The biggest pending merger in New Jersey – in fact, the biggest in the world – is Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $74 billion bid for Summit-based Celgene Corp., which is led by Alles. The deal faces opposition from Bristol shareholders, but is still scheduled to close in the third quarter, putting Alles at the center of a major M&A story. He certainly has the background to handle it. Alles became chief executive officer and joined the Celgene Board of Directors in March 2016. He was appointed chairman in 2018. He served as president and COO from 2014 until 2016, executive vice president and global head of Hematology & Oncology from 2012 until 2014. He was Celgene’s chief commercial officer and vice president, Global Hematology Marketing. In 2009 he was promoted to president of the Americas Region. In 2011, his responsibilities expanded to commercial operations in Japan and the Asia Pacific Region. Before joining Celgene, he was vice president of the U.S. Oncology business unit at Aventis Pharmaceuticals and served in other senior commercial management roles at Aventis (Rhône-Poulenc Rorer) from 1993-2004. Alles began his 30-year career in the pharmaceutical industry at Bayer and worked at Centocor before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Bristol shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal in April. If they reject it, Celgene could be a target for another drug company.
As the president and CEO of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, Anderson oversees a multi-million dollar financing institution. Since Anderson took over more than a decade ago, the authority has leveraged nearly $4 billion in new investments – including about $500 million in direct investments – in some of the state’s most economically distressed communities. That funding has been vital to redevelopment efforts around New Jersey, with the authority claiming credit for 15,000 new housing units and more than 10 million square feet of commercial and retail space. And the authority is now poised to play a significant role in the newly created Opportunity Zone program.
The Rutgers University president has had a substantial influence on the state university since being appointed in 2012. He led development of an ambitious university-wide strategic plan, the first at Rutgers in almost two decades, and a corresponding physical master plan. And he successfully completed the university’s first billion-dollar capital campaign. Today, he faces contract demands by the unions representing faculty and staff, including a $15 minimum wage for hourly employees, expanded health care benefits, guaranteed job security and annual cost-of-living adjustments. The unions are negotiating on behalf of 20,000 Rutgers employees, who have already begun sporadic picketing. As of March 6, 2019, the Rutgers administration has reached agreements with Teamsters Local 97 and OPEIU Local 153 for the years 2018 to 2022. This agreement provides for wage enhancements, alignment and streamlining of Family Medical Leave Act leaves, alignment of sick leaves and alignment of bereavement leaves. The wage increases for the years 2018 to 2022 are 3 percent for year one; 3 percent for year two; 3 percent for year three; and 2.5 percent for year four. While the university has also reached tentative agreements with two additional staff unions, representatives of labor groups are threatening to strike. How Barchi meets these challenges will shape the university’s finances for years.
The former head of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship, Barrood has served as New Jersey Tech Council president and CEO since 2014. He’s also a board member of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the Research & Development Council of New Jersey. Given his background, Barrood’s backing will add intellectual heft to initiatives aimed at expanding the state’s economy and tech industries. He frequently speaks at regional business events on topics including technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and family business.
Remember Toys R Us? Used to be kind of a big deal, especially around these parts. Barry worked there for more than 30 years and served as global chief merchandising officer. During that time, the Wayne-based company became a household name with outlets around the world, including a 110,000-square-foot flagship store in New York’s Times Square. But a 2005 leveraged buyout piled a load of debt on the company’s balance sheet and the shift to online shopping pushed the company into bankruptcy. In 2018, the company closed its 800 U.S. stores and appeared to be dead. But the name survived and is now owned by Tru Kids Inc., which is based in Parsippany with Barry as president and CEO. Barry has said he intends to resurrect the iconic brand – along with Babies R Us and Geoffrey the giraffe – this year. “These brands are beloved by customers,” Barry told the New York Times in February. If that’s true, he has a chance to engineer a remarkable comeback.
Bennett took over as CEO of New Jersey Hospital Association in November of 2017. The NJHA is a nonprofit trade association representing New Jersey’s hospitals, health systems and other health care providers that provides leadership on quality and patient safety, education and advocacy in both Washington, D.C., and in Trenton. Bennett oversees NJHA, the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, a not-for-profit affiliate that promotes continuing education, patient safety, quality improvement and research; and the for-profit Healthcare Business Solutions, which provides group purchasing and other business solutions for health care providers. Prior to her position at NJHA, Bennett served as New Jersey’s 20th Health Commissioner, beginning Aug. 3, 2015. She knows the hospital business inside and out – a strong resumé at a critical time for the sector.
