Alum Notes

Alum Notes

We take pride in celebrating the good news of our fellow alumni. Where has life taken you since graduation? Tell the Tech alumni community about career changes, achievements, family news, awards, and more by submitting an alum note using the form below.

All Notes
  • All Notes
  • Awards & Publications
  • Career Milestones
  • Life Celebrations
  • Memories
  • Technite Diamond Club
  • Volunteering

Class of 1969

Carlos Lopez

October 5, 2022

In 1969, I graduated from the electronics curriculum and fondly remember pattern making, foundry and machine shop, plus the other scientific courses. I lived in Long Island City and had to walk 10-12 blocks to take the GG train to Fulton St. for four years, so up to this day I really don’t know Brooklyn very well.
I went to CCNY for a year studying business but joined the Navy in late 1970. I took an exam and was designated an excellent candidate to be an Aviation Electronics Technician.
I was sent to Naval Air Technical Training Command (NATTC) near Memphis, Tenn. and was selected to enter a fast-track program to complete a 20-week course in 14 weeks.
I was given orders to a unit in Japan but first had to stop in Mountain View, CA to take courses for support of P3 Orion Radio and Navigation systems. In 1973, I re-enlisted in the Navy for another four years and received a substantial lump-sum bonus plus choice of duty station. Benefits were very good for re-enlistment because the Vietnam War was still in progress. I was sent to Mountain View again and was assigned to squadron VP-19 which would later to go the Philippines for six months. Here I was, 23 years old, and already had lived in two foreign countries for 2 1/2 years.
In 1976, I was assigned to a squadron in Lemoore, Ca. where my first son was born. I had been in the Navy six years but had never been on a ship. It was an attack squadron that trained pilots to fly the A7 Corsair airplane.
Pilots had to learn how to take off and land on a carrier day and night and also to shoot missiles and drop bombs day and night. When the squadron was decommissioned, I was sent back to Mountain View in late 1977.
NAS Moffett Field was in the middle of what would become Silicon Valley so any military man with electronics training could get a civilian job and I was one of those. I worked for four months until I was discharged. I was offered a supervisory position which I accepted.
I really wanted to work for an airline and a 1st Class FCC license was required. I was studying with my GI Bill benefits but my car wasn’t holding up to the 80-mile roundtrip commute as I lived in San Francisco.
So I looked for Field Service Positions where a car would be included. 1- Supermarket scanning systems were becoming available. 2- CableVision was starting and installing antennas almost three times the size of today’s antennas. 3- X-Ray?? Siemens, a German company known as the GE of Europe, called. I was given an electronics test that I almost aced, and was offered the job, which I accepted. I am now 71 years old and still work for myself doing various jobs in tech support and spare parts. I worked four years for Siemens; 11 years for St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco; and am celebrating my 30th year of self employment with X-Ray Connection. I Iived in Mexico for 10 years where I greatly improved my Spanish and ran the leasing business for Diagnostic Imaging systems: CT scanner, x-ray, mammography and ultrasound, etc. I reside in Sacramento, California. I have purchased systems in the UK, Germany, Ecuador and have shipped many systems around the world, coordinating and problem solving with many engineers.
I am very proud of being a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and greatly support women in technology.

Class of 1950

Herbert L. Plafker

October 5, 2022

Master’s degree; New York State Professional Engineer.
Projects included Lunar Landing and Take Off simulator, Atlas inertial guidance system.
My marriage in 1960. The birth of my daughter and son. The birth of my grandchildren. Celebrated my 90th birthday in February.
My wife and I volunteered at MOMA and the New York Botanical Gardens.

Class of 1968

Carlton P. Tolsdorf Jr.

October 5, 2022

Brooklyn Technical High School provided the foundation of my career and life. I discovered Pratt Institute, right down the block from Tech, but had not known of it. May of 1968, I headed to the Ridgewood Library to research schools that offered Co-Op Programs. I wanted a practical college education that would allow me to pay for some of my tuition costs through work. I applied in early May and received a letter /phone call offering scholarship. My first pick, the United States Coast Guard Academy informed me I was 1 point short of making the list. So, once I recovered from getting an offer, I worked with my family and Ridgewood Savings Bank to cover the balance of tuition costs. Forward to mid September 1968. Parked my car near the gates of Pratt, I look over to my right , there is Bruce Linick, fellow Technite and best friend, and then to my left, Vincent Millin, another close friend from Tech.

Pratt Co-Op for five years was followed by: Naval Ship Systems Command, Undersea Warfare Systems, Central Intelligence Agency; Condor Systems, Inc. Mid 1990s: Expert Witness Consulting Firm; return to government service following 9/11 at the Office of Naval Intelligence; and finally retiring from the office of National Intelligence, McLean, VA.

Married to Dr. Deborah Lynne Gofreed, 27 years. Daughter Majorie Rose Tolsdorf is living in Willamsburg, not far from Tech, working on Madison Ave, in a top 10 consulting / accounting firm. Am now living in Brambleton, VA. (571) 355-0531.

