Untitled Document
PRESS RELEASE
October 23, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY FREEHOLDERS
HONOR RETIREES LISA FERGUSON AND SGT. ANTHONY KNIGHT, SR.,
AS WELL AS JAZZ ADVOCATE AND HISTORIAN STAN MYERS

(Newark, NJ) – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored Lisa E. Ferguson of Bloomfield; Sgt. Anthony J. Knight, Sr., of Roselle; and Stanley J. Myers of Newark during its Wednesday, October 22, 2014, meeting at the Hall of Records.  Freeholder Carol Clark of East Orange sponsored and presented Commendations to two retirees: Ferguson, who retired from NJ Transit after 32 years of service; and Knight, who retired from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office after 27 years of service.  Freeholder Gerald Owens of South Orange sponsored and presented the Board’s Commendation to Myers, a long-time jazz radio personality and advocate for the Jazz Scene in Newark and Essex County.


Freeholders Gerald Owens of South Orange (back row, left) and Carol Clark of East Orange (back row, right) honored jazz radio host Stan Myers of Newark (front row, left), NJ Transit retiree Lisa Ferguson of Bloomfield (front row, center) and Sgt. Anthony Knight, Sr., of Roselle, who retired from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.  The presentations were made during the Freeholder Board’s Wednesday, October 22, 2014, meeting at the Hall of Records in Newark.  (Photo by Lloyd Holmes)

  

Ms. Ferguson was employed at NJ Transit for 32 years, including the last 25 years as a Human Resources professional, and worked there with Freeholder Carol Clark for five years until the freeholder retired from the agency herself in 2010.

“Lisa, from one NJ Transit retiree to another”, said Freeholder Clark, “I want to thank you for your 32 years of outstanding contributions to the agency, and your service to the residents of Essex County and the entire State of New Jersey.” She went on to say, “You are a true professional, a real sweetheart, and an all-around great human being, and it is my pleasure to present you with this Commendation from the Freeholder Board on your well-deserved retirement.”

Ferguson, who was accompanied by her husband, Frank, thanked Freeholder Clark and the Board for the Commendation, and said, “I’m a firm believer that God places you where you’re supposed to be, and I want to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve NJ Transit and the Essex County Workforce Investment Board.  I only hope that I have served and helped people throughout my career.”


Freeholder Carol Clark (left) presents the Board’s Commendation to Lisa E. Ferguson of Bloomfield (Photo by Lloyd Holmes)

  

 

Ferguson began her career with NJ Transit in 1982 as a Secretary and moved through the ranks to the positions of Senior Secretary in 1984 and then Executive Secretary in 1985, and then in 1988 began 25 years in Human Resources, first as a Personnel Assistant and then as a Human Resources and Quality Assurance Analyst from 1991-97, where she was responsible for the maintenance and distribution of organizational design; compiled quarterly and year-end Attrition Analysis Reports; designed a reference library; conducted special research surveys on various Human Resources issues in order to revise company-wide policies and procedures; and monitored performance against goals to establish performance criteria for all units of the Administration Department.  She served as a Senior Employee Resources Specialist from 1997-2003 and then as a Senior Strategic Staffing Recruiter from 2003-2007 where she recruited, interviewed and hired qualified applicants; participated in recruitment programs at job fairs, colleges and schools; and responded to employee concerns regarding career counseling, supervisory conflicts and general policies and procedures.

Ferguson completed her career with NJ Transit by serving as Principal Strategic Staffing Recruiter from 2007 until her retirement in 2014.  In that role, in addition to performing the duties of a Senior Strategic Staffing Recruiter, she also recruited for the locomotive engineer training program and mid-to-high level management positions utilizing behavioral interviewing techniques, and provided information to employees on policies and procedures and feedback on interviewing skills and problem-solving techniques.

While at NJ Transit, Ferguson also represented the agency as a member of the Essex County Workforce Investment Board from 2007 until her retirement.  A graduate of Bloomfield High School, Ferguson earned her B. S. degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources Management (Certificate) from Bloomfield College.


