Altenau is vice president, Event Operations and Guest Services at the Prudential Center in Newark. In a 2017 article, he described his role this way: “My main responsibility is to make sure that the show goes on without a hitch, whether it is the season kickoff event for New Jersey Devils Season Ticket Members or minutes before a performer is scheduled to go onstage in front of 17,000 screaming fans.” And certainly, Altenau has had plenty of work throughout his 12-plus years at the arena. “When I walk into a venue of any type, the event manager personality in me emerges,” he said on LinkedIn. “I begin to think about the planning that went into this event: what was covered at the staff briefing before … how many hours did the facility operations team spend preparing the building, are there enough staff to adequately answer guests’ questions?” In that same 2017 article, Altenau, who is openly gay, wrote about the support he has received from his organization and pledged to pay it forward. And he has done just that, using his platform to spearhead efforts to advocate for the LGBTQ community and leading the Devils Pride efforts over the last few seasons. “Being inclusive in everything we do should be a goal that everyone strives for in every situation. Nine out of ten gay teens reported being bullied in high school – and I was certainly one of them,” Altenau said. “It’s important for kids to know that it does in fact get better, and I hope to use my small role in the larger sports world to make sure that those kids know this.”
The recent Rutgers grad and star basketball player has had quite a 2022. In addition to capping off his senior season with an All-Big Ten Third Team selection, Baker was recently named as a recipient of the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is awarded to one graduating male and female student-athlete who demonstrates excellence on and off the field throughout their college careers. As a co-founder of the Knight Society, Baker has been a pioneer in the emerging NIL space, advocating for student-athletes to embrace their entrepreneurial side. “No athlete wants to hear it, but eventually, the ball is going to stop bouncing,” Baker told NJBIZ in a March feature. “And now you’re getting these professional opportunities where you’re getting in front of real businesses and you’re learning how to operate. This is the time to take risks. This is the time where athletes get to be entrepreneurs.” And he has taken that sentiment a step further, partnering with Eric LeGrand on the Knight Society, a new concept to connect the Rutgers community based on NIL relationships, NFT technology, member benefits and special events. “There is a huge sense of Rutgers pride from Scarlet Knights everywhere, but that pride gets lost due to a lack of organization. Our goal at the Knight Society is to facilitate more engagement and interactions withing the Rutgers ecosystems while also supporting the current athletes, which will ultimately uplift the community as a whole,” said Baker.
Bryant and Osagie-Erese founded Roll Up Life, a cannabis logistics and delivery company based in East Orange. Sure, they’re only delivering CBD products for now, but they have a head start for when adult use cannabis delivery is up and running in New Jersey. “We developed our Roll Up Life app that mirrors that of an UberEATS or DoorDash app where consumers select cannabis products from dispensaries in their area and our drivers deliver it right to their doorsteps,” Osagie-Erese said. “For our dispensary partners, we created an easy-to-use Roll Up Life dispensary app that connects with our system to ensure all orders can be prepared properly and tracked from our side and theirs.” The impressive best friend duo nabbed a spot in a 12-week business incubator by Eaze, the nation’s largest cannabis delivery firm, along with a sweet $50,000 egg to invest back into their company. Earlier this year, Roll Up Life hosted a community expungement clinic in its hometown where attendees with qualifying cannabis-related convictions were matched with attorneys to help dismiss charges and file for expungement, indicating the company’s investment in supporting folks most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.
