Paul Crupi is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Brookdale Community College, recently elected in November with a unanimous vote of confidence. He is an 8-year member of the Board, appointed by the Monmouth County Commissioners three times. Crupi has served on all the Board Committees over his tenure and has served in leadership as Committee Chair of the Finance & Facilities Committee in 2022, the Audit Committee Chair in 2021, and the Governance Committee Chair in 2016. He has also served as the Liaison to the NJ Council of County Colleges in 2017 and 2018.
Crupi, a lifelong resident of Monmouth County, holds a master’s degree in public policy from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University. He has worked as a legislative liaison for the New Jersey Department of Education and as a policy advisor in the Office of the Governor. He is currently the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Capital Impact Group, a bipartisan government affairs and business development firm in Trenton.
In describing the qualities needed for a career as a lobbyist, he said, “It’s essential to have a deep understanding of the policymaking process and the ability to work collaboratively with people of diverse viewpoints. An open-minded and curious attitude toward others’ backgrounds is crucial in working towards a mutual goal.”
During his tenure, and no doubt using many of those qualities, Crupi is proud to have participated in the significant changes and transformation of Brookdale Community College. He said his first meeting was overwhelming and challenging, particularly with the announcement of a reduction in force, with hundreds of people in the audience and hours of public comment. “People were scared and didn’t know their future or the future of the college,” he said.
Since then, the College has overcome those challenges and improved its position as one of the strongest he has seen in the past eight years. “We couldn’t have a better president than Dr. Stout to get us there,” Crupi said.
There have been changes to the board and administration and a refocus on the College’s mission, which he feels contributes to a more dynamic and adaptable organization.
“I am grateful that we have varying levels of expertise and life experiences in my fellow trustees, so that we can lean on each other for different perspectives when an issue or a challenge comes up,” Crupi said.
He recognizes the significant role that the College plays in the community, serving a wide range of people from students fresh out of high school to those returning to college after a long time, as well as those learning English as a second language.
“It is a really rewarding experience to impact policy decisions and manage the future prospects of the school to ensure that the Brookdale that exists today will exist in the future,” he said. “I am grateful to be the Board Chairman now. It is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
When Crupi is not working as a lobbyist or volunteering his time at Brookdale, he enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife, Lauren, and two children, Ben, seven, and Caroline, five. In addition, during the pandemic, Crupi started playing the guitar. He watched YouTube videos to learn and still plays today as a relaxing hobby. Crupi’s travel bucket list includes visiting historical monuments and landmarks around the United States and Europe, with his favorite trip being a visit to Scotland with Lauren in 2013.
Crupi has been a die-hard New York Jets fan since he was nine years old and considers it an essential part of his life. He fell in love with the game after attending a game with his dad and has been obsessed with the Jets ever since. He has introduced his wife and kids to the sport, making them Jets fans by default. His dream job would be to work in the front office of the Jets, and is fully confident that the team will win a Super Bowl one day soon.
For Crupi, success is achieving a desired goal or standard, whether through reaching the goal or establishing a baseline for progress toward it. Success is subjective and varies based on individual circumstances and values.
“Personally, success is being satisfied with decisions and pathways taken, without regrets, and having confidence in my abilities and knowing that I’ll be able to rely on my instincts and experiences to affect positive change,” he said. “Success is a continuous process and always evolving.”