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GROWING BY DESIGN: P.K. Architecture THE BAYADA WAY: Founder of private FOCUS ON … WOMEN IN BUSINESS: Making
founder is living his dream. Page 4 nursing company gifts $20M to his workers. Page 10 waves in distinctive endeavors. Page 35

Confusion
over
cannabis
Marijuana legislation
leads to even more
questions than answers
BY ANJALEE KHEMLANI

Influencers
akhemlani@roi-nj.com

A package of bills to help legalize
recreational marijuana and expand medical
PEOPLE of COLOR 2018 use, which passed a joint Senate and
Assembly committee last week, has done
SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION little to provide clarity for those awaiting the
STARTS ON PAGE 15 opportunity to apply for a license.
While the bills are considered a concrete
step in the right direction, attorneys still have
many questions and concerns. And they
have found the bill — though thorough —
very complex.
“Even the lawyers are somewhat
scrambling to get a hold of what exactly the
moving target is,” Michael McQueeny, an
associate in the Cannabis Practice at Genova
Burns, said.
The New Jersey Bar Association held a
meeting last Tuesday to recap the legislative
action, and some attorneys are still waiting
to see what happens to the bills in the near
future. But, in the meantime, McQueeny
said, the marketplace appears to be poised to
take responsible action.
“We had the most competitive application
process in this country for licensure on the
medical front,” McQueeny said.
During the application process for the
additional six medical marijuana dispensaries
being sought by the Department of Health,
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THIRD POINT
EDITORIAL

EDITOR 4 FROM will grow
board,

REACH DEAL ON
Tom Bergeron
tbergeron@roi-nj.com
@tombergeron5 N.J. MAKE adding two
members
MANAGING EDITOR

Anjalee Khemlani
50 MOST BOARD MEMBERS, approved

COMPANY’S FUTURE
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UNDERRATED
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COLLEGES
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Eric Strauss
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IN KEARNY
@acerimrat On Business Insider’s list: Seton Hall
(No. 41), Rutgers-Newark (No. 38),
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TO BE REDEVELOPED
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CONTENT EDITOR
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and NJIT (No. 9).
Emily Bader
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@emilybader into multifamily property following sale, C&W says.

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Brett Johnson
UPCOMING EVENTS PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

12/08/18
bjohnson@roi-nj.com
MOONSUN PARK PATRICK KENNEDY
@reporterbrett
Sharp Electronics Corp. Former congressman
ART DIRECTOR
Statewide Hispanic Chamber Park, who has been with Kennedy, who has struggled
Robert F. Russo
rrusso@roi-nj.com of Commerce of New Jersey’s Sharp for 20 with addiction,
annual gala years, was argued against
BUSINESS
named the the marijuana
OPERATIONS What: Celebrate a year of success
Montvale- legalization
COO/CMO and recognizing Hispanic
based bills voted
David Chmiel leadership in New Jersey.
electronics on by a joint
dchmiel@roi-nj.com When: Saturday, Dec. 8, manufacturer’s legislative
@dgchmiel
6:00–11:30 p.m. chief financial officer. She committee last week. His
DIRECTOR, EVENTS
AND MARKETING
Where: The Legacy Castle, 141 will oversee all financial pleas fell on deaf ears, as
Elena Parks
Route 23 S., Pompton Plains functions, including the package of bills passed.
eparks@roi-nj.com More info: shccnj.org, accounting, reporting, They also drew scorn at
201-935-0035 treasury and more. the hearing, on NJ.com and
MARKETING
or chamber@shccnj.org elsewhere.
ASSOCIATE

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Editor’s Desk

HIRING AUTISTIC ADULTS
My son is autistic. He also has a job. Here’s why utilizing this untapped market of employees can help economy

T
he first words after the job interview often were the Microsoft, SAP and IBM all have started programs able to answer the phone, but they could do everything else.”
hardest. looking to hire workers on the spectrum. Sanders works with the potential hires, too, making sure
“They said they were reviewing all of the candidates In New Jersey and elsewhere, Project Search is they are ready for the workplace and what will be involved.
and they would get back to me in a week,” my 21-year-old son working with many hospitals in the state to hire those with And, in each situation, he stresses the positive.
would say confidently as he climbed back in the car. development disorders — often beyond the scope of ASD. “I like to call the ASD community individuals with
He was proud that he handled the interview all on his And state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, exceptionalities,” he said “I don’t like the word disability,
own and that I waited in the car. in a recent op-ed, said Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration I think it just puts a negative spin on things. I like to
I offered the usual words of supports the efforts to make the workplace more inclusive. say exceptional individuals, because our population are
encouragement, while also knowing the “Our approach to disability employment issues is simple: extremely exceptional people. They may lack one area, but
truth: They weren’t going to call back. Everyone deserves choice,” he wrote. “Everyone deserves they are very strong in another.”
This was the type of place that hires opportunity. Our approach is rooted in the belief that, while Sanders said the support members around someone in
just about anyone on the spot. many people have special needs, all people — each and the ASD community can play a role in the process, too.
Anyone who isn’t autistic, that is. every one of us — have special gifts, and we all deserve the “If you know they would be interested in a job stocking
 chance to realize our potential.” shelves in a grocery store, start by stocking the groceries or
In a time when companies are From some, it’s a part of an inclusionary hiring practice organizing things around the house,” he said. “Those skills
begging for employees — willingly paying well above to diversify the staff. And, while that sentiment is nice, the and tasks can align with gainful employment in the future.
minimum wage for starter jobs and then bending over reality is, it only goes so far. “What we try to do is use the vocational skills that are
backward to do anything to keep them — only one segment Society needs it to get better. participants have and align them with jobs later.”
of the population still is woefully underemployed. For starters, there is a That’s at the heart of what Eden Autism Services does.
People classified with ASD, or autism growing shortage of workers “We are preparing a person for employment,” Sanders
spectrum disorder. (or people willing to work; said. “It’s one thing to put a job application out there, but it’s
It’s not necessarily the fault don’t get me started) and another thing to teach them how to secure a job and prepare
of employers (don’t misinterpret a growing number of them specifically for a job that’s needed.”
the point of this column). If you members in the ASD 
are not familiar with the habits community (one estimate My son is more high-functioning than others on the
or idiosyncrasies of someone on says it is now 1.5 spectrum.
the spectrum (that’s another way percent of the overall He is on track to earn his associate degree next spring. It
to say they are quirky), you may not population). will take him three years — but, after the struggle that was
understand what they have to offer. The business high school, an endless line of special ed schools mixed with
And you may not be comfortable community needs to a strong component of school refusal — my wife and I are
interviewing them. find more placement thrilled. Just keep making progress, we say.
Especially when you see they are services for this My son has held a job before. He previously worked the
not comfortable being interviewed. population. drive-thru line at Wendy’s. And last summer, the fine people
That’s where people such as Brooks Thankfully, at the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program gave
Sanders, manager of employment services efforts are picking him a four-hour-a-week internship. (He loved it.)
at Eden Autism Services in Princeton, step up. And for the But, for all that, making that final connection of a new
in. right reason: job offer always is his toughest challenge.
Sanders’ job is to be a liaison between Adults on the My son was turned down by a half-dozen places before
those on the spectrum and those looking spectrum have the Kohl’s in Morris Plains gave him a shot. A second shot.
for employees. something to He worked there as a holiday hire last year. And, even
He places a couple dozen ASD young offer. In many ways, employers though he had been turned down on four occasions during
adults a year, he estimates. are finding their personalities can serve as an the year, he was picked up again this winter.
The process, Sanders said, is not necessarily advantage in the workplace. He’s trying to prove himself.
any different than someone who is neurotypical (it’s a term Routine, monotonous, repetitive tasks? A neurotypical He worked 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving, 7 a.m. to 7
for those who aren’t on the spectrum). It starts with finding person may only be interested in that job if they saw it as p.m. on Black Friday and then 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
someone’s skills and passions. an entryway into the company — thus making it a job with (Raise your hand if you’d sign up for that.)
“We use a person-centered approach,” he said. “That’s endless turnover. He works the register. We feel the interaction he gets
customizing each employment opportunity to the person, For someone on the spectrum, it might be fulfilling. with customers is helping him grow as a person.
as opposed to putting them in a placement just to put them  He said the neverending line of customers over the
in a placement. You want to develop something that is Here’s the catch — as anyone out there with an ASD holiday weekend didn’t bother him. He enjoys working.
specifically for the individual, so they are successful when child or young adult will tell you — no two ASD people Here’s how much: I drove him to work on Black Friday
they enter the workforce, versus putting them in a job that are the same. They are all on the spectrum, but in different after he had only a few hours of sleep. He got out of the car at
doesn’t suit or them or interest them at all. spots. And with different skills. 6:59 a.m. — and ran through the parking lot to get to the store.
“If they love the guitar or music, the goal is to find a job The challenge is finding where they fit in the workforce. He didn’t want to be late. Not even a minute late.
involving that. It’s the same as you and I. You love what you Sanders said he works with companies to make sure they How many employees have that spirit?
do; they should love what they do as well.” understand the abilities of the potential hire. Isn’t it time we give the ASD community a bigger shot in
 “Let’s say they are looking for an administrative assistant,” the workplace?
Major companies around the country are starting to he said. “We may have an individual who has all of the skills They may just surprise you. And fill a need your business
come around. but is nonverbal, so we need to let them know they wouldn’t be can’t fill otherwise. — Tom Bergeron

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Goods & Services

Growing,

by design
P.K. Architecture won the Edison Chamber of Commerce’s Architect of the Year award. ­— PHOTOS COURTESY P.K. ARCHITECTURE

P.K. Architecture has completed more than $100M in projects in N.J.
BY MEG FRY of Commerce last month, the self-made and hiring needs nearly four times over the
mfry@roi-nj.com entrepreneur said he is ready to expand next two years.
his business to provide turnkey services all “Though we already do much more than
Paritosh Kumar said he came to the United under one roof, ranging from architectural what we sign on a contract,” Kumar said.
States to pursue his dream of becoming an planning through construction. 
architect. P.K. Architecture, Kumar said, is Born and educated in India, Kumar
Nearly 35 years later, he has achieved that therefore expected to grow both its revenues studied architecture until he immigrated
— and much more — as owner and principal to the U.S. in 1983 at the age of 24 to earn
of P.K. Architecture in Clark. his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in
Conversation Starter
“A diamond may be small, but a lot of architecture and urban design from the
Learn more about
work has gone into it,” Kumar said. P.K. Architecture at University of Oklahoma.
After completing nearly $100 million in pkarchitecturellc.com Kumar said he then began a 13-year
projects in New Jersey and being awarded or 732-381-3005. career making millions of dollars for tri-state
Architect of the Year by the Edison Chamber architectural firms. However, shortly after he

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ROI-NJ.COM December 3, 2018 ROI-NJ RETURN ON INFORMATION-NEW JERSEY

became a U.S. citizen in 1999, his son was
born.
Battle of the borders
“I already was doing so many of the Paritosh Kumar said he worked
(tasks) myself, and, at the same time, I in New York City for more than
needed some flexibility to be able to take care a decade for large architectural
firms.
of my son,” Kumar said.
After working as a consultant for a short “But working in New Jersey is the
time, Kumar opened his own firm in 2001. difference between night and day,”
he said.
“I was able to work on my own as an
architect from home for the first two years In New York, for example,
with my son,” he said. architects can inspect their own
projects, according to Kumar.
Soon enough, Kumar said, he had trouble
accommodating his growing clientele. “But, as humans, they always can
So, he moved into an office space in miss something,” he said. “I think
it is very important to have a third
Edison before relocating to his current
party inspect your projects, which
storefront in Clark.
is required in New Jersey. The
P.K. Architecture’s revenues have grown town inspects everything here.”
nearly 400 percent since.
Still, while Kumar said he enjoys

