Sean Ramsden

Three Rider University alumni who became leading executives in business and finance have been elected to the Rider Board of Trustees. President Mordechai Rozanski recently announced the selection of former Board Chair Gary Shapiro ’72 and Board member Michael Kennedy ’72, ’75, who are joined by first-time appointee Will Stephens ’75, to serve three-year terms on the Board.

“I am delighted to welcome all three as members of the Board of Trustees,” Rozanski said. “They bring us their impressive leadership experiences and a passion for their alma mater. I look forward to their wise counsel as we continue Rider University’s many advances.”

Shapiro and Kennedy return to the Board after a one-year hiatus. According to Rider’s bylaws, members of the Board are limited to three consecutive three-year terms, after which they must leave the Board for at least a year prior to being re-elected.

Shapiro, a member of the Board from 1999 to 2008, served as chairman of the Board for the last two years of his previous term. He is the president of Tropico Management, LP, a private equity and management company which, with its predecessor companies, has invested in more than 30 businesses over a nearly 30 year period.

In addition to his service to the Board of Trustees, Shapiro has chaired the University Advancement and Senior Compensation Committees and served as a member of the Human Resources and Westminster ad hoc Committees. He was instrumental in raising funds for Rider’s new Student Recreation Center and along with his wife, Stacy, led the creation of Westminster’s Circle of Leaders. Shapiro currently serves on the Executive, Business Affairs and University Advancement Committees for the Board.

As a Trustee, Shapiro also made the Annual Fund a top priority, working closely with University Advancement staff to increase contributions by 15 percent and alumni participation by 700 donors. He partnered with fellow Trustee Bill Rue to establish the Trustee Challenge, which led to a 100 percent increase in Trustee contributions to the Annual Fund since fiscal year 2006.

Shapiro, who received the Life Achievement Award in 1998 from the College of Business Administration, earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Rider in 1972. He and Stacy live in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Kennedy joined the Board in 1999 after several years of membership on Rider’s Business Advisory Council. During his eight-year tenure on the Board, he served as Chair of the Audit and Business Affairs committees and as a member of the Executive and Westminster ad hoc committees. He currently serves on the Executive and Audit committees and chairs the Business Affairs committee.

Kennedy recently retired as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and tax leader of the Private Company Services tax practice and had served as national director of the firms’ Personal Financial Services practice. He had been with the firm for more than 26 years.

A 1997 recipient of the Life Achievement Award from the College of Business Administration, Kennedy began teaching as an adjunct at Rider in fall 2008 in the College of Business Administration following several years as an adjunct instructor at LaSalle University and Villanova Law School. He graduated from Rider in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and an M.B.A. in 1975. He and his wife, Debbie, also a 1972 Rider graduate, live in Moorestown, N.J.
Stephens, vice president for International Government Affairs at Johnson & Johnson, is a first-time appointee to Rider’s Board of Trustees. He has, however, spent significant time in service to the University as a member of Rider’s Science Advisory Board. He has also been involved with the University’s Executive M.B.A. and certificate programs for science executives. Stephens serves on the Human Resources and University Advancement committees.

Following his service as captain in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1982, Stephens began working at Johnson & Johnson as a production supervisor. He held various human resources positions at J&J’s Eastern Surgical Dressing Plant and J&J Consumer Products before being named vice president of Human Resources at J&J Orthopedics in 1992.

In 2001, Stephens was named to the Board of J&J Vistakon Franchise as its global human resources head. He serves on the boards of the National Foreign Trade Council, the Medical Education of South African Blacks (as Vice Chair), New Brunswick Tomorrow, and The Corporate Council on Africa.

Stephens earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Rider in 1975 and an M.B.A. from Central Michigan University in 1984. He and his wife, Sybil, live in Manalapan, N.J.