As president of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Bloom advocates for STEM education, especially for underrepresented groups. Toward that end, he joined with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Newark School District Superintendent Roger Leon in February 2019 to unveil the NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative and the Mayor’s Honors Scholars Program. The Math Success Initiative seeks to increase the number of Newark residents who enroll at NJIT for undergraduate education. The Scholars Program is designed to create a pipeline from Newark Public Schools to NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College by granting three scholarships and paid internships to Newark Public School graduates. And to put some institutional heft behind that push, Bloom is responsible for NJIT partnering with the industry to make higher education more accessible to nontraditional students. “Every company today is a technology company,” Bloom said. “You want a job that pays well. STEM is difficult and takes a lot of hard work.” Success of this endeavor would go a long way toward strengthening the state’s workforce and economy.
McCarter & English is New Jersey’s biggest firm, and Joseph Boccassini is a lifer. He started as a summer associate in 1991 and now oversees more than 400 attorneys in nine offices, including two in the Garden State, as managing partner. In the last year, firmwide profits per equity partner increased by $66,000 year over year, and firmwide gross revenue increased $12 million.
As New Jersey regional president of PNC Bank, Bowden continues to be one of the state’s most influential female executives. She is responsible for providing executive leadership and supporting client relationship and business development initiatives across PNC’s lines of business in the region and Greater New York City, including Corporate & Institutional Banking, Commercial Banking, and wealth management, as well as supporting the firm’s community-based activities. Bowden’s influence does not stop there. She serves on the board of the Drumthwacket Foundation, as well as the executive committees of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, co-chair of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Choose New Jersey. In addition, Bowden is a member of the board of trustees of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Board of Governors. She is also trustee of Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she is a PINNACLE recipient, the highest honor awarded to alumni. All of which makes Bowden one of the most prominent women in a male-dominated industry.
The president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce presides over the annual Walk to Washington, perhaps the state’s leading event for business leaders, politicians, economic development officials lobbyists and journalists. And now the trip has a willing participant in the Governor’s Office. Phil Murphy’s embrace of the Chamber’s big gathering makes Bracken an even more prominent presence in Trenton and around the state, which will be crucial as he pushes for moderation of Murphy’s taxation and regulatory agenda. Making the state amenable to corporate prosperity and competitive in attracting new business is Bracken’s primary challenge – and the Murphy Administration’s intense scrutiny of economic incentives won’t make life any easier. The 40-year veteran of the banking and financial services industry is unhappy with many policies coming out of the statehouse but if he can work with Murphy, he should be able to deliver for his members.
Brennan’s sexual assault accusations against former Murphy campaign aide Al Alvarez shined an unwelcome light into the administration’s hiring practices and created an early scandal for the new governor. Scrutiny into who exactly hired Alvarez as chief of staff at the Schools Development Authority, despite the transition team’s alleged knowledge of accusations against him led to public scrutiny of the hiring practices and legitimacy of the SDA as a whole. The spotlight has also fallen on the authority’s chief: Murphy ally and vice chair of the New Jersey State Democratic Committee Lizette Delgado Polanco, who has been accused to turning the agency into a “patronage pit” for family and close friends. Brennan’s allegations – and the tenacity with which she has pursued them – contributed to a rough start for the Murphy administration, which is still struggling to deal with the fallout.
Campbell Soup Co. has had a crazy year. A rehashing of the war of words (and lawsuits) between activist investor Dan Loeb of Third Point and the centenarian soup maker’s board is probably not necessary. Suffice to say Clouse’s appointment has marked the official end to a drawn out selection process and a period of unrest for the iconic company. Clouse’s power lies in possibility: the possibility of turning Campbell around, of selling its non-essential assets to pay down debts, and bringing the company back to dominance in the food industry. Despite everything, it remains one of New Jersey’s biggest consumer packaged goods companies. If anyone can turn it around, it’s CPG vet Clouse: He ran Pinnacle Foods in Parsippany for years, and at the end of his tenure, helped sell it to Conagra for $8.1 billion.
