Meet The Board
(To Review A Member's Personal Profile, Click On That Member's Name)
Peter Lyons '73, Chair
Virginia Gilcrest GC '67, Vice Chair & Committee Chair
Thomas Libonate '64, Chair Emeritus & Committee Chair
James Cole, Committee Chair
James Donnelly, Committee Chair
Janet Jago Keating GC '70, Committee Chair
Kevin Mahoney, Committee Chair
William Trelease '72, Committee Co-Chair
Brother John Dunning, FMS
Tom Fischetti '70
Sal Garcia '99
Joe Higgins '72
Tom Higgins '73
John Hoffman '69
Mohamed Jalloh '97
John O'Neil, Ex-Officio
Brother Dan O'Riordan, FMS
Ed Sisk '75
Lydia Tobiasz '01
Robert Stckles '66, RC President Emeritus
Board Member Profiles
James Cole '66
Jim heads the Finance & Budget Committee, having served as the Board's first Vice-Chair of the Board for nine years. He is a proud member of the Class of 1966, the first class to spend their entire four years at the Raritan Road campus of Roselle Catholic.
Jim’s extensive accounting/finance experience began locally with MacArthur Petroleum & Solvents Company. But Jim’s real story, and his passion to serve on our Board, is a bit more involved.
In 1983, Jim decided it was time to realize a dream he first had while at RC, left his career and became a Peace Corps Volunteer. In less then six months, Jim found himself in Botswana, in Southern Africa and stayed there for four years as a Volunteer.
After returning to US, Jim joined the U.S. Agency for Int’l Development (USAID) in a financial management role, and later joined headquarters staff at Peace Corps in Washington, DC. In his position as Partnership Development Coordinator, he was responsible for initiating discussions and maintaining relations with other U.S. Government (USG) agencies exploring inter-agency collaborations. Jim managed agreements that provided additional resources to the Peace Corps, from both USG agencies, and corporate and foundation donors.
Since his relocation back to New Jersey, Jim has been employed by the City of Rahway in its Revenue and Finance office.
Jim Donnelly, who heads the newly established Alhletics and Facilities Committee, has been a member of the New Jersey State Bar since 1995. Assistant United State Attorney assigned to the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit where he prosecutes violent crimes, weapons and drug offenses, and racketeering cases for the District of New Jersey. He has, without a doubt, been a helpful and reliable resource for Pat Hagan during Pat’s tenure as Assistant Principal.
Jim Donnelly is not a graduate of Roselle Catholic. He graduated from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark. Jim is, however, a LION, at heart … and, he also has a Lion’s heart.
Jim is a great coach, having served as coach of our JV Boys Basketball Team. He knows how to motivate kids … he is able to instill in them a value system while they are having fun. With his wife, Kim, Jim also moderated the Mock Trial Team.
The values RC attempts to instill in students at would be much more difficult to accomplish without the personal example and teaching of coaches like Jim. One of the most significant contributions Jim has made to the RC community is the development of a Philosophy of Athletics that guides the entire athletic program as a single entity.
Brother John Dunning, FMS
Raised in New York City, a center of Marist activity, Brother John Dunning, has been a Marist Brother for over forty years. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Marist College, a Master of Arts in Teaching Degree from Webster University, and a Master of Social Work Degree from Boston College. Over his long and distinguished career, he has been a teacher and counselor in Marist schools in Texas, New York and New Jersey, and has done social work in various agencies in Brooklyn as well.
He currently serves as a Guidance Counselor at St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, New Jersey (an Archdiocese of Newark regional high school, like RC) where he has introduced that community to the Marist charism. He is also active in the Marist Brothers' programs at their retreat facility in Esopus, New York, both during the school year and during the summertime, when he directs food services for young campers and their counselors.
Tom Fischetti '70
Tom, who grew up in Elizabeth, graduated from RC in the Class of 1970, and has been an ardent supporter of the school for many years. Through his company Eastern Sheet Metal, he has contributed to countless projects on the RC campus. Recently, he has helped in the fabrication and fit-up of RC’s dynamic new learning center: Lab 2020, and is always available for help and advice with facility improvements. His experience and talents are certainly an asset to the work of the Board’s Physical Plant & Campus Safety Committee, of which he is an active member and contributor
Tom and his wife, Nancy Wischusen Fischetti, reside in Cranford, and have two children together, Matthew and Mary, who are also RC alumni.
