As CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, Garrett runs New Jersey’s largest health network with 17 hospitals, 500 patient care locations, 34,000 team members and 6,500 physicians. Under Garrett’s leadership, the network opened the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, formed a historic partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and secured the network’s merger with New Jersey’s largest behavioral health provider to dramatically improve access and the quality of care for addiction treatment and mental illness in New Jersey and beyond.
Frank Giantomasi is and has been regarded as the go-to attorney for real estate matters in Newark for years. He’s redevelopment counsel for major projects there, including the 2 million square foot SJP development near the Broad Street station. His influence reaches beyond New Jersey’s biggest city, including as redevelopment counsel for the 140-acre site formerly occupied by the NJ Developmental Center in Totowa and a 152.9-acre portion of the MOTBY peninsula in Bayonne, which is currently being redeveloped into state-of-the-art industrial warehouse space.
Brandan Gill, a veteran political consultant, has made himself a centerpiece of New Jersey politics. Brendan Gill brings more than 20 years of experience in successful campaign management, government relations, political consulting, and strategic communications. He made a name for himself chairing Phil Murphy’s campaign for governor. As head of the public affairs firm The BGill Group, he earned himself a spot within Murphy’s inner circle — a point of tension between Murphy and Democratic lawmakers. The Montclair-based Democrat, also freeholder director in the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, also heads the public affairs firm The BGill Group, and his impressive clientele includes U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and the late U.S. Sen Frank Lautenberg. In addition, Gill has served in the election campaigns of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Congresswoman-elect Mikie Sherrill, and former Governor Jon Corzine. Gill is a regular guest commentator on numerous television programs, including NJTV’s political roundtable, My9 NJ Now and Chasing New Jersey, and News 12 NJ Power and Politics. Gill graduated magna cum laude from Seton Hall University.
Urban redevelopment can be a slow process, with results attributable to even the most adept operators often taking years to become evident. Fortunately, Glover has a track record. Any New Jerseyan who wants to see an example of her work can look just 15 miles from downtown Newark to the Brooklyn Navy Yard – widely hailed as a smashing success in the business. Glover served as vice president of external affairs for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., where she oversaw public affairs, fundraising and strategic partnership development, among other duties. She then moved to the Garden State, becoming President and CEO of the Newark Community Economic Development Corp. and spearheading the city’s efforts to land Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters. Glover is now the president and CEO of the Newark Alliance, putting her at the nexus of the city’s important communities, including corporations. While the Amazon effort was unsuccessful – for the moment – the new federal Opportunity Zone program offers another economic development tool for Glover to use.
Goldberg is the founder and managing member of Canoe Brook Associates, a family-owned real estate consulting and development company in Roseland. The firm is comprised of the former founding partners of Roseland Property Company. Since the inception of Roseland, Goldberg has been responsible for securing the entitlements for the development of communities throughout the northeast with a special emphasis on urban waterfront development. He has directed Roseland’s production of more than 1,500 homes annually has overseen Roseland’s flagship endeavor, Port Imperial. Goldberg has a long history of political and industry-wide activism in New Jersey, with relationships with leaders throughout the state. He currently serves as chairman of the New Jersey Builders Association Political Action Committee and as co-chair of the Center for Real Estate Studies at Rutgers Business School.