As vice president of affordable development for The Michaels Organization, Cangelosi’s work is concentrated in the Northeast. In New Jersey, the real estate company has 61 communities in all – 58 of them affordable – with a total of 6,023 units. Cangelosi has a significant focus on Camden, where Michaels is based, and has led the redevelopment of over 1,000 new homes, community centers and medical spaces, along with public gathering areas in the city with an approximate investment of $280 million. Elsewhere, Michaels and Cangelosi are particularly active in Trenton and Atlantic City. At the end of 2021, the resort city kicked off a $15.4 million project to update Buzby Homes. Cangelosi said that “Michaels plays the long game. Once we invest in a project – and in people – we see everything through until the end and are committed to helping find success in both the short and long term.” Those qualities apply to Cangelosi himself, as well. Among his extracurricular involvement, he’s also a director for the Camden Special Services District. In May he was named a South Jersey Biz 20 Under 40 and Rutgers University School of Nursing-Camden recognized Cangelosi as a Community Partner of the Year for his efforts to address health care inequities.
Castro is general counsel and COO for the fastest-growing service contract provider and administrator in the U.S., North Jersey’s Dealer Owned Warranty Co. Recognized this year as a Women at the Wheel honoree by Auto Success, Castro is active in using her voice – or words – to promote both issues affecting the finance and insurance industry through guest appearances and columns. Since joining DOWC, she’s helped to establish a national and international practice, expanded its technology development business, chartered multiple insurance companies and created the firm’s insurance management division. Castro also works to promote women. The 2021 NJBIZ Forty Under 40 winner focuses her efforts on supporting initiatives that affect women in the professional space, in addition to financially and legally. And her own work environment reflects that. “As a general counsel … I make a million decisions a day and have to make them quickly. I could not do that to the best of my ability without the support of a capable, well-rounded legal department,” she told NJBIZ in 2020, adding: “I am even more proud to say that our team is comprised of many women who are reshaping the business of a predominantly male industry.”
Cavallo is no stranger to recognition, finding her place on lists throughout her career including the NJBIZ 40 Under 40 in 2021 and the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 in 2017. Until recently, she was shareholder at Flaster Greenberg – she’s now with Jackson Lewis in Philadelphia – where she focused her practice on complex family law, divorce and custody matters, and the family law needs of nontraditional and LGBT families.
Connell is vice president for Hoboken’s JDA Group LLC – a role he was promoted to last November – where his impact is helping to drive the company forward and in new directions. A “creative refinancing visionary,” Connell worked to negotiate more favorable terms for the firm’s portfolio, enabling the acquisition of new properties and the renovation of Mission 50, its flagship building and coworking space. At family-owned JDA, he’s also shifting the culture, expanding the commercial and residential development firm’s dealmaking options and its property categories to include retail. Working with CEO Gregory Dell’Aquila over 11 months, Connell was instrumental in getting approval recently not just from Hoboken, but also from Jersey City for The Boundary, a 580,000-square-foot redevelopment project that will combine multifamily residential, office, medical office and multipurpose event space with more than 51,000 square feet of destination retail to transform the southwestern side of the Mile Square City.
Cordero works in the overlap between public and private to energize and evolve the entrepreneurial space. As associate director of Rutgers Business School’s The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, she oversees daily operations, budgets, grants and staff, in addition to various entrepreneurship programs. That includes the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative, which has helped 300 entrepreneurs sustain and expand their businesses. CUEED is a first-of-its-kind offering, integrating scholarly work with private capital and the government and nonprofit sectors. Cordero also serves on the RBS Student Experiential Program Taskforce. Through that program, certain students in their junior or senior years can take part in hands-on learning, which uses a problem-solving approach to small business case study clients in North and Central Jersey. A past NJBIZ Forty Under 40 winner, Cordero is also co-founder of RU-Flourishing, a program that offers previously incarcerated early-stage entrepreneurs training and support.
Cradic is senior vice president and chief operating officer of non-utility businesses, strategy and external affairs at New Jersey Resources, having joined the company as vice president of government affairs and policy in 2018. As COO, she is responsible for providing leadership, management and vision to NJR’s non-utility businesses, including NJR Clean Energy Ventures, NJR Energy Services and NJR Midstream. And Cradic oversees NJR’s corporate strategy, government affairs, communications and sustainability functions. She is a former chief of staff for Gov. Chris Christie and served the administration in a variety of functions – she was responsible for leading Christie’s foreign trade trips to Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom from an organizational and policy perspective. Cradic also served in roles with a number of state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Protection and the Commission on Higher Education. Still, as one insider put it, Cradic “hasn’t reached her pinnacle yet.”
