NJBIZ Power 100: G-M
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(Pictured above, from right.) Perhaps no one is as responsible for Phil Murphy becoming governor of New Jersey than Brendan Gill. The Essex County freeholder and head of the full-service public affairs company, The Gill Group LLC, was an early addition to the Murphy team as campaign manager, helping to guide the then-relative unknown to the top job in Trenton. Gill’s experience as an advisor dates back to his work as a senior adviser to the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, first managing his historic fifth re-election campaign and then overseeing all statewide operations. Gill also helped get Cory Booker re-elected to the U.S. Senate and served as his senior adviser. The founder and managing member of Canoe Brook Associates and co-chair of the executive committee for the Rutgers Center for Real Estate is among the distinguished — and loudest — voices warning that New Jersey is on its way to becoming dominated by abandoned shopping malls and what he calls “ghostly office parks” if steps aren’t taken by lawmakers to acknowledge and respond to the state’s need to develop a postsuburban economy. That lacking, he posits, is one of the main drivers of the continuing outmigration of those who should be entering the workforce but are instead looking for places to live where digital economies are embraced. Sobering words from someone who knows. As Johnson & Johnson’s chairman and CEO, Gorsky runs not only one of the biggest pharmaceuticals in the world but holds a position of power in a range of business and civic organizations attesting to his talent and know-how. He is a member of The Business Council and Business Roundtable, corporate boards including IBM’s, and is a director of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the National Academy Foundation. The West Point and Wharton School grad rose to his position of prominence at Johnson & Johnson by working his way up the ranks after getting hired as a sales rep in 1988. That same sort of single-minded dedication to long-range goals has served him well since assuming the drug giant’s top executive berth in 2012. In 2017, Brian Gragnolati, CEO of the state's third-largest hospital system, Atlantic Health, has maintained the company's focus on becoming better – not just bigger. At the beginning of the year, Gragnolati oversaw the creation of the Atlantic Alliance, a physician-led clinically integrated network. He strengthened a claim as one of the most influential players in the New Jersey health care industry when he partnered with five of the state's independent hospitals to form the Healthcare Transformation Consortium. Gragnolati will assume chairmanship of the American Hospital Association's Board of Trustees in 2019. He’s the new attorney general of New Jersey, but that doesn’t begin to explain the splash his appointment made when announced by Gov. Phil Murphy. As the first Sikh-American to serve in such a state role, Grewal early on made a point of proclaiming support for efforts to extend legal standing to undocumented youth known as Dreamers. That signaled his intent to forge a progressive path in his role as the state’s top prosecutor. And so far, the Essex County native has made the news most often with positions that speak to social issues such as transgender rights and the opioids crisis. But he’s also tended to his core responsibilities, as evidenced by the announcement his office had broken up a gun-running ring in Camden. In summary: This is one self-possessed, and powerful public servant. With Gribbin as CEO, CentraState Healthcare System last year again won Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and also was recognized by the American Heart Association for special achievement in the treatment of heart-failure patients. He has helped make CentraState the standard for value-based care by overseeing the addition of new community wellness centers, and it was one of eight hospitals to partner with QualCare’s network to offer a tiered network health care plan for small groups, an often underserved sector for health benefits in terms of options. As the acting transit chief in ever-congested New Jersey — pending her confirmation by the state Senate as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation — Gutierrez-Scaccetti has the tallest of orders. But her track record instills good confidence that she should measure up nicely. Formerly CEO of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, Gutierrez-Scaccetti has worked in the transportation industry for 28 years, including 21 at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Meantime, her new boss, Gov. Phil Murphy, has pledged heavy investment in public transportation, seeing it as key to state efforts to woo new business. Already, Gutierrez-Scaccetti and Murphy have unveiled a rail-commuter relief plan to ease congestion on New Jersey Transit trains by returning 20 rail cars into service. He’s chairman of the Hampshire Cos. real estate investment firm and Atlantic City redevelopment agency AC Devco, so it’s unlikely his prior association with the former Republican governor will keep Hanson from wielding influence with the new Democratic administration. Who’s going to ignore a guy soon to be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame? If the new administration decides it requires a go-to insider in the commercial real estate business to try and succeed where many have failed, they will be hard-pressed to find someone with the acumen, experience and track record of this powerful industry veteran. The founder, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey knows all about entrepreneurship, having grown up watching his father run the family business, Harmon Trucking Inc. in Trenton. Today, it’s Harmon’s mission to facilitate entrepreneurship and financial independence in New Jersey’s African American communities. The longtime banking executive is a strong advocate of economic