Introducing the CPES Advisory Board

The Continuing Professional Education Services, LLC Advisory Board is comprised of experts and distinguished professionals from a variety of fields including legal, environmental consulting, LSRP, development, construction, energy, health & safety, and business advocacy.

Members are invited to serve as representatives of the CPES Advisory Board to aid in achieving the overall mission of CPES to provide accessible, quality, innovative and relevant educational opportunities to a diverse populations of professionals. Members are also contributors and instructors who can provide valuable insight and recommendations based on their first-hand knowledge and business experiences.

The role of the Advisory Board is to provide our organization with pertinent advice and experienced input in the following areas:

  • Program development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Company policy
  • Course Instruction
  • Marketing strategies and social media development
  • Leadership
  • And More!

Jeff Casaletto, Esq.

Jeff Casaletto, Esq.

Jeff Casaletto represents and advises clients in a wide range of industries, including commercial and residential developers, property owners and property managers, chemical and industrial manufacturers, private equity, and commercial business owners. A significant portion of his practice involves counseling clients, particularly private equity entities, in the purchase or sale of solid waste utilities and related regulatory compliance. Much of Jeff's practice includes counseling clients in the purchase or sale of contaminated real estate and addressing environmental compliance matters that arise in the purchase or sale of businesses.

Jeff's civil engineering background and environmental engineering background provide a unique perspective on environmental legal issues and the practical approach to achieving client goals. The practice of environmental law often involves technical issues that require the expertise and advice of technical consultants. Jeff's background enables him to better communicate and problem solve with environmental consultants and to apply a team approach to all issues, legal and technical. His ability to understand the technical aspects of his environmental matters provides clients with an opportunity to efficiently resolve their environmental issues.

NICHOLAS DeROSE, LSRP

NICHOLAS DeROSE, LSRP

Mr. DeRose graduated from Rutgers Newark Graduate School with a M. S. Degree in Geology in 1981. He has enjoyed a long and fruitful career in the engineering and environmental consulting fields starting in 1978 while still completing his graduate Thesis on the Couther Caribbean Tectonic Plate Boundary.

Since 1985, Nick has been employed at Langan Engineering and Environmental Services where he led the development of the firms Environmental Practice which employs over 250 professionals. He specializes in Site Remediation and the cleanup of Hazardous Waste Sites. Mr. DeRose has directed several landmark "Brownfields" projects for redevelopment of abandoned and underutilized industrial sites.

In 2008, Nick organized the Licensed Site Professional (LSP) Consultants Coalition in New Jersey in response to anticipated legislation to establish an independent LSP regulatory program for remediation cases in New Jersey. In this role, Mr. De Rose led the efforts of the Coalition in a comprehensive legal and technical review of SRRA and in ongoing meetings and discussions with key regulators and legislators. Mr. De Rose also served as the first President of the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professional Association (LSRPA) which is recognized as one of the leading and most respected voices on regulatory and technical issues associated with SRRA and the LSRP Program in New Jersey.

Nick has presented testimony to a U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Hazardous Waste regarding federal barriers to environmental cleanups. In 1989, Nick participated in the first joint U.S./U.S.S.R. Symposium on Hydrology in Moscow.

Mr. De Rose has also written extensive comments and provided testimony on behalf of several professional, trade organizations and individual corporations. He also was a member of the Association of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E-50 on Environmental Assessment and participated in the drafting of technical guides and standards for Remedial Action Decision-Making, Risk-Based Corrective Action, Remediation by Natural Attenuation and Sustainable Brownfields Development. In addition, he has actively participated in regulatory and legislative reform processes including the Land Recycling Program (Act 2) in Pennsylvania.

Rayna Laiosa, CHMM, CPEA

Rayna Laiosa, CHMM, CPEA

Rayna Laiosa has more than 20 years of experience in EHS management, with particular focus on environmental compliance and policy. Currently, she is working for PSEG as Environmental Policy Manager focusing on waste management and site remediation issues. Since 2012, Rayna has been actively participating for PSEG with NJDEP in various stakeholder groups, including the Soil Standards workgroup, Ground Water Quality Criteria and Ground Water Use and Classification workgroups, Remedial Action Permits, and Site Remediation Advisory Group (SRAG). In addition, since 2015 Rayna has been the Technical Chair for the Remediation and Response and Tank Committees for the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG) in Washington, DC. In 2019, Rayna was appointed as the Site Remediation Industry Network (SRIN) Chair.

In addition to her work experience, Rayna is a member of the Passaic County Brownfield Commission and Chair of the Hawthorne Environmental Commission and Green Team. Rayna was an Executive Committee Member of the former Economic Development Association of New Jersey (EDANJ), representing the Borough of Hawthorne.

Rayna holds a Masters of Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She is a member of the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals and Board of Environmental, Health, and Safety Auditor organization.

Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo is president of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ), a business association representing the interests of more than 900 companies. In this capacity, Mr. Russo is responsible for all aspects of the association. Mr. Russo is also the CEO and publisher of COMMERCE Magazine. COMMERCE magazine is a business to business magazine with a readership of more than 40,000 professionals.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Russo served as Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications for CIANJ as well as Deputy Executive Director of the National Lime Association in Washington, DC representing the interests of mining companies producing calcium oxide (aka lime) at the federal level.
Mr. Russo started his career at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as a senior engineer issuing water quality permits. He then spent 5 years as an environmental consultant working for two firms, GES and ERM. He began his government affairs career when he served as Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs for the Chemistry Council of NJ, representing chemical and pharmaceutical companies in Trenton on legislative and environmental matters.
Mr. Russo is a graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Stephen J. Souza, Ph.D.

