NJ PBS Board of Trustees

Scott A. Kobler, Chairman

Partner, McCarter & English, LLP

Scott A. Kobler is a partner in McCarter & English, LLP, one of the oldest law firms in the country and one of the largest based in New Jersey.  Mr. Kobler joined the firm in 1982 and its partnership in 1989 and for many years was a member of its Executive Committee. For more than 35 years, he has participated in New Jersey’s largest and most complex healthcare transactions, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and billions of dollars of capital financings.  His practice extends beyond the State and into the higher education, housing and non-profit sectors. He is recognized for his professional, civic and charitable work by Chambers and Partners and other publications.

He currently is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Public Media NJ, Inc., which oversees NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network and an affiliate of New York’s WNET/Thirteen. For over 25 years, Mr. Kobler has served on the boards operating New Jersey’s public television system, first on the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority (NJN), where he served as Chair under five Governors.  He is a trustee of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Newark Alliance. He is a director of the Catholic Medical Missions Board (CMMB), an international, faith-based NGO providing long-term, co-operative, medical and development aid to communities affected by poverty and unequal access to healthcare.  For more than 20 years, Mr. Kobler was a board and Executive Committee member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and was elected a Life Trustee. He supports the work of Integrity House, the nationally-recognized non-profit substance use disorder treatment center, where he is a past honoree and a member of its President’s Council.

He holds an A.B. from Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs), attended Princeton’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and graduated with a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

Mr. Kobler is a resident of New Jersey.

Liz Thomas, Vice-Chair

Co-founder and CEO of Thomas/Boyd Communications

Liz Thomas is co-founder and CEO of Thomas/Boyd Communications. Founded in 1998, the company has repeatedly been named by The Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the top 10 public relations in the region and has received numerous awards from local and regional entities including the Public Relations Society of America. Individually, Ms. Thomas was named as one of New Jersey’s “Best 50 Women in Business,” by NJBIZ magazine and a “Person to Watch,” by SJ Magazine. She was recently appointed to the Steering Committee for the 2011 New Jersey Governor’s Conference for Women.

Ms. Thomas, who received a B.A. in English and Sociology from Moravian College, began her career as assistant press secretary for Governor Tom Kean. During this time, she was named “Young Career Woman of the Year,” by the New Jersey chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. Prior to starting her first public relations agency in 1989, Ms. Thomas served as deputy director of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism where she served as spokesperson during the beach closure crisis and managed the marketing and public efforts associated with the “NJ and You Perfect Together” campaign.

Ms. Thomas has also designed and managed numerous notable events, including the opening of Cooper University Hospital’s Pavilion in Camden; the opening of the Ferry Building on Ellis Island; and the grand opening of the Battleship New Jersey, which attracted more than 1,500 guests. Prior to the ship’s public opening, she coordinated the logistics for international media coverage during the Battleship’s historic passage through the Panama Canal. Additionally, she planned and coordinated the live, televised opening of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial with 15,000 guests in attendance.

Ms. Thomas serves as vice chairman of the board of Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice, serving on the strategic planning and finance committees. She is a member of the capital campaign committee responsible for raising funds needed to build The Salvation Army Kroc Community Center in Camden. She is a member of the board of Public Media NJ and serves as public affairs coordinator for the New Jersey Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. She is returning to the Steering Committee responsible for planning the 2012 New Jersey Governor’s Conference for Women.

Ms. Thomas is a past member of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, serving as vice-chair. She also served as a board member of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey and was a member of the executive committee.

She resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Thomas A. Bracken

President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce

Veteran banker Thomas A. Bracken became the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO in February of 2011. Mr. Bracken served as chairman of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors from 2005 to 2007 and has been involved with the Chamber for more than 30 years.

He has four decades of experience in the banking and financial services industry, serving previously as president of TriState Capital Bank’s New Jersey operation, based in Princeton. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Sun Bancorp, Inc. from 2001 to 2007. He also held executive positions with First Union Bank. He is a former chairman of the Economic Development Corporation of Trenton and a former chairman of the New Jersey Bankers Association.

Mr. Bracken, a Bucknell graduate, is currently the chairman of the Finance Committee of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation; and the chairman of the New Jersey Alliance for Action Foundation. He previously served as the vice chairman of the Foundation for New Jersey Public Broadcasting.

Mr. Bracken resides in Skillman, New Jersey.

