The Foundation Board at Rockland Community College is comprised of accomplished individuals from the community who are committed to supporting the institution’s students and advancing its mission.
Walter Goldman, a resident of Rockland County for 40 years, has always been an entrepreneur by figuring out how to meet the needs of others with business solutions. At 16 he started the Bagelnuts, a delivery service, which delivered fresh bagels and donuts to your door every Sunday before 9:00AM.
At 18, Walter started a small business, Rockland Dating Service. In college, in upstate New York, Walter realized that many students needed to get their belongings to and from their downstate home and The College Carriers were born.
In an effort to continue to find ways to assist others by using technology, in 1985 at the beginning of the decentralization of distributed data processing, Walter started a company called Magnacom Data Products. By 1999, this value-added reseller grew to $30,000,000 in sales by offering back-office data solutions, maintenance and repair services.
Walter sold his computer business in 2005 and went on to concentrate on financial planning, operations and logistics, efficiency and assisting others in developing businesses from the ground up to early-stage funding.
In 2009, Walter started a management consulting firm called Goldkap Consulting Group which helps companies start, grow and scale. He continues to own and operate this business today.
Walter has experience in writing and executing business plans, finding ways to bring organizations and executives of organizations to the next level in their business careers while keeping a constant eye on margins, profitability and solutions that can be managed and monitored.
Walter speaks at professional associations throughout the tri-state area and has given multiple classes on how to make it as an entrepreneur in today’s economy.
Walter graduated from Pace University with a BBA in Marketing with a minor in finance. Walter is married with 4 adult children. Walter is a mentor for SCORE and sits on multiple boards that include Rockland Business Owners Group, American Cancer Society, Rockland Community College Foundation and Rockland Development Council. In his spare time, Walter enjoys traveling, reading and working to build a better community.
Howard Hellman, an alumnus of Rockland Community College and long-serving member of the RCC Foundation, is the founder and chairman of All Bright Electric in West Nyack, NY, as well as a managing partner of Hellman Development and Hellman Management. He is known as a regional leader in electrical contracting issues, procedures, regulatory requirements and best practices. He has been inducted into the New York State Small Business Development Center’s Hall of Fame, and has received awards of excellence and appreciation from the Rockland Business Association, Rockland County Legislature and Rockland County Economic Development Corp.
Howard is a frequent speaker and mentor to the RCC President’s Society, and in addition to his service on the Board of the RCC Foundation, Howard is a past chair of the Rockland Business Association and United Way of Rockland. He has served as a trustee of the YMCA, and as a board member of Boy Scouts of the Hudson Valley, Rockland Independent Living Center, and Rockland County IDA.
Senior Partner, Rifkin & Company, LLP, Certified Public Accountants
Mitch Gusler, a Certified Public Accountant as well as a Certified Valuation Analyst, has been a Foundation board member for over 15 years, having served in various leadership positions. Currently, he serves on the Executive Committee as Past Chair of the Foundation. He has been practicing public accounting since 1980, and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the New York State Society of CPAs, and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.
Mitch previously served on the board of directors of the New York State Society of CPA’s and is currently a member of the board of directors of Meals on Wheels.
Traci runs Schultz Ford in Nanuet with her brother. She is a third-generation owner ad a life-long resident of Rockland County. Traci has been a local business leader her whole professional career. She is committed to the County and our RCC students.
Traci runs the RCC Ford ASSET Program, overseeing the student interns. She hires the students who want to continue with Ford and guides them into their careers. To learn more about the Ford ASSET Program, please refer to the following 2021 RCC press release where Traci is interviewed.
Sonia is an Associate with Sichol & Hick, P.C. and practices Elder Law, Disabilities, Trusts and Estates, Guardianship, Medicare and Medicaid, Real Estate Closings & Wills.
Sonia is a graduate of Adelphi University and the Jacob D. Fuchsburg Law Center of Touro College where she received her Juris Doctor in 1987. She was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988.
Burgos-Crannage was the former New York State coordinator for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. She has lectured on issues concerning the elderly and the disabled at CUNY Law School, Suffolk Academy of Law, C. W. Post College, Hofstra University, various accounting associations, parent organizations, and Senior Citizen centers. She has spoken about Elder Law and issues concerning the disabled on various radio stations.
