2021 Next Generation of Leaders

NJBIZ STAFF//July 12, 2021

2021 Next Generation of Leaders

NJBIZ STAFF//July 12, 2021

Toney Anaya 

Anaya is a government relations executive with more than 20 years of international and domestic experience. Starting as a regional public affairs lead for Coca-Cola in the Southwestern U.S., Anaya also led the beverage giant’s state and local government affairs efforts in Washington. He spent five years in Latin America and Asia where he developed and trained regional public affairs teams to address the challenges and opportunities facing the business. In his current role as global head of government relations at DoorDash, Anaya is building and leading a team of government relations professionals in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. He received his political science degree from the University of New Mexico and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He is fluent in Spanish and an Army veteran. Anaya and his wife Maggie live with their two children in Medford Lakes.

Guillermo Artiles 

Artiles leads 20 attorneys in the cannabis practice at McCarter & English in Newark and holds his own in McCarter’s government affairs practice alongside political heavyweight Bill Palatucci. He served as associate counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy before leaving to join McCarter, which this year ranked No. 8 among lawyer-lobbying firms according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. The firm attributes this doubling of lobbying revenue to the strategic advice and counsel that chair Artiles and the growing government affairs team offer to clients. Additionally, Artiles serves as general counsel to the Blockchain Association of New Jersey, a group aimed at ensuring that state regulations and statutes are reasonably hospitable to blockchain businesses while at the same time making sure proper consumer protections are in place.

Cory Atkins 

Through his role as vice president and director of acquisitions, Atkins has been instrumental in streamlining West Orange-based Atkins Cos.’ investment strategy to capitalize on opportunities in the medical office sector over the last several years. Leveraging his knowledge and creativity, Atkins possesses the ability to identify ideal medical office acquisition opportunities and facilitate smooth and efficient transactions. Since joining the company in 2012, Atkins has been involved in all of its most significant acquisition and development deals and has closed well over $300 million in transactions in that time.

Jackie Baras 

Baras is Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s first LGBTQ+ health navigator, serving as a representative and liaison for the New Brunswick facility’s LGBTQ+ patients and employees and working hospital leaders to ensure the services are delivered to the LGBTQ+ community. In an interview with the New York Red Bulls, who named her a Homegrown Hero in 2020, she said, “I think what I like about my career or my current situation now is that I’m able to provide a voice for those who have never been heard for a long, long time.” Baras helped RWJUH get its first LGBTQ+ business resource group PROUD – Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding and Dignity – off the ground, which she now co-chairs; and at RWJUH Somerset helped to establish the first hospital-based LGBTQ+ clinic in the state. She’s the lead group facilitator of the PROUDLY ME education and support group, group facilitator for the PROUD Community Advisory Council, and quality nurse manager for PeriOperative Services. In 2020, Baras was named NJBIZ Nurse of the Year.

Mick Beekhuizen

Beekhuizen is executive vice president and chief financial officer at Campbell Soup Co., leading the company’s finance function, including tax, treasury, audit, investor relations, external development, corporate financial planning and analysis, and financial systems through the waves of the pandemic after joining in 2019. He also leads Campbell’s information technology group. At his previous role at Chobani, the company credited him for leading the improvement of its capital structure and supporting its growth and expansion. “Mick’s background and experience in leading publicly traded and private food companies will serve Campbell well as we set the company on a course to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and create shareholder value,” Campbell Chief Executive Officer Mark Clouse said at the time of his hiring.

Ruha Benjamin

Benjamin is the founder and director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab at Princeton University. She founded the lab in 2018 to study the intersection of scientific achievement, technology and medicine on one hand, and society, race and culture on the other. The lab itself is named after a 19th century suffragist of the same name. Princeton, in a February post about the lab, noted “evidence of prejudice and racial inequality” that are “baked into the numbers coming from institutions such as banks, hospitals, schools and prisons,” which could be “misinterpreted or intentionally twisted through stories and narratives.” That’s where the lab comes in, Benjamin says, and a need for researchers to be “as rigorous about the stories as they are the statistics.” The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for that work, she said. Higher infection and fatality rates among people of color unjustly put the burden on those communities, rather than a broader system that might have failed them. “People likely see those numbers and think, ‘What are those people doing to get infected at such a high rate?’” Benjamin said. “It becomes even greater fuel for pathologizing and blaming people who are most affected.”

