Skip to main content
Tell your legislator to say NO to the Governor’s permanent Corporate Transit Fee. SEND A MESSAGE
In Partnership With
ACI Medical & Dental School, Inc.
Association Member Trust
Atlantic Shores Wind
Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Eastern Jantorial
Genova Burns LLC
IBEW Local 102
Johnson & Johnson
Focus NJ
Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks
New Jersey American Water
New Jersey Business Magazine
New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunity
New Jersey Resources
New Jersey Society of CPAs
Prager Metis
Piper Holding
South Jersey Industries
Hybrid June 7 8:30 am - 12:15 pm $99 Pines Manor
2085 Lincoln Hwy, Edison, NJ 08817
The NJBIA Event Team Email

Investors are increasingly applying these non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities. Businesses more and more are including ESG factors in their operations. But measuring success when it comes to major issues is no easy task.  

Join us on June 7 for an insightful and deep conversation with experts who have cracked the ESG code.  Find out where ESG belongs in your company’s strategy, how to solve key ESG challenges, turn ideas into action, and ensure a more sustainable and equitable future for decades to come. 

Become a ESG Partner

View our full program, along with speaker bios here!

This is a hybrid event.

Click on the white plus sign to view our program.
  • ESG Program
    8:30 a.m.
    Breakfast, Networking & Registration
    9:00 a.m.
    Opening Remarks
    9:15 a.m.
    Fireside Chat
    How ESG Can Benefit your Company
    Presented by Danielle Barrs, MEM, PMP & Ray Cantor
    9:45 a.m.
    Panel One Discussion
    ESG: What Your Business Needs to Know
    Presented by Dr. Denise Anderson, Ph.D., MPH, Matthew Karmel, Kyle Strumfels, CHMM, and moderated by John G. Valeri Jr.

    This diverse panel of experts will provide key concepts of ESG, reveal why it’s important, what it means for investment, and why national companies are expending resources on this emergent matter.
    10:45 a.m.
    Networking Break
    11:00 a.m.
    Panel Two Discussion
    How to Implement ESG at Your Company – Lessons Learned
    Presented by Jennifer Downey, Beth S. Johnson, Nina Panda, Alyssa Wilds, and moderated by Patricia Canning

    Experts will share what ESG means for New Jersey Businesses, how you can incorporate it into your business model, and best practices for implementation.
    12:00 p.m.
    Closing Remarks

Our Featured Speakers

Dr. Denise Anderson, Ph.D., MPH Dr. Denise Anderson, Ph.D., MPH Founder & CEO, Denise Anderson & Associates LLC

Dr. Denise Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology with a concentration in Dietetics obtained from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2002 (until 2013), she became a Registered Dietitian and received her Master’s in Public Health from Rutgers University, School of Public Health. She completed her doctorate in a joint (Rutgers and NJIT) Ph.D. program in Urban Systems – Health Track. Dr. Anderson is a National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Certified Content Expert (CCE).

She has taught Human Resources Administration, Strategic Planning, and Health Systems and Policy as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration and worked as Adjunct Faculty at William Paterson University (WPU), School of Public Health, teaching Disparities in Health. She is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Prevention Specialist (PHPS) fellow, and an Eagleton Institute of Politics fellow; she has over nineteen years of experience in public health as a generalist. Her recent work includes serving at the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) as New Jersey’s Primary Care Officer in the Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH), overseeing programs and services for underrepresented and vulnerable populations. Before departing NJDOH, she served as Executive Director, Maternal Care Quality Collaborative (MCQC), and Founder and Principal for the Department’s first-ever Rapid Mobile Response Team.

Lastly, she briefly served at New Community Corporation as Department Head for Health and Human Services, overseeing mental health and substance use services, transitional housing, workforce readiness, and youth services. Dr. Anderson is the founder and CEO of Denise Anderson & Associates (DA&A), LLC, an independent public health and health care consultancy business.

Danielle Barrs, MEM, PMP Danielle Barrs, MEM, PMP Director, EisnerAmper

Danielle Barrs is the Director of ESG and Sustainability Solutions in the firm with over 10 years of experience in environmental management, sustainable business, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and environmental, social and governance (ESG). She works with privately held and publicly traded organizations in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and distribution, real estate, private equity funds, and portfolio managers. Danielle also has experience serving Fortune 500 companies, NGOs, and governmental organizations.

