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Staff

Judy Jakobsen, Executive Director

Judy Jakobsen serves as executive director for the Commission. Jakobsen served as the Commission’s deputy director from 2017 to 2021 and prior to that, as policy and planning manager from 2008 to 2017. A Commission employee since its creation in 1993, Jakobsen began her service with the Commission as an environmental analyst. In this capacity she helped prepare the Commission’s original Comprehensive Land Use Management Plan and documents related to its SEQRA review process.

During her time at the Commission, Jakobsen has also served as senior environmental analyst and principal environmental analyst responsible for land use development project review and the transfer of development rights program. She also served as the Commission’s interim executive director in 2010 and in 2021.

Prior to her employment with the Commission, Jakobsen worked for 10 years in the private sector in the field of environmental consulting in groundwater remediation, solid waste management, pollution prevention and land use planning. Jakobsen also worked on developing and providing technical review of environmental legislation and reviewed project impacts on groundwater as an environmental analyst with the New York State Legislative Commission on Water Resource Needs of Long Island.

In her capacity as executive director, Jakobsen is responsible for the protection, preservation and management of the 106,000-acre Central Pine Barrens area as well as implementing the Central Pine Barrens Comprehensive Land Use Plan, managing Commission staff and defining and guiding the continuing evolution of the Commission.

She can be reached at director@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-288-1079.

 

Samantha Acampora, Ecological Field Specialist

Samantha Acampora has served as ecological field specialist since March of 2022. Prior to her work at the Commission, Acampora served as an invasive species and forest health management intern for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Before that, she served as a forest technician for the DEC.

As ecological field specialist, Acampora assists with the planning and implementation of ecological management activities in the Central Pine Barrens, including various research and stewardship projects that foster biological biodiversity, natural resource conservation and ecosystem protection and restoration.

Acampora has served as an interior firefighter for the Port Jefferson Fire Department since 2017. She is a graduate of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources Management and also earned an A.A.S. in Forest Technology from SUNY ESF Ranger School. While at Port Jefferson High School, she was awarded the Most Prominent Citizen Award, the Triple C Award for outstanding community service and the Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson Award.

She can be reached at samantha.acampora@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-563-2754.

 

Angela Brown-Walton, Administrative Assistant

Angela Brown-Walton has served as Administrative Assistant since November of 2020. Prior to her work at the Commission, Brown-Walton worked for more than two decades in various administrative positions for three different companies, most recently for Gordon L. Seaman, Inc., where she served as Executive Assistant for the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to her work at Seaman, Brown-Walton spent more than a decade at First Data Corporation, starting as Administrative Assistant and adding to her responsibilities the duties of Settlement Analyst and subsequently Senior Settlement Analyst. Prior to her work at First Data, Brown-Walton served as Executive Assistant for Henry Schein Company for five years.

As Administrative Assistant, Brown-Walton performs a variety of clerical, administrative and support duties including composing correspondence, scheduling meetings, preparing meeting minutes, preparing documents and reports, assisting in fleet administration, processing invoices, receiving visitors and helping to arrange events and seminars, among other duties.

Brown-Walton earned an A.A.S. Degree in Secretarial Science from Farmingdale State College.

She can be reached at abrown-walton@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-563-0385.

 

Frank Carbone, Chief Enforcement Officer

Frank Carbone joined the Commission as Chief Enforcement Officer in September of 2022. A veteran officer with 38 years of experience at six different police departments, Carbone spent most of his career prior to joining the Central Pine Barrens Commission staff with the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, where his latest post was zone lieutenant/field supervisor after serving in the past as acting captain and administrative lieutenant.

As an Enforcement Officer for the Commission, Carbone is part of a three-member unit that conducts inspections of land use activities and development projects and helps to coordinate the several dozen agencies that have law enforcement, code enforcement and compliance jurisdiction within the Central Pine Barrens region. The unit also aids and supports law enforcement in protecting the region from illegal land use activities, such as operation of ATVs and dumping of waste.

Carbone earned an Associate of Criminal Justice degree from SUNY Farmingdale. He has also earned dozens of law enforcement certifications throughout the course of his career.

He can be reached at enforcement@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-218-1188.

 

Catherine Drew, Administrative Assistant

Catherine Drew has served as Administrative Assistant since January of 2023. Prior to her work at the Commission, Drew worked as an independent contractor for Red S Advertising. Prior work includes serving as Director of Admissions for Bishop McGann-Mercy High School, where she also in the past served as Development Associate. Before beginning her more than 15 years at the school, Drew was a Marketing Associate for the Foundation Center.

Drew’s duties as Administrative Assistant include serving the logistical needs of the New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, which is overseen by the Commission. Other primary responsibilities include clerical, administrative and support duties including composing correspondence, scheduling meetings, preparing meeting minutes, preparing documents and reports, assisting in fleet administration, processing invoices, receiving visitors and helping to arrange events and seminars.

Drew earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from LeMoyne College.

She can be reached at catherine.drew@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-218-1195.

 

Julie Hargrave, Policy and Planning Manager

Julie Hargrave has served as Policy and Planning Manager of the Commission since 2021 after serving as Principal Environmental Planner for the Commission for 14 years. Prior to her work at the Commission, Hargrave held a senior planning position in the Southampton Town Department of Land Management, where she reviewed and presented commercial site plan and residential subdivision development applications to the town Planning Board.

Prior to her public service, Hargrave previously worked as an environmental scientist at AKRF, Inc., specializing in writing and preparing Environmental Impact Statements for municipal agencies and private entities. Projects she worked on included multi-billion dollar transportation projects such as the Second Avenue subway and the World Trade Center terminal for PATH service. She also prepared Environmental Impact Statements for the New York City Department of Health Adult Mosquito Control Programs and Westchester County Adult Mosquito-borne Disease Control Programs.