Joshua Bosire

As vice president, enterprise access and business analytics at Cooper University Health Care, Bosire works to simplify and modernize patient access operations at the institution, aiming to make it easier and more and convenient for patients to obtain care. In addition, one insider points out that he was Cooper’s point person for developing regional COVID-19 predictive modeling and accurately predicted the peak dates and patient volumes or census for the first wave of the pandemic. Bosire joined Cooper in 2014 after a seven-year stint at Virtua, where he served in a variety of roles in operations Improvement and business analytics. His latter position at Virtua was director of management engineering, where he led the process improvement and business analytics teams responsible for supporting the planning and execution of the organization’s strategic initiatives.

Justin Braz

Braz has been serving as the deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs at Gov. Phil Murphy’s office but is leaving to join Murphy’s reelection campaign. He and fiancé Stephanie Lagos, chief of staff for First Lady Tammy Murphy and a fellow millennial, form a power couple in Trenton. Braz’s role makes him something of a common sight in the halls of the Statehouse, where elected officials, their staff and the governor’s office hash out the hundreds of bills that move through Trenton and affect every aspect of life in the state. Braz is a key figure in making sure that the governor’s point of view is made clear in negotiations on legislation. He formally came into the Murphy team in 2018, having previously served as a political coordinator at the labor union 1199 SEIU and as a senior staffer for various lawmakers, before working his way up to labor director at the New Jersey State Democratic Committee for several years. He would likely play another important role in a second Murphy term.

Chrissy Buteas

Buteas is the chief government affairs officer for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, which represents 20,000 businesses around the state. Her job is to ensure that lawmakers and regulators factor in the needs of businesses when formulating taxation, spending and other polices or rules that employers would have to follow. Issues from cannabis rules to plastic bag restrictions to COVID-19 workplace liability, corporate incentives and pandemic business restrictions are in her wheelhouse. The organization is a key player in efforts to reduce taxes and state mandates for business, something officials argue is key for the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession. “We have disproportionately seen our mom-and-pop shops, as well as businesses that are operated and owned by women and minorities take the hardest hit” during the pandemic closures, she said in December.

Juliana Canale

As senior manager of food safety for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Canale is the food manufacturing and regulatory expert at the organization. The National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership recognized her expertise in 2019 with the MEP Industry Award-National Collaboration Excellence Award. She joined the NJMEP in 2018 as a food industry solutions specialist. Canale’s expertise in the creation of and compliance with food safety, regulatory and quality programs in start-up technology and small/medium company cultures for manufacturing, retail, and food service has helped her become a part of 20-plus product launches in the sector. She’s an alum of Newark-based vertical food company AeroFarms, where she served as acting director of food safety, quality assurance, and regulatory affairs for a year before joining NJMEP.

Lisa Chudnofsky 

Chudnofsky joined The Vitamin Shoppe five years ago as vice president and head of content and customer engagement and was elevated to vice president of content and creative three years later. When the wellness retailer tapped Chudnofsky, then-digital director for Women’s Health magazine, to move its brand forward in 2016, she developed a content department from scratch with a fairly low social media budget, and took to social media to put out brand content through hundreds of Instagram accounts run by the retailer’s “Health Enthusiast” employees. Bringing years of journalistic experience from Rodale and MTV to the retail sector, Chudnofsky’s vision for content is that The Vitamin Shoppe meets customers wherever they are in their health and wellness decision making journey.

Ginine Mohamad Cilenti 

Cilenti has headed the nonprofit Diabetes Foundation Inc. since 2017, helping it grow from a regional organization to one with a statewide presence. The foundation was established in 1990 to fill a need in diabetes care across the state. For instance, the organization runs the only free medication-assistance program serving New Jersey residents. With 10% of New Jerseyans having some form of diabetes, the work of the Diabetes Foundation is significant. Under Cilenti’s leadership, the foundation developed a four-part diabetes care virtual event series in May, made free and possible thanks to partnerships with organizations such as Sanofi, the Russell Berrie Foundation, BD, M&T Bank, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, Ascensia Diabetes Care, George Link Charitable Trust, BioReference Laboratories, ADCES, S. Rubenstein Family Foundation, Nannette Empey Bryan Foundation, and Newbridge Medical Center. In May 2020, the foundation received a grant from Novo Nordisk Inc. to support the distribution of Diabetes Backup Emergency Supply Kits and other resources to New Jersey residents during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Zachary Cohen

A former audit manager at Prudential Financial Inc., Cohen moved to CFGI as advisory manager in in June 2021. He currently serves as vice chair of the Emerging Leaders Counsel at the New Jersey Society of CPAs and is a member of the Student Loan Debt Task Force. He received NJCPA Ovation Awards in both 2019 and 2020. Whether it is tax incentives related to student loans, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Walk to Washington” event, webinars, live virtual Q&A sessions regarding COVID-19 and student loans, or reallocating scholarship grants to CPAs, Cohen’s dedication to the profession and to the NJCPA is clear. He is an active member of the NJCPA Emerging Leaders Council and co-founded the Student Loan Task Force.

