Who We Are

People Dedicated to Supporting our Parks

The Somerset County Park Foundation is a 501(c)(3) created to preserve, support, and promote Somerset County Park Commission programs, facilities, and open space through advocacy and fundraising. The Park Foundation is managed by a 12-member Board of Trustees including one member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. Foundation funds are used to sponsor, underwrite, support, and promote park activities, and expansion of programs, improvement of facilities, and capital expenditures to enhance access to active and passive recreation opportunities.

Board of Trustees

 
John KitchenJohn K. Kitchen, Chairman

John brings 35 years of government and local experience to the Park Foundation. He was the mayor of Branchburg, Somerset County Freeholder, and Somerset County Park Commissioner. Uniquely, John also served as a senior staff member of the Park Commission, as the Deputy Director in charge of Golf Operations. John was an Incorporator and former Chairman of the Board of Somerset Valley Bank and is a Trustee and member of the 200 Club of Somerset County. John is a Vietnam veteran and former 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army Infantry. John has been a member of the Park Foundation since 2010, and the Chairman of the Pro/Celebrity Golf Tournament for the past ten years.

 

Jason Dameo, Vice Chairman - Dameo Trucking, Bridgewater, NJ

Jason Dameo has been working side by side with his brothers and family members at Dameo Trucking Company, a 3rd generation family run business, for more than 25 years. He has been an active member of the Somerville Bridgewater Rotary Club of 20 years, as well as a Past President. Jason is also an active Board Member for the People Care Center, as well as a Past President. He also serves time on the Executive Board of the Regional Center Partnership and is the Chairman of the Action Committee for the 200 Club of Somerset County. Jason also follows in his Grandfather’s footsteps like the current President of the New Jersey Motor Trucking Association. In his free time, Jason enjoys teaching the value of teamwork as an F Licensed Soccer Coach and Level 1 Certified Lacrosse Coach. Jason also works at fostering these philanthropic and team values, alongside his wife of 20 years and his three children.

 

Charles B. Rosen, PMP, Treasurer, Vice President of Solutions Delivery GalaxESolutions Consulting, Somerset, NJ

Chuck has been a Foundation trustee since 2008 and is the Treasurer for the Foundation. He began his involvement with Somerset County Park Commission at Lord Stirling Stable in 1976 and over the years has served as President, Treasurer, and Trustee for the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable, a non-profit organization supporting the activities of the Somerset County Park Commission. He has served as a Board Member of the Greater Somerset County Chapter, American Red Cross and is Vice President – Programs and a Board Member of the Project Management Institute – New Jersey Chapter (PMI-NJ). A graduate of the Rutgers University School of Management, he stays connected to the Rutgers Equine Science Center and area equestrian and trail associations. Chuck is a certified Project Management Professional and program management consultant to commercial, government, and non-profit organization.

 
Geoffrey D. Soriano, Secretary-Director, Somerset County Park Commission (ex-officio)

Geoff has served as Secretary-Director of the Somerset County Park Commission since May 2018. He is an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey having graduated from Brown University in 1986 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 1989. After a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Wilfred P. Diana, Geoff practiced law privately as a partner with Soriano & Soriano from 1990 to 2010. He was appointed and served as Prosecutor for the County of Somerset from 2010 to 2016 and thereafter served as an Assistant Attorney General with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice until joining the Park Commission. Geoff, his wife Kathy and their twin son and daughter are avid “outdoors people” who very much enjoy the parks and facilities that Somerset County has to offer.

