New Jersey Early Land Records Project—Project Advisory Board

Veronica L. Calder, a resident of Monmouth County, N.J., oversees operation of the State Archives’ Publications and Outreach program. This includes website development, educational seminars, production of electronic and in-print publications and promotional materials, exhibitions and events, graphic arts, scanning, and photo-repro services. She joined the State Archives staff in 2000, and holds degrees from The College of New Jersey and Rutgers University. 

Ellen R. Callahan is the State Archives’ Collection Manager and oversees the institution’s appraisal, accessioning, arrangement/description, preservation microfilming, and conservation activities. She is also the Archives’ primary liaison to the State’s records management program and advises in the development of retention schedules and public records policy. Ms. Callahan joined the State Archives staff in 1989, and hold degrees from Rider and Rutgers universities. She was directly involved in the transfer of the East New Jersey Proprietors’ records to the State in 1998, and the deposit of the West New Jersey Proprietors’ records with the State in 2005. She resides in Mercer County, N.J. 

Jason M. Dombrowski is Managing Partner of Vintage Title Services LLC and resides in Middlesex County, N.J. He serves as Chair of the Agency Section of the New Jersey Land Title Association, a major Project funder, and represents the same on the Advisory Board. He started his career in the title industry in 2000 working for Title Agency Inc., eventually becoming its president. Mr. Dombrowski was licensed as a Title Producer in 2003. He holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Kean University.

Christopher J. Eler is a native of Mercer County, N.J., currently residing in Pennsylvania. He is the president and owner of The State Capital Title & Abstract Company, a major Project funder. His firm has been engaged in searching New Jersey public records since 1925, servicing title insurance agents, attorneys, and lenders. After graduating from Lehigh University, Mr. Eler immediately began work at State Capital Title and focused on bringing the business into the digital age. He is the fourth generation of his family to preside over the company and placed great value on history and its applicability to present-day decision making.

Anthony Floria-Callori, Esq. has served as Office Counsel for Prestige Title Agency, Inc. in Verona, N.J., since graduating from Seton Hall Law School in 2006. He is President of the New Jersey Land Title Association and Chairman of the Real Property Section of the Essex County Bar Association. He focused his undergraduate studies on political science with special attention to the Federalist Papers. It gives him great pleasure to have his Association participate in such a worthy endeavor.

Ambrose E. Gmeiner II, PSM, PLS, is a Senior Associate for Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, a full-service engineering consultant firm based in Lawrenceville, N.J. He is the incoming President-Elect of the New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors, a major Project funder, and represents the same on the Advisory Board. Mr. Gmeiner earned his M.S. in Surveying, Engineering and Business from the University of Maine. He is licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and West Virginia. He resides in Ocean County, N.J.

Joseph A. Grabas, CTP, NTP, is an accredited title professional/instructor and independent historian. His is founder of The Grabas Institute for Continuing Education, a major Project funder, and represents the same on the Advisory Board. With nearly four decades of experience in the title industry, he is recognized as New Jersey’s leading land title educator. Mr. Grabas regularly lectures throughout the state on topics related to real property ownership and land-title documentation, and is currently a visiting lecturer at Monmouth University. In 2014, he authored Owning New Jersey: Historic Tales of War, Property Disputes and the Pursuit of Happiness. He resides in Monmouth County, N.J.

Ilene Grossman-Bailey, RPA, is president of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey and has served on its board since 2001. She is a professional archaeologist on the staff of RGA, Inc., an archaeological and historic preservation consulting firm based in Cranbury, Middlesex Co., N.J. Dr. Grossman-Bailey holds degrees from the College of New Jersey and Temple University. She has authored numerous professional papers on archaeological topics, and is an adjunct professor at Montclair University. She resides in Bucks County, P.A.

Scott A. Holmes, a resident of Hunterdon County, N.J., joined the GSNJ Board of Trustees in 2004. He serves as the Society’s treasurer and as chair or co-chair of several standing committees. Mr. Holmes is Technical Director for D2 Creative, a full-service digital media agency based in Somerset, N.J., that designs and builds websites and mobile apps primarily for corporate clients. He is an avid genealogical researcher and belongs to a number of historical and genealogical organizations in New Jersey and nationally. 

