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Ramapo College Foundation to Honor Three Distinguished Citizens on April 22

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 4, 2022

MAHWAH, N.J. –The Ramapo College Foundation will honor three individuals for their professional achievement, commitment and community service on Friday, April 22 at the Rockleigh Country Club in Rockleigh, New Jersey.

This signature event “Distinguished Citizens Gala” will recognize Ramapo alumnus John G. Brewster ’75, the honorable Craig J. Coughlin, Esq., and Dr. Balpreet Grewal-Virk for their dedication and support of the Ramapo College of New Jersey. Proceeds from the event benefit student scholarships, faculty and student undergraduate research and campus projects.

“The College is truly grateful for the dedication and service shown by these outstanding individuals,” said Dr. Angela Cristini, Executive Director of the Ramapo College Foundation. “We thank them for their support, commitment and determination to make a difference in the lives of so many in our community.”

JOHN G. BREWSTER ’75 is Managing Director of the Brewster Wealth Management Group at Ameriprise Financial Services. He is one of our most longstanding alumni to serve on the Ramapo’s Foundation Board of Governors having been appointed in 2005.

During his tenure, Mr. Brewster has served in committee leadership positions for the Foundation’s largest yearly fundraiser, The Distinguished Citizens Dinner as well as co-chairing the Golf Committee for over eight years. He continues to actively serve on both fundraising committees. In addition, he was instrumental in establishing the Ramapo Motorcycle Rally as well as providing the lead sponsorship gift for “An Evening at Darlington” fundraiser in 2018.

Mr. Brewster is a member of the Anisfield School of Business Alumni Advisory Board. He participated in the school’s recent AACSB accreditation process and earlier in 2002. He regularly attends ASB roundtable events and served in the Foundation’s Mentoring Program. Brewster Wealth Management continues to support the Ramapo College intern program and has been responsible for launching successful financial careers of many Ramapo students.

Mr. Brewster served in the United States Army from 1969-1971 as a medic. He graduated from Ramapo College in 1975 with a degree in Business Management and earned and his M.B.A from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1978.

A lifelong Mahwah resident, Mr. Brewster and his late wife, Kathy raised their two sons, Randall and Darrell in Kathy’s childhood home.  Randall is a partner in Brewster Wealth Management and Darrell graduated from Ramapo College in 2007. He has three grandchildren who currently attend the Mahwah schools; Kendall, Damon and McKenna. Mr. Brewster enjoys playing golf, motorsports and spending time with this family at his home in the Adirondacks.

Mr. Brewster continues to actively set and achieve high goals in his career and philanthropic endeavors.

THE HONORABLE CRAIG J. COUGHLIN, ESQ. is serving in his sixth term in the General Assembly representing the 19th Legislative District. In January 2018, he garnered the support of the Democratic caucus, becoming the chamber’s 171st Speaker.

Highlights of the Speaker’s legislative over his tenure in the legislature consists of a wide range of accomplishments which includes raising the state’s minimum wage, reforming the state’s economic and business incentives, expanding the state’s micro brewing industry, implementing automatic voter registration, and modernizing the state’s brownfield remediation process. His wealth of knowledge of government operations has led to several key pieces of legislation being passed into law, including boosts to school funding, revitalizing the workforce through childcare, and strengthening food security.

In partnership with dozens of area businesses and organizations, Speaker Coughlin also spearheads an annual bowling fundraiser that has raised over $300,000 to benefit local food pantries since its inception in 2010.

Before running for the Assembly in 2009, he was a member of the South Amboy Board of Education, then served as a City Councilman for six years. Speaker Coughlin has served in various legal capacities including as a municipal court judge, prosecutor and public defender.

He graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University in 1980 and then earn his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1983. Speaker Coughlin is a partner in Woodbridge-based law firm, Rainone, Coughlin, Minchello LLC. He and his wife, Letitia, have three sons—Craig Jr., Vincent and Nicholas.

BALPREET GREWAL-VIRK joined Hackensack Meridian Health in 2016 and serves as Vice President, Community Engagement, Northern Region. In that capacity, she provides leadership and oversight to system-wide community health initiatives and works to educate the local community on a variety of issues, ranging from disease prevention to COVID-19, and the harmful effects of vaping to informing the public on the opioid epidemic.

She earned her Ph.D. in Health and Medical Services from Seton Hall University, during which time she became involved in multiple political campaigns, including that of Senator Cory Booker, Senator Robert Menendez, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Governor Phil Murphy, becoming co-chair of the governor’s healthcare transition team.

Dr. Grewal-Virk was appointed to co-chair the Bi-State Gateway Development Commission and was featured among the ROI-NJ Influencers: Women in Business 2021 – Economic Development list for her efforts to advance the Gateway Project. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the Bergen County Democratic Committee and is an Advisory Trustee for Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The daughter of parents who migrated from Punjab, India, Dr. Grewal-Virk grew up in Westwood, N.J. She earned a master’s degree in Corporate & Organizational Communications and an MBA in Marketing, both from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Seton Hall University. Prior to joining Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Grewal-Virk was Marketing Director at her father’s oil company, headquartered in Mahwah, N.J.

She is an advocate for patients of spinal cord injury, having experienced her own father’s accident in 2012 and subsequent passing in 2020. Dr. Grewak-Virk has spoken at multiple forums about spinal cord injury, even addressing an audience at a Congressional Briefing, in Washington, D.C. She has shared the stage with Dr. Wise Young, the country’s leading researcher in spinal cord injury.

Dr. Grewal-Virk enjoys spending time with her husband, Yoginder, and their three children, Sifth 8, Mehma 4 and Fatehbir 1.

The reception buffet begins at 6 p.m., followed by a video presentation recognizing the honorees and a service auction. The committee chairs are Peter Seminara ’00 and Roy Putrino.

Sponsorship and participation information can be found at www.ramapo.edu/dcg/ or by contacting Liz Kloak at lkloak@ramapo.edu or 201-684-6834.

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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 Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

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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