The virtual reality developer is the co-founder and CEO of OculoMotor Technologies, a medical device startup. He develops novel integrations of consumer-ready virtual reality headsets and custom-made eye tracking hardware and software. And d’Antonio-Bertagnolli serves as associate researcher at the NJIT Vision and Neural Engineering Laboratory. There, he leads development on Virtual Reality Vision Therapy, the subject he wrote his Masters’s Thesis about, which is a novel hardware and software integration of eye tracking, virtual reality, gaming and vision therapy. He has also won a series of awards for his work, research and development including the Auggie Award in 2018 for Most Innovative Breakthrough. The 2016 NJIT graduate received the 2017 Presidential Leadership Award for his dedication to the NJIT community. The honor is the most prestigious recognition the school bestows upon students who exemplify the mission and values of NJIT through campus leadership, community service, scholarship and research. “I’ve always had an affinity for virtual reality, so I was excited to use my time at NJIT to combine this passion with my interest in biomedical engineering to develop the concept for OculoMotor Technologies,” d’Antonio-Bertagnolli said at the time. “We’ve been fortunate from the combination of support from NJIT amenities and talent pool, State resources, and investments from local investors. The sense of entrepreneurial community is one of the main reasons we chose to stay and grow in New Jersey.”
In February, Delgado was appointed as president of the Turrell Fund. In the new role, he maintains responsibility for programming and grantmaking functions, while now overseeing planning. He also conducts site visits and works on strategic initiatives and policy work for the Montclair-based Fund, which supports organizations that help provide quality developmental and educational services to at-risk children, especially the youngest, and their families. He is experienced in coalition-building, program evaluation, early childhood development, and strategic planning. Prior to his work at Turrell Fund, Delgado assisted the Burke Foundation in Princeton where he developed its early childhood and prenatal strategy. There, he helped lead an early childhood field scan, conducting interviews with numerous childhood stakeholders for the foundation’s first white paper, “Investing Early: Recommendations for Funding in Early Childhood.” He also spent time at Rabin Martin, a global health strategy firm working to meet the health needs of underserved populations. “I want our clients and partners to know that this would not have been possible without their remarkable work and all I’ve learned from them,” said Delgado after receiving that honor. “I hope to continue supporting clients on behalf of children and families in New Jersey and Vermont for decades to come.”
Feder serves as chief of staff, overseeing day-to-day operations at the State Office of Innovation, which is a small, startup type department tasked with solving complex public problems in a nimble and efficient way through technology and innovation. “So really bringing together technology, policy and design to really drive change in state government,” said Feder at the recent INX22 forum, describing the office, which Gov. Phil Murphy established in 2018. “At a most basic level, we partner with state departments and agencies, academic institutions, civil society, and external partners, as well, to improve the lives of New Jerseyans.” The Office of Innovation played a key role throughout the pandemic, from its work on the COVID-19 website to helping agencies dole out grants and efforts to streamline the process and cut bureaucratic red tape for businesses across the Garden State. Feder also advises the Chief Innovation Officer on strategic direction, leads projects and policy initiatives, and manages intergovernmental and external affairs. His government and public policy careers have spanned numerous issues areas, ranging from economic development and technology to transportation and infrastructure, and has included both public and private sector positions.
Forcello joined CBRE in 2009. Since then, he’s served in a number of roles with varied functions at the commercial real estate services and investment firm, ranging from associate to positions in research and then sales. Throughout all that, his efforts to partner with advisory professionals to build strategies and use resources to maximize client value have endured. During his tenure as sales management leader for CBRE’s Garden State business, Forcello was responsible for driving broker development and client services that resulted in record revenue growth. And in 2019, he was recognized as Sales Management Professional of the Year by CBRE. This past May, Forcello took on his current role as market leader for CBRE’s Central New Jersey operations, affiliated with its Saddle Brook. New Jersey Senior Managing Director Jeffrey Hipschman has described Forcello’s achievements as “noteworthy;” it’ll certainly be interesting to take note of what Forcello does next.