Wakefern Food Corp. is one of the largest employers in New Jersey and Colalillo is the CEO. The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the country has grown by $7.5 billion since he first made our Power 100 list in 2011, six years after being appointed CEO. Reported retail sales for 2018 climbed to a record $16.5 billion. The second-generation grocer owns five of Wakefern’s 352 supermarkets — significantly less than his counterparts Larry Inserra and Richard Saker, who are also on the list. In its most recent fiscal year, Wakefern opened four new ShopRite stores and two Price Rite Marketplace stores throughout the Northeast.
As president of Montclair State University, Cole focuses intently on the affordability of New Jersey colleges and on science/technology/engineering/arts/mathematics education (STEAM) to prepare students for high-demand careers. She wants to see more equitable allocation of funding to New Jersey’s public universities and a more rational system of distribution. She notes that public colleges in New Jersey were the fourth most expensive in the United States in 2018. Cole also showed leadership in January 2019 by hosting a forum for federal employees idled by the government shutdown.
As the executive director of New Jersey Transit, Corbett inherited a powerful platform for public action in January 2018. He helped the agency meet the federally mandated deadline of Dec. 31, 2018, for installing positive train control technology, a system of sensors and computers that stops trains to prevent crashes if an operator fails to apply the brakes. The focus on safety came to the forefront after a 2016 crash at the Hoboken Terminal killed one person and injured more than 100 others. NJ Transit received Federal Railroad Administration approval on its submission for a positive train control alternative schedule, which allows for full implementation by the end of 2020. In approving the request, FRA certified that agency successfully met all of the criteria required by the end of 2018. Corbett now must ensure that positive train control is fully implemented by Dec. 31, 2020. And he must improve service. The executive who manages to reduce cancellations, delays and overcrowding will be a genuine Garden State hero.
Coscia is the chairman of Amtrak and one of three trustees of the Gateway Development Program Corp., the nonprofit managing the estimated $20 billion bridge and tunnel infrastructure project. It features the replacement of the 108-year-old Hudson River rail tunnels that connect New Jersey with Manhattan and the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River. A partner in the law firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, Coscia has handled all manner of corporate litigation and transactional law, but he’s best known for an ability to sort out the fine print of deals and proposals. At Amtrak, Coscia also chairs the audit and finance committee. His past notable stints include the boards of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. He’ll need every skill he’s honed over the years to get the Gateway project going in the face of seemingly intractable opposition to funding from Washington.
Revenue at Sills Cummis & Gross increased from $87.9 million for the 2017 fiscal year to $90.2 million in 2018, and managing partner Max Crane is accustomed to the growth. Crane began as an associate there in 1984, and since becoming managing partner just over a decade ago, profits per partner have grown by 40 percent. Litigation, corporate, real estate and bankruptcy are mainstays at the firm – including acting as co-counsel in a class action brought by Wyckoff, Glen Rock and Midland Park against the Ridgewood Water Utility to invalidate a 37 percent rate increase over five years. On the transactional side, they represented New Jersey-based toy giant Alex Brands in the sale of its Buzz Bee Toy division to that division’s management team in Hong Kong. Real estate deals done by the firm throughout the state remain strong and the firm’s bankruptcy attorneys are handling health care bankruptcy matters throughout the U.S.
As chairman and CEO of Investors Bank, Cummings oversaw growth of the bank’s total assets to $26.2 billion in 2018 from $25.13 billion a year earlier, a nearly 4.38 percent increase. He is the former chairman and current member of the executive committee of the New Jersey Bankers Association and sits on the board of trustees of the Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children, Liberty Science Center and the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group and is also a member of the Development Leadership Council of Morris Habitat for Humanity. Under Cummings’ leadership, in 2018 Investors Bank and the Investors Foundation provided grants that support the arts, education, health and human services, youth programs and more valued at $4.7 million.
Anything in state politics that has any impact on how towns and cities do business draws the attention – and perhaps a response – from the New Jersey League of Municipalities. Michael Darcy, who has been a staffer at the league since 1990, took the helm as executive director in 2015. Beyond its November conference in Atlantic City, which attracts tens of thousands of attendees each year, the league established itself as an institution for local government resources, and lobbies on myriad of issues that affect municipalities. During the league’s conference last year, a session on how municipal governments can react to legal marijuana within their borders drew a standing-room only crowd, and Darcy has been advocating for legislation that would allow towns to impose a higher tax rate so that they can better-finance their enforcement operations. At times, Darcy protests state or federal mandates, such as a now-enacted requirement that the $15 minimum wage applies to municipal workers. Given the Home Rule deference often shown to towns and cities, the League and Darcy represent a significant power center.