Freeholder Leonard Luciano of West Caldwell (right) presents the Board’s Commendation to his honoree, former West Caldwell Councilman Dominick J. Aiello, during the Board’s annual Italian Heritage Month Celebration at the Hall of Records.  (Photo by Lloyd Holmes)

“Sgt. Knight told me he wanted to leave quietly, in the same quiet, dignified way he carried himself at work every day”, said Freeholder Clark, “but I told him, ‘Oh, no!  Not if I have anything to do with it!’, so here he is tonight!”  She went on to say, “Anthony, you are one of Essex County’s finest, and I know I speak for the entire EC Family when I tell you how grateful we are for your service and professionalism, for everything you stand for that is good and decent in policing, and for your willingness to serve and protect.  We are so grateful to have had you in our midst, and I am so grateful to be able to call you a friend.”

Business Manager Jay Coltre, representing Essex County Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura and accompanied by Undersheriffs Jesus Padilla and James Pitts, also participated in the presentation to Sgt. Knight, adding, “Anthony did a great job no matter what his assignment.  He was a great asset to the Sheriff’s Office, and we are really going to miss him.”

“It’s a wonderful thing to be recognized by the people you work with”, said Knight, who also thanked his wife for supporting him and for practically raising their three children on her own, due to his frequent work-related absences.  “I am so fortunate to have been able to have a job for so many years that I really loved – not many people can say that.  So I want to thank you.  I really appreciate it.  And I am truly humbled by this honor.”

Sgt. Knight joined the Essex County Sheriff’s Office on September 21, 1987, was assigned to Detective status in 1989 and then promoted to Sergeant in 2001, where his assignments included: Court Security Division, Patrol, Prisoner Transportation, Bureau of Identification, Detective Bureau, Sheriff’s Bureau of Narcotics, Civil Process Division, and staff member of the Office of the Chief.  During his tenure he also worked with other agencies, including: the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Robbery Task Force, U. S. Marshals Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U. S. Postal Police, U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency, U. S. Secret Service, Port Authority of NY-NJ Police Department, N. J. State Police and all 22 municipal and campus police departments in Essex County.

He also joined the Essex County Sheriff’s Honor Guard in 1989 and served as its commanding officer from 1993 until his retirement.  In that role, he commanded the Honor Guard at police and dignitaries’ funerals, ceremonies and events such as the Annual Blue Mass and 9/11 Remembrances.  He also served as the Office’s Community Policing Officer.

Knight is a graduate of the Newark Police Academy, N. J. State Police Narcotics School, Penn State Police Executive Development Program, U. S. Marshals Office Fugitive Investigation Training Program and the U. S. Secret Service Small Detail Training Course.  He received the Essex County Sheriff’s Office Award of Excellence (2004 Employee of the Year), the Employee of the Month Award, numerous Police Citations, three Excellent Police Duty awards, two Unit Citations (Civil Process Division and Honor Guard) and the Medal of Merit for being injured in the line of duty.  He also earned his Associate of Arts degree (Cum Laude) in Criminal Justice from Union County College and is working towards his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at Thomas Edison State College.

Knight has also been very active, and holds leadership positions with the Masons.  He is Junior Warden of Jephthah Lodge #56 Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated (PHA) of Montclair; a 32 Degree Member of Sardonias Consistory #41 of Newark, a subordinate consistory of the N. J. Council of Deliberation; a Member of Golconda Temple #24 Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of Newark, Prince Hall Shriners; and was named the “Master Mason of the Year” by Jephthah Lodge #56 for the 2011-12 Masonic Year. 

He has been married to his wife, Ada, since 1988, and they are the proud parents of three children: Zabrina Tomasulo, Karima Lewis and Sgt. Anthony J. Knight, Jr.


