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ACI Medical & Dental School
Amazon.com, Inc.
Amerihealth
Association Member Trust
Atlantic City Electric
Atlantic Shores Wind
AT&T
Bristol Myers Squibb
CGI
Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP)
Comcast
Connell Foley LLP
Davison • Eastman • Muñoz • Paone, P.A.
EANJ
Eastern Jantorial
EisnerAmper
ELEC 825
EWMA
EXXON MOBIL
Falstrom
Fidelity
First Bank
Focus NJ
Gallagher
Genova Burns LLC
Gibbons
Hackensack Meridian Health
Horizon
IBEW Local 102
Johnson & Johnson
Junior Achievement
Dorno
Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks
New Jersey American Water
New Jersey Council of County Colleges
NJBIA HR Support Center
New Jersey Business Magazine
NJM Insurance
New Jersey Resources
Phillips 66
Pim Brands
Piper Holding
Prager Metis
PwC
South Jersey Industries
United Airlines
Wakefern Food Corporation
Zillow
In-Person November 28 8:00 am - 1:00 pm Member - $149 Non-Member - $169 Delta Hotels by Marriott Woodbridge
515 US-1 South, Iselin, NJ 08830
The NJBIA Event Team Email

Become a Public Policy Partner

Hear from legislative leaders and experts on what to
expect for New Jersey’s 2024 economy and more!

Join NJBIA’s advocacy team as it brings together legislative and industry leaders to discuss policy initiatives and what impact they may have on the 2024 economy and our business climate.

This year’s Public Policy Forum will help business leaders, like you, be better prepared for the good, the bad, and the continued uncertainty in New Jersey politics and policy as we enter 2024.

Click on the white plus sign to view our program. We’ll keep this page regularly updated so be sure to keep checking in!
  • Public Policy Program
    8:00 AM
    Registration, Breakfast & Networking
    8:45 AM
    Welcome and Opening Remarks
    Presented by Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. & Chris Emigholz
    8:50 AM
    New Jersey’s Economic Outlook, a Fireside Chat
    Hear insights on New Jersey’s economic outlook, as seen through the lenses of a major bank and prominent university. Gain valuable insights into the forces shaping the state’s financial future and legal landscape.

    Presented by Catherine Z. Brennan, John D. Cromie, Esq., and moderated by Michele N. Siekerka, Esq.
    9:20 AM
    The Looming Fiscal Cliff
    Join us for a crucial and timely panel discussion that unpacks the complexities surrounding the looming fiscal cliff. As economic uncertainties continue to mount, our expert panel will provide insights, analysis, and actionable strategies to navigate the challenges ahead.

    Presented by Regina M. Egea, Mark Magyar, and R. David (Dave) Rousseau. Introduced by Rebecca O’Connell and moderated by Chris Emigholz
    10:05 AM
    Election Perspectives
    Our panel of political experts will dissect the current political landscape following the recent midterm legislative elections, examining key players, emerging trends, and the narratives and issues facing both sides of the aisle.

    Presented by Dr. Benjamin Dworkin, Jeanette Hoffman, Jay Redd, Alex Zdan and moderated by Chris Emigholz
    10:50 AM
    Networking Break
    11:00 AM
    Keynote
    Presented by Governor Phil Murphy
    11:30 AM
    Awards Presentation
    Presented by Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. & Chris Emigholz
    11:50 AM
    Legislative Leaders
    Join us for a compelling and insightful panel discussion featuring distinguished legislative leaders who will share their perspectives on current challenges, legislative priorities, and the vision for the future. This engaging session offers a unique opportunity to gain firsthand insights into the decision-making processes that shape our communities.

    Presented Assemblywoman Aura K. Dunn, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, Senator Steven V. Oroho, Senator Paul Sarlo, with more to be announced. Co-moderated by Eric Scott and Michele N. Siekerka, Esq.
    12:50 PM
    Closing Remarks
    Presented by Michele N. Siekerka, Esq.

Our Featured Speakers

More To Be Announced!
Governor Phil D. Murphy Governor Phil D. Murphy
Philip D. Murphy took the oath of office for a second term as New Jersey’s 56th governor on January 18, 2022. He is the first Democratic governor to serve a second term in 44 years.Governor Murphy currently serves as chair of the National Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association, the first governor to lead both organizations simultaneously.Since taking office in 2018, Governor Murphy has focused on building a stronger, fairer, and more affordable New Jersey. Under his leadership, New Jersey has made strides in growing the state’s economy and creating new economic opportunity while shrinking longstanding inequities, restoring fiscal responsibility to state government while expanding critical investments, and delivering real tax fairness and relief, including 14 tax cuts for New Jersey’s middle class and seniors.Governor Murphy guided New Jersey from being the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic to a model state for following the highest level of public health standards and data-driven response, implementing among the nation’s most robust vaccination efforts and fostering a strong economic recovery. Over the course of two years, the Murphy Administration has provided billions of dollars in state and federal relief to small businesses, schools, homeowners, tenants, and landlords, and middle-class families.

Governor Murphy has put a special emphasis on making New Jersey more welcoming to both established high-tech enterprises and start-up companies in the innovation economy. In January 2021, he enacted a new set of state economic incentives, focused on promoting the growth of new small businesses and innovative startups, enacting the state’s first tax credits for historic preservation, and expanding credits for brownfields reclamation and redevelopment, among other initiatives.

Under the governor’s leadership, New Jersey has emerged as a leader in the deployment of clean energy technologies, including one of the nation’s most-aggressive proposals for the development of offshore wind. He helped break ground at both the Paulsboro Marine Terminal and the South Jersey Wind Port in Salem County, where more than 1,500 new jobs will help secure New Jersey’s place as a global leader in offshore wind component manufacturing and logistics.

The Governor has also focused on making New Jersey a leading location for film, television, and digital production, enacting a new incentive program that drew more than half-a-billion dollars in investment to New Jersey in 2021.

Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey had already emerged as a national leader on a number of nationally significant issues prior to the pandemic. He secured the dignity of working families by moving to a $15-per-hour minimum wage, guaranteeing earned sick days, and expanding paid family leave. The governor has enacted initiatives to provide a tuition-free public college education for qualified students. He has embraced policies that have driven down the cost of healthcare. He has expanded protections for the state’s immigrant and LGBTQIA+ communities. And he has enacted and proposed gun safety laws to combat gun violence and promote responsible gun ownership.

