Member News: New Providence Counselor and Children’s Book Author Gives Back

by Lauryn Shapiro, TAPintoNewProvidence
As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc siteNEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – New Providence resident Rebecca Perlman Coniglio, a licensed clinical social worker and certified school counselor, and author of children’s book series, “Lily’s Little Life Lessons,” ( has found a creative way to support The NJ Sharing Network.

Her most recent book, “Lily’s Laces” was written specifically for The NJ Sharing Network, with all proceeds from the book benefiting the organization which saves lives through organ and tissue donation.  “Lily’s Laces” will be released in Spanish later this month.

Coniglio was inspired to write her books after her daughter, Lily, became very ill from complications of a virus when she was in kindergarten.  “When she got better I did feel so lucky, so I reached out to the NJ Sharing Network and told them that Lily always wanted to participate in their 5K, and I wondered if they wanted me to write a story about it,” she tells TAP into New Providence.  She explains that The NJ Sharing Network funds the book’s publications and receives all of the proceeds from the sales.

When she heard about The NJ Sharing Network’s new foundation, Riley’s Dance (, she offered to write another story for them.  Coniglio is currently working on the book that will benefit Riley’s Dance, a foundation honoring five-year-old Riley (of Livingston, New Jersey) who saved two people’s lives by donating her organs when she died.

“Writing these books is a way to give back to the community and support the very worthy cause of organ and tissue donation,” said Coniglio.

Coniglio recently relocated her private counseling practice from Livingston, New Jersey, to South Street in New Providence. She has over 10 years of experience working with adults, adolescents, and children who are experiencing anxiety, grief, parenting issues, other life transitions.  A free phone consultation is encouraged at 973-568-6453.  “Sometimes you just need someone to talk to,” Coniglio says. “I am here, and ready to listen.”

Movement is a Must for Infants and Children of All Ages

Interesting and informative article, submitted by our member – Santa Fe Centers

Santa Fe CentersCurrent research and a search of the literature have given Santa Fe Childcare a new way to look at the activity level of our infants and toddlers.  We were pleased to welcome Eleanor Campbell, PT, to our Infant Toddler Center, on April 16th where she spoke to parents and staff about the importance of movement in the lives of our youngest children.  The title of her presentation was “Babies Need to Move” and she had everyone fascinated with the information shared.  She reviewed typical sensory/motor development, which is similar for all children – progress on a continuum which contributes to the many vital connections that are formed between lower and higher centers in the brain.

Infants must be allowed to move in order to gain muscle strength against gravity, to get up on hands and knees, to crawl and to eventually walk.  The efficient and healthy development of the neurological and motor system is dependent on freedom of movement of infants as well as the continued encouragement of active play for the older children.  In this age of car seats, infant seats, exersaucers, infant swings, and jolly jumpers, we need to critically look at whether we are providing enough opportunity to allow our children to be on the floor, to be in an environment where they can freely move and help to develop all their senses.  We can prevent some of the developmental, learning and emotional challenges our children face,  as well as plagiocephaly (abnormal head shape) in infants or torticollis (asymmetrical neck position) by allowing our infants to spend most of their awake time on the floor or in an environment that allows free movement.  Less time in infant seats/carriers, swings or other restrictive devices which inhibit free movement is the key.

We are all well aware of our five senses and through growth and exposure these are well stimulated — but how many are aware of the proprioceptive sense and the vestibular sense?  The proprioceptive sense helps us to know where our body is in space, how much force is needed for postural control against gravity and for movement.  The vestibular system helps us to know where our head is positioned in space and to comprehend movement.  These systems work together to develop motor control, balance and equilibrium. A baby’s first playground is the floor and here is where learning about the body and the environment is gained.  Full development of movement, body awareness, and balance is a gradual process that is not complete until at least 7 years of age and beyond.   Allowing our older children more free outside time and less regimented classes will help to not only develop the motor and neurologic system but will help with social and emotional growth and stress release.

Here at Santa Fe, we work hard to provide such an environment, which helps to develop all the senses so important for proper neurological and motor growth.