As CEO of Mack-Cali Realty Corp., one of the country’s leading real estate investment trusts, DeMarco has guided the company through significant events, including the ongoing $75-million capital transformation of its 4.3-million-square-foot Harborside office and retail complex on the Jersey City waterfront. The company unveiled new lobbies, complete with modern industrial finishes, pedestrian routes, and lounge areas. Mack-Cali is also overhauling the Harborside food hall—to be completed in early 2019—as a grand marketplace featuring local restaurant pop-ups, with a new interior design that reflects the themes of openness and efficiency. Separately in 2018, Mack-Cali completed the $50 million capital transformation of its portfolio of office properties located in several transit-oriented suburbs. The upgrades included a comprehensive renovation of building exteriors, installation of state-of-the-art amenities, and modernization of common areas in properties throughout Parsippany, Short Hills, Metropark, and Red Bank. With over 30 years of experience in real estate, DeMarco has helped construct, manage and enhance important commercial developments, luxury residential projects, and the economy of the New Jersey waterfront.
As managing partner of one of New Jersey’s biggest firms, Edward Deutsch is a mainstay on this list. McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter has grown under Deutsch to nearly 300 lawyers in nine states. MDMC’s acquisition of 19 lawyers from Graham Curtin was one of the state’s largest law firm transactions over the past year. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of MDMC client the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association in Murphy v. NCAA – a landmark decision that legalized sports betting. The move brings a multi-billion dollar industry to the state.
The Jefferson Health system is in the midst of major expansion and construction projects. These enhancements to the southern New Jersey system are a source of pride for Devine, New Jersey president and chief experience officer. Devine is the longtime leader of what, until the fall 2017, was Kennedy Health. He is an officer of the Corporation of Kennedy Health and an Ex-Officio of the Kennedy University Hospital Board of Trustees. He was recently named chair of the board of the New Jersey Hospital Association. Devine is also chair of the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and serves as executive club chairman for the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce. Under his leadership, Jefferson Health – New Jersey has been named a “Top Workplace” by Philly.com five times (2014 – 2018). More sources of pride for an obviously talented leader.
Marilou Halvorsen and Linda Doherty
Linda Doherty and Marilou Halvorsen are relentless in giving a voice to New Jersey’s food businesses. Both the New Jersey Food Council, run by Doherty, and the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, run by Halvorsen, track the hundreds of legislation pieces that could affect their respective industries, some of the biggest employers in the state. Doherty recently got the Senate Environment Committee to pull a bill banning the sale of expanded polystyrene food service products due to the lack of cost-effective, suitable alternative materials NJFC members could use. When paid sick leave legislation was being written, Halvorsen worked with the legislature to craft a bill that was fair to both employees and business owners. “We understand that you don’t want people coming sick in a restaurant but you still have to allow the businesses to operate,” she told NJBIZ last summer.
Doherty plays a dual role at Bank of America. He is senior vice president for the bank’s Specialized Industries Group in the Northeast Region responsible for the delivery of all debt-related products to hospitals, institutions of higher learning, continuing care facilities and other not-for-profit entities. In addition to his duties in Specialized Industries, he is the New Jersey State President for Bank of America. In that role, he is responsible for focusing and integrating the bank’s local resources and providing community outreach and leadership within the New Jersey market.
As chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources, Downes is an influential figure in the natural gas industry and the energy community in general. NJR and its New Jersey Natural Gas subsidiary operate and maintain 7,300 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure. But Downes is also the chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which finds itself in an unwelcome spotlight over its deployment of tax breaks to lure businesses to the state and keep companies from moving out. Downes has the opportunity to defend the authority’s incentives, which are widely considered necessary tools for economic development. Downes joined NJR in 1985 and 10 years later was named CEO then became chairman a year later. Natural gas has been on a roll in recent years and has never been a more prominent part the nation’s energy picture. Downes will not only play a role in the industry’s continued development, but also that of the entire state.
Gibbons PC is a strong law firm, and Patrick Dunican keeps it that way. Law360 touted Gibbons as a regional powerhouse and Dunican himself as one of the most innovative managing partners at a U.S. law firm. According to data from the state Election Law Enforcement Commission, Gibbons has been the top lawyer-lobbying firm in the state for 11 years running and Dunican is expanding it beyond New Jersey to D.C. and Florida. Representing the New Jersey Legislature, Gibbons played a key role in the case that forged the way for sports betting legalization. In another sports-related case, Gibbons represented the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and state in a bid to get the 2026 FIFA World Cup final scheduled for the New York-New Jersey area.