Gorsky is the seventh Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson since it became a publicly traded company in 1944. He began his J&J career as a sales representative with Janssen Pharmaceutica in 1988. Over the next 15 years, he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing and management including assignments in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He was named CEO in April 2012 and chairman later in the year. Under Gorsky’s leadership, J&J continues in its 132nd year to be one of the world’s exceptional corporations. The company was given the #1 ranking on Barron’s Magazine’s 2016 list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies,” and is currently the number one pharmaceutical company on Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Respected Companies.” A longtime advocate of Diversity Inclusion and Veteran’s issues, Gorsky has been named one of the “100 Most Inspiring Leaders” by Pharma Voice. Most recently, in December of 2017, he received the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation. For the past three years, Gorsky has been on the list of the Highest Rated CEOs on The Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards. He has also received the Jackie Robinson Award, Appeal of Conscience Award, the Joseph Wharton Leadership Award and the CADCA Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Grewal has earned the status of a power player not just in New Jersey, but in the nationwide Sikh-American community. The 45-year-old from Glen Rock rose to prominence as the Christie-era Bergen County prosecutor, and was named to New Jersey’s top law job in December 2017. Nationwide, Grewal has opposed many Trump administration polices, either by signing on to lawsuits or letters of protest. Grewal has opposed White House efforts to roll back several provisions of the Affordable Care Act, LGBT rights, protections for undocumented immigrants, abortion and women’s rights, consumer protection and more recently, online gambling.
Perhaps second only to Gov. Phil Murphy, Gutierrez-Scaccetti has been main administration cheerleader for plans to bring the state’s crumbling infrastructure into the 21st century. The Transportation commissioner, along with NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, have made themselves the faces of the statewide beleaguered transit agency, taking in the frustrations and woes of commuters who have put up with the commuting nightmares for years. The challenges are formidable so success in improving New Jerseyans’ mobility would ensure Gutierrez-Scaccetti’s legacy.
As founder and chairman of the Hampshire Cos., Hanson has more than more than 60 years of real estate investment experience. His work on behalf of the state earned him a place in the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s 2017 Class. Under the Christie administration, Hanson chaired the Governor’s New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission and he led the negotiations with Triple Five on the development of the failed Xanadu project at the Meadowlands, which is currently under construction as American Dream, slated for a 2019 opening. Most recently, Hanson oversaw the creation of the Atlantic City Development Co. which has brought significant non-gambling development projects to the resort town. Most notable are the much-needed $220 million Atlantic City Gateway projects that include an expansion of Stockton University and the construction of a new headquarters for South Jersey Gas Co.
With the Murphy Administration’s focus on making the state’s economy more fair, the founder, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey will be watching closely. At an event for minority- and women-owned businesses in Trenton last fall, Harmon said the administration’s moves were encouraging, but constant vigilance is necessary. He ticked off a series of projects in the capital city including a hotel and waterfront park, along with the multi-billion dollar school construction program. “But when all the checks were cashed, Trenton and cities like Trenton still had the highest poverty, limited capacity and high unemployment,” Harmon told the group. The longtime banking executive has called for economic diversity and the use of initiatives that center on education and public policy to accelerate business growth. For the next couple of years, the Governor’s Office might be more receptive to those calls.
Debbie Hart is the founding president and CEO of BioNJ, a powerful network of 400 member research-based life sciences companies dedicated to driving the rich innovation ecosystem in New Jersey to stimulate and support innovation, improve and save lives, and lower the hurdles of healthcare advancements for society. Hart established BioNJ in 1994 and worked alongside New Jersey’s biotechnology industry leaders as a means to enhance the climate for life sciences in New Jersey. She has been active on the boards and committees of numerous government and academic institutions. Hart was recently appointed to the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology; and as chair to the bipartisan, bicameral New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force. She is also a founding board member and officer of OpportunityNJ, a non-profit organization working toward a strong and sustainable State economy; is on the board of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Board of Directors for Choose New Jersey. Hart was named to the Advisory Boards of the New Jersey Innovation Institute and the Institute for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship at Kean University and serves as a member of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Technology Advisory Board. A strong advocate for advancing education, Hart serves as a board member of the Rutgers University Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for the Study of Pharmaceutical Management at Rutgers University Business School.
Hirsch, a 35-year veteran of the health care industry, was appointed in March 2017 as Interim CEO & President of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System having initially joined the organization as President in August 2015. Last year was a good one for Saint Peter’s, both financially and clinically. The hospital returned to profitability, for a valued turnaround of $18.7 million; operating margin (excluding investment income) improved to 2.6 percent vs -1.45 percent in 2017. Saint Peter’s cared for 24,000 inpatients, including more than 5,400 newborns, and had the highest recorded volume of 72,000 ER visits. Keep in mind the context: those results came amid consolidation in the hospital industry that left Saint Peter’s as the sole independently operated hospital/health system in Middlesex County.
