Tribute to Rick Peterson, PSGCNJ’s Guiding Light

by David Pastore, Managing Editor

We’ll open this month’s issue with a tribute to Rick Peterson, our friendly and talented facilitor between PSGCNJ and the Departmemt of Labor. His guidance and support has helped us immensely. Rick’s role as the link between PSGCNJ and the DoL will now be managed by Emmanuel “Manny” Inyang.

Here are tributes to Rick Peterson from two PSGCNJ members who are highly qualified to speak about his contributions to our organization as they worked with him extensively over the past two years.

From Craig Uthe:

Rick initially came to PSGCNJ under the oversight of our original DoL Facilitator, Virginia Daly. Rick’s intelligence, insight and diplomacy have been invaluable to guiding PSGCNJ through a number of challenges. He guided the ad-hoc team of committee representatives developing our bylaws, a long tediously-detailed effort that required negotiation and compromise among participants. Countless times they relied on his talent for finding the common ground and compromises that drew enough consensuses to make progress.

Although an employee of the DoL, Rick has been one of us – very professional, very talented and underemployed. We’ve appreciated him as our facilitator and we now welcome him with open arms as a new member.

From Rick Verbanas:

I have had the opportunity to work with Rick Peterson during two separate six month stints with PSGCNJ. If there is one thing that can be said about Rick . . . he cares.

As the main contact between the Department of Labor and our growing, more demanding, Professional Service Group of Central New Jersey, Rick treated this as more than just a part-time job. Often, he took work home so he could give our group a timely response on very pressing matters.

When asked a question by a new member who recently found themselves in a scary and stressful period in their life, Rick took the time and care to answer them, despite having answered the same question hundreds, if not thousands of times before. He was a calm voice and a pillar of reason in our Co-Chair meetings, often suggesting a solution in a very diplomatic way, allowing us to feel it was our own decision. He cautioned us when necessary and championed our petitions as the utmost professional liaison.

On a personal note, he worked with me to get my education grant in an expeditious manner, allowing me to take a class a few weeks away rather than have to wait several months. I know I am just one example of many he has helped over the years. However, as a group of several hundred people he has served, we are very fortunate to have had such a passionate, dedicated and compassionate liaison. Good luck, Rick! 

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