Brian C. Neuwirth
Neuwirth is President of UNEX Manufacturing Inc., a leading provider of material handling and carton flow solutions for distribution centers and warehouses. UNEX clients include retailers, big box stores, wine and spirits and food and beverage distributors, and companies in the automotive, heavy equipment and industrial distribution industries. Neuwirth is an expert in the order fulfillment and order picking process, line side storage solutions, the application of lean manufacturing principles, carton flow, SKU analysis and ergonomics in order picking and assembly. Previously, he was vice president of sales and marketing at UNEX and held several other positions at the compay including director of marketing and business development and Northeast regional manager.
As the third president and chief executive officer of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, Paranicas oversees the trade association for the research-based biopharmaceutical and medical technology industry. HINJ is a trade association that serves as the voice in New Jersey for research-based biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies, including many of the world’s largest as well as smaller, growing companies. Before joining HINJ, Paranicas was vice president, corporate secretary and public policy for Becton Dickinson. HINJ strives to raise awareness, understanding and public support for the state’s life sciences industry, expand patient access to the medical innovations its member companies produce, and promote awareness of the life sciences industry’s economic impact in New Jersey.
Kenneth G. Romanzi
A longtime food executive, Romanzi took over at B&G Foods in April after the retirement of 35-year company veteran Robert Cantwell, who was at the helm for four years. B&G acquired baking products business Clabber Girl Corp. a month after Romanzi’s arrival, and the 50-plus brand company manufactures some of America’s favorite products out of facilities in Roseland. Many B&G products are likely in your freezer or pantry: Back to Nature crackers, Green Giant frozen veggies, Polaner All Fruit spread, and more. Romanzi spent a year and a half as B&G’s chief operating officer, and most notably spent more than a decade as the chief operator at Ocean Spray Cranberries in Middleboro, Mass.
Consumers eat 100 packs of Welch’s Fruit Snacks a second, according to Promotion in Motion CEO Rosenberg. PIM is the company behind the common treat. Between a factory in Franklin Township in Somerset County and one in Spain, company capacity is about 250 million pounds of product per year. Welch’s Fruit Snacks are everywhere—movie theatres, kid’s lunch boxes, office snack bars—and 60 percent of them come out of the factory in Somerset, built in 2004 and currently undergoing an 80,000-square-foot expansion. PIM is investing more than $30 million into the facility, which upon completion will total more than 250,000 square feet. When it’s complete, it’ll be outfitted for free tours to give folks a behind-the-scenes look at one of New Jersey’s most influential food manufacturers. Rosenberg, who’s wanted to outfit the factory for tours since before he bought the building in 2004, projects one million visitors per year.
The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, where Russo serves as president, is among the largest business advocacy groups in the state and can attract heavy hitters to its events, such as South Jersey political powerbroker George Norcross and former-Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican who preceded Murphy. And it was at a CIANJ event in April that Christie unleashed his criticisms of a task force Murphy put together to scrutinize New Jersey’s economic incentive programs – a nearly year-long debate which rages on into 2020. With many criticisms and worries from the business community about how business-friendly, or unfriendly, the state is, it will be up to the various chambers and advocates to make sure the voices of the manufacturing industry are heard on every front.
As a senior vice president for economic transformation at the EDA, Sabina is on the front lines in the fight to attract businesses and help them grow in accordance with the Murphy administration’s vision for New Jersey’s economy. And with the governor setting his sights on high-growth industries such as advanced manufacturing, logistics, food and beverage, and clean energy, Sabina has his plate full. He was one of the 15 members for a state delegation that was active in the yearlong National Policy Academy, aimed at helping states develop best practices to help their respective manufacturing industries flourish. “Advanced manufacturing has been identified by the Governor and [Office of Economic Transformation] as one of several sectors that will be pivotal in fortifying the state’s long-term competitiveness,” Sabina said last year.
Salama is the founder and CEO of Sabert Corp., a food packaging manufacturer based in Sayreville. In November 2019, the company announced that it agreed to acquire LBP Manufacturing LLC, a deal that is expected to boost its annual sales over $900 million, and create a team of 3,000 employees worldwide. The deal is expected to close in early December. The Chicago-based target LBP is known for its hot beverage packing in particular, Sabert said, like the Coffee Clutch hot cup sleeve and Beverage on the Move insulated to-go carrier. Other products include catering trays, folding cartons and clamshells. “LBP’s customer-centric culture and superior track record of developing performance-driven products that respond to their customers’ needs makes them a great fit to join our organization,” Salama said when the transaction was announced.
Since 2001, Savage –now the executive director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools – has advocated for career and technical education on behalf of the 21 county vocational-technical school districts. She is a strong voice for workforce development and has championed the development of new manufacturing-related training programs in the state’s county vocational-technical schools.
Sebastian created the original model for what is now known as the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. He became CEO of the New Jersey Innovation Institute, a corporation of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, after 15 years leading research at NJIT, during which time the research and development enterprise grew to over $110 million. That figure was good enough to place NJIT fifth among all polytechnic universities in the country and fourth among all universities in patent productivity. The NJII is providing government grant-funded research to local companies to help improve operations. As an example, it provided a detailed report from Fraunhofer MarketExplorer, a German provider of affordable applied research that small- and medium-sized firms could not otherwise afford. The NJII is assisting 140 New Jersey companies in this capacity. Sebastian says adding just one manufacturing job creates four additional positions. “We live in an almost unparalleled age in terms of disruption emerging in almost every industry,” he said. “Pharmaceuticals are being turned upside down. The introduction of the Internet of Things and smart devices connected to the cloud are potential disruptors.”
