John Petrillo

Executive Director


John has over 15 years of experience in the experiential and outdoor education field as an educator, facilitator, and researcher. He has led over a dozen semester-at-sea expeditions with the Ocean Classroom Foundation and most recently designed and ran the urban youth development sailing program at Rocking the Boat in the South Bronx, NY. He believes in the transformational power of experiential and outdoor learning and is passionate about increasing access to such programs in urban and under-served communities. John holds a B.S. in Social History from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.A. in American Civilization from Brown University, and an M.A. in Education from Rutgers University, as well as a USCG Master’s license for vessels up to 100 tons.

To learn more about John’s background and his thoughts on the importance of Project U.S.E. programming, check out this profile.

Donna Hoffman

Finance Director


Donna Hoffman joined Project U.S.E. in spring of 1994 as Bookkeeper and Executive Secretary to Phil Costello.  After enjoying 8 years working side by side with Phil, Sarah and staff, she left when due with her second child and to dedicate more time with her family.  With an educational background in accounting and business, Donna was working part-time bookkeeping before happily returning to Project U.S.E. in July 2006 as Finance Director.  She has three children and is very involved in their schools and activities, volunteering over the years with school boards, PTA programs, and Treasurer roles.

Tracy Semar

Wildcat Mountain Wilderness Center Director


Tracy Semar joined the Project U.S.E. family in the spring of 2011 as a Field Instructor. A life-long tree-hugger, Tracy grew up in New York and eventually attended Queens College where she received her BA in Psychology and Studio Arts. After graduation, she set out to fulfill her dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Upon her return, she was disillusioned with everyday life and missed the connection she had with the outdoors. By a stroke of good fortune, Tracy discovered work in the Outdoor Education field and she has never looked back. Through her work, she has been able to connect her love of nature with her passion for education. She is always on the look-out for her next adventure.

Bob Goger

Professional Development Consultant


Bob Goger has long been associated with Project U.S.E., first as a volunteer and board member; then more recently coming aboard to help us expand our adult training programs. After working as a teacher and social worker in Puerto Rico and New York City, Bob returned to his native New Jersey to assume training and management positions in the State Departments of Health and Education. Among the original group of counselors to receive certification as a Substance Awareness Coordinator, he helped develop the first wave of student assistance programs in local districts throughout the state. More recently he has served as a SAC and Student Services Coordinator for the Montclair Schools.

Bob is a graduate of Fordham University (BA & MA); a biker (‘unmotored’); and a harried part-time beekeeper. He also spends some time each week at the Y as a certified fitness instructor and ropes course facilitator.