An experienced supervisor, leader, and professional, Octavio ("Tave") Padilla has worked as Co-Director of Youth Development and Recreation at the North Ward Center for the past 16 years. His service also includes working as an Aide to New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Legislative Aide to New Jersey State Senator Nellie Pou, and Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo. He has also served on the boards of various community-based organizations, including sports and cultural organizations. He has also been a private business owner in Newark.
Tave was born and raised in Newark to Puerto Rican parents, who migrated to Newark in the 1950s in search of opportunity. As a father to two adult children, Tave deeply understands the importance of access quality education and varied recreational options for Newark’s students. He has worked directly with youth for over 25 years—as a professional and volunteer—focusing on impacting lives in positive and meaningful ways.