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Judy Jakobsen, Interim Executive Director

Judy Jakobsen serves as interim 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.

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 interim 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 or by phone at 631-288-1079.


Jade Blennau, Ecological Field Specialist

Jade Blennau has served as Ecological Field Specialist since February of 2020. Prior to her work at the Commission, Blennau served as Conservation Outreach Steward with The Nature Conservancy, where her work involved field monitoring, preparing research reviews, aiding in stewardship projects, as well as teaching environmental education programs. Blennau’s experience as a Student Conservation Association/Americorps Restoration Ecology intern at Channel Islands National Park gave her experience developing and implementing long term monitoring research projects within fire-dependent ecosystems.

As Ecological Field Specialist, Blennau 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.

Blennau has presented research at numerous conferences including the California Invasive Plant Council, Coastal Estuarine Research Federation and the Council on Undergraduate Research REU Symposium. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science in Coastal Environment Studies.

She can be reached at or by phone at 631-563-9754.


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 or by phone at 631-563-0385.


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 2012. 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 or by phone at 631-218-1195.


Julie Hargrave, Principal  Environmental Planner

Julie Hargrave has served as principal environmental planner of the Commission since 2007. 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 principal environmental planner, Hargrave reviews hardship waiver (variance) applications; communicates with applicants and municipal officials; prepares SEQRA documentation for Commission review; conducts complex environmental and planning analyses; develops and provides reports and recommendations to the Commission; prepares public hearing materials; participates in meetings of the Pine Barrens Advisory Committee and credit clearinghouse; responds to interagency coordination, municipal agency referrals and jurisdictional determinations; researches emerging issues pertaining to potential plan amendments; presents Central Pine Barrens updates to town officials; conducts permit compliance reviews of development projects and enforcement support; supports and participates in ecological assessments; assists in various Commission events; and participates in regional planning conferences.

She can be reached at or by phone at 631-218-1192.


Timothy Huss, Chief Enforcement Officer

Timothy Huss joined the Commission as lead enforcement officer in February of 2017. Prior to joining the Commission staff, Huss served 40 years in various capacities for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Law Enforcement before retiring as major of the Southern District of New York State. Huss has been honored by numerous organizations for accolades including lifetime achievement in conservation law enforcement, achievements in public outreach, officer of the year and contributions to law enforcement efforts in the Central Pine Barrens.

As leader of the Commission’s Compliance and Enforcement Unit, Huss supervises a three-member unit that conducts inspections of Commission-permitted 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 non-land use activities, such as operation of ATVs and illegal dumping of waste.

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


James Mazzio, Enforcement Officer

James Mazzio joined the Commission as a Compliance and Enforcement Coordinator in February of 2017. Before joining the Commission staff, Mazzio served 27 years with the Southampton Town Police, beginning as a Patrol Officer in 1989 and retiring as a Detective.

As a Compliance and Enforcement coordinator for the Commission, Mazzio is part of a three-member unit that conducts inspections of Commission-permitted 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 non-land use activities, such as operation of ATVs and illegal dumping of waste.

He can be reached at or by phone at 631-563-9752.


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 or by phone at 631-563-0396.


Robert Panko, Fire Management Specialist

Robert Panko has served as fire management specialist of the Commission since October of 2019. Prior to his current position, Panko served 44 years in various wildland fire management positions, beginning as a basic wildland firefighter and rising to the elite position of Incident Commander Type 2.

Panko worked for 36 years at the U.S. National Park Service, spending 25 years as a law enforcement and emergency services ranger and 11 years as a wildland fire management officer. During his service at the Park Service, Panko was employed as a federally commissioned law enforcement officer, a criminal investigator, an advanced emergency medical technician, a technical search and rescue team leader and a wildland fire manager. One of only a small number of fire and aviation management officers nationwide to be graded at the highest level prior to his retirement from the Park Service, Panko has developed plans for and overseen numerous prescribed burns and has managed nationwide responses to wildfires and other emergencies.

As fire management specialist, Panko will oversee the development, implementation and management of the Commission’s prescribed fire program, which is designed to reintroduce controlled fire to the fire-dependent public lands contained within the Central Pine Barrens ecosystem.

He can be reached at or by phone at 631-218-1182.


Melissa Griffiths Parrott, Education and Outreach Coordinator

Melissa Griffiths Parrott has served as education and outreach coordinator since 2008. She has served in the environmental education field for more than 20 years.

Beginning her career with ABC/Kane producing natural history documentary films, Parrott later became a volunteer and environmental educator at El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach, California. She then changed careers and became a naturalist for El Dorado Nature Center and then an outreach coordinator for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.  After moving to New York in 1997 she became director of education and interim executive director of Sweetbrier Nature Center in Smithtown.

In 1999, Parrott became director of environmental education for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, working directly with the governor and offer top officials to incorporate environmental education, particularly biodiversity, into the state’s learning standards. She also served on numerous environmental and education organizations and boards. In 2003, she began work with Cornell Cooperative Extension, implementing state of the art environmental education programs and projects.

In her capacity as education and outreach coordinator, Parrott is responsible for all of the Commission’s many educational and outreach efforts. Along with Brookhaven National Laboratory and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, she has spearheaded the renowned “A Day in the Life” of various rivers and estuary field research programs for local secondary school students, the very successful Barrens to Bay environmental summer camp and Discovery Day, the Commission’s annual Pine Barrens public education event.

She can be reached at or by phone at 631-288-1079.


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 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 or by phone at 631-563-0321.


Shaun Ziegler, Senior Ecologist

Shaun Ziegler has served as an ecologist for the Commission since October 2018. In his capacity as ecologist, Ziegler 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. Ziegler is currently most actively engaged with aiding in the development and implementation of the ecological prescribed burning program, adaptive management plans, forest health and invasive species monitoring, stewardship efforts, grant writing, interagency collaboration and outreach with the Commission.

Prior to joining the Commission, Ziegler managed the state nature preserve system and ecological prescribed fire program for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Also during his time in Kentucky, Ziegler served on the executive board, steering and training committees of the Kentucky Prescribed Fire Council and the Kentucky Invasive Species Council, as well as several regional cooperative invasive species management areas. Preceding his time in Kentucky, Ziegler completed graduate studies at Indiana University, in addition to working as science and stewardship program manager for a land trust and as a regional ecologist for the natural heritage program in Indiana. Ziegler holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology as well as three master’s degrees in the fields of applied ecology; environmental policy and natural resources management; public land management; and public agency administration.  

He can be reached by email at or by phone at 631-563-0372.