Kumar said he always sees the job as his
Community CANstruction the cheaper and larger space for
his firm in New Jersey, the public
client would. Organized by the American Institute of Architects and the Community Food is not as aware of the value of
“I always say, ‘If I were in my client’s Bank of New Jersey, P.K. Architecture participated in the “CANstruction” architects here.
position, how would I feel?’ I treat them as if competition in Pennsauken in October, Paritosh Kumar, owner and principal,
said. “People tend to think that,
I were in their shoes,” he said. because the contractors are doing
“Construction can be very challenging, “People donate large cans of food for the needy and we make sculptures out the hard labor, they are much
so I am patient with my clients during the of them before they are disassembled and distributed,” he said. more valuable than those who
design process if they want to make any Following the competition, Kumar said he was then approached by the Girl sit in an office and draw,” he said.
changes.” Scouts of America to help educate girls in engineering and architecture. “That means they often don’t
question when contractors charge
Kumar said he then coordinates with “So, P.K. Architecture worked with a group of about 10 high school-aged girls them huge amounts of money,
contractors and townships to make sure to create a model of a space shuttle from Girl Scout cookie boxes that was but even a small fee for us can
everything goes smoothly. then displayed in the Woodbridge mall,” Kumar said. become a big deal for them.”
“Building inspectors tell me all the time
that I should see some of the drawings they
receive,” he said. “They say, ‘We have to
return them multiple times, which delays the
construction process, because we don’t have
enough information.’ ”
With nearly 32 years’ experience in the
industry, including three years’ experience in
town planning and interior design, Kumar
said his goal is to earn first-time approvals
for his blueprints on each project.
So far, he said, he has been successful,
despite often multitasking on multiple
medical, high-end residential, commercial
and mixed-use projects, such as the Shanghvi
Plaza in Irvington, which earned him a 2013
Good Neighbor Award from the New Jersey
Business & Industry Association.
“That shopping plaza helped to bring the
entire area up in value, as it acted as a focal
point,” Kumar said.
Kumar also pointed to his work with Gulf
American Line, an international logistics A rendering of a shopping plaza by P.K. Architecture.
and transportation solutions company in
Berkeley Heights. residential units in Scotch Plains, Kumar said and included solar energy capabilities,” he said. with the expansion of his business in the
“They liked the design of their his designs have and will continue to become P.K. Architecture has accomplished all beginning of next year.
headquarters so much that they are branding much more energy-conscious. this, Kumar said, with a small team of nearly “We will continue to bend over
and using it all over the country,” he said. “For example, with the Lisicki Veterans 10 independent contractors, including backwards for our clients, seeing through
 Apartments in Carteret, we turned a engineers, artistic directors, lighting each project from conception through
As P.K. Architecture works to complete dilapidated building into state-of-the-art consultants and more. construction,” he said.
6,000 square feet of highly-anticipated luxury veterans’ housing using sustainable materials Kumar said he plans to add to the team twitter: @megfry3

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Parts & Labor

Water, water
everywhere
A worker cutting a broken pipe to fix a water leak. — FILE PHOTO

The huge water problem no one is talking about — but everyone should be

W
hen Greg Lalevee heard “It’s a combination of the age of Not being seen is only one of the ways to wake up, turn on the TV and see a water
about the recent water infrastructure and the number of people we water differs from the state’s crumbling main break in the streets and commuters
issue in Newark, his mind have using it,” he said. infrastructure needs, such as roads, tunnels at the PATH station, sloshing through 8
wandered back decades. Lalevee says it’s the biggest problem no and bridges. inches of water to make their commute, and
Back to when Newark was known as the one is talking about. Figuring out who controls the water is a not think that we have to come up with a
brewery capital of the Northeast, home to And for one good reason. Few people challenge unlike any other. systematic way to address this?”
all the big-name beers, including Ballantine, see it. “It’s kind of like herding cats,” Lalevee That’s why Lalevee said there could be a
where his grandfather worked. “It’s no different than how we can beat said. “There are so many parties involved. silver lining to the water issue in Newark.
“The whispers were,” Lalevee said, “that a road to death,” he said. “We’re doing the Some water is owned by the town, others by “Any issue with water will hopefully make
the water in Newark was so good that all same thing with water, but because it’s the region. Some is private. other people sit up and say, ‘How’s our water
these brewing companies ran there and set subterranean, you can’t see it.” “You can go from town to town down a system?’” he said. “The fact the discussion
up shop.” Lalevee and his union colleagues see it. line and have a different water authority.” is even happening is a good thing. There’s
Lalevee, the business manager of IUOE And it’s a mess. Finding a solution is imperative, he said. needs to be some planning and upgrading
825 — the union that gets the call when it’s Not only are the water mains And far more cost-effective than responding and updating — and the sooner the better.”
time to work on water deteriorating, they are difficult to replace — to emergencies. Don’t be confused, 825 doesn’t mind the
issues — does not bring even if the money can be found to do so. “It’s a testament to aging infrastructure,” work. Lalevee, however, just puts the needs
up the memory to “When we look at underground Lalevee said. “We’ll go in and fix the main of the state above everything else.
disparage Newark. infrastructure in New Jersey — and the same line that breaks and what happens? It finds “Our guys respond to every emergency,”
In fact, Lalevee said goes for New York and Connecticut — there’s the next weakest link. That’s just going to he said. “On one hand, it’s a ton of overtime
Newark is more proactive gas over water over electric,” he said. “We continue to happen. This is the difference when you get shaken out of bed in the middle
than most when it open up holes around here, and there are between fixing things on an urgent basis of the night.
comes to upgrading and seven different pipes or conduits down there. and understanding that the infrastructure “But that’s no way to run a water system.”
updating its water lines. And not all of it is easily located or fixed. is old and that we need to plan out a It’s been too long, Lalevee said, since
He brings up the breweries because that “People put things in years ago without solution.” water was a priority.
may have been the last time anyone really really thinking about when people were The problems, Lalevee said, are not going How long?
thought about the water infrastructure that’s going to have to go back in there. That’s the away. Perhaps since Mickey Mantle was hitting
now crumbling under the roads throughout challenge of the underground infrastructure “We need a plan of attack,” he said. “Look Ballantine blasts.
North Jersey. throughout the Northeast.” at Hoboken: How many times are we going — Tom Bergeron

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ROI-NJ.COM December 3, 2018 ROI-NJ RETURN ON INFORMATION-NEW JERSEY

Science & Technology

Team effort
Why partnerships are key to building smart cities
BY MEG FRY “We work with certified partners to build
mfry@roi-nj.com and improve each city,” Amy McIlvaine,
business development manager at AT&T
The future of our cities and the impact of Smart Cities, said. “Because our end game is
smart technology will change the way we live for us to be able to run a city from a single
within the densest state in the union, James platform such as an iPhone.”
Barrood said. AT&T, McIlvaine said, defines a smart city
“From more efficient energy usage via as one that takes an integrated and strategic
smarter grids and renewables to a superfast approach to citizen engagement, sustainability,
and ubiquitous communications wireless cost reduction and citizen well-being.
infrastructure, connecting everything and “It is all about actions and decision- And, in Santa Monica, California, Lyft also transportation to truly optimize routes.”
everyone to ride-sharing options on all making happening automatically,” she said. introduced scooters into the transportation Lyft also partners with New Jersey towns
types of vehicles, including electric and Therefore, a tremendous focus for smart market so that riders could utilize them for on more than moving people around the state.
autonomous vehicles, life will undoubtedly cities is on reliable and affordable transportation, short distance travel, she added. “For example, we just launched the
get better for all New Jerseyans,” Barrood, Ann Ferracane, general manager of New York “With the potential for autonomous Medford Saving Lives program, which is a
CEO of the New Jersey Tech Council, said. and New Jersey at Lyft, said. vehicles in the future, a short ride may transportation partnership with the city to
Barrood led the New Jersey Tech Council “Smart cities will be much more not make sense with the congestion it will attempt to reduce drunk driving by working
in hosting the Smart Cities Conference integrated via apps to connect with multiple create,” Ferracane said. “So, in the future, with restaurants and bars in the city to provide
during Tech Day at Rutgers University last modes of transportation, with the ultimate we also will provide multiple transportation rides during certain hours,” Ferracane said.
month. goal of designing our cities around people recommendations for both time and “We’re also working with cities such as
The all-day event featured more than rather than transportation,” she said. financial value. Westfield, Ridgewood, Ridgefield, Jersey
a dozen prominent speakers sharing their The mobile-based ride-sharing company “Santa Monica also is a city in which City and Hoboken, and, on a broader
ideas on how to better finance and ethically recently partnered with the city of Summit we’ve introduced local city transit options spectrum, (we) are busy creating university
manage increasing technology in cities. to help subsidize rides to and from the train into our mobile app, to better piece things partnerships, such as being the official ride-
Everyone agreed on one thing — it could station to help prevent the cost of having to together like a puzzle with the intention share partner at Rutgers University.”
not happen without strategic partnerships. build a new parking garage, Ferracane said. of using autonomous and other modes of twitter: @megfry3

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ROI-NJ RETURN ON INFORMATION-NEW JERSEY December 3, 2018 ROI-NJ.COM

Commercial Real Estate

Big deal
Why 4.1M sq.ft. Linden Logistics Center is ‘trophy property’

BY TOM BERGERON

M
tbergeron@roi-nj.com

indy Lissner said she
hasn’t been surprised by
the interest.
The CBRE executive
vice president said calls
have been coming in steadily since CBRE was
named as the leasing agent for the Linden
Logistics Center, a 4.1 million-square-foot,
state-of-the-art logistics park on a 350-acre
tract of land in Linden that is being produced
in a joint venture of Advance Realty and
Greek Development.
She understands why.
“It’s a trophy property in a market that
has seen very high
demand in the past
couple of years,” Lissner
said.
Actually, she said, it’s
more than that.
While the eight-
Mindy building park, tentatively
Lissner
scheduled to be ready for A rendering, top, shows how the facility will likely be used. An overview of the planned Linden Logistics Center, above. — COURTESY CBRE
its first occupants late in 2020, is centrally
located near the Port of New York and New standard trailer parking or car parking. We she said the size of it will make it attractive go considerably farther south or west.
Jersey, Newark Liberty Airport, New York have the potential to bring rail to the site and to larger users who have been shut out of the “Historically, we’ve lost a lot of deals over
City and all of the region, Lissner said the create a rail-served building or serve someone region recently. 700,000 square feet to the Lehigh Valley and
park’s biggest value may be in its potential. who needs some outside storage. Right now, “There are a lot of large users in the Central Pennsylvania — and a lot of that has
“At this point in the project, we’ve got we have some flexibility in zoning.” market, more than we’ve seen them in a long been due to our inability to accommodate
flexibility,” she said. “We can accommodate For what type of tenant isn’t as clear. time,” she said. “And, New Jersey being what those users. So, we’re seeing a lot of activity
some special-use type of users. Lissner said the park will be perfect for it is, there is an inability to accommodate from those larger users who haven’t had
“We have the ability to have above- the region’s growing e-commerce needs, but large users unless those tenants are willing to the ability to find a location in New Jersey,

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ROI-NJ.COM December 3, 2018 ROI-NJ RETURN ON INFORMATION-NEW JERSEY

especially port-related users.” some non-standard needs.
Officials from Advance Realty and Greek “The market is excited. We’re getting a
Development said the Linden Logistics Center lot of inquiries from brokers and some direct
will be the largest active industrial development response from end users, who are trying to
in the Port of New York and New Jersey region see what our timetable is like. There’s a great
and stressed the buildings are being designed buzz in the marketplace because it is so big
to meet the needs of logistics, distribution, and so perfectly located and so impactful.
fulfillment, manufacturing, last-mile delivery “We’re talking to some real users at this
and other modern industrial users. point. In a perfect world, we’re hoping we
“New Jersey has long been known for can structure a deal that we can announce to
its thriving industrial market, and this first- the market before we began construction.” A side view of the
class development will cater specifically to twitter: @tombergeron5 planned park.
the fast-growing logistics, distribution and
fulfillment businesses that are currently
fueling the sector’s growth,” Advance Realty
CEO Peter Cocoziello said.
Frank Greek, president of Greek
Development, said the project will be
transformative.
“With this development, Advance and
Greek will create not just one of the largest
logistics parks in the New York/New Jersey
region, but a venue that can help the area
maintain its longstanding position as a leader
in the nation’s industrial market,” he said. “As
e-commerce, last-mile delivery and other
21st century industries continue to reshape
and drive our economy, we are working to
ensure they will have truly first-class facilities
that help them meet their evolving needs.”
Located off Tremley Point Road, Linden
Logistics Center will be situated 10 miles
from the Port of New York and New Jersey
— the largest port on the East Coast and
the third-largest port in the United States —
and minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike
and Newark Liberty International Airport.
The location provides exceptional access to
one of the world’s most concentrated and
affluent customer bases, with approximately
100 million consumers located within a day’s
drive from the property.
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said he is
happy to see the land is finally being utilized.
“I’m excited that Advance Realty and
Greek Development see our vision that
Linden is the investment of the future,” he said.
“This land has been vacant for over 25 years.
“Only when vision and opportunity meet
can an incredible project like this happen.”
Lissner and the team at CBRE hope
to make it happen. Lissner will work with
Executive Vice President William Waxman
and be supported by a 10-person team
including Tom Sullivan and Kevin Dudley.
Lissner said the group already is fielding
calls.
“The interest level is very big,” she said.
“Typically, in this market, we don’t see a lot
of preleasing. It’s the type of market where it’s
‘build it and they will come.’ Once people start
to see site work happening, steel going up,
that’s when they real activity starts. But I do
think we have an opportunity for preleasing
here because of the ability to accommodate

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Health Care

The Bayada Way
Meet the founder, Mark Baiada, who is giving $20M to his employees, present and past

BY TOM BERGERON been very fortunate to get a lot of really will get 50 bucks before they get their first aligned perfectly with the company’s values.
tbergeron@roi-nj.com good people working with me so that we paycheck.” “Being presented with the money was

