Grand Marshal Joseph Kelly - Deputy Grand Marshal Brendan Dunphy - Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Ret. Colonel Rick Fuentes - Firefighter of the Year William Rood - EMT of the Year Carmen Addeo - Member of the Year Karen McDermott
Joseph was born and raised in the small parish of St. Margarets, County Dublin and has been in the States since the 1990’s. After meeting his Derry girl, Jackie after his arrival, the two married and moved their life to Rutherford to raise their three children; Charlie, Ciara, and Grace. He is proud to see them all be graduates of Rutherford High School and be given the opportunity to attend University, something he worked hard for them to be able to achieve.
Prior to his life in the States, Joe played Gaelic football growing up and represented his beloved County Dublin as a youth. His avid love for the game still rings true as he never misses a GAA game, rooting for both the men and women in blue, Up the Dubs!
To get involved in Rutherford athletics, Joe coached the Rutherford girls travel soccer team while his daughter Ciara was young, leading the team to Championships and great memories all while having fun. When he’s not watching GAA or soccer, he loves to root for the New York Rangers.
Many may know Joe from his days behind the bar, as his first job was at a local pub in Ireland, The Boot Inn. Established in 1608, the bar still stands as a great place to grab a pint of Guinness when visiting Ireland. Today Joe owns his own company, Joe Kelly Interiors, which has become one of the most well known and staple small businesses here in Rutherford. Through his years as a painter of many homes across the town and further the state, Joe has had the pleasure of greeting newcomers to the community and connecting them with long-time residents. This has led many neighbors and friends to feel blessed to have Joe as a welcoming face here in the Rutherford community which he holds so close to his heart.
Joe is a proud founding Trustee of the Rutherford Irish American Association and has been a staunch supporter of our organization since its inception.
If you are ever visiting the Emerald Isle be sure to chat with Joe first, as he is the best to provide travel advice, recommendations and to connect you with great people for the warmest of Irish welcomes!
Brendan Dunphy’s maternal grandparents are from Counties Armagh and Down, in the north of Ireland. His paternal great-grandfathers hail from Counties Kilkenny and Cavan.
Brendan himself became an Irish citizen in 2017, having secured that honor via his Irish-born grandmother, and visits Ireland often.
Brendan was born and raised in Kearny, NJ, the fifth of Kathleen and Jack Dunphy’s six children. He attended Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, NJ, and then Villanova University, where he
graduated with a degree in Economics in 1986.
Today, Brendan is the Global Director of Credit for BrandSafway, a multinational $5 Billion Construction and Civil Engineering firm. Brendan resides in Morristown, NJ with his wife Beverly (his “Jersey Girl”). They also spend time down on Long Beach Island, traveling overseas and visiting relatives in Southern California. Brendan can be found at most NY Giants home games.
You may also know Brendan from his annual 25+ page listing of Irish cultural events that he publishes every St. Patrick’s Day season for the Irish community. Brendan is proud charter-member of the Rutherford Irish American Association.
Rick Fuentes has had almost four decades of experience in law enforcement as an enlisted member with the New Jersey State Police. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the City University of New York with a published dissertation on the domestic business operations of Colombian cocaine cartels.
Over the span of his investigative career with the NJSP, he has received numerous awards, to include: the National Meritorious Intelligence Award, issued while a member of the Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force; 1993 Trooper of the Year award for several drug trafficking investigations; and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
Mr. Fuentes was superintendent of the New Jersey State Police from March 1, 2003, to November 1, 2017. As superintendent, Mr. Fuentes commanded an enlisted and civilian work force of more than 4,000 men and women tasked with a broad range of patrol, investigative, homeland security, administrative, forensic laboratory and emergency management responsibilities. He managed an annual budget of more than $300 million.
In his capacity as superintendent, Mr. Fuentes also served as the State Director of the Office of Emergency Management. He managed more than 25 presidentially-declared states of emergency in New Jersey, most notable being Superstorm Sandy in 2012. He also created and managed New Jersey’s state and local response to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
While superintendent, Mr. Fuentes served in executive positions with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was a charter member of two main law enforcement advisory bodies to the United States Attorney General and Director of National Intelligence.
Following his retirement, Mr. Fuentes is the deputy director of the Rutgers University Miller Center on Policing and Community Resilience. He consults for American and foreign police departments on issues of public safety. He is the current chair of the IACP Homeland Security Committee. Mr. Fuentes is a proud active member and former Pipe Major of the NJSP Pipe Band. He resides in Rutherford with his wife, Eileen.
Carmen Addeo born and raised in Galicia, Spain, often referred to as the "Seventh Celtic Nation.” Here, the drones of the pipes echo through the rolling green mountains, and many structures feature ancient Celtic architecture. As in RIAA parades past, the Galician pipes, drums, and dancers can be heard and seen marching down Park Avenue.
Carmen came to the United States with her family in the late 1970's. She arrived first in Newark, then Rutherford in the mid 1980's. Rutherford would serve as the homestead for Carmen and her husband Steve—a lifelong Rutherfordian—as well as her two children, Stephanie and Alexander.
Service to others is a value that Carmen's father ingrained in her and her siblings, and characteristic she passes along to her children by example. In 2004, she joined the Rutherford First Aid Ambulance Corps. For nearly 20 years, she has volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician. In addition, she served as President of the organization for 7 years, and now holds the position of Trustee. For her service to the ambulance squad as an EMT, and corps as President, Carmen was recognized as one of Rutherford's "Hometown Heroes" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carmen was also a member of the Lions Club of Nutley for 11 years, serving as President, Treasurer, and Board of Directors during her tenure. She assisted the Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative for many years, and is a member of Bergen LEADS class of 2015.After more than 35 years at Blue Foundry (formerly Boiling Springs Savings Bank), Carmen retired as Assistant Vice President/Manager, and moved to Brick with her husband. She welcomed a third child, Coco, to the family—this one four legged and with a tail.
Carmen proudly continues her service to the Rutherford community with Rutherford Ambulance both on the rig and executive duties.
William R. Rood was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He grew up in Rutherford and attended Montclair State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science American History.
Bill was a highly respected business professional in international banking arena where he worked for over 30 years at Barclays Bank PLC., He retired in 2015 as a Vice President / Manager of the Funds Transfer Department. After 2 years at home, he returned to work force as the Director of Finance & Building Administrator for the First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford.
He has been a member of the Rutherford Fire Department since 1974. He has served in a variety of leadership positions, including Chief of the Department in 1988 and 2003. On the regional level he has served for 29 years as a mutual aid fire coordinator for South Bergen. At the local level he continues to be the Chairman of the Department’s Fund Drive Committee, Secretary of the Rutherford Firemen’s Relief Association and Treasurer of his local fire company. His commendations include a lifesaving award for being part of the team that rescued an elderly couple from an apartment house fire.
Mr. Rood is married to Elizabeth and has three children, Danielle, Jonathan, and Melissa. He has three grandchildren: Gianna, Brielle, and Melanie.
Karen was born in Jersey City and moved to North Arlington and currently lives in Lyndhurst with her rescue dog, Whiskey. Her father Charles was from Roscommon and her mother, Mary (nee McMahon) was from Limerick. She is a frequent visitor to Ireland and enjoyed the opportunity to take her niece on her first trip earlier this year.
She graduated from Rutgers University and has been a CPA for over 30 years. She has assisted the RIAA since inception by preparing the required annual federal and state information returns. She recently semi-retired as a partner at Smolin, Lupin & Co, LLC.
Over the years, she has volunteered on various boards and recently joined the board of the Hackensack Riverkeeper.