Middletown's Rockfall Foundation Chooses New Director

The Rockfall Foundation in Middletown has named Tony Marino its new executive director, promoting the long-serving advocate to head up the organization’s environmental and conservation efforts in the Middlesex County area.

Marino joined the Rockfall Foundation more than 20 years ago as a board member. He served as president of the board of directors before being hired for a staff position in 2011.

Since then he has served as operations manager, associate director and interim executive director. He replaces Robin Andreoli, who recently took another job after about a year with Rockfall.

Rockfall operates from the 1790s deKoven House at the corner of Washington Street and deKoven Drive. It provides grant funding to support environmental and conservation projects and education throughout the area.

“It is a privilege and honor to serve the Foundation as its Executive Director,” Marino said in a statement. “These are challenging times for all nonprofit organizations. I look forward to working with the Board not only to continue the work we are now doing, but also to expand our initiatives in the area of environmental grants and education, and to increase the use of the deKoven House as home for environmental organizations and as a community meeting space.”

Col. Clarence Wadsworth and his wife, Katherine Fearing Hubbard Wadsworth, created the Rockfall Foundation in 1935, and the house was left to the foundation after his death in 1941.

Their vision for the foundation and the house was to continue their legacy of conservation.

The deKoven House was built in the 1790s by Capt. Benjamin Williams, a West Indies trader who was prominent in the bustling port city that Middletown was during the 18th century. His children sold the house in 1818 to another sea captain, Henry Louis deKoven, Wadsworth's maternal grandfather.

Another section of the house was built in the early 1870s, and in the 1950s the Rockfall Foundation added the two meeting rooms, which are now some of the only meeting spaces available in the area for nonprofit organizations.

“We are most fortunate that we did not have to look far for such a qualified person to continue Rockfall’s many worthwhile initiatives,” said Marilyn Ozols, president of the board of directors. “Tony’s experience in all aspects of the work that Rockfall does and his dedication to its mission are unparalleled. The Board is excited to promote him to this position and looks forward to working with him.”

The Rockfall Foundation recently announced the winners of the 2017 Environmental Award: Independent Day School teacher and Athletic Director Janet Sisson, Middletown Urban Forestry Commission Chairwoman Jane Harris and the Jonah Center for Earth and Art.

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