ROI-NJ presents ‘The Interview Issue,’ our annual Q&As with some of N.J.’s most important influencers

The Interview Issue is our annual give-and-take with some of the top thought leaders, decision-makers and influencers in the state. We feel it’s the perfect way to cap the year.

Our 2020 lineup is strong. We feel it’s a perfect mix of public and private leaders in all of the key sectors. Each interviewee gave us their thoughts on their sector — including how it has been impacted by COVID-19 and how it has changed their workplace.

We also asked each to answer the same three questions:

We feel each these question gave insights into their personality (find out which one just loves Jersey tomatoes), how they reach this point in their career — and how they do their jobs.

Today’s featured interviewees:

Sampath Sowmyanarayan, president, global enterprise, Verizon Business

As the head of business — and with oversight of 5G — Sowmyanarayan had a lot of concerns when the pandemic hit.

“In February, we were nervous. We thought we would have to slow down 5G deployment. We actually went faster because cities didn’t have traffic. We didn’t have to shut down traffic on Madison Avenue, because no one was there. So, we decided to spend half a billion dollars more to get 5G deployed faster. By the end of this year, we will essentially have 60 cities lit up with ultra-wideband 5G. And almost 200 million of the 300 million in the country will have nationwide 5G.”

Nancy Lurker, CEO, EyePoint Pharmaceuticals

Who wants to get a shot in the eye? No one. But, with an aging population — one with more optical issues than ever before — shots are a routine part of life. That’s why EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, an ophthalmology-focused pharmaceutical company, has been a savior for so many.

Eyepoint has a drug delivery technology called Durasert that can change monthly shots into twice-yearly shots. It also has a drug in the pipeline that could prevent blindness.

“It’s called EYP-1901. It is still in development, but it’s for Wet AMD, or macular degeneration, a very serious blinding eye disease, which usually affects people as they get older. There are no cures. It is a lifelong disease requiring lifelong treatment.”

Here’s a look at our all-star list, in alphabetical order:

And read the entire Dec. 14, 2020, issue here!