2007 Inductees

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Captain Stephen J. Fitzgerald
Class of 1976

Hall of Fame 2007

Captain Stephen J. Fitzgerald, US Navy (Ret.) exemplifies courage and commitment to national service.

After attending RFH, Captain Fitzgerald graduated from Miami of Ohio University on a US Navy ROTC Scholarship, earning a BS in Business Administration in 1980. He was then commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy. For the next twenty-four years, Captain Fitzgerald dedicated himself to defending his country as an elite US Navy SEAL, serving in command capacities ranging from Lead Instructor in Basic Underwater Demolition at the SEAL School and Commanding Officer of SEAL Team One to Deputy Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and Chief of Staff of the Joint Special Operations Command.

During his twenty-four years of service, Captain Fitzgerald served overseas on numerous occasions. These deployments included combat missions  in Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama, Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM in Iraq. Subsequent to 9/11, Captain Fitzgerald was involved in the development and implementation of innovative operations for the War on Terrorism.  He also worked with our nation’s leaders on matters related to national defense and budgetary support for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and the Joint Special Operations Command.

In addition to various campaign and unit awards, Captain Fitzgerald’s service decorations include: the Defense Superior Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star (2), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (4), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), the Navy Commendation Medal (2), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon (2). Captain Fitzgerald earned a MS in National Security Strategy and Resources from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1999.

Captain Fitzgerald retired from the US Navy in 2004. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer for INCISENT Technologies, a cutting edge software development company that provides solutions through analytics to the auto industry.  Captain Fitzgerald and his wife Silvia have two daughters, Brittnee and Brigitta.

While he was a student at RFH, Captain Fitzgerald played Varsity Baseball, Basketball and Football. He was Class President in 9th Grade. He remembers Mr. William Savage as one of his most influential coaches: “He demanded a lot and knew how to get the top performance out of you. He was an up-front leader, and his fired-up enthusiasm and passion really motivated you to give your best on every play.” Captain Fitzgerald also recalls great moments in Mr. George Giffin’s Biology class.

When asked what advice he would give to current RFH students, Captain Fitzgerald offered the following points:

•Ø   Be aggressive. When you go after something, go hard!

•Ø   Life is not about the stuff you collect. It is about the stories you can tell.

•Ø   Mistakes will happen. Get the full story before you pass judgment.

•Ø   The best times of your life will be when you are part of a team that is committed to winning.

•Ø   The only easy day was yesterday!

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Judge Anthony Mellaci, Jr.
Class of 1969

Hall of Fame 2007

Judge Anthony Mellaci, Jr.’s professional history demonstrates the unpredictable nature of life and the importance of a sound work ethic.

After graduating from RFH in 1969, Judge Mellaci attended Franklin Pierce College until a skiing accident forced him to withdraw midway through his freshman year. He later enrolled in Villanova University, graduating in 1973 with a BA in History. Judge Mellaci had originally planned on being a high school history teacher and a football coach. Traveling though Europe after graduating from Villanova University, Judge Mellaci decided to apply to law school. He enrolled in Seton Hall Law School in 1974. While he was completing his legal education, Judge Mellaci worked as a law clerk at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in Freehold. He was the first person to hold this position. Judge Mellaci was graduated from Seton Hall University Law School in 1978. After receiving his law degree, Judge Mellaci continued working for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

In 1980, Judge Mellaci passed the Florida Bar Exam and was appointed an Assistant State Attorney for the Judicial District covering Broward County. He left this position later that year after passing the New Jersey Bar Exam and joined the law firm of Smith & Shaw in West Long Branch. While he was at Smith & Shaw, Judge Mellaci handled Municipal, Criminal, Family and Civil Litigation. He also served as the acting Municipal Prosecutor in the Middletown, Sea Bright and Tinton Falls Municipal Courts. In 1982, Judge Mellaci left Smith & Shaw after being appointed Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor. He served in this professional capacity until 1997, holding the following positions: Trial Team Leader, Director of Special Operations, Director of the Pre-Trial Intervention Unit, Director of Major Crimes and Director of the Investigative Unit. During this period in his professional career, Judge Mellaci worked as an Adjunct Professor. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Criminal Justice and Law at several local colleges, including Monmouth University.

