NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Shannon N. Cilento as Resources and Land Use Specialist, effective July 15, 2020.
In the full-time position, Cilento will provide technical support to the non-profit organization and coordinate reviews of land and resource management activities to help ensure proper implementation of the River Management Plan in accordance with the Land and Water Use Guidelines for the Congressionally-designated Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River in New York and Pennsylvania.
Cilento was employed by Sullivan County from September 2017 through May 2020 as the Community Development & Grants Planner with the Division of Planning and Community Development. She resides in Monticello.
The Mexico, NY native earned a Bachelor’s degree in Global and International Studies and Anthropology, with a minor in Museum Studies-Art History Concentration, from SUNY Oswego in 2015 and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University in 2017.
Growing up in Oswego County along Lake Ontario, Cilento became familiar with Sullivan County through her father Joseph’s annual fishing trips to Roscoe, also known as “Trout Town USA”. She was president of her class at Mexico High School, salutatorian at her 2011 graduation, played soccer, softball, and ran indoor track.
Cilento’s first job as a Research and Collections Assistant at the Fort Ontario State Historic Site in Oswego fueled her interest in interpretation, museums, parks, and tourism.
She earned numerous academic and leadership awards at SUNY Oswego, including Outstanding Senior in Global and International Studies, a Museum Association of New York Travel Grant, and first place prize in the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium.
Special projects during graduate school included serving as secretary for the Cornell University Women’s Planning Forum, an internship with the Cleveland Restoration Society in Ohio, and work with the Richford, NY Historical Society to design adaptive reuse of a 19th century school building and with the New York City Parks system to update historical signage.
She worked as an assistant residence hall director at Cornell, and continues to serve as secretary of the Cornell Historic Preservation Planning Alumni and chair of its grants committee.
Her Master’s thesis involved research in Canada to publish the paper, “From Cod to Conservation: The Intersection of Tourism, the Cod Moratorium, and Telecommunications History in Newfoundland”, which she presented at the North Atlantic Society for Oceanic History Conference in Charleston, SC in 2017.
Prior to her move to Sullivan County, Cilento spent a summer in Maine as a planning intern for Discover Downtown Westbrook.
At the county, Cilento managed a variety of Planning Division initiatives including conducting land use reviews; implementing and overseeing small grant programs; communications including a monthly e-newsletter, news releases, social media, and a web page; and coordinating trainings for municipalities, professionals, and volunteers. She helped secure over $2 million in grant funding through state and federal applications.
Working with the UDC offers Cilento the opportunity to focus her diverse skills to benefit the Upper Delaware River Valley geographic region.
“As an avid fly fisher and amateur wildlife photographer, this position allows me to marry my two passions – conservation and planning. I’ve always been interested in the intersection between the environment and community development. I look forward to helping to protect and conserve this area, and promote its cultural resources. I’m excited to be here with all the projects going on; I thrive at being busy,” she says.
Her parents helped instill in her a love for nature and being outdoors, from fishing with her recently-retired father to helping her mother Deanna, who is an elementary school teaching assistant, to manage a small farm and orchard.
Her hobbies also include competitive snowshoeing, hiking, running (she completed her first half-marathon in March), and listening to audio books. In free time, she enjoys visiting her upstate hometown, and her sister Stephanie, brother-in-law Scott, and two young nieces who live in Moravia, NY.
Cilento joined the Village of Monticello Planning Board in April 2018, participates as a member of the Leadership Sullivan Class of 2020, and belongs to the Rotary Club of Monticello.
The 27-year-old occasionally waitresses at Miss Monticello Diner.
Cilento is a member of the American Planning Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Northeast Chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology, and heritage trusts for Canada and several provinces.
The UDC team of Executive Director Laurie Ramie, Resources and Land Use Specialist Shannon Cilento, and Secretary Ashley Hall-Bagdonas represents the first all-female staff since the Council’s inception in 1988. The position had been vacant since January 10 of this year following the re-location of Pete Golod to Seattle, WA.
Cilento may be reached at (845) 252-3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The UDC office is located at 211 Bridge St. in Narrowsburg, NY.
For more information on the federal-state-local partnership UDC organization and its activities, please visit www.upperdelawarecouncil.org.