HANOVER — Thomas “Ace” Gallagher, a prominent Hanover Township Committeeman and a strong voice advocating effective change that can bring positive solutions to issues concerning not only the local residents of Hanover Township but also to communities on the county, state and national levels, is seeking re-election on Tuesday, June 4.
As a trustworthy problem solver, “Ace” has had much experience in budget preparation, township management, policy development, land use, property maintenance, educational issues, traffic, community service, being a good listener and so much more. He stands up for his convictions on the Township Committee and for the concerns of his neighbors and friends. Those of you who know him can attest to his contagious enthusiasm with which he continues to garner support and confidence. How did “Thomas “Ace” Gallagher become the man he is and how did it all begin?
The son of Terry & Michael Gallagher, “Ace” was born in Bayonne. His family moved to East Hanover Township where his mother taught music in the Hanover Township school district. Coming from a musical family, he inherited a rare talent. Ace was playing the drums at four and appearing on stage by the age of six. His passion follows him to this day – spanning a musical career of forty years on stage where he has played at some of the best venues and with some of the most impressive people. It was important for Ace to share his love and talent for the drums by teaching more than 18 years, two of which were spent teaching in Hanover Township schools.
Ace’s love of music took him to New York City where he played gigs 3-4 nights a week. He continued studying music and began to study business and marketing at County College of Morris. It was then when Ace started to understand the validity of what his parents and musical relatives always told him, “As a musician, no matter how good you may be, you had better start to consider having a Plan B because many musicians that do make big money, typically only make it for a short period of time.” As Ace was beginning to prepare for his Plan B, he accidentally became involved in the tree business. He immediately took to this business because it was loud, aggressive, and gave him a feeling of accomplishment. If handled properly, he could stand to make a very good living. By the age of 24, Ace became the foreman of the tree company. Realizing that he needed to find something in the industry that would make him unique and put him in demand, he had an epiphany. Everyone was cutting down trees, but no one was grinding the stumps. With that in mind, Ace bought a stump grinder and 12 tee shirts. He took out a $5 ad in the newspaper and so Ace Gallagher Stump Grinding was born.
Gallagher comes from a family of true public servants and their mantra of giving back to the community, especially those who truly need a helping hand. Most of Ace’s introduction to public service began at a very young age through Scouts and church largely performing and most notably performing several times for Vietnam Veterans in West Orange NJ as early as 1972. So it is only fitting that Ace took his caring for people, the skills and connections he developed in his field to create, develop and refine the nationally recognized, award winning “One Day One School” Beautification and Safety Initiative. A source of motivation and inspiration, his beautification program transformed schools throughout the state. This unique program garnered accolades for the stump grinder. It isn’t easy to say no to Ace. Armed with volunteers, he was able to complete the most attractive projects amid raves.
Giving back to the community is something that has always been important to Ace. When Carmen Blandino asked him to join the Knights of Columbus, he was afraid to add one more meeting to his calendar and considered declining the invitation. He will never forget what Carmen told him, “You already live the life of a Knight everyday. You’re doing quite a bit of work to help people in every way you can and it’s noticed, at least by me. Don’t worry about your schedule and the meeting conflicts. We’d love to have you be part of our chapter.” It is impossible to say no to Carmen and Ace never has.
It made sense and as a Fourth Degree Knight, Ace is especially appreciative of the opportunity to participate in this wonderful organization that does so much good for so many.
Throughout Ace’s career in public and community service, he has accumulated numerous accomplishments, awards and recognitions:
- National recognition and award for One Day One School Beautification & Safety Initiative
- Worked with the state of Massachusetts to create a One Day One School program for them
- Created and coordinated the Hanover Township School & Park Traffic Safety Advisory Committee for which he received 2 recognitions from the County of Morris
- 2011 elected to the Board of Education
- 2012 Received black belt in Isshinryu Karate
- 2013 re-elected to Board of Education
- 2014 Sworn in as member of Hanover Township Committee. Currently finishing second term. Running uncontested for third term.
- NJ Green Achievement Award for Excellence in Forestry – Individual and group categories
- NJ Forestry Association
- NJ Urban Forestry Association
- NJ DEP
- NJ Shade Tree Federation
- The SAGE Award from Livingston Township Committee
- Set A Good Example Award- for his participation as a board member of Little League
- Admired for his work with Bandit Industries, the second largest manufacturer in forestry equipment. His recommendations have been incorporated into equipment being used today.
- Created the NJ Coalition 4 Education & Positive Choices and earned the NJ Governor’s Jefferson Award
One of Ace’s most notable achievements has been his creation of the NJ Coalition 4 Education & Positive Choices in which he has united educational leaders, law enforcement and municipal leaders with residents of the community to increase awareness of the drug epidemic and foster a positive lifestyle for our youth.
Thomas “Ace” Gallagher resides in Whippany with his wife Sheila and two children where he continues to be well-respected community leader.
A fine upstanding citizen, Ace Gallagher is known to devote his heart and soul to his family, music, business and public service.
Remember to vote on Tuesday, June 4 for Thomas “Ace” Gallagher for Hanover Township Committeeman, Row 1, Column 16.