Board & Staff

HLT is governed by a Board of Trustees and managed by professional staff, and supported by volunteers and donors.

Staff

Patricia Ruby, Executive Director, Hunterdon Land TrustEmail Patti
Patricia Ruby has served as Executive Director of the accredited Hunterdon Land Trust since 2012. In this role, Patti is always wondering, “What organization do we need to be to do the work we need to do to achieve our vision?” She leads HLT by assessing trends, proactively adapting to new challenges, and managing the organization in an efficient way to support an integrated suite of programs that best deliver our mission. As Executive Director, she makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees, supports strategic planning efforts, and implements the organization’s goals and policies within an approved budget. In addition to engaging the community from donors and partners to volunteers and elected officials, she raises funds and secures resources to support HLT’s mission. In short, she oversees and ensures the effectiveness of all our program areas, operations and staff.

Patti is passionate about HLT’s mission because she believes everything is connected and all life depends on our shared natural lands and waters. Every day she is working toward building a more resilient community that supports a high quality of life for us and for future generations.

In addition to previously working at the Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey where she served as program manager of the award-winning Sustainable Jersey program, Patti was employed by the NJ Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers University and Raritan Headwaters Association (formerly the Upper Raritan Watershed Association), and she currently serves as the Executive Secretary of the Lamington Conservancy. She holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused on planning, policy and sustainable development.

When she is not at work, Patti enjoys exploring new places, biking and gardening with her husband and two children.

Email Emily

Emily joined the Hunterdon Land Trust staff in 2022 as the Stewardship Program Manager, responsible for the care of preserved lands through ecological management, facilitation of public access, and community engagement. Emily monitors all HLT properties and easements to ensure their continued conservation benefits. She leads management initiatives such as invasive species control, trail maintenance, and habitat restoration, and coordinates volunteers that aid in these efforts across our many preserved lands.
A Montgomery County, PA, native, Emily received her Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Rochester, and her Master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Delaware. She served on the stewardship team at the North Florida Land Trust for five years, and was part of the land stewardship and ecology team at Longwood Gardens before joining HLT.

Mary Licetti, Finance DirectorEmail Mary
Mary joined the staff of the Hunterdon Land Trust in 2009 and brings extensive financial management experience to our organization. Since 2001, Mary has provided financial support to New Jersey environmental nonprofit organizations.

She is responsible for the accuracy of HLT’s financial records and oversees all financial activities while ensuring compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and practices that govern nonprofit financial management.

Mary’s previous work experience includes a career at the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, where she held senior management positions in finance and business analysis.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in accounting, Mary has also completed financial management training programs at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Northwestern University and the Kellogg Institute.

Jackie Middleton, Land Acquisition DirectorEmail Jackie
Jackie joined Hunterdon Land Trust in March 2014. She received both her undergraduate and law degree from Florida State University. Previously, Jackie practiced law with a private law firm specializing in real estate, where she focused on land acquisition for public projects and real estate project management for governmental entities. She was admitted to practice law in New Jersey in 1994.

As HLT’s Land Acquisition Director, Jackie identifies parcels of land for possible acquisition based on our Comprehensive Land Preservation Plan and criteria approved by HLT’s trustees, and handles outreach and negotiations with landowners.

She handles the myriad documents related to land acquisition projects, including resolutions, plans, contracts, deeds, easement documents and title searches, and prepares and guides land acquisition projects for closing. Jackie ensures that all land acquisition, work practices and record keeping aligns with Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.

She also applies for and manages grants to support capital projects and land preservation work. Regarding legal matters, Jackie provides advice to board staff as needed, and acts as legal counsel to HLT in land acquisition matters and organizational issues. And, she supervises our Land Steward’s monitoring activities and production of baseline reports, as well as ensuring our monitoring program and record keeping meets LTA Standards.

Dave Harding, Director of OutreachEmail Dave
Dave joined the Hunterdon Land Trust in April 2013 as its Director of Outreach. Overall, he handles HLT’s marketing and communications, including writing and distributing news releases, newsletters, weekly emailed newsletters, advertisements, blog posts, brochures and website copy. He oversees HLT’s website and social media, promotes our Farmers’ Market and serves as our staff photographer and videographer. He also troubleshoots computer issues for the staff and works to ensure our computers and networks are working efficiently and effectively. Dave is also our docent, giving history tours of the Dvoor Farm house and property.