C
could serve the community and build up the Baiada also is making sure that past shocking, but the gesture itself is right in line
elebrations that honor company,” he told ROI-NJ. “I’ve always had employees are recognized, too. with the way this family behaves,” he said.
employees — just for being gratitude and real appreciation for the people Anyone who had worked at least 25 years “Top down, it’s the best company I’ve
good employees — are not that I’m working with. but had left the company since 2010 also will ever worked for: kindness, recognition. It’s
unusual at Bayada Home “So, just before I get a check. everywhere in the company. I thought it was
Health Care. give it all away, I said, “I have a lot of people that put in a lot of just the office I worked in, but I’ve visited
Founder Mark Baiada has been holding ‘Let me give some to time and I want to make sure they’re properly other offices and seen it there, too.
such events almost from the time he started the employees to really thanked, too,” he said. “It’s really about the “The culture is second to none.”
his now-$1.4 billion business in Moorestown express my appreciation spirit of my sentiment and my gratitude Baiada’s act of kindness are legendary in
in 1975. and gratitude for all the rather than the money. But the money is a the company.
Mark
A gathering late last month was just a work that got us to be a nice way to do it.” There are Bayada Bucks, which can be
Baiada
little different. billion-dollar company.’ Matt Gunkel, a registered nurse and redeemed for gifts, scholarship awards for
On this occasion, Baiada announced he “It was just a thank you in the spirit of field staff supervisor who has worked in the additional schooling and an emergency fund
was going divide a $20 million gift among Thanksgiving. We decided to make it a Mount Laurel office for six years, said he was available, for those facing financial hardships.
the company’s more than 32,000 employees, surprise.” stunned when he heard about the rewards. Baiada feels that’s the role of the CEO
past and present. Employees will be awarded a bonus “I was going to a luncheon and I expected — to take care of the people who are taking
It’s part of his “Lasting Legacy” campaign based on how long they have been with the someone to raise a glass and say some kind care of the company. It’s what he calls “The
at the company, which will become a company — even those who just started. words about the holidays,” he said. “I was not Bayada Way.”
nonprofit Jan. 1. “At minimum, everyone will get at least expecting this.” “We believe our employees are our
“We started 43 years ago, and I’ve always $50,” Baiada said. “In fact, some people Then again, Gunkel added, the idea greatest assets, so it’s just our approach to

Mark Baiada, the founder of Bayada Home Health Care in Moorestown, announces his $20 million gift to employees. — PHOTOS COURTESY BAYADA HOME HEALTH CARE

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The private nursing company gifted its 32,000 employees with a special legacy.

them,” he said. “We’re thankful for their all these employees and across all these
work, we support and encourage them, we states, all while helping to transform health
listen to them, respond to them.” care delivery,” he said. “When I started
Baiada said workplace flexibility is the business, I didn’t realize I was going to
standard. As are numerous awards. end up with a family and such incredible
“We have our Hero of the Quarter relationships.”
program, where each office has a hero who It’s a company Baiada wants to last for
exemplifies The Bayada Way in the spirit generations.
of what we do,” he said. “The office winner “We have a written philosophy, and one
can then become a division winner, a region of our beliefs is, we’re going to leave a lasting
winner and then a national winner.” legacy,” he said. “That means we’ll be here in
Bayada operates in 22 states. 100 years to serve our communities.”
Once a year, representatives from all of He now feels the best way to do that is to
them come together. become a nonprofit.
“We have an annual awards weekend “I’m the sole owner of the company, and
where we bring everybody together and we I was contemplating its future: What am I
give out all the awards and special winners,” going to do?” he said. “I could sell it, but then
Baiada said. “It’s a weekend of appreciation I just have money. I don’t need it, and that
rather than a weekend we are preaching to would just undermine The Bayada Way and
them and trying to teach them stuff. the spirit of what we’re doing.
“It’s just us saying, ‘Let’s get together and “I could give it to my kids, and I have
honor the people.’ ” three who work here, but the family is behind
Baiada describes the company this us because they realized they couldn’t sustain
way: We provide nursing, rehabilitative, it 100 years.
therapeutic hospice and assistive care “We decided the best way to continue
services to children, adults and seniors as an organization of lasting value was to
worldwide. We care for our clients 24 hours a go into nonprofit status. So, we’re going to
day, seven days a week. be a self-funded social entrepreneurship, a
“So, we’re really a mobile community- nonprofit B corporation.”
based workforce of health care professionals,” Doing so, Baiada feels is the best way to
he said. keep The Bayada Way going.
Baiada said he still can’t believe his Of course, the financial gift to the
success. employees does that, too.
“We went from zero to $1.4 billion with When asked what he’s going to do with
his extra holiday cash, Gunkel didn’t hesitate:
He’s paying it forward.
Conversation Starter
“I’m going to be extra generous this year,”
Reach Bayada Home Health
Care at: bayada.com he said.
or 888-876-0111 That’s The Bayada Way.
twitter: @tombergeron5

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Tech Trends: Esther Surden

On a roll
After $10M in funding, what’s next for Jersey City augmented reality startup Apprentice?
BY ESTHER SURDEN FOR ROI-NJ our product at customers we already have. A
esurden@njtechweekly.com second focus will be to broaden the number
of sites and new customers that we are
Jersey City startup Apprentice is riding high. working with,” Stracquatanio said.
The company recently closed an $8 million Eventually, Apprentice will scale by
funding round led by Pritzger Group Venture looking at new markets and new customers,
Capital (based in Chicago) that, on top of an he added.
earlier $2.5 million seed round, brought its Another area is R&D: “We will be
total funding to $10 million. investing a lot more in our AR.”
The team is going Stracquatanio noted that the company’s
to need every bit of motto is “We don’t just augment reality, we
that money to take its augment human ability.” So, Apprentice will
unique pharmaceutical be bringing in more AI capabilities, more
workflow product to machine learning capabilities and more
more customers, said contextualization capabilities.
Angelo Stracquatanio, “We want to use augmented reality to
co-founder and CEO. have a better understanding of where the
Stracquatanio and co-founder Gary individual is, what they are working on and
Pignata started the company in 2014 what they are interacting with, and stitch all
with the idea of helping pharmaceutical this together to create a very sophisticated
manufacturers by incorporating artificial engine that will empower the individual as
intelligence and augmented reality into the they go through their workflow.”
workflow of scientists in labs and engineers Stracquatanio noted that the company
in manufacturing suites. Apprentice team leaders. —
­ APPRENTICE has been helped a lot in its journey by the New
The good news for Apprentice: Jersey Economic Development Authority.
Customers saw its vision and helped it task; demonstrates techniques; and brings electronic document-management systems. “One of the venture capital funds we have
develop its product. up photos, videos or 3-D AR content. So, as Those media-management systems have the today was introduced to us through the EDA,
“Our customers were really collaborative the scientists or engineers go through their content that we can pull into our system.” The and we’ve had multiple customer introductions
in this process, and the customers are the workflows, they can actually understand startup has also developed an API, so it can through the EDA, as well as multiple
ones that helped us understand the best ways what they’re doing. “ingest data from home-grown applications” introductions to government. The EDA has
to leverage the technology,” Stracquatanio The new product includes some cutting- and then send that data to any number of been incredibly helpful for us to leverage their
told us. “Without them, I don’t think we edge computer vision modules that capture other systems a customer might use. network and capabilities within the state and
could have gotten to this point.” everything that’s happening, Stracquatanio said. Also, once Apprentice connects to within the larger venture community.”
The company stayed small as the duo It also has the “industry’s first conversational content-management or document- While New Jersey is home to both
developed their first products. AI (artificial intelligence) AR platform,” he management systems, it has automated Stracquatanio and Pignata, when they were
“Last year around this time was our first said. “You talk to it in a similar way you would software to convert those documents into fundraising, the two often got questions
external round of financing,” Stracquatanio talk to Alexa or Google, but we have two-way AR workflows. from the venture community about why they
noted. “This was our first stamp of approval communications. … When a person talks “If I have a 150-page batch record, for are located here.
from the external world validating us in the to our software, it talks back, and the data example, we’ve developed all these new tools “I have a locked and loaded answer for
industry and validating the concept of what is captured to provide real-time feedback to to take it and bring it into augmented reality, that,” Stracquatanio said. “There are 3,000
we are doing.” that operator or scientist, so they know when and augment the content they have with a pharma and biotech companies in the state
The $2.5 million round was led by they’ve done wrong and what they need to do photo, video or 3-D content. This provides a of New Jersey. In addition to that, we are
Silverton Partners of Austin, Texas. to correct it. If they need help on what to do, we rich set of data to the scientist as he or she already leveraging the greater New York area
In February 2018, the company released can provide an AR demonstration.” goes through the process.” for personnel resources.
its latest product, an all-day workflow tool One would think that scaling such a How will Apprentice deploy its most “We have the best of both worlds. We get
for scientists in the lab or the engineer in a customized product into different workflow recent round of capital? For one thing, the to pull from the resources of New York City
manufacturing suite. The tool guides the environments might present a challenge money will allow the company to extend its without paying New York City prices, and
scientist’s or engineer’s process step by step, for the company, but Stracquatanio said customer base. we can get to all those pharma customers in
piece by piece, and gives “cool” augmented they’ve got that all under control. “We’ve “What we are focusing on is expanding a half hour. There is no better place on the
reality instructions. It answers questions started building ‘out-of-the-box’ integrations current customer users, expanding the planet to locate this organization.”
about how to actually go about doing a and can connect to a number of different number of scientists and engineers using twitter: @njtechwkly

TECH PARTNERS
ROI-NJ has teamed up with Esther Surden, creator of njtechweekly.com, to bring you weekly insight into the tech world.

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ROI-NJ.COM
COM December 3, 2018 ROI-NJ RETURN ON INFORMATION-NEW JERSEY

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 legislation, the commission is where
Will loss of incentives cost everyone should be keeping their focus. The
applicants noticed the strong emphasis on certain municipalities cannabis business? commission’s makeup and how it addresses
diversity, creative partnerships and ensuring all the concerns will clear the way for the
The package of bills to help legalize recreational marijuana and expand
local and out-of-state interests are balanced. lawyers who are currently trying to read the
medical use, which passed a joint Senate and Assembly committee last week,
“Even if people feel there are included a key provision for real estate developers: Those opening cannabis tea leaves.
shortcomings with the legislation, I think businesses may not use state incentives to do so. “What I focused on and what I’ll be
the marketplace is responding to what focused on in the coming months is the
Incentives help drive businesses to certain areas. Without them, municipalities
the governor and the executive branch is idea that the passing of the legislation is only
such as Jersey City could be left out.
putting out as their core characteristics for going to be one piece of the puzzle, because
awarding a license,” McQueeny said. “I think That’s a concern of Michael McQueeny, an associate in the Cannabis Practice the regulatory commission that is going to be
at Genova Burns.
the market, in a very organic way, is actually formed is going to have a tremendous amount
rising to that challenge.” “We don’t know how that’s going to play out, but will that affect the amount of authority and responsibility,” he said. “We
Since the medical application did not of money going from developers into a city like Jersey City?” he said. “Or, if don’t know who they are going to be.
someone already has a tax incentive in Jersey City … and then, all of a sudden,
have a residency mandate — the legalization “We’re not strangers to regulation in New
they allow a retail cannabis operator in their first floor, do they then risk losing
bill requires an owner or operator to reside their tax incentive?” Jersey and we are no stranger to regulatory
in New Jersey for two years before qualifying commissions like this, so what role this
That’s especially important for a city such as Jersey City, which is being
— there were more than 100 applicants commission will play and the impact it’s
viewed as the pathway for out-of-state visitors to (in a non-nefarious way)
filing more than 140 applications, according impact the state’s economy through the new industry. Especially from over the going to have on the industry in the state is
to Robert Schiappacasse, co-chair of the river, according to McQueeny. going to be the critical thing to watch.
Cannabis Practice at Sills Cummis & Gross. “This is so unique that it’s going to be
“Everyone focuses on the taxation — the governor said 25 percent and (Senate
Schiappacasse said it is likely there would President Stephen) Sweeney said 12 percent — but there are more subtle tax difficult to directly analogize it to some of
have been fewer applicants. hits,” McQueeny said. the other regulated industries … but one
McQueeny said the residency thing that will be important is, you do see,
requirement is of particular interest, as and sometimes it varies with the political
Colorado has scaled back its requirement McCarter & English focused on startup business sector should keep its eye on? winds, certain agencies at times attempt to be
over time. and emerging growth practices, said one of Harrity said how the conditional more involved, more proactive and enforce
McQueeny said it is unlikely New Jersey the things he is most interested in is transfer licenses, which would help boost in-state regulations more strongly. Sometimes, you
will have to make such a move, since the state restrictions for licenses. interest and prevent out-of-state (as in, more see a more hands-off approach and that’s
has affluent residents who are ready to invest That is something that will be addressed experienced) businesses from dominating, something we won’t see for a while in the
in the new industry, he said. by the regulatory commission. are ultimately handled. advancement of this industry.”
Patrick Harrity, an attorney with So, what are the key provisions the Schiappacasse said more than the twitter: @anjkhem

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SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION

Influencers
PEOPLE of COLOR 2018

N
ew Jersey, one of the biggest melting pots in Many said they prefer to stay and operate in the Inside, you’ll find the ranking of the 10 most influential
the country, is on pace to become a majority background, playing into cultural norms of just keeping their people of color in the state, as well as 50 other influencers.
minority state in the next 10 years. head down and doing their job. The lists were determined by interviews with key people in all
The influence people of color have in the “There are some of us — it’s been my biggest struggle — to sectors of the economy, as well as the judgment of the ROI-NJ
state is growing quickly, as well. be comfortable talking about yourself,” one power player said. Editorial Board.
How quickly — and how extensively — is another issue. “It’s not something, culturally we were raised (to do). It’s an We know it’s not perfect. We know — despite our best
While we interviewed more than a dozen leaders for interesting thing about minorities: We are much more extroverts, efforts — we will have overlooked a worthy omission or two.
our inaugural ROI-NJ Influencers list of People of Color, we and think in quiet, strategic ways, but we are not self-promoters. But we are determined to make sure more people of color are
found there still is an issue in ethnic minority communities “We prefer teams to get the credit.” honored for their work in the state. It’s a part of the population
about actively seeking positions of power and influence. ROI-NJ is doing its part to change that. that has been overlooked for too long.