Danielle works with clients to solve key variables in the sustainability equation, including carbon emissions, energy efficiency, clean energy, ESG performance, capital investment, and societal impact. She develops enterprise climate and sustainability objectives for clients that align with each company’s overall vision, leadership, and corporate strategy by assessing her clients’ current state, developing a tailored, long-term sustainability roadmap, and guiding them through the implementation process.

Additionally, Danielle engages and trains executive leadership, managers and staff on energy and sustainability best practices for today’s market.

Prior to joining the firm, Danielle was the Head of Global Energy and GHG Strategy for a Fortune 200 manufacturing company and managed all energy-related initiatives for 100+ facilities in over 30 countries worldwide – from RFPs to project management, budget forecasts, ESG KPIs, and CSR reporting.

Ray Cantor Ray Cantor Deputy Chief Government Affairs Officer, NJBIA

Ray Cantor is Deputy Chief Government Affairs Officer 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.

Patricia Canning Patricia Canning Sustainability Consultant

Patricia Canning is a seasoned sustainability practitioner who is known for developing innovative solutions that incorporate people, process and technology. Patricia practices at the intersection of equity and climate sustainability and considers how organizations may use their resources to create socially impactful solutions. Patricia most recently worked at Deloitte, a professional services firm, where she helped to build their sustainability and climate practice. Patricia brings her expertise in program management, stakeholder engagement, board leadership and community organizing to both the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

As a community organizer and activist, Patricia has received multiple awards and recognition for her vision and leadership roles in her South Orange/Maplewood community. She has launched several programs including the environmental campaign SoNotPlastic to eliminate single use plastics in her town and the MLK luminary project to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and advance racial equity.

Patricia graduated from Lehigh University with degrees in engineering and international relations and attended the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. She and her husband have two daughters and enjoy doing triathlons together.

Jennifer Downey, AIA, LEED AP Jennifer Downey, AIA, LEED AP Director of ESG, Turner Construction Co.

As director of Environmental Social Governance (ESG), Jennifer brings her passion for innovation to the purpose of advancing the industry with a focus on people and the planet.

Jennifer is working to accelerate the development and implementation of change for a more sustainable construction industry through Environmental, Social, and Governance strategy.

She is leading efforts to define, measure, and deliver a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future for our people, clients, partners and their workers, and the environment.

Prior to this role, Jennifer served as director of innovation where she guided overall strategy and led efforts to grow Turner’s innovation culture and accelerate the pace of innovation at the company. During her tenure she developed and oversaw implementation of the company’s Innovation Summit, Innovation Town Hall, and Innovation Challenge programs. She also focused on the research and application of emerging trends and technologies in the construction industry.

Jennifer serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech, and the Boston Dynamics Customer Advisory Board. She was named one of Construction Dive’s Up and Coming Women in Construction for 2022 and was honored with a 2022 BuiltWorlds’ Maverick Award winner for her work as a trendsetter, innovator, and catalyst of change in the built environment.

Jennifer comes from an architectural background of practice in Virginia and New York. She holds an architectural license in the State of New York and is a LEED AP. In her free time, she enjoys crafting, reading, coaching youth rec soccer, and spending time with her family including her nine-year-old twins.

Beth S. Johnson Beth S. Johnson Chief Experience Officer, Head of ESG, Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Beth Johnson is Chief Experience Officer (CXO) and Head of ESG of Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Johnson leads an organization focused on building the capabilities to deliver excellent experiences for our customers in a rapidly changing banking environment including working to enact sustainable and systemic change leading the company’s ESG efforts. Specific areas of responsibility include digital design, data &analytics, marketing & communications, enterprise payments strategy & infrastructure, and the company’s firm-wide Agile transformation effort.

In addition, Johnson is responsible for ESG and the company’s overall commitment to the communities it serves.  This includes over $5 billion in loans for home purchases and home refinances for low-to-moderate income borrowers and small businesses with sales under $1 million. She also oversees financial support from Citizens and the Citizens Charitable Foundation to support deserving programs and non-profit organizations as well as over $1 billion in equity and loan commitments to community development initiatives.

Johnson previously served as chief marketing officer and head of virtual channels, responsible for corporate-wide marketing activities and for advancing Consumer Banking growth and profitability by leading and aligning the businesses’ strategy, brand, digital, and contact center teams. She joined Citizens in October 2013 as head of Corporate Strategy.

