Notes: Class Notes

’60s

Gary Werner ’68 is the CEO of Maryland-based Bantry Bay America. Under the brands of Bantry Bay or Next Wave Seafood, the company is the No. 1 brand of frozen value-added mussels in the United States.

’70s

Gail Sokolowski Thornton ’78 received the Atlas Award for Lifetime Achievement in International Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This award recognizes a public relations practitioner who has made extraordinary contributions to the practice and profession of public relations in an international environment over the span of his or her career. She also recently published a communications textbook along with three other editors, Strategic Employee Communication: Building a Culture of Engagement (Palgrave Macmillan). It features 27 essays by communicators in Latin America, the U.S. and emerging markets. Thornton is also the co-editor and author of an e-book published on Amazon and KindleDirect, The Voices of Patients, Hospital CEOs, Health Care Providers, Caregivers and Families: Personal Experience with Critical Care and Invasive Medical Procedures. She also writes for the Huffington Post and Thrive Global, as well as international health journals and public relations magazines.

Carol H. Berg ’74, ’76 was appointed state director of the Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS) Program within the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. VVFS provides care coordination and access to behavioral health and rehabilitative and supportive services to Virginia veterans and their family members. Berg received a bachelor's in education and her master's in counseling from Rider.

Jeffrey M. Welch ’79 was appointed chief executive officer of Florida Medical Center (FMC) and Tenet’s Miami-Dade Group, which consists of a network of five hospitals. He oversees all strategic, operational and clinical activities at FMC, and provides oversight and leadership for the other hospitals in the Miami-Dade Group. Welch received a bachelor’s from Rider and a master’s from Rutgers University.

’80s

James Buonemani ’80 directed the Choir of Saint James' recently released album Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New. Buonemani earned his master's in church music from Westminster Choir College.

Tony Cortese ’81 is now senior vice president and regional manager of People’s United Bank. He was previously employed at Santander Bank for more than 15 years. Cortese received his bachelor’s in accounting from Rider and is a member of the CFA and New Jersey Society of CPAs.

Harvey Goldhersz ’81 joined the IRI Media Center of Excellence as executive vice president of data and innovation. IRI is a provider of big data, predictive analytics and insights that assist health care organizations, retailers, financial services and media companies. Goldhersz earned a bachelor’s from Rider.

Steve Todd ’81 was named the regional distribution director of the Bucks County Courier Times, where he is now responsible for managing circulation operations, distribution, strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting for several newspapers. Todd received a bachelor’s in journalism and history from Rider.

Charles K. Miller ’82, ’84 was appointed a member of the Alliance MMA’s board of directors in October 2018. A certified public accountant, Miller graduated from Rider with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration.

Theodore Byer ’89 of Smolin Lupin & Co. was just recently selected as Top CPA of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the industry. Byer received a Bachelor of Arts from Muhlenberg College in 1979, his Master of Business Administration from Rider in 1989 and a certificate in financial planning from Fairleigh Dickenson University in 2002.

Kenneth J. Stephon ’89 was named president of William Penn Bancorp, Inc., the mid-tier holding company for William Penn Bank, on Oct. 1, 2018. He first joined William Penn as senior executive vice president, chief operating officer and director as part of a merger with Audubon Savings Bank, where Stephon served as president, CEO and director. He brings more than 35 years of community banking experience to the organization. He received a bachelor’s in accounting from Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey) and a master's in business administration from Rider.

'90s

Cathy Davis ’91 was promoted and named a principal of MSPC Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, which provides assurance, tax, and consulting services to a wide-range of industries with offices in New York and New Jersey. A CPA, Davis received a bachelor’s in accounting and finance from Rider.

Dean H. Forman ’91 was named the new chief operating officer of Chapters Health System and its affiliates in the fall of 2018. In 2017, the organization served almost 19,000 patients and families across eight counties in Florida. Forman brings more than 16 years of experience in hospice operations to the role. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Management and Organizational Development from Rider and Master of Business Administration from La Salle University.

Santos Torres Jr. ’91, ’95 was selected as a finalist for the Trailblazer Award from PM360, a health-marketing industry trade magazine. Established in 2009, the Trailblazer Awards are given to outstanding companies, marketers, marketing teams, brand managers and initiatives representing the best the industry has to offer. Santos has more than 20 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry.

