What is your favorite book & why?

 

Tough question...unless it relates to medical or dental journals, I'm hopeless. When I get into a book it is likely to be relates to sports, psychology, human behavior and business.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

I joined the Foundation, because I strongly support all that the Ridgewood Library does and means to the community at large. I wanted to give back to the community, and do my part to help the library thrive. To me the library not only relates to education and learning, but is a resource center, a community center and a family social center.

A little bit about John:

 

I have lived in Ridgewood since 2007. I grew up in Queens, NY My wife Deena is a pharmacist at Valley Hospital and we have three beautiful children Olivia, Avery, and Grayson. We enjoy spending time in town and enjoying all that Ridgewood has to offer. Professionally, I am a dentist, and have been in private practice for the past 20 years.

What is your favorite book & why?

 

I don't have a favorite book, but have recently been surprised at how much I enjoy historical fiction (maybe this has something to do with getting older and wanting to know more about the past?!). Many of these books have taken place during World War II. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was an amazing and compelling story about a blind French girl and a German boy set in France during late World War II.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

The Ridgewood Public Library has been an important part of my community for the past 13 years. In fact, I made my first Ridgewood friend at the library during a baby story time for my daughter Juliette. Since then, my three children have taken advantage of countless children's classes, reading marathons, and technology courses. As an educator, the library has been a wonderful resource providing me with unlimited teaching materials. To volunteer my time to an organization that has provided so much to me and my family will be an exciting and fulfilling experience.

 

A little bit about Christina:

 

My career in education has involved multiple roles as a school psychologist, private school admissions evaluator, and elementary school teacher. As a strong believer in continual learning, I am now completing a reading program specializing in dyslexia...lately, I've been doing homework alongside my middle and high school children! My husband and I grew up together outside of Boston (we met in middle school!) and moved to Ridgewood because it reminded us of home. We are so grateful to be part of such a friendly, caring community. Favorite things to do include spending time with family and friends and our black lab as well as running and skiing.

What is your favorite book & why?

 

Odyssey- isn't it the greatest story ever written?

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

I wanted to contribute to my community. The library has evolved from a reference center to a cultural gathering and learning place for all segments of the community. I also believed my personal and professional background of investing and fundraising would be helpful to the Foundation.

A little bit about Gerry:

 

I have been a resident of Ridgewood since 2009 and have a daughter in the elementary school system of Ridgewood. In my leisure time, you'll find me skiing, playing golf, paddle tennis, or standing over a grill or piece of BBQ equipment, usually enjoying a beverage of my choice.

Cathy Choi, New Director 2017

What is your favorite book & why?

 

It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden. The title says it all!

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

I am driven by a strong belief that everyone has an inner light that radiates from a spark within. I also believe that education is a catalyst to igniting that spark. Nothing exemplifies education more than a community library - a place where all people from all walks of life can come to learn.

 

A little bit about Cathy:

 

I am a proud Ridgewood resident for the last 7 years and a native Bergen County resident. My husband and I are blessed with amazing family and friends. Our daughters currently attend GW & Orchard. It is truly an honor to serve on the board!

What is your favorite book & why?

 

If I had to pick a favorite, I have reread Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I enjoy the puzzle mysteries and how they are solved and the attention to detail in the writing.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

The public library is an integral part of the community and as technology, education and the community change, the library has shown a willingness to evolve as a vital institution in Ridgewood. It is not only committed to its core mission of "books", but also as a resource to young and old to connect with their neighbors and the world. Through my varied experience in fund raising, I want to help the library to meet its financial needs by supplementing the public appropriations with private resources.

 

A little bit about Tom:

 

I grew up in Paramus and have lived in Ridgewood since 2002. My wife Maggie and I have been married for over 25 years and we have six children, two who are out of college, two in college and one child in the high school and our youngest at BF Middle School. I enjoy gardening and hunting, and have volunteered time for schools over the years including the July 4 parade for Travell, Project Graduation and the Jamboree Scholarship Show held each February.

What is your favorite book & why?

 

TRINITY by Leon Uris... read it when I was in middle school.  Gave me a deep understanding of the history and struggles of Ireland – which is part of my heritage.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

As a former President of the Library Trustees. the library Director, Nancy Greene, and I discussed the need to have a vehicle to accept donations for long-term gifting and we started the Foundation from scratch.  I joined the Foundation because I believed strongly in its purpose then, the needs it would fulfill and still do today.

A little bit about Kathy:

 

I am a 28 year resident of Ridgewood.  I started volunteering with the Friends of the Library in 1990 and have been volunteering ever since.  I have three grown children and a husband.  We love to golf, be active and enjoy our friends.  I work as in Private Wealth at UBS as an advisor -  family wealth consulting and management is my area of focus.  I was just named by Forbes as one of the Top 200 Female Advisors in the country – so pretty excited and proud for that recognition.  I love the Ridgewood and the community and hope to be part of the town for many years to come.

What is your favorite book & why?

 

The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck - My grandmother had me read it when I was 13 right before she died. It made me feel lucky to be a Canadian girl in the 1980s growing up with countless choices and possibilities for the future. I also was touched by the book's emphasis on the fundamental human connection with the natural world and have continued to value that through my adulthood. 