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ROI-NJ.COM December 3, 2018 ROI-NJ RETURN ON INFORMATION-NEW JERSEY

ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018

Our wish list
By highlighting accomplishments, leadership of state’s top People of Color,
we aim to draw attention to how important ethnic diversity is to N.J.

I
am an immigrant.
I am a woman.
And I am lucky.
I live in New Jersey, the most diverse state in the nation, one where I see many people who look like me every day. And one
where I see people who also do not appear to be from here, trying to make their way here.
But I am still brown.
And that means all of the things I cherish can seemingly be taken away in an instant — by a suspicious look, an ignorant comment
or an act of violence or hate.
It’s a reality that brown people face every day. Even in New Jersey.
When my editor approached me about doing an ROI Influencers list celebrating the accomplishments of people
of color, I balked.
As a member of the minority population, I understand not
wanting to be singled out and identified by your race or ethnicity. So,
why would I want to be part of making a list that makes skin color a Why we chose
prerequisite for membership?
‘People of Color’
But, after interviewing more than a dozen thought leaders in
minority communities, I learned the list would be welcomed. Provided it be done right. The only thing harder than picking
The hope is that the pictures of the people on the coming pages will serve as role this list was deciding what to call
models for what can be — and what should be. it. We opted for “People of Color”
Picking the list wasn’t easy. We selected 10 as the most influential and ranked them, because that is the phrase many
then added 50 others, listed alphabetically. ethnic minority groups now prefer.
Deciding who was on either list was difficult. (We realize some do not like it.)
We knew this was the inaugural list, and perhaps the first of its kind in the state. We The impetus for the list can be
kept hearing how hard it might be, and, thus, the common response thought leaders had traced to the fact that New Jersey
was, “That’s why it’s never been done before.” will soon become a majority minority
I know many of the deserving people who are not only leading the way, but also state — meaning more than half of
reaching back and pulling up the younger generations. But there are also those who were its population will be non-white. In
the trailblazers, who may or may not have ever gotten the recognition they deserved. order to be considered, you had to
So, we decided to focus more heavily on those individuals and, provided this goes fall under that definition of minority,
over well, hit up the rising stars or less visible but equally impactful individuals next year. including those who identify as
So, start sending those names in. Hispanic, African-American, Asian or
The list shows business has long been ahead of the curve on diversity, and that multiracial.
government, at least in New Jersey, is catching up.
The hope is that society will, too.
On some days — but not all — it feels as if all of the progress that has been made during my lifetime has been lost.
Minorities and immigrants are used to this roller coaster.
Ask anyone on the list: They’ll tell you their success stories are filled with overcoming obstacles — obstacles of many sizes that they
know can reappear in an instant.
For the most part, I am fortunate.
I do not belong to an ethnicity that is feared, and I don’t wear a hijab or turban — items that would single me out in a crowd for hate.
I deeply respect those individuals and their commitment to their beliefs on a daily basis.
For others, the immigrant and minority experience continues to be unpleasant and uncomfortable — even for the wildly accomplished
people who appear on this list. It’s a shame.
But it is our hope that, by honoring those who have overcome so much, we will help show the way for others to follow in their footsteps.
— Anjalee Khemlani

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
Top 10

1 Ras Baraka
Mayor
City of Newark

I
t’s easy to rattle off the list of reasons
why Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is in
the No. 1 spot of the inaugural ROI
Influencers list of People of Color.
You start with the exponential
growth of real estate projects in his city —
and his ability to help stalled projects get
to the finish line.
You then go to the quality-of-life
upgrades he has brought to the city —
crime is down, education is up.
And, of course, you talk about the
chase for Amazon’s second headquarters,
and how just making the final list of 20
brought the city more positive notoriety
and interest than it’s had in a generation.
Good reasons all — but not the reasons
our insiders felt he should be in the top
spot.
Baraka is noted for being true to
himself, his community and the city he has
called home his entire life.
“It’s not just because he is the mayor
of the largest city, but because of the way
he governs that city,” one insider said. “He
is unapologetic about what is important to
him.
“He is not sacrificing his interest in
redevelopment, development or expansion.
He is ensuring that everyone in the
city gets to go along for the ride. That
resonates with other diversity members.”
Insiders say Baraka has spent the last
few years investing not just in the city, but
in the people. In particular, he has done an
excellent job of attracting businesses to
downtown with a focus on women- and
minority-owned businesses.
He is also being lauded for his strong
push for mixed-income housing to avoid
gentrification that plagues nearby cities.
That’s why another insider said
Baraka’s greatest attribute is that he still is
working at the grassroots level for his city.
“When I think of Ras, I think of a
guy who has pulled (himself) up by his
bootstraps,” the insider said. “He is trying
every day to make the city he was raised
in better for people who live here and for
people who work here.”

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
Top 10

2 Gurbir Grewal
Attorney general
State of New Jersey

G
rewal received significant attention internationally when he was appointed as the first Sikh-American attorney general
in the country. Grewal, however, has little time for fame. He has remained focused on the task at hand and is a firebrand
all on his own. He just filed suit against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary on an issue involving opioids — proving he is
willing to battle one of the most influential companies in the state. Grewal also has been a leader in the fight over immigration
and overall criminal justice reform — including a recent announcement to overhaul the process for sexual assault cases that
could make New Jersey a leader in the space. Not bad for someone who almost was passed over. “When the Murphy team first
looked at him, they saw him as a Christie guy,” one insider said. Someone else convinced them to take a second look.

3 Sheila Oliver
Lieutenant governor
State of New Jersey

W
hether she continues to wield political influence has been debated, but no one questions whether Oliver continues
to wield influence in government. She is the highest-ranking African-American woman in the state — a title she
previously held as the Assembly Speaker. She is setting her own path. Oliver surprised some by choosing to head the
Department of Consumer Affairs, rather than be secretary of state. Others got it. “She’s a smart lady,” one insider said. “You think
she did that by accident? She’s in charge of the agency with the largest pot of money in the entire state.” As for power? “She still
wields influence back in her county, but even by virtue of choosing the DCA over just going to the traditional secretary of state’s
office, she has proven her dedication. She’s a thoughtful and deliberate leader in that way.”

4 Cory Booker
U.S. senator
New Jersey

H
e is expected to make a run at the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. But, while his national presence is
growing, Booker’s position on this list stems from his solid work as a U.S. senator. Booker has helped New Jersey
through the Opportunity Zones legislation and the Alternatives to Opioids bill. Both are now law in the U.S., and Booker’s
name is at the top of the sponsors. The first has a significant potential impact for the state’s economy, building on the Urban
Enterprise Zones that the state already has, as Opportunity Zones create an even stronger incentive for redevelopment by
making it enticing for businesses to avoid taxes on capital gains. The second bill puts New Jersey at the forefront of the opioid
epidemic by offering a solution in the medical realm while others have often focused solely on the social aspect.

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
Top 10

5 Jose Lozano
CEO & president
Choose New Jersey

L
ozano is the most organized business guy you will meet in government or quasi-government circles, insiders say. And
he is credited with the precedent-setting minority makeup of Gov. Phil Murphy’s cabinet — something he helped achieve
while running Murphy’s transition team. “He understood that Murphy was the right person to move the agenda forward for
minorities,” one source said. Murphy understood that Lozano was someone he couldn’t lose, persuading the well-respected and
well-accomplished former Hackensack Meridian Health chief of staff to be his leader at Choose New Jersey. He clearly is one of
Murphy’s go-to guys, another insider said. Lozano’s business background and political experience have served him well in that
role. Some, however, wonder if it’s just a stepping-stone to another job. “Phil Murphy should pick him to be his next chief of staff,
if he wants to get his economic fairness and equality agenda through,” another source said.

6 Carlos Medina
Chairman
Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

M
edina and Vice Chairman Luis De La Hoz are taking the Hispanic Chamber to new heights. The pair has led the
meteoric growth of the chamber — which has helped increase the influence of the Latino business community. It
will continue to grow as the Hispanic population continues to eclipse the African-American population in the state.
Medina is using the chamber to give the community a voice. He has gone so far as to endorse political candidates, breaking
with tradition of the organization. Medina thrives outside of the chamber, too. He is the president of Robinson Aerial Surveys and
serves on the board of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. And he was on the short list for lieutenant governor when
Kim Guadagno was running for governor. “Because he is an independent, Carlos has made the chamber a player for elected
officials,” one source said.

7 John Harmon
CEO & president
African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

H
ow’s this for an endorsement: “(He is) the go-to person for anything and everything related to African-American
businesses,” one source said. Case in point, as the new administration pushes for legalization of marijuana and
expansion of medical marijuana, Harmon has seen a huge bump in the number of calls his office received to help find
diverse partners, which was one of the criteria for a license. Insiders feel the chamber will play a role in the continuing debate.
Often seen as on the same platform as Carlos Medina and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber, Harmon faces a different struggle
as the African-American community is slower to come together. Harmon has used key issues — including the social justice
aspect of cannabis reform — to build the group. It’s working. In recent years, and especially with the new administration, the
chamber has come under the spotlight and is increasingly influential.

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
Top 10

8 Aisha Glover
CEO & president
Newark Alliance

A
isha Glover built her rock-star reputation as the head of the Newark Community Economic Development Corp. — and by
taking the lead on the city’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Glover ensured that Newark was leak-free during the
process and took the nondisclosure agreement seriously, but she also took full advantage of the opportunity Newark
was given when it was named one of the 20 finalists. Glover’s office promoted the merits of the city to an overflow of callers.
The impact of her efforts may be felt for years to come. Glover, who came to New Jersey in 2015 with a solid background of
development and corporate experience, recently took over as head of the Newark Alliance — a move one insider felt was a
logical step in her professional development. “Transferring to the Newark Alliance helps to expand her wings, which have been
tested already and she’s proven very capable,” the insider said.

9 Diana Gutierrez-Scaccetti
Commissioner
Department of Transportation

T
he Jersey-born head of the New Jersey Department of Transportation has been in the hot seat lately, being out front not
only on issues caused by New Jersey Transit, but also the state’s mistakes during the recent snowstorm that paralyzed
roadways, creating a nightmare commute. One insider feels Gutierrez-Scaccetti may be the ray of hope the state needs.
The person preached patience. “She has worked in probably every job from paving asphalt over holes to running the agency who
is now in charge of what, over the last eight years, has become one of the most disastrous public transportation systems in the
country,” the insider said. “Who better to have to fix that than her, who understands what every single role means and how they
work together? She has the brains, the ability and the power. The question is, will she have the resources?”

10 Kris Singh
CEO & president
Holtec

H
ow’s this for influence: Singh, the CEO of Holtec, caused a firestorm earlier this year with some critical comments about
the workforce preparedness of the citizens of Camden, based on his own experiences. His comments led to protests,
but they were not disputed by other business leaders. Privately, most said he was just going public with something
many knew to be true. The public relations nightmare spurred local politicians into action and spurred conversations about the
expectations that should be set by businesses moving into the city and state. However you view the comments, they should
not take away from Singh’s rags-to-riches story. Many feel he has the quintessential immigrant story tied to humble beginnings,
from a village in his home country to higher education in the U.S. and subsequently building a successful business in the energy
sector. “You would not be wrong to put him on the list,” one source said.

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
A to Z

Leslie Anderson Adenah Bayoh Wasseem Boraie Mo Butler Patricia
CEO & president Founder & CEO Vice president Partner Campos-Medina
New Jersey Adenah Bayoh and Cos. Boraie Development Mercury President
Redevelopment Authority LUPE PAC

She is the first African- The days of describing The family real estate The longtime confidant of Over the years, Campos
American woman to Bayoh as a minority development company Cory Booker is well-known has taken the advocacy
lead an independent entrepreneur and real he helps run with his in Newark and around the group for Latinas in
financing authority in estate developer or a father (Omar) and brother state, and is equally adept politics and made it
New Jersey — and she’s female entrepreneur and (Sam) is everywhere in at talking politics and a significant force.
been reappointed by three real estate developer are the state, doing major business, which made Murphy’s administration
governors. Here’s why: long gone. This self-made projects in Newark, New him a natural for his role has especially elevated
Under her leadership, woman should be known Brunswick and Atlantic as a partner at Mercury. Campos’ role on
the NJRA has leveraged simply as a force in City — with more to come. And, if Booker decides to appointments and
approximately $4 billion business — someone with Individually, Boraie was run for president — and advocacy efforts.
in new investments, a number of commercial recently named by Murphy most feel he will — Butler’s
helping to redevelop and real estate properties to the State Investment profile will grow even
and transform some throughout Essex County. Council. greater.
of New Jersey’s most
economically challenged
areas.

