PHOTO: RBR’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inductees include: (left to right) Ashley Marinaccio, Judge Anthony Bruno, Michael Very, Taylore Fowler and Michael Welsh.
LITTLE SILVER, NJ - On Friday, May 3, Red Bank Regional (RBR) inducted its newest members into its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. The inductees where honored at a special ceremony and luncheon organized by the RBR BUC BACKER Foundation under the direction of event co-chairs Teresa Jahns Hottmann, Shrewsbury, and Kate Quinn, Little Silver.
RBR Superintendent Dr. Louis Moore addressed the student audience stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, our inductees have made remarkable contributions in a wide-range of areas in the arts, in business, in medicine, in government and law. But a common theme in all their work has been to combine compassion with leadership and to demonstrate that the most important work in life does not always generate headlines, earn prizes, or produce great private wealth.”
This year’s inductees included:
- Anthony Bruno, Class of 1955 - Administrative Court Judge, former Little Silver mayor councilman and long-time fire department volunteer; past president of the Monmouth County Health Association and New Jersey Association for Mental Health; current director for the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation.
- Michael J. Welsh, Class of 1989 - MONOC Paramedic, field training officer, paramedic to special operations and SWAT teams, flight paramedic; member of the New Jersey Task Force-1 Urban Search and Rescue Team, FEMA Community and emergency services volunteer in Little Silver, Red Bank, and Middletown.
- Ashley Marinaccio, Class of 2003 - college instructor and founder of several theatre companies specializing in giving young women a safe place to write and perform their own work. Her troops have performed at the White House as well as all around the world.
- Michael Very, Class of 2004 – tour chief for Jersey City Paramedics, who has earned many decorations and accolades for life saving and valor. A member of the New Jersey -1 Disaster Medical Assistant Team (NJ-1 DMAT), he was deployed most recently in Florida and Puerto Rico hurricane rescue; his community service includes long service to the Little Silver EMS and Fire Department.
- Taylore Anne Fowler, Class of 2010 - Parlayed a valuable degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in music technology into an amazing career trajectory, working for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, Disney Publishing Worldwide, The Walt Disney Studios, and is currently a Netflix Product Manager making presentations in Europe.
RBR students who wrote the biographies of each inductee had the honor of introducing them to their fellow students. The Inductees then addressed the audience with stories of their life experience and advice for the students’ future.
Judge Anthony Bruno shared a humorous story of a big moment in his high school career when he was tasked to introduce special visitors with a prepared memorized speech which he promptly forgot when the big moment arrived.
Michael Welsh explained that he was not a stellar high school student. He even contemplated dropping out if not for of his guidance counselor who encouraged him to stick it out. He explained how surprised and grateful he was to discover that high school algebra actually aided him in his paramedic work.
“She was right,” he told the students, “everything you learn in high school prepares you for the rest of your life.”
Ashley Marinaccio thought of herself as only an average student who is now stunned to find herself among the top five candidates in a doctoral program. She believes the RBR VPA program introduced her to the arts and her passion, stating, “This was the place I could find my artistic self which validated who I am and my dreams of becoming someone important in the world.”
Michael Very knew from high school what path his life would take, crediting the guidance of RBR athletic trainer Christina Emrich. He stated, “She helped me grow to be a confident young man with EMT and a better person.”
Taylore Fowler, the youngest alumna ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, told the students, “RBR is near and dear to my heart and why I am where I am today.”
The inductees were honored by their home-town mayors and state representatives with proclamations for their professional accomplishments and contributions to the community.