The CEO of Holtec International, which produces equipment for power generation companies, is also a trustee at Cooper Health. The company got caught up in the controversy over the use of state tax incentives in Camden, when it was revealed that Holtec may have misled the Economic Development Authority about a bribery case that might have disqualified it from receiving the assistance. But the company built the $300 million Krishna P. Singh Technology Campus on 50 riverfront acres in Camden. According to the company, the site “consists of two large manufacturing plants, a seven story corporate engineering center, a system test facility (without nuclear fuel), and support installations like a training center, non-destructive testing laboratory, and corporate apartments.” Holtec says the manufacturing facility “is configured to incorporate the latest in fabrication machinery and information management software to enable precision manufacturing of large and complex weldments which will be required to assemble its small modular reactor” currently under development.
Taglietti is the president and chief executive officer of Jersey City-based Scynexis Inc. He joined the company in April 2015 and has been a member of the board since November 2014. He became president in September 2015. Over the course of his career, Taglietti has brought to market 35 different products in the U.S. and internationally. He served as executive vice president, research and development and chief medical officer of Forest Laboratories Inc. and as president of the Forest Research Institute until its acquisition by Actavis in 2014. Before joining Forest in 2007, Taglietti held the position of senior vice president, head of global research and development at Stiefel Laboratories Inc., a GSK company, for three years. He joined Stiefel after 12 years at Schering-Plough, where he last held the position of vice president, worldwide clinical research for anti-infectives, oncology, CNS, endocrinology and dermatology. Taglietti began his pharmaceutical career at Marion Merrell Dow Research Institute.
In 2011, Tardugno – who is president and CEO of Celsion Corp. – relocated the biopharmaceutical company to Lawrenceville from Maryland. He was looking to develop and commercialize life-saving chemotherapy and immunotherapy agents where he could recruit the best talent. Tardugno has been instrumental in developing the company’s pipeline that represents a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of targeted therapeutic agents in the areas of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and RNA-based therapy, largely focused on first-line treatment in combination with the standard of care. Earlier this year Celsion received $10.6 million via the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. With 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, Tardugno’s career has been devoted to health care. Before joining Celsion, he held senior executive positions with Mylan Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bausch & Lomb and Abbott Laboratories.
Vincent took over earlier in 2019 as president of Mars Wrigley North America in Newark. After 15 years as an executive at General Mills, he moved to convenience foods maker Greencore Group USA as CEO, so he has a strong background in the industry. His new position puts him atop one of the state’s longest-tenured food companies. Mars has been operating in New Jersey since the middle of the 20th century and maintains a major presence here even as it has expanded globally and into foods less amenable to anthropomorphism than M&Ms.
Walter became executive vice president and president of North America for Mondelēz International in November 2017. In this role, based in East Hanover, he is responsible for leading the company’s $7 billion business in the U.S. and Canada, which includes power brands such as Oreo and belVita biscuits, Triscuit and Good Thins crackers, Trident gum and Halls cough drops. Walter’s background is extensive. Before Mondelez he was with Coca-Cola for nine years where he led his team to accelerate revenue growth, improve productivity and expand market routes to market. He was also key to Coca-Cola’s delivery of multiple consecutive quarters of market share growth and operating income expansion. Previously, Walter served as president of InBevUSA in addition to various general management and M&A roles within InBev and Interbrew, including leading the integration of Bass Ale and Beck’s. Earlier, Walter served as general manager at Pearce Beverage Co. and started his career in sales and marketing at EJ Gallo Winery Inc.
Welsh is the president and general counsel of DSM North America Life Sciences & Material Sciences, which has 21,000 employees worldwide and $12 billion in annual sales. DSM develops, manufactures and sells nutritional and food ingredients, biomedical materials, specialty plastics and resins, fibers and renewable energy. Welsh currently serves on several DSM global and regional management teams and has direct responsibilities in DSM’s nutrition and food specialties operations as well as responsibility for legal, government affairs, corporate communications, other shared services, corporate partnerships and DSM’s sustainability, inclusion and diversity initiatives in North America. Before joining DSM, Welsh served as assistant general counsel at American Standard Cos.
Willoughby helps entrepreneurs navigate through the maze of governmental regulations and permits. She began as a pioneer in 1972, when she enrolled at Rutgers College as one of the first 400 women accepted at the school. Later, Willoughby became the first female president elected to lead Rutgers’ student government. Today she is the executive director of the New Jersey Business Action Center whose mission is to assist businesses in growing and navigating through governmental regulation. “We have come a long way in which women are part of teams in government and business,” she told NJBIZ. “But there are still some of the old stereotypes that exist. I think that is one of the reasons we have taken a look at the way women are trained and how men are trained to ensure it is not a hostile work environment for men or women.”
More from the 2019 NJBIZ Manufacturing Power 50:
- No. 1: John Kennedy
- No. 2: Suuchi Ramesh
- No. 3: Bob Unanue and Peter Unanue
- No. 4: Mark Clouse
- No. 5: Alex Gorsky
- No. 6: Tim Sullivan
- No. 7: Robert Asaro-Angelo
- No. 8: Stephen Sweeney
- No. 9: Donna Schaffner
- No. 10: Michele Siekerka
- Manufacturing Power 50 A-M
- The 2019 NJBIZ Manufacturing Power 50 slideshow