Eisgruber has led Princeton University for almost six years. Amid a national conversation about immigration, he has pledged his support for immigrants coming to the U.S. for college. And he’s backed up his rhetoric by contacting the State and Homeland Security departments to voice concern over proposed policy changes that would reduce the flow of incoming students. In August 2018 a federal court in Washington, D.C., reaffirmed its earlier ruling in a lawsuit brought by Princeton, one of its undergraduate students and Microsoft that the federal government’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was unlawful. “We are very pleased that the court reaffirmed its ruling that the government’s termination of the DACA program ‘was unlawful and must be set aside,’” Eisgruber said. “As the court noted, it ‘sees no reason to change its earlier determination that DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious.’”
Since Elnahal became New Jersey Health Commissioner in 2017 he has more than doubled the number of patients and physicians participating in the Department’s Medicinal Marijuana Program. Several new medical conditions were approved for the program, including opioid addiction. Elnahal has also expand the New Jersey Health Information Network, a shared services platform that provides the infrastructure for electronic exchange of patient health information among healthcare providers. Currently, six health information exchanges, 6,000 physicians, 91 long-term care providers, three Federally Qualified Health Centers and 64 hospitals have joined the HIN. He has also worked closely with First Lady Tammy Murphy on her Nurture NJ campaign to help improve infant and maternal health outcomes and reduce health disparities. As part of the Department of Health’s $4.7 million investment in its Healthy Women, Healthy Families program, community partners have hired 77 outreach workers to improve the health of black women.
Jersey Central Power & Light has been trying to upgrade and replace equipment needed to improve reliability and avoid power outages during the severe storms that seem to hit the state with alarming regularity. Not surprisingly, the weather was on the company CEO’s mind in an interview with NJTV News during the Chamber of Commerce’s Walk to Washington. “In the last few years we have seen a lot of accelerated storms and that causes havoc to our system,” Fakult said. He noted that JCP&L filed a four-year plan with the Board of Public Utilities to spend $400 million on upgrades to its infrastructure. “What that translates to is reliable, resilient service. It also creates hundreds of very good-paying, union jobs in the state.” Fakult can’t change the weather, but he can keep the power on and put people to work.
Dale Florio has consistently been a centerpiece of New Jersey politics, stemming back to his early days as a novice Republican sitting on the Somerville Borough Council. As managing partner at the lobbying firm Princeton Public Affairs which scored over $9 million in total receipts last year, Florio brings along nearly 30 years of government affairs and expertise to his clientele. He served in the administration of former Gov. Jim Florio and advised Govs. Christine Todd Whitman and Chris Christie. PPAG’s list of clientele since its creation in 1987 include Philip Morris International, AllState Insurance Co., New Jersey Society of CPAs, BioNJ and the New Jersey State Nurses Association.
Under Frazier’s leadership during the federal government shutdown, Kenilworth-based drug giant Merck & Co. Inc. is delivering innovative lifesaving medicines and vaccines as well as long-term and sustainable value to its multiple stakeholders. Frazier joined Merck in 1992 as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the company’s joint venture with Astra AB. He became vice president of public affairs in 1994, assistant general counsel in 1997 and general counsel in 1999. From 2007 to 2010, he served as president of Global Human Health, Merck’s sales and marketing division. In 2010, Frazier became company president and he was appointed chairman and CEO in 2011. Frazier has increased Merck’s investment in research considerably, including early research, while refocusing the organization on the launch and growth of key products that provide benefit to society. Frazier has also led the formation of philanthropic and other initiatives that build on Merck’s 125-year plus legacy.
More from the 2019 NJBIZ Power 100:
- No. 1: Phil Murphy
- No. 2: Stephen Sweeney and Craig Coughlin
- No. 3: Brian Gragnolati
- No. 4: Cory Booker
- No. 5: George Norcross
- No. 6: Sheila Oliver
- No. 7: Kevin Conlin
- No. 8: Ras Baraka
- No. 9: Tim Sullivan
- No. 10: Andrew Kim, Tom Malinowski, Mikie Sherrill, Jeff Van Drew
- Power 100: G – M
- Power 100: N – Z