Jane Coleman Cabildo, Director
Santa Fe Centers

College Arm Wrestling CAWL to Arms Show Launches in May with Premiere Party at Paca Club


New Providence High School Freshman, Johnny Souren, challenges Mr. PEC-Tacular (Jessie Godderz).

by The Alternative Press

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Borough residents Karin and John Souren of KJS Design & Technology and partners in TV productions company, NYC Brand Productions, will be hosting a premiere party at The William Paca Club in New Providence for a new co-ed sports championship, College Arm Wrestling, that makes its debut on ESPNU Tuesday, May 13 at 7 p.m.

Teams comprised of male and female competitors from rival schools face one another in matches to compete for the College Arm Wrestling Championship.  The competition is taped at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

Matchups for Week One include students from Penn State against students from Rutgers. In Week Two of the competition, airing on May 20, students from University of Connecticut meet students from Syracuse University.

The winning teams from those matchups will face each other in a final hour-long special on May 27 at 7 p.m. to determine the 2014 College Arm Wrestling Grand Champions. The winning team members will share a $10,000 cash prize.

“IMPACT WRESTLING” superstar and five-time CBS “Big Brother” star, Jessie Godderz, known to his fans as Mr. PEC-Tacular, has been tapped to co-host the competition.  ESPN announcers Noah Coslov and Tara Petrolino will host the inaugural season of NYC Brand Production’s new coed College Arm Wrestling Championship. Referee for the College Arm Wrestling Championship is four-time World Arm Wrestling Champion, Jim Bryan who has wrestled on five continents for Team USA.

See a video preview of the CAWL To Arms action at




New Providence Banners Enhance Downtown

DowntownBannersNEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Drivers through New Providence this week have been greeted by colorful new banners welcoming them to town.

The borough, the New Providence Business Community, and the New Providence Beautification Committee worked cooperatively to design, fund, produce, and hang the banners.

There are five new designs that form a cohesive banner campaign.  The designs, which will rotate seasonally, include Welcome to New Providence; New Providence Business – Small Community. Big Choices; Celebrate New Providence; Shop, Dine, Discover; and Seasons Greetings.

In addition to these messages, each banner includes either a recycling message or a Clean Community message.  The banners were designed by New Providence resident and small business owner, Barbara Singer Friedman, and her team at Different by Design, who also previously designed the New Providence Business Community logo.

In addition to beautifying the downtown, the banners are part of a larger economic development effort.

“By presenting an attractive, vibrant downtown, New Providence becomes even more appealing to businesses looking to open or relocate,” said Borough Administrator Doug Marvin.  “The banner campaign is another way to show that New Providence is always striving to make our town the first choice for both businesses and residents.”

“We are thrilled with the new banners,” said Michelle Brugger, New Providence Business spokesperson. “They really bring attention to the downtown and help highlight the close ties between the business community and the New Providence community at large. They really look beautiful.”

“If you haven’t seen the new banners yet, come visit New Providence,” said Jimmy Vardas, spokesperson for New Providence Business.  “We are very proud of our town, and our businesses are eager to welcome you.”


The New Providence Business Community serves its members and supports the local community by funding numerous community events. It also holds meetings for members to exchange ideas and experiences, in order to build a proactive and vibrant business community. If you are a New Providence business owner or employee who would like to be more involved, visit

Two Lassus Wherley Members Honored as Five Star CPAs

by The Alternative Press Staff

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Two certified public accountants from the New Providence fee-only financial planning firm Lassus Wherley have been accorded one of the most prestigious honors in their field.

Clare E. Wherley, CPA, CFP®, CEO, and Patricia Daquila, CPA, Senior Tax Advisor, were each selected as 2014 Five Star Certified Public Accountants. The largest and most widely published financial services award program in North America, the Five Star program covers more than 40 major markets. The list of Five Star Certified Public Accountants for New Jersey was published in the January issue of New Jersey Monthly magazine and on

Five Star Certified Public Accountants do not pay a fee to be included in the research or the final list of Five Star Certified Public Accountants. Award candidates are evaluated against ten objective eligibility and evaluation criteria that are associated with professionals who provide quality services to their clients.

Lassus Wherley was founded in 1985 by Wherley and Diahann W. Lassus, CFP®, CPA/PFS. They have two offices–one in New Providence and the other in Bonita Springs, Fla. Lassus Wherley is a fee-only wealth management firm with specialists in financial planning, investment management, tax preparation, trust services, and family office support.