Prior to joining Citizens in 2013, Johnson was a senior leader at Bain and Company. She served as a partner and leader of its customer strategy and marketing practice, specializing in financial services. She regularly co-authored Bain’s annual Customer Loyalty in Banking study.

Johnson also held roles at J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, where she focused on fixed income and derivatives products for commercial banking clients as well as risk management. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Matthew Karmel Matthew Karmel Principal & Chair of Environmental and Sustainability Practice Group, Offit Kurman

As the head of Offit Kurman’s Environmental and Sustainability Law Group, Matthew Karmel combines cutting-edge sustainability counseling with traditional environmental legal representation for a wide variety of businesses and individuals.  Matthew has been widely recognized for his influence and leadership in these areas, including as one of the NJBiz Law Power 50 and Waste360 40 under 40.  Matthew writes and speaks regularly on the topic of environmental law and sustainability, including for Environment and Energy Leader and for LegalDive.  He also aids with critical environmental causes through his pro bono legal services and encourages other lawyers to develop a climate-friendly legal practice through his newsletter, the planetary lawyer project.

Nina Panda Nina Panda Sustainability Strategy & Engagement Manger, 3M

At 3M, Nina supports the strategic work to achieve and advance the company’s sustainability ambitions. This includes collaborating throughout the large and diverse organization and engaging external stakeholders. An essential element is activating 3M’s ~90,000 employees to realize their role in the company Purpose.

Prior to 3M and working in ESG Strategy, Nina has experience across global organizations, specializing in Commercial Finance and Commercial and Corporate Strategy. Although passionate about the environment, this background drives her perspective on ESG as a lever to grow the business and serve customers. Having spent half of her career in Europe she values both the HQ and regional perspective on challenges and solutions.

Kyle Strumfels, CHMM Kyle Strumfels, CHMM Associate, ESG M&A Leader, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services

Kyle Strumfels is an Associate at Langan, where he leads the firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) consulting practice. Langan’s ESG practice works with clients to implement tailored ESG solutions, with a focus on risk mitigation and value creation. Langan helps clients find opportunities to maximize both access to capital and return on capital investment.

Kyle has degrees from College of William & Mary and the University of Pennsylvania and recently completed Harvard University’s Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program. He has over 20 years of experience assisting clients with ESG and EHS matters in virtually every sector and geography.

John G. Valeri Jr. John G. Valeri Jr. Practice Group Leader, Environmental Law, CSG Law

John G. Valeri Jr. is a Member and Practice Group Leader of CSG’s Environmental Practice Group. John has more than 30 years of experience providing advice regarding state and federal environmental laws and regulations, including obtaining permits and approvals involving multiple environmental media for complex projects. He provides strategic policy advice on major state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives, and he regularly appears before the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Administrative Law and in appeals before the New Jersey Superior Court. John also represents public utilities and renewable project owners and operators before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. In addition, John negotiates environmental agreements and provides strategic policy advice on major state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives. John previously served as Associate Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the USEPA, and Counselor to the Administrator under former Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. John also served as Senior Assistant Counsel for Governor Christine Todd Whitman, and Chief of Staff to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. John was appointed as a member of the New Jersey Clean Air Council by Governor Chris Christie in 2015 and served as the Chair from 2018-2021.

Alyssa Wilds Alyssa Wilds Senior Manager of Corporate Relations, Covanta

Alyssa Wilds forged a career out of serving others while partnering with educational, social services, and corporate entities to improve the quality of life for families in communities much like her native Camden, New Jersey.

In her current role as Senior Manager of Corporate Relations at New Jersey-based Covanta, she can fuse her expertise and passion to lead the company’s community outreach and corporate engagement efforts. Alyssa is also the Co-Chair of Covanta Black Professionals employee resource group and sits on the Board of the Waste to Energy Association.

Outside of work Alyssa enjoys running, hiking, and kayaking with her two children, mentoring Camden’s students, podcasting, ghost writing, and directing SharpSuiters-a program that dresses young men for all of life’s events.

She is a graduate of Rowan and Wilmington Universities, a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an I AM CAMDEN awardee, a philanthropist, and grant researcher/writer/manager.

In her hometown Alyssa found her purpose.  At Covanta, she is able to broaden her reach.