Steve Rummel ’92 was appointed vice president and business relationship officer of Kearny Bank, with a focus on Passaic and Essex counties in New Jersey. Rummel received a bachelor’s in marketing from Rider.

Susan Manzi ’97 was named chief financial officer of Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, South Jersey’s largest and oldest not-for-profit hospice organization. A certified public accountant and a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, she earned a master’s in healthcare administration from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and a bachelor’s in accounting from Rider.

Michael D. Adasczik ’97, ’98 was appointed vice president of finance and chief accounting officer of B&G Foods. A certified public accountant, Adasczik received his bachelor’s in accounting and master’s in business administration from Rider.

Cheryl Cohen ’98 joined Santander Bank as senior vice president and national business development officer for the health care industry. Cohen received a bachelor’s in finance and accounting from Stockton University and a master’s in business administration from Rider.

Joseph Giquinto ’99 was promoted to vice president of finance at Edison Partners, a growth equity investment firm. He earned a bachelor’s in accounting from Rider. Heather Hodsden ’99 self-published a book, Women Who Hate Other Women, last year.

'00s

Peter P. Pfreundschuh ’00 was appointed chief financial officer of UroGen Pharma Ltd., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical, in August 2018. Pfreundschuh previously served as the CFO of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and CircuLite, Inc. He received a bachelor’s in accounting from Rutgers University and a master’s in business administration from Rider.

Bryan Yurcan ’02, a financial technology reporter for American Banker, was hired by Caliber, a marketing communications firm focusing on the fintech, financial services and professional services sectors, last summer. He had been a senior writer at American Banker since November 2015, covering all aspects of banking and banking technology. He also moderated webcasts and live panels, and had been a speaker at industry conferences. He received a bachelor’s in English from Rider.

Lauren (Rogers) Lynch ’03 was promoted to chief marketing officer of Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C., a full-service law firm in Roseland, N.J. She has more than 15 years of experience providing strategic marketing advice to professional service firms and in her new role is responsible for guiding the marketing and branding efforts of the 80-attorney, 27-practice area firm. She received her bachelor's, cum laude, from Rider where she majored in journalism and public relations with a minor in advertising.

Stephen O’Brien ’03 was appointed director of SolomonEdwards, a national professional services firm. In the role, he is responsible for serving clients in the Houston metro area with complex accounting, reporting and strategic transaction initiatives. O’Brien received his master's in accounting from Rider and a bachelor’s in history from Fordham University.

Reggie Rashad Walker ’05, ’08 and Zuri Walker ’08, along with their son Guy Rashad Walker, welcomed their daughter Ryder Julia Walker on Oct. 17, 2018. She is the couple's second child and named in honor of their alma mater where they met in the summer of 2004 in the Educational Opportunity Program.

Digesh Patel ’06, ’08 was promoted to managing director of The Mercadien Group and principal in Mercadien, P.C., CPAs. He has been employed with Mercadien since completing his college internship with the firm in 2006. Patel received a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in business administration from Rider.

J.P. Krahel ’06, ’08 was granted tenure and named associate professor of accounting at Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management. Krahel, whose research interests include accounting standards and continuous auditing, was an instructor in the department of accounting and information systems at Rutgers Business School before joining Loyola. He received a doctorate in accounting from Rutgers University and a master’s in accounting and bachelor’s in English from Rider.

Howard Moore ’07 was appointed vice president in the marketing division of Gerber Finance. In the role, he is responsible for generating, analyzing, structuring and managing new client relationships. Moore received a bachelor’s in liberal studies from Rider.

Kelly A. Williams ’07 was selected to be a Delaware Business Times 40 Under 40 (DBT 40) award recipient. DBT 40 is a select group of the region’s best and brightest young professionals, all under the age of 40, who are making a difference with their intelligence, initiative and innovation.

Jonathan Chebra ’09 was named senior director of federal affairs for The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA). In the role, Chebra will serve as the chief advocate for NJHA’s members’ legislative priorities at the federal level and coordinate responses to regulatory developments.

'10s

Meredith McCarthy ’10 and Kyle Thompson-Bass ’10, who met at Rider, are engaged to be married.

Joseph Ferber ’11 joined Frenkel & Company’s operations in New York as a principal. He is responsible for new business development; management of property/casualty insurance programs; and providing risk management strategies and solutions. Ferber received a bachelor’s in finance and economics from Rider, where he was also a member of the wrestling team.

