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Distinguished Citizens Award Honorees Announced

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 4, 2012

Event Recognizes Outstanding Citizens
Kristine Denning ’90,
Richard A. De Silva, Kevin Lobo and
Thomas Shara Are Honorees

(MAHWAH, NJ) – The Ramapo College Foundation has announced the recipients of its 30th Annual Distinguished Citizens Award.  The honorees, chosen for their commitment to their community, will be recognized at a dinner March 3 at the Rockleigh Country Club.

The honorees are Kristine Denning, a 1990 graduate of Ramapo College who is a partner in the law firm of Harwood Lloyd, Hackensack, in the firm’s Insurance Litigation Department; Richard A. De Silva, the owner of Liberty Subaru and MV-1, both in Emerson, and Liberty Hyundai in Mahwah, and who serves on the Ramapo College Foundation’s Board of Governors; Kevin Lobo, group president, Orthopaedics, Stryker Corporation, Mahwah, and Thomas Shara, president and CEO of Lakeland Bancorp and Lakeland Bank, Oak Ridge, who serves on the Foundation’s Board of Governors.

The annual benefit dinner raises funds for student scholarships, faculty and student research opportunities and campus capital projects. The dinner will be held Saturday, March 3 at the elegant Rockleigh Country Club in Rockleigh.  A cocktail reception and silent auction begins at 6:30 p.m. The dinner program honoring the Distinguished Citizens begins at 8:30 p.m.  Dinner and dancing will follow.

For more information or to order tickets, please contact the Foundation office at 201.684.6834 or e-mail  For more information, visit the event’s Website,

Biographies of the honorees:

Kristine Denning ’90 is a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Insurance Litigation Department, with a concentration in fraud investigation and resulting litigation.   She received significant training and experience concerning bad faith litigation, declaratory judgment actions, fraud ring activity and actions under the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. Additionally, her practice includes insurance coverage and defense, representing insurance companies directly or insureds at the request of their insurance carriers.  She received her B.A. in Psychology from Ramapo in 1990, graduating with Honors, including Cum Laude distinction.  She received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1993.  Ms. Denning was appointed to the Northern Region Advisory Council for New Jersey’s Youth Consultation Services.  She resides in River Edge.

Richard A. De Silva is the owner of Liberty Hyundai in Mahwah and Liberty Subaru in Emerson and MV-1 of North Jersey, both in Emerson. He serves on the Ramapo College Foundation Board of Governors.  He is the driving force behind the inaugural “Ramapo Rumble” Motorcycle Rally to benefit the Ramapo College Foundation and sponsors the college’s Performing Arts Dinner Series.  He opened the Subaru dealership in 1977, then located in Oradell.  His son, Rick Jr., serves as president and CEO.  For the past 25 years, Liberty Subaru has been one of the top 25 dealers in the nation.  Mr. De Silva’s other son, Mike, is president and CEO of the Hyundai dealership.  In 2010, Mr. De Silva was named chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA).  He has been recognized with the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award and the AIADA All Star Dealer Award. He has previously served as chairman of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers and the Subaru National Dealer Advisory Board.  Mr. De Silva has participated in Capitol Hill press conferences, and has appeared on ABC, CNN, FOX and MSNBC as an automobile industry professional.  He and his wife, Wendy, live in Mahwah.

Kevin Lobo is group president, Orthopaedics, Stryker Corporation, Mahwah.  Prior to his appointment to the position in June, 2011, he was group president, Neurotechnology and Spine.  He joined Stryker in April after nearly a decade at Johnson & Johnson, where he held a number of senior level leadership roles.  In his new role, he has responsibilities for the company’s Reconstructive, Trauma, Craniomaxillofacial (CMF), Joint Preservation, Extremities and Orthobiologics business units.  Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies and is dedicated to helping healthcare professionals perform their jobs more efficiently while enhancing patient care. The company offers a diverse array of innovative medical technologies, including reconstructive, medical and surgical, and neurotechnology and spine products to help people lead more active and satisfying lives. Mr. Lobo is a graduate of McGill University and received an MBA from the University of Toronto.  He resides in Wyckoff.

Thomas J. Shara is president and CEO of Lakeland Bancorp and Lakeland Bank in Oak Ridge.  Lakeland Bank is the third largest commercial bank headquartered in New Jersey with $2.7 billion in assets and 47 branches located in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties. Prior to joining Lakeland Bancorp, Mr. Shara served as president and chief lending officer of TD Banknorth’s Mid-Atlantic Division, which included New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.  Prior to TD Banknorth acquiring Hudson United Bank, he served as executive vice president and senior loan officer of Hudson United Bancorp.  He serves on the Ramapo College Foundation’s Board of Governors.  He is also vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Boys and Girls Club of Paterson, assistant treasurer/secretary of the Board of Trustees of Chilton Memorial Hospital, a member of the Board of Directors of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and a trustee of the New Jersey Banker’s Association.   Mr. Shara earned an MBA and as a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  He and his family reside in Wyckoff.

For media inquiries, please contact Cynthia Burns, public relations specialist, 201.684.7226 or


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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