ROI Influencers: Power List 2021 — Associations

To read this year’s Top 30, click the links below:

To read the rest of the ROI Influencers: Power List 2021, click here.

Dhiren Amin; Satish Poondi
President; Legal adviser
Indian Business Association

The growing influence of the South Asian community in the business (and political) world is a plus for our diversified state — something that should be a model for others.

Cathleen Bennett
New Jersey Hospital Association

NJHA played a significant role in so many issues around the care of COVID-19 patients — a role it continues to play.

Tom Bracken
New Jersey Chamber of Commerce

Bracken’s steady leadership (10 years now) on business issues — and his willingness to take a stand and impact change on social equity issues — sets him apart.

Dave Brogan
Executive director
New Jersey Apartment Association

With so much (deserved) attention on renters, the impact of COVID on landlords easily could have been overlooked. Brogan made sure it wasn’t, working to implement policies that helped all.

Mike Cerra
Executive director
League of Municipalities

Cerra took over the top job at the league right as the pandemic was taking hold. The league’s role in helping municipalities handle these issues will be felt for years to come.

Linda Czipo
Center for Non Profits

The role of nonprofits during the pandemic — and the impact the pandemic had on nonprofits — cannot be overstated. Czipo has offered a guiding hand throughout.

Luis De La Hoz; Carlos Medina
Chairman; CEO and president
Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

It’s hard to find a chamber that directly impacts its members more than the SHCCNJ. One of the main reasons is the stellar leadership in the top spots.

Hans Dekker
Community Foundation of New Jersey

How’s this for impact: The group’s 1,141 fundholders made 8,300 philanthropic gifts in 2020, totaling $87.5 million — a new record for giving.

Alfa Demmellash
Co-founder and CEO
Rising Tide Capital

Prestigious award from Heinz Foundation was further validation of the incredible work this group does to help entrepreneurs from — and in — underserved communities.

John Donnadio
Executive director
New Jersey Association of Counties

There are many leaders on many issues — and needs — during the pandemic. Donnadio’s group is providing guidance at the county level.

Linda Doherty
New Jersey Food Council

Provided her usual steady leadership, both with all issues involving COVID in supermarkets as well as bringing guidance on plastic bag regulations.

Jarrod Grasso (#28)
New Jersey Realtors

COVID-19’s impact on residential housing has been great — with sales across the state soaring. It’s a reason why Grasso is a frequent call of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration.

Regina Egea
Garden State Initiative

In a dark blue state, Egea has helped establish Garden State Initiative as the voice for practical budgetary solutions that are based on data, not partisan ideology.

Chip Hallock; Barbara E. Kauffman
CEO; Chief operating officer
Newark Regional Business Partnership

Dynamite duo continues to offer guidance — and great programs — to its many members throughout the county.

Debbie Hart

Few association heads have reached the level of respect and significance that Hart has achieved at BioNJ.

John Harmon (#23)
African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

He’s happy to take your call — and he’s going to give it to you straight. So, come ready to play with this leader of action.

Ryan Haygood
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

When the state (and the nation) had a reckoning with longtime issues of systemic racism, Haygood offered powerful perspective and thought leadership.

Eileen Kean
New Jersey state director
National Federation of Independent Business

A top official called her an “unsung hero” of the business community.

John Kennedy
New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program

We’ve long said enhancing our manufacturing base in the state should be a top goal — and long said MEP has the right person in place to help the state achieve it.

Jim Kirkos
Meadowlands Chamber

Key player in one of the most important business regions in the state. Kirkos’ knowledge and leadership make him a trusted thought leader throughout the state.

Ray Lesniak
Founder and president
Lesniak Institute for American Leadership

The former legislator was a key player in helping the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 finally get to the finish line.

Mike McGuinness
NAIOP New Jersey

The impact of COVID-19 on commercial real estate is only just beginning to be understood. 

Brandon McKoy
New Jersey Policy Perspective

He pushes a progressive agenda with facts and figures — and isn’t afraid to push elected officials when he feels they don’t live up to their progressive promises.


John McWeeney

NJ Bankers Association

Few sectors have played as important a role in the pandemic recovery as banking, helping to expedite loans and grants to businesses of all sizes — starting, of course, with the business-saving PPP.

Tammy Murphy; Josh Weinreich
Founding chair; CEO
New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund

Group is on pace to donate $60 million — and mostly to groups that have been overlooked. Its impact on COVID-19 relief cannot be overstated. 

Dean Paranicus; Haskell Berman
CEO; Senior vice president
HealthCare Institute of New Jersey

Longtime thought leaders on a subject that has moved to the top of everyone’s agenda.

Lata Reddy
Prudential Foundation

Leader of a group that quietly has major impact in Newark and beyond.

Christina Renna
Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey

Carrying on the strong tradition of leadership and advocacy for the South Jersey business community.

David Rosenberg
Executive director
North Jersey Jewish Business Alliance

Leads chamber of commerce-like organization of more than 150 members that helps Jewish business owners to build stronger relationships with elected officials.

Anthony Russo
Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey

Base of his group may lean toward North Jersey, but Russo is well-known by the power players in Trenton and business leaders across the state.

Judy Savage
Executive director
New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools

The expansion of vocational education in the high schools and community colleges is a key for the state moving forward.

Michele Siekerka
New Jersey Business & Industry Association

Siekerka and her team offer a strong advocacy group for business community on big issues — and everything happening in Trenton.

Ralph Thomas
New Jersey Society of CPAs 

Thomas is a true thought leader, offering data-based guidance on issues involving state and local taxes, Paycheck Protection Program and everything else impacting business and government.