Governor Murphy has also made New Jersey a model state for social justice through fostering the state’s nascent adult-use cannabis industry, enacting among the country’s strongest automatic voter registration measures, restoring voting rights to individuals on parole or probation, expunging the records of numerous non-violent offenders, and creating the nation’s strongest provisions for environmental justice, alongside numerous other new laws. He has also put a focus on eliminating stigma and promoting a compassionate approach to tackling opioid misuse.

Career Prior to Becoming Governor

From 2009 until 2013, Governor Murphy served as the United States Ambassador to The Federal Republic of Germany, appointed by President Obama.

Governor Murphy has been deeply engaged in civic life and philanthropic pursuits. In 2002, he began his involvement with 180 Turning Lives Around, a Monmouth County women’s shelter where he ultimately served as board president from 2005 until 2009. That experience led the Governor and First Lady to found the teen helpline 2nd Floor.

Additionally, Governor Murphy was a member of the Board of Directors of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a non-profit organization which works with local community development associations to transform urban neighborhoods across the country, from 2002 until 2009.

In 2005, he chaired the New Jersey Benefits Review Task Force. He also co-chaired, with former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and the late Professor Roger Wilkins, a national task force on public education in the 21st Century for the Center for American Progress.

In 2006, he was appointed National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee by Chairman and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. During his tenure, which ran until 2009, Democrats recaptured both houses of Congress, and his efforts helped build the infrastructure that elected President Obama in 2008.

In 2014, Governor and Mrs. Murphy founded New Start New Jersey, a “think-and-do tank” dedicated to seeking new policy directions to grow New Jersey’s economy and middle class. The Murphys partnered with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University to create the New Start Career Network, which specifically helps long-term unemployed New Jerseyans over age 45 get back into the workforce.

From June 2015 until March 2017, Governor Murphy served proudly on the national Board of the NAACP.

In December 2018, Governor Murphy was named one of four honorees of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award from the nonprofit organization run by the family of the late Sen. Kennedy for his efforts to ensure social justice and equal economic opportunity. Among the other three honorees was former President Barack Obama.

Prior to entering public life, Governor Murphy worked for over twenty years at Goldman Sachs, starting as an intern in 1982 and ending in 2003 as a member of the firm’s management committee. During his business career, he led offices in Frankfurt, Germany, and Hong Kong.

Family Life

The youngest of four children of the late Walter F. Murphy, Sr. and Dorothy Murphy, Governor Murphy was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 16, 1957, and was raised in both Newton and nearby Needham, Massachusetts.

The Governor is a graduate of Needham High School, Harvard University, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has been awarded numerous honorary degrees.

Governor Murphy and his wife, Tammy Snyder Murphy, reside in Middletown, Monmouth County, and are the parents of four children: Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam.

Michele N.     Siekerka, Esq. Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. President & CEO, NJBIA

Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, leads the nation’s largest, most influential employers’ organization, advocating on behalf of New Jersey’s large and small businesses for policies that will make New Jersey more affordable and regionally competitive.

Being known as a collaborative leader, Siekerka is leading an NJBIA established coalition (New Jersey Business Coalition) comprised of more than 100 business and nonprofit associations across the state to tackle the tough economic and business challenges our state is facing during COVID 19.

Well versed on the ‘boots on the ground” issues affecting our state’s business community, Michele is often the “go to” resource for media and is sought after to share her expertise in public forums across the state.

Catherine Z. Brennan Catherine Z. Brennan Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Catherine Z. Brennan currently serves as Senior Vice President of Finance & CFO at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). In that role, Brennan provides strategic leadership, oversight, and stewardship for all aspects of NJIT’s financial resources in alignment with the university’s ambitious 2025 Vision while also ensuring affordability for NJIT’s student population. Recognized as a U.S. News & World Report Top 100 National University and an R1 (highest research activity institution) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, NJIT prepares students to be leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century.

Prior to becoming CFO, Brennan served as New Jersey’s Deputy State Treasurer for the first term of the Murphy Administration where she had direct oversight and responsibility for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Revenue and Economic Analysis (OREA) and led the Treasury team in development of the Governor’s annual State budget recommendation. She also served as fiduciary member of Treasury’s disclosure committee responsible for State’s annual financial appendix and served as the Treasurer’s designee to the board of the NJEDA as well as the State Capital Budget & Planning Commission and the State House Commission.

Earlier in her career, Brennan spent almost 25 years working on revenue, tax and finance matters for the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS). During her tenure with OLS, she served eight years as committee aide to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and later went on to serve as Chief of the Revenue, Finance and Appropriations Section. Brennan holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in Economics. A Jersey City native, Brennan currently resides in Monmouth County with her husband. She is also the proud mother of two sons ages 21 and 24.

 

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.

John D. Cromie, Esq. John D. Cromie, Esq. Partner, Chair, Corporate & Business Law, Connell Foley LLP

As chair of the Corporate and Business Law practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, John Cromie is an exceptionally experienced business lawyer. He represents entities ranging from Fortune 100 public companies to privately owned mid‑cap enterprises and startup ventures on a wide range of real estate and financing transactions. He is well-versed in the area of mergers and acquisitions, as well as in the purchase, sale, leasing and development of commercial real estate. John also has significant experience representing lenders and documenting asset-based and real estate-based commercial loans and credit facilities, and is a member of the firm’s Public Finance Group. In addition, he advises companies on Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and has substantial experience advising clients regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

John often serves as outside general counsel to his clients, working with closely held businesses in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, specialty chemical and health care. He provides a “one stop shop” for in-house legal teams, who appreciate his responsiveness, efficiency and practical approach to finding solutions to their day-to-day legal issues as well as more complex matters, such as succession planning.

In addition to his legal practice, John served three terms as a Borough Councilman in Allendale, Bergen County, New Jersey. Prior to joining the firm, he completed a clerkship with the Honorable Daniel J. O’Hern, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of New Jersey (1987-1988). He is the Immediate Past Chair of USLAW NETWORK, Inc., an attorney referral network comprised of over 6,000 attorneys in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe.

