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Nutley Jaycees Announce 2019 Distinguished Service Award Winners


Louie Ritacco, owner and manager of Luna Wood Fired Tavern was named 2019 Outstanding Young Man of the Year. He and four others will be honored at the April 4 dinner.

For distinguished service in "Public Health and Public Safety”, the Jaycees award will honor Nutley Volunteer Emergency & Rescue Squad Captain Charles J Ennis, Jr. who has served the community for more than 40 years.

Nutley’s “Business” award for 2019 goes to Luther Engler, a financial planner, who has distinguished himself for his lifetime of service to the Nutley community as well as our country.

The "Civic Affairs Award" goes to Nutley Historian John Demmer, for his wide range of activities to preserve Nutley’s long and cherished history.

This year’s Educator of the year is veteran nurse at Yantacaw School Katherine Flannery.

Announcement of the award recipients was made by former Nutley Commissioner and past state president of the New Jersey Jaycee, Walt Smith, chairman of the judges' panel. In addition to Smith, the judges’ panel includes Dr. Steven Clarke, Superintendent of the Nutley Schools, Dr. Julie Glazer, former Director of Special Education and community volunteer Barbara Hirsch and former N.J. Assemblyman and Board of Education trustee Fred Scalera.

The winners will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, April 4 scheduled at The Valley Regency, 1149 Valley Road, Clifton. The event opens with a 6:30 p.m. with a cash bar cocktail hour followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at $45 can be reserved by calling Dr. Steve Clarke at 973-235-1515 or by visiting his office 25 High Street. His email is sgclarke@optonline.net.

Educator of the Year

The Nutley Jaycee Educator of the year, Katherine Flannery, has worked in the Nutley School District for 25 years spending 19 of those years at Yantacaw School with dedicated and unparalleled service to the students of the district.

Kathy has a BSN from Rutgers College of Nursing and a School Nurse Certification from Coldwell College. She also earned a MA in Educational Administration from Kean University.

Flannery does not have a classroom or teach various classes throughout the day, yet is involved in every student in the school as she has served as school nurse, using her extensive medical knowledge and nursing techniques to care to aid the children whether they have a small scrape, fever or any other variety of issues that arise throughout a school day that a nurse is needed to tend to. Students and teachers alike know her for being kind and considerate no matter what the situation, with positive and caring interactions each and every day.

Highly organized Kathy closely monitors all students with allergy situations, completes health screenings each year and has developed and implemented the Random Acts of Kindness program. She assists with Kindergarten registration and has been on the Education Association of Nutley (EAN) rep council for the past six years. She has worked with Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey to educate third and fifth grade students. She has helped put programs on to educate students on proper dental and spinal care, as well as nutrition and diet.

Known for her calm demeanor, she is always prepared for virtually any emergency situation that may arise and does so in a calm manner, effectively communicating with students, parents and other educators to improve their knowledge of health during a young child’s formative years.

A resident of Nutley, Kathy Flannery, received the Food Allergy Hero Award at the

Community Food Allergy Conference in 2015. She has provided a leadership role in

the Nutley Food Allergy Support Group, an organization sponsored by the Department of Public Affairs, created to assist parents with food allergic children by supplying information and resources. She has served as a CPR Instructor with the American Red Cross and has been instrumental in helping to get many principals, school staff and school nurses certified in CPR.

Kathy lives with her husband Mark. They have four children Mark, Danielle, Meagan and David as well as three grandchildren Ava, Ethan and Carter.

Outstanding Young Man

Each year the Jaycees choose an outstanding young man or woman. This year the 2019 Outstanding Young Man award by the Nutley Jaycees goes to Louie Ritacco.

Lou is owner and manager of Luna Wood Fire Tavern on Franklin Avenue.

A 2007 graduate of Nutley High School, where he excelled in football and wrestling Lou went on to play football at the University of Delaware and also played football for Montclair State University from 2009 to 2011.

Lou’s involvement in the community began at a young age. He has been active with the Nutley Elks since 2010 as a committee member and donor to the Nutley Elks Wild Game Dinner. He is also active with the Elks War of Wings fundraiser. He was the Elks Citizen of the year in 2014.

He volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club while attending the University of Delaware. There he also volunteered at the Children’s Hospital.

He is a Relay for Life volunteer as well as participating in Bid D’s Gift of Life Foundation. DJ for the Trunk or Treat party at the Public Safety Building 2013-2014 and was DJ for the Nutley High School Beefsteak. Donated food to the Columbus Day Parade Dinner for the past 8 years and donated to local Grammar Schools over 100 separate occasions. He hosted the Autism and Breast Cancer Foundations at Midtown and Luna past 8 years.

Lou has been active Christmas for Farm Children – Help deliver presents in upstate New York to farm children in need. He also donates the restaurant for the fundraiser on the first week in December. This year the effort raised over $15,000 for the project.

Lou started the James Reitberger Foundation in 2016 to raise money for high school athletes in need of money to attend college.

Public Health and Safety Award

In the Field of Public Health & Safety, Charles (Chuck) E. Ennis, Jr., has been a member of the Nutley Volunteer Emergency & Rescue Squad for over 42 years serving as an active riding member and active associate. He first joined the squad in 1976 when he was a senior at Nutley High School.

