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Dr. A. Zachary Yamba Retires as Chairman of New Community Board of Directors


By: Richard L. Smith 

Dr. A. Zachary Yamba, an influential figure in Newark's community development and education sectors, has announced his retirement as Chairman of the New Community Board of Directors, effective December 31, 2023.AdDr. Yamba, a long-time advocate for the community, has been a part of the New Community Corporation (NCC) since joining the Board in September 2012 and later becoming the Chairman in June 2018, following the passing of the organization's founder, Monsignor William J. Linder.

Throughout his tenure at NCC, Dr. Yamba was pivotal in various initiatives.

He oversaw the re-syndication of NCC housing, steered the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic, and played a key role in leadership transitions, including the passing of Monsignor Linder and the retirement of CEO Richard Rohrman.

His leadership was instrumental in establishing Board committees to foster closer relationships with NCC leadership staff and the re-accreditation process for the New Community Career & Technical Institute.

NCC's Interim Board Chairman Edgar Nemorin lauded Dr. Yamba's contributions, describing him as an "ambassador, advocate, and steward" to New Community.

He acknowledged that though Dr. Yamba has stepped down, his guidance remains a phone call away.

Simone Gagneron, the current CEO of NCC, praised Dr. Yamba's public service dedication, crediting him with setting a path for future leadership.

Dr. Yamba himself reflected on the enduring relevance of NCC's mission, hoping for the continuity of its vital services.

In addition to his role at NCC, Dr. Yamba's legacy includes his long tenure as President of Essex County College, from 1980 to 2010, the longest in the school's history.AdHis commitment to education and community development was recognized by current Essex County College President Dr. Augustine Boakye, who acknowledged the debt of gratitude owed to him by the Essex community.

Dr. Yamba's impact extends beyond NCC and Essex County College.

His involvement in various organizations, including the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the Presidents’ Round Table, and his service as an Emeritus Board Member of Victoria Foundation, has left an indelible mark.

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Victoria Foundation Executive Officer Craig Drinkard both acknowledged Dr. Yamba's significant contributions to Newark's education and community development.

Urban League of Essex County President and CEO Vivian Cox Fraser commended his lifelong commitment to improving opportunities for families.

As Dr. Yamba steps into a new phase of life, his legacy of service, leadership, and empowerment stands as a testament to his dedication to Newark and its residents.