In mid-January, The Father Center of New Jersey’s Board of Trustees kicked off 2023 and their 30th year as an organization serving fathers and families with their first board meeting. The new year brought in a change in leadership at the board level as Bryan Evans began his tenure as Board President, David Howe as First Vice President, and Wayne Mernone as Second Vice President. They join current board officers Steve Silverman, Treasurer, and Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, Ph.D., who serves as the Board Secretary. The agency also welcomed two new board members, John A. Santana and Darshan Kulkarni. Also serving on the board are Joanie Page, Dr. Douglas Blair, Dwayne M. King, Lynn Schwartz, and William E. Rauh.

At the organization’s first board meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 17th, Evans noted his desire to better leverage data connected to the organization’s impact. “We’re going to take a deep dive into key data points to communicate the efficacy of, and inform how we shape, our programs in the future,” said Evans. “I want to make sure that everyone is very aware of our significant impact.”

“This year we aim to build on great momentum from our first statewide fatherhood conference, successful Platinum Dads event, and various strategic planning discussions last year to further our mission of supporting men in gaining the skills and meeting the responsibilities of fatherhood,” noted Evans.

“I am most excited about our Healthy Relationships, Healthy Choices program and all the opportunities to expand our reach and impact with serving local high school boys and young men,” said Dangi-Garimella.

Bryan Evans made sure the meeting was engaging and interactive and made an impression on the team. He arranged for each participant to don a “positive poncho” as everyone traveled around the room marking words describing each person’s unique and positive qualities and strengths onto the ponchos. At the end of the exercise, there was so much positive energy and many repeated qualities such as “great leader,” “analytical thinker” and “fantastic storyteller!”

Marc Warren, the Chief Operating Officer at TFCNJ stated, “Now I see opportunity! I want to increase our presence throughout the state and expand further into our existing communities, and with this new leadership in place, I see this happening for us!”

The Father Center of New Jersey’s name reflects the strength of a continued mission: to support men in gaining the skills and meeting the responsibilities of fatherhood. The agency’s career counseling and workforce development programs create opportunities for fathers to gain skills and show up for their families. The Father Center is the oldest child welfare organization in New Jersey and was founded in 1859 as an orphanage for children who were abandoned, neglected, and/or abused. Over the years the agency has evolved to meet the needs of the community by fostering family and child-wellbeing and has transitioned gradually to an award-winning organization serving over 800 men per year.

For more information about the agency’s year-long 30th-anniversary celebrations or to become a sponsor, please contact Karen Andrade-Mims, The Father Center’s CEO at or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn by searching for @TheFatherCenter or going to their website.

Photo credit: Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, Ph.D.

About Author