Hackensack Riverkeeper Welcomes Its New
Darlene Kasten, our new Development Director, is no stranger to the river, having spent her early childhood growing up in Lyndhurst, NJ.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Florida. She then began a career in computer programming as a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs and later earned a Masters degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University. She next marketed and sold computers for Digital Equipment Corporation to the telecommunications industry in New Jersey and the financial industry in Manhattan. She earned an MBA in Finance from Rutgers Graduate School of Management and soon afterward was appointed by Governor Tom Kean to the Governor's Commission on Science and Technology, the mission of which was to encourage high-tech entrepreneurship in New Jersey through venture financing and support.
While she raised two children, Darlene volunteered her fundraising and event planning skills for many non-profit organizations in New Jersey. These include the Junior League of Elizabeth-Plainfield, the Pingry School Parents' Association, the International F.O.P. Association, Greater Newark Conservancy, and the Fanwood Historic Commission.
An amateur nature photographer, Darlene's involvement with the environment has been predominately through travel and tourism. "I have traveled all over the world participating in eco-tours from the Galapagos to Katmai National Park in Alaska, photographing national parks in Kenya and Tanzania and wildlife preserves in Thailand and Australia," explained Darlene. "For years I had no idea there was a thriving ecotourism industry right here in northeastern New Jersey; now that I do, I want everyone else to know."
She's certainly no stranger to water, having spent countless summers sailing and otherwise enjoying Barnegat Bay and the Jersey shore and has recently served as the Rear Commodore of the Mantoloking Yacht Club. Darlene holds a Boat Smart certification from the US Power Squadron, is certified in boating safety by the NJ State Police Marine Division and was certified in the British Virgin Islands by the US Sailing Association in Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising. She currently serves on her yacht club's Board of Governors.
Darlene also is President of the Plainfield Garden Club, a member club of the Garden Clubs of America, and is on the Board of Earth Share of New Jersey. With her children now in college, Darlene has turned her attention to the environment in general and the Hackensack River watershed in particular.
"I can't think of a better time to come onboard with Hackensack Riverkeeper," says Darlene. "People have a renewed sense of urgency about the environment and I want to help channel that urgency to fund efforts that can help further restore, protect and preserve this important watershed."
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