• 110 Years of NFSB: Tolve Sees Organization Persevere Through Challenges and Change

    Greg Tolve has always lived in Nutley. In fact, his family first moved to Nutley in the early 1900s and Greg’s printing company, The Delgen Press, was founded by his father in Nutley in 1957.

    When his friend and current Mayor of Nutley, Joseph Scarpelli, recommended Greg to fill a seat with the Nutley Family Service Bureau (NFSB) Board of Trustees, he didn’t realize that he would be getting involved during a tumultuous time for the organization.

    “When the United Way cut funding for NFSB, money became much more of an issue for us,” Greg said. “We were struggling financially and there was great concern that we weren’t covering our costs for mental health counseling. At the time, we were mostly focused on mental health services. We were helping with the food bank but we weren’t overseeing it.”

    Greg was eventually elected president of the board in 2004 and served two consecutive terms to ensure continuity during a difficult period for NFSB.

    “Ruth Bedford was instrumental in pushing a change to the bylaws that would allow me to serve four years,” Greg recalls. “We started bringing new people to the board who understood what needed to be done at NFSB to ensure the organization would have the funding and structure to provide services in the future. They’ve done a fantastic job since then.”

    NFSB had been running successful fundraisers at the time, including the annual Charity Ball and the Nutley Fall 5 benefit race. However, there was not enough fundraising to make up for the lost funding from the United Way, and there were concerns about billing and back-office operations that were affecting the financial health of the organization.

    Felicia Gardner, LCSW was brought in as Executive Director in 2011. She worked closely with the board to instill a new mindset and implement changes that would support more sustainable operations and funding.

    “When I look at how many people we’re serving today and the new programs we have to offer, especially compared to what we were doing back then, it really is amazing,” Greg said. “Difficult decisions needed to be made to change the direction of the organization. The executive directors and board leadership who have led NFSB through those changes over the years have done a remarkable job.”

    The growth of the mental health program hits closest to home for Greg, who had a close family member serving in the guidance department at Nutley High School. He recalls the role NFSB has played in providing mental health counseling to students and is thrilled to see such close collaboration between NFSB, Nutley Public Schools, and other organizations and government agencies.
    “When I joined the board, we had maybe three mental health counselors,” Greg said. “Today, we have more than 10. I’m so glad to see young people getting the support they need. NFSB is doing a great job staying active and visible in the community and, after 110 years, awareness of NFSB is at an all-time high. I’m grateful to have been part of such an incredible organization that does so much for our community.”

    To make a donation and to find out about all that NFSB has done for our community, please Visit our Appeal Page

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