New board of trustees officers

Dorothy Leung Blakeslee, Adam Silverstein, Joseph Barreto and Gerard L. Carroll.

PARAMUS, N.J. – During its annual reorganization meeting Nov. 4, the Bergen Community College board of trustees unanimously approved its officers for this year. The board selected longtime member Dorothy Leung Blakeslee as chair, Adam Silverstein as vice chair, Joseph Barreto as treasurer and Gerard L. Carroll as secretary. Blakeslee and Carroll swapped roles – the pair previously served as treasurer and chair, respectively. Carroll led the board as chair since July 2019 after the passing of former chair Carol Otis. Blakeslee had served as treasurer since 2004. She represents the first Asian-American chair – male or female – in Bergen history.

“For nearly two decades, I have had the honor of serving on the Bergen Community College board of trustees,” Chair Blakeslee said. “During those years on the board, I have witnessed the transformation of Bergen into one of the nation’s finest community colleges that provides incredible opportunities for our students and community members. I remain humbled by the position my fellow trustees have afforded me and pledge my unwavering support to our College community.”

Blakeslee, of Wyckoff, first joined the board in 2003 and stands as the College’s current longest-tenured trustee. She has worked with four Bergen presidents during that time and represented the trustees on the search committee currently tasked with selecting the institution’s next chief leader.

Outside the College, Blakeslee is a partner with Browncoats Consulting, Inc., and remains an active member of many organizations including the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency, the Quest Autism Program and the Regional Family Support Planning Council. She has served on the boards of the Hackensack University Medical Foundation, the New Jersey Task Force on the Needs of Autistic Adults, the Organization of Chinese Americans and completed the renowned Leadership New Jersey program. She received her B.S. from the University of Connecticut and holds a master black belt in Tae Kwan Do.

Rounding out the officers, Silverstein, the vice chair, reprises the role he first assumed last year, while Barreto steps into the treasurer position vacated by Blakeslee. Carroll returns to the secretary position – a role he previously held for two years before becoming vice chair and, ultimately, chair.

The 12-person board of trustees maintains the responsibility for the governance of the institution and fulfillment of its mission. In carrying out these responsibilities, the board regularly considers and approves College policies, provides fiscal oversight and convenes standing committees in areas such as education/student affairs/personnel and strategic planning. Members also serve as liaisons and advocate for the College in the community. The board delegates the authority for the day-to-day management of the College to the president, who implements board policies.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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