Chris Cornick

With over 15 years of experience with Gilbane Construction, Cornick is now the director of business development in New Jersey for the company and has managed client relations and growth for the past eight-plus years. Cornick is responsible for elevating Gilbane’s market presence in the New Jersey region, and maintains relationships throughout the Tri-state area. In this role, he is responsible for developing new business and working with existing clients on repeat business, managing industry partners and serves as a project executive or principal-in-charge on select projects or accounts. As a seven-time recipient (2013-2019) of Gilbane’s Business Development Achievement Award, reserved for the top sales producers company-wide, Cornick uses a targeted, prescriptive, formulaic and operations-centric approach to business development that produces repeat wins, profitable projects and long-standing relationships throughout the industry and across geographic boundaries. Cornick is part of the New Jersey business unit leadership team, managing over $700 million of ongoing construction work for clients within the commercial, life science, educational, residential, health care and public markets.

Megan Coyne

The growth of the official New Jersey Twitter account might be one of the few enjoyable developments of 2020 — even though the viral “your mom” tweet was posted near the end of 2019. Coyne has been widely recognized as the brains behind the account, riding the social media currents, engaging in – somewhat – good-natured beefs with neighboring states and generally serving as New Jersey’s biggest online booster. Given the large role social media plays in today’s public discourse, Coyne occupies a critical space. And any viral craze finds its way onto the account, with a nod to Murphy’s policy priorities, or to promote public health practices meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But social media outreach has extended far beyond what comes out of the state’s Twitter account. Many New Jersey-based TikTok and Instagram influencers have posted photos, videos and other content in partnership with the nonprofit Choose New Jersey, where they promote mask-usage, social distancing and encourage their viewers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Michael Dionisio

Dionisio is an audit senior manager at Deloitte with experience serving public and privately held clients. Since starting with Deloitte in 2012, he has taken on a range of responsibilities, including serving large, complex multi-national engagements primarily in the manufacturing and consumer products industries. He has also had extensive experience in leading global audits, coordination and execution of statutory audits, auditing the effectiveness of internal control, and SEC reporting. In his eight years at Deloitte, Dionisio has demonstrated that he is a natural leader. He is a member of its New Jersey Talent Council, which is a group of high-performing managers who help direct the firm’s leadership. Dionisio is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New Jersey Society of CPAs. He is also a Deloitte contact for the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and a mentor with the NJCPA.

Jeremy Farrell

Farrell serves head of government affairs and corporate citizenship as LeFrak, a family-owned real estate developer and owner. Before joining the company, Farrell was the executive director of the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, which provides water and sewerage services to over 38,000 customers and manages the city’s water assets including the real estate where these assets are located. In 2013, Farrell was appointed as corporation counsel, representing the city in all legal matters and advising the mayor, city council and department directors on legislation and policy initiatives. While attending Seton Hall Law School, Farrell was a Chancellor Scholar and Distinguished Scholar. He also served as a member of the Seton Hall Sports and Entertainment Law Journal and as a Student Bar Association Senator. Upon graduating from law school in 2007, Farrell joined McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, one of New Jersey’s preeminent law firms. In 2008, he left McElroy to serve as Judicial Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh. He returned to the firm in the fall of 2009. At McElroy, Farrell focused on Commercial Litigation, municipal law, condemnation law, construction litigation, and bankruptcy.

Daniel Finch

Finch is the chief medical officer for CarePlus NJ, a nonprofit that offers mental health and substance abuse treatment in north Jersey, where he oversees medical leadership. He came to CarePlus in August 2019, rising to the CMO position a year later amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing heightened rates of substance abuse and fears over spikes in suicide. A career psychiatrist and physician, Finch has established himself as an oft-cited source of expertise on the mental health effects of COVID-19 in the state. His medical work ranges from treating patients of all ages, to his focus on perinatal mental health. He co-founded CarePlus’ Maternal and Family Center at its Paramus headquarters last summer, a move he said would give maternal mental health “the attention that it deserves.”

