Rider University’s Accounting Advisory Council inducted four successful alumni into the Accounting Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 2nd, at Pines Manor Restaurant in Edison, N.J. The 2013 honorees are Robert S. Schimek ’87, Sherise D. Ritter ’84, Honorable Peter A. Inverso ’60 and the late Professor George L. Battista ’43. The distinction recognizes Accounting alumni who have made significant contributions in the field of accounting, enhanced the image of accountants, and made noteworthy volunteer efforts outside the workplace.
As president and chief executive officer of EMEA Chartis’ rebranded AIG, Robert Schimeck is responsible for the organization’s insurance business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A CPA, he joined the organization as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the U.S. Property Casualty Group where he was responsible for all worldwide financial operations in 2005. In addition, he previously served as a partner at Deloitte & Touche for 18 years. At the firm, he was responsible for a wide range of financial institution clients in the insurance and mortgage banking businesses.
Since graduation, Schimek has maintained an active involvement with Rider University. Schimek is a long-term member of the President’s Council, as well as an alumni member of the Accounting Advisory Council. While with the Accounting department, he developed a co-op program at Chartis that provides an annual opportunity for more than 30 Rider Accounting and Finance majors to work at the firm’s New York location. Schimek also served as an adjunct professor at Rider and has been a speaker at many University events. Schimek’s daughter, Samantha, is presently an Education major at Rider.
Sherise Ritter, CPA, CGFM, PSA, currently serves as one of three female partners for The Mercadien Group, a regional, New Jersey-based financial services and consulting organization. Ritter’s areas of expertise include nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, and colleges and universities.
Ritter also serves as the chair of the Board of the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Hamilton Foundation Board, is a trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Board, and is the immediate past chair of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is also the former president and treasurer of the YWCA of Trenton. Ritter has been involved with the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, serving as one of the founding members of the Mercer Chapter Women’s Mentoring Program, and volunteered on the Women’s Business Advisory Board. As part of her involvement with the Hamilton Township Economic Development Advisory Commission, Ritter brought the Hamilton Marketplace to fruition.
As a member of the New Jersey State Society of CPAs’ Pay It Forward Program, Ritter has visited secondary schools to educate students about the benefits of a career in the accounting profession. She is also an active member of Rider University’s Accounting Advisory Council, where she serves as a guest speaker in the classroom. Ritter’s son, Matthew, is an Accounting major at Rider.
Peter Inverso, CPA, has served as president and CEO of Roma Bank since 2000, and President and CEO of Roma Financial Corporation since 2005. He served in the New Jersey State Senate from January 1992 to January 2008, representing the 14th Legislative District, which covers parts of Mercer and Middlesex counties, before choosing not to seek re-election in 2007. He served as assistant majority leader, chair of the State Government Committee, vice chair of Budget and Appropriations Committee, co-chair of Law and Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and deputy minority leader.
In the Senate, Inverso was the primary sponsor of major legislation, including Megan’s Law, the Megan’s Law Internet Notification Amendment, Electric Deregulation and Energy Competition Law, The Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Victim’s Impact Statement, the School Breakfast Program and the Outstanding Scholars Recruitment Program. He also introduced many ethics and reform bills and spearheaded legislative funding for vital municipal services that helped municipalities stabilize local property tax rates.
A past member of Rider University Board of Trustees, Inverso is the vice chair of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton; a member of the Board of Trustees of Robert Wood Johnson Healthcare Corp. at Hamilton; and chair of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation, among other affiliations.
From 1943 until his retirement in 1985, George Battista played an integral part in Rider history. Battista’s association with his alma mater spanned two campuses and four decades as an Accounting student and educator on the Trenton campus, to many years as a professor, department chair, associate dean and acting dean on the Lawrenceville campus. He died in 1998.
As an administrator, Battista led Rider’s Accounting Department to new levels of excellence and national visibility including initiating the highly successful accounting internship program and leading the drive for an MBA program. Battista was also a driving force behind the College of Business Administration’s initial quest for accreditation by AACSB, which is held by only 20 percent of colleges and universities worldwide.
Many students educated or advised by Battista not only passed the CPA exam, but also reached the top of their professions as partners in both large and small public accounting firms, CFOs, CEOs, department heads in state agencies, faculty members at the high school and college level, and as president of New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants. On a personal note, Battista encouraged his wife, Dr. Marianne Stankiewicz Battista ’56, M.A. ’70, associate professor emerita of Accounting, to leave public accounting in order to teach. To commemorate the Battistas’ many years of service to the University, Rider proudly established the George and Marianne Battista Scholarship in their honor. Through this award, future generations of accounting students benefit from the generosity of the Rider community.