Caldwell, N.J., Oct. 11, 2019 – Alumnus Carlos Pomares ’93, Essex County freeholder, has been named Essex County Latino-American Chamber of Commerce Public Servant of the Year. He was honored by Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo at a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Oct. 10.
Pomares has had an accomplished career in nonprofit administration and public service including serving as councilman at-large in Bloomfield, New Jersey, for two terms and becoming the inaugural executive director of the Cuban Artists Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting artists of Cuban ancestry. At the fund, he has overseen collaborative public education projects with the Times Square Alliance, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
He credits his bachelor’s in history and certificate in communications from Caldwell with preparing him for the marketplace. “Through my courses in history and political science, I learned about federalism, government process, policy and the role public servants play in meeting the needs of society in a responsible manner.” In his communications courses, Pomares said, he improved his public speaking skills and learned how to listen, to effectively participate in interviews and debates and to gauge public sentiment on issues communities face. His academic background has been the “bedrock” for his work in government, teaching and museums.
Since graduating from Caldwell, Pomares has stayed in contact with his former history professor, Dr. Marie Mullaney, and communications professor, Bob Mann, “who have followed my career with interest, calling upon me to assist with internship opportunities for students and perspectives from my field.”
In 2017 Pomares received the Caldwell University Veritas Award, the highest honor the university bestows on its alumni. He was recognized for Excellence in Cultural Activism, thanks to a nomination from Mullaney. “To have your mentors consider you to be among them as peers is an honor I will forever treasure,” said Pomares, who also holds a master’s in museum professions from Seton Hall University.
Pomares remembers with gratitude the internship he did at the President Grover Cleveland Birthplace in Caldwell while an undergraduate, which convinced him that he wanted to pursue a career in museum work. From there his career and volunteer activity led him to his work in public service. Because of this experience, he believes strongly in the importance of encouraging students to invest in themselves by doing internships and volunteering in the community. “They often yield insight into careers perhaps previously not considered.”