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New Community Board Chairman Dr. A. Zachary Yamba Retires

Click here to read the Special Edition Clarion highlighting Dr. Yamba’s retirement.

New Community Board of Directors Chairman Dr. A. Zachary Yamba has retired from his position with the organization, effective Dec. 31, 2023. Yamba joined the Board in September 2012 and became Chairman in June 2018 following the passing of NCC founder and Board Chairman Monsignor William J. Linder.

Yamba was involved with New Community long before his official capacity as a member of the Board of Directors. He was a parishioner of Queen of Angels Church where Monsignor Linder served as priest during the founding of New Community. He had been asked to join the Board prior to 2012 but declined because of his employment responsibilities. After he retired, he joined New Community’s Board of Directors.

He has enjoyed being able to give back to the community through his work on NCC’s Board.

“The myriad of services that New Community offers are critical to the total well-being of the community. And that has been my passion all along,” Yamba said.

During his service with the Board of Directors, Yamba oversaw the re-syndication of NCC housing, helped lead the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic, established Board committees to have closer working relationships with NCC leadership staff, assisted in the re-accreditation process for New Community Career & Technical Institute, led NCC through times of leadership transition and helped relaunch the organization’s Golfing for a Cause fundraiser following the pandemic.

NCC Interim Board Chairman Edgar Nemorin said Yamba has been an ambassador, advocate and steward to New Community.

“As Board Chairman, he successfully ensured that New Community Corporation continued its mission of providing services to the residents of Newark,” Nemorin said. “Although he has resigned as a Board Member and Board Chairman of NCC, we know that he is only a phone call away to assist us in fulfilling our mission.”

Under Yamba’s direction, the Board worked with senior leadership after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of NCC employees, residents and clients while maintaining the necessary services to the community. He also led the organization through two leadership transitions: the passing of Monsignor Linder and the retirement of CEO Richard Rohrman. He was instrumental in the search process for NCC’s current CEO Simone Gagneron.

“Dr. Yamba defines what it means to be in public service. The dedication and support he has provided to New Community and the people of Newark is extraordinary,” Gagneron said. “He has clearly set the stage for others to follow. I would like to thank him personally and professionally for his guidance.”

Yamba said New Community’s mission is just as relevant today as it was in 1968 when the organization was founded and that its offerings continue to be vital.

“It’s my hope and prayer and certainly part of Monsignor’s vision that these services will continue to be provided as long as we have people who need them,” Yamba said.

In addition to his work with New Community, Yamba has served the community in a variety of roles in the areas of education and community development.

Yamba is President Emeritus of Essex County College. He served as President from 1980 to 2010, which is the longest tenure for that position at the school. He was also involved with the institution well before leading it. Yamba joined the humanities faculty when the college opened in 1968 and served as Dean of Faculty before he was appointed President in May 1980.

Current Essex County College President Dr. Augustine Boakye said Yamba strengthened the community through his work.

“Our Essex County College family and the Essex Community owe Dr. Yamba a debt of gratitude for enriching our lives and making education the cornerstone of community engagement and development,” he said.

Yamba served as a commissioner of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools for more than a decade and is a founding member of the Presidents’ Round Table, an affiliate of the National Council on Black American Affairs of the American Association of Community Colleges. His other past affiliations include serving on the boards of the Essex County WIB, Newark Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, American Conference on Diversity, Christ the King Prep Academy, Council of Higher Education in Newark (CHEN) and Newark Boys Chorus School. He is also an Emeritus Board Member of Victoria Foundation.

“For decades, Dr. A. Zachary Yamba has been one of Newark’s great educators and activists. Whether as President of Essex County College, Chairman of the New Community Corporation Board or Commissioner of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, he has mentored and inspired his colleagues, students and residents of our city. His legacy is firm in the hearts and minds of the generations he empowered in his many endeavors,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “As Dr. Yamba enters this new phase of his life, we thank him for his leadership and service to Newark, and wish him joy and success for the future.”

Victoria Foundation Executive Officer Craig Drinkard said the City of Newark, Essex County and the State of New Jersey are all better places because of Yamba’s leadership.

“His tireless and regal service to Newark and all of humanity spans decades and has helped to transform the lives of countless individuals and families,” Drinkard said.

Urban League of Essex County President and CEO Vivian Cox Fraser said Yamba has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to advancing opportunities for families.

“As President of Essex County College and his leadership on the Board of New Community, Zack never lost sight of the people he was there to serve and help.”

A graduate of Seton Hall University, Yamba was awarded honorary degrees from his alma mater, Rutgers University and the University of Development Studies in Ghana. In 1980, Yamba, an All-America soccer player, was inducted into Seton Hall’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

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