PATERSON, NJ – The National Park Service has picked an employee with Paterson roots and experience as spokesman for two prominent New Jersey Republicans to become superintendent of the Great Falls National Historical Park.
Darren Boch, who has been public affairs officer for 10 national parks in New York Harbor since 2006, will begin his new position in Paterson on November 6, according to a Park Service press release.
"My grandparents lived in Paterson,” said Boch, a Parsippany resident, in a press release, “and I look forward to returning to the city in which I was born. I have spent my career bringing together groups of people to work for a common cause, and I can think of no better purpose than establishing a great national park right here in Paterson."
Prior to joining the Park Service, Boch’s resume featured stints as spokesman for Bret Schundler when he was mayor of Jersey City and for James Treffinger when he was Essex County Executive. Boch was Treffinger’s communications director when the FBI arrested the county executive on corruption charges in 2002.
Boch moves into the Paterson position as the Park Service begins preparing its Great Falls management plan, which is a blueprint of what the national park will include. Local and federal officials are still working through an agreement that will make the creation of the park official. But both sides say the talks are progressing well, a marked change from three months ago when some members of a federal advisory panel expressed concerns that the project was in jeopardy.
“Darren is the right person for this position as we begin the formal planning process for the future national park,” said National Park Service Northeast Regional Director Dennis R. Reidenbach. “His wealth of experience, coupled with his leadership and communications skills, will help him engage many stakeholders as we develop a vision for Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.”
Boch, whose salary is about $100,000, recently has been on a temporary assignment as deputy superintendent of the national park sites in Manhattan, including Castle Clinton National Monument, Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site, Federal Hall National Memorial and Grant’s Tomb.
Before he was hired by the Park Service in 2006, Boch was vice president for public affairs at Keating & Co Strategic Communications in Florham Park. There, he worked on communications plans for clients concentrated in the manufacturing, healthcare and financial services sectors, according to the Park Service.
Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr applauded the selection of Boch as Great Falls superintendent.
"I want to congratulate and welcome Mr. Boch in this very important role in making a national park at the Great Falls a reality,’’ Pascrell said in a press release. “I am encouraged that the National Park Service has chosen someone with a personal connection to the City of Paterson."
"With Darren Boch on board, residents of Paterson, as well as the rest of our country, can be assured that the federal government is committed to giving our city's greatest natural and historic landmark the respect it deserves,’’ Pascrell added. “I look forward to working with the new superintendent-designate and helping him create a magnificent experience for all who will visit the park."
Boch holds a Bachelors Degree in Speech Communications/Public Relations from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, and a Masters Degree in Political Management from Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to the Park Service press release.
He has served in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve and in the New Jersey National Guard, and was a Distinguished and Superior Military Graduate, Army ROTC, at Southern Illinois University.