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NewBridge CEO Named Exemplary Leader by MCCC

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Michelle Borden, NewBridge CEO, named exemplary nonprofit leader by the MCCC. Michelle in pink blazer at the April 25 MCCC event.Michelle Borden, who took the helm of NewBridge Services just as the pandemic hit in 2020, has been recognized as an exemplary nonprofit leader by the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. Borden received the MCCC award at the chamber’s 18th Annal Nonprofit Conference and Awards Ceremony on April 25 — the same day as NewBridge Services’ Legacy of Hope Gala. 

“We are so proud of Michelle,” said Debbie King, president of NewBridge Services Board of Trustees. “She is passionate about elevating the impact mental health to help individuals heal and to make communities stronger.”

MCCC named Borden exemplary leader of a nonprofit with revenues exceeding $1 million. “We’re grateful to the Morris County Chamber of Commerce for recognizing how extraordinary Michelle is.”

“In a county with so many innovative and impactful nonprofits, I’m honored to have been singled out for this recognition,” Borden said. She is a licensed clinical social worker and certified disaster response counselor. She joined NewBridge in 1997 and quickly became second in command.

Caring for Communities

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Borden became a founding member of the Morris County Human Services Response Network. The effort led to New Jersey becoming one of the first states to certify disaster response crisis counselors. A decade later, Borden was providing psychological first aid in communities devastated by flooding.

“I feel that NewBridge could not have been left in better hands,” said retired CEO Robert L. Parker, who handed Borden the reins four years ago. “Michelle has the perfect blend of clinical expertise and leadership acumen,” Parker said.

From the get-go as CEO, Borden used her crisis management know-how to ensure clients had seamless access to services and support during the statewide shutdown. The nonprofit quickly pivoted to telehealth counseling, and developed extensive mental health resources people could access on its website. 

Innovating

Under Borden’s leadership, NewBridge expanded NewBridge@Home, which provides in-home counseling to homebound seniors and caregivers; created and grew Seniors in Motion, a virtual movement class to help seniors ease pain; and launched a compulsive gambling treatment program for people with mental illness/addiction. 

In 2022, the nonprofit purchased property to create a NewBridge campus in Pompton Plains, where it first opened its doors in 1963; The new headquarters opened in January 2024, next to NewBridge apartments and its adult psychiatric day treatment program. 

Last year alone, NewBridge created an Alzheimer’s/other dementias training program, received state approval to provide evidence-based medication assisted treatment for substance use disorder, and hosted its first in-person Thanksgiving luncheon for NewBridge clients since the pandemic hit. Borden also led efforts for NewBridge to partner with Christian Health in order to ensure NewBridge’s viability long into the future.

A Roomful of Helpers

NewBridge tackles some of society’s most challenging issues, including mental illness, addiction, isolation and homelessness. NewBridge provides counseling, housing and education to thousands of children, adults and seniors in Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties.

Borden earned a Master of Social Work at the University of Connecticut and an undergraduate degree in cultural studies. Before joining NewBridge, she spent 11 years overseeing the psychiatric and substance abuse programs at East Orange General Hospital.

More than 200 people attended the MCCC nonprofit conference. “This room is filled with the helpers,” said Heather Thompson, executive director of the nonprofit Table to Table and chair of the chamber’s Nonprofit Round Table. “You know what it means to go above and beyond.”

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