New Jersey’s Homegrown Treasure
If the term “New Jersey’s Homegrown Treasure” makes you think of Thomas Edison or Bruce
Springsteen, think again. No one is more the quintessential New Jersey resident than Michael Tozzoli The Rotary Club of Ridgewood AM past president and current CEO of West Bergen Mental Healthcare.
Michael was born and raised here in New Jersey the youngest of six children. Michael is the baby in birth order and although his siblings belong in the Baby Boomer Generation, Michael is in Generation X. As a matter of fact, Michael’s older sister drove Michael’s mom to the hospital when she went into labor with Michael.
Michael’s parents met in the 1940’s. Michael’s mom grew up in Natick, MA and Michael’s dad was from a classic New Jersey Italian family. As Michael says a love match of New England prim and proper meets New Jersey rough and tumble. Michael’s mom, Miriam Johnson, was a school teacher and his dad Guy who graduated from the Naval Academy, became the Director of World Trade Center and was the driving force behind the development of the twin towers in the 1960’s as well as the World Trade Centers Association.
Michael attended St. Joseph’s High School in Montvale, received his undergraduate degree from Fordham and his Masters Degree from Columbia. His path to CEO of West Bergen followed a through line of practicality, strong organizational skills and empathy and understanding of the human condition.
During most weekdays Michael can be found at any number of the West Bergen facilities, meeting with community leaders and giving presentations and seminars on mental health. On the weekends, Michael and his husband James can be found visiting regional restaurants, art museums/installations and even Coney Island! James is an accomplished artist and professor of art and design at William Paterson University.
Michael was introduced to The Rotary Club of Ridgewood AM by past president Carlton Clinch. At the time, Carlton was Outside Counsel of West Bergen Mental Healthcare and suggested that Michael might benefit by getting to know and network with local business leaders. Michael joined the Rotary Club in 2003 and later became President of the Club in 2017-2018. Michael said he had some hesitation when he joined Rotary but soon found acceptance and long lasting friendships in The Rotary Club of Ridgewood AM and throughout Rotary International. We are thankful and appreciate Carlton’s suggestion for introducing Michael to Rotary.
Michael and James reside in Westwood, NJ where they have enjoyed being married for 28 years. They are known for their hospitality and have graciously opened their home to friends, family and acquaintances throughout their life together. Michael has retained his private psychotherapy practice and meets patients regularly at his Westwood office.
It is no overstatement that not only is Michael a treasure to The Rotary Club but more importantly a treasure to our greater community and the lives he touches.