About Us

Our Mission at Open Road Driving Academy

We are committed to providing quality and caring instruction and coaching in the safe operation of a vehicle on busy New Jersey roads. We realize that all individuals learn at different rates and we remain flexible in our teaching techniques to ensure student success.

Our Instructors

Don Willmot

Owner/Lead Instructor

Don Willmot grew up in Califon New Jersey on a small farm. Don has been a Driving Instructor and a Motorcycle Rider Coach since 2004.  Don’s family spent their time tending to horses, chickens, homing pigeons, pigs and a large garden. Thanks to his parents he has been driving cars, riding dirt bikes and motorcycles since 1971. Don’s first bike was a Yamaha Mini Enduro which he still has. Don’s dad, sisters, wife Jen, and daughter Sasha all ride. Don’s daughter, Sasha, took the Basic Rider Course (BRC1) many years ago and his wife Jen continues to take BRC, ERC and ARC courses to better her riding and driving skills. Before becoming a family man racing motorcycles was the most important thing in Don’s life, competing both on-road and off. After retiring his racing suits Don decided that what better way to spend life than in the car teaching others to drive as a Driving Instructor and becoming a Motorcycle Safety Instructor to teach others to ride safely.

Sal Ferraro

Instructor

Sal has been a resident of Rockaway, New Jersey for over twenty years. He and his wife Lori have been married for twenty-nine years and together they have two grown children: a son who graduated from Rowan University and a daughter who graduated from William Paterson University. While his children were growing up, he was very involved in town activities as a lacrosse and basketball coach for the local recreation teams. Sal is a full-time college professor, teaching at both Montclair State University and Caldwell University. Sal was a programmer for twenty years prior to teaching and attended college at night to earn his Doctorate. Besides his family, Sal has two passions in life: skiing and riding motorcycles. He is an experienced instructor in these fields working as a ski instructor at a local mountain and a motorcycle safety instructor at The Riding Academy of New Jersey.

Tommy Patierno

Instructor

Thomas (Tommy) has been working exclusively with children and teens for almost twenty years. He began his teaching career in September of 1999 in the Culinary Arts after a sixteen-year career in the restaurant industry. A single father of four boys, Tommy enjoys being around students who are also interested in food preparation. His other passion is coaching basketball and heads the boys team at West Caldwell Tech. All four of Tommy’s boys have graduated from Mountain Lakes High School and went on to higher education. He has lived and worked in Morris County, NJ for more than twenty years and was a volunteer coach for his sons in various sports while they were growing up. Tom is a huge proponent of learning to operate a motor vehicle safely while obeying all traffic laws. He is a survivor of a serious distracted driving accident and has undergone multiple surgeries as a result of that incident. This experience has made him eager to invest some of his time teaching his “Open Road” students to learn to become competent young drivers.

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