Hans Dekker

President, Community Foundation of New Jersey

Hans Dekker has served as president of the Community Foundation of New Jersey since June 2003.  During his tenure, the Foundation’s funds have granted more than $500 million to charitable causes across New Jersey and beyond.

A key element of the Community Foundation’s mission is to play a leadership role on the critical issues facing New Jersey and its communities.  This work has recently focused on Changemaker Projects including tenants’ rights, reforming the state’s juvenile justice system, and expanding access to healthy food and breakfast in low-income communities.

Prior to the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Mr. Dekker served for four years as the Executive Vice President of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.  He is a past chair of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and a trustee of the Hyde and Watson Foundation, Ohl Foundation, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, and Miraclefeet.

Mr. Dekker graduated from Bates College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in History and received a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Maureen Duffy

Senior Vice-President, Communications and External Affairs, American Water

Maureen Duffy is the senior vice president of communications and external affairs for American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. In this role, Ms. Duffy is responsible for external and internal communications, Federal affairs, national regulatory affairs, investor relations, government affairs and community development as well as positioning American Water for industry leadership.

Ms. Duffy recently served as the vice president of Corporate Communications and External Affairs. Prior to that, she served as the director of Corporate Communications and External Affairs, where she led internal and external communications, as well as corporate responsibility. She also served as the director of External Communications and led all aspects of American Water’s external communication efforts, including national media relations. She acts as a key partner in increasing American Water’s visibility and promoting its reputation. She also works closely with all other functions and operations across the business to align and integrate company messaging, as well as further position American Water as an industry leader on both a national and local scale.

Ms. Duffy is a results-oriented team leader with more than 25 years of experience in the communications field.  She has served as director of Internal Communications for American Water. In this position, Ms. Duffy realigned American Water’s internal communications team and drove its strategic direction thus ensuring consistent communications with all internal audiences. Ms. Duffy also served in the communications function for New Jersey American Water and Long Island American Water, where she was responsible for internal and external communications, as well as government affairs.

Ms. Duffy serves on the board of directors for the National Association of Water Companies and on the board of trustees for NJ PBS.

Prior to working for American Water, Ms. Duffy produced and reported news for WNJN/WNET-TV, with audiences in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where she received a bachelor’s in communications.

The Honorable Thomas H. Kean

Former Governor of New Jersey

As two-term Governor of New Jersey, Thomas Kean was rated among America’s most effective state leaders by Newsweek magazine. While Governor, he served on the President’s Education Policy Advisory Committee and as chair of the Education Commission of the States and the National Governor’s Association Task Force on Teaching.

On December 16, 2002, Gov. Kean was named by President George W. Bush to head the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. The Commission’s
work culminated on July 22, 2004, with the release of the 9/11 Commission Report. Its recommendations resulted in the largest intelligence reform in the nation’s history. Gov. Kean served as the chairman of the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, a nonprofit entity created with private funds to continue the Commission’s work of guarding against future attacks.

From 1990 until 2005, Gov. Kean served as president of Drew University. During his tenure, applications to Drew increased by more than 40%, the endowment nearly tripled, and more than $60 million was committed to construction and renovation of buildings.

Gov. Kean has served on several national committees and commissions. He headed the American
delegation to the UN Conference on Youth in Thailand, served as vice chairman of the
American delegation to the World Conference on Women in Beijing, and served as a member of President Clinton’s Initiative on Race. He also served on the National Endowment for Democracy.

Gov. Kean is the chairman of the board of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is chair of the Carnegie Corporation of New York; the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy; and is the former chair of Educate America, the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation; and the Newark Alliance. He is co-chairman with Congressman Lee Hamilton of the National Security Preparedness Group. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, American Academy of Art & Sciences and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

He holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. from Columbia University
Teachers College and has served as a trustee of both institutions. He holds more than 30 honorary degrees and numerous awards from environmental and educational organizations, including the Frederick Heldring Global Leadership award; the NAICU Award for Advocacy of Independent Higher Education; and the Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service, among many others.

Gov. Kean is the author of The Politics of Inclusion, published by The Free Press and is co-author of Without Precedent, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. He writes a regular column for The Star Ledger with former Governor Brendan Byrne, appeared as a regular commentator on New Jersey Network News, and has appeared on NJ pBS public affairs programs including the former ones NJToday and On the Record with Michael Aron.