Too many New Jersey high school graduates leave for colleges in other states and, worse, do not return after graduation. As president of Rowan University, Houshmand has taken on the fight to reverse those dynamics. Using hot sauce. Houshmand established an emergency fund, with money raised outside Rowan’s normal course of operations, to help Rowan students solely based on emergency financial need. This emergency reserve is funded through the sale of his home-made hot sauce, t-shirts, and other merchandise. In the summer of 2018, Houshmand grew about 600 pepper plants that collectively produced about 1,200 pounds of hot peppers. And because wearing the right clothes can make a huge difference in job interviews, Houshmand also spearheaded a professional clothing drive that provides workplace-appropriate clothes to Rowan seniors.
Over 4,000 people are under Inserra’s employment and thousands more fill their pantries with his food. As CEO of Inserra Supermarkets, he owns 23 ShopRites, 18 of which are in New Jersey, and a PriceRite each in Garfield and Paterson. His empire in 2017 was worth $1.28 billion. Food aside, Inserra’s other sphere of influence is health care philanthropy, chairing the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation’s trustees board. He also recently cut a $410,114 check to the Diabetes Research Institute, which hits close to home: His daughter Lindsey, Inserra Supermarket’s Health and Wellness and Marketing VP, has lived with diabetes since childhood.
The chairman and CEO of the Public Service Enterprise Group, Izzo heads the parent company of Public Service Electric & Gas, one of the country’s largest utilities. And since he took over the top job in 2007, he has staked out an unusual position among power executives as a leading advocate of clean energy and conservation. “We want our customers to use less energy. We want the energy they use to be cleaner,” Izzo said in an interview earlier this year with Fortune.com. “It’s about climate change and making sure that our increased dependence upon electricity doesn’t create harm for the planet.” He also called for a carbon tax, another atypical position. “I’d like to see us reduce the number of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that are in the atmosphere,” he says. “The science is compelling. It’s very clear. It’s now decades old. Each week there seems to be another report that confirms that the time to act is now.” Izzo and his company are not shy about spending money to get their points across in Trenton. PSEG’s lobbying expenditures rank near the top of the list – driven last year by the company’s push for nuclear power plant subsidies.
The CEO of Audible, the largest seller of audio books, is also the founder of Newark Venture Partners, which has invested $15 million in 54 technology companies that employ a total of 400 people. Founders of technology companies said these corporations bring high-paying jobs to New Jersey. “I’m excited to see how this class of amazing companies contributes to our efforts to tether Newark to the elements of the economy that are creating jobs and taxable revenue and that validates the profound business case for this city,” Katz said.
As the son of former Gov. Tom Kean, the Livingston native has earned a title as one of New Jersey’s most recognizable public officials in recent memory. Along with his running mate in the 21st Legislative District which spans most of Union County – Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick – Kean sits atop the power structure of the state’s Republican establishment. In March, Kean confirmed that he plans to explore whether he wants to run for Congress in the 7th Congressional District, where Democrat U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski unseated longtime Republican Congressman Leonard Lance last November.
MWWPR Group ranks among the five largest Independent public relations firms in the nation and one of the largest independent firms in the world. Kempner has been leading the firm since he founded it in 1986 and continues to expand. Last year, MWW established a sports practice and opened an office in Charlotte, NC and has continued to attract and develop top-flight. In February, the firm hired Jennifer Holdsworth as a senior vice president in its Washington office, luring her from digital campaign technology company DSPolitical where she served as chief revenue officer. Along with that success, Kempner has built a reputation as a go-to Democratic fundraiser, becoming one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. That expertise could loom large with a favorite New Jersey son – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker – in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Newly minted SVP Holdsworth is a veteran of several New Jersey political campaigns, including Booker’s Senate re-election effort. Kempner is the chairman of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, in addition to a current member of the Fulbright-Canada Scholarship Board and a founding Board Member of ConnectOne Bank, one of the nation’s most successful community banks. Michael is a board member of the New York Coalition for the Homeless.