Recording artists received less than 27% of the industry’s $13.4 billion in revenue sales last year, according to Forbes magazine. Entertainment industry attorney Fowlkes works to combat that: According to The Source, he’s negotiated $40 million worth of contracts during his thus-far fairly short career—he’s only 30—while representing clients including rising rap star Blxst, Grammy-nominated producer Section 8, and multi-platinum producer Turn Me Up YC. The Newark-based attorney is frequently approached by media outlets – including Rolling Stone and Bloomberg – on music business matters and is an adjunct music business professor at Drexel University and Rowan University, teaching courses such as hip-hop evolution, music publishing, contracts, and copyright law.
Greff is the first-ever executive director of Fair Lawn’s state-designated Main Street New Jersey District, part of the Fair Lawn Economic Development Corp. Fair Lawn got its Main Street New Jersey designation in September, opening access to financial resources and counseling to develop its business districts. Greff was also appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy to be a member of the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service. The panel is responsible for the allocation of several million dollars and charged with administering special volunteer projects and encouraging voluntarism within the state. Greff, an Eagle Scout, is the perfect appointment for the commission: he received that Congressional Gold Medal for Young Americans in 2019, partly due to the 400 hours of community service he accumulated in high school and college. That year, Fair Lawn borough council named Nov. 27 Ryan Greff Day.
“I got guys from New Jersey and New York City. You think we’re scared of anything?” That quote from Holloway set the tone for one of the most memorable Cinderella runs in March Madness history. Holloway’s undersized, underdog Saint Peter’s Peacocks squad won over hearts and minds across the country on their way to the Elite Eight. The run just added to Holloway’s New Jersey bona fides following a legendary playing career at Seton Hall from 1996-2000, where the four-year starter scored 1,600 points and led the Pirates the Sweet 16 in his senior year. And now it all comes full circle for Holloway, who was brought back home to Seton Hall with the hopes that he could elevate the program to the next level. Holloway, who had served as a Pirates assistant coach before his Saint Peter’s run, was the hand-picked successor to take over for Kevin Willard as head coach by Athletic Director Bryan Felt, who also hired Holloway to be the Peacocks coach in 2018. “It was probably the worst kept secret in college basketball and maybe the world. All signs pointed in the right direction,” said Felt. Holloway had said he could not turn down the opportunity to come home. “I said it in the press conference, and I’ll say it again: I can’t mess this up and I’m not going to mess this up. It’s too important. When you’re home, when you’re here, it’s a big difference. More time, more effort, more sweat, more tears. This is everything to me,” Holloway said.
“I want to have my story and my idea bringing unity to the community around it,” LeGrand recently told NJBIZ. “And this is something that people want and need every day.” In May, LeGrand did just that, putting his money where his mouth is when he officially opened LeGrand Coffee House in the heart of his hometown Woodbridge community. The coffee house is just another accomplishment for the 31-year-old beloved New Jerseyan and Scarlet Knight. The ribbon cutting drew a number of dignitaries and elected officials, including Gov. Phil Murphy, who spoke warmly of LeGrand at the event. “How cool is this,” Murphy said to NJBIZ. “You combine the opening of a great small business, and small businesses are the backbone of our economy. And it’s not just any small business, it’s Eric LeGrand, who we know well. But none of us should be surprised by today.” LeGrand is the only player in the 153-year history of Rutgers football to have his number retired. The entrepreneur has announced plans for his own whiskey brand, LeGrand Whiskey. He has also recently partnered with former Rutgers basketball star Geo Baker on the Knight Society to connect the RU community. “Working on this project with my fellow Scarlet Knight, Geo Baker, has been a lot of fun,” said LeGrand. “Since the first time he approached me about the Knight Society and bringing the Rutgers community together, I was all in. I cannot wait to see how we connect R fellow alumni, R student-athletes and R network as a whole.”