Pro Bono

  • Board of Directors – Oasis: A Haven for Women and Children
  • Holiday Observers, Inc.
  • Eva’s Village
Assemblywoman Aura K. Dunn, R-25 Assemblywoman Aura K. Dunn, R-25 Assistant Minority Whip

Aura Dunn was appointed to fill the Assembly seat vacated by now-Sen. Anthony Bucco in 2019, and a year later won the special election in the 25th Legislative District, breaking New Jersey’s history for the most votes in an (more than 64,000) Assembly race.
Budget, Commerce and Economic Development, and Women and Children Committees and appointed to the Human Relations Council and the Women’s Re-entry Commission.

She also is a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Legislative Disability Caucus. Dunn has become known as an effective legislator and problem-solver who always puts people over politics. She is a fierce defender of children and families and parental rights.
She joined the Assembly after a 25-year career in public service. She was the District Director for 12-term Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen from 2016 to 2019, a budget analyst on education policy for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee from 1997 to 2000, and a policy advisor for the House Veterans Affairs Committee. She also represented America’s Public Television Stations, Sesame Street, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood before Congress and the White House.

One of Assemblywoman Dunn’s proudest accomplishments from her time on Capitol Hill was her work on the Campus Crime Disclosure Act, better known as the Clery Act. The landmark legislation requires colleges and universities to issue on-campus crime statistics and security information.

Dunn currently serves as a board member of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation. Dunn served on the boards of Morris Habitat for Humanity and Morris County Mental Health Addictions Services. She volunteers as a JBWS-certified domestic violence crisis response team member for local police departments. Since 2010, her family has hosted a New York City child each summer through the Fresh Air Fund program.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University. Dunn also holds a certificate in Mediation. She lives in Morris County with her husband and their three children.

Dr. Benjamin Dworkin Dr. Benjamin Dworkin Founding Director, Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship

Dr. Benjamin Dworkin serves as the founding Director of the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC, pronounced: RYE-pack) at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.  He began at this position in January 2018.

With a focus on informing, engaging, and training Rowan students, faculty and the public, Dworkin is responsible for positioning the Institute at the nexus of applied politics and the issues of the day, further building on Rowan’s reputation at a leading research institution of higher education in New Jersey.

Under Dworkin’s leadership, the Institute offers programs and guest speakers focusing on both the practice of politics and citizen participation; supports students through academic and career development, internship placement and scholarships; and connects faculty and students from across the University with public entities to facilitate public policy research.

Additionally, Dworkin teaches courses in the Rowan University Department of Political Science.

As one of New Jersey’s most astute and widely quoted political analysts, he serves as a non-partisan commentator on political developments for media in New Jersey and nationally.  He has appeared on numerous network and cable news shows, and is frequently quoted by all of New Jersey’s major newspapers and radio stations, as well as The New York TimesWall Street JournalUSA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times.

Every year since 2020, Dr. Dworkin has been named one of the most influential people in higher education in New Jersey.  Previously, he was named one of the 100 most powerful unelected people in New Jersey politics (2016).

Prior to launching the Institute at Rowan, Dr. Dworkin spent 10 years as Director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University.

Dr. Dworkin earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Rutgers University.  His undergraduate degree is from Princeton University.

He lives with his wife and three daughters in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Regina M. Egea Regina M. Egea President, Garden State Initiative

Regina M. Egea is President of the Garden State Initiative (GSI), an independent research and educational organization dedicated to promoting new investment, innovation and economic growth in New Jersey. She brings diverse private and public sector leadership experience to the organization’s mission and among many honors been recognized as one of NJBIZ magazine’s Best 50 Women in Business in 2019; ROI-NJ’s Power List in 2019, 2020 and 2021; and InsiderNJ’s Top 100 Policymakers 2021.

Previously, Regina enjoyed a 30-year career at AT&T, holding leadership positions with expanding responsibility in Product Management, Network Operations, Human Resources, and Sales & Marketing. In her final year, as Senior Vice President in Global Business Marketing, she led a globally diverse workforce supporting AT&T’s business sales force to deliver on revenue goals and numerous new product introductions.

While working at AT&T, Regina was involved in her community, being elected to her hometown’s School Board of Education (2003-2007) and then to the Township Committee (2008-2012), serving as Deputy Mayor in 2010.

Regina served as Governor Chris Christie’s Chief of Staff from 2015 to 2016. She joined the Christie Administration in 2010, first as the State Treasurer’s Chief of Staff, where she was instrumental in pension reforms enacted in 2011, and then was brought into the Governor’s Office as Director of the Authorities Unit in 2012.

Regina earned an M.B.A. in Marketing from Fordham University and a B.A. from Montclair State University. Regina previously completed the International Executive Program at the International Institute for Management in Lausanne, Switzerland and more recently completed Harvard University’s Women on Boards program in 2018.

She and her husband, Emilio, have two grown children.

Chris Emigholz Chris Emigholz Chief Government Affairs Officer, NJBIA

As Chief Government Affairs Officer for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association Christopher focuses on taxation, budget, economic development and workforce development. NJBIA is the largest and most impactful business association in the nation.

Prior to his current job, Emigholz worked in state government for a decade. He was the Budget Director for the State Senate Republican Office for 8 years overseeing economic, fiscal and education policy, and he also 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 a community liaison/volunteer coordinator for an elementary school in Baltimore City through the AmeriCorps-VISTA program.

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 serving on the school board to which he was elected.

Althea Ford Althea Ford Vice President of Government Affairs, NJBIA

Ford, who previously served as director of government relations for the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association (NJSFDA), brings valuable experience as a skilled researcher, legislative policy analyst and public speaker to her new role at NJBIA.

“Althea is well-respected by the business community, and the balanced, experienced and thoughtful approach she brings to advocating for New Jersey businesses will be a great asset as we expand the NJBIA Government Affairs team,” Siekerka said.

The NJBIA Government Affairs team also includes Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz, Deputy Chief Government Affairs Officer Ray Cantor, Vice President of Government Affairs Alexis Bailey, and Director of Economic Policy Research Kyle Sullender.

A New Jersey native and Edison resident, Ford began working for the not-for-profit trade organization NJSFDA in 2012 as a government and external relations representative before her promotion to director of government relations in 2018.