Kennedy is the CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, which claims credit for more than $1 billion in product and services sold. Kennedy’s job is to set the organization’s strategic direction while striking partnerships and developing new initiatives. NJMEP helps manufacturing companies to improve their profitability and competitiveness. Backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NJMEP provides workforce development programs, supports entry-level training, provides credentials to state residents and offers employment to New Jersey’s underserved residents, such as veterans. Kennedy’s work focuses on what is one of the state’s most pressing issues: narrowing the skills gap and aiding in the expansion of the state’s talent pipeline.
When businesses become embroiled in controversy, Karen Kessler at Evergreen Partners is the person to call. Whether it’s white collar crime or #MeToo issues, she’s provided strategic communications counseling to companies in crisis for decades. Most of her work is done behind the scenes, but her public roster of clients includes international MMA star Conor McGregor and Sky Blue, the professional women’s soccer team partially owned by Gov. Murphy.
Since June 2002, Kirkos has served as president & CEO of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber and Meadowlands Live! – CVB whose mission is to accelerate economic, community and business development by providing its membership with relationship-building opportunities; destination marketing services; business education and legislative affairs advocacy to businesses of all sizes across all industry sectors throughout the greater Meadowlands region. Jim has served on the Meadowlands Transportation Planning Board, the New Jersey Transit Advisory Council, the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority Stakeholders Committee and is currently serving on the FDU Center for Excellence Advisory Board, Felician College Business Advisory Board, the Bergen Leads Advisory Board, Meadowlink Board of Trustees and the Hackensack Meridian Health Ventures Board. Jim served as a Trustee and President of Glen Ridge Country Club and was elected to the Washington, D.C.-based national board of Destinations International in January of 2014. He most recently was appointed to serve on Governor Murphy’s Transition Team for Urban and Regional Economic Development.
Ladell oversees AvalonBay’s development activities throughout New Jersey. Ladell is based in the company’s Woodbridge office and focuses on developing premier residential and mixed-use communities in markets with high barriers to entry. Currently, AvalonBay is building communities in Maplewood, Boonton, Teaneck, Piscataway and Edgewater. On top of continuously scouting new opportunities throughout New Jersey, Ladell is an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers Business School, and serves on the boards of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and New Jersey Builders and Apartment Association. He also advises New Jersey municipalities regarding redevelopment issues. He has served on Real Estate Forum’s Editorial Advisory Board and has been quoted extensively in national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and various state, regional and local publications.
Lalevee’s members may be among the first beneficiaries if the Gateway project gets built because they’ll be doing a lot of the work. But thousands of businesses will ultimately reap the rewards of his tireless work on behalf of the project. Lalevee is both the business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 and vice president of the IUOE’s general executive board. And he is vice president of the New Jersey Building Trades and a member of the state’s Licensed Crane Operators Advisory Board. Lalevee has also served on the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority and is a trustee of NJ SEED, a labor-management coalition to support state economic development. So his voice is uniquely powerful in the labor community. He has put it to good use.
Le Benger, chair and CEO of Summit Medical Group is viewed among his peers as a visionary and thought leader in physician group practice management, value-based care and population health management. During his 16 years of leadership, SMG has grown significantly. With over 800 providers at more than 80 locations in New Jersey alone, multiple comprehensive ambulatory care campuses and a world-class cancer center and comprehensive cancer program, SMG handles more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. After devising and refining a highly effective practice management and patient care model at SMG Le Benger spearheaded the formation of Summit Health Management (SHM) in 2014 to share SMG’s formula for success via strategic partnerships and customized managed services contracts. SHM is now a national organization and SMG is a national brand, helping to shape the delivery of patient care across the country. In January 2018, Summit Medical Group Oregon and Summit Medical Group Arizona were established, affirming Summit’s unique care model is customizable and nationally relevant.