Lloyd Freeman

A champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession throughout his career, Freeman now serves as chief diversity and inclusion officer at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. He is also a former president of the Garden State Bar Association, helping the organization raise nearly $100,000 and award scholarships to a record number of diverse law students. At Buchanan, Freeman is responsible for advancing and expanding diversity throughout the firm and across the legal profession. He oversees the firm’s affinity groups and promotes mentorship and sponsorship as important retention initiatives. In addition, he works with the firm’s clients to meet and advance their own diversity and inclusion goals and coordinates partnerships for programs including internships, thought leadership and speaking engagements. In 2020, Freeman was named to the NJBIZ 40 Under 40 list of emerging leaders.

Aisha Glover

Glover’s urban redevelopment work in Brooklyn and especially in Newark with the Newark Alliance and the city’s Community Economic Development Corp earned her a place on the NJBIZ Power 100 list, a mark of the influence she’s had and the success she’s enjoyed in what is already a remarkable career. Glover joined Audible’s Global Center for Urban Development in October 2020 as vice president of urban innovation—leading a center devoted to expanding the company’s community and economic initiatives. At Audible, she will help establish the strategic direction of the center and will lead a team dedicated to advancing equitable economic development solutions in cities worldwide. “Aisha Glover’s commitment to and success in improving the lives of the people of Newark makes her uniquely suited to help carry out the vision of our Global Center for Urban Development,” Audible founder and Executive Chairman Don Katz said. “Aisha’s experience bringing together public, private and community-based organizations to create and sustain equitable economic development will be critical as we double down on our efforts on behalf of the city we call home, and other communities in which Audible operates.

Jessica Gonzalez

It’s not all that common for a law firm associate to be one of the most sought voices within an industry, but Gonzalez is just that: one of the loudest and clearest voices of the state’s budding cannabis industry. At Bressler Amery & Ross, she steers cannabis and hemp businesses through corporate and intellectual property matters and through state licensing applications; and throughout the legislative process was almost always in Trenton lobbying for a fairer, more equitable cannabis industry. Gonzalez’s influence reaches beyond New Jersey as outside general counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana Inc., a national organization. She also sits on the Policy Committee for the Minority Cannabis Business Association and is the chair of the Social Equity Webinar Series for the International Cannabis Bar Association. In 2020, Gonzalez was a member of the social impact committee for NJ CAN 2020, the coalition that ran the widely successful campaign for cannabis legalization in New Jersey. With the help of her efforts and those of others, two-thirds of New Jerseyans voted in favor of adult use cannabis legalization on the ballot in November.

Vin Gopal

Among the youngest state senators in Trenton, Gopal represents a small wave of millennials who have sought and won elections to public office. His 11th Legislative district includes wide swaths of the Jersey Shore and he’s been particularly vocal over the past year for business reopenings that would affect the shore region. Millennial participation in electoral politics are difficult in Congress and state legislatures across the nation. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, just 4% of New Jersey’s 120 lawmakers in 2020 were born between 1981 and 1997. By comparison, 50% were baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, while 26% were Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1980. Gopal has emerged as a standard-bearer for his age cohort.

Nico Hischier

When the New Jersey Devils named Hischier as the team’s 12th captain, he became the youngest captain in the National Hockey League at age 22 years, 47 days. Hischier is also the second-youngest captain in Devils’ history, after Kirk Muller at 21 years, 243 days. During his rookie season, he was the youngest NHL regular, appearing in all 82 games and hitting the 20-goal mark. Now in his fourth year with the Devils organization, Hischier has played 209 regular-season games, scoring 51 goals along with 84 assists for 135 points, and racking up 62 penalty minutes. He has finished in the top-three in team scoring in each of his three previous seasons with the team. As captain, Hischier will be expected to lead the Devils return to NHL relevance.

Cindy Jebb

Jebb was named the fifth president in Ramapo College history in March 2021. She officially assumed the post on July 6. Jebb is retiring from the U.S. Army this summer with the rank of brigadier general, after 39 years of service to the nation. She joins an institution that has been increasingly regarded as a great value, consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the Best Regional Universities in the North, and by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine as one of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. The demand for a Ramapo College education continues to grow. In fall of 2006 the College received 4,430 applications for 815 seats; 13 years later, the college received 7,329 applications for 1,030 seats. Jebb served as professor and head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She has taught courses in Comparative Politics, International Security, International Relations, Cultural Anthropology, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, and Officership. “Dr. Jebb brings a wealth of diverse experiences, networks, and perspectives to Ramapo College,” said board of trustees Chair Susan Vallario, who led the college’s 18-month long search process. “Her passion for the liberal arts, her commitment to inclusion and student success, her long-standing dedication to public service, and her infectious and inspiring enthusiasm for Ramapo’s future make her the ideal choice to lead our College through its next chapter.”