Sal Garcia '99
Sal, a first generation Cuban-American born in Elizabeth, NJ, is a 1999 graduate of Roselle Catholic. Still living in this urban setting, Sal understands the needs and potentials of these neighborhoods.
He founded a construction company known as MAS, which is currently responsible for many large-scale urban redevelopments.
His humble beginnings molded his philosophy that “with a can do attitude anything is possible.” Sal has the ability the envision thriving communities where others see areas that are unsalvageable. He has always been inspired by his father’s wisdom. He instilled in Sal from a very young age that “there are no problems, only situations.”
Sal has a firm ethical stance and a fervent resolve to be successful. He volunteers on many boards and committees. Some of these are: the New Jerey Hispanic Markets Committee, Next Generation Committee, Governmental Relations Committee, the Union County Workforce Investment Board and the Elmora Youth League Board. In July-August 2014 he was featured in an article titled “Tomorrow’s Leaders - New Jersey in an edition of the Real Estate Forum.
Sal’s firm ethical stance, fervent resolve to be successful, strong commitment to the community and experience are qualities that will be invaluable to our Board and its Physical Plant & Campus Safety Committee.
Virginia Gilcrest GC '67
Virginia, who is better known as Gina, growing up in Roselle and attending St. Joe’s, is part of Girls Catholic history, having graduated in the first GCHS class. Also, as a parent of two 2011 RC grads she has been immersed in, and has been involved first hand with the community, culture and values of RC her entire life.
Gina is well suited to head the Board’s Academics and Technology Committee, as currently she is Principal of the Ernest J. Finizio, Aldene Elementary School in Roselle Park, and holds degrees in Biology from Montclair State and an advanced degree (MA) from Kean University in Educational Administration, as well as a Registered Nursing Degree from Elizabeth General School of Nursing. Her career, since 1971, has taken her into the classroom as a Middle School teacher; as a Staff Nurse, Special Care Nursery; as Co-director/teacher of a preschool in Guatemala; as a Science and Computer teacher in Middle School; to her current administrative role as a school Principal.
For over 30 years Gina has been involved in youth/girls athletics, coaching softball and basketball, and is currently assisting as an AAU girls basketball coach.
In addition to Gina’s many personal talents, experiences, and achievements (oh yeah, she ran in the 1995 NYC Marathon), along with her dedication to RC, she undoubtedly provides our Board with the much needed and desired Girls Catholic representation.
Joseph Higgins '72
Tom Higgins '73
Joe is a 1972 graduate of Roselle Catholic. He received a degree in accounting from Seton Hall University. Joe became a financial consultant with Merrill Lynch in 1983 first in Atlanta and then became manager of the Wall Township, NJ office in 1996. After 26 years, Joe joined UBS Financial Services where he stayed for 7 years. He is now advising clients at Ameriprise Financial in Red Bank.
Joe is very involved in community service. He served as President of the Brielle Chamber of Commerce, and as Board members of Coastal Habitat for Humanity, The Algonquin Arts Theatre, Seton Hall Advisory Council, and the Wall High School Business and Finance Academy. He is also an active volunteer for The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.
His strong belief in giving back to those institutions and mentors who helped mold his character was the motivation for Joe to reconnect with his alma mater, Roselle Catholic. He feels that today more than ever society needs places like Roselle Catholic to educate and guide our young people. Joe is committed to the long term growth and success of RC and strongly believes Roselle Catholic's best years are yet to come.
Joe will be an asset to the RC Board's Finance & Budget Committee.
Tom graduated RC, Class of 1973, where he competed on champion track teams that were part of RC's nationally renowned track program of the 60's and early 70's. He attended Manhattan College after RC, graduating magna cum laude in May 1977, with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting, and became a CPA in 1981.
Tom brings his experience to the Board, sitting on the Budget & Finance Committee. He is Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Finance of the College Board, where he provides both operational and programmatic support to the organization, oversees the finance and procurement units, and is the chief financial spokesperson for the organization. In great measure from his experience with the College Board he has made major contributions to our critical tuition aid initiatives.
