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PARAMUS, N.J. – Three Bergen County civic leaders with backgrounds in government, public service and community affairs have joined the Bergen Community College board of trustees. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy selected Ritzy Moralez-Diaz and Stephen F. Pellino, Esq., as appointees to the College’s governing panel, while Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III and the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders recommended and confirmed Adam Silverstein for the trustee board. The county also reappointed current College trustees Gerard L. Carroll and Krista Flinn to new, four-year terms through Nov. 2023. Moralez-Diaz’ term concludes Nov. 2022; terms for Silverstein and Pellino end Nov. 2020. All took the oath of office at the board’s Nov. 6 meeting.
“During this transformative time for the nation’s community colleges, including Bergen, institutions rely on board members to provide critical direction, leadership and advocacy,” College President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., said. “The extensive experience in public affairs and education possessed by Ms. Moralez-Diaz, Mr. Pellino and Mr. Silverstein will assist the College in navigating the opportunities and challenges the institution will encounter in the coming years.”
Moralez-Diaz, of Westwood, serves as the district director for District Nine Rep. Bill Pascrell, managing the congressman’s schedule, district staff and constituent relations. An active community leader, Moralez-Diaz founded and served as president of WEDO of Passaic County, a nonprofit committed to empowering women to participate in the political process. She also served as the vice chair of the Passaic County Board of Social Services and currently holds the position of secretary-treasurer on the Bergen County Board of Social Services.
Pellino, of Ridgefield, has worked as an attorney in both private practice and for numerous public and nonprofit entities during his 42-year career. He has represented municipalities such as the boroughs of Paramus, Ridgefield and Saddle Brook and also served as attorney for the Fairview Public School District board of education. Pellino’s firm, Basile Birchwale and Pellino LLP, carries significant experience in general litigation, land use and governmental law. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in history and earned a J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law.
Silverstein, of Wyckoff, owns Silver Strategies and Communications Group Inc., where he has served as president since 2008. The nationally recognized full-service public relations, strategic planning and political consulting firm has produced award-winning campaigns for Fortune 100 companies, healthcare providers and elected officials throughout the United States. Silverstein has also worked in various roles in county and local government and served on the Pascack Valley Regional High School District board of education and Hackensack board of adjustment.
The College’s 12-person board of trustees features nine individuals appointed by the county, two by the governor and one elected by the student body. Bergen’s president serves as an ex-officio member of the board.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
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