Amy Jennings

As a supervisor at the accounting giant WilkinGuttenplan, Jennings embodies an emerging leader in the state’s business community. She co-leads WilkinGuttenplan’s Future Council, where she facilitates discussions about assisting young professionals and how they can be successful over the next five to 10 years. Jennings is also involved in the firm’s Advisory Council, which handles everything from assisting on the implementation of new technology to brainstorming efficiencies and CPE scheduling. And she’s established herself as a key resource for younger staff.

Michael Johnson

Founding Visikol Inc. in 2016 along with co-founder Thomas Villiani, Johnson has guided the company on a rapid growth trajectory. Visikol focuses on accelerating the discovery and development of therapeutics by providing pharmaceutical and biotech companies with best-in-class 3D cell culture, 3D tissue imaging, multiplex imaging and digital pathology services. Many of these services leverage the proprietary Visikol HISTO tissue clearing reagents as well as Visikol’s proprietary software platform, 3Screen, which is built on advanced machine learning evaluation to provide customers in-depth analysis of their tissue and cell culture samples. Starting with a lab in a closet at Rutgers University, Visikol is now a leading contract research services company and counts half of the world’s top twenty pharmaceutical companies as clients as well as over a thousand researchers as product customers. Johnson’s leadership has earned him accolades including two placements on Forbes 30 under 30 list and NJBIZ’s 40 under 40 list.

Christina Jordan

Quickly rising through the ranks to become director of marketing and technology at Red Bank-based Denholtz Properties, Jordan recently spearheaded a complete technological transformation of the 70-year-old real estate company. Before the revamp of the technological platform, the company had adopted a few platforms to assist with basic real estate needs such as utilizing VTS for managing leasing across its portfolio, Yardi to manage its daily asset management and leveraging the Crowdstreet platform to help with capital recruitment and ongoing investor relations. But the systems lacked synergy leaving the company reliant on handwritten notes and inefficient lengthy meetings and calls to try and gain insights from busy executives. Jordan knew there was a better way to gain a 360-degree viewpoint of the company’s portfolio and investment strategy and in doing so that it would create a seamless, transparent system for all employees to access and lead to increased profitability and performance across the organization.  Aiming to transition the company from a siloed, old-school real estate firm into a technology-driven, flattened organization, Jordan designed a system that leveraged Microsoft to bring together VTS, Yardi, Procore and other essential applications to fully integrate the entire business under one technological roof. Because of her innovative work, the entire Denholtz Properties team is empowered to make fast, data-driven decisions across its portfolio with just one click as a result of access to shared information across the company’s many in-house departments.

Andrew Kent

An executive vice president at Glass Gardens Inc., which operates seven Shop Rite supermarkets in northern New Jersey and two in New York, Kent is the incoming chair of the New Jersey Food Council. In that role, he’ll help lead the organization – which represents supermarkets and grocery retailers – at a critical time. Food retailers remained open during the pandemic despite the risk to employees. As the pandemic ebbs and the economy recovers, the industry will face new challenges and expectations. The Food Council will be at the forefront of the effort to ensure that its members can continue to operate profitably and safely.

Shawn LaTourette

LaTourette is the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees New Jersey’s state parks, manages the state’s natural resources and addresses pollution and environmental preservation. LaTourette is part of a recent spate of openly LGBT cabinet-level department leads Gov. Phil Murphy has appointed in recent months. At the end of June, Murphy appointed Andrew Bruck to be the state’s first openly gay attorney general, after Gurbir Grewal announced that he would step down from the post to join the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this summer. LaTourette previously served as the director of the Environmental Law Department at Gibbons PC. There, his work focused on brownfields redevelopment projects and environmental litigation. He came onto the NJDEP in 2018, working his way up to become deputy commissioner in 2020 and then acting commissioner earlier this year, replacing Catherine McCabe. “We’re dealing with a lot here in New Jersey. We have a risk of sea-level rise increase that is greater than many other places on the planet, a risk of storm intensity, storm frequency, the urban heat-island effect from rising temperatures,” LaTourette said in a NJ Spotlight interview this spring. “[T]here is a lot to prepare for and unfortunately these conditions are only going to worsen. So we need to be ready.”