diversity, using initiatives that center on education and public policy to accelerate business growth. He is regional vice president of New York and New Jersey for the National Black Chamber of Commerce, a board member of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and American Chamber of Commerce Executives, and member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. The co-founders of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment have amassed a portfolio of holdings that stretches across the pond and through a variety of genres. Harris, co-founder and member of the board of Apollo Global Management LLC; and Blitzer, the global head of Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities group and a member of the firm’s management committee, control the New Jersey Devils (and their minor league affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y.), Philadelphia 76ers (and their NBA G League team the Delaware 87ers), Prudential Center, Crystal Palace football team in the English Premier League, esports franchise Team Dignitas and the Grammy Museum Experience. The duo also is responsible for the Sixers Innovation Lab, a state-of-the-art training facility in Camden. Last year was a volatile one for biopharmaceutical companies subject to heat from consumers and politicians for high drug prices. Fortunately for them, BioNJ President Debbie Hart has worked tirelessly to advocate on their behalf. Hart has spent the past year spreading the industry message about what biopharma execs believe are the real reasons behind high drug prices. This past year, she became the inaugural chair of the state’s Biotechnology Task Force and led a white paper urging state government action to help the biopharma industry. Hart is a founding board member and officer of Opportunity New Jersey, a nonprofit seeking ways to create a sustainable state economy, and she also sits on the board of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Named interim CEO of Saint Peter’s University Hospital in 2017, Hirsch was forced to meet corporate-wide challenges head-on when he replaced well-respected Ronald Rak after the latter resigned in March. Saint Peter’s remains one of the few independent hospitals to compete with conglomerates such as RWJBarnabas Health and Hackensack Meridian Health. Emphasis on value-based care enabled the hospital to increase its reimbursement from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services by $44,000 from the previous year, when it was down by $41,000. Hirsch also oversaw the improvement of its cardiac division. That was exemplified when the hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, as well as an “A” grading by the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, an award given to fewer than 900 hospitals nationwide. New Jersey is seeing too many high school graduates leave for colleges in other states and, worse still, not returning after graduation. As president of Rowan University, Houshmand is making it an important priority to fight this loss of the state’s best and brightest youth. On other fronts, he’s supervising Rowan’s ambitious $50 million initiative to create a medical-research program at its Cooper Medical School in Camden. Houshmand predicts the investment will prove vital to the city’s revitalization efforts and will help create new economic opportunities in the state’s eds-and-meds corridor. There’s a good chance you’ve shopped at one of Inserra’s grocery stores. He has 22 ShopRites, 17 of which are in New Jersey, and where over 4,000 New Jerseyans work. As CEO of Inserra Supermarkets, his clout in the state’s food landscape is undeniable. In 2016, his empire was worth $1.28 billion. Food isn’t his only sphere of influence: Inserra is also a big presence in health care philanthropy and chairs the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation’s trustees board. As chairman and CEO of the Public Service Enterprise Group, Izzo heads the parent company of Public Service Electric & Gas, better known as PSE&G. Just look at the kind of money at his disposal: During the past few years, PSE&G’s Energy Strong program, at a cost of $1.2 billion, reinforced electric substations and switching stations and replaced vulnerable natural gas mains to prevent customers from losing power. The program is ongoing, so recent storms still resulted in some broad outages, which utility execs claim will become a thing of the past once Energy Strong is complete. Meantime, have no doubt that Izzo and Public Service Enterprise sit squarely at the nexus of government policy and public works: Its $2.4 million spent on political lobbying last year was the second-biggest such outlay in the state. The CEO of Audible, the largest seller of audio books, is one of the faces of the “new” New Jersey. His company’s move to Newark signifies how that city is becoming a tech hub. Audible works with Newark Venture Partners, a venture capital fund that supports a tech accelerator. The goal, he said in a recent interview with The Guardian, is to “reclaim Newark and New Jersey’s status as a seedbed for innovation.” In 2017, Audible began subsidizing living expenses for employees to persuade them to move to Newark. Katz said he hopes an influx of young professionals will serve as a catalyst for more business and culture in the area. The founder and chief executive officer of MWW Group is a member of the Public Relations Hall of Fame, and if there was such a shrine for political fundraising, he might be in that one, too. MWW Group is one of the five largest Independent public relations firms in the nation and one of the largest independent firms in the world. With headquarters in New York City and East Rutherford, MWW Group has 10 offices in the U.S. and Europe. A noted Democratic fundraiser, The New York Times called Kempner one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, having raised $3 million. He serves as deputy finance chair of the Democratic National Committee. Kennedy is the CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. Its motto: “Helping New Jersey Manufacture Success.” According to NJMEP, Kennedy has been directly responsible for more than $1 billion in product and services sold, and he has managed staffs of up to 300 people. With that kind of track record in hand, it’s his charge to set the organization’s strategic direction while striking partnerships and developing new initiatives. At last year’s first Manufacturing Caucus in Paterson, Kennedy spoke before a group of business leaders and legislators. There, he highlighted what is one of the state’s most pressing issues and NJMEP’s top priorities: narrowing the skills gap and aiding in the expansion of the state’s talent pipeline. In 2015, NJBIZ profiled the president of Evergreen Partners, a public relations, crisis and strategic communications firm. The headline of that piece called her “the fixer.” That’s because Kessler’s job is to protect the interests of some of the state’s most influential politicians, religious and educational institutions, businesses and more. She has counseled clients on sensitive issues including regulatory inquiries, personnel matters, business practices and criminal and civil litigation for more than 25 years. And her media savvy has been on display as an on-air reputation consultant to NBC’s “Today” show and technical consultant to network TV shows “The Good Wife” and “Nashville.” Kolluri has been president and CEO of the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership for a mere four months, but his vast experience in Camden and its rebirth gains him entry to the Power 100. As the leader of South Jersey’s largest urban redevelopment nonprofit, Kolluri and the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership will play a key role in how local industry is supported and others are welcomed to Camden, so strategically located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Kolluri previously served as the chief executive of the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors. Most insiders say that few people can negotiate with towns the way Ladell can. His work as senior vice president of AvalonBay Communities has allowed for him to continue expanding the company’s foothold in the state. On top of continuously scouting new opportunities throughout New Jersey, Ladell also teaches real estate law at Rutgers University, and serves on the boards of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and New Jersey Builders and Apartment Association. Having finished construction of Avalon Princeton, AvalonBay and Ladell have projects under construction in Piscataway, Teaneck, Maplewood, Boonton and Edgewater. Ladell makes his presence and business acumen known as a trained lawyer and seasoned businessman. Business managers for labor organizations as powerful as the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 tend to wield pretty good power themselves. As Lalevee holds the dual role of local business manager and vice president of the IUOE’s general executive board, this is one well-placed union boss. He has served on the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority and is a trustee of NJ SEED, a labor-management coalition to support state economic development. He also is vice president of the New Jersey Building Trades and a member of the state’s Licensed Crane Operators Advisory Board. The CEO of Summit Health Management, parent company to Summit Medical Group, continues to seek to revolutionize outpatient health care delivery in New Jersey. The largest independent multispecialty doctor network in the state with over 80 offices, SMG created partnerships in both Arizona and Oregon this past year, as well as opening new offices in Bergen County. Le Benger also is overseeing the creation of a new, state-of-the-art cancer treatment center with partner MD Anderson that is expected to open later this year. Michael Munoz, president of Amerihealth New Jersey, noted during a recent conference what truly sets Le Benger’s SMG apart from the pack is it’s the only health care system in New Jersey to engage in a full risk-payment model, the cornerstone of a true value-based health care delivery model. Among his many honors, Le Benger was named Healthcare Professional of the Year by NJBIZ in 2015. Libutti was appointed as director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and vice chancellor for Cancer Programs at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences just over a year ago, but has hit the ground running. In addition to his leadership roles within Rutgers University, Libutti also serves as senior vice president of oncology services for RWJBarnabas Health, further strengthening the university’s partnership with the health care system. He is also a professor of surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. It all makes for a powerfully well-placed and talented health care executive. Lizura remains chief operating officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which has seen a rotation of top officers under Gov. Phil Murphy. Lizura worked with NJEDA chief Tim Sullivan’s predecessor, Melissa Orsen, and also her predecessor. So his institutional knowledge should help bridge any knowledge gaps amid all the shuffling. Lizura has been directly involved in redevelopment projects in Newark, Camden and Atlantic City, and also is credited with helping to revitalize Fort Monmouth as a member of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority. He is currently a board member of NAIOP New Jersey and on the advisory board of the Rutgers Business School. As president of RWJBarnabas’ Southern Region, Mansue was already one of the most influential people in the state’s hospital region. Then she was named board chair of the powerful New Jersey Hospital Association. At RWJBarnabas, Mansue integrates medical research from Rutgers University into the practices of the hospital system’s physicians. It’s no easy task bringing together 9,000 