Cedar Grove Mayor Peter Tanella comes from a family of volunteers. His late father, Jude Tanella, served as a township firefighter, auxiliary policeman and youth sports coach, and two older brothers were also Cedar Grove firefighters.
His family’s devotion to serving their community made a lasting impression on Tanella. He coached youth sports while attending Montclair State University, and later served on the township’s zoning board of adjustment before he was elected to the township council in 2004.
“I’ve always felt it is important to give back to your community,” said Tanella, a business attorney and partner at the law firm of Mandelbaum Salsburg, P.C., in Roseland.
Tanella recently joined the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ Board of Directors. “I’m eager to roll up my sleeves and offer my services where they’re needed,” he said. As a four-time mayor and a member of his law firm’s executive committee, “I have a lot of experience running organizations.”
Tanella was introduced to the Metro YMCA by board member Daren J. Phil. “Even with all that I do for my community, I have been looking for an opportunity to volunteer with a not-for-profit organization for a long time, and I really related to Daren,” he said. After hearing about the good work the Metro YMCA does, “I felt that this was the type of organization that I have been looking for.”
The Metro YMCA is the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey, serving more than 30,000 individuals through its six branches. The YMCA strengthens communities through programs that nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.
“Peter is an experienced leader whose impressive commitment to community service will greatly benefit the Metro YMCA,” said Metro Y CEO and President Richard K. Gorab. “How fortunate we are that he has chosen to invest his energy and expertise in the Metro YMCA.”
Building authentic relationships is very important to Tanella. During the prolonged power outages brought on by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, he interacted daily with affected residents as he traveled the streets of Cedar Grove, took their phone calls and responded to their emails, texts and social media messages.
“I try to be a point of contact for the residents,” Tanella said. “I want the residents to know that they can contact me anytime for any reason. I may not always be able to assist but I will do my best to help wherever I can,” said Tanella, whose neighborhood was the last to have power restored, two weeks after Sandy struck.
Tanella’s professional life focuses on business law. Representing a wide range of companies, he often serves as outside general corporate counsel, providing strategic advice about formation and dissolution, governance, mergers and acquisitions, business separation, reorganizations and succession planning.
Before entering private practice, the Quinnipiac University School of Law graduate spent three years as a New Jersey Deputy Attorney General. In that role, he served as general counsel to the Department of Treasury, Office of Information Technology, the Lottery Commission and the Board of Public Utilities.
Tanella and his wife, Kimlani, have three daughters, 13-year-old Grace, 12-year-old Kimlani and 10-year-old Maya. Peter has a passion for politics and currently serves as the Republican Municipal Chair for Cedar Grove. He enjoys running, the Jersey shore, and spending time with his family. He has participated in several marathons, including the New York City Marathon.
ABOUT THE Y
Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey, serving more than 35,000 individuals and providing nearly $1.3 million in direct financial assistance. Its six YMCAs, located in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne, are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility. They offer an array of programs that build spirit, mind and body for people of all ages and all circumstances.