EY unveils N.J.’s Entrepreneur of the Year winners

EY unveiled Thursday night the 12 New Jersey winners of its Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 Award at a gala at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.

Each of the 33 New Jersey regional finalists were placed in 12 different categories.

EY, a tax and advisory services firm, said it honors entrepreneurs “who break the mold.”

Anthony Sgammato and Ed Villa, co-directors of the Entrepreneur of the Year New Jersey program, hosted the night.

“We’ve come together to celebrate you, the dynamic mold-breakers who are propelling forward to a brighter future for us all. You are visionaries who launch and re-imagine businesses, employ millions and endow your communities, leaving legacies of accomplishment and enrichment while settling the pace for generations of entrepreneurs to come. We salute the finalists being honored tonight and congratulate the award winners,” the pair said.

The awards recognize businesspeople who excel in areas including innovation, financial performance and commitment to business and community.

Here are the winners and finalists in each category:



  • Marilyn Grabowski, Atlantic Infra (WINNER)
  • Darren Magarro, DSM
  • Jaime Raskulinecz, Next Generation Services

Life Sciences

  • Ajay Singh, Slayback Pharma LLC (WINNER)
  • Utpal Patel, Sunrise Pharmaceutical
  • Dr. Christopher Schaber, Soligenix Inc.
  • John Thero, Amarin Corp.

Real Estate and Construction


  • Jassi Chadha and Navi Chadha, Axtria Inc. (WINNER)
  • Marc Betesh, Visual Lease
  • Albert Hughes, Alix Group

Family Business

  • John Paul Amalfe, Momentum USA Inc. (WINNER)
  • Bob Shah and Ricky Shah, ODZ Holdings LLC
  • Harry Stout, Stout’s Transportation
  • Dina Opici and Don Opici, The Opici Group

Food and Beverage

  • David Rosenberg, AeroFarms (WINNER)
  • Larrie Laird and Lisa Laird Dunn, Laird & Co.
  • Neel Premkumar, Dyla LLC



  • Suuchi Ramesh, Suuchi Inc. (WINNER)
  • Michael Caringi, Manufacturers Edge


  • Doug Klinger, Zelis Healthcare Inc. (WINNER)
  • Dr. Martin Madaus, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
  • John Payne, Compassion-First Pet Hospitals


  • Fred D’Alessandro, Diversified (WINNER)
  • Siby Vadakekkara, Marlabs Inc.
  • Gary Marks, Opengear


EY also announced the EY Youth Scholarship, which was awarded to Enyshia Downey of Instrumentalists Inspired in Newark. Downey’s goal, she said, is for her company to grow and offer more programs, lessons, materials and instruments in other urban communities.

This is EY’s 32nd year giving out the awards. Regional winners are eligible for its national awards, which will be given out in November in California.

The awards were sponsored by SAP, Merrill Corp., Ewing Marion Kauffman FoundationPNC BankDLA PiperMorgan LewisPine Hill Group and SolomonEdwards.