BOARD OF TRUSTEES

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Jeff Behm, MBA, FACPE
Board Member

Jeff Behm is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for MONOC, the Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Services Corporation which is a non-profit hospital cooperative with acute care hospital members including RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, CentraState Healthcare System, and Deborah Heart and Lung.  MONOC operates the single largest MICU (paramedic) program in the State of New Jersey.  In addition to MICU services, MONOC provides Air Medical Critical Care Transport and Air Medical Emergency Scene response, as well as Ground Interfacility Specialty Care Transport.

Jeff has had leadership roles with the NJ Association of Paramedic Programs where he is currently the secretary. Jeff is a member of the NJ Mobile Intensive Care Unit Advisory Council, the NJ EMS Council, and he was the previous chair of the Specialty Care Transport sub-committee of the NJ EMS Council. Jeff has been a New Jersey paramedic for over 27 years and will become the President and CEO of MONOC on July 1, 2019.

Jeff is a servant leader with a passion for EMS and Population Health. He is responsible for the integration of EMS and medical transport across the 13 member hospitals and health systems of MONOC. In addition to his MBA, Jeff is a Fellow of the American College of Paramedic Executives, and a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society in Business. Jeff was honored to serve Vice President Dick Cheney in August 2001 and July 2003 as part of the United States Secret Service Medical Protection Detail. Jeff also volunteers as a youth travel soccer coach.

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Rod Donnelly
Board Member

Founder and CEO of Donnelly Construction, Rod has established a culture of excellence within the company. He looks for ways to continuously improve our capabilities as well as seeking new opportunities to move Donnelly Construction forward. Over the years, Rod has expanded the company to serve clients in additional ways by creating Donnelly Energy and Donnelly Facilities. He plays a pivotal role in ensuring that all companies in the Donnelly family have the resources and guidance required to exceed client expectations by providing the best overall service in the industry. Rod has over 40 years’ experience in the General Contracting industry and has been a leading contractor servicing the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy’s Direct Install Program since its inception ten years ago.

Lissa Ferrell

Lissa Ferrell, JD
Board Member

With over 20 years of executive experience, including almost a decade at American Express, Lissa Ferrell brings both a wealth of leadership experience and a unique skill set to the table. She is Vice President, Advisory, AML Compliance at Barclays Bank in New York City.  Lissa also founded LJF Consulting to pursue her passion of helping people and businesses thrive in a highly competitive environment. Her high-profile portfolio displays diversity of clients in multifaceted industries including hospitality, entertainment, health care, civic, sports, and education.

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Joshua D. Hartman, MBA, NRP
Board Member

With nearly twenty years’ experience in medical education and training, including digital medical publishing and business development, Joshua D Hartman is the Sr. Vice President, Public Safety & Cardiovascular Divisions at HMP. In his role at HMP, Josh manages the EMS World portfolio including the print, digital conference-based products including EMS World Expo and EMS World Americas. Prior to joining HMP, Josh served as Executive Director of the Center for Education at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF), where he co-founded the organization’s digital platform, TCTMD, a comprehensive, global, online educational resource in interventional cardiology. Josh also continues to work as a 911 and critical care paramedic – which he has done for more than twenty years – in both New York City with Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Corps and in northern New Jersey at Englewood Hospital & Medical Center. Josh is also an adjunct faculty member of the Paramedic Science Program at Bergen Community College located in Lyndhurst, NJ.

August Leming

August Leming, Ph.D.
Board Member

August Leming is an internationally recognized expert in human motivation, behavior change, and performance psychology. He has been invited to speak at Yale University, Princeton University, and Williams College among many other respected academic institutions in the United States. August has also worked around the globe, consulting with Qatar Gas in Doha, Qatar, City Fitness Group Ltd., in Wellington, New Zealand and Philippines Magazine International in Manilla, Philippines.  Nationally, Dr. Leming has been blessed to serve Bristol Myers Squibb, Navigant, BNP Paribas and Independence Blue Cross.