employees from the university and hospitals, and since the partnership with Rutgers was forged three years ago, Mansue has helped oversee a plan that maximizes talent and shaves costs. “Our real effort is making sure our primary care doctors have access to Rutgers specialists – that’s still a work in progress,” she acknowledges with typical candor. In just the most recent sign of his connectivity, McCabe last month was named to the board of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Considering his day job is president of the Carpenter Contract Trust — a multistate labor-management cooperative — you have to believe the appointment is well-timed for all involved. Gov. Phil Murphy wants to push through the Gateway Program mega-project to construct a new rail tunnel into New York, and if funding can be secured it’s expected to create tens of thousands of construction jobs. Meantime, McCabe also is Democratic Party chairman in Middlesex County. Oh the dotted lines one will be tempted to connect in the months ahead. The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey is a great turnaround story, and Medina is its architect. The organization was on the ropes before he was elected chairman in 2012, and in the time since it has gone from deficit to surplus and more than doubled its ranks to more 2,500, making it the largest chamber by membership in the state. He also decided not to go it alone, reaching out to other similar-minded groups to get things done. Among those he has established working relationships including the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and Hispanic Alliance of South Jersey. Things didn't look good for the senior senator in 2015. That's when Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges based on allegations that he used his influence to help a major donor. Menendez pleaded not guilty, but his senatorial career appeared to hang in the balance — so much so that Republicans were lining up replacement prospects should then-Gov. Chris Christie have to pick a replacement. Then a mistrial and the U.S. Department of Justice's decision not to re-prosecute gave Menendez new life. Now, despite a challenge by former Celgene Corp. executive chair Robert Hugin, Menendez is expected to cruise to re-election in the fall and maintain his seat of power as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His sway is crucial to the realization of the Gateway Program. You’ve seen the ads, the ones with then-Gov. Chris Christie warning of the dangers of opioid abuse. Those were produced by Kivvit, whose managing partner knows a thing or two about effective public relations — and election — campaigns. Moran’s charges at “Team Kivvit” have been responsible for helping push forward a number of key state initiatives, such as the ReachNJ addiction awareness campaign and Building Our Future, the bond act that authorized the issuance of $750 million in general obligation bonds to finance higher educational capital projects. Before founding Kivvit, Moran worked for a long list of Democratic politicians including Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Frank Lautenberg, Andrew Cuomo and Jon Corzine. At a time when Atlantic City needed trailblazers to redefine the city, Jack Morris of Edgewood Properties and Joe Jingoli of Jingoli & Sons readily agreed to step up to the plate. Taking on a potential white elephant known as Trump Taj Mahal, their joint venture has invested more than $500 million to create Hard Rock Atlantic City. When the project is complete — the grant opening is set for summer — it will deliver jobs and renewed hope for the beleaguered resort city. The road trodden has been tumultuous for the duo, but skeptics need only look at their previous work in Somerville, Somerset and elsewhere to see that Morris and Jingoli are capable of tackling even the toughest challenges. Big things are going on at Campbell Soup Co. these days under CEO Morrison. For starters, its $6.1 billion deal to purchase of Snyder's-Lance in December, once completed, will be the company's largest acquisition in its 149-year history. Morrison says it also marks a major shift in the company's center of gravity away from a domination by lines of soup and into fast-growing snack products. Two years ago, as one of only 27 women at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, Morrison created a mentorship program at Campbell to elevate women at the company and help shatter the proverbial glass ceiling. One-third of participants have received a promotion since the program rolled out. That's mmm, mmm good! Introduce someone as the president of the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council and you know somebody’s going to hit him up for a job for a favorite nephew. And therein lies Mullen’s power base: jobs. Mullen has been full-time president of the council since 2008, when he retired as business manager of Ironworkers Union Local 11. But he’s led the Council since 2001, serving in a part-time capacity for the first seven years. The statewide Council is comprised of 15 international building trade unions and 13 county councils representing 150,000 members. ‘Nough said? Always follow the money: She’s Gov. Phil Murphy’s pick for state treasurer, and that means Muoio will serve as the state’s top fiscal steward. She recently helped Murphy forge his first state budget proposal, a $37.4 billion plan featuring a hike in the sales tax and a so-called millionaires tax. Prior to her current role, the Mercer County Democrat represented the 15th electoral district in the state General Assembly. While there she served on three committees: budget, economic development and judiciary. But her political career dates back to borough politics in Pennington in 1997. She quickly used that platform to vault into a seat on the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders by 2003, and by 2008 was appointed director of economic development for the county. To be sure, this rapid riser is one to watch.