In her capacity as Policy and Planning Manager, Hargrave assists the Executive Director with day-to-day operations and staff management, while also continuing her duties principal environmental planner, which include review of hardship waiver (variance) applications; communication with applicants and municipal officials; preparation of SEQRA documentation for Commission review; conducting complex environmental and planning analyses; developing and providing reports and recommendations to the Commission; preparing public hearing materials; participating in meetings of the Pine Barrens Advisory Committee and credit clearinghouse; responding to interagency coordination, municipal agency referrals and jurisdictional determinations; researching emerging issues pertaining to potential plan amendments; presenting Central Pine Barrens updates to town officials; conducting permit compliance reviews of development projects and enforcement support; supporting and participating in ecological assessments; assisting in various Commission events; and participating in regional planning conferences.

She can be reached at landuse@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-218-1192.

 

Alena Lawston, Enforcement Officer

Alena Lawston joined the Commission as an enforcement officer in 2024. Prior to beginning work at the Commission, Lawston served for 13 years as an officer with the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, where she investigated a wide variety of complaints on the East End of Long Island, detecting, documenting and prosecuting environmental conservation law felonies, misdemeanors and violations. As part of her work duties, Lawston participated in hunter safety classes and youth conservation programs to encourage compliance and provide information about careers in environmental law enforcement.

As an Enforcement Officer for the Commission, Lawston is part of a three-member unit that conducts inspections of land use activities and development projects and helps to coordinate the several dozen agencies that have law enforcement, code enforcement and compliance jurisdiction within the Central Pine Barrens region. The unit also aids and supports law enforcement in protecting the region from illegal land use activities, such as operation of ATVs and dumping of waste.

Lawston earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies with a concentration in marine environment.

She can be reached at alena.lawston@scwa.com or by phone at 631-563-9753.

 

John Milazzo, Special Counsel/Pine Barrens

John Milazzo serves as special counsel to the Central Pine Barrens Commission. He can be reached at 631-288-1079.

 

Tim Motz, Educational Outreach and Communications Coordinator

Tim Motz has served as educational outreach and communications coordinator since August of 2023 after years in a dual role as director of communications for both the Commission and the Suffolk County Water Authority.

Beginning his career as a published intern for the Village Voice and subsequently as an award-winning reporter for The Southampton Press, Motz later worked as a reporter for the Naples Daily News and a reporter/columnist for the Waterbury Republican-American. He then served, successively, as a legislative aide in various capacities for the Suffolk Legislature, deputy director of communications and speechwriter for the Suffolk County executive and director of the Public Information Office for the Suffolk County Police Department, where he supervised an eight-member staff and oversaw the creation of the department’s first civilian PIO. In addition to his commission duties, Motz is currently an OpEd columnist for the Press News Group and a partner with his wife in the strategic communications company Molehill Media.

As educational outreach and communications coordinator, Motz is responsible for all aspects of internal and external communications for the commission as well as running the Barrens to Bay Summer Camp at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, the "A Day in the Life" of a Long Island waterway student science program and conducting a variety of special projects including the commission's annual report and videos chronicling various aspects of the commission's work.

He can be reached at tmotz@scwa.com or by phone at 631-563-0396.

 

Tara Murphy, Environmental Planner

Tara Murphy has served as environmental planner for the commission since April of 2024. Working most recently as a buying representative for Supply House, Murphy has in the past worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as a field technician on the agency’s Wildlife Unit where her responsibilities included urban wildlife monitoring, management, and recommendations for policy development. Murphy also worked as an urban park ranger on Staten Island, New York with the same agency creating and leading education programs and enforcing park regulations. She has also served as an education intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Wertheim Wildlife Refuge in Shirley and at the Region 2 office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

As environmental planner, Murphy works for the commission's Land Use and Planning Division with responsibilities including reviewing development project applications in accordance with the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act and its Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Murphy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in ecosystems and human impact from Stony Brook University and a Graduate Certificate in environmental planning and design from American Public University.

She can be reached at tara.murphy@scwa.com or by phone at 631-563-0307. 

 

Chris Steigerwald, Ecological Field Specialist

Chris Steigerwald joined the Commission as ecological field specialist in May 2023. A former ecology intern for the Commission, Steigerwald went on to work as an invasive species strike force team member for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and a forest technician for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation before returning to the Commission.

As ecological field specialist, Steigerwald assists with the planning and implementation of ecological management activities in the Central Pine Barrens, including various research and stewardship projects that foster biological biodiversity, natural resource conservation and ecosystem protection and restoration.

Steigerwald is a cum laude graduate of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Management.

He can be reached at christopher.steigerwald@scwa.com or by phone at 631-563-9755.

 

Jerry Tverdyy, Senior Environmental Analyst

Jerry Tverdyy has served as senior environmental analyst of the Commission since May of 2016, serving previously for the Commission as environmental analyst, where he began his service in 2011.

Prior to his work at the Commission, Tverdyy worked in the chemistry lab at a pharmaceutical factory.

In his capacity as senior environmental analyst, Tverdyy serves as data analyst for the Central Pine Barrens credit clearinghouse and its credit program, serves as GIS technician for the Commission office, prepares fire danger reports and conducts monitoring of fire weather, performs maintenance for the Commission’s weather station, assists with conservation easement monitoring and complaint investigations, provides support to the Science and Stewardship division and conducts field work.

He can be reached at creditprogram@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-563-0352.

 

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