Chrissy Buteas

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Christine “Chrissy” Buteas is Chief Government Affairs Officer of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation’s largest state-level business association whose member companies collectively employ 1 million people.

Buteas also serves as the Executive Director of the NEW JOBS PAC, the State’s largest and most influential ideological business political action committee.

Prior to joining NJBIA, Buteas served as the president and CEO of the Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey, representing New Jersey home health agencies, hospices and health care service firms servicing the state’s Medicare, Medicaid and private pay patients. She serves on the board of trustees of Middlesex College, Girl Scouts of Heart of NJ and is a member of the Northern Board of Junior Achievement whose mission is to inspire and prepare young people in grades K-12 to succeed in a global economy through real world relationships with business, government, and education partners that can help them develop the employability and financial literacy skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. Buteas is also the former president and current board member of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to advancing women in government.

Buteas serves as a member of the New Jersey Medical Assistance Advisory Council, New Jersey Small Employer Health Benefits Program and the New Jersey Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Commission, which responds to requests from the State Legislature to provide independent analysis of the medical, financial and social impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates.

Buteas served on the Murphy-Oliver Transition 2018 Healthcare team. She also serves on the board of Focus NJ, an independent research non-profit conducting timely, innovative, nonpartisan economic and workforce research.

Previously, Buteas served as vice president of the Capital Impact Group, a public affairs and business development firm that advocates on behalf of nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies. She was also a policy specialist at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

In 2021, Buteas was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, NJBIZ’s 2021 Next Generation of Leaders, a Barrier Breaker as part of Jersey’s Best magazine’s Spring issue honoring trailblazing women in the state and recognized on ROI-NJ’s Influencers: Power List for Government Affairs. In 2018, Buteas was named to NJBIZ’s Best 50 Women in Business list. She was named to NJBIZ’s “40 Under 40” and “Power 50 Health Care” lists in 2017, as well as the 2017 “Insider 100 Policymakers” list by Insider NJ.

Buteas holds an MPA from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark and a BA from Rowan University. She is also a graduate of Leadership NJ, a leadership development program, and served as a Raimondo Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is a member of the Rowan University Alumni Association and Eagleton Institute of Politics Alumni Association.

Ray Cantor

VP Government Affairs

Ray Cantor is Vice President of Government Affairs of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation’s largest state-level business association whose member companies collectively employ 1 million people.

Cantor, an attorney whose career has included high-level positions in the legislative and executive branches of government, a former assistant commissioner and, later, chief adviser to the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), leads NJBIA’s advocacy efforts on environmental and energy matters affecting the business community.

At DEP, Cantor oversaw the offices of Legal Affairs, Dispute Resolution, and Economic Analysis in addition to advising the DEP commissioner on policy, legal, management, and economic matters. Cantor was also responsible for policy formulation related to all DEP regulations, including site remediation, NRD, air quality, water regulation, and land-use management.

A graduate of New York Law School, Cantor began his career working at the state’s Office of Legislative Services as senior counsel in the Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources section. He later served as the Assistant Commissioner of Land Use Management & Compliance at DEP until 2002 and also worked as a project consultant for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Cantor’s experience as a business lobbyist includes five years as director of Government Affairs for the Medical Society of New Jersey and then executive director of the New Jersey Apartment Association. He returned to the state DEP in 2010, where he served as chief advisor to DEP Commissioner Bob Martin for eight years.

Chris Emigholz

VP Government Affairs

Christopher “Chris” Emigholz is Vice President of Government Affairs covering taxation, budget, and economic development, of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation’s largest state-level business association whose member companies collectively employ 1 million people.

Prior to this current job, Emigholz worked in state government for 10 years. He was a budget director for the State Senate Republican Office for 8 years and directed education policy and legislative affairs in the New Jersey Department of Education prior to that. This is his second stint at NJBIA having served for years as their workforce development and education lobbyist earlier in his career. He was also a teacher through the Teach For America program in a high school in Atlanta, Georgia, and community liaison/volunteer coordinator for an elementary school in Baltimore City.

Emigholz has a Master of Public Policy degree from Rutgers’ Bloustein School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University. He currently lives in Robbinsville, NJ with his wife and 3 children, where he is active in the community including coaching youth sports and having been elected to the school board.