Jennifer Lee

Lee is a principal at Edison Partners, perhaps the premier private equity firm in the state. As investment lead in the firm’s Fintech group, she oversees  pipeline development and fosters industry themes. In recent years, she has garnered several industry accolades. In 2019, Lee was one of 25 professionals named a Business Insider Rising Star on Wall Street – a list that featured honorees from such financial giants as Blackstone, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock. Also that year, NYC Fintech Women included Lee as a “Money Mover” out of 3,000 members from startups and investment firms, on its 2019 list of Inspiring Fintech Females. She made the NJBIZ 40 under 40 list in 2020 and was one of Venture Capital Journal’s Rising Stars in 2021. At Edison, she’s completed 25 transactions over the past five years, and led investments in real estate lender Fund That Flip and investment research management software provider Bipsync.

Jason Leeds

Leeds is vice president for business development at corporate food services provider Dartcor. The company’s customized programs elevate corporate dining and deliver unique hospitality experiences that help make the return to the workplace exciting, healthy and engaging. Leeds works closely with his fellow members of the executive team to build curated corporate dining programs around the high-quality, locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients meticulously prepared by a top-tier culinary team recruited from renowned institutions and restaurants to bring one-of-a-kind, custom dining experiences directly to employees. In addition, Leeds plays an integral role in Dartcor’s adoption of the latest technologies including contactless ordering and pickup and state-of-the-art point of sale systems to create full end-to-end financial solutions providing real-time insights on ROI while increasing revenue, transparency and customer satisfaction and decreasing employee turnover, order mistakes, wait time and stress levels.

Mary Maples

Maples joined University Hospital — the state’s only public hospital and one of three Level One trauma centers — as chief legal officer in October 2018 after serving in senior roles in both federal and state government. That resumé includes a tenure with both the Murphy and Christie administrations and the Central Intelligence Agency. In addition to executing the typical duties of the general counsel’s office, Maples oversees all internal and external investigations and supervises the chief compliance officer. As a senior member of the leadership team, Maples is helping guide the Newark institution after years of public scrutiny over mismanagement and a poor ethics record. She left Murphy’s office just nine months into his term. Now, she oversees many areas of critical importance at UH, which are not normally put on the shoulders of the chief legal officer at most institutions. Maples oversees government relations activity at the federal, state and local level, including shepherding efforts to receive millions of dollars in federal support related to the COVID pandemic. Without that money, University Hospital would be forced to make cutbacks affecting staff and services. She also oversees media and press efforts at University Hospital, including the ongoing rebranding of the institution.

Brandon McKoy

McKoy is president of the progressive think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective. The Trenton-based non-profit offersa left-leaning perspective on all matters of state policies directly affecting the state’s business community: taxes, minimum wage, paid sick leave, state finances and corporate subsidies for example. And the South Orange native has become one of the most progressive voices in the state for policies aimed at boosting economic security for the state’s working families. What’s more, NJPP has often had the ear of figures such as Gov. Phil Murphy.

Constantina Meis

Meis is the community affairs manager for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, a nonprofit that aims to bolster the state’s manufacturing industry and ensure a pipeline of new talent to employers. Meis brings in nearly a decade of political, campaign, government and non-profit work, before coming into NJMEP as the community relations manager in February 2018. There, she’s established herself as a key contact to ensure local organizations, residents and businesses can connect themselves with the state’s manufacturing employers.

Tiffany Miller

Joining R&J Strategic Communication in 2006, Miller quickly rose through the ranks at the Bridgewater-based full service communications firm. Leading R&J’s Business-to-Business division, Miller provides guidance for the agency’s nonprofit, real estate, financial services and health care accounts. Her creative and innovative communications counsel has earned the trust of the most influential leaders in the commercial real estate, health care and nonprofit industries across the state. Since joining the firm, R&J’s B2B accounts have flourished, providing the agency with expanded expertise and deepened reach into these sectors and a continued position as one of New Jersey’s most trusted communications firms.

Christina Modica

Drastic challenges require a drastic response, which is why Modica, owner of the popular Stag House salon in Bergen County, formed the New Jersey Salon and Spa Alliance last year. She wanted to advocate on behalf of her industry, weighed down by pandemic limitations and plenty of restrictions in years prior. Modica said creating the NJSSA was a response to laws being “dictated to us” — the state’s 39,000 stylists. “Anytime there’s an [entity] that dictates our laws, there should be an alliance,” Modica said. “When we got shut down that was my first thought. Who is going to stand up for us?” With a little help from the NJBIA, Modica got a seat at the table with the legislature, providing a line for the NJSSA to have a say in ongoing legislation and rules. “Once we gained a relationship with the state [licensing] board, we ended up locking down monthly meetings with them. They like that we exist and they want us to exist … knowing what struggles are happening out there in the industry makes their job a little easier,” Modica said. “Prior to us, laws would come through under our feet and we would be like ‘this is the law now?’ Now … If there’s a bill coming through, [we] are able to [have a say in it].”