Angel Cardoza is Vice President of Substation Operations at Con Edison, the energy company serving the nine million people of New York City and Westchester. Mr. Cardoza is responsible for the safety, construction, operation, maintenance, and reliability of 103 substations. Mr. Cardoza previously served as general manager of Substation Operations and Control Room Operations at Orange & Rockland Utilities. Mr. Cardoza served in a series of positions of increasing responsibility at Orange & Rockland Utilities and Con Edison including general manager of Electric Operations, general manager of Gas Engineering, and general manager of Protective Systems Testing in Substation Operations. He joined Con Edison in 1998 as a management intern. Mr. Cardoza holds a Master of Business Administration from Fordham University. He also holds a Master of Science in organization leadership from Mercy College and a Bachelor of Engineering from the City College of New York in electrical engineering.
Dan comes to SUNY Rockland from Cayuga Community College in Auburn, NY where he spent the last four years serving as the CCC Vice President for Administration and Treasurer. Prior to his appointment to CCC, Dr. DoBell served as the CFO for the Elmira City School District, the largest school district in New York’s Southern Tier. He has also served as Vice President of Finance for Texarkana College in Texarkana, TX and Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA. Prior to working in education finance, Dr. DoBell supported the economic development mission at the University of Illinois and Iowa State University where he served as the Executive Director of the U of I Research Park and Business Director for the Iowa State University Office Intellectual Property. Dr. DoBell is a CPA and holds a PhD in Higher Education Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois under the direction of Dr. Stanley O. Ikenberry, President emeritus of the University of Illinois. He also holds an MBA and BBA from Iowa State University.
Zara Khan, is a second-year student at Rockland Community College and is enrolled in the Sam Draper Honors Program. Currently a STEM major, who is focusing specifically in Biology, she plans to go into medicine. Zara is very interested in plastic and reconstructive surgery and hopes to be able to open a clinic one day.
Zara works part-time as a medical scribe, and was recently hired to work in the Reading and Writing Center at RCC. On campus, she is secretary of the Wonder Girls Club, the Vice President of Scholarship in Phi Theta Kappa, a member of the Student Government Association council for ’23-’24 school year, and part of the Student Activities Board at RCC.
Susan is the VP of Institutional Advancement at RCC. In this role she manages Strategic Marketing, the RCC Foundation, and Grants. Before she joined RCC in 2018, she spent 11 years working in several roles at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. Susan is passionate about community colleges and considers this her life’s work. She feels that elevating students and giving them opportunities is world-changing work. Before LaGuardia Community College, Susan worked in various roles in the non-profit sector in NYC and abroad including teaching in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Kobe, Japan. She also opened a school in Jakarta, Indonesia where she lived for 4 years. Susan lives in Milford, PA with her adorable little dog Margo.
Distinguished Service Professor, Program Director – Visual and Performing Arts, and Faculty Representative to the RCC Foundation Board
Patricia Maloney-Titland is a dedicated professor and arts advocate who has received the SUNY Distinguished Professorship, the highest rank bestowed by the State University of New York. In addition to her role as professor, she is a professional actor and director, and has received numerous accolades for her contributions to the arts, including the Arts Council of Rockland Award for Arts Educator (which she has received twice), the Rockland Community College Foundation’s Leadership Award, and their Person of the Year. With her wealth of experience, creativity, and passion, Maloney-Titland has made a lasting impact on the lives and careers of her students, helping them achieve their goals and pursue their dreams in the arts.
In recognition of her dedication to education, and commitment to students and community, Maloney-Titland is the recipient of Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) National William H. Meardy Faculty Member Award, the ACCT Northeast Regional Faculty Excellence Award, two SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, one in Faculty Service and one in Scholarship and Creative Activities, as well as the “Champions of Education” Award.
Maloney-Titland is a driving force in the arts community, both as a professor and as the co-founder and co-artistic director of the award-winning, and long-running Rockland Shakespeare Company. The company has achieved great success under Maloney-Titland’s leadership. In addition to her work with the company, she has been continually engaged in a wide range of creative and academic pursuits, including the production of events and performances for Heritage Month celebrations, scholarship and philanthropic fundraisers, advocacy for students with disabilities, implementation and cultivation of professional Internship programs, and rigorous curriculum-based productions, for which she has been recognized by her peers, the College, and the Community.