John Hoffman '69
John is a life long resident of Roselle, having graduated from St. Joseph School and Roselle Catholic in the class of 1969. He received his BA degree from Manhattan College, and MA degree from Kean University. He holds executive certifications in Negotiation, Advanced Negotiations, and Strategies for Conflict Management from the University of Notre Dame.
John is the President of Designed Performance, a New York City based management consulting and training organization specializing in the research, design, and implementation of sales, negotiation, and management training programs. He is also an author, keynote speaker, and Adjunct Professor at the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University, where he designed the first undergraduate and graduate level courses in Professional Selling.
John empowers professionals to take a more structured approach to their business activities, resulting in greater confidence and motivation, stronger relationships with internal and external customers, and significantly improved performance.
For over 20 years, John has provided training and consulting services for a wide range of organizations globally including: AT&T, Air Canada, BASF, BlueCrossBlueShield, Boeing, Baybanks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Caterpillar Equipment Corporation, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citicorp, Dow Chemical, DuPont, GE Capital, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, JPMorgan, Metlife, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, MCI, Sun Microsystems, Unilever, and Wachovia Bank.
As the newly appointed President of the RC Alumni Association, John plays a key role on the Board’s Development & Alumni Relations Committee.
John and his wife, Gloria, live in Summit with their two children.
Mohamed Jalloh '97
Mohamed Jalloh is an RC graduate of the class of 97. A resident of Roselle, he is currently serving a third term as a Union County Freeholder. Mohamed is a graduate of Syracuse University and earned his Juris Doctor degree at Rutgers University Law School.
Freeholder Jalloh completed a series of special initiatives aimed at “Investing in Union County” that included new arts, economic development, public safety, recreational, educational, and quality of life programs. With his guidance the Board of Freeholders established the Union County Advancing Community Theatre (UCACT) program. He also established a public art project called “Art Outside the Box”. In this program artists are given the opportunity to have their artwork cover traffic control boxes in Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield, and Rahway.
He also began a partnership with Union County College, the City of Rahway and the Union County Performing Arts Center to open a new facility in Rahway supporting access to credit and non-credit classes in Acting, Public Speaking, and more, including Industry-Business Institute courses.
Mohamed returns to Roselle Catholic Board after a 3-year hiatus. With his educational, legal, and government experience, he will again bring new insights and perspective to the RC Board.
Janet Jago Keating, GC '70
Janet grew up in Roselle and attended St. Joseph the Carpenter School, and upon graduating enrolled in Girls Catholic. At Girls Catholic, class of 1970, Janet was a 4-year member of the Cheerleading Squad, served on the Student Council, and was elected to the National Honor Society.
Having an interest in the medical field Janet graduated from Quinnipiac University with a major in Cytotechnology, a specialized area of laboratory medicine. She held professional positions in private laboratories and area hospitals.
Janet's volunteer career evolved at the same time as motherhood, starting with community involvement in the PTO and Jr League of Summit. She is extremely experienced in the workings of a Board, as she currently serves on the Advisory Board of St Joseph's School and Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, NY. She is Past Chairman of the Board of The Valerie Fund Children's Cancer Centers where she led the initiative to establish a Childhood Cancer Late Effects Clinic. In 2006 Janet joined the International Board of Covenant House located in New York City. She has had the opportunity to travel to CH sites in Honduras, Nicaragua, Toronto, and Anchorage. Through these boards Janet has experience in Strategic Planning, Development, Program Planning, and Public Speaking.
Janet's experience on Advisory Boards, as well as with scholastic institutions is a matchless asset for the RC Board, particularly as a member of the Board’s Mission and Strategic Planning Committee.
Janet has 3 grown children and resides in Morristown and Normandy Beach.
Thomas Libonate '64
Tom is the first Chair of our Board, having served in that role for nine years, and is the Chair of the Marketing & Communication Committee. He is the only Board member that can boast of having been a student in the three homes of Roselle Catholic … the old St. Joseph’s convent, the orphanage and the current building completed in fall of 1963.