Prior to joining NJSFDA, Ford worked in higher education administration at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City.

Before moving back to New Jersey, Ford was an executive assistant to Tennessee State Senate Speaker Pro Tem Rosalind Kurita, managing two legislative and district offices.

Ford is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned her master’s degree in politics and education from the Teachers College at Columbia University in 2010. She completed the New Leaders Council–New Jersey (NLC-NJ) Fellowship Program in 2012 and served on its executive board.

Elissa Frank Elissa Frank Vice President of Government Affairs, NJBIA

Elissa Frank, previously served as the New Jersey State Director of the Humane Society of the United States, will lead NJBIA’s Government Affairs team on labor and other issues.

In addition to her valuable experience at HSUS-New Jersey, Frank, a Morris Plains resident, worked as an associate and law clerk at the Hackensack-based firm of Kates Nussman Ellis Farhi & Earle from 2019 through 2021.

Frank also previously worked as a research assistant and law clerk at Rutgers Law School and Sills Cummis & Gross, respectively, in addition to serving as the director of Legislative Affairs for Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (District 15) from 2016-2018.

Frank is a 2021 graduate of Rutgers Law School in Newark, where she also was the editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Law Record.

Jeanette Hoffman Jeanette Hoffman President, Marathon Public Affairs, LLC

Jeanette Hoffman is an experienced public affairs consultant and media spokesperson specializing in strategic messaging, marketing, crisis communications and public affairs campaigns. As president of a public affairs firm that services a broad range of corporate and non-profit clients, she has over two decades of experience in issues advocacy, campaigns, politics, policy, and state government. Hoffman is also a media commentator who can be seen on national television and radio stations discussing politics and public policy.

Jeanette was awarded the Carol Murphy Award by Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, and she’s been named to ROI-NJ’s Top Women in Business and their Power List for Government and Public Affairs, as well as NJBIZ’s prestigious Forty Under 40 list. Since 2012, Democratic State Senator Loretta Weinberg has consistently featured Jeanette on her New Jersey Women of Power List. She’s also been named one of the Right Women to Watch and one of PolitickerNJ’s top political operatives several times.

Jeanette has served as a senior vice president at one of the state’s top ten lobbying firms and Vice President of the Commerce Industry Association of New Jersey, representing more than 900 businesses. A former Executive Director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, Hoffman was the Party’s primary media spokesperson throughout several campaign cycles. Jeanette began her career in state government working for Governor Christine Todd Whitman, and later worked for Assembly Speaker Jack Collins and Congressman Bob Franks.

A media commentator in high demand, Jeanette can be seen and heard discussing politics and public policy on many New Jersey and national television and radio stations. She is regularly featured as a political strategist and pundit for major media outlets. Consistently, Jeanette is a featured commentator for several news organizations during major events, including network election night coverage.

A proud graduate of The College of New Jersey, Jeanette previously served on the College’s Alumni Executive Board. She currently sits on the Boards of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey and the Jersey Shore Partnership and volunteers in her local community as a Commissioner of the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority. She is also active with the Count Basie Center for the Arts and is an avid marathon runner. Jeanette resides in Monmouth County, New Jersey with her husband and four children.

Mark Magyar Mark Magyar Director, The Steve Sweeney Center for Public Policy

A veteran public policy analyst, journalist, and academic, Mark Magyar served as deputy executive director of the New Jersey Senate Majority Office before moving to Rowan as interim director of the Sweeney Center for Public Policy in February, 2022. He served as a senior policy adviser to Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney, Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman and the independent gubernatorial campaign of Chris Daggett.

Magyar will be working collaboratively with faculty at the College of Humanities & Social Sciences and other researchers throughout the University. He will be teaching an undergraduate course in State and Local Government in the fall and a graduate course in Public Finance in the new master’s in Public Policy program in the spring.

During his seven years as Sweeney’s policy director, Magyar developed and negotiated landmark legislation overhauling the state’s school funding formula to tie aid to actual enrollment and revamping the state statutes to encourage K-12 and countywide school regionalization. He served as the Senate’s lead pension expert, developing policies that helped the state reach full actuarially required funding in 2021 for the first time in 20 years. He worked across the aisle to achieve a bipartisan renewal of the Transportation Trust Fund and headed the New Jersey team that negotiated bistate legislation requiring New York State to pay half the cost of the Gateway Tunnel project. He staffed the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup that developed the “Path to Progress” report, the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, and the Weinberg Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Discrimination in NJ Politics.

Magyar taught Labor Studies at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations, where he earned his master’s degree in Labor & Industrial Relations. He headed the New Jersey public policy center that published New Jersey Reporter magazine, and served as Editor-at-Large for New Jersey Spotlight a and as a Statehouse correspondent for the Bergen Record, the Asbury Park Press and theDaily Register (Monmouth County).

He was named the No. 1 policy expert in the state on InsiderNJ.com’s List of Top 100 NJ Policymakers in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He won the Garden State News Association’s “Hildy Johnson Award” as New Jersey’s top journalist for 2013 and 2014. His also won awards from the American Society for Public Administration’s New Jersey chapter, the NJ Developmental Disabilities Council, the NJ Mental Health Consumers Association, the Campaign to End Discrimination, the NJ Press Association and the NJ Society of Professional Journalists.

 

Rebecca O’Connell Rebecca O’Connell Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Banking, Citizens

Rebecca O’Connell is the Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Banking for the NYC Metro Region at Citizens, encompassing NYC and the surrounding boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, Northern NJ and Southern CT. In her role, Rebecca is responsible for leading the strategic direction of Corporate Banking, inclusive of client relationships, community engagement and continued market expansion.

Additionally, Rebecca holds the role of Regional President for NYC Metro, serving as the senior executive representing Citizens holistically across our local communities and she helps drive engagement with our community partnerships that are aligned with Citizen’s credo.

Rebecca held previous roles at JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. She currently sits on the board of Moxxie Mentoring Foundation in Long Island, and she sits as a founding board member for the Saint Anthony’s High School Business and Entrepreneurial Center in Huntington, NY. She is also aligned in partnership with the Food Bank for New York City.