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

I joined the Foundation because the Ridgewood Library played a big role in my decision to move to Ridgewood. When we were "town shopping," I visited many libraries to get a sense of the soul of various towns. Ridgewood's library is big, vibrant and a real hub of community life and I knew this would be a nice place to raise my family.

A little bit about Shoshana:

 

I am a practicing local internist and am the mother of three busy teenage daughters. When I'm not seeing patients or carpooling,  I love to run, read, cook and ski!

What is your favorite book & why?

 

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Wells. This was the first book that I enjoyed with my friends in college as we dreamed of our friendships evolving. Every summer we visit a lake together to relive the idea of passing along our eternal friendship to our children.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

The Library was an integral part of our families story. My husband has always found solace in the library and the expertise of the staff has actually helped him market his entrepreneurial ideas. Since joining the foundation, I am constantly amazed at the outreach the Library has in our community. This foundation seeks to provide insure a special and safe place for ALL Ridgewood residence.

 

A little bit about Betsy:

 

Raised in Indiana, I moved to New York city where I met my husband, Jim.  We own a specialty fiance firm located in Glen Rock, NJ.  Our family of 5 spans many years and many interests.  I enjoy spending time with family and friends and on the golf course when I can.  My goal is to break 100 this year :)

What is your favorite book & why?

 

Heart of a Soldier by James Stewart.  This is a tale of a great hero, Rick Rescorla, who fought in the Vietnam War and later was involved in the rescue of hundreds of people on September 11, until he ultimately perished going back into the World Trade Center.  I loved this book so much that I am involved with the group responsible for the making of the Hollywood movie production.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

To be involved with an organization that helps support various initiatives to better our great Library.

A little bit about Bill:

 

I’m married to wife Janine and the father of 2 children - a 3rd grade daughter, Gabriella, and a Kindergarten son, William, both of whom attend Somerville school.  I have lived in Ridgewood for 10 years.  I work for Credit Suisse where I run sales for their Asia equity prime financing business.  

What is your favorite book & why?

 

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett -- the characters, the time/history, the landscapes, the romance -- it has everything! I devoured the 900+ pages in a few short days!

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

The library is a cornerstone of our village and was a key selling point when we were looking to find a home. The more time we've spent there, the more I think it can give to our community. I'm happy to be part of the foundation and to help find ways to improve and enrich the experience for our visitors.

A little bit about Joanie:

 

Have lived in Ridgewood for over 10 years; we have two girls ~ ages nine and eight. I have worked in Research for a large investment bank in NYC for over 25 years - a commute that is getting old quickly. Favorite movie: Fugitive - Favorite Restaurant- Saddle River Inn; Favorite exercise- playing with my dog the backyard; and favorite dessert: wine.

What is your favorite book & why?

 

Churchill’s Hours by Michael Dobbs – Why?- Defiant and saved the world, no small reason – Great quotes, use them today.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

As the founding President of the Library Foundation, my goal was to perpetuate the Library after construction of new building in 1998.

A little bit about Glenn:

 

Find me on LinkedIn.

What is your favorite book & why?

 

Doctor Zhivago. I have always been fascinated with the USSR especially growing up in the 80's. The book grasped my interest from the first chapter.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

I have always been drawn to volunteering however, this particular Board peaked my interest early. We have been users of the library since my first was born. The knowledge around the table is incredible. I look forward to our monthly meetings; I learn something every time

A little bit about Cara:

 

I have 3 children (9, 8 and 5) and currently serving as Willard's HSA President. I grew up in a neighboring town and still have family close by. I enjoy a game of tennis or paddle when I am not carpooling or volunteering.

What is your favorite book & why?

 

The Brothers Karamazov as it is a classical philosophical novel highlighting the struggles of human nature.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

I consider the Ridgewood Library to be one of the gems of the town which is accessible to all people of all ages. I joined the foundation with the hope of giving a little back to the library for all of the joys they have given to my children when they were younger.

A little bit about Stephen:

 

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, my wife and I moved with our two daughters to Ridgewood in 2005. My wife and I have enjoyed raising a family in Ridgewood and have kept active by attending numerous school and sporting activities along with participating in Dad’s Night for six years. I am a graduate of New York University and New York Law School and currently employed by a large asset manager in their compliance department.

Melissa VonSummer, Director 2015 - Present

What is your favorite book & why?

 

Anything I get to read on vacation and in a relaxing atmosphere is a good book!  I often use this time to read things I wouldn’t normally gravitate to and am able to give them the attention they deserve.

 

Why did you join the Foundation?

 

The Ridgewood Public Library was a key part of my family’s life when our kids were little. The library is a meeting place, a learning place, and discovery place for all members of our community. I joined the RPLF to help preserve and enhance this resource for Ridgewood and its residents.

A little bit about Melissa:

I’ve lived in Ridgewood for over 13 years with my husband, three kids and two black labs! I am an interior designer by day and enjoy movies, travel, sports, carpooling and of course, reading posts from “The Onion”.

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125 North Maple Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Phone:  201-670-5609

The Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 corporation.