The company works with individuals, couples, families, pension and profit sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. Lassus Wherley is a nationally certified Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the nation’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement of Fee-Only comprehensive financial planning. For more information about Lassus Wherley, visit its web site,

Maintaining a Safe Environment Around Your Home Swimming Pool

Millions of us enjoy warm weather every year by swimming in our backyard pools and relaxing in hot tubs. Tragically though, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. The American Red Cross suggests owners make pool safety their priority by following these guidelines:

  • Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
  • Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.
  • Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
  • Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”

Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.

Warm Weather and Swimming Go Hand in Hand

Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But it’s important to know how to be safe while you’re in the water. The American Red Cross offers these important swimming safety tips you should be aware of before you head out to the pool or beach:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Maintain constant supervision.
  • Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
  • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

Summer safety tip provided by NPBPA Member,

Peter E. Rovtar; President
The Lantern Agency, Inc.
(908) 464-5100

NP News – by The New York Times: The Town That ‘Grows With You’

by The New York Times

NEW PROVIDENCE High School has been getting a lot of attention lately. First it provided the setting for “Win Win,” a film about a high school wrestling team that became an indie hit last year. This September it was named New Jersey’s top-rated high school by a statewide magazine, which led to a feature segment on one of New York City’s evening news broadcasts a few weeks back.


All this notice has been a bit heady for the school, and the people who live in New Providence, many of whom speak of the small-town atmosphere in a place whose low profile they relish. “Because it’s so tiny, people tend to buzz right through it,” said Michele DiBenedetto, a 17-year resident and a broker with Prudential. “But distinctions like being named top school are starting to put us on the map.”

In addition to the schools, this Union County borough appeals to would-be buyers with its wide range of affordable housing, particularly in comparison to neighboring Summit and Chatham.

There is also its hassle-free commute thanks to the two train stations serving the town, and the neighborliness appreciated by many of New Providence’s 12,000 residents.

That helpful spirit was recently put to the test in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which plunged the downtown area and most residences into darkness, while downed trees throughout town had the public works department on overtime. About a third of residents remained without power a week later, according to the police department. But the borough’s recently institutedCode Red alert system proved valuable to residents like Ms. DiBenedetto, who said she had been appreciative of the frequent status updates on her cellphone during the days she was without power.

Jen and Scott Wetzel, who moved to town in March, have already developed a close circle of friends: six couples in their Murray Hill Farm neighborhood who, in good weather at least, get together for cookouts, outdoor movie screenings and dinners while their children ride bikes and play together.

So eager was the neighborhood for the family to move in, Ms. Wetzel recalled, that the welcome wagon arrived before the paint dried. “Everyone was so friendly,” she said. “We weren’t even living here yet, we were just painting and putting in new floors, and neighbors were bringing over cookies and brownies and inviting us over.” The house, a 3,700-square-foot four-bedroom colonial, cost $875,000.

Raymond Hu and Maggie Lin’s son is just 7 months old, but the couple are planning ahead: schools were the most important factor in their house hunt. They settled on New Providence not long before its high school was cited as the state’s top school.

“I had a feeling New Providence would do well, but my wife was really surprised,” Mr. Hu said. “She was singing when she heard.”

The high school principal, Paul Casarico, was thrilled byNew Jersey Monthly’s top ranking of the school, which knocked out a neighboring rival, Millburn High School, the previous two-time winner. And success was all the sweeter coming as it did after the school’s brush with fame as the setting for “Win Win,” a 2011 film starring Paul Giamatti and written by two alumni.

Citing programs like the senior internship project and the “iPad initiative,” which is to provide each student in Grades 9, 10 and 11 with a tablet computer, Mr. Casarico said his school had worked hard to stay ahead of the curve, but credited the honor to the students themselves. “We’ve got great students,” he said. “They come well prepared, from their parents and from the lower schools. So a recognition like this is just a confirmation that what you’ve been doing is working.”


Situated on 3.6 square miles on the western slope of the Watchung Mountains, this community 28 miles west of New York is marked by hilly, tree-lined areas like the aptly named Tall Oaks, whose larger properties and a Summit ZIP code command higher prices.

The houses most typically seen, however, are the split-levels, Capes and ranches found along the main thoroughfares and dotting the streets of several pocket neighborhoods convenient to the downtown area.