Steven V. Oroho Steven V. Oroho Retired Senate Republican Leader

Senator Steve Oroho served five terms in the New Jersey State Senate. He represented the twenty-fourth legislative district in the northwestern part of the state.

Before entry into public office, Senator Oroho had extensive professional experience in the finance departments of top New York City firms including work for Price Waterhouse, W.R. Grace and Company, as well as Young and Rubicam where he held the position of Senior Vice President of Finance. Senator Oroho is presently a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and he is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Senator Oroho first ran for public office in 2001 winning a seat on the Franklin Borough Council. He moved up to the Sussex County Freeholder Board in 2005 upon his successful election and served one term before winning election to the State Senate in 2007.

In the State Senate, Senator Oroho served on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Senate Higher Education Committee, the Senate Economic Growth Committee and the Senate Environment Committee. Senator Oroho was also a founding member of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, as well as the Red Tape Review Commission. He also served as the Senate Republican Leader.

In the State Legislature, Senator Oroho took a particular interest in budgetary and economic development issues. He helped craft, in a bipartisan fashion, most every major tax reform issue enacted in New Jersey over the past decade. His contributions in this particular area earned him numerous awards and citations from the business community at-large and many other organizations.

Senator Oroho is married, and the father of five children and ten grandchildren. He resides in Franklin Borough, Sussex County.

Paul L. Troast Award – Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, D-29 Paul L. Troast Award – Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, D-29 Assembly Budget Chair

Eliana Pintor Marin was born in Newark to Portuguese immigrant parents and grew up in the city’s historic East Ward. She attended Academy of St. Benedict for grammar school and graduated from Mother Seton Regional High School. She went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. John’s University in New York. She received certificate in both Public Administration and International Relations.

Assemblywoman Pintor Marin began her professional career working for a Brazilian Investment Bank (Banco Votorantim Securities) in New York City. She then left to start working at the County of Essex for the County Clerk’s Office. She is now Deputy County Administrator for the County of Essex.

She first joined the Assembly as a representative of the 29th Legislative District in 2013 and was re-elected to her fourth term in November of 2021. As an Assemblywoman, she has held several leadership positions, including her present roles as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Co-Chair of Joint Budget Oversight committee, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee.

As the Budget Chair, Assemblywoman Pintor Marin plays a critical role in the discussions between the Legislature and the Governor involving the New Jersey State Budget which ranges around $50 billion. Her most important role, however, is as a champion for the working families of her district. She has worked closely with her fellow lawmakers on crucial measures to restore state funding for family planning centers, ensure equal pay for women, and supporting female, minority, and veteran owned small businesses. Each is now law.
She also sponsored bills that would prohibit public utilities from terminating service to customers using life-saving equipment, establish a task force on campus sexual assault, and provide rental and lease protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Further, as a leader in efforts to address water quality in Newark, she sponsored several important pieces of legislation, including a law requiring the establishment of lead reporting systems in schools and child care centers, and another authorizing special assessments and bond issuance to replace lead-contaminated water service lines.

Assemblywoman Pintor Marin has also been a driving force behind efforts to bring economic redevelopment to urban centers like Newark. Early in her Assembly career, she co-sponsored a law that allows municipal redevelopers to receive tax credits under Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant program for certain mixed use parking projects. More recently, she sponsored the critically important reinstatement and extension of the Urban Enterprise Zone program. Working closely with various real estate investors, developers, and communities, the “New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020″ was created as a collaborative piece of legislation establishing further grant funding for redevelopment and growth projects. Now law, it is an administration of programs and policies related to jobs, property development, food deserts, community partnerships, small and early stage businesses, State procurement, wind energy, and film production.

The Assemblywoman is a proud parent and a vigorous advocate for women and families. She has sponsored numerous bills to aid mothers and their children, including legislation that would provide a sales tax exemption for breast pumps, extend postpartum coverage for many women under Medicaid, require certain public facilities to provide on-site lactation rooms, and provide Medicaid coverage for Doula care. In addition, she has sponsored several bills providing access and funding for baby boxes to prevent infant mortality, as well as information and educational resources on safe sleeping.

Education is also a life-long priority for Assemblywoman Pintor Marin. From 2008 to 2014, she served on the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board, including a term as Chair. In the Assembly, she sponsored laws that ensure all teachers in New Jersey are familiar with the needs of students with disabilities, that require the teaching of financial literacy, and that expand eligibility for summer meal programs for hungry children.

Assemblywoman Pintor Marin is extremely dedicated to her community. She has volunteered as a district leader, helped in different capacities at the various Portuguese cultural clubs, and was the Director of the Luis Camoes Portuguese School. However, the role that she is the proudest to serve is that of a Mother. The Assemblywoman married Anthony Marin in May of 2010 and they have three beautiful daughters: Amelia Maria, Aveline Mia, and Ariella Mila.

Jay Redd Jay Redd Managing Director, Stono Public Affairs

Jason Redd has a wealth of strategic public affairs experience and is well versed on a range of policy issues targeting political, governmental, and legal affairs. Having spent the past decade serving in roles at the highest levels of New Jersey government and lobbying on behalf of a broad client base, he possesses a unique combination of internal knowledge and external experience that is critical to the successful management of a challenging roster of clients, from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to the Reform Alliance. He has provided strategic guidance to multinational life-science companies and innovative social-enterprising nonprofits. To quote one of his colleagues, “He is on a first-name basis with the movers and shakers of New Jersey—people answer his call.”

Mr. Redd believes in the value of connection, focusing on impactful results while leveraging his charismatic and energetic networking skills. His longstanding relationships within government, insights into the legislative and executive processes, and deep understanding of the regulatory issues faced by businesses in the current economy enhance the services he provides.

Mr. Redd has been widely recognized for his notable achievements in government affairs. He was a 2016vrecipient of The Network Journal’s 40 Under Forty Achievement Award and has been named to the New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars and New Jersey Law Journal “New Leaders of the Bar” lists. In 2014, Mr. Redd was honored with a Young Alum Award by the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, where he serves as an adjunct professor of public policy.

Committed to giving back to the institutions of higher education that prepared him to execute successfully, Mr. Redd serves on the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy Dean’s Advisory Board and on the Alumni Board at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.