Dr. Leming attended Columbia University, where he earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. He completed his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Seton Hall University, where he also served as an Adjunct Professor in Adolescent Psychology, Child Psychology and Statistics. August’s pioneering academic work earned him the American Psychological Association’s Outstanding Professional Development Award in 2003. He has been invited to speak at both the American Psychological Association and Eastern Psychological Association annual meetings.

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Lt. Col. Albert M. Ponenti
Board Member

Al Ponenti is a 25year veteran with the New Jersey State Police and is the Deputy Superintendent of the Homeland Security Branch, commanding the Special Operations and Emergency Management Sections.  He currently sits as the State Deputy Director for the NJ Office of Emergency Management and is the co-chairperson of the State Emergency Response Commission.  His command is comprised of approximately 800 enlisted and civilian members overseeing capabilities in the realm of Aviation, Marine, Transportation Safety, SWAT, K9, and Explosive Detection. Within the Emergency Management Section Al’s command is responsible for the State Emergency Operations Center, Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery operations, Communications, as well as the NJ State Urban Search and Rescue Team (NJ-TF1). He also sits as a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Executive Board.

Prior to being appointed the Deputy Superintendent of Homeland Security he served as the NJ Task Force Commander and Director for the Office of the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (NJ ROIC).  The Office of the NJ ROIC contains an all hazards, all crimes, all threats fusion center with a joint inter-agency intelligence enterprise comprised of 150 personnel from multiple federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement and public safety agencies, charged with gathering, processing, analyzing, and disseminating information. In this capacity he also served as the co-chairperson for the Northeast Regional Intelligence Group responsible for coordinating information sharing among the 15 northeastern fusion centers.

Al served as the Bureau Chief maintaining the rank of Captain for the Executive Protection Bureau, responsible for the protective operations for Governor Chris Christie, the First Family, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and several other cabinet level appointees and visiting national and international dignitaries. The majority of Al’s career was spent with the Technical Emergency and Mission Specialist Unit (TEAMS) rising to the rank of Lieutenant, where he was responsible for statewide tactical missions, underwater search and recovery, counter assault elements for dignitary protection, high angle and aerial rescue, critical infrastructure protection, and counter terrorism operations.

Al earned a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies (Homeland Defense and Security) from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2008, a Master of Arts degree in Education from Seton Hall University in 1998 and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class 248 in 2012. He is also an adjunct professor at Monmouth University where he teaches in the graduate studies for homeland security education program.

Al joined the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) team as a Character Does Matter (CDM) Ambassador in 2013 and continues to grow the CDM program among the ranks of the NJSP.  Al is also a strong supporter of the annual 911 Heroes Run and assists with TMF Survivor Services program.

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James C. Schatzle, EMT-P
Board Member

Jim Schatzle has been involved in the Emergency Medical Services field for over 40 Years, as an EMT, Firefighter, and Paramedic, interning at Johns Hopkins and Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, MD and was the first person in NJ to graduate with a degree in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). In 1994, Jim established TEAM LIFE, INC., a training and AED sales company with headquarters in Colts Neck, NJ.  Along with a highly motivated team, TEAM LIFE has trained thousands of people in CPR, AED, and Advanced Classes. TEAM LIFE is one of the largest AED distributors in the country, implementing AED programs for Police, Fire, First Aid, Universities, Schools, Municipalities, Corporate, and Athletic programs.

Jim holds several faculty appointments including Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Monmouth County Police Academy. Jim is involved in his hometown of Colts Neck and is a life member of the First Aid Squad, Fire Department, and former Mayor.  Jim’s greatest accomplishment is being Dad to his two Sons, Jimmy and Jack.

Jim’s goal is to empower people with knowledge and equipment to increase the chance of survival in times of emergencies – ANYONE CAN BE A HERO.

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Simcha Shain
Board Member

Sim is the founder and CEO of ParaFlight EMS and Aviation, an air ambulance, organ transplant transport, and corporate air charter company based on the East coast.

Sim is a national registered paramedic who started his EMS career in March 1993. Since 2007, he has worked per diem as a 9-1-1 paramedic for MONOC, the largest provider of Advanced Life Support in NJ. He is the ALS coordinator for Hatzolah EMS in Ocean County NJ.  In 2012, he earned the Paramedic of the Year Award from the State of New Jersey. He is also a member of the Lakewood Township Water Rescue Team.    

