Freeholder Virginia E. “Ginny” Haines will serve as the 2019 Director of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders. She is the first woman in 40 years to lead Ocean County Government. A lifelong resident of Ocean County, she brings years of public service and leadership experience to the Board of Freeholders.
Freeholder Haines, of Toms River, was first appointed to the Board on Jan. 27, 2016 to fill the seat left vacant by Freeholder James F. Lacey.
Freeholder Director Haines will serve as Director to the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee and will co-chair the Office of Engineering in 2019.
She serves as liaison to a host of county departments and agencies including Ocean County College and the Advisory Commission on the Status of Women that make the quality of life in Ocean County second to none.
As Director to the Department of Parks and Recreation, Director Haines will work closely with department staff in making certain the County’s 27 different park sites including two golf courses continue to provide premiere active and passive recreation areas for all County residents.
Ocean County park facilities range from sports field complexes, to off-leash dog parks, and general recreational areas for all residents. The County also provides an extensive recreation program through its Parks and Recreation Department, offering programs for residents of all ages.
The Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund, approved by voters in 1997, has resulted in almost 35,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands and farmlands being acquired and approved for preservation in the County with many more applications under review. In 2018, Ocean County preserved its largest tract yet purchasing what is known locally as the Forked River Mountains in Lacey Township – about 8,000 acres of open space.
As liaison to Ocean County College, Freeholder Director Haines is a staunch supporter of quality and affordable education. She closely works with the college on various projects and is a champion of the Ocean County College Foundation providing scholarships to new students interested in advancing their educations.
She serves as co-chairs for the Ocean County of Office of Engineering with Freeholder John P. Kelly. Together they assure the safety of Ocean County roadways for pedestrians and the motoring public.
Director Haines also serves as liaison to the Department of Information Technology, which provides technical support to all County government agencies.
She serves as the Board’s representative to the Southern New Jersey Freeholders Association, an alternate to the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and liaison to the LACADA.
Prior to joining the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Director Haines served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery from July 1994 to February 2002. Freeholder Haines also served as state 10th Legislative District Assemblywoman from 1992 to 1994. She served as the New Jersey General Assembly Assistant Majority Whip. She also served on the Toms River (formerly Dover Township) Township Committee in 2002. She was Clerk of the New Jersey Assembly and also served as a Legislative Aide for state Senator Robert Singer.
Director Haines has served in various capacities on the Ocean County College Foundation Board and currently serves as its chair. She has closely worked with the Jersey Shore Council of Boy Scouts, the Monmouth/Ocean Foodbank, the Ocean County Heart Association, the United Way, the Local Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse of Ocean County.
Director Haines is an active member of the Rotary Club of Toms River, the Toms River Student Loan Fund Board and the Advisory Council for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
She also has served as a speaker and mentor for the Christine Todd Whitman Excellence in Public Service Series.
Among her many awards, Director Haines has been recognized with the Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Loyal Buffalo Award from the Jersey Shore Council of Boy Scouts, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ocean County Girls Scouts. She was named a Paul Harris Fellow, a Melvin Jones Fellow, New Jersey Law Enforcement Association Recognition, Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Citizen of the Year by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Director Haines also is an inductee of the Lakewood High School Hall of Fame. She also is a member of the Joshua Huddy Chapter of the DAR.
Director Haines is the National Republican Committeewoman – New Jersey since 2004 and is co-chair of the Republican National Committee Northeast Region since 2013. She also served as a delegate in 2008, 2012 and 2016 for the Republican National Convention and has represented the state on numerous committees.