Mr. Redd is involved extensively in pro bono work and community service, including work on domestic violence and mental illness, and is a former president of the Trenton Board of Education.

R. David Rousseau R. David Rousseau Former State Treasurer

David Rousseau served as state treasurer in the administration of Governor Jon Corzine, capping off a nearly 28 year career in New Jersey state government.

David began his career with a five-year stint working for the Election Law Enforcement Commission before becoming the Director of Budget and Fiscal Analysis for the New Jersey Senate in 1987.

After 15 years working in the legislative branch, Rousseau moved to the executive side in 2002, becoming deputy state treasurer under Governor Jim McGreevey and Governor Richard Codey. He returned to the Senate in 2006, spending eight months as a Senior Policy Advisor to Senate President Richard Codey, before once again moving to Treasury to serve as Senior Budget and Fiscal Policy Advisor to Governor Corzine. He became Corzine’s Treasurer a year and a half later and served in that position until the end of the Administration in January, 2010.

Over the course of his state government career, Rousseau closely interacted with seven New Jersey governors and their administrations: Tom Kean, Jim Florio, Christine Todd Whitman, Don DiFrancesco, Jim McGreevey, Richard Codey, and Jon Corzine.
Since leaving state government, David has been a budget and finance consultant for the City of Trenton and a budget and tax analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective.

Currently David serves as Vice President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey which represents the fourteen non-profit independent colleges and universities in New Jersey.

David is a life-time Mercer County resident and has resided in Hamilton Twp since 1987.

David received his BA from Temple University in May 1982 and his MBA from Rider University in December 1993.

Senator Paul A. Sarlo, D-36 Senator Paul A. Sarlo, D-36 Deputy Majority Leader

Paul A. Sarlo is the Deputy Majority Leader of the New Jersey Senate. He serves as chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Higher Education Committee, the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, and the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. He is a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Labor Committee.

He has also sponsored bills which reformed New Jersey’s worker’s compensation system, criminalized the illegal trafficking and distribution of prescription drugs, required schools to adopt bullying prevention policies and upgraded penalties for identity theft.

Mr. Sarlo’s career in public service spans more than two decades. He has served as Mayor of the Borough of Wood-Ridge since 2000 and served on its Borough Council from 1995-2000. In 2001, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, a position he held until May 2003 when he was sworn in to the New Jersey Senate to fill an unexpired term. He was elected to a full term in the New Jersey Senate in November 2003 and was re-elected in 2007, 2011, and 2013. Mr. Sarlo represents the 36th legislative district, which includes 15 municipalities in Bergen and Passaic Counties.

Eric Scott Eric Scott VP NJ101.5 News & Digital Operations, NJ 101.5/Townsquare Media

I’ve been a broadcaster and creator of content since I was 14, but there has never been a more exciting time for our industry. In digital and social media spaces we are able to break through the boundaries of over-the-air broadcast signals, and extend into markets that were previously unreachable.

As the Senior Political Director for New Jersey 101.5, I help you understand the complicated world of New Jersey politics. With almost 30 years of covering the state’s political scene, I offer insight and perspective and help you understand what it all means for you and your family.

You can hear me on-air as I deliver the morning news broadcasts on the Bill Spadea show. I also produce and host our Town Hall series of programs that explore critical issues facing the residents of New Jersey.

I am honored to have received three Edward R. Murrow awards for my broadcasts.

Kyle Sullender Kyle Sullender Director of Economic Policy Research, NJBIA & Executive Director, Focus NJ

Kyle Sullender is Director of Economic Policy Research for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation’s largest state-level business association whose member companies collectively employ 1 million people.

Sullender also serves as the Executive Director of Focus NJ, an independent research nonprofit conducting timely, innovative, nonpartisan economic and workforce research to support sound public policy in New Jersey.

Prior to joining NJBIA, Sullender supported the Camden County Board of Commissioners, coordinating external affairs and media relations. Sullender earned his Master of Public Policy in 2019 from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. He also graduated summa cum laude from Rowan University in 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and philosophy.

Sullender was a Class of 2019 Graduate Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, and is an active member of the Eagleton Alumni Committee.

Alex Zdan Alex Zdan Former Political Journalist, News 12 New Jersey

Alex Zdan is an award winning political and investigative reporter who has brought his journalistic talents to both newspapers and television.He started as a police reporter for the Times of Trenton newspaper and advanced into investigative reporting, winning several awards for exposing corruption inside Trenton City Hall.He then embarked on a television career with the experimental nightly news show “Chasing News,” which aired on Fox affiliates in NYC, Philadelphia, and across NJ. Zdan’s investigative reporting revealed more corruption leading back to Trenton. He also covered Gov. Chris Christie, the 2016 New Hampshire primary, and both 2016 political conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia.Following Chasing, he moved over to News 12 New Jersey and quickly established himself as the state’s go-to television political journalist. His incisive and sometimes contentious interviews during four years anchoring the weekly show “Power & Politics” became a trial by fire for elected officials, candidates, and political figures. During the pandemic, he frequently grilled Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials at regular coronavirus briefings. He was the station’s lead election night reporter from 2019 through 2022, and reported from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.Currently, Zdan works with the Organized Crime and Corruption Project, continuing his passion for investigative reporting and storytelling.

Our Award Winners

Candy Straight Woman Trailblazer Award – Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver Candy Straight Woman Trailblazer Award – Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver (In Memoriam)

Born to the late Charles Oliver and Jennie Oliver, Sheila Y. Oliver served as New Jersey’s 2nd Lieutenant Governor from January 16, 2018, until her passing on August 1, 2023.

A self-described “Jersey Girl,” born and raised in an ethnically diverse Newark neighborhood Lieutenant Governor Oliver was inspired as a young girl to be a fighter for the voiceless when her eyes were opened to societal injustices and inequities around her, often citing “A Tale of Two Cities” as her youth awakening. She pioneered a successful career in public service advocating for social justice, women’s equality, and education, ultimately in 2017 becoming the first woman of color to serve in a statewide elected office in New Jersey history. In 2021, Lt. Governor Oliver was reelected to serve a second term in office.

In addition to her role as Lieutenant Governor, she served as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, where she led efforts to strengthen and expand initiatives for fair and affordable housing, community revitalization, homelessness prevention, and local government services that support New Jersey’s 564 municipalities.