Bill Finnegan ’11 was named a principal of Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. In this role he will help grow the company’s Center City office in Philadelphia and focus on his specialty of corporate tenant representation. Finnegan brings 20-plus years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young. Most recently, he served as a senior vice-president at Jones Lang LaSalle in Philadelphia. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Rider and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from St. Joseph’s University.

Dr. Amy Lynn Werda ’11 graduated in May 2018 from Salus University, Pennsylvania College of Optometry. She will be doing a residency at Omni Eye Services, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases.

Caitlin Cronin ’13 and Tyler Bakely ’14 met during Cronin’s junior year. After six years together, the couple became engaged in April 2017.

Jaclyn Giameo ’13 and Kevin Noon ’12 are engaged with plans for a May wedding. The pair met at Rider, where Giameo played tennis and Noon played basketball.

Cody McElyea ’13 and Courtney Stuck ’13, ’18, who transferred to Rider together in 2011, were married on July 14, 2018, in Marlton, N.J., with many Rider alumni in attendance and in the bridal party.

Kara Reedy ’13 and Ryan Carson ’15 met during a class in 2011 at Rider. They were married in September 2017 and welcomed a baby boy in December.

Zachary DeBevec ’14, who received a bachelor’s from Rider, performed in Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn in the fall at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre. He previously performed as an understudy in the Walnut’s 2017 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Emily Reese ’14 and Justin Geissler ’14, ’15 are engaged with plans to marry in August. They met their senior year at Rider.

Salina Vitale ’14 and Kevin Smith ’14 met at orientation on July 11, 2010, and were dating two weeks into the academic year. In July 2018, the pair became engaged, with plans to marry in September.

Kyle Anacker ’15, ’17 and Emily Lieb ’16, who dated for three years while students at Rider, are now engaged with plans to marry in November.

Brian Kelley ’15 and Karryne MacLean ’15 are engaged with plans to marry in July.

Jane-Ellen Lennon ’15 was named interim principal at the Toll Gate Grammar School in Hopewell, N.J., by the Hopewell Valley Regional School District Board of Education in August. She earned a bachelor’s in sociology from Rollins College, a master’s in elementary education and teaching from The College of New Jersey, and a master’s in educational leadership from Rider.

Frank Romano Jr. ’10 ’15 and his wife, Tarah, are excited to share the birth of their son, Thomas Michael, who was born on Feb. 12. Tommy was excited to don his Bronc bib!

Rebecca Smith ’15, ’16 was promoted to the position of senior account executive at R&J Strategic Communications, a full service integrated marketing and public relations agency. In the role, Smith will continue to lead day-to-day account activities for her clients in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors, while expanding her role in the development of account strategies and oversight of team members. Smith graduated summa cum laude from Rider with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a Master of Arts in Business Communication.

Matthew Wagner ’15, ’16 and Kimberly Amato ’15, ’16, who met as students and completed their undergraduate and graduate degrees together, became engaged to be married on Sept. 27, 2018.

Stanley Clark ’16 was awarded a Princeton in Asia (PiA) Fellowship for the 2018-19 fellowship cycle to teach at Northeastern University in Shenyang, China. Victoria Trucksess ’16 studied coral reefs, manatees, howler monkeys, jaguars and other wildlife last summer while learning the methods communities are using to sustain them in Belize. Trucksess, a water resources intern at Delaware River Basin Commission, lives in Hackettstown, N.J., and is a graduate student in Miami University’s Global Field Program.

Paige Cornell ’17 has been named a video editor at Skydive Jersey in Pittstown, N.J.

Ryan Wolfe ’17 and Chelsea Conover ’18 became engaged on Feb. 2, during a Rider wrestling match. At the same match, Ryan's mother, Julie, was honored for winning her recent battle with breast cancer. The couple says Rider has played a very important role in their lives and their relationship. Ryan is the assistant wrestling coach at Rider and Chelsea is a preschool teacher.

Daniel Saforo ’18 and Carmita Charles ’17 were engaged on Oct. 13, 2018, and plan to marry on Sept. 7, 2019. To commemorate their engagement and where they met, the couple had their photos taken on Rider's campus by fellow alumna Emily Kelley ’17.

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