Many of the houses were built in the 1950s and ’60s, after Bell Labs moved its headquarters to the area known as Murray Hill. Today Bell’s parent company, Alcatel-Lucent, maintains its domestic headquarters just across Mountain Avenue in Berkeley Heights. The New Providence area is also home to BOC Gases, Bard medical products, LexisNexis and the New Jersey Sharing Network, among others.

The last major housing development, built in the mid-1990s, was Murray Hill Farm, 81 homes that, because the developer was held to a “no look-alike” requirement, offer architectural variety. Across from the Murray Hill train station is Murray Hill Square, a onetime retail complex converted in the 1980s to 50 Williamsburg-style town houses. Also near that station are Green Way, a complex of 26 town houses completed this year, and Foley Square, 22 town houses now being built.

The downtown area, along South Street and Springfield Avenue, includes a strip mall, a larger shopping plaza with a new A & P supermarket, and several local stores, like McGrath Hardware and Barth’s Market, a third-generation German butcher.


The wide range of housing prices makes New Providence a desirable town for young families looking to establish a foothold. “The town grows with you,” said Kara M. Thoms, a lifelong resident and a broker with Lois Schneider Realtor. “You’ve got starter homes and million-dollar houses. You can start with a condo and move up without having to move out.”

There are 59 homes on the market in New Providence, ranging from a one-bedroom one-bath condominium listed at $258,000 to a five-bedroom four-and-a-half-bath house on Countryside Drive listed at $2.95 million. The average sale price in the first three-quarters of 2012 was $567,773, compared with $573,870 over the same period in 2011, according to the Garden State Multiple Listing Service.

Houses in the Murray Hill Farm area average around $900,000, although some have sold in the $1.3 million range, while properties in the Tall Oaks section range from the $500,000s to more than $700,000. The four-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath split-level in the Murray Hill section that Mr. Hu and Ms. Lin recently bought for $622,000 is fairly typical of the community. The couple pay almost $13,300 in taxes.

As for town houses, they start in the high $200,000s, for a one-bedroom at Murray Hill Square, and approach $1 million at the new Green Way complex.

Looking to move from a high-rise apartment in Jersey City, Alex Prather and Akiko Matsuo quickly found Summit out of their price range, and earlier this year they shifted their focus to New Providence. With a 4-year-old son and a baby on the way, a good school system was a top priority, as was an easy commute for Mr. Prather, who travels to Newark for his management job at In late September they moved into a three-bedroom 1960 colonial that they had bought for $410,000. With its sizable backyard and large deck, Mr. Prather said, it “offers lots of potential.”


With two Olympic-sized pools, the New Providence Community Pool is a big draw in the summer, as is the private Crestview Swim and Tennis Club. The 2,065-acre Watchung Reservation in neighboring Mountainside offers hiking and horseback trails, fishing streams and a nature center.

Cultural offerings within a short drive include the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, the Center for Visual Arts in Summit, and the theaters and museums of Newark, 13 miles away. For shopping, most go to the Mall at Short Hills.


Students attend two elementary schools, Salt Brook and Allen W. Roberts, which have 612 and 627 students respectively. The New Providence Middle School, with 337 enrolled, shares its campus with the high school, where there are 623 students. SAT averages atNew Providence High School last year were 600 in math, 566 in reading and 571 in writing, versus 517, 493 and 496 statewide. The high school marching band has 120 members.

New Providence is also home to the Summit Speech School for the hearing-impaired.


New Jersey Transit trains run from the New Providence and Murray Hill stations directly to Pennsylvania Station, with a one-way charge of $9.25 and $10, respectively. The commute takes about an hour. The area is also served by Interstate 78, which feeds into the Holland Tunnel.


Settled by Puritans in 1720, the town was originally called Turkey Town because of the abundance of wild turkeys. Then, one Sunday morning in 1759, the choir loft at the Presbyterian Church collapsed onto mercifully empty pews below. Declaring the timing of the incident “providential,” the pastor suggested changing the town’s name to New Providence.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 12, 2012

A picture with this article, of a three-bedroom Victorian on the market on Springfield Avenue in New Providence for $550,000, has an incorrect street number. It is 1483, not 83.

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