Following the recent Board of Directors elections, Bob Ricken has been voted in as the new President and will now work towards the Board’s goals of improving communication with residents while addressing other main concerns.
Ricken has lived at the Towers for about nine years with his wife Susan. The couple has three sons and four grandchildren. Ricken plays golf and he and his wife are both active in the tennis community.
For more than 50 years, Ricken has worked in the education field, beginning as a middle school teacher. He went on to be the principal and superintendent of the Mineola School District, remaining there for 22 years. Ricken also served as the interim superintendent of the North Bellmore, Elmont, Bellmore, Smithtown, Bellmore-Merrick and Half Hollow Hills school districts.
“My career in education has been very rewarding,” Ricken has said in the past.
Still involved in the education field, Ricken now teaches Educational Administration at Long Island University, C.W. Post. The university’s chapter of Phi Delta Kappa recently honored Ricken, who has received many awards throughout his career, with a lifetime achievement award.
Ricken has also written numerous books to assist other educators. His most recent 2007 publications were “Mastering the Balance of the Principalship: How to Be a Compassionate and Decisive Leader” and a poetry collection entitled “The Middle School Years: Love Me When I’m Most Unlovable.” Along with the books he has written, Ricken has had many articles printed in publications such as The New York Times, Newsday, Sports Illustrated, The Harvard Review, Harper’s Weekly, Read Magazine, and Single Parent Magazine.
“I always felt if I had a strong opinion about something, (I’d) put it in writing,” he said previously.
The newly elected Board of Directors term marks the beginning of Ricken’s third year serving as a member. He first joined the Board to fill a vacancy left when former Board President Ira Rubin became ill and resigned from his position.
Prior to becoming the Board President, Ricken served as the corporation’s treasurer. He said that during that time, he thinks the Board, along with Controller Robert Serikstad and the Finance Committee, worked together to do an exceptional job, which included increasing the reserve funds amount to $9.5 million.
Ricken said that previously he did not want to take on the role of Board President. However, after discussing it with his wife, they made the joint decision that it was time to do so.
“It was an honor to be elected President,” Ricken said.
The new Board of Directors has already formed its list of goals, which includes examining concerns over the roof antennae, improving communication between the Board and residents, and increasing golf membership. Ricken said that some of the things are already starting to come together.
The rest of the positions that Ricken’s fellow Board members will hold are as follows:
-Morton Gitter: 1st Vice President, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
-Herbert Cooper: 2nd Vice President, Capital Improvements Committee Chair
-Phyllis Goldstein: Secretary, Screening Committee Chair
-Chuck Robbins: Vice President, Ombudsman
-Murray Lewinter: Vice President, Political Action Committee Chair
-Marvin Rosenberg: Vice President, Legal Committee Chair, Public Relations & Marketing Committee Chair
-James Short: Vice President, Country Club Committee Chair (This will be temporary. The committee will later be chaired by Ricken.)
-Claire Levitan: Vice President, House & Grounds Committee Chair
“Our new board has a lot of fences to mend. The only way a cooperative goes from good to great is to be open to residents’ input. In the past there were many groups that were frustrated because their ideas were not seriously considered,” Ricken said. “We seek to involve everyone in that decision making process.”
He continued, “Obviously, the Board is elected to make the final decision, but that should be done after a comprehensive discussion of our owners’ views. I continue to believe that organizations that support the status quo will never grow. If you’re closed to new ideas you can only coast, and, as I’ve said before, ‘If you coast, you can only go downhill.’ ”
To find out more about the Board’s goals as they begin the new term, read Ricken’s President’s message on page eight.
Photos By Jessica Lyons
Bob Ricken, the newly elected President of the North Shore Towers Board of Directors.
North Shore Towers Courier publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis and Board President Bob Ricken. Schneps-Yunis is looking forward to working with the new Board and hearing from residents.