Bruce H. Bergen, Chairman

Bruce H. Bergen is the Chairman of the Raritan Valley Coalition and is a Union County Freeholder. He is a lifelong resident of Union County and lives in Springfield. He is a partner in the Cranford law firm of Krevsky, Silber & Bergen, and has been an attorney for 37 years.

Appointed twice as a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s District XII Attorney Ethics Committee, Bergen served as Chairman in 2009-2010. In 2013, he also completed a five-year term as Board Chairman of Central Jersey Legal Services, providing free legal representation to residents of Union, Middlesex and Mercer counties. He remains a Board member.

Bergen serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, the state municipal attorney organization affiliated with the New Jersey League of Municipalities and as Associate Editor of the League’s Local Government Law Review. In 2005, Bergen was designated a Diplomate in New Jersey Local Government Law.   Throughout the years, he has been honored for his legal and public affairs accomplishments by various organizations.

Peter S. Palmer, Immediate Past Chairman

Peter S. Palmer is the Immediate Past Chairman of Raritan Valley Coalition and a Somerset County Freeholder. He is a lifelong resident of Somerset County and Bernardsville. He served in the US Army Signal Corps and earned an Honorable Discharge as a 1st Lieutenant and he acquired his Bachelor’s Degree at Cornell University and received his Master of Science Degree at Princeton University. Palmer also completed courses for NJ State accreditation as a Certified County and Municipal Finance Officer and while in office as chairman has participated in various service activities. He has also received various awards like the NJ Association of the Counties Freeholder of the Year in 2011 and the NJ Conference of Mayors Leadership Award in 2007. He also managed award winning construction of his own landmark commercial building in Bernardsville from 1991-1993.

Thomas C. Jardim, Vice-Chairman

Tom Jardim is a shareholder in the firm JARDIM, MEISNER & SUSSER, P.C. Tom’s practice areas include construction-related advice and litigation, and complex commercial and insurance litigation.

Jardim was elected mayor of the Town of Westfield in 1996, and was reelected to that position in 1998. He was the first Democrat elected mayor of Westfield since 1909. In 2001, Mr. Jardim was a candidate for the New Jersey State Assembly from the 21st Legislative District.

He is a founding member and current vice-president of the Raritan Valley Line Rail Coalition.

Jardim is a 1988 graduate of the University of Richmond and received a law degree and a Masters in foreign affairs, magna cum laude, from the American University in 1993.

Bette Jane Kowalski

Bette Jane Kowalski is a Freeholder from Union County. A lifelong resident of Cranford, she has a Master’s degree in Journalism from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She has promoted shared county-local services and has worked to add hundreds of acres of land to the Union County parks system. She was recently honored by the Union County Women’s Political Caucus as a Notable Woman in Politics, and by the United Way of Greater Union County with the 2013 Dell Raudelunas Spirit of Caring Award. She has served on numerous boards and committees including the Human Services Advisory Council, the Economic Development Committee, the Cultural and Heritage Programs Advisory Board, and the Policy and Administrative Code Committee.

Martin E. Robins

Mr. Robins is Union County’s representative on the Board of Trustees of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition. He is deeply involved in the campaign to assure that NJ TRANSIT deploys new dual-powered locomotives on the Raritan Valley Line in a manner that provides an equitable amount of “one-seat ride” service to Midtown Manhattan’s Penn Station New York.
Mr. Robins has almost 40 years transportation of experience in the field of transportation planning and policy. He was the director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) at Rutgers University and is now Director Emeritus. At Rutgers he wrote studies, reports and articles on the organization of intercity rail, transportation finance, the aftermath of 9/11 on the trans-Hudson transportation system, transit-oriented development, freight policy and pedestrian safety.

Matthew Holt

Matthew Holt is a Freeholder from Hunterdon County. His duties involve being a Public Information Officer, and Alternate Member of the Planning Board, and a member of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, serving as the 2012/13 Chairman. He spent his high school years at North Hunterdon Regional High School and attended college at Susquehanna University. In government, he serves on the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders. He was also a Public School Board Member in Clinton in 1993, a Clinton Council Member from 1995-2003, and the Town of Clinton’s Mayor from 2004-2005.

George Ververides

Mr. George Ververides is Director of County Planning for Middlesex County. He started working for the County Planning Board in November 1961 and has been Director since May 1986. He holds a Professional P|anner’s (PP.) license in New Jersey and is a member of both the American Planners’ Association (A.P.A.), national and New Jersey chapters, and the American Institute of Certified Planners (A.l.C.P.); a member of the New Jersey County Planners’ Association of which he served as President in 1969-1970; and a member of the Association of American Geographers. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Planning Officials.

Robert Fazen

Robert Fazen is a Trustee from Bound Brook where he served as President of the Planning Board for Bound Brook Borough for over 15 years and is currently serving as the Mayor. He has commuted to New York Penn Station on the Raritan Valley Line providing real estate services in New York City for over 28 years. President of the Fazen Organization and a licensed NY State Real Estate Broker, his company manages commercial and residential properties and coordinates construction management and historic preservation projects. He was responsible for the restoration of the Bound Brook Theater in 2007, nominating the Theatre for landmark status in the National Historic Register.
He graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree, serving in the U.S. Army for 20 years and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University.

John Lazarus

John Lazarus is a Clinton Township Councilman and a lifelong resident of Annandale. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History/Political Science from Rutgers University, a Master’s degree in Political Science from Lehigh University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy.
For the last several years, he has worked with various local and state officials to improve the historic Annandale train station and the surrounding area.