Born and raised in Roselle, he attended St. Joseph’s elementary school and entered Roselle Catholic High School in the fall of 1960, a member of RC’s second graduating class, the class of 1964. While at RC he ran track, was the first Art Editor of the school paper and Editor-in-Chief of the second edition of the RC yearbook, the Lion’s Lair. He graduated from Monmouth University in 1969 with a B.S. in Business, majoring in Marketing.
Prior to his retirement in 2010, he was Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, Ryan Partnership, headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut. Since co-founding the company in 1984, Mr. Libonate spearheaded the creation of one of the premiere marketing agencies in North America, specializing in promotional, direct and interactive marketing; creative design; and ethnic, cultural marketing. Headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, the agency operated out of full service offices in 7 US cities. Today, with revenues in excess of $500,000,000, Ryan Partnership is an independent subsidiary of Epsilon Data Management of Irving, Texas.
Tom has been passionately animated about his reconnection with Roselle Catholic. As head of the Board’s Marketing Committee, Tom has, time and time again, put the talents and resources of his livelihood at RC’s disposal. His contributions since reconnecting with RC are many. Of note, Tom contributed and equipped a room that will now be used to digitally produce our school yearbook and literary magazine: The RC Publication Center. He currently serves as the Editor of the Alumni Magazine, The Lion, bringing his marketing and creative talents to the composition, design and production of this highly awaited publication.
Tom lives on Captiva Island, Florida with his wife Merni, and in Farmington, CT during the summer months. He has four adult children, and three grandchildren.
Peter Lyons '73
Peter, the Chair of the RC Board, was born in Elizabeth, grew up in Cranford and graduated from RC in 1973 where he ran cross country and track. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1977 with a BA in Economics with High Distinction. Peter then attended Georgetown University Law Center where he was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal, and graduated in 1980 Magna Cum Laude.
Peter joined Shearman & Sterling in 1980 as an associate, and was elected a partner in 1989. At S&S, he represents clients in acquisitions and sales of public and private companies, asset acquisition and disposition transactions and joint ventures. Peter previously headed the Firm’s San Francisco and Palo Alto office and the Firm's Worldwide Mergers & Acquisitions Group and served as Managing Partner, Americas. He currently manages the Firm's relationship with a number of clients, including BASF AG, BiogenIdec, Boston Scientific, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, JetBlue, Nokia, Siemens AG and Textron.
Peter and his wife, Jodi, moved to Rye NY in 1990 and have four children.
Kevin, who heads the Board’s Physical Plant & Campus Safety Committee, is an RC parent, having attended Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, New York. He and his wife, Nancy, have been involved with RC as parents and volunteers since 1996. All three of their children, Rob, Caitlin and Conor attended and graduated from Roselle Catholic. They have a warm appreciation for the great work going on at RC.
Kevin retired from Verizon Communications ending his career of almost 40 years as the Director of Government Affairs in Brooklyn/Staten Island. He now devotes his time to the Plainfield Habitat for Humanity, the Elizabeth Coalition, the Noble Maritime Collection in Staten Island, and the Knights of Columbus in Cranford.
John serves as an Associate Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of Newark, and serves an Ex-Officio member of the Roselle Catholic board. Among other responsibilities he works with the seven Regional High Schools - one of which is Roselle Catholic.
Prior to assuming the position with the Archdiocese in 1988 he served as a teacher and principal in Catholic high schools in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Belgium.
His own academic background includes Bachelor and Masters Degrees from LaSalle University in Philadelphia and a Masters Degree from Michigan State University. John is married to Nelda, a Math Professor at Bergen Community College. Daughter Tara graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Son, John (the IV) attends Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Brother Dan O’Riordan, FMS
Brother Dan graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School in NY in 1985 and University College Cork, Ireland in 1989. He began his teaching and coaching career in Cork, Ireland before returning to the U.S. in 1990. He spent two years teaching and coaching soccer at Roselle Catholic prior to entering the Marist Brothers. During his novitiate, he earned an MA from Marist College and also served as the college's first Women's soccer coach.
After his Novitiate, he returned to Archbishop Molloy for four years and served as a teacher, councilor, campus minister and track coach. His next six years were spent in West Virginia where he served as teacher, campus minister and coach at Bishop Donahue High School. He returned to Roselle Catholic in 2004 and served as teacher, coach, and Development Director. In 2011, he responded to the needs of the Marist Brothers by accepting a newly created position of Vocation Director for the U.S.
