The Board of Trustees at Brookdale Community College has been fortunate to have numerous dedicated members. Among them, Latonya Brennan, area executive vice president of Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, LLC, stands out for her unwavering commitment and enthusiasm. Serving as a true cheerleader for the institution, Latonya has held the honor of being appointed twice to the board, and her contributions have proven to be incredibly valuable.

When asked how she became a board member, Latonya describes her journey as a testament to her active involvement in the community. She believes that when you engage deeply in your community, people take notice of your passion and dedication. Initially appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Chris Christie, Latonya was grateful for the opportunity to return to the board at the request of the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners, serving until 2025.

Latonya Brennan brings a wealth of experience to the board, with an impressive background spanning over two decades. Her journey to this role includes service to school districts through her association with the New Jersey School Boards Association and the New Jersey Schools Insurance Group. Additionally, she is the Past President of the Associate Business Members for the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO). She serves as the lead developer of the NJASBO State Certification Program curriculum for Risk Management and Insurance, sharing her knowledge to help others excel in this vital area.

Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, LLC stands Latonya’s role on the Board as the Finance & Facilities Committee chair, which aligns with her professional expertise as an insurance broker and risk manager for public entities throughout the state. Her experiences in managing risks and financial structures have proven invaluable in this capacity, especially when overseeing a college with multiple campuses and complex financial needs.

“Being part of the board is a collective effort, and each trustee plays a vital role in advancing the College,” said Brennan. “I am just one of nine individuals, and our board’s success lies in our ability to learn from each other and grow together. Each trustee brings a unique perspective, and we work well together, and are always united in our mission to move forward.”

Beyond her professional roles and her service as a Trustee at Brookdale Community College, she serves on the board of the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County, where she chairs the Youth Protection Committee, focusing on ensuring a safe and enriching environment for young individuals. Furthermore, she also takes on responsibilities as the Chair for Membership/Relations for the Monmouth Council of Boy Scouts of America, contributing to youth development and mentorship.

Seven men and women casually dressed. Family.Latonya’s commitment to growth and leadership is evident in her selection for Arthur J. Gallagher’s Breakthrough Leadership Program in collaboration with Harvard University Business Publishing. Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed; recently, she was honored with induction into the Hall of Fame at Monmouth Regional High School in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The criteria for this accolade are academic excellence and a commitment to the community, giving back, and upholding the values and pride associated with the school. She sees this achievement as a testament to the deep-rooted connection she and her family have to the community.

One of Latonya’s missions as a board member is to ensure that every student at Brookdale has a platform to succeed, helping them build a strong foundation for their futures. She emphasizes the importance of providing support to the students, often referring to them as her “kids.”

Her passion shines through as she speaks about the new facilities that just opened and are being built on the Lincroft campus.

“Brookdale Community College is on the cutting edge of education, providing students with diverse career opportunities and meaningful outlets. Esports, the cyber security program, and our holistic wellness center all reflect our commitment to empowering students and addressing our community’s unique needs,” she said. “We understand that success transcends traditional paths, offering innovative spaces like esports for students who might not engage in traditional sports or arts. We’re not just talking about mental health at the Wellness Center; we’re taking action, partnering with experts to support our students’ well-being.”

Regarding advice to her “kids” she said, “It’s essential to be yourself and follow your path, but I also have a piece of advice that I encountered while walking through one of the schools I work with. I came across a sign that perfectly encapsulated the essence of what I’d like to share. The sign said, ‘Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can.’ These words resonate with me, and I believe they hold the key to success in any field. In risk management or any other profession, being kind, doing good, and going the extra mile will open doors and create opportunities you might never have expected. So, my advice to students is to embrace this philosophy and bring it into their journey to success.”White bulldog

Latonya values her personal life and recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. She is dedicated to the weekly tradition of accompanying her mother-in-law to church and sharing a meal. On Friday nights, she enjoys a pizza dinner with her parents, siblings, and her beloved niece, cherishing these moments to honor her family’s values and keep her bonds strong. Furthermore, she highly values the time spent with her husband and their independent, albeit occasionally challenging, 2-year-old English Bulldog, Major.

A man in a suit and tie and a women wearing a dress with wine glasses in their hands.“In life, opportunities often come when we are truly ready to embrace them. My journey, personally and professionally, has taught me the importance of being prepared for the blessings that come our way. I didn’t get married until 2015, and some might say I married late in life, but the truth is, my husband and I were ready for each other. This readiness extends to our careers and even our involvement in various boards.”

Latonya Brennan’s dedication to Brookdale Community College and her community shines through in her words and actions. She serves as a beacon of support, wisdom, and passion on the Board of Trustees, ensuring that the institution continues to thrive and provide opportunities for all its students. Her contributions are indeed valuable, and she remains a true team mascot for the college and her community.