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Close Up: Leigh Rutter

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Business Director, Watson, Stevens, Rutter & Roy, LLP


Company: Watson, Stevens, Rutter & Roy, LLP, a Freehold-based corporate law firm focused on energy, infrastructure planning, and environmental regulation.

What you do: Oversee all business development, marketing and communication strategies for the firm.

Old gig: Land representative at Williams, an Oklahoma-based global energy company.

School Ties: Douglass College of Rutgers University

Hometown: South Brunswick


Favorite Spot: There is something really special about tailgating in the parking lot of MetLife Stadium, especially when the Giants win.

When you brag about Jersey to people from out of state, you say: The Statue of Liberty is ours.

Sopranos, Jersey Shore or Housewives of NJ?: There was no better Jersey show than the "Sopranos."


Celebrity you'd like to meet: Victor Cruz. I think he would be a lot of fun. Maybe he could teach me to salsa.

Historical figure you'd want to meet: Russell Watson. (Learn who he was at WatsonStevens.com)

Dream Vacation: The vineyards of Northern Italy are supposed to be beautiful. I'd like to see (and taste) them for myself.



Anthony A. Mero was named senior vice president and chief operating officer of Two River Community Bank. He is responsible for daily operations including its information technology, deposit operations, facilities management, loan operations, retail banking and marketing divisions. Mero most recently served as chief operating officer of Financial Resources Federal Credit Union.

Midland Park-based Atlantic Stewardship Bank promoted Gail Tilstra to senior vice president of human resources. She will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing human resource activities. Tilstra, who has been with Atlantic Stewardship Bank for 21 years, was previously vice president/human resources officer.

Claire M. Chadwick was promoted to executive vice president. She will be responsible for the corporation's accounting and financial reporting. Previously, Chadwick served as senior vice president and chief financial office. Chadwick has 25 years banking experience, the last five with Atlantic Stewardship.

Elder Care

Marlton-based SeniorWise Care Management named Christopher Fritzsche geriatric care manager.

Fritzsche will meet with clients where they live and conduct a needs assessment of their health, mental and nutritional status and safety risks within their home. He has spent most of his career as a case manager working with elderly veterans. Most recently, Fritzsche worked with the Camden County Global Options Medicaid Waiver Program.

Land Surveying

Mark A. Ashton joined Wall Township-based French & Parrello Associates as assistant survey manager. Ashton has more than 30 years surveying experience in field and office operations. His background includes extensive construction survey project management on commercial and industrial projects as well as residential properties.

Real Estate

Colliers International named Johnathan Holmes director of consulting for New Jersey operations. He will provide financial analytics and advisory support for Colliers northern and central New Jersey brokers, working in conjunction with the company's tri-state consulting practice.

Before joining Colliers International, Holmes was vice president for Mercer Oak Realty & Princeton Property Partners.


Law firm Parker McCay added three new attorneys as associates: Melissa M. Ferrara and Valerie N. Smaldone, who will be based out of Mount Laurel, and Van L. McPherson III, who will work from Atlantic City.

  • Ferrara joins the firm's labor and employment practice. She previously served as a staff agent for the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission and also was a senior consultant for the labor relations department of the New Jersey School Boards Association. Admitted to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Ferrara earned a master's degree in labor and employment relations from Rutgers University and earned her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.
  • Smaldone joins the medical malpractice department. She previously served as a New Jersey appellate division law clerk for Judge Michael J. Haas. She earned her law degree from Rutgers University School of Law and is admitted to practice law in New Jersey.
  • McPherson joins the municipal and government practice. He was previously a law clerk to Judge James L. Jackson. McPherson earned his law degree from St. John's University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and New York.

Four lawyers have joined Princeton-based firm Hill Wallack LLP: Barbara M. Kirk, Shane T. Prince, Donald F. Burke Jr. and Wade D. Koenecke.

  • Kirk is a partner in the Yardley, Pa. office, where she is a member of the family law and municipal law practice groups. Kirk concentrates in domestic relations, custody, and adoption.
  • Prince is counsel in the Princeton office where he is a member of the product liability, trial and insurance defense, and insurance coverage practice groups. He has more than 11 years experience representing clients in civil cases in federal and state courts.
  • Burke is an associate in the Princeton office, where he is a member of the firm's litigation division. He is also a member of its trial and insurance defense, insurance coverage, and employment and labor law practice groups. Before joining the firm, Burke served as law clerk to judges Carmen Messano and Karen M. Cassidy.
  • Koenecke is an associate in the Princeton office, where he is a member of the firm's litigation division and the administrative law/government contracts practice group. Before joining the firm, Koenecke served as a law clerk to Jude Joseph L. Yannotti.

Hill Wallack has offices in Princeton, Morristown, and Yardley, Pa.

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