The journey of Mina Greiss to becoming a member of the Nutley Family Service Bureau (NFSB) Board of Trustees was unique to say the least. He was first introduced to NFSB when he was invited to perform at the Garden Party, but he already had a connection with the organization through a couple degrees of separation.
As a real estate investor and owner of a construction company, Mina was renovating the Ruth Bedford Estate, a historic Nutley home built in 1885.
Ruth Bedford, affectionately known as the matriarch of Nutley, was a lifetime NFSB Trustee and former board president who passed away in 2019 at the age of 101. NFSB hosts the annual Bedford Golf Classic fundraiser in her honor and awarded the first Ruth Bedford Scholarship in 2022.
Mountsier-Hardie Garden owners Silas Mountsier and Graeme Hardie had been assisting with the design of the home and introduced Mina to Dave Popkin, who was an NFSB board member at the time and is now serving as board president.
“Dave and I initially connected because we shared a passion for music and performing,” Mina said. “He invited my band to perform at The Garden Party twice and it was a great experience. When I had lunch with Dave and John Evangelista last year and they asked me to join the board of trustees, I was a little surprised, but I said, ‘Absolutely.’”
Mina’s wife was born and raised in Nutley, but Mina grew up in Philadelphia, moved to Jersey City, and settled in Nutley when he got married. His father, Fr. George Greiss, a Coptic Christian Orthodox priest for more than 26 years, provides spiritual counseling and missionary services throughout the tri-state area.
“Growing up in that environment, I was always involved in community outreach,” Mina said. “When I started getting involved with NFSB, their core values weren’t new to me. I’ve always felt that helping others gives life more meaning. It’s just something we all should do, especially in our own community.”
Mina is also grateful that his three young children, all under 4 years old, will learn the importance of giving by seeing the work of NFSB up close.
“This is important for kids to experience,” Mina said. “I’m glad my kids will have the opportunity to see how NFSB affects people’s lives every day.”
Mina is serving on the board’s facilities committee and looks forward to sharing his experience in construction and real estate investing. He is also working with Renovation Angel, a nonprofit that salvages items from kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects nationally so they can be recycled and reused.
As a father of three very young children and owner of a business managing more than a dozen projects, juggling so many balls in the air at once can be difficult, but Mina is excited to contribute to NFSB.
“I’m not going to lie – finding the right balance is a struggle,” laughs Mina. “Every day, I just remind myself to focus on what’s important. I’ll always spend time with my kids and there will always be busy work. When my priorities come into focus, I go back to the values I grew up with and the values I want my kids to have. Giving back to the community makes me feel good, and I’m glad to help however I can.”