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Virtual Meeting November 16 9:30 am - 10:45 am Free The NJBIA Event Team Email

A Fireside Chat

Presented by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Please join us for a fireside chat with Ariel J. “A.J.” Luna, who is not only a Veteran, but someone who works tirelessly to advocate for Veterans both here in New Jersey, and nationally.

Join us as we learn about Veterans services for education, employment, mental health, and most importantly, how we can support and collaborate with our Veterans and show our appreciation for their service.

Meet Our Featured Speakers

Ariel J. “A.J.” Luna, MAS Ariel J. “A.J.” Luna, MAS Army Veteran, Veteran Services & Community Relations Professional

A.J. Luna enlisted in the Army in 2000 and began as a communications soldier at Fort Gordon, Georgia. In 2002, he joined the New York National Guard where he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004–2005 with the 95th MP Battalion.

While serving in the National Guard, A.J. pursued his bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College. Shortly thereafter, he completed his Masters in Administrative Science with a concentration in Non-Profit Organizational Development from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

In 2009, A.J. became the Director of Veteran Services for Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). The FDU Office of Veteran Services was created to provide Veteran students with access to a variety of services. In June 2010, FDU was the first university in the country to host a peer support workshop on its campus. During his tenure, Luna was instrumental in supporting over 700 veterans in obtaining bachelor and master degrees during his five and a half year tenure.

After a successful tenure at FDU, Luna was appointed by Bergen County Executive, James Tedesco III, as the Director of Veteran Services for Bergen County. In August 2016, the County of Bergen became the 28th community in the United States to “effectively end veteran homelessness.” Luna continues to work on new initiatives including the VA Work Study program at the County of Bergen which allows the County to hire part-time student veterans as interns to augment the Division of Veteran Services and the Homeless Veteran Liaison program which identifies veterans living in shelters and develops plans to get those veterans into permanent housing.

For his work, A.J. Luna has received numerous accolades and has been featured on several media outlets recognizing his efforts and support of veterans. In 2017, the New Jersey American Legion recognized and awarded him with the “Homeless Veteran’s Outreach Award for the State of New Jersey”. In July 2018, he was selected by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as the “VA Veteran of the Day” which is a national recognition. He was honored at 1st Annual Brenner Foundation Veteran Services Gala at the Venetian, in Garfield, New Jersey on October 18th, 2018.

He is married to his beautiful wife, Shevonne Murray-Luna, and has 2 beautiful daughters, Mariah Angel Luna, and Alexandra Jordan Luna.

Jackie Lue Raia Jackie Lue Raia President, ALEXENA Consulting, LLC

Jackie Lue Raia is the president of ALEXENA Consulting, a firm focused on Workforce Development and Employee Engagement. As a certified Minority/Women Business Enterprise, the firm serves as an essential and important partner to businesses and stakeholders across all industry sectors. Their goal is to ensure the creation of the strongest, most engaged and satisfied workforce possible. This is accomplished by creating a professional atmosphere and environment that is empathetic, nurturing, engaging and safe. Based on formalized evaluations and feedback from their clients, the firm’s planning and execution of unique, highly customized, interactive, real-life workshops and roundtable discussions have been well received and impactful.

Jackie currently sits on the Leadership Committee of NJ Business and Industry Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council; Board of Directors of the Bergen and Essex County Workforce Development Boards; Leadership Council for the New Jersey Statewide Network for Cultural Competence; Board of Directors for Global Business Travel Association – NJ; Advisory Board Member of NJ Association for School Resource Officers (NJASRO); and is the Goodwill Ambassador of the Blue Knights NJ Chapter VIII law enforcement motorcycle club. She was awarded a certificate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace by the University of South Florida.

ALEXENA Consulting was awarded the 2022 New Jersey Business & Industry Association and New Jersey Business Magazine’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award for Excellence in DEI Initiatives.

In 2023, Jackie received the YWCA Northern New Jersey Tribute to Women of INfluence (TWIN) award.