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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.

 

Katherine Malangone, Academy Coordinator
 

Katherine Malangone has served as Academy Coordinator since 2017 and previously served as assistant academy and administrative specialist of the Commission since 2011. Prior to her work at the Commission, Malangone was the hands-on president and owner of a small residential construction company.

In her capacity as academy coordinator, Malangone engages in all planning aspects of the Commission’s New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy including curriculum, instructor and overhead staffing, student registrations, finance, travel plans, housing accommodations, meal plans and time recording for all staff and instructors. Her additional responsibilities include providing administrative support to the Central Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council and the Wildfire Task Force and as support to the rest of Commission staff. She also  Due to her advanced training in financial management, Malangone serves as finance section chief of the New York State Incident Management Team (IMT) and has participated in emergency response to a number of major incidents including a blizzard in western New York State and several wildfires in the Catskills.

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

 

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, Director of Communications

Tim Motz has served as director of communications since August of 2016. Currently serving in a dual role as director of communications for both the Commission and the Suffolk County Water Authority, Motz has been employed by SCWA since 2010.

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 and SCWA 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.

Motz is responsible for all aspects of internal and external communications for the Commission and SCWA, including organizing press conferences; writing press releases; fielding media inquiries; drafting speeches, testimony and letters; designing ad campaigns; directing social media; and writing, editing and designing publications, among other duties.

He can be reached at communications@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-563-0396.

 

Martin Steiger, Enforcement Officer

Martin Steiger joined the Commission as Enforcement Officer in 2023.

Before joining the Commission staff, Steiger served for 25 years in the NYPD, retiring as a lieutenant watch commander for the Counterterrorism Bureau. He also served for 23 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a major after combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years, he worked as a security director and private investigator.

As an Enforcement Officer for the Commission, Steiger 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.

Steiger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in graphic design from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master of Science degree in homeland security management from Long Island University.

He can be reached at martin.steiger@scwa.com or by phone at 631-563-9752.

 

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.

 

Polly Weigand, Science and Stewardship Manager

Polly Weigand has served as science and stewardship manager of the Commission since May 2018 and serving previously for the Commission as ecologist. Weigand also currently serves as the executive director of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to protect the genetic integrity of the region’s native plant populations by ensuring the ready availability and use of genetically native plant materials.

Prior to joining the Commission, Weigand served the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District for 13 years where she conducted a diversity of natural resource management activities including farmland planning, habitat restoration, shoreline protection, sediment and erosion control, pest and nutrient management and invasive species control.

In her capacity as ecologist, Weigand is responsible for conducting and supporting monitoring and management of the Central Pine Barrens in order to help maintain the ecological integrity of this globally rare ecosystem. Aiding in Southern Pine Beetle monitoring, suppression, and education, prescribed burning, invasive species mapping, management plan development, forest health monitoring, and grant writing are the current activities in which Weigand is most actively engaged.

She can be reached at stewardship@pb.state.ny.us or by phone at 631-563-0321.

 

Michael Whittemore, Ecologist

Michael Whittemore has served as ecological field specialist since October of 2023. Prior to his work at the Commission, Whittemore worked as a stewardship restoration manager at The Nature Conservancy, where he managed the Cape Cod & Islands program with duties including ecological restoration, research, stewardship and managing staff. Whittemore has also worked as a researcher with Woodwell Climate Research Center.

In his capacity as ecologist, Whittemore is responsible for designing and implementing scientific monitoring, adaptive management and stewardship of the Central Pine Barrens in order to help maintain and restore the ecological integrity of this globally-rare ecosystem.

Whittemore earned a Bachelor of Science degree in wildfire conservation from the University of Rio Grande and a Master of Science degree in environmental sciences from the University of Ohio.

He can be reached at michael.whittemore@scwa.com or by phone at (631) 218-1189.

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