NJII appoints 3 new members to board of directors

Rowland (Girls of Impact), Edelstein (NJHA) and Wisniewski (NVP) join board

Jennifer Rowland, Theresa Edelstein and Tom Wisniewski — three top executives in the state — have joined the board of directors at the New Jersey Innovation Institute, a nonprofit corporation of New Jersey Institute of Technology.

NJII CEO Simon Nynens said their insights and efforts will be of great importance as NJII moves forward.

“We are thrilled to have these individuals join NJII’s board of directors at a time of rapid growth and growing interest in our programming and services,” he said.

Rowland, the chief financial officer of Girls with Impact, is a certified public accountant and certified management accountant.

Edelstein is the senior vice president of the Center for Partnerships Transforming Health at the New Jersey Hospital Association, where she has worked for more than 23 years, leading programs that foster collaboration and coordination to improve the health of the people of New Jersey.

Wisniewski, managing partner at Newark Venture Partners, has been an enthusiastic adviser to the team at NJII’s VentureLink@NJIT.

NJII’s board of directors includes leaders from businesses, industry associations and academic institutions across New Jersey. The board is led by NJIT President Joel Bloom. View its members here.

The appointment of three new members coincides with the retirement from the board of Rochelle Hendricks, former state commissioner of higher education; John Pyrovolakis, founder and CEO of Innovation Accelerator; and Emily DeRocco, CEO of E3 Consulting.

Here’s a deeper look at three new members:

Rowland is a longtime New Jersey resident with years of experience in professional services and has held leadership roles in accounting and finance in the retail, consumer goods and media industries. She has done work in over 50 countries and serves or has served on the boards of Girls with Impact, the All Stars Project of New Jersey and the Chatham Education Foundation. She is a member of the Chief Women’s Network, the Executive Forum and FENG.

“I am honored to join you all and look forward to identifying new opportunities as well as contributing to the work already underway by introducing my network to NJII and sharing my expertise whenever needed,” she said.

Edelstein supervises the NJHA’s insurance and managed care initiatives, helps lead advocacy and education efforts, and establishes and maintains relationships with state, regional and national policymakers, regulators, legislators and associations.

“One thing the pandemic has shown us is that health and health care are essential to New Jersey’s overall well-being,” she said. “Innovation will be a critical part of our road ahead in improving the health of the people of our state. It’s an honor to bring the important perspective of healthcare organizations to key initiatives like the New Jersey Health Information Network and other NJII programs.”

Wisniewski has long been a leader at Newark Venture Partners, an early-stage venture fund based in Newark. NVP is backed by Audible, RWJBarnabas Health, Prudential Financial and several other engaged corporate partners, as it seeks to find, invest in and support best in class business-to-business software founders from all backgrounds. Wisniewski leads investments for NVP and mentors the dozens of entrepreneurs within their portfolio.

“Startups and growing businesses have a real opportunity to leverage the resources and intellectual capital of NJIT and the programming and space available through NJII,” he said. “The relationship between the city of Newark and its entrepreneurs is a win-win, each helping the other to grow and succeed. I look forward to further building a bridge for NJII entrepreneurs to NVP and the greater New York-New Jersey venture capital community to continue the growth of their businesses,” Wisniewski said as he joined the group.