Before assuming his current role CEO of Prudential Financial Inc. in December 2018, Lowrey served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Prudential’s International businesses. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Prudential’s U.S. businesses. Lowrey also served as president and CEO of PGIM, Prudential’s global investment management business, and earlier as CEO of its real estate investment business, PGIM Real Estate. Before joining Prudential in 2001, Lowrey was a managing director and head of the Americas for J.P. Morgan’s Real Estate and Lodging Investment Banking group, where he began his investment banking career in 1988. Earlier, Lowrey spent four years as a managing partner of an architecture firm he founded in New York City. Today, runs the company that is perhaps the most important corporate entity in Newark, its name emblazoned on the city’s skyline.
The president and CEO of Choose New Jersey Inc. merits inclusion here because of the role the organization plays in Gov. Phil Murphy’s “State of Innovation,” aimed at reinventing how the state will attract business and investment into New Jersey. A legacy of former-Gov. Chris Christie, the agency is tasked with marketing the state’s assets to businesses across the country and worldwide. Choose NJ sponsored the Murphy administration’s 9-day trip across Germany and Israel to make the case for businesses there to invest or set up shop in New Jersey. Its role, and that of Lozano, could change as Murphy looks to overhaul the Christie-era tax incentives and replace them a more heavily curtailed economic incentive program. Lozano’s future in public life was uncertain after as his name was repeatedly brought up during legislative hearings scrutinizing the Murphy administration’s hiring practices following allegations that the Murphy transition team – which Lozano headed – hired Al Alvarez despite a known accusation of sexual assault. But Lozano remains and recently presided over a conference on opportunity zones that included an appearance by the governor.
Muoio will find herself on the front lines in budget talks as the Murphy administration makes the case that the state’s finances are such that they justify the spending plan the Democratic governor proposed. Come May, she will outline how New Jersey fared during tax season. The state’s revenue growth has been lagging, and in January was only half of what the budget approved last year calls for. That will set the stage for the final hurdle of budget talks in the following weeks.
In his role as Chief Executive Officer of UnitedHealthcare, New Jersey, Marden is responsible for all aspects of the company’s commercial health benefits business in the state, including adding and retaining members, establishing market and network strategies, achieving financial targets and acting as a primary interface with key stakeholders. Marden was recently the vice president of sales and account management for UnitedHealthcare’s key account segment which represents employers with more than 100 workers in New York and New Jersey. He is a regular speaker on the topics of health care reform, business leadership and health insurance.
McCabe is a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the president of the Carpenter Contract Trust, a multistate labor-management cooperative. As Gov. Phil Murphy and other officials work to push through the Gateway Program mega-project to construct a new rail tunnel into New York, the Port Authority will be a key ally. And if funding can be secured it’s expected to create tens of thousands of construction jobs. McCabe is also Democratic Party chairman in Middlesex County.
McKoy was named president of New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) in February 2019 and leads the think-tank’s efforts in shaping policy debates in the halls of the State House. A South Orange native, Brandon joined NJPP in 2014 as a policy analyst. Over the last five years, he has been a leading voice for policies that boost the economic security of New Jersey’s working families. His original research, analysis, and advocacy were critical in the fight for a $15 minimum wage, which passed the legislature and was signed by Gov. Murphy earlier this year, and the campaign for paid sick days, which was signed into law in 2018. McKoy has also researched and testified on issues related to state tax policy, higher-education funding, poverty alleviation programs, and marijuana legalization, including a landmark 2016 report on the potential tax revenue from a legal cannabis market.
