NJBIA and New Jersey Business Magazine on Wednesday announced the 17 recipients of the annual Awards for Excellence, which honor member companies and business leaders whose energy and vision have had a positive impact on their employees, their communities and the state’s economy.
Thirteen businesses and organizations, as well as four executives, are being recognized with awards in 2022. Details about the winners can be found in the November issue of New Jersey Business Magazine.
“Extraordinary times have resulted in so many of our member companies making extraordinary efforts,” said NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka. “This year’s Awards for Excellence winners have stepped up to do right for their employees, their communities and New Jersey’s economy. We are truly proud to recognize their notable achievements.”
The winners are listed by category below.
Members of the Year
Girl Scouts of New Jersey
Comprised of four regional councils, the Girl Scouts of New Jersey has been a longtime NJBIA partner, with a visible role at many NJBIA events including the annual Women Business Leaders Forum that helps build the next generation of female leaders. Backed by adult volunteers, mentors and millions of alums who lead the way, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issue most important to them.
Morey’s Piers, Wildwood
Voted the best seaside amusement park in the world by Amusement Today, Morey’s Piers on the Wildwood Boardwalk has been family owned and operated since 1969. In facing workforce challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Morey’s played a critical role in helping NJBIA successfully win passage of a law that reformed teen worker rules. Morey’s assistance also informed NJBIA’s efforts to educate policymakers about challenges and opportunities related to the J-1 visa program.
New Jersey Council of County Colleges
The New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) partners with NJBIA on several initiatives, including the NJBIA Workplace Literacy and Basic Skills Training Program offered at county colleges and the newly launched New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities Program. The free basic skills program has trained 200,000 employees from more than 11,000 companies since it began in 2007. The new Pathways initiative is bringing together businesses, industry associations, labor unions, education institutions and workforce development partners to build an innovative workforce by providing students and workers with a path to stackable credentials for advancement in all stages of their careers.
Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery, Linden
Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery produces transportation and home heating fuels critical to meeting energy needs of the Northeast. As a key energy provider in the state, Phillips 66 has worked collaboratively with NJBIA’s government and regulatory teams on energy policy and has proudly sponsored key NJBIA programs and initiatives. As a large employer in New Jersey, Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery offers various career opportunities and has been actively engaged in NJBIA’s workforce development initiatives. Phillips 66 is proud of its role in contributing to the world’s energy needs as a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company that is levering its existing capabilities and advancing investments in new energy technologies.
Executives of the Year
Jeffrey Farrell, CEO of Greater Newark Habitat for Humanity
Under Farrell’s leadership and vision, the organization has been renamed the Greater Newark Habitat for Humanity to reflect its geographic expansion into Essex, Hudson, and Union counties where it is working to provide decent affordable housing for underserved residents. The organization’s Critical Repair and Healthy Homes initiative has undertaken repairs such as mold and asbestos remediation, energy-conservation improvements, and aging-in-place functionality to keep low-income families, seniors, and veterans in the homes they already own. Additionally, more than 100 new homes have been built with low-income family partners.
John E. Harmon Sr., President & CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
Since founding the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey in 2007, Harmon has built a powerhouse advocacy association serving black-owned sole proprietors, small businesses, and major corporations throughout the state. AACCNJ’s marketing and communications extends to millions of viewers through its radio and television programming and influential social media presence. Harmon has leveraged this expansive platform successfully as part of AACCNJ’s mission to mitigate economic and health disparities and enhance resources and opportunities for Black New Jersey residents and business owners.
Sanjay Mirchandani, Director, President, and CEO, Commvault, Tinton Falls
Commvault has launched important service innovations since Sanjay Mirchandani arrived at this IT services company in 2019, including its Intelligent Data Services platform and Metallic, a SaaS (software as a service) business unit providing cloud-based backup services. The latter, under Mirchandani’s inspired management, grew with lightning speed in six business quarters to become a $50 million operation. As a result, in 2022, the company has experienced its best year ever.
Lisa Paley, President, North America, Haleon, Warren Township
Haleon, headquartered in Great Britain, is the world’s largest standalone consumer health business with a vast portfolio of popular consumer brands such as Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Flonase, Advil, Centrum and more. Paley has led the North American region, based in Warren Township, since 2021 when the business was still part of GSK. The business spun off to create its new corporate entity as Haleon earlier this year. A certified public accountant and experienced senior executive, Paley is successfully empowering her organization to deliver on its business goals despite supply chain challenges and shifts in consumer behavior that occur in uncertain economic times.