Class of 1956

Marvin Gersten

October 5, 2022

Retired in 2013 after a 52-year career in consulting engineering; a Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Institute of Transportation Engineers. Tech gave me the tools that served me throughout.

Class of 1966

Jerome Phillips

October 5, 2022

I have always considered the opportunity to attend Brooklyn Tech and graduate as one of my most significant life events. When I compare my high school years with the experiences of others I meet in life, I am aware that attending Tech is a truly unique experience. I think the intensity of the four years at Tech helped to prepare me for many activities I participated in after graduation. In particular I think of traveling to Uganda on two occasions to do mission work, helping to build homes and schools there. While working with local laborers on the structures I thought of some of the technical skills I learned at Tech and the value of teamwork to get something accomplished.
Tech holds many memories for me and I will always value what I learned in my four years.

Class of 1963

William Fehling

October 5, 2022

After graduating in 1963 (Mechanical), I went on to NYIT where I got a BSME, then on to Pratt & Whitney, where I worked in aircraft engine manufacturing. Started at Pratt in the Engineering department but went on to get an MBA and transferred to the Financial department.  In 1997, I was named Vice President & CFO of International Aero Engines, an international corporation made up of P&W, Rolls Royce, Fiat, MTU & JAEC (Japan), where I served for over 10 years.

Class of 1959

Charles Horsken

October 5, 2022

I was in the mechanical technology program and after graduation went into the trades as an apprentice tool & die maker with the Ideal Corp. in Brooklyn. Upon completion, I joined the USMC to avoid the draft and served two years active and four years reserve. Was a Ground Radio Engineer and made Staff Sargent. Went to CCNY at night while an apprentice and graduated with an Associate’s in Mechanical Engineering. Went back to Ideal after active duty; worked as toolmaker; ended up being a lead man and eventually a foreman. Left in 1967 to go to Oswego State University to study to become an Industrial Arts teacher. Upon graduation, went back into industry and became a plant manager for the Acme Air Appliance company. Did that for four years and went into teaching for six years at Kittatinny Regional High School in Branchville, NJ. Went to Seton Hall University at night to get my Master’s in School Administration. Moved to Wolfeboro, NH, where I taught Technology Education at Kingswood Regional High School for 33 years. Twice received New Hampshirt State Technology Program of the Year; named by ITEA and NHTEA as NH State Technology Teacher of the Year, twice by each organization; and first runner-up for overall State Teacher of the Year for all NH. I taught Principles of Technology, (PT), an applied physics course; Project Lead The Way, a pre engineering course; Machine Tool Technology; and Agricultural Sciences as I own and operate an 80-acre Certified Organic Farm, raising beef, pork, broilers, turkeys and vegetables . I trained teachers how to teach PT during summers for 12 years at Keene State College and Vermont Technical College. I have been married for 47 years and have two wonderful daughters. I retired from teaching at 72 and am now farming full time.

Class of 1953

Thomas J. Russo

October 5, 2022

For years after finishing the Chemistry Course at Tech, I carried in my head the start of a poem I remembered from the student literary magazine: “I long for a darker shore/ Where passion flowers do not bloom…”

At my 50th reunion in 2003, I wandered into the Alumni Foundation office and recited the fragment to a staff assistant. After some research, she sent me a copy of the entire poem from the 1950 issue of Horizons. The author is one Gerald Sacks. I wonder what kind of a career Gerald had.

Thomas J. Russo ’53

Alumni Foundation note: Gerald Sacks ’50 had an impressive career as a logician after Tech, and a rare joint appointment as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

Class of 1956

Robert Crawford

October 5, 2022

Upon leaving BTHS I went on to become an engineer, physicist, entrepreneur, and investment banker. I sincerely believe that our BTHS technological foundation provided a spatial focus to solve technical, business, and life challenges.
• I received a BS in Metallurgical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MS in Metallurgical Engineering and Solid-State Physics and an MBA in Corporate Finance and International Business from New York University, I received several patents for composite materials and published a number of technical and financial papers.
• In the 1960s and ’70s I was initially a USAF Officer and then held executive positions with International Nickel, NL Industries and Union Carbide. I was also a Corporate Finance officer with a major Wall Street investment banking firm. I went on to manage and direct over $4 billion in corporate business financing in my career.
• In the ’80s and ’90s, I was the founder and co-founder of more than 10 leading-edge technology companies including several publicly listed firms, which I served as Chief Executive Officer.
• Since 2003 I have been the CEO of the PRIME Group of Companies. PRIME is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and has representative offices in Suzhou, China.

Class of 1959

Leonard Turkenkopf

October 5, 2022

-BS in Math and an MBA from Marist College
-Married to Iris Geller Turkenkopf on 6/27/1965
-Worked for IBM for 30 Years. Consultant for 14 years. Retired in 2008.
-Volunteering for a Lifelong Learning Institute (Marist Center for Lifetime Study) as the Curriculum VP for the last three years.

Write an Alum Note

Write an Alum Note