Having put the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey after his elevation to the top job in 2012, Medina now has his sights set on grander accomplishments. With more than 2,500 members, the group is largest chamber by that measure in the state and Medina has always reached out to other similar-minded groups including the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and Hispanic Alliance of South Jersey. His latest partner is Jersey City-based World Business Lenders, which the Hispanic Chamber is working with to make low-cost financing available to Latino-owned businesses. The effort, launched in February 2019, earned plaudits from a range of elected officials, up to US Sen. Robert Menendez.
Although Menendez faced a nasty, hard-fought reelection campaign last November, the native of blue collar-Union City ultimately vanquished GOP challenger Bob Hugin, ensuring that all but one member of the New Jersey congressional delegation are Democrats. Menendez has kept a lower profile than the state’s junior senator and current presidential contender Cory Booker, perhaps because of his corruption trial, which repeatedly came up during last year’s race. But as President Trump continues to oppose federal funding for the Gateway Program, and as the Republican-led U.S. Senate opposes lifting a $10,000 federal cap on state and local property tax deductions, Menendez along with Booker and the state’s House delegation will be New Jersey’s most important advocates in Washington.
Meyers joined Valley Hospital in 1980 and was named president and CEO in 1999 and assumed that role for Valley Health System in 2003. Meyers is one of the longest-serving CEOs in the state and is now overseeing construction of a health and wellness campus that includes a new 372-bed hospital in Paramus that is expected to open in 2023. The hospital is relocating there from its longtime home in Ridgewood. Meyers, who served as chair of the New Jersey Hospital Association in 2012, runs the fifth-busiest hospital in New Jersey and an organization that employs more than 5,000 physicians and staff. Her career accomplishments include strategic affiliations with the Mount Sinai Health System and the Cleveland Clinic.
New Brunswick native Morris spent most of his life in Middlesex County. As president and CEO of Edgewood Properties Inc. Morris, along with his wife and partner, Sheryl Weingarten Morris, leads one of the nation’s fastest growing privately held U.S. real estate development and property management companies. Edgewood’s portfolio includes millions of square feet of retail shopping centers, thousands of apartments and dozens of for-sale communities throughout the country. Edgewood demonstrated its expertise to a national audience on the show Extreme Home Makeover, where the company built a new home in less than 96 hours. Morris also supports several charitable organizations, including Make A Wish Foundation of New Jersey, and donated more than 14 acres of land to Make-A-Wish and oversaw the development of its headquarters in Monroe.
As president of the New Jersey State Building & Construction Trades Council, Mullen is spokesman and directs the activities of the statewide body, comprising 15 international building trades unions and 13 county councils, representing some 150,000 members. He served as leader of the more than 500-member Iron Workers Local #11 and the membership elected him to the local’s highest position of Business Manager until his retirement in May 2008. During his years as at Local #11, he earned a reputation for aligning his union behind programs and initiatives that have improved living conditions and the economy in New Jersey. His tenure at the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council has given the group an influential voice for the union construction industry in New Jersey and played a key role in winning passage of many pro-worker initiatives, including project labor agreements, prompt pay legislation, renewal of the Transportation Trust Fund and Schools Improvement Program, and the extension of prevailing wage requirements to all public works projects. Most recently, Mullen was appointed a member of the Casino Reinvestment Authority by Gov. Chris Christie at the recommendation of Senate President Steve Sweeney.
With her own national recognition, the First Lady of New Jersey has not labored in the shadow of her husband Phil, the governor. In the year since assuming the role of first lady, Murphy has used her public stature to focus on issues of women’s and maternal health, infant mortality affecting communities of color, environmental justice and climate change. In January 2018 at a Women’s March in Morristown, Murphy emerged as a central figure in New Jersey’s #MeToo movement against sexual harassment when she went public with her story of being sexually assaulted while a sophomore at the University of Virginia. And last October, she joined her husband in a 9-day trip across Germany and Israel to make the case for international businesses to invest or open up shop in New Jersey.
A previous version of this story said in the Les Hirsch section that Saint Peter’s earned $18.7 million in 2018. $18.7 million is the value of the turnaround in profitability.