Marlene Caride Kyung Hee Choi Upendra Chivukula Tai Cooper Jose Cruz
Commissioner Vice president, Commissioner Deputy chief policy adviser Senior managing director,
Dept. of Banking Asian Health Services Board of Public Utilities Governor’s Office co-head
and Insurance Holy Name Medical Center HFF

Many in the health and After leaving a career Chivukula is known A former aide to Newark The hardest-working
insurance industries are on Wall Street, Choi among the South Mayor Ras Baraka, now broker in the state? Or the
thrilled to have Caride has focused solely on Asian community as a working in Murphy’s loudest-talking? Might
lead DOBI, especially boosting the Asian and trailblazer, achieving a office, Cooper continues be both. Cruz brings
in her recent pursuit to other minority care position in the Assembly to display her skills. energy and excitement to
stabilize New Jersey’s programs at Holy Name well before South Asians “She came out of solid everything he does. He
health insurance market, Medical Center. In fact, were active participants political chops. In her role, never stops working. And
making it a leader in the the program has been in elections and politics. especially the integral he always gets results.
country. Caride is seen as garnering attention Chivukula is also the role she has played in the A regular on our ROI
a powerful Latina in the nationally as well as first South Asian to be opportunity zones, that’s Influencers: Real Estate
state. around New Jersey. appointed commissioner a key component,” one list, Cruz more than earns
RWJBarnabas Health’s of the BPU. In his current source said. his spot here.
Somerset hospital has role, he has the ability
just started to copy the to affect the future of
idea this year. Murphy’s environmental
agenda and is an expert
source on clean energy.

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
A to Z

Michellene Davis Luis De La Hoz Lizette Delgado Sonia Delgado Uli Diaz
Executive vice president and Vice chairman CEO Strategic adviser, lobbyist Vice president,
chief corporate affairs officer Statewide Hispanic Chamber New Jersey Schools Princeton Public Affairs government affairs
RWJBarnabas Health of Commerce of New Jersey Development Authority Horizon BCBSNJ

An undeniable A true grassroots hustler Delgado is also seen as Those who know her best Currently the highest-
powerhouse in Essex and helper, he is known a huge organized labor say she’s a bureaucrat ranking minority executive
County and in the to people at all levels of advocate — a hard area at heart and an excellent at the state’s largest
Democratic Party, but also business and government. for a Latina to traditionally source of health care health insurer, he is a well-
on social impact in the De La Hoz is an equal break through. Through policy. Delgado has had known entity in Trenton.
health care space. She partner in the running of her new position in the ear of commissioners Diaz also plays a role in
makes every list because the Hispanic Chamber, Murphy’s administration, of health as well as North Jersey politics as
she’s strategically and credited with a lot Delgado’s influence only human services for years a Democratic operative
worked her way up to the of its success. “He and figures to grow. “She is and is often the first call and is a known ally of U.S.
position she has now, Carlos (Medina) make a a Latina who came up for counsel on new policy. Sen. Robert Menendez.
one source said. “She good pair because Carlos through labor,” one insider “She has written many “Everyone knows him, and
clearly ran into a little bit needs the membership to said. “She’s impressive.” health care laws,” one he knows everyone,” one
of trouble (earlier this be engaged and active in insider said. source said. “He is the
year), but you know she’s order for him to have the quintessential New Jersey
a powerhouse.” influence he has achieved operative.”
as a representative of the
chamber.”

Tara Dowdell Shereef Elnahal Nariman Farvardin Kenneth Frazier Parimal Garg
President Commissioner President Chairman & CEO Deputy chief counsel
Tara Dowdell Group Department of Health Stevens Institute Merck Governor’s Office
of Technology

A well-connected Being a young Stevens, long considered Leading a pharmaceutical Garg, who started on the
leader and behind-the- commissioner is no easy one of the top STEM company in a time of Murphy campaign, easily
scenes player. Like feat, but Elnahal has schools in the country, increased public scrutiny transitioned into deputy
many minorities who brought energy to the has taken major steps is a tough task. But counsel in the front office.
entered politics in the health care scene with forward since Farvardin it’s nothing compared Garg has been seen as
Gov. Jim McGreevey a pursuit of technology took over in 2011. The to walking out on the the key player on the
era, Dowdell had no and his efforts to expand school prides itself in president of the United legalization of marijuana
“political godfather.” She medical marijuana. He showing how science, States. Frazier led the in the governor’s camp.
is a well-known entity in also is handling the crisis technology, engineering charge that maimed Whatever the governor
the minority and political at a Wanaque health and math can improve the business council to ends up signing is likely to
circles as a Democratic facility, the results of and transform all aspects President Donald Trump have Garg’s input.
strategist. And she literally which remain to be seen. of society. It’s the reason last year. He is known as
is a familiar face from That’s a heavy lift for Year why Stevens’ graduates “The CEO who stood up to
regular appearances on One in one of the most- always seem to have Trump first.”
MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” and watched departments. (multiple) offers from the
her time previously as an corporate world.
“Apprentice” contestant.

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
A to Z

Ghermezian family Gerry Gibbs Kiran Gill Vin Gopal Corry Hong
Developers Founding principal CEO & president Majority conference leader Founder, CEO & president
Triple Five Capital Impact Group PARS Environmental State senator UNICOM Global

How do you talk about A former assistant An Indian-American Gopal became the first Buying the former
influential minorities treasurer in the state, he woman in charge of her South Asian to hold Merck headquarters in
and not talk about the is now head of a contract own engineering firm is office in the state Senate, Whitehouse Station —
Iranian Jewish family lobbying firm on State hard to come by. Gill not proving his star power by which some considered
that is planting a $5 Street. Gibbs is a guy only leads the company, unseating an incumbent an outdated piece of real
billion economic impact to know. “He knows the she also has been in an area with few South estate that would never
flag in the state? The ins and outs and how it increasingly visible in the Asians. Many feel he’s just sell — may have been
Ghermezians, led by Don, works,” one insider said. political realm as one starting to show his true enough to get Hong on
are bringing to life the “He’s always a guy to call of several desi women potential. He is the head the list. But, when we
American Dream project, because he has his ear to trying to create a pipeline of the Manufacturing heard his plans for the
making New Jersey a new the ground.” of female politicians Caucus, vice chair of the building, and his desire to
destination to match their within the South Asian Transportation Committee work closely with other
previous successes of community. and a member of the New Jersey companies, it
building the largest malls Economic Growth and the sealed the deal.
in the world. Health committees.

25
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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
A to Z

Ali Houshmand Sarah Jones Andy Kim Kris Kolluri Rafael Mata;
President Director, government affairs U.S. representative (elect) CEO & president Jermaine Pharmes
Rowan University Horizon BCBSNJ 3rd District Coopers Ferry Director; compliance
Partnership Inc. manager
Hudson County Office
of Business Opportunity

The smartest (and most A former staffer for U.S. He gets a nod for A former Department
innovative) man in higher Rep. Donald Payne and unseating powerhouse of Transportation
ed in the state? You a well-known political Republican Tom commissioner and the
could make that case. operative in Essex County, MacArthur in the most first Indian-American
Then again, doing so Jones is a key player for contentious House governor (for a day),
would be putting a limit Horizon in D.C. and is battle in New Jersey. Kolluri wields significant
on the limitless talents often seen in Trenton. A Now that New Jersey influence and is well
of Houshmand. The quiet observer in public, has lost a more senior connected in South
Rowan president sees but a fierce negotiator representative, Kim is on Jersey. His work in
his role as a leader in not behind the scenes. “She’s the line to prove he has Camden is lauded by The rising stars of Hudson
only developing a next extremely talented,” one the chops to do the job in many. “What he’s doing County are making waves
generation of students, insider said. D.C. isn’t easy,” one source with their success in helping
but the South Jersey said. increase the county’s
economy as well. spend with minority small
businesses. They have
made progress in an area
the state has unsuccessfully
pursued for years.

Wes Mathews Analilia Mejia Robert Menendez Raj Mukherji Wendy Neu
Director, Office of Int’l. New Jersey executive U.S. senator Majority whip Chair & CEO
Trade and Investment director New Jersey Assembly Hugo Neu
New Jersey EDA Working Families

Mathews is a Murphy Known as a thorn in Menendez is credited for Often described as a rock She is the head of
guy through and through, everyone’s side, Mejia’s pulling himself up by his star, Mukherji remains a the company behind
and that will benefit the aggressive personality bootstraps to be possibly well-respected voice in the transformative
state as it continues to play a role in her success. the most powerful the Assembly and a role Kearny Point project,
open its doors to more “She is universally minority senator today. model for young South which is remaking and
international business. known as a pain, but it’s Having survived the fight Asians in the state. He transforming the area
In his new role, directing effective because she of his political life after became the majority whip while setting an example
international trade and gets the money,” one already surviving ethics this year and also serves for others. It remains to be
investment into the state, insider said. The Latina is complaints in the last as the vice chair of the seen what Act II may be,
Mathews relies on his known in many circles for few years has further Telecommunications and but, with an opener such
contacts as a diplomat advocating on behalf of cemented his legacy. Utilities Committee and is as this, there’s no need to
from when he served her organization. Menendez continues to a member of the Budget see much more just yet.
as chief of staff to the have a loyal following and Joint State Leasing
governor when Murphy among minorities as he committees.
was U.S. ambassador in advocates on their behalf.
Germany.

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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
A to Z

Rajiv Parikh Arlene Perez Marjorie Perry Eliana Pintor Marin Dennis Pullin
Partner Partner CEO & president Budget chair CEO & president
Genova Burns DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick MZM Construction Assembly Virtua
& Cole LLP & Management

He was counsel in Murphy’s A partner at DeCotiis and Perry likes to call herself By virtue of her position The new CEO of the largest
transition team, and past head of the Hispanic an overnight sensation as budget chair, Pintor New Jersey-based health
“everyone knows him,” one Bar Association, Perez is that was 20 years in the Marin, a Portuguese- system in southern New
source said. He is a go-to seen as a humble, young making. And, while she American, is in a position Jersey is the only minority
for election law. “Angelo Latina who impressively finally may be getting the of significant power. CEO of a health system in
Genova was always known became the Democratic recognition she deserves, Any of the initiatives the the state. Pullin has started
as the guy to go to for chair in Hunterdon she earned her stripes in Legislature pursues with off quietly, meeting both with
everything election, but County — one of the most the construction business intentions of collecting legislators and competitors
that has now turned into Republican areas and one long ago. She is a role revenues have to begin in order to gain a better
Parikh — so, from a white of the hardest counties to model (and tough-talking with her committee understanding of the state.
Italian guy to brown Asian make moves in politically. mentor) to underserved — including legalizing While his predecessor faced
guy,” one insider joked. “In an all-boys club, to classes in the rough-and- marijuana, for example. significant political battles
Speculations about his be a female Latina in tumble industry. being in the same territory
future abound. He could Hunterdon County is as Cooper University Health,
easily run Genova or go pretty rare,” one insider Pullin is confident the past
the public route into the said. “She brings a new will not affect the future and
Murphy administration in voice to the Democratic is working to further cement
some capacity, sources say. party.” Virtua’s reputation.

27
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ROI Influencers PEOPLE of COLOR 2018
A to Z

Lata Reddy; Ron Rice Carlos Rodriguez Marcus Samuelsson Troy Singleton
Ommeed Sathe State senator CEO & president Owner, chef State senator
Senior vice president; vice 28th District ADP Marcus B&P 7th District
president
Prudential, Impact
Investments

The senior African- As the head of one of the It’s one thing to get new The quiet but well-
American senator is state’s most important restaurants to open in connected senator is a
seen as the voice of the and iconic companies, Newark — another to force to be reckoned with.
black caucus and has Rodriguez has integrated get one run by Marcus “He gets a lot of credit
played a significant role all aspects of diversity Samuelsson. The well- for turning a Republican-
in slowing the legalization into ADP’s talent process, known celebrity chef leaning district into a
of marijuana in the state including hiring, talent opened Marcus B&P in Democratic-leaning
with concerns over the development and the Hahne’s building in district,” one source
social justice provisions. succession planning. 2017, a move that not said. Another pointed to
Prudential quietly does ADP is now in position only brought great food to Singleton as a potential
more in the city of Newark to have women make up the city, but showed other successor to Steve
than most realize. And, 33 percent of its senior restaurateurs that the city Sweeney for the seat of
when it comes to making leaders, and minorities in was ready for the next Senate president in the
impact investments, it 20 percent of its executive step in its growth. future.
starts with Reddy and ranks in fiscal year 2019.
Sathe. We’d like to say more
… but we know Prudential
wants to keep it quiet.

