Gene Tolliver

Gene Tolliver is a lifetime public servant, mentor, and an agent of change in his local community. Gene is the sixth of seven children born to Mary Tolliver in the impoverished mountains of Kyle, West Virginia. Desiring greater educational and professional opportunities, Gene left West Virginia at the tender age of 15 and came to New Jersey to live with his sister, where he worked full-time, attended school full-time, and played on the football team. Gene put himself through college, where he earned his degree in Criminal Justice. Gene had a brief career in professional football, where he met his dear friend and business partner, O.J. Anderson. After football, Gene pursued his passion – a career in law enforcement.

As a recruit in the Police Academy, Gene’s unyielding determination to succeed resulted in several honors, including the Merit Award, PT Award, and Leadership Award. During his career as a Sheriff’s Officer, Gene faced many unique challenges, being one of the first Sheriff Officers of color in the Department’s history. Despite these challenges, Gene continued to encourage, inspire, and motivate his community, as he earned the position of Corporal, served as a member of the Emergency Response Team, and served as the Department’s EEO representative. Gene has also been a sought-after lecturer and panelist at middle schools and high schools on best practices for safety in school, in the workplace, in the home, and in teenage dating relationships. One of Gene’s greatest joys has been serving as a coach for over fifteen years to the Police Athletic League (PAL) Junior Football Team, a coach for the Beacon Christian Academy middle school basketball team, and serving as a mentor and father-figure to his players. Gene has received recognition and awards for his commitment to provide for the children when there was financial need and for personally funding team jackets, trophies, score boards, team dinners, and anything else needed to honor the young athletes who sought to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Gene has recently retired from the Sheriff’s Department after 26 years, and has begun his second career as the CEO of the Kyle Celebrity Booking Agency.

What Gene is most proud of and grateful for is his family. At the age of 16, Gene met the love of his life, Barbara, a Labor and Delivery Registered Nurse, and this year they celebrated 36 years of marriage. Gene and Barbara have two children, Gene Phillip, 28, a Police Officer and graduate of Kean University; Joy, 34, an attorney and graduate of Fordham University and Rutgers Law School; and one amazing grandchild, Jason Phillip, who is 5 years old and an Honor Roll student.