In 1997, Judge Melacci was appointed to the position of Superior Court Judge by Governor Christine Whitman. His first six years in this new position were in Family Court and Juvenile Court. He is currently sitting as judge in Criminal Court. Judge Melacci is married and has four children.

While he was a student at RFH, Judge Mellaci played Varsity Football. He was named to the Garden State Conference Team during his senior year. He was a founding member of the Ski Club. He also performed in the annual Senior Variety Show.

Judge Mellaci remembers his football coaches, Mr. Barry Bradford and Mr. Thomas Bain, as positive influences on him: “Both gave me a chance to prove myself and compete when others didn’t think I could cut it. I rewarded them by being named to the Garden State Conference Team during my Senior year.” He also recalls Mr. Donald Trotter and Mr. Thomas Botti as being supportive teachers: “they saw potential in me even when I didn’t.”

When asked what advice he would give to current RFH students, Judge Mellaci offered the following words: “Look at me. Don’t listen when people tell you that you can’t do something. Organization and working hard count.”

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Addie Swartz
Class of 1978

Hall of Fame 2007

Addie Swartz’s is a dynamic entrepreneur whose professional success proves that imagination and personal convictions matter in today’s competitive markets.

After graduating from RFH, Addie attended Stanford University, earning a BA in English (with distinction) in 1982. She worked in Boston for two years for Bain & Company (a leading global management consulting firm) before entering the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. After earning a MBA in Marketing and Management Policy in 1985, Addie worked for two years in the Consumer Products Division of The Walt Disney Company as a Manager of Business Development. Subsequent to her stint at The Walt Disney Company, Addie worked for a year in the Rockport Division of Reebok International as a Women’s Product Manager. She was then employed for two years by the Lotus Development Corporation, first as an Alternative Distribution Channels Manager and later as a Group Marketing Manager.

While she was on maternity leave after the birth of her first child, Addie had an idea for a business of her own-a company that would sell children’s educational software directly to parents and teachers through home parties and school workshops. Addie founded Brightideas in 1982. Brightideas soon had educational consultants working in forty-three states. Addie eventually sold Brightideas to Addison Wesley Longman in 1996, remaining with the company during its first two years with the division of the international publishing company, Pearson.

Addie spent the next few years raising her two daughters. Like any socially conscious, educated mother, she was offended by the inappropriate marketing campaigns that targeted young girls and the poor female role models that saturated the media. Addie got the entrepreneurial spirit again and founded B*tween Productions, a company committed to the development of products that send healthy messages to young girls and provide them with positive female role models. The cornerstone product of B*tween Productions was The Beacon Street Girls, a book series for young girls. The award-winning book series and its related merchandise now have a dedicated fan base in ninety-four countries. 

Balancing the demands of work and family, Addie finds time for community service. She is an Overseer at the Museum of Science in Boston and a past Vice-Chair of the Board of Overseers of the New England Aquarium. She is also a past member of the Board of Directors for her synagogue, Temple Shir Tikva. Addie is married and the mother of two daughters, Aliza and Chloe.

While she was a student at RFH, Adie was a member of the Spanish Club, a Varsity Cheerleader, the Manager of the Track Team and a class representative in the SGA. Addie’s first entrepreneurial experience was when she baked and sold apple pies to local restaurants to raise money for a summer tour of Spain. She was expected to raise $340.00, but her pies proved to be so popular with the customers that she earned $1,200.00-nearly three times what was needed for the trip.

Addie remembers Mr. Robert Berberich (a former member of the English Department) as one of her most influential teachers at RFH: “He had a huge impact on who I would become. Because of him, I majored in English in college, and my company (B*tween Productions) is all about creating meaningful literature that makes a difference in young girls’ lives.” She also recalls the creative moments in Ms. Suzanne Parmley’s art classes.

When asked about giving advice to current to RFH students, Addie offered the following words:

“Doing the ‘popular’ or ‘prestigious’ thing will not get you very far in life if your heart is not in it. And, odds are, you won’t be that good at it either. So, don’t let others define what success means to you. Work hard to figure out your interests — what you like to do and what you’re good at; then explore and expand on your interests, so that you can help yourself succeed. Do the most with what you have. I’ve found that initiative and drive, in large part, define what you can accomplish, and with energy and spirit, you can succeed.”