The Keans reside in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Christopher M. Lepre

Executive Vice President, Commercial Business, of Horizon Blue Cross  Blue Shield of New Jersey

Christopher M. Lepre is Executive Vice President, Commercial Business, of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

As a key member of the Horizon BCBSNJ leadership team, Chris views his work as a mission. He’s passionate about helping transform the health care delivery system so that it provides what employees and employers need most. To that end, he’s committed to moving the company toward a value‐based care model that works better for everyone.

Mr. Lepre leads the Commercial business unit, and has end‐to‐end responsibility and full accountability for P & L (profit and loss) performance related to the Commercial market segments which include more than 28,000 market group businesses, 2.8 million members, $7.5 billion revenue, the State Health Benefits Program and the Federal Employee Program.

He is responsible for brand management, advertising, marketing, product development, sales and client management, broker operations, specialty products and services, contracts and underwriting. Mr. Lepre also leads the commercial Dental business and Horizon Casualty Services, Inc., an industry leader in providing administrative services to the workers’ compensation and personal injury protection  (PIP) business sectors.

Mr. Lepre holds a business degree in Business Administration and an MBA in Management from Wagner College. He serves as both a Board and Executive Committee member of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Lepre also serves on the Board of Trustees and is also a Nominating and Development Committee member of the NJ PBS Board.

Ann Limberg

Managing Director and the Head of Philanthropic and Family Office Solutions, Bank of America

Ann Limberg

Ann Limberg is a Managing Director and the Head of Philanthropic and Family Office Solutions at Bank of America. Limberg oversees strategy and advisory and consulting services for non-profit institutions, corporate and private foundations, and ultra-high-net-worth families. She directs a nationwide team that offers a suite of integrated capabilities, including outsourced Chief Investment Office services, board governance and development, grantmaking, high-impact philanthropy and fiduciary administration. She also fosters the effective use of cross-enterprise capabilities, resulting in a more unified and directed client experience.

Limberg has worked at Bank of America and its predecessor firms since 1990. She has held a number of leadership positions during her tenure, most recently serving as Northeast Division Executive for the Private Bank (formerly U.S. Trust), where she directed advisor out- reach and led strategic growth in nine states, and New Jersey state president for Bank of America. She earned her B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Passionate in her commitment to philanthropy, Limberg brings a lifetime of active engagement in non-profit boards and professional organizations. She currently serves on the boards of Valley Health System Inc., NJTV Public Media NJ, Inc., Macaulay Honors College Foundation for the City University of New York, The St. Bernard Project, and Bergen County’s United Way. She is also a member of the Committee of 200, an organization of women executives dedicated to increasing opportunities for women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders worldwide.

A frequent speaker at industry conferences and forums, Limberg is a recognized authority on philanthropic innovations, including high-impact philanthropy, social entrepreneurism, next-generation engagement, and transformative leadership.

Laurie Mahon

Vice-Chair, U.S. Investment Banking, Global Investment Banking, CIBC Capital Markets

Laurie Mahon serves as Vice-Chair of CIBC’s U.S. Investment Banking business, a role she recently assumed after having led the Global Infrastructure and Power team since August 2013. She has spent her entire professional life in the infrastructure space, having had a multifaceted career as a banker, public sector manager, infrastructure executive, consultant, journalist and developer focusing on the development and financing of large infrastructure projects around the globe.

Before joining CIBC Capital Markets, Ms. Mahon was a senior expert in McKinsey’s infrastructure practice. Previously, she spent 12 years as an independent advisor, helping numerous public and private entities develop transportation projects in the U.S., Latin America, China and the U.K.. From 1984 until 1999, she worked on Wall Street as an investment banker, focusing on the infrastructure markets in both the U.S. and emerging markets. She started her banking career as a municipal banker.
Before entering the field of banking, Ms. Mahon spent five years working at New Jersey Transit, where she held various positions in planning and policy until becoming deputy Chief Financial Officer. While there, she executed several innovative public / private financing structures.

Ms. Mahon holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University, and a B.S. summa cum laude from Boston University.

Barry H. Ostrowsky

President and Chief Executive Officer, Barnabas Health

Barry H. Ostrowsky is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Barnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest integrated healthcare delivery system that annually provides treatment and services for more than two million patient visits. He leads the system’s initiatives in ensuring the highest quality health care for patients, and is spearheading a system-wide endeavor to promote healthier living for employees and the communities.

