Rick is Eastern Christian School’s Chief Financial Officer.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up just a few miles from EC in Wayne, NJ attending and graduating from Wayne Valley High School. I originally planned to be an architect as Wayne Valley had an excellent Architecture curriculum and I was accepted to NJIT’s Architecture program. I ultimately decided to attend WPC as I realized that architecture was most likely a better hobby for me as opposed to a vocation. I attended William Paterson College in the evenings and graduated in 6 years with my Bachelors in Accounting while working in the banking field. I met my wife Ellen at my lifelong church, Ebenezer Netherlands Reformed in Franklin Lakes, when I was in my early 20’s and we married shortly thereafter. We have been blessed with 6 children, 5 daughters and then a son, who now range in age from 27 to 15. Architecture continues to be a hobby after all these years as are reading, golf, the beach, private school education, and volunteering.
How did God bring you to work at EC?
My career in banking actually got it’s start while I was in high school but I began working full time immediately after graduating and worked my way through college. I initially worked in a branch, then in Auditing, and then moved to Corporate Banking which I continued in for more than 35 years in various capacities, most recently as Senior Vice President of Middle Market Banking for Wells Fargo. Prior to leaving the banking industry, I also spent 2 years leading the Retail Banking business at Peapack Gladstone Bank responsible for the branch system, customer service, treasury management, and Community Private Banking. During my career, I served on and continue to serve on, a number of boards. I currently Chair the Board at Christian Health and I just wrapped up my term as Chair of the Board at Tri-County Scholarship Fund, an organization that raises well over $2MM a year to provide scholarships to underprivileged children and young people so that they can obtain a values-based education. I also previously held positions on the ECCR board as well as the school board of the Netherlands Reformed Christian School. I came to EC through my relationships with Tom Dykhouse and Mark Reitsma, both of whom I have served with on the Board at Christian Health for many years. They reached out and asked if I would consider taking on the role of CFO at EC as Tom was approaching his retirement and, after careful thought and prayer, I was very happy to do so!
What sets EC apart?
During my short period of time with EC, I have been tremendously impressed with a number of things. They include the professionalism with which the school is administered, the incredible dedication of all of the staff, the very strong commitment and loyalty of the families that are part of the EC community, and the warm embracing of this wonderful opportunity to attend a Christian school demonstrated by our students. It is very clear to me that the work being done here at EC is of great significance and we pray and trust that God will continue to bless it!