Ask A Busy Person: Jerry H. Rovner
As famed 20th-century U.S. General Douglas MacArthur closed his military career, he recalled the words of a popular barracks ballad that proudly proclaimed that old soldiers never die; they just fade away. Not so for Jerry H. Rovner, retired Navy reservist who serves not only as the Deputy Commander for New Jersey, but also as CEO of Rapid Response Computer Service in Robbinsville, NJ, and as operator of his own management consulting business. Rovner is also a public speaker, teacher, business coach and director of the biannual International Submarine Races. A long-time resident of Allentown, he is the go-to” guy for helping fellow veterans in New Jersey.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rovner graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Business Administration and American History. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University in California.
Rovner served on active duty for seven years in the United States Navy, during Vietnam, as a Deep Sea Diving and Salvage officer.
As a result of his 9/11 service, Rovner received the Legion of Honor award from the Chapel of Four Chaplains in recognition of 11 exceptional selfless service on the part of an individual who contributes to the well-being of his community.” He is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans Association, a member of the Reserve Officers Association, the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, the Navy League and the Naval Militia Associations of both New Jersey and New York.
In his professional life, Rovner has worked as an executive for several major companies, including Squibb, Fedders, and L’Oreal/Lancome, capitalizing on his expertise in operations, logistics, sales and human resource management. At the time of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Rovner was COO of Rail Head CFS, a Bayonne-based company that integrated rail, sea, and trucking operations. Three hours after the twin tower attacks, Captain Rovner was activated and mobilized to liaison with the NJ National Guard and the US Navy, as part of the NJ Naval State Guard.
“When I came off of active duty, I had to start my business career over again, by hard work and a tremendous amount of networking through the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commercean incredibly helpful and useful organization,” says Rovner. I started Rapid Response Computer Service, a disabled veteran company, with two other fine gentlemen.”
Considering the fate of returning vets, Rovner notes that there is a real lack of services for those returning from active duty that wishes to re-start a business. A staunch supporter of the “vetrepreneur,” Rovner has helped dozens of veterans reestablish businesses that they ran successfully before being called to active duty. Recognized for the extraordinary amount of pro bono services he provides to veterans to help them with their companies, Rovner was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) New Jersey 2006 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year Award.
Another passion in his life is helping many charities; his current passion is helping families with autistic children. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Princeton Child Development Institute and asks everyone to get involved and help this great institution. For more information, visit www.PCDI.org.
In his spare time, Rovner serves the community as:
* City Councilman, Allentown, NJ
* Consultant for the TCNJ New Jersey Small Business Development Center
* Board member of the Foundation for Underwater Research & Education
* Mediator for the New Jersey State Court
* Instructor at Mercer County Community College
And every other year, Rovner devotes a lot of time to directing the International Submarine Races (ISR). This biennial submarine design competition draws teams of student athletes/engineers from colleges, corporations, research centers and high schools from North America and Europe to the host location-the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock Division David Taylor Model Basin in Bethesda, Maryland. Using a 3,200-foot-long test tank, teams race their subs along an underwater course. The competition is scheduled for June 25-30, 2007, and Rovner will be on hand to ensure all goes well. (For more information about this fascinating competition, visit www.isrsubrace.org.)
Perhaps the very definition of a busy person, Rovner also makes time to spend with his family. He and his wife, Susan, have two married children: Kelly, who is married to Matt Galbraith, and Chad, who is married to Sue. They are soon to become proud grandparents. To contact Jerry Rovner or Rapid Response Computer Service, call (609) 945-2389.
Copyright Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Mar 01, 2007
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