Alumni honored for volunteerism, leadership and achievements
Four distinguished Rider University alumni were honored at the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 10, as a part of the annual Rider Reunions, which brought six decades of graduates back to the Lawrenceville campus. The award recipients were honored for volunteerism, leadership and outstanding achievements throughout their careers.
Col. Kenneth J. Tozzi ’84, who received the Harold L. Conover Leadership Award, was honored for his loyal and devoted career as a leader in government and public service. Tozzi earned his bachelor’s in political science from Rider before adding a Juris Doctor and two Master of Law degrees. After beginning his career as a criminal law attorney, Tozzi taught constitutional, criminal and military law to undergraduates at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. He is currently chief and senior appellate judge for the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, where he has authored more than 25 appellate opinions on complex issues of military criminal law.   
Robert S. Schimek ’87 received the Distinguished Alumni Award for achieving exceptional attainments in life, thereby reflecting credit and glory on Rider University. Schimek is the executive vice president and chief executive officer of Commercial at AIG, the culmination of a series of leadership roles at AIG. Prior to AIG, he was partner at Deloitte & Touche for 18 years, and he worked closely with several global financial institutions that included MetLife, Prudential and Merrill Lynch. Schimek received his bachelor’s from Rider and earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  He sits on Rider’s Board of Trustees, and from 2000 to 2005, he taught at least one class per semester as an adjunct faculty member, opening doors for students in a similar manner as the Rider professors who taught him. 
Nico E. Tramontana ’10 received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. After earning his bachelor’s in accounting with honors, Tramontana joined KillBrand Apparel, a clothing business based in Long Branch and Millville, N.J., in 2007 as a sales associate. He became chief operations officer in 2010, where he successfully continued to increase the company’s sales and net income. In 2013, Tramontana started his own clothing venture, Vandal Collective, in Millville, N.J. He also finds time to be a civic-minded volunteer, serving as a team leader in an effort to maintain playgrounds in urban areas and volunteering frequently with Special Olympics.

Michael J. Hennessy ’82 received the Gordon E. Prichard ’63 Award for Volunteer Service for his exemplary efforts in providing volunteer service to Rider. Since 2008, he has been an active and committed Rider University trustee serving as a member of the Executive, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Senior Compensation and University Advancement committees.  A volunteer supporter for the University’s Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics, Hennessy also established the Hennessy Fund that provides funding for Institute’s events, special appearances, mailings and student internships. Beyond his efforts in Rider’s community, Hennessy is the CEO of Michael J. Hennessy Associated In., a healthcare communications company in Cranbury, N.J. 

All recipients were present at the ceremony except for Hennessy, who was unable to attend.