Sim holds a Bachelors Degree in Talmudic Law and volunteers with numerous organizations, including Howell Township First Aid and Rescue, Hatzolah EMS in New York and New Jersey, Chai Lifeline, Camp Simcha for children with cancer, Camp Simcha Special for children with disabilities and special needs, ZAKA International Rescue and Recovery and  Misameach Spreading Smiles. He is a board member of Minyan Shelanu peer support center for teens and young adults and Magenu, an organization that works to protect children by promoting education in personal safety.

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Nancy Simpkins, MD
Board Member

For over 25 years Dr. Nancy Simpkins, a board certified internist and internal medicine expert in Livingston, NJ, has been involved in all aspects of internal medicine, to ensure a healthy lifestyle for all ages incorporating prevention into all aspects of health and wellness.

Known for her diagnostic ability, coupled with her wit, Dr. Simpkins has garnered a huge following and become a sought after speaker, guest and consultant. She is dedicated to raising awareness on a large variety of topics.

Dr. Simpkins has developed a thriving private internal medicine expert practice that is the core of her career.  As an adjunct to that, she also holds the position of medical consultant for the state of New Jersey. In this role, she works part time for the state under the federal agency of social security administration, and has received multiple commissioner citations from SSA for her dedication and policy formation. In addition, Dr. Simpkins has a large media presence, including the Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, Fox News, and frequent appearances on Wall Street Journal Live.

Growing up in Maplewood, New Jersey, Dr. Simpkins was greatly influenced by her father. Also a doctor, her father was known as the original “Marcus Welby.” Dr. Simpkins attended Bucknell University and graduated cum laude in 1980 with a degree in psychology.

Dr. Simpkins graduated from the Chicago Medical School in 1984 and passed the National Board of Medical Examiners certification exam one year later. She completed both her internship and residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. In 1989 Dr. Simpkins received her certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Simpkins values being a mom, above all things, to her three children. She also enjoys running, hot yoga and spin throughout the week. Dr. Simpkins currently resides in New Jersey and in New York City with her husband.

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Ammundeep Tagore, MD, MSHA, MBA
Board Member

Dr. Tagore is a native Texan currently a licensed Emergency Medicine physician with a subspecialty in EMS & Disaster Medicine practicing in New Jersey. Prior to entering medical school Dr. Tagore stayed very busy obtaining 2 master’s degrees (MSHA & MBA), working in the Texas EMS system for almost 10 years, and running 2 businesses: a real estate investment company and a construction company. Through working in the Emergency Department and EMS system in Houston, Dr Tagore realized his true passion was medicine. He first began going on medical mission trips abroad in 2002. After attending several medical mission trips, he soon realized his focus in life was to further pursue his career in medicine to one day devote his purpose and life to medical mission work. After completing his fellowship in EMS & Disaster Medicine, Dr Tagore stayed in New Jersey as Associate Program Director for the EMS & Disaster Medicine Fellowship at Newark Beth Israel. Dr Tagore has found a passion in educating and training physicians. He trains physician pursuing a specialty in Emergency Medicine and EMS & Disaster Medicine. Currently, Dr Tagore is involved in medical mission work abroad and focuses in establishing EMS Systems in developing and 3rd world countries. He also is heavily involved in teaching physicians in developing and 3rd world countries point of care ultrasound (POCUS) to diagnose and treat patients who may not have the latest imaging technology readily available to them. In New Jersey Dr Tagore also works as Associate Medical Director for MONOC, New Jersey’s Hospital Service Corporation. Other affiliations include his role as a Flight Physician for multiple air ambulance agencies. Dr Tagore is also active in event medicine, working concerts, marathons, special events, etc. One of Dr Tagore’s professional interests is Tactical Medicine. He is a Tactical Physician for several local and federal police departments. He has specialized tactical training in K-9 Casualty Care for working service dogs in the SWAT Team as well. In his spare time he enjoys spending time and traveling with his loving family.