About the Program
The pilot Outreach Liaison Program consists of people from diverse backgrounds and professions. Each brings different perspectives to help create a more informed transportation decision-making process.
The outreach liaisons help tailor our public outreach strategies to the specific needs of a project or study area’s ethnic or cultural groups. Liaisons may offer knowledge about cultural nuances, interface with community members on behalf of the agency, facilitate community meetings or events, and provide translation services, if needed.
The goal of this pilot program, now in its second year, is to engage residents more effectively in transportation planning, increase public understanding of our work, and ensure engagement is diverse and inclusive. Our 13-county region is one of most diverse areas in the country, with communities that represent many races, ethnicities, cultures, languages, identities, religions, and traditions.
The NJTPA is developing the pilot Outreach Liaison Program with support from the Public Outreach and Engagement Team at the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.
If you are a subregion interested in using the Outreach Liaisons for one of your NJTPA-funded projects, please contact Ted Ritter at [email protected].
Meet the Outreach Liaisons
Jessica Dale has a bachelor’s degree in management/international business from Kean University. Her personal experience of coordinating health care for her mother, along with her passion for helping others, were her biggest motivation to pursue her senior care consulting business. She loves to help seniors and their families because she understands firsthand the challenges families face when they are trying to find the best care for their loved ones. Prior to her current career she spent time as a stay-at-home mom and worked a domestic and international relocation consultant helping families meet relocation needs. Jessica has always been involved in the community and served as a community relations and volunteer coordinator for more than four years.
Mervett Hefyan is a researcher who specializes in recruiting community-based organizations to participate in research studies and providing them with guidance and support throughout the process. She is also a member of the Port Authority Bus Terminal Advisory Council. Mervett holds a master's degree in urban planning from Hunter College. She’s often out walking, running, or riding buses around Hudson County.
Li Ching Jung is President and Founder of Cultural and Creative Exchange, an organization that aims to spread Eastern Asian culture through creative art shows, exhibitions, and performances. Jung is Honorary President of the Chinese American Cultural Association, Commissioner of Overseas Community Affairs Council ROC (Taiwan) Chapter and Former Chairman of the Taiwan Benevolent Association of NJ Charter.
Uffessa Mosley is a 16-year veteran with the Irvington Police Department, currently serving in the role of detective. As a member of her department, she has an inherent and genuine concern for the health and safety of her community. Uffessa has extensive experience in traffic safety, serving 8 years as her department’s Traffic Officer, Motor Vehicle Crash Investigator, and School Crossing Guard Supervisor. In these roles Uffessa communicated community needs regarding transportation safety and related improvements with township officials. Uffessa understands the importance of transportation safety in her community and she’s excited about the opportunity to establish effective communication between her community and the NJTPA.
Janien V. Reeves is an experienced community worker serving Essex County through outreach for basic needs. In 2015, she founded Modestly Cover Diaper Bank of Essex County and serves as the executive director. In this role, she is responsible for developing programs to educate and advocate for families about diaper needs, related policies and programs, and issues surrounding poverty. Janien also serves on various boards and committees and is a member of many organizations, including the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) Member Advisory Committee, Black Diaper Bank Coalition, Selective Service, SOCIAL CURRENT (formerly Alliance for Strong Families in Communities), and Garden State Leader. She is also a founding member of Alliance for Period Supplies (NDBN Program). What started as hobbies, developed into two business opportunities as a web designer/WordPress Expert and self-taught seamstress which allows her to relax and indulge in her love of design.
La Trenda Ross has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to social/human services for almost three decades. Her experience includes advocacy, community engagement, outreach, marketing, and communications. She manages a program for the elderly and disabled population for the Department of Housing and Community Reintegration in Jersey City. Additionally, she is an Entrepreneur and Life Coach with Trending Into A New Life, LLC. She is also an active volunteer with several community organizations. These include being President of the Hudson County Community College Alumni Association and International Associate of Women. La Trenda is also a member Garden State Leaders and Chair of the Hudson County Food and Shelter Coalition. She also enjoys dancing and sight-seeing.
Sabrina Ross is an experienced Community Engagement Manager with Unified Vailsburg Services Organization in Newark. She has extensive experience in community engagement, outreach, marketing and communications. Ross is also an active volunteer with several community groups including the Vailsburg Garden Committee, Newark Community Street Team, and the Late Bloomer Project. She is also an avid cyclist.
John Sullivan is a project/place-based high school educator and curriculum writer who seeks to connect the importance of the built environment to equity, livability and community health. As former President and current Board Member of Bike and Walk Montclair, John has spent the last decade advocating for programs and policies that support bikeability and walkability and Complete Streets designs through community-led tactical projects. John is a certified community placemaker, a staunch advocate for authentically vibrant and creative public spaces and a firm believer in the importance of the "power of place."