Rollie was born in 1941 in New York City. His parents had immigrated from Europe and survived The Great Depression. Like the crushing inflation that they had experienced in Europe following World War I, the Depression left a lasting impression but proved unable to quell their adopted American spirit of optimism. In 1947, his father started Associated Fire Protection in Paterson.
By 1952, Rollie’s parents were able to acquire some land in Wayne where they built a small house. Rollie attended Wayne High School (now Wayne Valley) and excelled on the basketball court under Coach Gifford and on the track under Coach Ross. He went on to study at Duke University, where he earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He then served as an officer in the Navy aboard the USS PYRO stationed off the Vietnamese coast.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Rollie worked for the Foxboro Corporation in New York as a sales engineer and for the Union Camp Corporation in Wayne as a financial associate. He went on to earn an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and joined the family business, Associated Fire Protection.
Rollie became a licensed professional engineer, a licensed electrical contractor, and a certified fire protection contractor. He was an officer of the New Jersey Chapter of Fire Protection Engineers, served as President of the New Jersey Association of Fire Equipment Distributors, and served as a Commissioner on the New Jersey Fire Commission. During that time, he was instrumental in drafting and passing the New Jersey law that governed the licensing of fire protection contractors.
In Paterson, he was an active member of the Paterson Rotary Club as well as the Paterson Education Fund. He also served as Chairman of the Paterson Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Paterson Economic Development Corporation, and Chairman of Memorial Day Nursery. He served on the Board of Directors of St Josephs Hospital in Paterson.
Rollie has lived in Montclair with his wife, Susan since 1969. He raised three children and now has four grandchildren. Always actively involved in the community, he served as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 13 and as Vice-Chairman of the Montclair Redevelopment Agency. During the very difficult times of the early nineties, his skills were key in getting the Montclair affordable housing projects completed.
Rollie recently retired from Associated Fire Protection and passed the business on to his son in order to dedicate himself to studying the problems affecting the 8th Congressional District and to proposing and implementing effective solutions for them.