Kousha is the chief financial officer for Liberty Science Center, an NJBIZ 40 Under 40 honoree and a former CFO of the Year winner. The 2005 graduate of Montclair State University also previously served as chief financial officer of New Jersey Community Development Corp. in Paterson. Kousha was hired for his current role in 2018, overseeing the finances of the LSC, which is a 300,000-square-foot learning center in Liberty State Park on the Hudson River. It includes 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, live simulcast surgeries, hurricane- and tornado-force wind simulators, K-12 classrooms and labs, teacher-development programs, and the Western Hemisphere’s biggest planetarium—the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater. More than 750,000 students, teachers and parents visit each year, and many more participate with its off-site and online programs.
Lloyd ranks among the most accomplished athletes New Jersey has ever produced. After stellar scholastic and collegiate careers at Delran High School and Rutgers University, Lloyd made her name on the global stage as a star for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. She played 316 games for the USWNT, scoring 134 times with 64 assists, and is a two-time World Cup Champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Player of the Year. Her signature performance may have come in the 2015 Women’s World Cup tournament, where she scored six goals, including a stunning hat trick against Japan in the final. But with her playing days over, Lloyd starts a new chapter. And, fittingly, she’s off and running. Earlier in 2022, Lloyd became a minority owner of Gotham FC (formerly Sky Blue FC), the Women’s National Soccer League she played for from 2018 to 2021. She had already launched a partnership with Agile Therapeutics Inc. to bring awareness to women’s health topics. “Carli’s ‘always believe and never quit’ attitude fits what Agile Therapeutics believes as a company,” Agile’s CEO said at the time. A lot of other companies believe the same. So Lloyd undoubtedly has a successful business career ahead of her if she chooses to pursue that path.
Most New Jerseyans know Manning. More specifically, most know him as the former quarterback of the NFL’s New York Giants. Manning played for the team from 2004 until his retirement in 2019. Along the way, he won two Super Bowl championships and was named the most valuable player in both games. Manning was also something of an iron man, starting 210 consecutive games from 2004 to 2017—the third-longest such streak ever. But like Carli Lloyd (see above) Manning is now a business leader. In September 2021, he was named to the Hackensack Meridian Health board of trustees after years of off-the-field work with the health care system. HMH recently announced that Manning would lead – along with Jersey Mike’s Subs Founder and CEO Peter Cancro – a major fundraising campaign. The pair, in fact, were the stars of HMH’s recent annual meeting, where they launched the initiative. Beyond health care, Manning has also been a key spokesperson for Investors Bancorp Inc. So he seems to be moving methodically down the field toward the goal of becoming a business leader.
Menendez is counsel at Roseland’s Lowenstein Sandler, a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a trustee of The Hudson School in Hoboken. He’s also the son of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a Democratic candidate for Congress from the 8th District, which includes most of Hudson County. His father represented the same region before his election to the Senate and after U.S. Rep. Albio Sires announced his retirement, Democratic leaders quickly fell in behind the younger Menendez’s candidacy. Given the heavily Democratic nature of the district, he is all but certain to win the general election. And after that? Well, keep watching.
Methot is an associate professor of human resource management in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University and a distinguished research professor of management at the University of Exeter Business School. Her research – which has been published across leading academic journals – looks at the intersection of interpersonal workplace relationships and social network dynamics with a focus on how to boost collaboration, trust and high-quality work relationships: An area that carries even more weight as the landscape of what work looks like, and how and where we work, continues to be reexamined and evolve following the shift to work-from-home brought on by COVID-19. That focus carries over to WorkTies.org. The website, co-founded by Methot, collects, distributes and engages with insights, knowledge and real-world problems surrounding creating and maintaining high-quality connections in organizations. She is a member of a number of editorial review boards, is director of the Rutgers Industrial Relations and Human Resources Ph.D. Program; and a board member for the Rutgers Center for Women and Work. This year, she was awarded the SMLR James R. Chelius Award for Excellence in Teaching, for which students nominate recipients. As an expert, Methot has been featured by media outlets ranging from NPR, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Forbes.