Stephen J. Souza, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen J. Souza is the Owner of Clean Waters Consulting, LLC. He is also the Founding Partner of Princeton Hydro, LLC. From its inception in 1998 through 2018, he served as President of Princeton Hydro, retiring from the company in 2019. Over the past 35 years he has dedicated his career to the management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems, in particular lakes, ponds and reservoirs.

Dr. Souza received his B.S. in 1974 from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, his M.S. in 1976 from Rutgers University, and his Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Souza has served over the past 25 years as an instructor and course coordinator for the Rutgers NJAES Office of Continuing Professional Education, developing and implementing multiple short courses focused on the management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Temple University (Ambler Campus), teaching a graduate studies course in the Department of Landscape and Horticulture (Tyler School of Art and Agriculture). Dr. Souza also conducts a professional continuing education course focusing on green infrastructure stormwater management for Continuing Professional Education Services, LLC (CPES).

Dr. Souza is a past president of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) as well as the Pennsylvania Lake Management Society (PALMS). He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC). Dr. Souza achievements include the NJ-American Water Resources Association Peter J. Homack Award (2012), the NALMS Lake Management Success Story Award (2017), the NYS Federation of Lake Association Lake Tear of the Clouds Award (2018) and the NJ Highlands Coalition Life Time Achievement Award (2019). He is a frequent guess speaker for the NJ Coalition of Lake Associations, as well as NJDEP, NYSDEC and other entities dedicated to the protection, restoration and management of water resources. Dr. Souza is a member of American Soc Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association and American Water Resource Association.

Tracy Straka

Tracy Straka

Tracy Straka is the Executive Vice President at Creamer Environmental Inc., one of the Nation's Top 200 Environmental Firms. Ms. Straka has been with Creamer Environmental, Inc. since its inception 25 years ago, and is responsible for all aspects of the organization's operations. Ms. Straka has been involved with numerous start-ups, acquisition evaluations and corporate reorganizations, has served on and chaired many diverse boards, and actively participates in organizations that support business, environmental, women's leadership, mentoring, education and animal welfare issues. Ms. Straka also volunteers her time to mentor active duty military members who are transitioning to private sector careers. Ms. Straka is the founder and chair of the Environmental Business Council, the state's largest environmental trade association, was the first and only female to chair the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, a 95-year old free enterprise business association. Ms. Straka has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including: one of three Inaugural inductees to CIANJ's Environmental Hall of Fame and Recipient of their lifetime achievement award in 2019, selected by LWE as a Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneur, Recognized by Gov. Christie as a "Woman of Influence in NJ", and named by NJBIZ as "Best 50 Women in Business. Prior to her employment with Creamer, Ms. Straka was the Vice President of a nationally recognized environmental consulting firm. As that firm's first employee, she was instrumental in its growth and success.

David Sweeney

David Sweeney

David Sweeney had been with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for the past twenty five years. He was the Assistant Commissioner of the Site Remediation Program which oversees the investigation and clean up of contaminated sites in New Jersey. He has recently been working on revisions to the Site Remediation Program's Technical Regulations and associated Technical Guidance documents. These efforts are related to the implementation of the Licensed Site Remediation Professional program. Prior to this he was the Chief of the Bureau of Emergency Response, a Bureau that responds to all major discharges of oil and hazardous materials in New Jersey. He became Chief of BER in the beginning of 2000. Previously he was the Bureau Chief of a group that provides technical support in the areas of geology and hydrogeology for cases in the Site Remediation Program (November 1993 to December 1999). He worked in the Bureau of State Case Management as a Section Chief and Case Manager overseeing waste site remediation from August 1988 to November 1993. His experience involves various complex site remediation cases undertaken in New Jersey including CERCLA, RCRA, ISRA, Spill Act and Voluntary clean ups.
Prior to working at DEP, Mr. Sweeney was employed by the Camden County Health Department for fourteen years. At Camden County he managed environmental programs under the County Environmental Health Act including Emergency Response and was the manager of their environmental laboratory.
Mr. Sweeney's background is in environmental science and public health with a Bachelor's degree in Natural Science. Mr. Sweeney is an instructor at Camden County Fire Academy and holds a level two instructor certification from the Division of Fire Safety. He has instructed hazardous materials courses for the New Jersey State Police and National Fire Academy.

Dennis M. Toft, Esq.

Dennis M. Toft, Esq.

Dennis M. Toft is Chair of the Environmental Law Group with Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC. He is a renowned environmental lawyer who applies a keen understanding of science and the complexities of regulatory process when addressing the wide range of issues that his clients face. He provides counsel on all aspects of environmental law, including regulatory counseling, environmental due diligence, permitting, enforcement and environmental litigation, development and redevelopment and environmental insurance.

Dennis is highly regarded as one of New Jersey's leading Brownfields redevelopment practitioners. He was appointed to serve on the New Jersey Brownfields and Contaminated Site Remediation Task Force, a group created by state law to identify and market Brownfields sites and in 2002, he became chairman of the task force. Dennis was also appointed by Governor Richard Codey to serve on the New Jersey Solid Waste Advisory Council. Dennis played a key role in the adoption of the New Jersey Brownfields and Contaminated Site Remediation Act. More recently, Dennis was instrumental in the development and adoption of the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), which establishes a Licensed Site Remediation Professional Program in New Jersey and in the recent amendments to that statute. He is currently serving on the Board and Executive Committees of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce where he monitors and reports on environmental issues.

Dennis received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served as a staff member and administrative editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. He earned a degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was elected to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. He has been elected to be a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.