Barnabas Health includes six acute care hospitals (three are teaching hospitals), two children’s hospitals, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, a free-standing behavioral health center, New Jersey’s largest statewide behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, pharmacy services, multi-site imaging centers, three accountable care organizations, and a medical group. The system is comprised of 18,500 employees, (second largest private employer in New Jersey); 4,600 physicians (representing one-fifth of the state’s actively practicing physicians), and 445 residents (the state’s largest non-university complement of residents).

Among Barnabas Health’s nationally recognized services and facilities are: New Jersey’s only certified burn treatment facility – top ten in the U.S.; world-class cardiology and cardiac surgery services – regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing; the state’s oldest, most experienced heart transplant program – nationally ranked second of adult programs, performed more than 700 transplants; pediatric cardiac surgery in partnership with NYU School of Medicine; New Jersey’s only lung transplant program; two kidney transplant centers ranked third in the nation of 240 centers, with nearly 40 years of experience; six Joint Commission-certified acute coronary syndrome centers; six accredited stroke centers; comprehensive robotic surgery services; widely recognized services for neurology and neurosurgery, reproductive medicine and science, oncology, geriatrics, and women’s health; and three highest level neonatal intensive care units. Barnabas Health is the only healthcare Founding Partner of the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.

Mr. Ostrowsky joined Saint Barnabas Medical Center in 1991 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. He served in the same role at Barnabas Health, when the System was created in 1996. He assumed the title of President and Chief Operating Officer in 2010, and his present title in January, 2012.

Prior to joining Barnabas Health, Mr. Ostrowsky was a Senior Partner in the law firm of Brach, Eichler. Throughout his career Mr. Ostrowsky has been actively involved in many organizations. Mr. Ostrowsky received an AB from Rutgers University and a JD from the University of Tennessee School of Law. He resides in New Jersey.

Richard “Dick” Pechter

Retired, Former Chairman of Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette’s (DLJ) Financial Services Group

Dick Pechter is the former Chairman of Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette’s (DLJ) Financial Services Group, former Chairman of DLJDirect and a former member of the

board of DLJ, Inc. Mr. Pechter spent 30 years with DLJ, retiring in 2000. He joined Teach For America and spent five years as a public high school and community college teacher. Mr. Pechter has served as a director of FINRA, The Depository Trust Company, the National Securities Clearing Corporation, Vice Chairman of the Securities Industry Association, NYSE Regulation, Teach For America, Kids Corporation, The JED Foundation and Silvercrest Asset Management. He is currently a director of the National Museum of Mathematics and the Yale Slifka Center. He won the 1997 Tony award as a producer of the Broadway show, “Titanic”. He holds a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, a B.S. from Yale University, and lives with his wife of 50 years, Kayla, in Summit New Jersey.

Neal Shapiro

President and CEO, WNET

Neal Shapiro is an award-winning producer and media executive with a 35-year career spanning print, broadcast, cable and online media. As CEO of WNET, he oversees the operations of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJ PBS.

Since arriving at WNET in 2007, Shapiro has revitalized programming for all three stations, nearly doubling arts and culture offerings, emphasizing local programming and community engagement; setting new fundraising records and inaugurating two new, all-glass studios—The Tisch WNET Studio at Lincoln Center and the Agnes Varis Studio in Newark, New Jersey.

In 2018, Shapiro brought a new late-night program to PBS in partnership with CNN. Amanpour and Company features internationally renowned anchor Christiane Amanpour with three contributors: Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, and Hari Sreenivasan.

Shapiro also introduced a pioneering new content sharing initiative—“Wavelength”—that allows PBS stations to upload and download content, expanding arts, technology and other local programming for PBS stations around the country.

Before joining WNET, Shapiro was President of NBC News, leading its top-rated news programs, including Today, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press, as well as Dateline NBC.

Prior to working at NBC, Shapiro spent 13 years at ABC News. He has won numerous awards, including 32 Emmys, 31 Edward R. Murrow Awards and 3 Columbia DuPont awards.

Shapiro serves on the Boards of PBS, TEGNA, American Documentary (AMDOC), the Institute for Non-profit News (INN), the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Edward R. Murrow Center, and The Public Television Major Market Group.