While continuing his career on the NVERS he went on to hold multiple positions and offices. Chuck served as a member of the executive board, Training officer, and Trustee. On the line side he served as an EMT, senior EMT, Driver, Assistant crew chief and Lieutenant.

Chuck is the squads delegate to the New Jersey State First Aid Council since January 2015, and a recipient of the LOSAP awards program continuously since 2009. In June of 2014, he attended the Passaic Co. Community College Public Safety Academy and received my NJ state EMT re-certification. Upon graduation, he was promoted to lieutenant and became the Crew Chief of the Monday Night Crew.

In January 2015 he was promoted to the rank of Captain of EMS services. He served as EMS Captain from January 2015 to December 2017. As Captain, he was responsible for over 50 volunteer members, and assist in the daily functions of the organization. He now serves as Captain of the Rescue division of the NEVERS and is responsible for all rescue operations, rescue vehicles and training of new rescue technicians.

During the past 21 years at Chuck has been employed by Metro Fire and Communications and has been lead installer of all installations. These installations include the complete replacement of the existing fire alarm systems to new addressable systems, addressable burglar alarm systems, IP camera systems, card access systems, wireless central station communicators. He was responsible for the layout of all equipment to be installed, ordering the necessary electrical supplies needed for the installation, installing any pipe needed, installation of the necessary conductors, and installing the field devices.

While his son was involved in the cub scouts he served as the assistant cub master. His responsibilities included assisting the den mothers with their den meetings, assist the cub master with running the meetings and scheduling fun activities to keep the boys involved and interested. Growing up Chuck was a Boy Scout and earned the organization’s highest rank of Eagle Scout.

Chuck is married to his wife of 36 years Betty and they have two children, Dawn and Daniel.


Honored for Work in Nutley Civic Affairs

The Nutley Town Historian, John Demmer is this year’s recipient of the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in Civic Affairs, for his wide range of activities to preserve Nutley’s long and cherished history.

A Nutley resident since 1991, John, his wife Cindy and two children Emily and Johnny have all had a love affair with Nutley’s past and have worked hard to collect and preserve the many photos, articles and artifacts that document the history of the community.

The multi-faceted Demmer has served as a Board member of the Nutley Community Preservation Trust, the Van Riper Trust, Nutley Historical Society. Nutley Historic Preservation Committee where he now serves as Vice-Chairman and the Kingsland Manor. He has worked on various projects to improve and preserve Nutley’s heritage and beauty by helping spearhead the creation of Lambert Square at High Street and Franklin Avenue, as well as beautification projects and planting throughout the community.

John is the author of “Images of America- Nutley” which is an extensive photograph collection of Nutley images, many from postcards of the community that John had been collecting for years. As only the second Nutley Town Historian in the community’s history(Ann Troy being the first), Demmer has given historical presentations to many civic organizations and works to educate young and old alike on many earlier aspects of Nutley and the importance to preserve and maintain the history for future generations.

His strong civic pride has seen him working with the Nutley Historical Society and Library on research questions involving the town, being involved with the Cub Scouts Pack 142, judging the town’s school history fair, providing walking tours throughout the town and assisting with house tours.

John maintains a Facebook page that documents Nutley’s history, provides historic photographs of the community, and sparks widespread conversation of community members of their own memories and recollections of days gone by.

Demmer is the owner of a business that makes reproduction moldings, build-ins and Victorian details.

Business Man of the Year

The 2019 recipient of the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in the Field of Business is Luther Engler, who has distinguished himself for his lifetime of service to the Nutley community as well as our country.

Originally from Wilkes-Barre, Pa, he grew up in Rutherford, NJ. After graduating from Rutherford High, he spent 4 years in the Marine Corps Engler’s career of distinguished service started early in his formative years when right after graduating high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps and for four years served our country during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the very beginning of the Vietnam conflict.

Completing his 4 year term with the Marines, he then joined the Newark Police Department, serving in a wide variety of assignments including leading the Tactical Squad, working undercover on the Narcotics Squad, teaching at the Police Academy as well as riding the Command Post in charge of the Department during the evening hours.

After almost 30 years, he retired at the rank of Captain of the Newark Police Department.

While he was a police office, he attended Rutgers University part-time working he receive and astonishing five (yes five degrees!), including two Masters Degrees, one of which was an MBA. He also attained a CFP (Certified Financial Planner). After receiving his extensive training and education, after retiring from the Newark Police, he opened and is the owner of Engler Financial Services in Nutley.

Engler Financial services offers independent financial management and advice with investment planning, risk management, college funding, retirement planning, and estate conservation, tax preparation. Engler has worked with many Nutleyites get their finances in order and has been for his extensive knowledge and expertise.

Along with his business in Nutley, Luther Engler has always been involved in community activities through volunteer efforts including being a member of the Nutley Chamber of Commerce (serving as President for 2 years), treasurer of the American Legion, Nutley Post #70, member of the Nutley Elks and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nutley Volunteer Emergency and Rescue Squad and a member of Holy Family Church parish.


Luther is married to his wife Nancy. They have two sons Joe and Jim.


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