The first class of Okoro and Robinson’s Minority Cannabis Academy kicked off in July, and the duo had secured funding from two prominent industry names: Dutchie, a national cannabis delivery company, and Harmony Dispensary, one of the state’s few independent dispensaries. MCA is an eight-week cannabis industry education opportunity for minorities, and Robinson explained to NJBIZ that the goal is to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce in cannabis. “This would include more minority ownership, staff representation and leadership positions. Not one of the aforementioned changes can happen successfully, without providing individuals with the knowledge base to execute the task that’ll be expected of them on a daily basis,” he said. While Okoro and Robinson are successful in their own right—Okoro’s been a logistics pro for 10 years, and Robinson’s got an impressive banking resume—together they aim to lift people of color up in New Jersey’s burgeoning cannabis market. “For this ecosystem to work, we need to train potential CEOs on the ins and out of business leadership and all that comes with it. We need to train our budtenders so that they can service patients and deliver the highest standard of customer service every single time,” Robinson said.
Pitel may look familiar. In 2021, when he was still holding daily COVID-19 press briefings, Gov. Phil Murphy highlighted the company Pitel runs as CEO – Flemington’s second-generation Magna-Power Electronics – for working with the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development’s Return & Earn program. Through the initiative, the company received funds to offset the cost of training new and needed employees – those new hires also got a $500 signing bonus – as it expanded. “Our goal is nothing short of reasserting New Jersey’s leadership in the global innovation economy,” Murphy said at the time. “Companies like Magna-Power are proving that we not only have the ideas to make that happen, but we also have the workforce.” Pitel was also responsible for powering the evolution of the business that created the demand. The leader transitioned Magna-Power’s business model to create a direct sales network across 50 counties with two international sales offices and 40 North American sales representatives. And he did it the old-fashioned way, traveling to establish relationships and understand local markets. Pitel also took home an NJBIZ Forty Under 40 Award in 2021. His work seems to be paying off. With about 100 employees and more than 10,000 customers Magna-Power is also reaching the next generation; the company recently announced the selection of its summer interns—a group of four selected from a record-setting 500 applicants.
Native Newarker Quallis was just a kid when he noticed that people would walk out of his mom’s salon with “a whole new step” after getting their hair done. What he perceived in his youth led him to open a barber shop as a side project in his adulthood, and lessons learned there quickly had him concocting beard balms and hair creams in his kitchen. The products took off—enough for him to move from his kitchen in Newark to a 10,000-square-foot space in East Orange, and enough to land on shelves at Target, Walmart and CVS. “At the heart of the Scotch Porter brand is a responsibility to make people feel their best by providing healthier and affordable solutions to those whose problems are often under-served or unresolved,” Quallis said when his brand broke into Target in 2021. “It is my hope that our mission and story inspires future generations to go above and beyond in utilizing their gifts to impart change of their own.”
Rodriguez has guided New Jersey Policy Perspective’s agenda and supervised its research staff since 2019, when she joined the organization after years of policy work in her home state of Massachusetts. Upon Brendon McKoy’s departure in June, she took the helm of the Trenton-based think tank, which drives policy change to advance economic, social and racial justice through independent research, analysis and strategic communications. At the time of her appointment, Rodriguez said, “With democratic institutions and basic freedoms under attack in our nation’s halls of power, the need for community-driven policy has never been greater. We have a lot of work to do in building a state and economy that works for everyone, and I know that with this team we can get it done.”