Robert L. Smartt

Retired, Deputy State Treasurer, NJ Treasury Department

Robert “Bob” Smartt retired from the New Jersey Treasury Department after serving as Deputy State Treasurer, Ethics Officer and State Contract Manager for the New Jersey Lottery gaming system. Mr. Smartt has been involved with public broadcasting for many years, serving as Acting Chairman and Treasurer of the Foundation for New Jersey Public Broadcasting Board of Trustees and representing the State Treasurer on the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority Board of Directors. He serves as a Visiting Associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, and is a member of the Eagleton team developing the Center on the American Governor. His experience includes working as a reporter and editor at the Daily Record in Morristown, as a reporter at the Star-Ledger, and as Deputy Press Secretary for the first Brendan T. Byrne gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Smartt received a B.A. from Drew University and an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He resides in New Jersey.

Richard T. Thigpen

Senior Vice-President – Corporate Citizenship, Public Service Enterprise Group

Richard T. Thigpen was named senior vice president – corporate citizenship, effective July 2018. Mr. Thigpen is also Chairman of the PSEG Foundation. In this position, Mr. Thigpen is responsible for areas of the business that drive public policy through advocacy, including federal and state government affairs, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Thigpen joined PSEG in March 2007 as vice president – state governmental affairs of PSEG Services Corporation. He has been a public affairs consultant since 1999, and was a co-founding partner of 1868 Public Affairs LLC, which provides lobbying, strategic planning, public relations and government relations services to clients in New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.

Previously, Mr. Thigpen served as an associate at the New York law firm of Thacher Proffitt and Wood in the mortgage-backed securities practice group (1988 to 1990), was the district director for Congressman Don Payne (NJ-10) (1990 to 1996) and the executive director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (1996 to 1999). He has also served as a political analyst for New Jersey Network Television News and as an academic associate for PublicMind, Fairleigh Dickinson University Polling and Survey Research Institute. Mr. Thigpen was also a former assistant to the president of the NAACP State Conference for Public Affairs. He is currently a member of the Board of the Regional Plan Association, a member of The American Association of Blacks in Energy’s (AABE) National Board and chair of the Legislative Issues and Public Policy Committee, a member of the Board of New Jersey Climate Change Alliance (NJCCA), The New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (NJBLC) and a member of the Board of Trustees for New Jersey Television.

Mr. Thigpen holds a Doctor of Law degree from Columbia University School of Law in New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University in Rhode Island.

Carol Voorhees

Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, NJM

Carol Voorhees has served as Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer since April 2018.

Voorhees leads Information Technology and the Company’s Project Management and Customer Experience Departments.  In those roles, she leads technology and digital transformation efforts in support of the company’s strategic goals, while ensuring that those efforts remain focused on improving the policyholder experience.

Voorhees joined NJM in 1996 as a systems analyst. Over the ensuing years, she held positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in her election by the Board of Directors to Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer.

She represents NJM on the Jersey Shore Partnership Board of Directors and serves on the Guidewire Innovation Council. Voorhees is an active member of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriting Society and holds a CPCU designation.

Voorhees graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a B.S. in organizational leadership and earned a M.S. in insurance management from Boston University.


Josh Weston

Josh Weston is honorary chairman and former CEO of Automatic Data Processing, Inc (ADP). He served as the PMNJ Board Chairman from 2011-2018.  Mr. Weston began his career at ADP in 1955 as Executive Vice President, Popular Services Inc, leading the company in a variety of capacities before being named CEO in 1982.

Mr. Weston has developed a second full time career leading various non-profit boards, providing generous support to many institutions in the arts and education, and participating in humanitarian efforts and business councils. He is a former director of J. Crew Group, Inc. and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), Gentiva Health Services, and Shared Medical Systems.

Mr. Weston also serves as a director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the International Rescue Committee, and The City College 21st Century Foundation, Inc. He is also a trustee of WNET, Public Media NJ, Committee for Economic Development, Liberty Science Center, and TEAM Charter Schools in Newark.

Mr. Weston is the former chairman of Boys Town Jerusalem, Yeshiva University Business School and Tri-State United Way. He also served as a trustee of the Montclair Art Museum, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Atlantic Health System.

In 2002, Mr. Weston received the President’s Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is also a recipient of the 1999 Legacy Award from William Paterson University and an Eisenhower Award from the Business Executives for National Security (BENS).

Mr. Weston resides in Montclair, New Jersey.

NJ PBS Officers

Neal Shapiro, President & Chief Executive Officer 

Caroline C. Croen, Treasurer   

Robert A. Feinberg, Secretary