Shavonda Sumter Rick Thigpen Ralph Thomas Dr. Jianping Wang Ning Yuan
Majority conference leader Senior vice president, CEO & executive director President President
Assembly corporate citizenship New Jersey Mercer County College China Construction
PSEG Society of CPAs America Inc.

As a majority leader in Thigpen is seen as Thomas has been the One insider summed it Yuan heads the biggest
the Assembly, Sumter singlehandedly pushing CEO and executive up: “She is a hustler. She under-the-radar company
naturally holds influence, through a $300 million director of the New goes out to companies in the state. Unless you’re
but her sharp mind is the subsidy bill that would Jersey Society of CPAs along the Route 1 corridor in the real estate space.
first thing many notice. benefit PSEG in keeping for almost two decades to create a pipeline for Real estate pros know
“An astute politician,” one alive its nuclear power — and a tax expert for her graduates to get China Construction is
source said. She was on plants. The state’s largest longer than that. It’s why jobs. I have not a seen an emerging force in
the shortlist for lieutenant utility will still go through he and the association a community college the industry — just one
governor for Murphy, and, a review process, but the were go-to sources president behave in that doesn’t do a lot to
despite losing the chance, signing of the bill is seen for information on the such a manner. There promote its successes
Sumter is seen as a power as win. Thigpen also is federal government’s tax is no task that’s too and influence.
player in politics and noted for taking PSEG’s reform bill as well as the small. One of the most
overall in the state. role in Newark to a new governor’s adjustment of humble presidents. She’s
level of engagement — the corporate business really grounded. Very
“pursuing social reform tax in the latest budget impressive.”
from the inside,” as one battle.
insider put it.

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Health Care

New direction
Former investment banker has urgent care franchise growing across N.J.
BY MEG FRY
mfry@roi-nj.com

Albert Saad, owner and operator of two
American Family Care urgent care centers, in
West Orange and South Plainfield, will open
two additional locations, in Cedar Grove and
Aberdeen, by the end of this year as part of
the rollout of six to 10 centers in central and
northern New Jersey that
he began in 2014.
Saad, previously an
investment banker and real
estate developer, said he
looks forward to answering
New Jersey’s need for high-
Albert
Saad
quality, accessible health
care by expanding the
urgent health care franchise in the state.
“It absolutely fills a void,” he said.
Prior to health care, Saad worked as
a media and entertainment investment A look at one of American Family Care’s urgent
banker and vice president at Bear Stearns, care facilities. —
­ AMERICAN FAMILY CARE
before partnering with a public real estate
investment trust to develop 13 institutional
grade, climate-controlled, self-storage education delivered from insurance
facilities, totaling more than 1 million companies to their subscribers to direct them
rentable square feet in New Jersey. to urgent care centers, now that they have
“We were developers that were not come to understand the value proposition
purchasing existing, income-producing to them that urgent care is a comprehensive,
properties,” he said. “But that development more cost-effective venue of care.”
function became significantly more Saad said he turned to the Birmingham,
challenging post-2008, and, so, we found Alabama-based urgent care franchise due to
ourselves looking at such opportunities.” its prevalence in the industry. Founded in
Saad said he initially was attracted to 1982, AFC cares for nearly 3 million patients
medical offices due to the stability of the annually with more than 600 physicians
tenant base. across 200 clinics nationwide.
“I then found the opportunity to jump And, with more than $530 million in royalty fee of 6 percent. we do offer coverage outside of their hours,
the fence and focus not as much on the real annual systemwide revenue and an annual “It keeps us on the right track and keeps on weekends and holidays,” Saad said.
estate side of the business but rather on the growth rate of 79 percent, AFC is ranked us from having to unnecessarily course- AFC also offers wellness and occupational
operating side of health care services,” he said. by Inc. Magazine as one of the 5,000 fastest correct as we execute our business plans,” health visits for local employers and employees,
Urgent care centers, Saad said, fill the space growing companies in the U.S. Saad said. “I drive to and work out of the as well as physicals and vaccines for schools,
between primary care physicians, who focus “As owner-operators of nearly 70 centers centers day-to-day, with the responsiveness camps, sports, travel, immigration and more.
on chronic matters, and emergency rooms, themselves in the Southeast, AFC had a of local market ownership, but also have the “Not only can we run throat swabs for
which are designed for life-threatening cases. tremendous track record of success and benefit of working within a larger, established the flu or strep, but also, we can order up
“Five years ago, the emphasis was on experience,” Saad said. institutional framework.” complete blood counts and comprehensive
educating patients on what urgent care was Affiliating with the AFC brand conferred While it is positive that patient education metabolic panels and get results within 10
and how and when exactly to use it,” he said. to Saad the benefits of access to polices has become less critical today as the concept minutes on-site, as opposed to sending out
“For patients with illnesses and injuries that did and protocols and best practices, as well as of urgent care has become more familiar to the tests to a lab and receiving results within
not require lengthy and expensive trips to the vendor relationships, marketing materials, those in New Jersey, now, Saad said, he works a couple of days,” Saad said. “It is a wonderful
emergency room, they could, for example, have and a network of other owners — including a to educate patients on how not all urgent care tool for getting to the right diagnosis sooner,
a laceration sutured or a minor orthopedic issue dozen other locations in New Jersey — with facilities are created equal. which is what patients are looking for when
attended to in a more expedient, convenient whom Saad can liaise, he said. AFC, for example, focuses on episodic they visit an urgent care center.”
and accessible manner in 60 minutes or less, The total investment for an AFC franchise illnesses and injuries, and therefore, Saad said he will employ nearly 50 across
with moderately complex laboratories and is estimated to be between $807,500 and complements the primary care physicians in his four AFC urgent care centers. A ribbon-
X-rays on-site, and board-certified physicians $1.434 million — however, if converting an the state. cutting for the Cedar Grove location will be
capable of treating patients of all ages. existing urgent care facility, that drops down “We often refer folks with chronic illnesses held Nov. 30.
“There also has been a lot of patient to between $109,000 and $218,000 — and a to local market primary care physicians, but twitter: @megfry3

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Op-Ed

$15/hour in New Jersey
isn’t ‘fair’ if no one wins

G
ov. Phil Murphy has called
for the Legislature to pass

As an advocate
a $15 minimum wage by
the holidays to build a ‘‘fair

for thousands
economy,” help “combat
the crisis of hunger” and
“keep the lights on” for New Jersey’s working
families. His appeal evokes compassion, and of small
there is no doubt the vast majority of New
Jerseyans don’t want to see anyone in our
state going without food and electricity.
businesses in
But there is a serious flaw in the
governor’s linkage of the desire to erase
the New Jersey,
poverty with a significant
increase in the minimum
I can tell you
wage. It’s important to
determine whether that that those in the
retail, hospitality,
solution will accomplish
his stated goal.

food service
Legislation is
Laurie stronger when driven by
Ehlbeck
a deliberative process and
not by the heartstrings. It is critical to learn
who is actually making the minimum wage
and recreation
and determine whether raising it to $15 per
hour will address poverty or exacerbate it.
sectors will be
There are reams of research on the topic, and
even quite a few studies on recent laws raising
hard-pressed
the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Seattle raised the minimum wage three
by a steep rise
years ago by increments, and it will reach
$15 an hour by 2021. The city commissioned in the minimum
wage.
annual studies on the impact. The third
report, just released in October, shows that,
while pay for low-wage workers rose $8 to
$12 a week, all of those gains were for workers
who had experience. Less-experienced
workers saw no significant change in weekly well-targeted to address poverty. That report
pay. projected thousands of job losses if the state’s
A quarter of those increased earnings wage threshold is raised to $15.
can be attributed to experienced workers As an advocate for thousands of small
making up for lost hours in Seattle at other businesses in the New Jersey, I can tell you
jobs outside city limits. While there was an 8 that those in the retail, hospitality, food
percent reduction in job turnover, there was service and recreation sectors will be hard-
also a significant reduction in the rate of new pressed by a steep rise in the minimum wage.
employees into the workforce. In other words, Operating on narrow profits, those businesses
job opportunities for those with no skills and owners must decide if they can pass on the
no experience disappeared. cost to customers, or if their customer base
A May 2018 study on a $15 minimum would disappear — a more likely scenario.
wage in New Jersey used population and The only other option is to reduce employee
poverty data to determine that two-thirds hours and cut jobs.
of working-age state residents living in In the long run, a “fair economy” isn’t
poverty are not working, and won’t benefit fair when neither the job creators or their
from a raise in pay. The study determined employees win.
that only 9 percent of workers who would
be impacted by the wage hike are single Laurie Ehlbeck is state director of
parents, and 60 percent live with family or are NFIB in New Jersey, an association
secondary earners where both spouses work. advocating on behalf of thousands of
It concluded that the minimum wage isn’t small businesses in the state.

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View Point

Gottheimer, Sherrill have opportunity to lead

L
ongtime readers of this space know we favor or more likely, for the processes to revert to the comfortable
neither Republicans or Democrats — we just
Nancy Pelosi would be wise ways that things have been done.”
like people who want to get things done. And We’re hoping for better. We’re hoping the new Congress
actually get things done. (We can sense all to show she can work with will actual have new ideas. And we’re hoping the New Jersey
the business owners nodding in agreement.) the next generation coming contingent will help lead it.
So, we were happy to see Josh Gottheimer
to Congress. Gottheimer and Gottheimer, an absolute rising star, showed in just one
hold his ground with Speaker of the House wannabe term that he’s not afraid to get things done — and not afraid
Nancy Pelosi — trading support for meaningful change in Sherrill would be good places to work with the other party to do so. From what we’ve seen,
Washington. to start. he will hold Pelosi to her word. And fight back if she changes
At least, we hope that’s what happened. her mind.
Gottheimer, the co-head of the Problem Solvers The same holds true for the other potential rising star
Caucus, got Pelosi to agree to a number of requests, all of We now sense you shaking your head: Sounds like the in the delegation, incoming freshman Mikie Sherrill. She
which would actually create a more bipartisan, problem- new Congress will be a lot like the old Congress. already has done what she said she would do: She did not
solving atmosphere. That was the first reaction of Brigid Callahan back Pelosi for speaker.
The deal talks about every member getting a voice, Harrison, the noted professor of political science at Will it cost her when Pelosi assumes control? Possibly.
bipartisan agreements, modernizing the discharge petition Montclair State University. She’s taking a wait-and-see But Pelosi has lasted long enough to know many of the new
and increasing committee transparency. Point No. 7 approach. members who helped the Democrats regain the majority in
is our favorite: Pelosi has agreed to “commit to a more “On paper, the compromises appear to be a big win for the House did so under the promise of change.
and inclusive legislative progress where more ideas and the Problem Solvers. The test, however, will be in whether Pelosi would be wise to show she can work with the
amendments are debated, and there is less of a reliance on these changes will be enforced. ‘Commit to a more fair party next generation coming to Congress. Gottheimer and
close rules.” ratio.’ It would be easy for the compromises to be ignored, Sherrill would be good places to start.

Three Cheers Show & Tell
SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE: Gov. Phil Murphy Jeff Hendler is CEO of Logical Buildings.
announced an aggressive agenda for the state to push
shared services agreements among its many, many We asked him about how
municipalities, the better to ease the tax burden. The “not in property owners can leverage technology
my backyard” attitude of every tiny town can hinder cost-
saving, but the governor hopes he can grease the skids for to reduce building expenses.


some local efforts. Cheers, because who enjoys handing Energy is a big-ticket expense at any multifamily property, but
over hard-earned cash to the government? landlords usually consider electricity that powers common
areas and building systems a fixed cost that can’t be reduced.
EDA ACTION: The state EDA, a force under former Gov. Chris Christie, has continued Today’s technology refutes that
its makeover under Gov. Phil Murphy, adding a small business unit and opening a notion. Using a combination
second round of its Innovation Challenge for communities. Good to see the agency of sensors, software
remains vital even with a different take on support. Cheers! that tracks patterns
$15 OR BUST: Murphy wants a $15 minimum wage bill on his desk, and he wants of electricity, gas
it now, sparking the latest back-and-forth with Senate President Steve Sweeney and and water use,
other members of the Legislature (same team, guys!). and artificial
Meanwhile, Cooper University Health Care and some intelligence, a
other hospital systems are putting their money where growing number
their mouth is, boosting their wages to the $15 of New Jersey
mark. Cheers to the health sector, and jeers to the landlords are
squeaky wheels of government! gaining deeper
insight into their
buildings. With
better knowledge
about when and
how electricity,
“We run into sexual assault in the workplace water and
gas are used,
frequently, and it would probably be a good thing they’re often
able to reduce
if the attorney general would create some as part consumption when
of directive where lawyers who are dealing with costs are highest,
netting savings of up
civil cases can report in to the attorney general to 25 percent of a
for assistance and guidance … in prosecuting it building’s total
energy costs.”
criminally.” — Neil Mullin of Smith Mullin P.C., talking
about Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s new guidelines
for handling sexual assault cases.

