(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 5, 2020
MAHWAH, N.J. – Ramapo College of New Jersey recently elected new officers to its Board of Trustees. Susan A. Vallario advanced to the position of Chair; Vincent P. Colman advanced to the position of Vice Chair; Gary L. Montroy advanced to the position of Treasurer; Sharlene S. Vichness was elected Secretary; and Breeanna Douglas was appointed Student Trustee. In addition, the College recognized the service and contributions of outgoing Chair William F. Dator and outgoing Treasurer David G. Schlussel.
Chair Susan A. Vallario succeeds Immediate Past Chair William F. Dator, whose three-year term expired in September 2020. During Dator’s tenure, the College celebrated its 50th Anniversary which, for Dator, a Mahwah resident and third generation real estate broker, was of special significance as he was part of the team that in 1970 sited the College at its current location in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains. During Dator’s service as Chair, the College advanced a major renovation of its Library and the addition of a Learning Commons, secured a very positive reaccreditation evaluation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, introduced multiple new academic programs, enrolled its largest and most diverse classes to date, and launched a national search for the College’s fifth president.
Trustee David G. Schlussel’s term as Treasurer also came to a close in September 2020. Schlussel, a founding member of Key Properties LLC, a full-service commercial real estate development firm dealing with all aspects of industrial, office, hi-tech, retail and residential properties, brought his financial and capital expertise to the Board for many years in his service as Treasurer. During his term, the College received positive ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s rating agencies while maintaining the lowest average tuition increase among all New Jersey colleges.
“The College is very fortunate to have a Board of Trustees whose members are actively engaged in discharging their important governance responsibilities while providing wise counsel and unstinting support to me and to the entire administration,” said Ramapo President Peter P. Mercer. “They play a central role in advancing the College mission and I look forward to continuing to work with them closely to meet the challenges that must be confronted in order to continue to provide our students with the best possible education.”
Chair Susan A. Vallario began her professional life as a Land Use Specialist for the State of New Jersey at the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission. After attending law school, she practiced land use, corporate, and commercial real estate law at Beattie Padovano in Montvale. Subsequently, as Vice President and co-owner of Kurt Versen Company, she was responsible for human resource management, financial management, and regulatory compliance. Chair Vallario earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Pace University School of Law, an M.A. in Social Relations, a B.A. in Government from Lehigh University, and taught as an adjunct faculty member at Montclair State University. While on the Board of Directors of the Employers Association of New Jersey (EANJ), Chair Vallario served as the Association’s Chair and as a member of its Executive Committee. She has been a member of the New Jersey Bar Association and the Editorial Board of its magazine, New Jersey Lawyer, as well as the Bergen County Bar Association, the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association, and Valley Hospital’s Women for Health.
“It’s an honor to serve with my fellow Trustees, and to work with Ramapo’s very dedicated administration, faculty, staff and students to guide the College through these challenging times,” said Chair Vallario. “Liberal arts institutions have much to offer as we look forward to the post-pandemic era, and Ramapo College—New Jersey’s premier public liberal arts college—is in a unique position to serve our state and community.”
Vice Chair Vincent “Vin” Colman is the New York Metro Vice Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He has more than 30 years of experience of serving large multi-national companies in the areas of accounting, auditing, financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and risk management. He previously served as the Firm’s U.S Assurance Managing Partner, leader of PwC’s National Office, and Vice-Chairman for the East Region. Vice Chair Colman held various leadership positions within the Firm, including the role of the U.S Advisory Operations Leader overseeing business unit operations, human resources, learning and education, finance, marketing and communications. Colman has also served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Ramapo College Foundation since 2009. In 2016, he was named to Irish America magazine’s “Wall Street 50” list which recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders of the financial industry. Trustee Colman earned a B.S., magna cum laude, in Accounting from St. John’s University and is a Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
Treasurer Gary L. Montroy has spent the majority of his career as a construction official in Bergen County, where he has been integral to the municipalities’ respective abilities to engineer and manage their physical and economic growth. Treasurer Montroy holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Public Administration from Rutgers University. He has served as an adjunct professor at Bergen Community College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Morris County Community College, and Passaic County Community College. He is the President of Professional Code Consultants and a Deacon for the Community Church in Glen Rock. He received an honorary discharge for service in the Republic of Vietnam with the United States Army and was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation medals.
Secretary Sharlene S. Vichness is Founder and President of Language Directions, LLC since 2005. She is certified by the State of New Jersey, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and Small Business Association as a 100 percent women-owned business and listed as an Eligible Training Provider in the State of New Jersey. As Secretary, she will continue her work as the Board’s liaison to the College’s Educational Opportunity Fund Program. Secretary Vichness attended William Smith College in Geneva New York, receiving her Bachelor of Arts with majors in French and Spanish. A strong advocate of the liberal arts, Trustee Vichness is an experienced teacher, coach, and mentor.
Student Trustee Breeanna Douglas is an accounting major with a double minor in information technology management and business analytics. Trustee Douglas is the Student Office Manager in the Office of Violence Prevention where she creates educational and engaging programs around topics related to sexual violence such as healthy relationships and bystander intervention. Trustee Douglas is also a Brother of Alpha Kappa Psi and is the treasurer of Ebony Women for Social Change. She is passionate about making Ramapo a diverse, accessible and inclusive place. In the future, Trustee Douglas aspires to be a disability rights advocate. She is a graduate of Lodi High School.
The government, control, conduct, management and administration of Ramapo College of New Jersey is vested through the State of New Jersey in the Board of Trustees. The Board holds the College in trust and stewards the College’s mission on behalf of that public interest, rather than any particular constituency of the 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 College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.
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, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.
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