Executive Director

Gene joined the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council as Executive Director in May 2012, bringing with him a wealth of experience from both the public and private sector, including more than 40 years of hands-on experience in planning, business development, project management and logistics.

Prior to joining the Highlands Council, Gene was an elected member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 2007 to 2012. As a freeholder, Gene led the board as director in 2009 and 2010, and was deputy director in 2008. He also served as Morris County’s representative to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) from 2007 to 2012, where he was most recently chairman of the executive committee, having been vice-chairman in 2011.

Gene’s public service record also includes eight years as Mayor of the Township of Denville, during which he was responsible for drafting the township’s first Open Space Plan, which ultimately resulted in the acquisition of more than 1,200 acres of land. He also served on the Township Council from 1994 to 1999, holding the position of president in 1995 and 1996, and the Denville Planning Board from 1988 to 1999. He was a member of the New Jersey Clean Air Council from 2000 to 2007, a position to which he was appointed by the Governor. Gene is a former first vice president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, a former president of the Morris County League of Municipalities, and a former member of the boards of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors and the Morris County Economic Development Corporation. Gene has been recognized twice by POWWW (Protect our Wetlands, Water and Woods, an organization dedicated to protection of the Beaver Brook watershed in Denville, Rockaway and Boonton Townships), receiving the 2005 Partnership Award and the 2006 Local Government Award. He is a lifetime honorary member of the Denville Fire Department Association and in 2009 was inducted into the Morris Hill Regional High School Hall of Fame.

An accomplished businessman, Gene co-founded E-F Food Systems in 1972. The beverage distribution and equipment service company grew into one of the most respected businesses in the foodservice distribution industry, earning numerous awards for customer service excellence. In 2001 Gene agreed to a purchase offer from US Foodservice, the second-largest foodservice distributor in the United States.

Gene is an alumnus of the Regional Plan Association’s Mayors Institute at Princeton University and has attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and the University of Maryland. He served in the U.S. Navy in Communications Intelligence between 1967 and 1971 in both active duty and reserve capacities.