The Monmouth University Board of Trustees recently elected a new board chair, officers, and members for a term beginning July 1. Christopher D. Maher was elected chair, with Leslie N. Hitchner and Tasha A. Youngblood Brown ’97 ’03M elected as vice chairs, Stephen E. Gerard ’89M elected treasurer, and Dean Q. Lin, FACHE, elected secretary. Newly elected board members include Karyn Cusanelli ’89, Kanesha K. Jones ’03, Rocio F. Serey ’16, and Bayaan A. Oluyadi ’13 who is serving ex officio in his capacity as president of the Monmouth University Alumni Association.
Maher, who has more than 25 years of experience in financial services and banking, currently serves as chairman and CEO of OceanFirst Financial Corp. and OceanFirst Bank, a $12.3 billion national commercial bank serving New Jersey and the metropolitan areas of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston. Maher is also chairman of the OceanFirst Foundation; director and treasurer of Hackensack Meridian Ambulatory Care; and member of the board of trustees of Hellen Keller Services as well as the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Elected to Monmouth’s Board of Trustees in 2015, Maher was named treasurer in 2018. In 2016, OceanFirst Bank and Monmouth University signed a $4 million, 20-year partnership to rename the Multi-Purpose Activity Center as the OceanFirst Bank Center. Additionally, Monmouth University is one of the colleges and universities selected to participate in the OceanFirst Foundation Scholarship program providing local students with scholarships to continue their education.
Hitchner was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2017. In addition to serving as chair of the Committee on Trustees and serving on the Executive Board, she was a member of the most recent Presidential Search Committee and chaired the University’s Endowment Committee. Hitchner is an advisory board member of the Urban Coast Institute and a board member of the Riverview Medical Center Foundation in Red Bank, NJ. She previously served as a trustee of the executive board of CPC Behavioral Health Care as well as the Women’s Council for Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center.
Youngblood Brown, who holds a B.S. in Political Science and an MBA from Monmouth University, was elected to the Board of Trustees in July 2020, and named secretary in 2022. A managing director in the Government and Public Sector practice of Ernst & Young, she helps local government, higher education institutions, and K-12 school districts transform their environments and optimize operations to achieve better outcomes across their communities. She also serves as the vice president of the Long Branch Board of Education and as board treasurer of the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC), working with minority-owned, women-owned businesses and corporations as an advocate for supplier diversity.
Gerard, who earned his MBA from Monmouth in 1989, was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2019. He previously served as the executive in residence for the Leon Hess Business School from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. He is also a past member of the Business Council and the Dean’s Advisory Council. His varied financial and commercial experience includes rising through the corporate ranks at Pepsi Cola, Schering Plough (now Merck Pharmaceuticals), and IMS Health (now IQIVIA) before founding an entrepreneurial venture, TGaS Advisors.
Lin is currently president of Rendr, a private equity-backed, multi-specialty physician group primarily serving Asian Americans in New York City. Previously, he was a senior executive at Hackensack Meridian Health for 10 years and held roles including president of Care Transformation and Physician Services Division, regional president, and hospital president. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the fellowship of the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, and a Trustee at Fulfill (formerly known as the FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties). Lin was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2017.
The Monmouth University Board of Trustees is composed of 32 regular members who are elected to four-year terms and are divided into four class years. The board operates within the conventional framework of higher education academic governance for independent institutions. Board members are concerned with higher education issues and share a specific and genuine involvement with Monmouth University.