Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Action Board of Trustees



Getting to Know COA's Board of Trustees

Leo Gasienica, President

Leo grew up in Bergen County NJ where he attended Garfield High School. Following High School, Leo played quarterback for Rutgers Football from 1970 to 1972. After graduating with a degree in Political Science and Business, he played in the NFL for a few years before beginning his career in business in the financial markets with the British News Company, Reuters. Ten years later, Leo transitioned from working with many Global Banks and Financial Institutions during his time at Reuters to a career with Dow Jones, continuing to develop long standing relationships with heads of major banks and brokers.  

Living in New York City for many years working for Thomson Financial and then ADP, Leo met his wife Kathleen. Leo and Kathleen eventually moved to Rumson, NJ after many summers spent on Fire Island while living in the city. It was during his time on Fire Island that Leo became involved with ocean advocacy work, joining the Fire Island Association.  When Leo moved to Rumson, it felt natural for him to continue marine advocacy work with Clean Ocean Action. Currently Leo holds the title of Managing Director at Broadridge. He has also served for many years as a member of the Heisman Committee for the Heisman Trophy. Leo has chosen to continue support of Clean Ocean Action as a board member since 2002, accepting the position as Board President in January 2020.   


Bob Bennekamper, Vice-President

Bonnie Torcivia, Secretary

Bonnie Torcivia, a board member since 2018 was raised in Wayne, PA right outside Philadelphia in the same home her entire childhood with two very civic minded parents, an older sister, and two younger brothers. Bonnie attended Lehigh University, majoring in Finance and played field hockey and lacrosse. After graduation, in 1981 she worked for Fidelity Union Bank in Newark, NJ before returning to Lehigh to work as assistant coach for both field hockey and lacrosse and earning an MBA. Following graduation, Bonnie worked for Manufacturers Hanover in NYC as a lending officer in their energy division. Bonnie then worked briefly in Menlo Park for Midland Bank before retiring to raise her family and moving to Rumson, NJ.  Bonnie was very involved in her children’s school, serving on the parent council at RCDS, and as a Girl Scout Troop leader for many years before starting the girls lacrosse program at the request of Will Lawes who was then serving on the Rumson borough. Following her divorce, Bonnie moved to Fair Haven in 2014 and helped find a Woman’s Giving Circle, Impact 100 Jersey Coast. The goal of Impact 100 Jersey Coast’s goal is to create a forum that raises awareness of the community’s most pressing needs and fund transformational grants, of at least $100,000 for high-impact projects addressing those needs.  

Bonnie has always been a fan of Clean Ocean Action’s important ocean advocacy work. It was when COA became involved with Impact 100 Jersey Coast that Bonnie, impressed with Cindy and the entire COA staff, decided to become more involved with the organization. Bonnie’s goal is to spread awareness of COA’s mission and encourage more residents, particularly her riverfront neighbors to become involved. Vacationing on the Jersey shore every year as a child, she has always loved the ocean. She remembers vividly assisting a neighbor rescue sea birds from an oil spill as a child, recalling sentiments of how vulnerable our environment is and our obligation to protect it as she held an oil covered bird in her hands. 


Valerie Montecalvo, Treasurer

Valerie resides in Highlands as President, Owner, and CEO of Bayshore Recycling Corp. Along with her husband, Frank, Valerie has over 38 years of experience in the contracting and environmental fields. She is also a Trustee on the Board of the NJ Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Additionally, Valerie supports numerous charities, foundations and local causes. As a COA Board Member, Valerie champions COA mission of ocean advocacy throughout the community. Valerie is an avid water and motorsport enthusiast who relies on the watershed for relaxation and enjoyment. Thank you, Valerie, for your dedication to COA over the many years!




Tom Fagan

Tom Fagan grew up blocks from the ocean, attending Asbury Park High School. Tom, a board member since 1984 works full time as a member of the Communications Workers of America Union, Local #1075. Tom, a true waterman, is an avid beach comber, wave rider, and scuba diver. Tom recalls that before COA was founded in 1985, there were many small voices speaking out against the degradation of the ocean. COA’s organization of those voices into a much larger one is what inspires him to remain a committed board member and true blue advocate for the ocean.  




Patsy Guttenplan

Patsy Guttenplan worked for almost 30 years in the medical industry. Her experience includes medical and surgical nursing at Monmouth Medical, Research and Development at Davol, and Hospital Administration at Raritan Bay Medical Center. Patsy has held positions as Senior Management Engineer and Director of Clinical Data before enrolling in a graduate program at NYU in Acting/Directing/Digital Film/Editing. Patsy works as a freelance event, family, and children’s photographer/videographer. In addition, Patsy has directed the Drama Club at Lincroft Bible Church for 6 years. A board member since 2002, Patsy is a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore who has always lived within walking distance of the ocean. Patsy is inspired to dedicate her time as a Clean Ocean Action board member because she believes that it is vital for shore residents to come together as a voice for clean water. 




Jim Lovgren

Jim Lovegreen, a resident of Brick, NJ is a commercial fisherman who makes his living from the ocean. A board member since 2004, Jim is committed to a clean and healthy ocean. 






Jeff Martin

Jeff was originally born in Morris County, NJ, spending many summers at the Jersey Shore and eventually moving to Cape May in 1995 after attending Ramapo College. Working for a kayak tour outfit, Jeff eventually bought the business. He became a biology teacher in 2002 and continues to teach ocean/marine science to high school students. As a COA board member, Jeff is proud to be a powerful and professional voice for the ocean. As a surfer, kayaker, SUP-er, teacher, diver and science teacher, Jeff NEEDS a healthy ocean - we agree wholeheartedly and thank you for being a voice for the ocean with us, Jeff!




D. W. Bennett

 President and Founder

1984 - 2009

 American Littoral Society


Adelaide (Scottie) Franklin 

Member Emeritus


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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