Stony Brook University Vice President of Economic Development Dr. Yacov Shamash Appointed as New Chairman of School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Organization Also Welcomes Three New Board Members, Including the Executive Director/CEO of SCOPE and the Former President/CEO of Schenck Corporation 

[Kings Park, New York] — Dr. Yacov Shamash, Stony Brook University Vice President for Economic Development, was recently appointed as Chairman of the Board of School-Business Partnerships of Long Island (SBPLI). Dr. Shamash replaces Hans Zobel, who has stepped down from the post but will remain with the organization as a member of the board. George L. Duffy III, Kristin O’Rourke and Bertram Dittmar have also joined the organization’s esteemed Board of Directors. Each of the newest members brings with them a unique skillset that will benefit SBPLI in its mission to provide substantial hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning opportunities for Long Island students.

In his role at Stony Brook University, Dr. Shamash supervises the University’s four incubators, three New York State Centers for Advanced Technology (Medical Biotechnology, Sensor Systems and Integrated Electric Energy Systems); two New York State Centers of Excellence (Wireless and Information Technology [CEWIT]), and the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC); the Small Business Development Center; and the workforce development programs of the Center for Emerging Technologies. 

Dr. Shamash also led the collaboration among the engineering programs at the University Centers of the State University of New York (SUNY) to create the very successful statewide Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) program. He also previously served as Stony Brook University’s Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and as Director of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University and held faculty positions at Florida Atlantic University, the University of Pennyslvania and Tel Aviv University. 

In addition to his work with Stony Brook University and SBPLI, Dr. Shamash is also a member of the boards of Keytronic Corporation and Applied DNA, Inc.; the Long Island Software & Technology Network (LISTnet); and the Long Island Angel Network. A graduate of London’s Imperial College of Science and Technology, Dr. Shamash is the author of more than 130 publications and a Fellow for IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). 

“Given his impressive background in the field of technology, I know that Dr. Shamash will help lead SBPLI for many years into the future,” says Hans Zobel, Dr. Shamash’s predecessor. “I cannot think of a more perfect person to fill the role of Chairman of the Board of SBPLI. I look forward to the direction in which he will take the organization and to working with him on fostering STEM initiatives on Long Island.” 

Among the other newly appointed members is George Duffy, Executive Director and CEO of SCOPE Education Services. Mr. Duffy previously served as SCOPE’s Deputy Director for Student Services for 10 years, coordinating the core program of the not-for-profit educational organization that serves all Long Island school districts. He represents Long Island as a member of the New York State Study Council and is Immediate Past President of the National School Development Council. His past position as Superintendent of both the Riverhead Central School District and Seaford Union Free School District has given him the comprehensive understanding of the needs of Long Island students and the opportunities for growth within their school districts. 

Mr. Duffy is joined by Bertram Dittmar, former President and CEO of Schenck Corporation, the U.S. arm of Schenck RoTec, which has offices in Deer Park, New York and Southfield, Michigan. He retired this past September after a collective 40 years with the company, having started as an Application Engineer at Schenck’s German headquarters. In addition to serving as a Management Consultant for Schenck Corporation, Mr. Dittmar is an active member of the German Economic Round Table steering committee, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Farmingdale State College’s Applied Mathematics and Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering Technology department advisory committees. He is also credited as a publication sponsor on four studies related to engine balancing. 

Rounding out the newest appointments is Kristin O’Rourke, a 30-year veteran of the technology industry. Presently in charge of Data Center & Cloud Solutions for Cisco Systems, Inc., Ms. O’Rourke’s other professional credits include roles with Hewlett Packard, Segway, Avnet Enterprise Solutions and Compaq Computer Corporation, managing global, territory and partner sales. In these positions, Ms. O’Rourke has focused on driving $22 million to $155 million in top line revenue across product, services and software. 

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Duffy, Mr. Dittmar and Ms. O’Rourke to the SBPLI Board of Directors,” adds Mr. Zobel. “I am confident that the experiences they each bring to the Board will further help us in our mission to find career opportunities for Long Island high school and college students and to foster relationships with local businesses. Though I have stepped down as Chairman, I look forward to continuing to support the organization as a member of its Board.” 

For more information, visit www.sbpli.org

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Photos of Dr. Shamash, Mr. Duffy, Mr. Dittmar and Ms. O’Rourke are available upon request. 

About School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.
School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) was founded in 1984 by Fred Breithut with the goal of developing partnerships between local high schools and businesses that would provide students with practical experience and curriculum development, while helping the business community develop its future workforce. Over 100 partnerships have been formed. In 1999, SBPLI brought the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition to Long Island, in which eight high school teams participated. Since then, the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition has grown to over 50 teams competing each year. SBPLI also hosts Long Island’s annual FIRST LEGO League Qualifying and Championship Tournaments and the Junior FIRST LEGO League Expos, in which almost 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties take part each year. For more information, visit www.sbpli.org