The Class of 2003’s Vin Gopal, a Long Branch resident, is currently running in the 2017 electoral race for the New Jersey State Senate’s District 11, which includes 18 towns in Monmouth County. He is the president and owner of Direct Development, LLC, a local marketing and communications firm, as well as the owner of Tic Tac Toe Development, a new real estate development company. In 2013, he established the Vin Gopal Civic Association
(previously known as Jersey Promise), a nonprofit aimed at aiding local families and charities in need.
Until recently, Vin served as the Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman. He resigned in early January 2017 to pursue his new State Senate campaign. He was ranked by the New York Observer’s PolitickerNJ as one of the Top 100 most influential non-elected officials in New Jersey in 2016, and was recognized by the Asbury Park Press in 2013 as a future leader to watch. Vin has served on the board of the Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce, where he was awarded the Beacon of Hope in 2014. After graduating from Ranney School in 2003, he earned his B.A. in Political Science from Penn State University.
With the primary this June and General Election scheduled for Nov. 7, 2017, Vin took time to reflect on his years at Ranney.
What do you recall most about your time at Ranney School?
I recall the great teachers I had at Ranney. Even in classes I didn’t enjoy, the teachers were so outstanding that it made the experiences very enjoyable. I participated in The Torch newspaper where I was Layout Editor and Managing Editor, and was on the Varsity Baseball team. The teachers I had at Ranney really shaped my views and I owe a lot to them.
Do you think the independent school experience at Ranney provided you with any advantages heading into college, and how so?
Ranney absolutely provided me the opportunity to be in a highly competitive area. Because class sizes were small and everyone was competitive, it allowed me to build real relationships in the classroom among peers and educators, and really forced me to participate at the highest level possible.
What advice would you give to the current senior class, getting ready to embark on their collegiate journey and early careers?
To be involved in your community - regardless if your interest is in math, science, academia, law or whatever profession you choose - be involved in your communities and your neighborhoods, such as your volunteer EMS or Town Council. Build relationships, help people unconditionally, don't count favors, and work hard.
Without getting too political, what do you envision for Monmouth County over the next five years?
To end the political gridlock in Trenton, cut government waste and spending, promote shared services, and reform our school funding formula so that New Jersey and Monmouth County utilize their tax dollars properly to compete with the other 49 states.