Home » Mercer County Departments and Employees Receive Awards

Mercer County Departments and Employees Receive Awards

by MercerMe Staff

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced today that over the past several months a number of county employees and departments have received recognition.

“I’m proud of the work our employees and departments do on a daily basis, and I’m proud to see so many recognized by their peers and outside agencies,” Hughes said. “Mercer County employees work hard to ensure that the services and functions of the county are consistently provided to all of our residents.” 

Planning Department

Matthew Lawson, Principal Planner, recently received his GISP certification.  GISP, which stands for Certified Geographic Information Professional, is the only industry-wide, internationally recognized, complete certification available to geospatial professionals.  Matt also completed the Rutgers/NJDOT/FHWA “Federal-aid Responsible Charge Training” in November, which qualifies him to oversee federal aid projects on behalf of the County, if so directed.


Longtime County Administrator Andrew Mair was recognized recently by the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) for 45 years of service to local government. Mr. Mair is also the only County Administrator in New Jersey to be credentialed by the ICMA.

Mercer County Park Commission

A number of Park Commission employees and facilities have recently been honored for excellence. Marc Vecchiolla, Director of Tennis, was named USTA Middle States Tournament Director of the Year; Devin Rubino, tennis instructor, was named USTA New Jersey District Pro of the Year; and the Mercer County Park Commission was the USTA Middle States Premier Facility Award winner.

Jenn Rogers, Naturalist, received the Jack Gleeson Environmental Hero Award from the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and was recognized by the Mercer County Freeholders and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman with a formal letter/resolution.

Nicole Golden of the County Wildlife Center was named 2016 Rising Star by the New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators.

Frank Zabawa, Superintendent of Parks, was named 2016 Professional of the Year by the New Jersey Recreation & Park Association (NJRPA). Mr. Zabawa is retiring this year after 44 years with the Park Commission.

Christine Cardinal, Director of the Equestrian Center, has received a number of certifications to go toward her work with a diverse population of riders, including children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities. Ms. Cardinal is now certified as an Equine Specialist from EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) for EAP (Equine Assisted Psychotherapies) and EAL (Equine Assisted Learning); Certified Coach Equestrian Level 1 and 2 and Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury certification and Protective Behaviors by the Special Olympics.

Mercer County Improvement Authority

Daniel G. Napoleon, Director of Environmental Programs, will soon complete his term as President of the Association of NJ Household Hazardous Waste Coordinators (ANJHHWC), where he has served since 2014. The Association of NJ Household Hazardous Waste Coordinators (ANJHHWC) is a professional organization comprised of public and private sector individuals whose goal is to cooperatively share ideas and problems to better serve the general public of the State of New Jersey in regards to management of household hazardous waste and small quantity generator waste.

Trenton – Mercer Airport

Melinda Montgomery A.A.E., Airport Manager at Trenton-Mercer Airport, was featured in the 2016 Fall/Winter Issue of “Centerlines” magazine. The magazine is a publication of the Airports Council International-North America, the global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities. Melinda was one of 36 female airport executives featured in an article about breaking the glass ceiling in the aviation industry.

Kurt Neinstedt, Assistant Airport Manager at Trenton-Mercer Airport, has recently received his Airport Security Coordinator (ASC) designation from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). This designation identifies the holder as proficient in airport security regulations following a self-guided study course and testing.

Gene Pucci, Airport Maintenance Supervisor at Trenton-Mercer Airport, recently became an Airport Snow Expert (ASE). This designation, administered by the AAAE, is given to individuals completing a rigorous training regime and identifies the individual as having expertise in airport snow removal operations. Gene was a member of the first class ever to complete this program.

Donald Kintzel, Airport Operations & Safety Officer at Trenton-Mercer Airport, recently became a Certified Member (CM) of the AAAE.  The CM designation highlights the recipient’s comprehensive knowledge of airport management as measured by successful completion of a self-guided study program and testing.

Dale Carman, Airport Operations & Safety Officer at Trenton-Mercer Airport, has also received his Airport Security Coordinator (ASC) designation from the AAAE. This designation identifies the holder as proficient in airport security regulations following a self-guided study course and testing.

Mercer County Community College

In December 2016, MCCC was named the No. 1 military-friendly school among all two-year colleges in the nation by Victory Media, a provider of informational resource material to U.S. active duty military personnel, veterans and spouses. During the college’s 2016 Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony, the New Jersey Military Order of the Purple Heart presented MCCC with a proclamation in recognition of being named a Purple Heart Community College — the first two-year college in New Jersey to receive the designation. Additionally, Dr. Jianping Wang, President, received the Special Award for Immigrant Accomplishments from the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce and was honored by Dress for Success Mercer County, an organization that provides business attire for economically-disadvantaged college graduates, and by the Boheme Opera at its annual gala.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County

Michelle Brill, Family and Community Health Sciences Educator, received national, state and regional awards from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) for her efforts in building community partnerships to meet the educational needs and concerns of families through her work with the Greenwood Avenue Farmers Market, which makes available healthy fresh produce to residents in the City of Trenton.

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