 

Donald DiFrancesco, Partner at DiFrancesco, Bateman, Kunzman, David, Lehrer & Flaum, Warren, NJ

Donald DiFrancesco was the 51st Governor of New Jersey and President of the State Senate. Governor DiFrancesco’s career in public service began with his election to the General Assembly in 1975 where he served on the Assembly Institutions, Health, and Welfare Committee, as well as on the Banking and Insurance Committee. He was Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ethical Standards. In 1979, he was elected to the State Senate, to which he was re-elected six times. In 1992, he was chosen to serve as President of the Senate, and set a record for serving in that role for a decade. As Senate President, Governor DiFrancesco sponsored the constitutional amendment prohibiting unfunded State mandates, the 2000 law that renewed the Transportation Trust Fund, and the 1999 Bond Act that led to the establishment of the Garden State Preservation Trust Fund, a $98 million initiative to preserve open space, farmlands, and historic properties. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, The Tri-County Chapter of the American Red Cross, University Hospital and Children’s Specialized Hospital of Mountainside, as well as Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, an organization dedicated to promoting safer communities through a partnership with law enforcement, media, and local residents. Governor DiFrancesco previously served on the Board of Directors of Commerce Bancorp for several years.

 

Paul Drake, County Commissioner

 

Karen Murphy, Manager, Spook Hollow Farm Bedminster, NJ

Karen Murphy is the Secretary and Joint Master of the Esses Fox Hounds which hosts the Weekend in Gladstone’s Master’ Chase at Natirar. Karen currently manages her family’s Spook Hollow Farm in Bedminster where they have resided for over 40 years. Previously, she successfully competed in the equestrian sport of Show Jumping on the amateur and grand prix level; worked as a Financial Consultant with Merill Lynch; and managed Investor Relations for Technology Crossover Ventures in Palo Alto, CA. Karen is also an active supporter of the American Order of Malta and the Summit Speech School hosting the students each summer at Spook Hollow and serving on the annual benefit committees.

 

Ellen NardoniEllen Nardoni, Executive Assistant, Flemington Car and Truck Country, Somerville, NJ

Ellen is the Executive Assistant to Steve Kalafer and the customer relations manager for the Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands, Clinton Honda, Land Rover Princeton, and the Somerset Patriots for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Steve in Flemington, she was the Chief of Staff of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development for the State of New Jersey. During her career, Ellen has served on the Board of the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce and numerous other community and civic organizations. When her husband Paul died in April 2001, she became a founding director of the Paul R. Nardoni Foundation, whose mission is to support cancer patients and their families. Through fundraising and gifting, the Foundation proudly opened Paul’s Place, a 35-bed inpatient cancer treatment center at RWJ Barnabas at Somerset. Ellen was awarded the American Lung Association Emily Bissell Award and received the Founders Groundbreaker’s Award from the Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey for her work with the Foundation.

 

Peter Palmer

Peter’s public service is extensive. He has served on the Board of Chosen Freeholders since 1997, Mayor of Bernardsville Borough Council, Chair of the Bernardsville Board of Education, and a member of the Somerset County Planning Board. Peter served as President of the New Jersey Association of Counties Chairman of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Founder and Chairman of the Freight Initiatives Committee, Chairman of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, on the Board of directors of the Somerset County Business Partnership, President of the Somerset County Governing Officials Association, and Co-Chair of the Somerset County Commission on Child Abuse and Missing Children. Peter served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, as a 1st Lieutenant. He is a retired actuary and was Vice President of Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co. Peter has been a member of the Park Foundation since 2009.

 

Gary QuickR. Gary Quick, Hesco Lighting & Electric Supply, Clinton and Princeton

Hesco is a family owned business for over 50 years. Gary served Lebanon Borough for 15 years. Recreation, Council, Planning Board and Council President. He has lived in Dover DE, Middlesex NJ, Nebraska, Japan, Alabama, Southern California, Arizona, Madison NJ, Washington DC, London and back to Jersey. Favorite place – Vail. Graduate Drew University. Intern for Millicent Fenwick. Gary is the son of Fred and Marie Quick. He is the 13th generation of Quicks residing in South Branch on the family’s former dairy farm. Current hobbies gardening, restoring and maintaining the 250 year old farm.