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Focus
On …

WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Jessica Wooke, chief product officer at RobustWealth, a fintech firm based in Lambertville. —
­ ALEXANDRA PAIS

DIGITAL
For women, fintech industry offers some parity, but there are still challenges

DIVIDE
F
BY BRETT JOHNSON
bjohnson@roi-nj.com

or the eight years Jessica Wooke was a network engineer at a previous company,
there were practically no other women beside her.
As a result, she experienced too many awkward situations to talk about, she said. One that comes to mind
involved a male colleague talking to her about a massive data center build-out that she was spearheading.
“I was crushing it — on time and under budget — and, so, he said to me, ‘Yeah, but when are they going to
start paying you right?’” she said.
It was a stunning, stop-in-your-spot comment.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 41

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Focus On … Women in Business

Stret c h
for success
With five locations and more than $1M in revenue, Kika Stretch Studios
is proving entrepreneurial ideas can come from anywhere

BY MEG FRY Wise felt she could fill a niche no one  therapist, exerts force upon one’s limbs to
mfry@roi-nj.com else was in: teaching people how to stretch Wise didn’t have much money to start — move them into new positions.
properly. just $500 she had from a tax return in 2011. “Imagine lying on a mat and having
After graduating from Montclair State “Our coaches help take away the tension She had, however, gumption and someone gently stretch out your entire body
University in 2006 with an undergraduate that has been trapped inside your body for determination. for you,” she said. “People are straining their
degree in dance, Hakika Wise worked years,” she said. “I always was offended when someone muscles because they are so tight.
professionally as a dancer and actress in New So far, it’s working. capped my capabilities,” she said. “If someone I help to treat them in the
York City. Kika Stretch Studios, one of the first set a limit for my life, it was my job to prove ways a dancer would, by
“But I got sick of being a starving artist,” assisted stretching studio concepts in the them wrong.” therapeutically stretching
she said. country, opened its fifth franchise location last She also had a new concept. tension away.”
She said she also wanted to have better month in Short Hills, with two more expected Based upon what she had learned Assisted stretching, Wise
control of her schedule in order to raise her in the state before the end of the year. about anatomy and physical fitness as added, can help reduce pain,
infant son. This year, the business is expected to a dancer, Wise said, she developed especially in the neck and
So, Wise polled her family and friends. surpass $1 million in revenue — and Wise a unique and specialized shoulders, as well as stiffness in
“I asked, ‘Should I start a business, or is ready to share The KIKA Method with the combination of joints that limits range of
should I go back to school?’” she said. “They nation. passive stretching motion.
said, ‘You have no money; no clients; and She also is looking to work with and techniques in “The benefits
you know nothing about business.’ And that support more entrepreneurially-minded which an of The KIKA
all made sense.” women and minorities like herself in New external Method are mental
But life is short, Wise said, and she had Jersey. element, clarity, improved
no intention of living a life directed by others. “I want people to read my story and such as a posture, decreased
So, she started a business: Kika Stretch understand that, sometimes, you don’t need stress, enhanced
Studios.
Studios a large amount of money to start working performance,
toward your dreams,” she said. improved flexibility
and much more,”
she said.
To prove her
method, Wise began by
renting a shared space
with a real estate agent

Hakika Wise, founder and CEO of Kika Stretch
Studios, openened one of the first assisted
stretching studio concepts in the country. —
ALEXANDRA PAIS

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Focus On … Women in Business

“I am thrilled that my dream for so many years has come to fruition and I have the
opportunity to share The KIKA Method and Kika Stretch Studios with businesses nationally.”
— Hakika Wise, founder and CEO of Kika Stretch Studios

for $345 a month and paid $150 to print up
marketing materials she said she used to help Working mother From fire to franchise
educate the public about assisted stretching. On a recent morning, Hakika Wise, When Hakika Wise, founder and
“I also hired college students to wear founder and CEO of Kika Stretch CEO of Kika Stretch Studios, said
Gumby costumes around the town of Studios, said she sent 20 emails, she decided to franchise, she
Montclair, stretching and giving out made breakfasts and lunches, and proceeded to remove herself
brochures,” Wise said. “I mastered the art of told her son to brush his teeth — all from the day-to-day operations of
guerilla marketing, being that I had no money.” before 7 a.m. the business in order to have the
After six months, the real estate agent “Sticking to a routine and forcing time and creativity to work on the
asked her to leave the space because she was yourself to wake up early is always franchise model.
using it too frequently for her work with something I had to do,” Wise said. “If you’re weighed down by the
clients. “But knowing what your priorities daily operations of your business
are and not being afraid to put your — the paperwork, the phone calls,
“I guess he thought the idea was a joke and
family first is what I would suggest, the emails — and you feel as if you
that I would help him pay for the space, but,
because it is possible to handle everything at the same time, even if you are have reached a plateau, it’s time
actually, I started growing clientele,” Wise said. running to the car with a coffee in one hand and a yogurt in the other.”
to start firing yourself from some
It was time for a new space. Many new
Wise initially created Kika Stretch Studios in an effort to have more control of the things you don’t have to do
spaces, as it turned out.
over her schedule with her son. and to trust your staff to allow

them to help you grow,” Wise said.
Wise said she quickly found a bigger, “I never wanted the babysitter to see him more than I did,” she said.
“You’ll make more money, and
albeit more expensive, space in 2012 — at Today, Wise said trying to make each day the same while raising her 9-year-old everyone will be happier.”
$600 per month — in the basement of a son and stepdaughter is pretty much impossible.
Wise said franchising simply was
Turkish restaurant in Montclair. “I’ve come to terms with that,” she said. “You have to deal with unexpected an extension of what she already
“In the summer, you would smell curry family and employee issues. had successfully accomplished at
and onions through the vents, but my clients her studio in Montclair.
“But my routine usually starts with positive affirmations before I even look at
still came,” Wise said. “That is when I knew
my phone, to set my intention for the day. I then work before the kids wake up, “It’s about finding good people
our services outweighed the circumstances.” take them to school, work until about 5 p.m. and, when that time comes, I’m a and teaching them what you’ve
Her business earned six figures while mother who looks at her phone as little as possible.” done, which I already had within
located in that basement — until it flooded
my own studio,” she said. “So, I
18 months later. believed in my ability to find and
Wise then moved into her own storefront emailing her from all over the world. trained in our own original techniques of teach the right people.”
in Montclair in 2014, to help further her “I recognized we were onto something unlocking flexibility,” she said.
What she did not realize, Wise
concept and brand with prospective clients. that didn’t exist everywhere,” Wise said. “My Two additional Kika Stretch Studios will
said, was how difficult it would be
“People were starting to believe in us,” goal was not to scale; my goal was simply to open in Englewood and Summit later this to be a woman franchisor.
Wise said. take care of my family. But I remember when year, and by the end of the next, Wise said
Business was going great, she added, one of my clients said, ‘You have to franchise. her goal is to open at least 10 more franchise “The world does mostly consist
of men,” she said. “It is like I have
and, for the next 18 months, Wise and Kika You have to offer this to more people.’ locations nationwide.
to automatically prove myself
Stretch Studios enjoyed a great deal of press “I realized it wasn’t just about me “My five-year plan is to open 65 franchise
and show that I know what I am
and a growing roster of clients. anymore. It was truly about helping people.” locations,” she said. talking about, and that can be
So, Wise took her son on a much-needed  Though franchise costs range from tough sometimes when you are
and well-deserved vacation to Hawaii in Wise opened the second Kika Stretch $40,000 to $99,000, Wise said anyone not given the platform others are.”
2016, but, upon her return, said she was led Studios in Westfield in May 2015. Locations interested should reach out.
Still, Wise said, franchising has
by her brother to discover her studio was on in New York City (2016), Morristown (2018) “We have income-based programs
helped her to help others while
fire — leading her to have to again move into and now Short Hills have followed. specifically for women and minorities growing her own business.
a basement space, this time in a church, for At each, 45-minute sessions typically that allow them to enter into our franchise
nine months while the studio was rebuilt. start at $80. without needing millions of dollars up front,” “Especially if you focus on helping
people, people are looking for
“Still, we never missed payroll and we “I am thrilled that my dream for so she said. “We vet potential franchisees and, if
opportunities to invest into a
continued to build clientele,” she said. many years has come to fruition and I have they qualify, we can take them through this
business model that will lead
Her business happened to be featured in the opportunity to share The KIKA Method process toward franchise ownership. them to financial freedom,” she
The New York Times while she was in that and Kika Stretch Studios with businesses “Even if you think you’ll never be able to said. “I didn’t realize there were so
basement — and people kept calling and nationally,” Wise said. afford it, contact us anyway. You never know.” many people unhappy with their
Wise currently works with three Wise said she always will encourage jobs until they started contacting
franchisees and 14 employees to assist clients, women following in her footsteps to take full me about franchise opportunities.
Conversation Starter
including Steve Adubato, broadcast anchor advantage of their opportunities. “It’s cool that we’re helping both
Reach Hakika Wise at:
hd@kikastretchstudios.com and author, and Bobbi Brown, entrepreneur “Don’t think that it can’t happen,” she said. our consumers and our owners
or 973-707-2707. and founder of Bobbi Brown Studio. “You might as well try when you are alive.” lead better lives.”
“Our stretch coaches are thoroughly twitter: @megfry3

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Focus On … Women in Business

Healthy

Oxygen bars are the unique corporate event add-ons that are catching on

Fadja Robert-Carr, owner and CEO of Elevate O2, an oxygen bar for recreational entertainment in Belleville. — PHOTOS BY ALEXANDRA PAIS

BY MEG FRY Especially in the corporate world, she Each 10- to 15-minute recreational find out for yourself the health benefits of
mfry@roi-nj.com added. oxygen session provides 95 percent pure oxygen therapy,” she added.
“They can expect for it to be a hit and the oxygen combined with an aromatherapy For example, oxygen bar fans have
adja Robert- talk of the office party,” Robert-Carr said. essential oil. Elevate O2 provides for its guests touted benefits such as stress reduction,
Carr said After working at marketing events and more than 70 aromatic options, including increased alertness and sometimes even
there’s a product launches for major brands for more cherry blossom, strawberry mint, pure the disappearance of headaches and sinus
reasonable than a decade, Robert-Carr founded her lavender and even one entitled the “beach.” congestion.
chance you own health and wellness company to provide “Some people describe it as an Costs for an oxygen bar depend on the
have heard of yoga and Pilates and fitness instruction just innovative style of hookah, combining pure number of guests attending an event, the
an oxygen bar. four years ago. aromatherapy and oxygen — without the location, and how much equipment needs to
And a better chance you have never tried Elevate O2, she said, is a more focused smoke,” Robert-Carr said. “Some people also be mobilized in order to serve guests over an
it. Yet. spinoff into that sort of healthy recreational say it helps to clear their mind.” average of six hours, Robert-Carr said.
“It is still such a novel experience and entertainment. Elevate O2 does not make any medical “The market rate right now is about
service for many people,” Robert-Carr said. “We provide people with alternative and claims, nor does it treat any ailments with its $1,900 for an event in the tri-state area,”
That is why the self-described holistic amazing experiences for guests outside of the oxygen bar, Robert-Carr said. she said. “That also includes the setup and
health enthusiast launched into the “quirky realm of partying,” Robert-Carr said. “But, if you do your research, you may breakdown, as well as a ‘bartender’ who
yet effective” niche business this year, she Starting with the oxygen bar. helps to ‘serve’ the guests.”
said, as owner and CEO of Elevate O2 in “I experienced an oxygen bar many years Robert-Carr said she currently works
Conversation Starter
Belleville. ago and it always has been difficult to find with two additional independent contractors,
Reach Fadja Robert-Carr at:
“There is so much opportunity for again,” Robert-Carr said. “Even now, curious info@elevate02.com but may be looking to add to her team if she
people to try and love things that are new people often ask what it is because it is so or 505-484-9818. expands outside of the tri-state area.
and different,” Robert-Carr said. colorful and bubbly.” While oxygen bars often are requested at

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Focus On … Women in Business
weddings and bachelorette parties, Robert- in air-polluted cities where something like
Carr said her presence at corporate events is this would be a total gem. In fact, the oxygen
rapidly growing in popularity. bar originated in Tokyo based on that
For example, Elevate O2 recently premise.”
provided an oxygen bar at the Statewide Wherever Elevate O2 takes her, Robert-
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Carr said recreational entertainment and
Jersey’s annual business convention and the oxygen bars provide a great playing field with
Annual Health Exposition in Edison, as well lots of room and potential.
as for Annalect, a data-driven marketing “It also is a great opportunity for capital Robert-Carr
agency, and Kleinfeld Bridal, a bridal dress investors seeking to invest in an emerging demonstrates how to
boutique, in New York City. sector,” she said. use the equipment at
“As event planners, what can you do to twitter: @megfry3 an oxygen bar.
make your event stand out?” Robert-Carr
said. “For example, major corporations at
trade shows might provide an oxygen bar at
their booth because people will want to sit,
talk and mingle.
“It gets people to stay and listen to what
they have to offer.”
Robert-Carr estimates Elevate O2 will
make, at minimum, $100,000 in profit in
2019, with the demand for oxygen bars only
increasing.
Within five years, Robert-Carr said,
Elevate O2 would like to be manufacturing
its own products for use at their oxygen bar.
“But at this stage, it is more about creating
brand awareness and creating more of a
demand for our products,” she said. “I also
am building relationships with people who
do business in emerging markets, especially

Noses up
Elevate O2 is designed to look
like a bar where one might order
cocktails, Fadja Robert-Carr,
owner and CEO, said.
But at this bar, the patrons wear
nasal cannulas, or single-use pieces
of flexible hygienic plastic that
allow for a low-flow of oxygen to be
directly inhaled through the nostrils.
“I was at a high-end event this
past month in which someone
said this was not the most
attractive accessory they ever
wore,” Robert-Carr said.
But everyone gets over that rather
quickly, she added.
“Corporate environments tend
to be very serious, but, after 10
minutes, people are laughing
and talking despite the nasal
cannulas,” Robert-Carr said. “It’s
fun.”
In planning to design and
manufacture her own products,
Robert-Carr said she may take
such factors into consideration.
“It’s been presented this way
throughout the last 20 years,
though I may consider coming up
with a more innovative design,”
she said.