Adam has a business-oriented mindset. He started a very successful tutoring business when he was 17 and continued to run it for 10 years. He was also a teacher for 4 years and turned around 2 school’s math programs. After fulfilling his goal of being a teacher, he moved onto being the managing partner of a fine dining Japanese restaurant. After completing that goal, he decided to pursue the goal of selling real estate and focused in the residential market. He finally found his niche in the commercial real estate market where he excels in providing his clients with honesty, promptness, and aptitude. He treats his client’s properties as if they were his own. As one client writes, “Working with you was a trouble-free experience and you were very accommodating in all the tasks needed to the job done. Thank you for making out renting process smooth and helping us find the perfect tenants to fit our requirements.”-S Macchia
John is the President of Piccininni Development Corp., Real Estate Development & Management
Susan, a Stony Point businesswoman, was appointed by Governor George E. Pataki in January 2004 to serve as a member of the SUNY Rockland Community College Board of Trustees for a term to expire on June 30, 2010, as successor to Mr. Isidro Cancel. She was reappointed in July 2010 for a term to expire in June 2017. Ms. Oelkers-Ramos is the sole proprietor of Environmental Construction of Stony Point, a position she has held since 1988. Originally from Manhattan, Ms. Oelkers-Ramos earned her General Education Diploma and attended classes at SUNY Rockland.
Ms. Ramos has served the community in many capacities. She recently donated time and equipment towards the restoration of Nyack’s Memorial Park, and was responsible for the renovations to Emanuel Welder Park in Monsey. She was a 2003 recipient of Partner for Growth award from Orange & Rockland Utilities and belongs to the Lions Club of Stony Point.
Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo, EdD, MBA, MA, joined Rockland Community College as the Institution’s eighth President in July 2023. RCC is one of 30 community colleges within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, located about 25 miles outside of New York City. The College offers a safe, supportive learning environment for thousands of students from diverse backgrounds. Affordable tuition, an array of degree, certificate and workforce development programs, and a commitment to career readiness and upward economic mobility makes RCC the “first choice” for students of all ages.
With over two decades of experience in higher education, Dr. Rápalo believes in the transformative power of education. He brings his passion for and commitment to creating affordable educational opportunities for all to Rockland Community College and the larger community.
Dr. Rápalo’s experience has focused on bringing together multiple stakeholders to provide and make quality education accessible to all members of the community. As a college administrator, Dr. Rápalo has experience in academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management, strategic and fiscal planning, fundraising, business partnerships and coalition building, study abroad, on-line learning and assessment, and faculty and student conflict resolution. In addition, Dr. Rápalo has demonstrated a strong commitment to celebrating diversity and fostering an inclusive environment conducive to faculty, student, and staff success.
Prior to joining RCC, Dr. Rápalo was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bronx Community College, City University of New York (CUNY). In this role, Dr. Rápalo was responsible for the total College budget, approximately $140 million, and supervised 5 deans, 15 academic departments, 260 full-time faculty, and 440 adjuncts. Dr. Rápalo also oversaw the Associate Dean for Success Programs, the Associate Dean for Curriculum Matters and Academic Programs, the Director of Institutional Research, the Assistant Dean for First Year Program, the Scheduling Office, and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. He helped lead the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and worked closely with Admissions to increase the automation of the enrollment process for CUNY Start and Math Start programs. He was also involved in CUNY-wide (25 colleges and universities in total) governance, including serving as the Co-Chair of the Recognizing and Rewarding Excellence in Teaching Task Force Committee and membership in the CUNY Academic Council, the Committee on Academic Policy (CAP) and the Reimagining Strategic Finance Committee.
At Bronx Community College, Dr. Rápalo facilitated the College’s win of the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also oversaw the accreditation renewal process with the Council for Education in Nursing (ACEN) for the College’s Nursing Program. In addition, Dr. Rápalo’s leadership efforts secured various grants for the College, including a $3,000,000 Title V Grant awarded by the Developing Hispanic-Servicing Institutions (DHSI) Program to assist Hispanic-Servicing Institutions build academic programs and improve program quality to help Hispanic student retention. Dr. Rápalo has also worked to strengthen the Workforce Development initiatives at Bronx Community College, partnering with organizations such as JPMorgan Chase, Ernst and Young and Blackstone.
