Engineer, construction professional and decorated Army veteran Francis Bret Kaufman was sworn in as a member of the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees on Nov. 20 during the board’s monthly meeting in Lincroft.
A resident of Spring Lake and a graduate of Manasquan High School, Kaufman graduated from West Point military academy in New York in 1979. He went on to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army, earning a medal for valor for his service in Grenada in 1983. After retiring as an army captain, Kaufman earned a master’s degree in finance from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Over the last three decades Kaufman has worked as an engineer, contractor and certified home inspector, founding two companies and serving as vice president for a third. He served as president of the American Society of Home Inspectors’ New Jersey chapter from 2005 to 2015, and currently runs the inspection company Kaufman Consultants, LLC, based out of Madison.
Kaufman has been appointed to serve a four-year term as a Brookdale trustee. Addressing his fellow board members on Nov. 20, Kaufman said he hopes to use his knowledge of facilities, finance, business and management for the good of the Brookdale community.
“I hope to live up to each of your expectations and contribute in a meaningful way as a member of this board,” Kaufman said. “I will give it my absolute best effort.”
Board chair Dr. Carl Guzzo Jr. said he was excited to welcome Kaufman as a trustee, where the former army captain’s unique set of skills will be put to good use on behalf of Brookdale students, employees and members of the Monmouth County community.
“We are so lucky to have Bret with us,” Guzzo said. “He is an outstanding person: a real, honest-to-God decorated war hero who fought in Grenada and served his country brilliantly. He is a West Point graduate, an engineer, a great father, and also very knowledgeable about facilities. He will be a tremendous asset to the board.”
Kaufman replaces former trustee Charles Karcher, a Red Bank-based attorney who served on the board from April 2012 through October 2015.
Shrewsbury Nonprofit Recognizes Brookdale Volunteers
Also on Nov. 20, members of the Shrewsbury-based outreach organization HABcore, Inc. recognized members of the Brookdale Employee Volunteer Connection (EVC) for their 10-plus years of support on behalf of the local homeless population.
HABCore, a nonprofit offering comprehensive housing services and support for homeless individuals and families, presented EVC members with an award and a certificate of recognition on Oct. 1 honoring their “sustained dedication to HABcore’s mission.”
Those efforts include regular donation drives for the organization as well as comprehensive support for the Coffey House, a HABcore-owned residence in Red Bank that currently houses 21 local individuals.
Every other month EVC members prepare and serve a meal for Coffey House residents, and each holiday season they collect gifts and fill stockings for all 21 housemates. Those efforts are now underway for the 2015 holiday season.
In further recognition of those efforts, HABcore executive director Steve Heisman, board president Susan Harbison, and development director Amy Almasy joined EVC members Lynn Johnson and Helen Vota at the Nov. 20 meeting to officially present the HABcore award to Brookdale President Maureen Murphy.
After watching a brief documentary about the residents of the Coffey House – and how small donations and volunteers can have a significant impact in their lives – Murphy said she was lost for words.
“You simply can’t say enough about our Employee Volunteer Connection,” said Murphy. “Their work, and the work of HABcore, makes me extremely proud to be a member of this community.”
To learn how to participate in the Employee Volunteer Connection, contact Helen Vota.