Freeholders Brendan Gill (left) and Leonard Luciano (right) present Montclair Deputy Mayor Robert J. Russo with his Commendation during the Board’s Italian Heritage Month Celebration at the Hall of Records.  (Photo by Lloyd Holmes)

“Today it is my pleasure to recognize Stan Myers, a man who has been a pillar of the Jazz Scene for decades”, said Freeholder Owens.  “Like Stan, my older brother introduced me to jazz when I was a kid, I have been a big jazz fan ever since, and for a long time now I’ve wanted to acknowledge Stan for all his contributions to the promotion and appreciation of Jazz because he is one of the most knowledgeable experts this city has ever known.  We owe him a debt of gratitude, and today is our chance to tell him how much we appreciate all he has done.” 

“Many of us are unaware of how important Newark was, and still is, to the music we call jazz”, said 87-year old Myers, “and it’s something we have been trying to revitalize through the radio.”  He recounted how he became a jazz radio host totally by accident after his daughter, then a student at Seton Hall University, asked him if he would be a consultant for the jazz program students wanted to start on WSOU, “and it’s been a labor of love ever since.”  Myers went on to explain that he particularly enjoys working with young people, “because they are the future of our music”, and spoke of speaking to schoolchildren through the New Jersey Jazz Society while also bringing along musicians to demonstrate the various forms of jazz, including be-bop, swing, New Orleans, Chicago and avant-garde.  “Needless to say, I want to thank Freeholder Jerry Owens and the entire Board for this honor, because it is always nice to ‘smell the roses’ while you’re still alive.”

Myers is widely respected as one of the most knowledgeable experts on jazz, and especially the history of the jazz “scene” in Newark, Essex County and the State of New Jersey.  He was born in Newark in 1927 during a period when jazz resonated throughout the city and in its many jazz venues, and at an early age, his older brother exposed him to jazz and to the music of world-renowned jazz artists like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lester Young, Louie Armstrong, Earl Hines and others, as well as the music of such Big Band Era notables as the Dorsey Brothers, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and so many more.  Even as a youngster, he was able to hear live jazz in the many local clubs that dotted the city and began reading and collecting jazz periodicals and, in his late teenage years, also researched its history from its African roots through New Orleans and beyond.

Due to his vast knowledge of jazz and large collection of jazz records, Myers became a consultant for Seton Hall University’s radio station, WSOU-FM, where he wrote scripts for announcers and helped program the music for a weekly jazz show, before eventually being asked to be an announcer himself, where he crafted his own unique on-air approach from 1993-95 that combined tutelage and amusement, a style he called “edu-tainment”.  He then went on to volunteer at WBGO-Jazz 88, where he soon hosted a weekend radio program of his own, Jazz After Hours, from 1995-98.

Myers lectured on jazz and offered jazz seminars at Rutgers, Seton Hall and Montclair State universities, and also hosted a weekly show on WPU (88.7) at William Paterson University, in addition to being a newspaper columnist, appearing on the Jaron Eames Show on cable TV and hosting the Tuesday night “jam” at Crossroads, a club in Garwood.  He has compiled an extensive library of more than 900 albums, CD’s, jazz memorabilia and books by or about jazz musicians and personalities, and through his affiliation with the New Jersey Jazz Society as a Board Member, he participated in music education programs at various public schools in Bergen County and traveled the tri-state area educating diverse audiences on the music form called jazz.  He has also has enjoyed affiliations with countless other jazz-related organizations, including: the New Jersey Jazz Society, Friends of WBGO, the Askew Group, Jazz Arts Society of Newark, South Ward Cultural Center, New Jersey Jazz Institute (Board Member), WKCR, Newark Artists Collective and the Jersey City Jazz Society (President).

Freeholder Carol Clark has represented District 3 (East Orange, Orange, South Orange and parts of Newark’s West and Central Wards) and will leave office at the end of the year.  Freeholder Gerald Owens of South Orange has served as an At-Large Freeholder since 2012, and will also leave office at the end of the year.

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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
gkroessig@freeholders.essexcountynj.org
Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695