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Alumni Spotlight Bobby Stern, BS'08

Alumni Q&A Series

Spotlight on FDU Alumni: Bobby Stern

Robert “Bobby” Stern, Class of ’08, will be the inaugural Transformational Honoree at the FDU Forward:Honor our Past. Transform our Future. Celebration at Bell Works in Holmdel, NJ on Thursday, June 6th.

Bobby’s contributions to FDU as an alum are already deep and numerous, despite having graduated just over 15 years ago. He has played an extremely active role in Silberman College of Business since his graduation (roles mentioned below) and was already inducted as a PINNACLE Society honoree last year, the highest honor an FDU alum can receive.

He is the President of the Riviera Hospitality Group, which is currently serving hundreds of thousands of meals daily to migrants entering the United States as well as the homeless and elderly across the tri-state area, making a massive impact on those in greatest need, a point of great pride for Bobby.

In this regard, and so many others, Bobby has brought tremendous pride to his alma mater.

For more information on the FDU Forward celebration click here.

More about Bobby…

Name: Robert “Bobby” Stern

Nickname at FDU: Bobby

FDU Graduation Year(s) & Major: 2008 – Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies

Campus(es) where you studied: Florham/Madison

Family: Married to Nikita Stern (’09 Florham). We have two daughters, Brexleigh (7) and Zaelynn (3)

Current occupation/volunteer efforts: President of Riviera Hospitality Group, Board of Advisors Silberman College of Business, Chair for the Council of Ambassadors Silberman College of Business, Founder of the Bobby and Nikita Stern Professional Development Program Student Fund, and “Uncle Billy” Stern Believe and Achieve Endowed Scholarship, Co-creator of Cars on the Lawn FDU’s annual car show, Little League Girl’s Softball Coach.

Hobbies & Interests: Snowboarding with my family, bowling, baseball, coaching softball, cars, traveling

What is your favorite memory of FDU? My most vivid memory of FDU is the day I was accepted – the baseball coach at the time, Doug Radziewicz came out to watch me during a training session. I hit every pitch like I never hit before (never did hit like that again) and after the practice, he said I will see you September. I remember jumping up and down in excitement with my dad celebrating. The years of practicing, games, traveling, injuries, wins and losses all came together in that moment and we celebrated as if we just won Game 7 of the World Series.

Were you involved in any specific activities at FDU: I was part of the baseball team my freshman through junior years

What was your favorite place on campus and why? The baseball diamond – it is what brought me to FDU and I am forever grateful to have been on the team. I made a lot of great memories with my teammates both on and off the field.

Who was the most influential person in your FDU Experience: Ginny Devine – I graduated during one of the most recent economic downturns (2008) which is somewhat relatable to what is going on today. It took me months to find a job which was discouraging but FDU never gave up on providing me with the resources to land one. Ginny Devine from Career Development spent countless hours with me crafting a story with my resume and when it wasn’t gaining traction, she and I went back to the drawing board to make it more appealing. She never gave up on me and that was one thing that really stood out to me about FDU – the resources to achieve success continued far beyond graduation. Those resources continue to this day as I engage with fellow Silberman Board Members and other alum.

What keeps you connected to FDU? FDU helped transform my life – both personal and professional. Nikita and I, while dating long before FDU, are now married with two daughters. I met my business partner, Andrew Cavitolo and we launched Riviera Hospitality Group in 2012. Nikita and I are actively involved donors and supporters of the institution that helped shape our lives. The porch on the back of Hennessy Hall overlooking the fountain is now called the Stern Portico, in recognition of our support.

One piece of advice for current FDU students? I’ve done some amazing things in my career, but it’s always been about the people I work with or work for. At the end of the day, it’s about the people in our lives who you surround yourself with – good people. People who cheer for you, with you. People who wish and share similar dreams and goals. People who challenge you to play up, not down. People who give you a shot even when you don’t belong at the table. People who recognize you with awards even when you don’t feel worthy of the honor.

Where you can find me on social media:  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iambobbystern/