Dave simultaneously serves as the Administrator for the Hunterdon County Historical Society and is Vice President of Big Beast Media LLC, which handles public relations and social media campaigns. Previously, he worked as the Communications Coordinator for the Hunterdon Art Museum, a reporter and editor for Forbes Newspapers Inc., where he earned awards for editorial writing and newspaper design, and as a news editor and project manager at Dow Jones & Co. Inc. Dave holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and has a post-graduate degree in digital marketing and social media from Rutgers University.

Dave is a past president of the East Amwell Historical Society, co-director of Camp Friendship China for adopted children; and a past Hunterdon County Historical Society Board of Trustee member. He also co-authored a local history book and a self-guided walking tour of downtown Ringoes.

Robert Reid, Farmers' Market ManagerRobert Reid joins HLT’s staff as our Farmers’ Market Manager. He has been involved with the Hunterdon Land Trust since 2003.

He is a former member of the Dvoor Farm Committee and a former Board of Trustees member. He works for the Raritan Headwaters Association as Property Manager in addition to being a member of NY/NJ Trail Conference, Musconetcong Mountain Conservancy, and the Keep It Green Campaign Committee.

Robert is a former member of the Alexandria Township Open Space Committee and the Highlands Coalition Policy Committee.

In addition, he holds a Master’s degree in sculpture and maintains a studio where he continues to make sculpture and furniture. Born in Montreal, Robert has lived in the Hunterdon County area since 1992.

Email CatherineCatherine Suttle, Director of Cultural Resources
Catherine Suttle joined the Hunterdon Land Trust in 2007. Since that time, she has taken responsibility for planning, developing and carrying out capital projects at the historic Dvoor Farm. Her duties in this capacity include: leading planning activities for future uses of the Dvoor Farm; managing capital improvements to the Dvoor Farm buildings and property; overseeing repairs and maintenance of the Dvoor Farm buildings; and assisting with stewardship management of the farm.

Catherine is also heavily involved in procuring funding for HLT. She researches funding opportunities for general operating, stewardship and program initiatives offered by corporate, foundation and government entities. She then writes and submits grant applications, and coordinates and produces grant reports when needed.

Catherine has a wealth of experience leading and managing complex projects in which multiple stakeholders are involved. Her past work experience includes a career with Merck and Company, Inc., where she held site and global management positions across Materials Management functions. Prior to joining Merck, Catherine was part owner of an architecture and construction firm which specialized in renovation of residential and commercial buildings, primarily those with historic character. Catherine holds a B.S. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Tennessee, an M.S. in Ceramic Sculpture, and an M.B.A. in Logistics from the University of Tennessee.

Email Deidre

Deidre joined Hunterdon Land Trust in January 2022. As our administrative assistant, she is responsible for ensuring efficient and organized office management while providing support to staff for development, finance and outreach activities. This is a fancy way of saying that Deidre enthusiastically responds to public inquiries that arrive via e-mail, sends thank-you letters to donors because the contributions directly enable Hunterdon Land Trust to preserve the places we love, makes sure the utilities at Dvoor Farm are in order, keeps the office organized, and assists the HLT team as we work together to support the land trust’s mission.

Deidre also works with the New Jersey State Park Service as a project specialist, providing visitor services for outdoor recreation opportunities in four parks and monitoring harmful algae blooms. Deidre has earned a M.Ed. in Science Education, two B.S. degrees in Agricultural Science and Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources at Rutgers University, and two A.S. degrees in Biology and Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College. All together, Deidre draws upon a a firm foundation of academic knowledge rooted in civic engagement to share her knowledge and passion for farming and to engage with park visitors and co-workers alike about the local environment.

Deidre also enjoys working on her family’s farm, creating art, hiking, biking, and stopping many times to identify the plants or pick up litter along the way!

Board of Trustees

Nancy Cunningham grew up in a small town surrounded by farmland in central New Jersey. After living in other places around the county, she settled in Ringoes 22 years ago. A sociologist by training, she has worked in the public and private sectors as an educator, trainer and advocate for a range of issues. For the past two decades, Nancy has worked in the field of philanthropy as a CEO and consultant. She has served as a trustee for numerous nonprofit organizations through the years and as a member and chair of the East Amwell Board of Adjustment for more than a decade. A volunteer for the Hunterdon Land Trust for several years, she is delighted to be serving as a trustee. Nancy and her partner love to travel, hike and kayak.

