R. Matthew Richards named 2013 Distinguished Alumnus

R. Matthew Richards of Elmer, N.J. was named 2013 Distinguished Alumnus.

Salem Community College and the SCC Foundation recognized R. Matthew Richards as the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus at Commencement on May 22. 


After graduating from SCC in 1997, Richards transferred to Oklahoma State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety technology.  


Since 2007, the Elmer resident has served as senior safety engineer and contractor safety coordinator for Paulsboro Refining Company, LLC (formerly Valero).  Previously, he held several positions with Sunoco in Marcus Hook, Pa. and Philadelphia.


A certified safety professional, Richards is recognized throughout the Delaware Valley for his 12-year track record of reducing injuries in the workplace and promoting safety programs to employees in dangerous industrial professions. In addition, he is the president of the Delaware Valley Safety Council, which consists of many regional companies from the petrochemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.


Richards has sacrificed countless hours away from his family to help others in need. A volunteer member of the Elmer Fire Department since 1992, he currently serves as First Assistant Chief.  He is also an emergency medical technician with the Elmer Ambulance Corps and the emergency management coordinator for the Borough of Elmer.  


The SCC Foundation began the Distinguished Alumni program in 1999 to honor outstanding professional achievements and community service contributions.   Recipients’ photos are displayed in the Davidow Hall lobby.