Tri-State Transportation Campaign welcomes four new team members and says goodbye to three.
Staff analyst Michelle Ernst will be moving to Connecticut in March to start a new chapter of her life as a full-time mom and independent consultant. Michelle joined TSTC in 2004 after six years at the Surface Transportation Policy Project in Washington D.C. For nearly seven years, she has been our principal report author and data expert, and a crucial member of our team. Some highlights of her work include The Most Dangerous Roads for Walking, the (still useful) congestion pricing fact sheets, State of Transportation in New Jersey, and the national report Dangerous by Design. Michelle, we will miss you!
Michelle will be replaced by the very capable Renata Silberblatt. A native New Yorker, Renata worked on environmental and public policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace before starting a graduate program at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service in 2009. She interned at TSTC this summer and at the Maritime Department at NYC Economic Development Corporation this winter. She holds BA with Honors from Oberlin College and will receive her Masters in Urban Planning from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service this spring.
Janna Chernetz is our new New Jersey Advocate. Janna is an attorney with a passion for environmental and equity issues who grew up in Union County, NJ. She has worked for South Jersey Legal Services, Pomper and Associates, and as a Legislative Counsel for the New Jersey Bar Association. She has been a member of the New Jersey Bar Association since 2002. She has a BA from Rutgers University in Political Science and Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School where she was an Environmental Dean’s Fellow. Janna replaces Zoe Baldwin, who took a position in U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg’s office last month.
Vincent Pellecchia joined TSTC last week as our new General Counsel. Born and raised in Bergen County, NJ, Vincent recently returned to the United States after doing environmental work in China. Prior to that, he spent a number of years in private practice in New Jersey and New York. He is a member of the New Jersey and New York bars, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Manhattan College in environmental engineering and has his Juris Doctor from George Washington University School of Law. Vincent replaces Kyle Wiswall, who left the organization to pursue a new career path late last year.
TSTC has hired Matthew Norris to fill a new South Jersey Advocate position. Matthew is an urban planner interested in environmental issues and the built environment. He comes to us from AARP, where he was doing walkability assessments and legislative work. Matthew has a BA in Sociology from the University of Kansas and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.
Matthew’s position is made possible by a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation and will allow us to expand our presence into the southern part of the state. TSTC reports consistently find roads in Atlantic, Burlington, and Cumberland Counties to be among the most dangerous for walking, yet our presence has largely been in the central and northern parts of the state. Matthew’s goal will be to work with local civic groups and municipal leaders to build support for policies and projects that reduce crashes and fatalities, and provide greater transportation choices. The new position will also allow us to partner more closely with effective advocates in the Philadelphia region like the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
Welcome Janna, Vincent, Matthew and Renata and goodbye Michelle, Kyle, and Zoe!