing a natural resource inventory. He was involved in both our osprey and wood duck habitat projects. He was also on the vestry of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Bridgeton. Bob’s wife Laura has been involved with the Bayshore Center at Bivalve. Bob passed away in April 2011.
Gladis McGraw is a retired school secretary, having worked at Wood School in Millville. She was the catalyst behind the construction of a public wildlife garden between Wood Elementary and St. Mary Magdalen Regional Schools in Millville, coordinating the volunteers on this project. The wildlife garden has the potential to reverse some negative trends in its urban setting. It represents pride of place, an area in which Wood School continues to make great strides. In 2003 Gladis received the Millville Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor, the Pride in Millville Award, for her tireless efforts to make improvements in the Third Ward section of Millville. This is an urban area in which Gladis has been a leader in bringing about positive social changes. Additionally, her grade school added her to the Wall of Fame reserved for graduates who have notable accomplishments. Gladis serves on the Neighborhood Watch program. She also has a Realtor license.
Tom McKee is a resident of Mauricetown. He is a 25 year veteran of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, working in the areas of hazardous waste cleanup, watershed management, and geographical information systems. A graduate of Rutger’s Cook College with a degree in Environmental Science, Tom currently works in environmental consulting, assisting clients in matters related to hazardous waste cleanup and wetlands permitting. As an amateur birder and a folk musician, Tom has found many friends who share his enthusiasm for nature and music among the members of Citizens United.
Joanne Murphine is a “worker;” she is quite literally our Jack-of-all-trades. She is retired from the Millville Board of Education at where she worked as a full time “special education” teacher aide at Rieck Avenue School and retired in 2017 at 77 years young!
Joanne’s main devotion has been to the youth of Cumberland County. She has been involved in the 4 H program for over 30 years, assisting at numerous county and state events. In 2001 she was chosen as one of the top five leaders in the state of New Jersey.
In the past years she coordinated many guest speakers for CU meetings and is a regular Bay Day CU booth participant.
Joanne’s husband Frank was part of the Delaware River Keeper water-testing program. The Murphines have always been hooked on fishing and as a result have a deep concern for water quality. Frank passed away in May 2014.
Laurie Pettigrew is a long-time CU member. She was a state wildlife biologist for 26 years with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife. As the author of NJ’s Wildlife Viewing Guides she is intimately familiar with the wildlife of our state and with helping people to appreciate it. In recent years, Laurie managed the creation of grassland habitats on Wildlife Management Areas. Hundreds of acres in Southern NJ offer habitat to early-successional species, many of which are in serious decline. Laurie helps the public interpret a variety of habitats and their benefits. Further she recruits volunteers who conduct surveys to monitor the success of these newly-created habitats. She has coordinated Wildlife Conservation Corps members in a wide variety of wildlife habitat projects on Wildlife Management Areas. Laurie holds a master’s degree in Wildlife Recreation and Nature Tourism from the University of Wisconsin.
Ed Pio’s life began as a “farm boy” in Vineland, NJ. He has been involved in the sportsman community since childhood training his beagle. Now as an adult he still has a passion for being an outdoorsman. He is actively involved in the NJ Sportsman Federation where he is a key player in the annual sportsmen clean-up. In this event volunteers clean thousands of acres of NJ DEP wildlife management lands. He also serves on the Wildlife Conservation Corps.
Ed attended Montclair State College, graduating in 1970. His first job after college was with Wheaton Industries; he left there to become assistant manager at the Landisville Fruit Growers Cooperative. He resigned from the co-op to begin his teaching career at Bridgeton HS. At Bridgeton he served as legislative chairman for the teachers’ union. He also served on the board for Junior Achievement for Cumberland County. In 1976 he received an award for Outstanding Young Men of America and that same year he left Bridgeton to teach and coach at Highland Regional HS where he remained until his retirement in 2002.
Each summer he returns to his roots working on “the farm.” He and his wife Donna have lived in Millville since October 1976 and have raised two children, Joann and Daniel. Donna is also a retired Millville teacher who continues to work on a part-time basis as a teacher mentor in the Millville School District, where she regularly observes and assists teachers in order to improve their instructional skills.
Barbara Strauss was the financial secretary at Memorial High School in Millville. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, she was also a tax preparer for H & R Block for 17 years. She was a member of the Union Lake Sailing & Tennis Club and enjoyed sailing, sailboarding, and tennis, also serving in a number of different offices for that organization. As an outdoor enthusiast, Barbara was a member of the Rails to Trails Conservancy and enjoyed roller blades and trail bikes.
Steve Testa, CPA, served as treasurer for Citizens United from 1986-2004 and he continues to serve as our accountant. He has volunteered his expertise to Citizens United for over 10 years. With his expert advice we were incorporated in 1986. We feel fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and talented individual help us with our financial affairs. Steve handles accounts for a number of non-profit organizations and municipal entities.
Dr. Mary Ann Westerfield completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Medicine from The Pennsylvania State University and obtained her Master’s degree from The University of Georgia. After living out-of-state for 15 years, she moved back to southern New Jersey and completed her Doctorate Degree in Innovation and Leadership from Wilmington University. Mary Ann is the Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Agriculture, and all of the Healthcare programs at Cumberland County College. This academic division houses the environmental science and sustainable energy programs. Mary Ann has environmental and wildlife protection in her blood and has a history with CU since it was founded in 1979. Through growing up on the banks of the Menantico, being raised by her parents Berwyn (co-founder of CU) and Kay Kirby in a pristine paradise, having Tom Brown as a mentor, and getting married with the incoming tide on the first point of Schooner Landing, Mary Ann has an established civic commitment to preserve the environment and protect wildlife.