Under her leadership, the Department also expanded and leveraged a wide range of initiatives aimed at assisting distressed municipalities, including the federal Opportunity Zones tax incentive, the Main Street New Jersey program, the Neighborhood Preservation Program, the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, and the Urban Enterprise Zone Program, which was renewed by legislation she signed in 2021.

In her role as Acting Governor, she signed multiple bills into law, including those that established a Caregiver Task Force to identify ways to support people taking care of loved ones who are elderly or disabled, require all public school students in grades 6-8 to receive financial literacy education, strengthen equal pay for equal work by preventing employers from asking employees’ previous salary history, and protect employees from wage theft. She also signed into law legislation that established a Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youths and Communities Pilot Program within the Juvenile Justice Commission to help divert youth from entering and
re-entering the juvenile justice system.

Across her career, Lieutenant Governor Oliver worked in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, and has taught numerous college courses. She has served as a member of both the East Orange Board of Education and the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

In 2003, she was elected to serve the 34th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly.

A trailblazer in every sense of the word, in 2010 she became the first African American woman in state history to serve as Assembly Speaker, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house.

A proud alumna of the Newark public school system, Lieutenant Governor Oliver graduated cum laude from Lincoln University, and received her Master of Science Degree in Community Organization, Planning and Administration from Columbia University. She has received honorary doctorates of humane letters from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Lincoln University, Montclair University, Stockton University and Berkeley and Essex County Colleges.

She was a proud 40-plus-year resident of East Orange where she treasured her time with her 95-year-old mother, who always encouraged her to be a critical thinker while fostering her passion for helping people through effective public policy.

Leonard C. Johnson Award – Joseph Divis Leonard C. Johnson Award – Joseph Divis Retired State President, AT&T New Jersey

Experienced executive and business leader with a demonstrated record of success in the telecommunications industry, in the corridors of government, with the media and in civic affairs. Skilled in Telecom Policy, Public Affairs, Legislation, Politics, Civic Leadership and Community Relations. Volunteer engagement and leadership in education, tech and diverse communities.

Leonard C. Johnson Award – John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM Leonard C. Johnson Award – John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM Founder, President & CEO, AACCNJ

John E. Harmon, Sr. IOM has served as the Founder, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ), since 2007. In this role he has the responsibility of establishing, implementing and executing the mission, as well as the fiduciary oversight and governance of AACCNJ in accordance with its Bylaws. In addition, he works to identify strategic partnerships in both the public and private sector to connect AACCNJ members and supporters to resources and opportunities to grow and sustain their goals and objectives. Moreover, Harmon serves as an advocate on behalf of the 1.1 million African American residents and the over 70,000 black owned businesses statewide to ensure that policy at the municipal, county, and federal level provides fairness, equity and access to a level playing field in the market place.

Harmon is the former President and CEO of the Metropolitan Trenton African American Chamber of Commerce (MTAACC). Under his guidance, MTAACC grew its membership substantially, forged alliances with business associations/organizations and government, and forged strategic partnerships in the public and private sectors to benefit African American businesses throughout New Jersey.

John Harmon is a Board Member and the Former Chairman of the Board for the National Black Chamber of Commerce; there are 150 Affiliate Chapters of the NBCC and over fifteen international affiliates. Harmon was recently appointed to the US Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Economic Community Advisory Council (ECAC), Investors Bank Board of Directors, Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Directors. Harmon is also a Board Member of Digital Place Based Advertising Association, and is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is the Founder and Chairman of the New York State Black Chamber of Commerce (NYSBCC). Additionally, Mr. Harmon is a Board member of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce (NJCC), New Jersey BPU, Supplier Diversity Development Council (SDDC), Opportunity New Jersey, Chairman of Crime Stoppers of Greater Trenton and a former Board Member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), First Book, Minding Our Business (MOB), a youth entrepreneurial initiative in affiliation with Rider University.

Harmon was recently acknowledged by Return on Information-New Jersey (ROI), as the Number 1 Person of Color in New Jersey. Harmon was also acknowledged in South Jersey Journal’s list of the “Twenty-five Most Influential African Americans in New Jersey”, for the third consecutive year. Harmon was selected for ROI-NJ “2018 Power List of Influencers. Harmon is also recognized as a Center of Influence (COI) for the United States Army and was recently selected as a participant in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) hosted by the Secretary of Defense. The JCOC program is the oldest and most prestigious public liaison program in the Department of Defense. Harmon was selected as one of 40 individuals (out of 230 applicants) to attend JCOC18. In addition, Harmon was the only attendee from the State of New Jersey. Harmon was recently selected to NJBIZ2018 Power 10. The criteria for selection to the Power 100 were: Identify the people impacting business in New Jersey in a positive way whose primary mission is to foster growth in the state. Harmon was the first individual selected as a member of the host committee for NFL Super Bowl XLVII held in New Jersey 2014.

Mr. Harmon holds an associate degree in Business Administration from Mercer County Community College and Burlington County College, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1983. Mr. Harmon also successfully completed a one-year Fellowship on Regionalism and Sustainability sponsored by The Ford Foundation and completed the Minority Business Management Seminar at the University of Wisconsin Madison, in 2009. Additionally, Mr. Harmon completed a four-year Chamber Executive Management Program, at Villanova University, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in 2014. Harmon was conferred with an honorary Associates Degree in Business Administration from Rowan College Burlington County, in 2014. Harmon was awarded a honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), honoris causa, from Fairleigh Dickinson University in May of 2022.

Prior to his twenty three year career as a chamber executive, Mr. Harmon was previously employed at The Bowery Savings Bank in New York City where he managed the bank’s Residential Real Estate Department overlooking major mortgage loan transactions; and at Chemical Bank where he managed third party loan originations for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. While working at Chemical Bank, Mr. Harmon established The Affordable Housing Loan Program. Following his banking career, Mr. Harmon founded a transportation company in 1989, called Harmon Transfer, Corp. The company transported dry goods, perishable commodities, and produce throughout the Northeast United States and Canada. Mr. Harmon has three sons, John Jr., Joshua, and Justin.

