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Finn Caspersen joins NJ Conservation Foundation board


New Jersey Conservation Foundation
FAR HILLS - Finn M.W. Caspersen Jr. of Bedminster, a longtime champion of land preservation, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the state's nonprofit land preservation leader.

"I've always felt it's important to support organizations whose mission is to preserve and protect natural resources," he said. "I'm impressed with New Jersey Conservation Foundation's all-encompassing mission - land acquisition, stewardship, advocacy and education - and I'm happy to be able to help in any way I can."

While serving on the Bedminster Township Committee in 2004-09, Caspersen was active in preserving open space and farmland in the township - frequently in partnership with NJ Conservation Foundation. He was also a strong proponent of the township's open space tax, used to fund land acquisition.

But his interest in conservation goes back much farther.

He credits his maternal grandmother, Eleanor Morris, with sparking his interest at a young age. "She started a land trust in Pennsylvania, the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, and was a pioneer in the preservation of land by convincing farmers to donate easements on their land," he said.

He recalls attending a local land use board meeting with his grandmother and watching her vigorously contest development plans on a property she wanted to preserve. "It really impressed me and had a lasting impact," he said.

In addition, Caspersen's mother, Barbara Caspersen, and his uncle, Cooper Morris, served on NJ Conservation's Board of Trustees in the 1980s and early 1990s. Barbara Caspersen was elected in 1985 and Cooper Morris was elected in 1988.

Finn Caspersen grew up playing in the woods and fields of his family's farm in Andover, Sussex County, and also spent time outdoors through the Boy Scouts. For his Eagle Scout project, he cleaned up a stream in Andover that had been degraded by highway litter. "I developed a lifelong appreciation for nature and I've carried that with me," he said.

His favorite outdoor activity is hiking, starting with boyhood trips to his family's cabin in New Hampshire and continuing more recently with hiking trips with his wife, Emily, and their four children. "Hopefully, we've helped our kids develop a love of nature," he said.

Caspersen is employed as Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel of Peapack-Gladstone Bank. Previously, he worked as a corporate lawyer at Hale and Dorr, an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, and privately in venture capital.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he has served as trustee of Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire, Pomfret School in Connecticut, the Somerset Hills YMCA, the Willowwood Arboretum and the New Jersey Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. In addition to serving as a two-term elected member of the Bedminster Township Committee, he also served on the Bedminster Environmental Commission and Land Use Board. He is currently a member of the Somerset County Business Partnership's Board of Directors.

"I am delighted to welcome Finn Caspersen to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation board," said Board President Ken Klipstein. "Finn's experience and passion for natural resource protection is well established. His election is a tremendous benefit to our mission."

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected 125,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundation's programs and preserves, go to or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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