When Herb Emilson retired in 1995 he started a second career in philanthropy, using his business acumen to help South Shore nonprofits improve their outcomes for the communities they served.  The Emilsons were very concerned about leaving a healthy natural world for all to enjoy, having themselves been avid outdoors people. They loved the North River so much that they made it their home for over 40 years. The NSRWA was honored to be one of the many nonprofit organizations that the Emilsons invested in. Beyond much needed financial support, Herb and Pauline gave their time, talents and moral support pushing the nonprofits they supported to do more for their missions.  

Herb was an NSRWA board member in the 1990s and provided funding that allowed the organization to hire its first Executive Director. His wife Pauline held the mortgage that allowed the NSRWA to purchase an office space in Norwell… that building still hosts our staff today. Quite literally they laid the foundation of the professional NSRWA organization that it is today and ensured that the rivers would always have a voice. Herb passed away just two days short of his 95th birthday and his wife Pauline passed in August of 2022. We are saddened by their passing; knowing them both was a true gift and their lives are an example for all of us on giving back to our community. They made the South Shore a better place to live for everyone.