 

Cynthia A. Sullivan, CPRP, Assistant Director, Somerset County Park Commission (Retired)

Cindie provided administration and management for the diverse recreation facilities of the Park Commission. She coordinated public relation efforts, developed and implemented agency marketing plans, annual and long-range strategic planning, grant applications, professional development, and labor management. Cindie has served on the National Recreation and Park Association’s Annual Congress Program Planning Committee, the Board of Directors of the American Park and Recreation Society, and Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council/Network. She also served as a delegate in Washington DC to lobby federal legislators for park and recreation funding. Within NJ, Cindie has served as the Chair of Program Committee for the NJ Recreation and Park Association, Chair of Education and Professional Development Committee, Chair of the Professional Certification Board, and Chair of the Therapeutic Recreation Advisory Council. Cindie served as the Chairperson of the State of New Jersey Board of Recreation Examiners; Somerset County United Way Compass Steering Committee; a Board Member of Community Quest, an initiative of Somerset Medical Center Healthy Communities Program; and a member of the Somerset County Business Partnership Tourism Council. Cindie is currently active as a chair and participant of several committees of the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, a group limited to 125 fellows committed to research, professional development, and use of best practices in parks and recreation.

 

Jeff Vanderbeek





 

Dina Trunzo, CTRS, Administrator of Leisure and Community Services (ex-officio)

Dina provides senior leadership to the Leisure Services Division, which includes management of the Therapeutic Recreation department and supervision of the Environmental Science and Recreation departments. For 35 years, Dina has been known throughout the State of New Jersey and across the country as a top advocate for individuals with disabilities. In fact, Dina has received more than a dozen awards from multiple national, state, and non-profit organizations specifically for her role in providing distinguished service to assist those who are differently-abled and for advocating for these programs. Advancing the parks and recreation profession is a true passion for Dina, and she has served in multiple leadership capacities within the National Recreation and Park Association, the National Therapeutic Recreation Society, the Mid-Eastern Therapeutic Recreation Council, and the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association. Dina also works part-time at Kean University, supervising college juniors and seniors who are interns in parks and recreation and healthcare settings, and helped to develop curriculum for the Rutgers University Youth Sports Research Council. Dina was recently inducted into the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, a group limited to 125 fellows committed to research, professional development, and use of best practices in parks and recreation.

 

Ken FivekKen Fivek, Manager of Golf Operations (ex-officio)

Ken provides management to operations of all five of the Park Commission golf facilities, including Green Knoll, Quail Brook, Neshanic Valley, Spooky Brook, and Warrenbrook Golf Courses. This includes supervising staff at the golf shops, overseeing budget development, expenditures, and revenue. Ken also provides oversight to all golf programing including golf lessons, the award-winning junior golf program, multiple golf tournaments, golf clinics, and golf leagues. Ken provides input on capital improvement projects and has served as a management employee for almost 15 years. Ken serves on the committee to support the Park Foundation’s Pro/Celebrity Golf Tournament, which supports TR and other Park Commission departments. Ken is a member of the New Jersey State Golf Association, the Professional Golfers Association of America (NJ Chapter), and the United States Golf Association.

 

Janine EricksonJanine Erickson, Executive Assistant (ex-officio)

Janine serves as the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Park Commission and is responsible for assisting the Director with the daily management of the Park Commission. Janine is also responsible for the maintenance of official records and documentation of the Park Commission, including managing all details of the monthly Park Commission meeting and overseeing the management of the Administration budget. Janine also assists with coordination of the Park Commission’s Property Management function regarding hunting and farming licenses. After earning her BA degree in Communications from Rutgers University, Janine and her husband Jeff settled in Hillsborough in 1993 where they have enjoyed raising their three children. In addition to her role at the Park Commission, Janine and her husband own a physical therapy practice in Piscataway, NJ where Janine oversees the finances of their business. Throughout the past 20 years, Janine has been an active member of her community serving as a volunteer in various capacities.

HELP US PRESERVE OUR PARKS...


When you support the Somerset County Park Foundation, you are making an investment in the quality of the life of the citizens of Somerset County to enjoy their parks and open spaces, promoting wellness through experiencing nature and the outdoors, and contributing to making a difference in improving programs and facilities offered to the community. We can’t do it without you!