Brother Dan serves as a member of the RC Development Committee as well as "auctioneer" for RC’s annual golf outing. He also was recently elected to the Provincial Council of the Marist Brothers. Some of his honors include Bishop Donahue Wall of Fame 2004, Roselle Catholic's You Make A Difference Award winner 2010, and Archbishop Molloy Hall of Fame 2010.
Brother Dan is grateful for the nine years he had the privilege to work at Roselle Catholic and for the many friendships he made during that time which will always continue to be part of his life. The young people, colleagues and Alumni he worked closely with during his tenure continue to be a great inspiration to him. He is also delighted that his current job allows him many opportunities to continue to be an active presence to the Roselle Catholic community.
Ed Sisk '75
Ed, an active contributing Board Member of the Physical Plant & Campus Safety Committee, is an RC graduate class of 1975 and was a member of the RC baseball team which won the Parochial “A” North title. He graduated from Union College with an AA in Liberal Arts/Early Childhood Education. He has served as Assistant Varsity Softball coach and is currently the Junior Varsity Softball coach at RC. Ed just recently retired as a 30 year veteran of the Elizabeth Fire Department where he rose to the rank of Chief of the Department in 2003. He also served as a Deputy Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Elizabeth, Deputy Mutual Aid Coordinator with the Union County Fire Mutual Aid System and a Senior Advisor to the New Jersey State Fire Marshal.
Ed has chosen to work in volunteer positions serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Elizabeth New Jersey Firemen’s Federal Credit Union, a Trustee with the 200 Club of Union County and as President of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Union County. He is currently working as a contractor for New Jersey Civil Service serving in the capacity of Subject Matter Expert and also serves as the Chairman of the Trustees for the Elizabeth Firemen’s Relief Association.
Ed and his wife Helena reside in Elizabeth with their three children Eddie, Class of 2001; Nick, Class of 2003 and Erin Marie, Class of 2006.
Lydia Tobiasz '01
An RC graduate Class of 2001, Lydia sits on the Marketing and Communication Committee and has played a hands-on role in the imperative need to harness new media/electronic platforms.
Upon graduating RC, Lydia enrolled at Marist College, and later Duquesne University in Pittsburgh PA, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude as a double-major in Marketing/PR and Psychology. She began her career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, focusing on corporate sales, service, and special events. During that time, Lydia also attended Point Park University, where she earned an MBA with a concentration in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management.
Following a 2009 Stanley Cup Victory, Lydia happily relocated from the backwoods of Western PA, to manage Corporate Hospitality Sales for Madison Square Garden and quickly reconnecting with the RC/Marist community. In her current role, she is responsible for concert and sports properties suite sales, working directly with major corporations and firms on new business development and strategic partnership opportunities.
Lydia happily resides in the ‘concrete jungle’ and is thrilled to continue serving the RC student and alumni community.
William Trelease '72
Bill is the Chair of the Development & Alumni Relations Committee, and a graduate of RC’s Class of 1972. Throughout RC’s past 50+ years, some remarkable runners have borne the RC insignia. Bill was one of those runners. Bill led RC to its 1972 Union County Championship title, running the 4th fastest time ever by a high school student in the state of New Jersey by winning the 880 in a time of 1:52.9 which qualified him to participate in that year’s All American Invitational in Baton Rouge – the National Championships of High School Track and Field. The race took place on graduation day, so Bill’s best friend walked across the stage and presented Bill’s diploma to his parents. Bill brought honor and glory to both his family and his school that day when he took 3rd place with a personal best time of 1:51.7.
Bill attended Manhattan College and was awarded the Jasper Award as the track athlete with the highest academic index. A managing general agent, Bill founded an independent firm, Cromwell Management, in the mid-90’s and retired in 2012. He currently resides in Union with his wife Kathy, a Girls Catholic graduate, and four children: Meghan, Brian, Clare and Brendan, all graduates of Roselle Catholic.
In addition to his passion for family and RC, he is a Civil War history authority, and working to become a licensed Gettysburg battlefield guide.