Peter Motsch

Peter Motsch is an up-and-coming professional in the state’s accounting industry, having been named to “30 Under 30” list by the NJ Society of CPA’s in 2015, and earning the organization’s Emerging Leader award in 2020. Motsch has climbed the ladder at accounting firm Friedman LLP for the past five years, and in December began working for Anchin, Block & Anchin, where he oversees client accounting advisory services. His experience includes work for companies across a range of industries, from life sciences to real estate and professional services.

Andrea Oller

Oller is the North American assistant general counsel at Ferrero in Parsippany. She’s played a key role in the opening of the Nutella Café in New York City and the integration of the Fannie May business into Ferrero after its 2017 acquisition; and she challenges infringers of Ferrero’s trade dress and trademarks for Nutella and Kinder Joy, among others. Since joining the chocolate maker in 2016, Oller has been responsible for providing legal counsel on intellectual property matters and serving as brand counsel to the Nutella, Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher marketing and sales teams. With the growth of Kinder Joy and Kinder Bueno, she’s never short on stuff to do — and even during her battle with triple negative breast cancer, she continued to provide support to the members of the Ferrero North America legal team, enabling the successful integration of what was previously Nestle chocolate into Ferrero. As a young breast cancer survivor, Oller is passionate about bringing breast cancer awareness to younger women and women of color in the New Jersey and New York metro area.

Cristina Pinzon

As president and founder of the public affairs firm Stateside Affairs, Pinzon has been a millennial force in New Jersey’s business and political landscape for the past 15 years. She’s been frequently recognized as one of the most influential Latino millennials in the state, and spent her early career honing her craft as a journalist, political operative and government official. Pinzon sits on the board of directors for the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, representing the needs and interests of 120,000 Latino-owned New Jersey businesses. And she’s the editor of the TAPinto franchise for Elizabeth, covering local news in Union County’s seat and largest city.

Tamara Pircz

Since joining The Vitamin Shoppe in 2016, Pircz has climbed her way from director of digital merchandizing to senior director of ecommerce to where she is now, vice president of digital commerce. The Rutgers grad has an impressive resumé of retailer employers behind her. She broke into the industry as a merchandise coordinator in 2007 at Calvin Klein, where she moved up the ladder before moving on to Diesel, Kenneth Cole Productions, Stuart Weitzman, and now the Secaucus-based wellness giant.

Matt Platkin

Platkin is a partner at the influential law firm Lowenstein Sandler and former chief counsel for Gov. Phil Murphy. Last year, he earned the Number 1 spot for the NJBIZ Law Power 50 and for good reason: he was heavily involved in crafting the executive orders outlining mask mandates and COVID-19 restrictions on businesses. That made him a key figure present at Murphy’s COVID-19 press briefings, when the state was in the grip of the pandemic. And practically anything coming out of the governor’s office went through Platkin at some point in the process — news releases, executive orders, negotiations and gubernatorial nominations. As a partner at Lowenstein , Platkin handles business litigation and white-collar criminal defense. At a law firm that has the ears of top movers and shakers in New Jersey politics and business, Platkin will continue to hold clout in decision-making throughout the state.

Michael Riccobono

Riccobono is a shareholder at Ogletree Deakins and a well-known lawyer advising employers on numerous cutting-edge employment law issues in New Jersey and around the country. In Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc., he represented Carriage in a medical marijuana discrimination case that presented an issue of first impression for the New Jersey Supreme Court. Riccobono also provides advice and counsel to employers on a wide range of day-to-day issues, such as hiring, leave, discipline and termination decisions. As an employment litigator, Riccobono regularly defends businesses against single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, retaliation and non-competition/non-solicitation matters before both state and federal agencies. He’s also been an active member of the Sidney Reitman Inn of Court, the first American Inn of Court devoted exclusively to Labor and Employment Law advocacy, since 2010.

Ryan Sanzari

Recently named president of the New Jersey real estate institution, Sanzari will be responsible for overseeing Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ construction, leasing, property management and accounting departments while ensuring the firm’s operational efficiencies. Since being appointed COO in 2016, Sanzari has helped guide the sustained growth of ASE, spearheading a number of innovative initiatives, technologies and strategies to enhance and streamline the firm’s operations as well as its portfolio, particularly on the residential and hospitality fronts. As the company looks toward the future, Sanzari will bring his expertise, vision and leadership to the role of president, upholding Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ 75-plus-year legacy while continually evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s tenants and residents.

