Monday Morning Meet Your Leaders – Hillary Critelli

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Hillary Critelli
Director of Development, Membership and Outreach
American Littoral Society

1. What is one of the most important qualities of a great leader?

One of the most important qualities of a great leader is empowerment. I could not have advanced in my career the way I have without leaders who empowered me to take ownership and make impactful decisions. I grew, and continue to grow, through the empowerment afforded to me by the leaders I have had the pleasure to work with, including at the American Littoral Society.

2. How does your organization take our community to the next level?

Our work has a distinct character to it. We are outspoken in our mission to promote the conservation of marine life; we connect people to the coast – physically, emotionally and through increased science based knowledge. We provide opportunities for volunteers and community members to be involved in the protection, stewardship and restoration of coastal resources. We work to support and empower local citizens in their efforts to protect the coastal environments of their communities, and collaborate and share our work with others towards common goals. We convene and support fellow advocates, and organize opposition to those who would harm the coast. We work from the bottom up and the top down: we work in Washington, Trenton and Albany, as well as in local communities. We bring science to the debate, as well as a knowledge of politics, and the capability to defend the coast in court if necessary. Our expertise in many matters is recognized and called upon by the courts, the legislature and successive administrations.

3. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

My favorite thing to do in my “spare” time is sing. I sing in, and am on the Board of Trustees of, the Monmouth Civic Chorus. We are a community chorus which performs three to four concerts around Monmouth County in a season. Our music ranges from standard classical, to opera, and sometimes even ABBA!

4. What is your favorite food/recipe and why? 

My favorite food is probably chips and queso. I spent most of my childhood in Texas, and all of it in the south, so I love TexMex and Mexican food. In case there are any other transplants reading this, Bubbakoo’s has the most “Texas” queso I’ve had in New Jersey (you’re welcome!).

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