Paul L. Troast Award – John J. Ficara, CPA Paul L. Troast Award – John J. Ficara, CPA Former Director & Now Policy Advisor, New Jersey Division of Taxation

Tax Attorney / CPA with strong analytical skills and well developed interpersonal, communication and leadership skills, has interacted with hundreds of internal business group representatives, external business partners and advisors, and governmental agencies. Responsibility for tax optimization on projects has resulted in dollar tax savings aggregating hundreds of millions. Licensed Certified Public Accountant and Attorney at Law (NJ & NY).

Specialties: Leading Fed’l & State legislative/regulatory monitoring and advocacy efforts; global tax planning, including effective tax rate reduction; tax representation on transactional projects, including acquisitions & divestitures; management of IRS audits; coordination of Intercompany Transfer Pricing; primary tax liaison to senior corporate management and business group leaders; financial statement tax provision analysis and preparation of support for tax reserves; SOX compliance implementation testing.

Paul L. Troast Award – Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, D-29 Paul L. Troast Award – Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, D-29 Assembly Budget Chair

Eliana Pintor Marin was born in Newark to Portuguese immigrant parents and grew up in the city’s historic East Ward. She attended Academy of St. Benedict for grammar school and graduated from Mother Seton Regional High School. She went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. John’s University in New York. She received certificate in both Public Administration and International Relations.

Assemblywoman Pintor Marin began her professional career working for a Brazilian Investment Bank (Banco Votorantim Securities) in New York City. She then left to start working at the County of Essex for the County Clerk’s Office. She is now Deputy County Administrator for the County of Essex.

She first joined the Assembly as a representative of the 29th Legislative District in 2013 and was re-elected to her fourth term in November of 2021. As an Assemblywoman, she has held several leadership positions, including her present roles as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Co-Chair of Joint Budget Oversight committee, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee.

As the Budget Chair, Assemblywoman Pintor Marin plays a critical role in the discussions between the Legislature and the Governor involving the New Jersey State Budget which ranges around $50 billion. Her most important role, however, is as a champion for the working families of her district. She has worked closely with her fellow lawmakers on crucial measures to restore state funding for family planning centers, ensure equal pay for women, and supporting female, minority, and veteran owned small businesses. Each is now law.
She also sponsored bills that would prohibit public utilities from terminating service to customers using life-saving equipment, establish a task force on campus sexual assault, and provide rental and lease protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Further, as a leader in efforts to address water quality in Newark, she sponsored several important pieces of legislation, including a law requiring the establishment of lead reporting systems in schools and child care centers, and another authorizing special assessments and bond issuance to replace lead-contaminated water service lines.

Assemblywoman Pintor Marin has also been a driving force behind efforts to bring economic redevelopment to urban centers like Newark. Early in her Assembly career, she co-sponsored a law that allows municipal redevelopers to receive tax credits under Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant program for certain mixed use parking projects. More recently, she sponsored the critically important reinstatement and extension of the Urban Enterprise Zone program. Working closely with various real estate investors, developers, and communities, the “New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020″ was created as a collaborative piece of legislation establishing further grant funding for redevelopment and growth projects. Now law, it is an administration of programs and policies related to jobs, property development, food deserts, community partnerships, small and early stage businesses, State procurement, wind energy, and film production.

The Assemblywoman is a proud parent and a vigorous advocate for women and families. She has sponsored numerous bills to aid mothers and their children, including legislation that would provide a sales tax exemption for breast pumps, extend postpartum coverage for many women under Medicaid, require certain public facilities to provide on-site lactation rooms, and provide Medicaid coverage for Doula care. In addition, she has sponsored several bills providing access and funding for baby boxes to prevent infant mortality, as well as information and educational resources on safe sleeping.

Education is also a life-long priority for Assemblywoman Pintor Marin. From 2008 to 2014, she served on the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board, including a term as Chair. In the Assembly, she sponsored laws that ensure all teachers in New Jersey are familiar with the needs of students with disabilities, that require the teaching of financial literacy, and that expand eligibility for summer meal programs for hungry children.

Assemblywoman Pintor Marin is extremely dedicated to her community. She has volunteered as a district leader, helped in different capacities at the various Portuguese cultural clubs, and was the Director of the Luis Camoes Portuguese School. However, the role that she is the proudest to serve is that of a Mother. The Assemblywoman married Anthony Marin in May of 2010 and they have three beautiful daughters: Amelia Maria, Aveline Mia, and Ariella Mila.

Paul L. Troast Award – Senator Steven V. Oroho, R-24 Paul L. Troast Award – Senator Steven V. Oroho, R-24 Senate Minority Leader

Senator Steve Oroho is currently serving his fifth and final term in the New Jersey State Senate. He represents the 24th Legislative District in the northwestern part of the state which comprises all of Sussex County, and parts of northern Warren and Morris Counties.

Before entry into public office, Senator Oroho had extensive professional experience in the finance departments of top New York City firms including work for Price Waterhouse, W.R. Grace and Company, as well as Young and Rubicam where he held the position of Senior Vice President of Finance. Senator Oroho is presently a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with Nisivoccia Wealth Advisors and a licensed certified public accountant.

Senator Oroho first ran for public office in 2001 winning a seat on the Franklin Borough Council. He moved up to the Sussex County Freeholder Board in 2005 upon his successful election and served one term before winning election to the State Senate in 2007, and has been re-elected four times.

In the State Senate, Senator Oroho has served as his Caucus’ Minority Leader and presently sits on three committees: the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee as well as the Senate Higher Education Committee. He also is a member of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus. In the State Legislature, Senator Oroho takes a particular interest in budgetary and economic development issues.

Senator Oroho is married, and the father of five children and ten grandchildren. He resides in Franklin Borough, Sussex County.

Leonard C. Johnson Award – John J. Sarno, Esq. Leonard C. Johnson Award – John J. Sarno, Esq. President, Employers Association of New Jersey

John J. Sarno specializes in employment and labor law. He has litigated cases in state and federal courts, including wrongful termination and retaliatory discharge. He regularly counsels management on proactive policies and practices to maintain positive employee relations and advises member companies in many areas of employment law, including ADA, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, drug and alcohol testing and employment discrimination. He publishes extensively on labor and employment law and regularly teaches HR law. As president of EANJ, John provides executive, strategic and thought leadership.

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