Ron Monaco recently retired from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he was a manager of estimating and project delivery support.  Ron has a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of NY and an MBA in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  Currently Ron serves on the Planning Board of Readington Township.  He is also chairman of the library committee and chairman of the Sewer Advisory and a member of the open space committee.  He is president of the non-profit goHunterdon commuter services, which is the transportation management association for Hunterdon County.  Statewide, he was appointed by Governor Kean in 1986 to the advisory committee of the NJ Transit Board of Directors where he continues to serve after 25 years.  Ron resides in Readington Township with his wife where they both enjoy hiking and bike riding.

Phil grew up in Bay Head, New Jersey, and later attended the University of New Hampshire where he enjoyed weekends and summers hiking in the mountains. His love of food and travel led him to pursue a career in Manhattan, working for specialty cheese and food importers. In 1996 he founded FoodMatch, Inc. now a national supplier of authentic, sustainably produced Mediterranean foods to Fortune 500 retail and restaurant chains.

He is closely involved with urban pantries and community outreach centers in NYC such as the Sylvia Center. Phil sits on the Oldways board of directors, encouraging positive public health through heritage diets and nutrition. He has also served as a delegate for the U.S. Department of State’s Global Entrepreneur Program on two missions, one in Greece and one in Portugal, mentoring local entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector.

In their free time, Phil and his family enjoy the beautiful rolling hills, fields, and woods at their West Amwell farm where they raise livestock on organically certified pastures.

Larry LaFevre is a founding member and Chair of the Holland Township Municipal Agricultural Advisory Committee, township liaison to the Hunterdon County CADB, and active in the Holland Township Historic Preservation Commission and other historical societies. Larry has a BS in Economics and worked as an IT Manager at the Office of Information Technology, State of NJ, for more than 20 years. He has been involved in the Hunterdon Land Trust for more than 15 years and a trustee since 2008. Larry has a daughter, son-in-law and grandson living in South Orange, NJ. He was born, raised and still living near the banks of the sacred Delaware River in Holland Twp.

Lynn grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from Auburn University with a BS in Accounting.  She moved to Atlanta to begin a 25-year career in the Bell System, starting with Western Electric and ending in Lucent Technologies, including positions in New Orleans and ultimately in New Jersey in 1980.  During that time, she got an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.  Upon leaving Lucent, Lynn had various positions in nonprofit organizations, including trade associations, animal welfare organizations, and finally South Branch Watershed Association.  She also served on the Boards of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and the Patriots Path Council Boy Scouts of America.

While working at SBWA, Lynn became familiar with HLT and ultimately became a supporter and volunteer.

Lynn is married to Bud Becker and lives on a small River Friendly farm in Raritan Township with their two dogs and a small herd of Black Angus cattle.

Trishka Waterbury Cecil is Of Counsel with the law firm of Mason, Griffin & Pierson, PC in Princeton, New Jersey, where since 1999 she has practiced in the areas of local government and land use law, prerogative writ litigation, and appellate litigation. Ms. Cecil is admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as before the federal District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. She earned her juris doctor degree cum laude in 1996 from the Boston University School of Law, after which she clerked for the Honorable Philip S. Carchman.

Cecil is the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Deputy General Counsel, Associate Counsel with the New Jersey Planning Officials, a past president of the Institute of Local Government Attorneys, and Assistant Editor of the Local Government Law Review published by the Institute. She is the appointed attorney for Princeton, Clinton Township, Hopewell Borough, Union Township (Hunterdon County), the Cranbury Township Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Plainsboro Township Planning Board, and the Stockton Borough Planning Board, and has served as special counsel for a number of other municipalities. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Institute of Local Government Attorneys’ Fred G. Stickel Award for Excellence in Municipal Law & Service to the Legal Profession. Ms. Cecil lives in Hunterdon County with her husband and seven-year-old twins.

Valerie Powell’s professional life has spanned three decades of serving the pharmaceutical, medical and biotech industry. She first focused on effective instructional programs, and now works to optimize the experience for the patient. In her current role as Vice President, Research Services for HealthiVibe, LLC, she works to bring the voice of the patient to the design of clinical trials. She is also responsible for ensuring that all patient communications and materials are developed specifically with the patient in mind, and at an appropriate literacy and educational level. In her free time, she teaches individuals and groups the benefits of a whole-foods diet for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and provides free meditation classes to the community.

Valerie has volunteered at the HLT Farmers’ Market for several years and chairs the Farmers’ Market committee. She has also served on committees for her children’s school and sports activities and has volunteered for the Flemington Green Team and the Health & Wellness Committee. She has a BS in Education, a masters’ degree in Instructional and Performance Technology, is a certified health coach, and regularly updates her understanding of health literacy and research methods through continuing education.