Stephanie Silvera

As an expert on epidemiology, Silvera has been a constant media presence during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has provided calm, knowledgeable analysis of developments over the past year, from the first outbreaks through the vaccine rollout. She speaks with confidence and trusts that the public will respond to facts and reason. Silvera is a professor of public health and Montclair State University. She joined the faculty there in 2006, after holding positions as Research Director of Rutgers University’s Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program and as an epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the The Bronx. Silvera holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers and earned a PhD from Yale University in 2004.

Ami Simunovich

Simunovich serves as executive vice president and chief regulatory officer for BD, a global medical technology company based in Franklin Lakes. She is also a member of the BD Executive Leadership Team. Previously, she served as chief regulatory counsel, advising in the management of complex global regulatory law and international regulatory legal matters. Simunovich has also served as associate general counsel of regulatory and compliance, at C. R. Bard Inc., a leading medical technology company in the fields of vascular, urology and surgical specialty products, which BD acquired in 2017. Prior to Bard, Simunovich was associate general counsel for regulatory issues at Catalent Inc., a global contract manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, biologics and dietary supplements. She also worked as legal counsel in litigation, regulatory law and intellectual property at a New York-based law firm. Simunovich earned her doctorate in pharmacy from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University and law degree Seton Hall University School of Law.

Chris Todd  and Patrick Lennon

Joining NAI James E. Hanson in 2013, vice presidents Todd and Lennon quickly established themselves as leaders in the competitive northern New Jersey commercial real estate brokerage community at the Teterboro-based firm. Through their focus on professional development and deep involvement in complex sale and lease transactions across the region, Lennon and Todd have each gained a deep understanding of the real estate transaction process and their local submarkets that they leverage in their work each day. Working on a team with Senior Vice President Scott Perkins, Todd has had an opportunity to partner with one of the nation’s most respected and knowledgeable industrial brokers. This experience has allowed Todd to help negotiate 70 industrial sales and leases spanning 2.8-million square feet and $273 million in value since joining NAI James E. Hanson. Over the course of his career with NAI Hanson, and working on a team with Senior Vice President Kenneth Lundberg, and Associate Lorenzo Lambiase, Lennon has helped to negotiate 145 industrial sales and leases totaling 3.2-million square feet and valued at $236 million. In 2020 alone, Lennon helped to close 30 sales and leases spanning 600,000 square feet and 95.45 acres with a combined value of $73.5 million.

Nick Toth

Toth is director of the office of apprenticeships within the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development – an agency tasked with matching up workers with apprenticeship and workforce training. In his role, he oversees the NJ Apprenticeship Network, meant to connect talent, higher education, unions, job openings and training opportunities. The state boasts myriad of paid apprenticeships and training, meant to expose New Jerseyans to “non-traditional” sectors and industries that can provide meaningful and well-paying careers. According to the NJAN website, the goal is to develop a “21st century apprenticeship model that drives economic development through skills and educational attainment by developing and strengthening apprenticeship programs throughout the state, and increasing opportunities for both youth and adults.” It’s the goal of people like Toth to make sure such a system is working well, and that there’s a continual labor pipeline as the state rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Wang  and Chris Wang

Brothers Andrew and Chris Wang are managing partners at Runnymede Capital Management, a Mendham-based investment firm founded by their father Samson in 1993. Last year, both were named to Investopedia’s list of the 100 most influential financial advisors for making significant contributions to critical conversations about financial literacy, investing strategies, life-stage planning and wealth management. But they are perhaps most well-known for the Inspired Money podcast. They use the podcast to approach financial topics in a positive way, alongside guests that have made money through passion and purpose. Guests like Tony Horton, creator of popular workout P90X, and Ryan Serhant, host of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, discuss what got them to where they are. “Most of us don’t talk about money enough and when we do it’s often not in a positive way. That’s the basis of Inspired Money,” Andrew told NJBIZ. “I like having discussions that will inspire people to open their financial statements or look at their 401k and say’ ‘maybe I should take some time to look at my statements and see if I’m participating or need to make changes.’”

Editor’s note: This article was updated on July 12, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. EDT to correct Michael Riccobono’s role in the Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc. case. It was updated at 8:46 a.m. EST to correct Mick Beekhuizen’s title to executive vice president and chief financial officer at Campbell Soup Co.