Thomas M. Howell, PE, a resident of Burlington Co., N.J. has been President of Taylor Wiseman & Taylor since 2012. His firm employs engineers, surveyors, planners, environmental scientists, and support personnel in offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. Mr. Howell has been involved in advancing the engineering and surveying professions throughout his career. He is a member of the Council of West Jersey Proprietors and serves as its Surveyor General. He was a member of the General Board of Proprietors of East New Jersey until its dissolution in 1998, having also served as East Jersey Surveyor General. He represents his firm, a major Project funder, and the West Jersey Proprietors on the Advisory Board.

Joseph R. Klett is Executive Director of the New Jersey State Archives and also serves as a vice president of GSNJ. He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University. With decades of experience as an archivist and genealogist, he has extensive knowledge of New Jersey’s early land records. Mr. Klett authored Using the Records of the East and West New Jersey Proprietors (2005 and as revised) and Understanding New Jersey’s Geography in the Proprietary Period (2014). The latter monograph won the 2015 Jacobus Award of the American Society of Genealogists and the 2016 New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Author Award for best reference work. He resides in Mercer County, N.J. 

Dawn A. Lagowski is the owner of New Dawn Title Agency, LLC and resides in Middlesex County, N.J. She holds a Bachelor’s in Management and Organizational Behavior from Rider University. She has over 30 years of experience in the title industry, having work for several New Jersey title companies, large and small, before opening her own business in 2010. Ms. Lagowski is an active member and currently treasurer of the New Jersey Land Title Association’s Agency Section, a major Project funder, and represents the same on the Advisory Board.

C. Arthur Lawton III is a retired Information Processing Manager for the State of New Jersey. He has served on the GSNJ Board of Trustee since 1999 and is the current President of the Society. He is also a past co-editor of The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey and past editor of the GSNJ Newsletter. Mr. Lawton resides in Mercer County, N.J. An active genealogist, author, and volunteer, he has conducted research in various New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and British repositories. 

Michelle D. Novak is a native of Bergen County, N.J., currently residing in Manhattan. She joined the GSNJ Board of Trustees in 2015 and has been active in public programming and outreach initiatives, website development, and marketing. Novak is President of [MND] (, a New York City brand-design agency serving clients in the financial services, education, genealogical, and non-profit sectors. Ms. Novak holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and multiple genealogical certifications. She is also an active trustee of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County (New Jersey) and serves as editor of its award-winning newsletter, The Archivist

Patrick T. Roe is General Manager of Signature Information Solutions LLC, a major funder of the Project, and represents the same on the Advisory Board. His company is a regional public record firm providing web-based research services to the title and legal markets in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mr. Roe holds a B.A. in American Studies from Franklin and Marshall College. Pat is a board member of the Association for Title Information Management (ATIM), and is involved with a number of local charitable organizations. He hails from Bridgewater, N.J., and currently resides in Newtown, Bucks County, P.A. with his wife and two daughters.

Jeffrey P. Taylor is President of the Council of West Jersey Proprietors and represents the same on the Advisory Board. He is currently the Assistant Engineer for the Township of Burlington and was formerly Director of Engineering, Housing & Community Development for the City of Burlington. Previously, he held executive positions with Environmental Resolutions, Inc., and Taylor Wiseman & Taylor. Mr. Taylor studied at Lafayette College and Rutgers University, Camden, and holds professional licenses as an engineer and planner. A resident in Burlington County, N.J., he has been active for many years in local history, historic preservation, civic, and charitable organizations.

Vivian E. Thiele, a resident of Somerset County, N.J., oversees the State Archives’ robust online database program, working with the New Jersey Office of Information Technology. She was responsible for developing and building the Early Land Records database and will have a supervisory or advisory role in all of the project components. Ms. Thiele brings to the endeavor over a decade of experience managing complex processing and data projects, and in-depth knowledge of New Jersey’s colonial legal and land-appropriation systems. She joined the State Archives staff in 2005, and holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, and Oxford and Rutgers universities.