Grab your toothpaste tube or shampoo bottle. Grab your chocolate wrappers and hair dye containers, too. Now turn them over. See that little green infinity symbol? That means its recyclable through TerraCycle, Szaky’s Trenton-based brainchild. Szaky’s company is on a mission to recycle all the things you never thought you could, well beyond soda bottles and cans. TerraCycle’s corporate partnerships allow consumers to participate in a free recycling program wherein they can mail discarded packaging for free, and its Trenton facility melts down the material to recycle it back into the market. And its Loop reusable packaging program, where customers can buy products in reusable packaging and then return the packaging for future use, is in the pilot stage at five New Jersey Burger Kings and several Oregon grocery stores. Szaky has upped the sustainability of several CPG categories, and in Mercer County has also given people a place to kick back: TerraCycle melted thousands of Taco Bell sauce packets into picnic tables and set them up at local parks and Trenton Thunder stadium.
As director of sustainability for Hackensack Meridian Health, Tafuri takes the lead on developing and managing the sustainability efforts for one of the state’s largest health care providers. When he was named a Forty Under 40 winner in 2021, Tafuri told NJBIZ that he’s inspired by getting to work for an organization that lets him take the kind of initiative, “[t]hat empowers me to be disruptive by challenging the status quo with a goal of making a positive, meaningful and lasting difference.” Though it’ll take some more time to truly suss out the lasting effects, it’s undeniable that Tafuri’s work is leaving a mark. As recently as last week, the system had four hospitals recognized nationwide by Practice Greenhealth as Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards Honorees. And it was recognized overall with the System for Change Award. Outside of his regular duties, Tafuri is part of a team that helped with the response to COVID-19 at HMH. In that capacity, he led the distribution of more than 117,000 meals from local sources to help support agriculture while also addressing food insecurity. Among his other commitments, he is also a steering committee member of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council.
Tully is a state assemblyman from the 38th District and a former aide to Rep. Josh Gottheimer. He was appointed to the Assembly in 2018 to fill an unexpired term, then won a special election. Tully was quickly named deputy majority leader. Last year, he introduced Assembly Bill 5921, to provide government officials with an additional 60 days to enact an ordinance welcoming or blocking adult-use cannabis businesses from opening and operating within their communities. The deadline was written into state law. So not only is he on the leadership track, but he’s identified an issue that will grow in importance.
Wright is senior vice president, Finance and chief accounting officer at Cooper University Healthcare. He joined Cooper in 2017 with more than 17 years of leadership experience in health care, spending four years at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Somerset Medical Center, now part of the RWJBarnabas Health System. He was hired as an assistant vice president of finance and rose to the level of chief financial officer overseeing both hospitals. Before RWJUH, Wright worked for Tenet Healthcare Corp. in Philadelphia for 14 years. He got his first role in finance leadership in 2001, becoming the controller at Elkins Park Hospital and then Hahnemann University Hospital in 2003.
Wood serves as the director of the Criminal Justice Reform Program at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. In that capacity, Wood, manages the Institute’s efforts to transform the state’s youth incarceration system as well as create initiatives to keep law enforcement accountable to the communities in which they serve. He recently co-authored an article on closing ineffective youth prisons in search of better solutions. “New Jersey – like many states across the country – is at a pivotal moment, and it would be a shame to squander the lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic,” Wood wrote. “Now is the time to lean into what we know works: addressing the root causes of crime, closing outdated and ineffective youth prisons, and investing in real community safety.” Wood is consistently on the front lines of these types of issues. Before working with the Institute, he served as an assistant district attorney in Queens, N.Y., for more than five years. In addition to leading prosecutions, Wood advocated for diversion and treatment programs and alternatives to incarceration. He has also been a voice for diversity and inclusion within the law enforcement community.
Editor’s note: This list was updated at 2 p.m. ET to correct the spelling of Precious Osagie-Erese’s name.