Robbinsville Township Administrator Joy Tozzi Elected Chair of the MEL JIF
Second Woman to Serve as Chair
The Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund (MEL) is pleased to announce the election of Joy Tozzi, Administrator of Robbinsville Township, as Chair of the fund.
The MEL JIF is the largest governmental self-insurance pool for property and casualty in New Jersey. The MEL serves 70 percent of all municipalities in the state and is one of the largest JIFs in the country.
“Joy brings enthusiasm, dedication and a deep understanding of municipal government to the position and we know that she will continue to build on her impressive track record as a leader and innovator to address and meet the changing needs of our municipalities and public entities,” said David Grubb, Executive Director and co-founder of the MEL.
Tozzi has worked as a township administrator for over a decade and has been actively involved as a commissioner and chair of the Mid-Jersey Municipal JIF, which is affiliated with the MEL. She served as secretary and a member of the MEL Board of Commissioners for four years.
“It is truly an honor to serve as Chair for this group of extremely professional and committed people,” Tozzi said. “Each of them puts a tremendous amount of their time and energy into this organization to work for the benefit of our members. I am a very passionate person, driven by fairness and equity. I have made it one of my highest priorities to ensure we provide the opportunity for everyone to have a voice. We want to ask the right questions to help determine the most appropriate path forward.”
Tozzi noted that this is challenging time for municipalities. “We are still navigating COVID-19 and we still don’t know the lingering impact it may have. We are also facing the hardest insurance marketplace since the mid-1980s. Inflation is working against us, not to mention the constraints of a 2 percent budget cap.”
The MEL was founded in the 1980s in response to an insurance crisis that made it nearly impossible for municipalities and government entities to afford coverage.
With increased ransomware attacks on public entities, cyber security and risk control will continue to be a top priority.
“Towns are facing tremendous costs as a result of cyber-related issues, including ransomware,” Tozzi said. “The marketplace for cyber insurance is shrinking, while the requirements to purchase insurance are getting more extensive and costly. Towns must make technology a priority, and they need to know what to do if they are targeted and the steps needed to regain control in order to return to normal operations with as little disruption as possible.”
Tozzi added the MEL has been providing such education, information and guidance for years, but plans are in the works to do even more. The MEL, she insists, is up to the challenge.
“We will draw on the MEL’s 35 years of expertise, get creative and continue to provide the casualty and property insurance our members need,” Tozzi said. “We will continue to work closely with our members to reduce high costs, exposures, and risks by focusing on best practices, training and education programs for municipal and authority workers through our MEL Safety Institute.”
Tozzi cautioned the road forward may get a bit bumpy. “Serving as Chair right now is not going to be easy, but I am confident that with our professionals and the hard work of our members we will overcome the challenges of 2022 and continue to lead the way for public entities in this field.”
Tozzi is only the second woman to serve as Chair of the MEL JIF, the first was Barbara Pence in 2004.
About Joy Tozzi:
Joy Tozzi is a graduate of Rider University and is currently enrolled in the Rutgers University Certified Municipal Finance Officers program. She also completed specialized Rutgers programs for Executive Leadership in Government, Certified Public Manager, and Principles in Purchasing programs.
She is currently the Administrator for Robbinsville Township, a position she has held for over a decade. During her tenure she has run point on a budget process that has resulted in nine consecutive years of flat or reduced municipal taxes. She is also the innovator and coordinator of the State of the Township “Pay it Forward” campaign that has raised more than $400,000 to benefit local charities and residents in need.
Tozzi is dedicated to community service, a passion she has nurtured since childhood. She actively supports community organizations and program for adults and children with special needs, humanitarian projects, Girl Scout, Boy Scout and Rotary projects.
Tozzi is a lifelong resident of Hamilton Township. She is married to a retired firefighter from Hamilton and has three sons.