Dr. Rápalo is a National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) fellow and board member. He is the author of several textbooks and has made multiple appearances in media outlets including Telemundo, ABC Channel 7, and Azteca TV (México). Dr. Rápalo was born in Honduras and speaks Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
Before joining Rockland Community College as its first Vice President of Economic Mobility and Workforce Innovation, Kevin was the Senior Director for Impact, Evaluation, and Thought Leadership at the Education Design Lab where he oversaw the Community College Growth Engine Fund, a national initiative to design and implement a new class of credentials called Micro-pathways. In addition to driving a robust thought leadership and impact strategy, he was also responsible for oversight of the Lab’s Designers in Residence program working with a diverse set of higher education leaders to imagine a new paradigm for the role colleges can play as regional ecosystem catalysts.
Kevin served as the Senior Vice President for JobsFirstNYC where he led the organization’s strategic inquiry and rebranding process. During his time at JobsFirstNYC, Kevin co-led the launch of the Invest In Skills NY campaign, which was successful at securing an unprecedented $175 million investment dedicated to workforce development. Kevin was also charged with launching JobsFirstNYC’s Transfer 2 Career Collaborative, an innovative pilot aiming to build partnerships between 12 transfer high schools and a set of workforce development training providers and community colleges to improve career readiness and increase postsecondary and employment outcomes.
Kevin served as the founding northeast director for Young Invincibles (YI), where he launched their New York office and ran a successful campaign to establish the Empire State Apprenticeship Program, an effort sparked by a report he authored on New York’s statewide youth unemployment crisis. At YI, he also co-launched DegreesNYC, a collective action project to achieve equity in postsecondary access and completion. Kevin has policy, research, and advocacy experience from his tenure at both the Roosevelt Institute as well as at the New York Public Interest Research Group where he launched and chaired the Coalition to Reform New York’s Tuition Assistance Program. He has appeared in a variety of media outlets and has authored, commissioned, and overseen a number of research projects. In 2017, Kevin was honored as one of New York’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in City & State magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in community organization and advocacy from SUNY Plattsburgh and master’s degree in public administration from Marist College.
Aimee is Senior Advisor to the Dean at the NYU Silver School of Social Work working to expand the reach and impact of its educational, research and program work, locally and nationally.
As Senior Advisor, Aimee manages the Silver School’s external affairs, including federal, state, and city government relations; effectively translate and broaden the impact of faculty research on policy and practice; and play a lead role in establishing and facilitating community partnership initiatives.
“Aimee is fiercely dedicated to advancing equitable policies for underrepresented communities, a mission that we shared during the time that we worked together in Albany,” said New York State Assembly Member Catalina Cruz. “She excels at bringing people together to find common ground, and never hesitates to stand up for the Latino community and other communities who are in need of social supports and resources. Appointing her as Senior Advisor is a fantastic move for Dean Michael Lindsey and the NYU Silver School of Social Work.”
Vargas was Director of Downstate Intergovernmental Affairs amongst many other roles during the Cuomo administration, during which she helped to design and execute outreach strategies to support the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, the Penn Station/Farley project and the Jacob Javits Center revitalization.
At the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where she was the Chief Government and Community Affairs Officer, Vargas helped to advance major projects, such as the LIRR Third Track Expansion project, the 2nd Avenue Subway construction project, the L Line Reconstruction project and the Penn Access project.
As Associate Counsel and Director of Environmental Justice at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Aimee built strategic partnerships with community-based organizations to develop public policy initiatives that protect culturally diverse and socio-economically distressed communities.
Vargas is an Adjunct Professor of Communications at Marist College. She also is the Board Secretary of Hunger Free America and a Board Member of the SUNY Rockland Community College Foundation. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Community Affairs and Communications at Sands Corp. Prior roles included Director of the Mid-Hudson Region at the Empire State Development Corporation and Senior Director of Corporate Communications – U.S. Reputation at Anheuser-Busch. Aimee is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.