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Ramapo College Names Four to Board of Trustees

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 5, 2015

MAHWAH, N.J. – Ramapo College has named four members to its Board of Trustees during recent meetings. New trustees are Charles A. Shotmeyer, Bartholomew J. Talamini, Susan A. Vallario and Sharlene S. Vichness. In addition, Josef “Joey” Weikl was named Student Trustee and Stephen Geerlof was named Alternate Student Trustee for the 2015-16 academic year.

“As Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am very pleased to welcome Trustees Shotmeyer, Talamini, Vallario, and Vichness,” said George C. Ruotolo, Jr. “Their appointments to the Board enhance the diversity of our collective talents, experiences, and perspectives, which supports me and positions the Board to provide greater insight to, advocacy for, and oversight of Ramapo College.”

Charles H. Shotmeyer’s professional career spans three industries- energy, healthcare and Trustee Charles A. Shotmeyerbanking. He is president of Shotmeyer Brothers, Inc., a New Jersey-based energy company. His areas of expertise include financial management, commercial lending, feasibility analysis, budgeting, transaction structuring and analytical review. He is integrally involved in the development and structural phases of capital projects, asset review and financing options.

“As a life-long resident of Bergen County and an area business owner, I have watched Ramapo grow over the years,” said Trustee Shotmeyer. “Its liberal arts mission is laudable particularly in times like these when communities and small business are increasingly tasked with thinking critically to arrive at solutions to shared challenges.”

Trustee Shotmeyer, of Hawthorne, N.J., is also involved in civic and non-profit organizations, including the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America, among others. He holds a B.S. and an M.A. from Babson College and resides in Bergen County with his family.

Bartholomew J. Talamini enjoyed a robust career as a public education professional in New Jersey, spending much of his career as a member of the Cliffside Park school district. He maintains the following state certifications: Chief School Administrator, Superintendent of Schools (Finance), Administration/Principal Pre K -12, Supervisor Pre K-12, Reading Specialist K-12 and teacher of social studies and English.

“From having once assisted with coaching Ramapo’s basketball team to serving as a k-12 educator in the state, I am keen to bring an educator’s perspective to the Board’s deliberations,” said Trustee Talamini. “I think Ramapo has a wealth of talent. From what I can see, its students are top notch and the institutional mission is delivered by so many passionate and talented people—I look forward to including myself among them.”

Trustee Talamini, of Waretown, N.J., attended New Jersey City University, Montclair State University and Seton Hall University.

Susan A. Vallario began her professional life as a Land Use Specialist for the State of New Trustee Susan A. VallarioJersey 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, N.J. Subsequently, as vice president and co-owner of Kurt Versen Company, a family-held manufacturing firm in Westwood, N.J., she was responsible for human resources management, financial management and regulatory compliance.

“Ramapo College initially attracted me because I believe firmly in the value of a liberal arts education. Studies which emphasized critical thinking, research, and writing skills have helped me to navigate a varied career and problem-solve throughout my adult life,” said Trustee Vallario. “The dedication and creativity of Ramapo’s administration and faculty impress me tremendously.  I hope to add my efforts to theirs, working to provide our students a challenging, engaging experience that will enrich their lives and prepare them for rewarding careers.”

Trustee Vallario, of Upper Saddle River, N.J., earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Pace University School of Law, an M.A. in Social Relations and a B.A. in Government from Lehigh University. During 11 years on the Board of Directors of the Employers Association of New Jersey, Trustee Vallario served as the EANJ’s chair and as a member of its executive committee. She is a member of Valley Hospital’s Women for Health and an active supporter of the Community Food Bank of N.J. She and her husband, Nick, have recently endowed Career Development Pathways programs at the College.

Sharlene S. Vichness, of Roseland, N.J., is founder and president of Language Directions, LLC, Trustee Sharlene S. Vichnesssince 2005. She is certified by the State of New Jersey, WBWNC and SBA as a 100 percent women-owned business and listed as an Eligible Training Provider in the State of New Jersey. “As a graduate of a small liberal arts college, I am a lifelong, passionate believer in the enduring value of a solid liberal arts education,” said Trustee Vichness. “I wanted to become a trustee to “give back” and do what I can to enable others to receive the benefits of a strong liberal arts education by supporting Ramapo to the best of my ability and energy.  I look forward to bringing my background as a language professional, entrepreneur, and civically involved woman to support the goals and mission of Ramapo College of New Jersey.”

She 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. She is married to the Honorable Paul J. Vichness, Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Josef “Joey” Weikl, of Ridgefield, N.J., is majoring in economics and pursuing a minor in mathematics. He is a member of multiple honor societies. He has served in the Office of Institutional Advancement as the Student Governor, as a Resident Assistant for the past two years in Mackin Hall and he has worked extensively with first-year students. He competed for three years as a member of the Ramapo College track team. He has completed internships with Hanabergh and Associates and UBS Financial Services in Paramus. Upon graduation, he plans to either attend graduate school to study economics or work in the finance industry.

Stephen Geerlof, of Maywood, N.J., is majoring in accounting. In addition to being the Alternate Student Trustee, he is a student aide in the admissions office, an Orientation Leader and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. “As alternate student trustee, I look forward to providing my perspective to the Board on a range of issues including quality of instruction, student engagement, and campus climate,” said Geerlof. “Further, my service to the Board also presents me with a unique opportunity to learn from many talented and accomplished individuals.” Upon completing his college studies, he plans to sit for the CPA exam and pursue a career in accounting.

College President Peter P. Mercer shared, “For the first time in a decade, we have a full complement of trustees and I feel very fortunate to have the benefit of their efforts and advice.”

More information on the Ramapo College of New Jersey Board of Trustees is available at www.ramapo/edu/board


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

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 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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