Nicole Sandelier

Director Economic Policy Research

Nicole “Nikki” Sandelier is the Director of Economic Policy Research on the government affairs team for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) and the Executive Director of Focus NJ. Sandelier is responsible for identifying emerging policy issues, developing research plans, and conducting analyses on the economic impact of regulations and legislation on the New Jersey business community and New Jersey economy. Sandelier is highly skilled in conducting factual primary and secondary research; including, quantitative and qualitative analyses. Sandelier writes reports for internal and external audiences, including NJBIA members, media outlets, policymakers, New Jersey residents and opinion leaders. While Nicole is responsible for supporting the research needs of all government affairs issues areas, she primarily focuses her studies on workforce development, education, innovation, and economic development. Sandelier has been recognized as a leading, credible, researcher in New Jersey and has been selected to serve on various task forces; including, Governor Phil Murphy’s On-Ramps to College Working Group through the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. Sandelier joined NJBIA in 2017 as a Policy Analyst.

Since joining NJBIA, Sandelier has had numerous publications, including “The Education Equation: Strategies for Retaining and Attracting New Jersey’s Future Workforce”, which won a 2019 Power of A Silver Award. In addition, other publications of importance include (but are not limited to): “NJBIA’s 12 Indicators of Innovation”, “Big Ideas for Small Business”, “Rebuilding New Jersey’s Innovation Economy”, Tax Increases Impact Competitiveness, “Keys to New Jersey’s Economy”, “Migration Patterns of Young Adults, Ages 18-34”, and Young Adults Leaving NJ at Alarming Rates”. For a full profile of Nicole’s published work please visit her LinkedIn.

Prior to joining NJBIA, Sandelier worked for the A+ rated Monmouth University Polling Institute, where she served as a Research Assistant during the 2016 presidential election.
Nikki is currently enrolled in the MS in Economics program at American University and has a concentration in Applied Economics. Sandelier previously graduated from Monmouth University with a MA in Public Policy and a BA in Political Science. She was a member of the Monmouth University Division 1 Softball team, where she was a two time selection for the “MAAC AllAcademic Team”.

During her time at Monmouth, Sandelier served as a two term president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She was also nominated to serve on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Advisory Committee and the Monmouth University Athletic Advisory Committee. Sandelier was the first-ever Monmouth University student-athlete selected to attend the NCAA Leadership Forum and was awarded as the Monmouth University “Woman of the Year”, the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women “Woman of the Year”, and was a selection for NCAA “Woman of the Year”.

Alexis Bailey

Director of Government Affairs

Alexis Bailey is Director of Government Affairs covering employment and labor issues for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation’s largest state-level business association whose member companies collectively employ 1 million people.

Prior to joining NJBIA, Bailey worked as a Legislative Research Associate with the Kaufman Zita Group and as a Government Affairs and Communications Consultant for the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association. Bailey has also held numerous internship positions with Hoboken Strategy Group, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21), the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics and the Republican National Committee.

In 2019, Bailey was named one of NJBIA’s Rising Star Award recipients.

Bailey graduated with summa cum laude honors from Rider University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

NJBIA's Government
Affairs Team

NJBIA Government Affairs experts advocate for policies that will grow and create jobs and fight to protect businesses from policies that could negatively impact them. This section provides in-depth information about pending legislation that may impact your business. Keep up-to-date on the latest legislative and regulatory news. NJBIA’s government affairs experts are the premier NJ business advocates.

As the largest and most influential statewide employer association in the country, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association exists to advance the competitive excellence and financial success of our members and the more than one million people they employ.



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By joining a NJBIA Policy Committee, you are a member of a select group of members from many different businesses who share a common interest in a particular area of concern.

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Employer Legislative Committees

There is no better way to meet with your legislators, network with your colleagues, and learn about issues affecting your business than to attend your local Employer Legislative Committee (ELC) meetings.

The ELCs, established by NJBIA in 1959, are independent, local organizations representing all 21 counties. ELCs meet regularly for breakfast or lunch. These meetings take no longer than 90 minutes. At each meeting, legislators, cabinet members or local officials will discuss important issues pertinent to business. You will also receive a briefing from one of NJBIA’s government affairs experts on legislative and regulatory issues affecting employers.

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