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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

15

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