PATERSON, NJ- Always quick to shower praise on others who are contributing their service to the community, Councilwoman Lilisa Mimms hosted her 3rd annual Breakfast of Champions on Saturday, September 15.

The recently rebranded event has actually be taking place for 17 years now, Mimms said, and is to highlight that  “success is collaborative.”

We can only succeed when we work together,” Mimms said just after the 12 honorees, whose work spans from government to public safety, education to business, were recognized for their efforts towards “a better Paterson.”

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Among the honorees was Joanne Riviello, now in her 42nd year with Paterson Public Schools, whom Mimms as someone that “parents, students, and teachers, love and respect.”

“I love kids,” the principal of School 21 said during an, at times, emotional address.

Recounting that during her own education she was considered “a kid who wasn’t going to make it,” Riviello said that it was an honor to have aided in the education of at least 15,000 Paterson students working as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, during a career that started as a temporary job to help put her through college

Staying to true to the collaborative theme that Mimms had put forward at the outset of the event Riviello would go on to say that while she doesnt take credit for their success, she is proud to have had a hand in “passing the torch” and aiding in the careers of at least 40 current Paterson Public Schools vice principals and supervisors.

Mimms, the corporate executive turned preacher turned elected official turned author would use all of the skills she’s acquired in her own career of service that has spanned decades in heaping praise on all of the awardees.

The 2018 “Champions” were:


Government Award

Mayor Andre Sayegh

Councilman Luis Velez

Councilman Robert Artis, Prospect Park


Education Award

Gerald Glisson, Principal of Operations, Eastside High School

Joanne Riviello, Principal, Paterson School 21


Better Paterson Award

Michael Jackon, Paterson DPW


Millennial Award

Gilman Choudhury, Paterson Public Schools

Jasmine Kennedy, Paterson Public Schools


Business Award

Kobir Ahmed, Kobir Tax & Multi Services



Community Award

Paterson Ceasefire

Murture Sisters


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