Joseph P. Goryeb
Joseph P. Goryeb has spent a lifetime saying “yes.” Yes to dreams, yes to possibilities. He founded Champion Mortgage in 1981 on that very philosophy and went on to build one of the largest consumer mortgage lending companies in the country. He sold the Parsippany-based business in 1997, retired as chairman in 2000, and has since devoted his life and wealth to enriching the lives of others.
Beneath an unassuming and soft-spoken demeanor is a highly regarded business leader and passionate humanitarian, who, along with his late wife Marge and their children, donated the seed money to create the Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center – named in their honor and now celebrating its 10th anniversary. The family’s leadership gift ignited the Campaign for Children, which raised more than $29 million to erect the children’s hospital.
“We could never have imagined 10 or 11 years ago what this hospital would become,” says Mr. Goryeb. Thanks to the Goryeb family’s generosity and foresight, this premier pediatric medical facility is both community based and regionally ranked. “It’s really the best of both worlds,” remarks Walter Rosenfeld, MD, chairman of Pediatrics. “Nowhere else in our region can patients receive this level of specialized care this close to home.”
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Goryeb attended two years of college before doing a stint in the U.S. Army from 1950 to1952. After discharge he worked for Beneficial Finance Co. and Suburban Finance Co. before founding Champion Mortgage in 1981. Joe married his high school sweetheart Marguerite “Marge.” They have three children, Joseph, Richard and Lynne, and nine grandsons.
An astute businesswoman in her own right, the late Mrs. Goryeb attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in the early 1950’s and went on to build a highly successful career as a bridal gown designer. She joined her husband at Champion in 1984. Before her death in 2009 from acute leukemia, the Goryebs became one of New Jersey’s most influential philanthropic couples.
Over the years the Goryebs generously supported the American Cancer Society, The Seeing Eye Foundation, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Mickey Mantle Suite at the Hope Lodge in Manhattan, and the Somerset Hills Autistic School - just a few of the many organizations and countless lives they have touched.
At Morristown Medical, they have contributed to several important initiatives, including the KidFit program, the Children’s Heart Center, and recently through a generous bequest from Mrs. Goryeb’s estate to support the Center for Advanced Medicine in Pediatrics.
A longtime Mendham resident, Mr. Goryeb currently serves as trustee of the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center board, honorary chair of the Foundation’s Pediatric Philanthropy Council and a member of the Foundation’s legacy organization, The Brookfield Society.
“I’ve been amazingly fortunate in my lifetime,” he says. “Marge and I always felt it was important to give back. I still do.”
At 81 years old and showing no signs of slowing down, Mr. Goryeb continues the philanthropic work he and his wife began decades ago - “in between golf and billiards” he jokes. To recognize his contributions, Goryeb Children’s Hospital has named him honorary chairman of its 10th anniversary celebration this fall.
Reflecting on the children’s hospital today, he says, “It’s an amazing facility that has enriched the lives of tens of thousands of children over the years. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”