New Jersey League of Conservation Voters would like to congratulate Lisa J. Plevin to her appointment as Executive Director for the New Jersey Highlands Council. Lisa takes over the role after Margaret Nordstrom, who is stepping down after joining the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council staff six years ago. The Highlands Council is a 15-member appointed body tasked with implementation of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act of 2004. The Highlands Council is advised in its actions by its Executive Director, who serves as the chief administrative officer of the Council.

The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act was passed to protect the Highlands from piecemeal development patterns that were consuming 5-square-miles of Highlands forests and wetlands each year. The Highlands Council’s primary goal is to uphold this Act and protect the Highlands, a physiographic region of New Jersey that includes 88 municipalities within 7 counties and provides drinking water for over 5 million residents of New Jersey. As I’ve seen under past state administrations, it’s hard not to lose sight of protecting water sources while wading through the polluted waters of partisan fighting - but I know Lisa can do it.

I will never forget my first meeting with Lisa after she helped New Jersey LCV Education Fund spearhead the effort to develop and environmental transition planning guide, Environmental Agenda ’18, which provides recommendations to the Governor on key environmental projects and policies. It sounds simple, but to collaborate with 30 passionate New Jersey non-profit leaders and coordinate the plethora of ideas into one cohesive guide was not going to be easy. However, during that first meeting, Lisa laughed when someone mentioned possible conflict.

“I’m a middle child,” Lisa said and smiled across the conference room at me. “I’m a born diplomat.” As a fellow middle child, I couldn’t help but smile back. Her task wasn’t easy, but I could tell that she had the right attitude for the job and could take on anything.


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