The ROI Influencers Power List 2020: Associations

Dhiren Amin/Satish Poondi
President/Legal adviser
Indian Business Association
The two are the capable heads of the IBA, an organization that represents one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy — and one that increasingly is interested in having political pull.


Tom Bracken
New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
Some may have cowered when their association’s marquee event (the Walk to Washington) helped spark a discussion about “toxic” environments for women. Bracken and his team met the challenge head on — and hope to be a leader in impacting the issue.


Dave Brogan
Executive director
New Jersey Apartment Association
We sound like a broken record every year, but those in real estate never mind the song: Brogan is a top leader in the state and the country on all things multifamily.


Luis De La Hoz/Carlos Medina
Chairman/CEO and president
Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
The size of the Hispanic business community — and the buying power in it — makes it a force today. One that all business leaders and politicians needs to recognize. De La Hoz and Medina are making it easy for everyone to do so, with their seemingly endless number of events and outreach.


Linda Doherty/Marilou Halvorsen
President/Executive director
New Jersey Food Council/New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association
The two lead the two organizations with perhaps the biggest impact on one of the biggest sectors in the state: food & beverage. They are helping to inform and influence key issues, including banning plastic bags, minimum wage and startups.


Regina Egea
Garden State Initiative
Continues to be a thoughtful influencer on the state’s most pressing economic issues, continually using fact-based research to challenge and refute more progressive ideas. She’s providing viewpoints few others in the state are promoting.


Jarrod Grasso
New Jersey Association of Realtors
Ably oversees an association that is key to economic growth in the suburbs and the urban settings.


Chip Hallock/Barbara E. Kauffman
CEO; Chief operating officer
Newark Regional Business Partnership
One of the more important and most influential of the regional chambers of commerce. Hallock and Kauffman play an integral role in the business and economic efforts in Newark and all of Essex County.


Debbie Hart
She remains a force statewide — and globally — for a life sciences/bio industry that is still one of the most impactful in the state.


John Harmon

African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
Harmon’s tell-it-to-you-straight approach makes his words powerful. Whether he’s speaking of how the African American business community is hurt by others — or how it is hurting itself — Harmon always speaks the truth.


Alida Kass
New Jersey Civil Justice Institute
She is one of the people leading the battle against the contractor classification, or so-called “gig economy” bill that she and others argue would be an overreach that would crush the side jobs so many depend on — as a similar one has in California.


John Kennedy
New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program
No one waves the flag better for his members. His ability to secure grants and work with the state to help build apprenticeship programs is a key factor in keeping manufacturing alive in New Jersey.


Jim Kirkos
Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce
Is an example of how outworking the field not only keeps you relevant, but ahead of the pack. His chamber’s new headquarters should be the model for all others moving forward.


Brandon McKoy
New Jersey Policy Perspective
Many in the business world may not agree with his progressive agenda — but everyone has to agree on this: NJPP’s points are made and based on data. Agree to disagree. But agree that he has done his homework on the issues.


Christina Renna
Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey
She only has been in the top spot since Jan. 1, but she’s already making an impact — with new programming and new initiatives — at one of the state’s most important regional chambers.


David Rosenberg
Executive director
North Jersey Jewish Business Alliance
Rosenberg is the head of a chamber of commerce-like organization of more than 150 members that provides opportunities for local Jewish businesses to forge strong relationships with each other and elected officials.


Anthony Russo
Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey
Heads the statewide association that supports — and advocates for — businesses of all shapes and sizes. Russo is well-known by the power players in Trenton and business leaders across the state.


Judy Savage
Executive director
NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools
Everyone wants to rebuild the middle class in the state through expansion of vocational education in the high schools and community colleges. Savage is helping to make that a reality.


Michele Siekerka
New Jersey Business & Industry Association
Some felt the breakup with NJM Insurance was going to cause the downfall of NJBIA. Siekerka is showing it’s just the opposite, as she is using it as an opportunity to unveil new programs and new areas of expertise.


Carol Ann Short
New Jersey Builders Association
Longtime head of one of the associations that represents one of the state’s most important sectors, Short skillfully navigates the egos — and the interests — of the group.


Ralph Thomas
New Jersey Society of CPAs
A go-to source for all things related to the state and local tax deduction (“SALT”) and state budget, Thomas makes sure the insights that only CPAs can bring are heard.

Click below to see who landed in the Top 30 spots on the ROI Influencers Power List 2020:

Here’s the most powerful people in 13 industries:

And to read how a political scientist made the call on who was named No. 1 on the list, click here.