Affinity Foundation, Martinsville
Basking Ridge-based Affinity Federal Credit Union, the state’s largest credit union, creates opportunity, fosters personal growth, and develops necessary skills and knowledge within the New Jersey community through its Affinity Foundation. The effort is defined by getting out into the field and reaching out to members who are struggling financially, students who are looking to further their education, and anyone else in need of a helping hand. This hands-on approach comes from the clear perspective provided by President and CEO John Fenton.
Covanta Camden Energy Recovery Center
Even though the Camden facility makes up only a fraction of Morristown-based Covanta’s employee base, it has dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort to supporting its neighbors in this South Jersey city. Throughout 2022, the Camden facility has worked with the Audubon Society to convert an empty lot into a pollinator garden, teamed up with Wholesome Riches & the South Jersey Food Bank to help distribute food at the H.B. Wilson Family School, participated in “Camden Strong” cleanup events, and a host of other initiatives.
Manasquan Bank, Wall Township
With the formation of the Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation in 2014, the bank continues to bring its philanthropy initiatives to the next level. Designed to support those serving unmet local needs in new ways, the foundation serves as the bank’s single source of financial assistance for qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofits. In the first half of 2022, its employees have already devoted 189 hours to community service by providing assistance for a nonprofit fundraiser, cleaning up beaches, or offering their time serving on nonprofit boards for causes that matter to them.
Shore Builders Association, Lakewood
The Professional Women in Building (PWB) Group of the Lakewood-based Shore Builders Association is dedicated to empowering women through professional development and leadership training. For more than 60 years, national PWB members have made meaningful strides to build a more diverse workforce and bring awareness to the important role women serve in the residential construction industry. In addition to contributing financially, the group provides monthly visits and long-term mentoring to the girls in its residential program and offers real life examples of who they can become as women in the building/construction field.
Bergen’s Promise, Hackensack
The pandemic has tested every aspect of operations at Bergen’s Promise, a community-based care management service for children with serious behavioral health, substance abuse, or developmental issues. Being forced into remote work, the team converted to telehealth to deal with the mental health challenges of 1,800 youths and their families. It was a test for the community as well as front-line workers. Bergen’s Promise leaned on its robust employee culture and policies that foster diversity, ongoing training, self-care, and wellness initiatives to meet its commitment to employees and patients.
Building a positive culture is more than just words for CPA firm EisnerAmper. Its core values promise the firm will always act with integrity, place great emphasis on excellent service to clients, encourage firm-wide innovation and promote workplace diversity. It’s a tall order, so the firm partnered with research firm Gartner to develop an employee satisfaction survey and established EisnerAmper University to help employees advance their careers. Other firm perks include flextime, discounts for wellness services, personal career coaching, and even Bingo to keep things fun during stressful tax seasons.
Oxygen Benefits, Mountainside
Oxygen Benefits prides itself on customer service and personal attention when it comes to its health insurance products. That’s because CEO Wayne Dougal has built an exceptionally dedicated team that loves what it does and where it works. Oxygen pairs a full suite of health insurance solutions with its employees’ commitment to client satisfaction, which includes remaining in close contact during the year to handle issues and questions that emerge. Even the CEO follows an open-door communications policy with both employees and clients in the event needs emerge that require swift action.
ZAGO Manufacturing Co., Newark
Founded in 1993 as part of the NJIT Enterprise Development Center Small Business Incubator, ZAGO Manufacturing Co. is proud of its longstanding commitment to community and diversity. This woman-owned business has paid the tuition for several of its 30 employees to advance their education, picks up 100% of the cost of employee health insurance, and offers hybrid/remote work opportunities. As a manufacturer of environmentally safe, sustainable, high-tech sealing fasteners and components, the firm was designated an essential workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. ZAGO employees provided thousands of these components for companies manufacturing ventilators.
Excellence in Disability Inclusion
The Arc of New Jersey
Through its Project Hire program, The Arc of New Jersey, with chapters in all 21 counties, secures employment for the disabled as part of its belief that all people have the fundamental moral, civil and constitutional right to live, learn, work, play and worship in safe and healthy communities. According to Arc NJ Executive Director Tom Baffuto, Project Hire works with some 850 New Jersey businesses to assist the disabled in such areas as job matching, sampling, on-site training, and travel training. “An employed person gains skills they wouldn’t otherwise receive. Having a job offers a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging to an organization or business,” Baffuto says.