Ramapo College Board of Trustees Installs New Officers

Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ

Ramapo College of New Jersey recently elected new officers to its Board of Trustees. William F. Dator, who has been actively involved with the College since 1970, was elected Chair. Susan A. Vallario advanced to the position of Vice Chair; Gary L. Montroy was elected Secretary; and David G. Schlussel continues in his role as Treasurer. In addition, Berly Rivera was sworn in as Student Trustee and Karen Aguirre will serve as Alternate Student Trustee.

“Ramapo College continues to be well-served by members of the Board who are diligent fiduciaries, trusted advisors, and influential advocates for our liberal arts mission,” said President Peter P. Mercer.”I look forward to the Board’s continuing leadership and support.”

Chair William “Bill” F. Dator was born in India but moved to his father’s home in Mahwah at an early age. He is a third generation real estate broker and is currently associated with the Mahwah office of Special Properties-Christie’s International Real Estate. Chair Dator attended Monmouth University and studied real estate appraisal at the University of Indiana, the University of Connecticut, and the University of San Francisco Law School. He was formerly Chairman of the Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority, is currently Vice Chairman of the Mahwah Board of Adjustment, and is an active member of the Mahwah Office of Emergency Management. Chair Dator has volunteered in several leadership roles including: President of the Mahwah Chamber of Commerce, Battalion Chief with the Mahwah Fire Department, President of the Mahwah Ambulance Corps, and is a Trustee of the Mahwah Museum. Professionally, he has served as a Director of Independence Bank and Commerce Bank North.

Chair Dator succeeded Immediate Past Chair George C. Ruotolo, Jr., CFRE, whose term expired.  During his tenure as Chair of the Ramapo College Board, the Board implemented a comprehensive Board Development Program, established policy on presidential evaluation, completed renovations of the science complex and construction of the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence, and advanced the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Compliance. Ruotolo, counselor to non-profit organizations and institutions, has been a professional fundraising and public relations executive since 1973. He is Chair and CEO of Ruotolo Associates, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Vice 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. Vice Chair Vallario 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, 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), Vice Chair Vallario served as the EANJ’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.

Secretary 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. Secretary 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.

Treasurer David G. Schlussel is one of the founding members 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 based in Teaneck. Treasurer Schlussel has served on the Board of Education for Yavneh Academy and is former Chairman of Adult Education for the Jewish Center of Teaneck. He is the founder and Chairman of the Yale Alumni Real Estate Association. He is Chairman Emeritus of NORPAC and has lectured at New York University on real estate development. He holds a B.S. from Yale University and an M.S. from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Berly Rivera, of Newark, New Jersey, is a senior and Educational Opportunity Fund student majoring in Law and Society and double minoring in Women and Gender Studies and Human Rights and Genocide Studies. Her campus involvement includes employment as the Student Women’s Outreach Coordinator and Student Queer Peer Services Coordinator for the Women’s Center, Educational Opportunity Fund Student Peer Mentor, Resident Assistant for the Village, member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and previously Senator-at-Large for the Student Government Association. Trustee Rivera is passionate about advocacy, intersectional feminism, and social justice.

Karen Aguirre, of West New York, New Jersey, is a sophomore and Educational Opportunity Fund student majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Studies. Her campus involvement includes service as a Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassador, Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies Dean’s Student Advisory Council, a School of Social Sciences and Human Services Research Assistant, and previously Senator-at-Large for the Student Government Association. Trustee Aguirre completed the College’s Leaders in Service program which allows incoming first-year students the opportunity to become involved with service projects, political engagement, and leadership opportunities at Ramapo before their first semester even begins. Trustee Aguirre is passionate about improving the accessibility of higher education and the equality of the public education system.

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.