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Focus On … Women in Business

Stepping up Finding candidates for leadership posts BY BRETT JOHNSON mentor early in my career and I relish the

can be a problem, accounting firm partner says: bjohnson@roi-nj.com opportunity to now be a mentor to the
other women in the firm,” Davis said. “I got
We’ve had dearth of people who want role How is Cathy Davis different from the 11 to where I am due in no small part to so
other principals at her accounting firm? much support and encouragement from my
She’ll tell you it’s a compassionate leadership betters, both male and female, and I do my
style, a softer touch that she’s proud to call best to pay it forward.”
her own. Through her experience with the
There’s also the number of women networking group, what Davis has gathered
among the 12-person leadership team: None, about the difficulties women encounter in
besides her. always pressing forward with advancing
That detail, which she avoided any hasty in accounting careers has a lot to do with
mention of herself, has her standing out in the balancing family life with a high-powered
new leadership role she took on last month profession.
at MSPC Certified Public Accountants and “People often feel very torn — and it’s not
Advisors in Cranford, but it’s not unusual. easy to have a little baby at home and take
“It’s actually not something I think about four months of working around the clock
too much, because I’m happy to say being a for tax season,” she said. “You’re going to
woman hasn’t been a factor as I’ve advanced be limited as to what you can do, especially
in my career,” she said. “Although I’ve heard during those busy months.
of other women in other places having “You won’t always be there for dinner,
trouble, feeling like there’s a glass ceiling or to pick a kid up from school. It’s just the
they can’t penetrate. … For our firm, we’ve nature of the beast.”
honestly just had a dearth of candidates that Like many accounting firms today,
wanted to step into the role.” MSPC offers its employees the flexibility of
However, the number of women entering working remotely.
the accounting industry is accelerating, Davis “Having the ability if your kid is sick to
said, especially as the graduates from college hop on the computer at home does help,”
accounting programs lean toward a female she said, adding that it’s “still a challenge
majority. And as accomplished accountants to give everything to a career but also have
such as Davis work their way up leadership happy home life. And we have to sometimes
ladders, there are more women in the roles remind ourselves don’t always have to be the
that can guide these young accountants to absolutely perfect mother or the perfect wife
become the next higher-ups. all of the time if you’re braving both family
It’s in Davis’ job description to mentor and career lives.”
the younger, up-and-coming accountants With the tax filing flurry coming up —
and encourage them as they create their exacerbated this year with an entirely new set
own leadership path. She’s not only guiding of rules for federal taxes with last year’s Tax
women, of course, but she has put an emphasis Cuts and Jobs Act — accountants will soon
on that during her time with MSPC. have a reminder of just how demanding the
At the local firm, she founded what’s profession’s work can be.
called the Executive Women’s Networking But Davis, and many of the future
Group. The group encourages the accounting leaders she mentors, however
professional development of women at the stressful they might find it, describe these
accounting firm through various activities times of the year with a word not usually
and events. filed alongside tax forms: fun.
Cathy Davis, principal at MSPC Certified Public While in her previous role as tax manager “It’s true; it can be really exciting to get
Accountants and Advisors in Cranford. —
­ MSPC at MSPC, where she oversaw a team of up and come into work every day,” she said.
Conversation Starter
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS AND ADVISORS primarily women, she said that she identified “The deadlines can be tough — and the busy
Reach Cathy Davis of MSPC at:
cdavis@mspc-cpa.com the sort of potential in young accountants seasons hectic — but I do find it to be a lot
or 908-272-7000. that a mentor once saw in her. of fun.”
“I was fortunate to have a strong female twitter: @reporterbrett

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Focus On … Women in Business

Top of the tech world
You would be hard-pressed
to come up with a more
accomplished tech entrepreneur
overall than Meg Columbia-Walsh.
She founded and sold five
companies, which means she’s
started and exited — the norm
for a tech
entrepreneurial
venture — more
companies than
most executives,
men or women.
Columbia-Walsh
Meg is particularly
Columbia-Walsh
keen on the
emerging area of artificial
intelligence. She most recently
co-founded a firm pioneering
artificial intelligence technology
in Jersey City, Wylei Inc., before
moving onto her next project in
Jessica Wooke is now chief product officer at RobustWealth, where she leads product and technology development. —
­ ALEXANDRA PAIS marketing automation.
“The AI space is as disruptive as
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 Wooke said. And it’s very much in-demand the web was when it first started,”
in the world of fintech, she added. she said. “Mobile, social media
“That hurt, because, first of all, how does Kerry Dougherty, a software engineer — it doesn’t come close to the
(he) know what I make?” she said. “Also, it at Newark-based fintech firm Credibility disruption that I see.”
wasn’t like there was going to be any follow- Capital, is one of the talented women coming
There’s a rarity to her story,
up on that colleague’s part. It was just an to an awareness of that. because there are only just
affirmation that I wasn’t making what I But Dougherty didn’t take a straight about 6 percent of women at the
should — and that wouldn’t change.” path to this line of work. She started off in CEO level in the tech industry,
Wooke is now chief product officer at a customer-facing job at an advertising firm according to a Harvard study.
RobustWealth, a Lambertville-based fintech before realizing she had shelved a gift for But in a historic shift that should
firm where she leads product and technology more technical roles. contradict that figure, women
development. “And, when I think back on it, I always now comprise half of engineering
undergrads in some of the
Are things different in fintech? loved the technical side of things — ever
country’s top schools.
The answer isn’t yet clear. since I was young,” she said. “But, the truth is,
Fintech, an emerging area of tech headed adults weren’t helping push me to that. When “We have plenty of female
by companies such as Square, Stripe and I’d show a skill at something like math, and engineers (in the tech industry)
now, we just need to start
PayPal, is in an interesting space right now. start teaching it to those around me, adults
promoting them,” she said. “Tech
It’s new, exciting and — Wooke has her Kerry Dougherty, a software engineer at Credibility would comment that I’d make a great mom
firms need to be filling executive
fingers crossed — maybe less totally male- Capital in Newark. —
­ CREDIBILITY CAPITAL or a great teacher.” ranks with women. … The talent is
dominated. Stereotypes weighed just as heavy on there, hiring them is a choice.”
There has been a spotlight recently leadership side Wooke mentioned, as well her decision to enroll in one of the now-
shined on the need for more women to get a as the technical side. But those dealing with ubiquitous bootcamp coding programs on
foot in the door at these burgeoning fintech the invisible infrastructure, the technical the internet to get into software engineering. “It’s in situations like that where I realize
firms, Wooke said. makeup of a fintech’s product, still lean “I thought this was the kind of career that this is what they mean when they say
“It’s great to see this now, because it has largely male. that people who looked exactly like Bill there’s no women in tech,” she said.
been absent for so long,” she said. “When you Wooke said her own firm has had Gates went into,” she said. “So, I had trouble The solution to that, she thinks, might be
look at the middle layer of companies in the more women enter these positions, mostly picturing myself in it. But, when I actually found in new ways of recruiting in the sector
fintech sector in the management levels, you candidates from recruiting events focused got into this workforce, I realized that there that have applicants go through a skills test
see a fair amount of women in director or on women in technical positions. She’s were other women as well.” that strips identifying information from the
vice president roles today. Taken as a whole, not certain that there has been the needed At Credibility Capital, she’s part of candidate’s coding aptitude.
however, there’s still room for improvement.” critical mass of women venturing down this a fintech startup where there’s an equal “Coding is great that way,” Dougherty
As far as the number of women career path. distribution of men and women on a still said. “You can’t tell from looking at a code
candidates there are to fill fintech jobs, “It’s amazing, because there’s just this very small team. what type of person wrote it.”
there’s a growing number — both on the diversity of technical jobs out there and I But she notices some disparity among twitter: @reporterbrett
think, if more women got over the stories fintechs in the coworking spaces she
that they tell themselves, they’d realize they commonly works in, which might have a
Conversation Starter Conversation Starter
could not only be good at it, but have fun ratio of one woman for every 20 men. She
Reach RobustWealth at: Reach Credibility Capital at:
service@robustwealth.com with it,” she said. has also been to tech networking events that inquiries@credibilitycapital.com
or 609-483-8101. For one, the software engineer position place her alongside around 500 men as one or 973-718-9100.
could use better female representation, of only two women in the room.

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ROI-NJ RETURN ON INFORMATION-NEW JERSEY December 3, 2018 ROI-NJ.COM

Non Profit

The American
Cancer Fund Empowering those
fighting disease
Benefactors
Nearly all of ACF funding
is through individual
contributions via the
ACF website, which
is why donations are
vital to the success of
the organization. ACF
benefactors are people
with cancer and their
families. ACF also provides
grant money to numerous
projects, including:
 Support for medical
research in finding
effective treatments and
a cure for skin cancer;
 Promising research into
the early detection and
successful treatment
of lung cancer;
 Research for fighting
blood cancers, leukemia
and lymphoma;
 Professional case
A 5K race benefiting the American Cancer Fund. —
­ AMERICAN CANCER FUND management services
provided at no cost to
Origin Mission individuals anywhere in
Where: The American Cancer The mission of ACF Conversation Starter the United States;
Hillsborough Fund dates back to the is to provide free, For more information, contact Harry Stryder at:
1960s, when it was a clear, independent henry@americancancerfund.org, Shari Stryder  Research and treatment
Key members:
number of disparate at: shari@americancancerfund.org of pediatric catastrophic
Harry Stryder, information and research
organizations. In the or 908-413-5755. diseases;
founder, president; to enable patients and
Shari (Lerer) late 1990s, Harry and  Innovative research to
their families to make
Stryder, founder, Shari Stryder recognized achieve prevention and
smarter choices for
chief financial the internet as a tool Achievements Programs a cure for breast cancer.
to consolidate these cancer treatment with
officer; Cynthia Calling itself the “Google ACF provides relevant
resources into a single an emphasis on dignity,
Johnston, founder, for Cancer,” ACF and up-to-date cancer
website branded as the functionality and cure. measures success by
vice president; information and Finally
Hewitt Vinnedge American Cancer Fund. the number of visitors educational resources ACF recently partnered
Johnston, founder, Both had endured the to its website. The ACF online at www.
Fundraising with another nonprofit
Episcopal priest. personal loss of family website receives up to americancancerfund.org
Most of ACF’s funding organization, Dunellen
and friends to different 5,000 page hits a day and and in person via phone Skylight Theatre
cancers, so they financed is from individual serves 1.5 million people and email. Additionally, Productions, on a video
and managed ACF as a donations. ACF also annually. ACF estimates
ACF provides cancer to raise awareness
second act in retirement, sponsors several charity it has served tens of
research grants to about ACF and boost
relaunching it in the year 5K run events and sells millions of people since it
organizations that donations. The video is
2000. sunscreen specially launched.
work on cancer cures, an important marketing
formulated for ACF and treatment, detection and tool to differentiate
sold through the website. research projects, and ACF from other cancer
Goals
have shown the ability to charities at a critical
ACF is expanding its reach through promotion and brand awareness, and hopes to time when new tax
effectively use the funds
drive more donations through these efforts. ACF’s capacity to serve more people laws are blunting small
they receive.
is proportional to the success of its fundraising. ACF is working to reestablish charitable donations
support for families impacted by childhood cancer through a dedicated web page, while demand grows for
AmericanCancerFund4Kids.org, and has plans to revive its newsletter. It also plans information and support.
to relaunch its social media campaign, the “Kissing Off Cancer Challenge,” which The video can be viewed
asks people to take a picture kissing a loved one, post it to social media with the on the ACF website at
hashtags #kissoffcancer #kissingoffcancer #ACF #kiss, and then donate to ACF. americancancerfund.org.

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