ROI Influencers: Technology 2021 — Thought Leaders

Paul Hoffman and Aaron Price appear in our Top 10.

James Barrood
Adviser/ecosystem leader & host
“A Few Things” podcast 

Former head of the New Jersey Tech Council now serves as a strategic adviser and is the organizer of many tech webinars and events.

Ruha Benjamin
Director, Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab
Princeton University

She explores the intersection of tech and race and the ways artificial intelligence is influenced by racism in her award-winning book “Race After Technology.” Goal of the lab is to “rethink and retool” data for justice.

Marques Brownlee
Social media influencer

A graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology, he started a YouTube channel in 2009, while still at Columbia High School. Considered the top tech reviewer on social media, his channel has nearly 14 million subscribers.

Anthony Cicatiello
Research & Development Council of New Jersey

The R&D Council’s Edison Awards are an annual recognition of the amazing technology breakthroughs by New Jersey companies. Its Governors STEM Scholars program mentors the next generation of innovators.

Samuel Conn

Heads a nonprofit that serves educational institutions, governments, hospitals and other nonprofits by providing a vast array of best-in-class technology solutions for cybersecurity, educational technologies, cloud computing and professional managed services. 

Jenna Gaudio, Brittany Jacobs and Alison Lamano
Jersey Shore Women in Tech

Three top industry professionals aim to educate, mentor and develop a network for women in the information technology space. They aim to engage a wide array of women, including students, heads of startups, digital marketers, business analysts and veteran executives.

Chris Rein
Chief technical officer
State of New Jersey

Former deputy director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell, he oversees an office of 600 that responsible for developing and implementing strategic policies and information security standards.

Judith Sheft
Executive director
N.J. Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology

Longtime New Jersey Institute of Technology and New Jersey Innovation Institute executive and member of numerous tech boards, she now is charged with accelerating economic development in the state by stimulating academic-industrial collaboration and encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs and inventors.

David Sorin
McCarter & English 

One of the top tech lawyers in the country, he has long been a leader in representing investors and companies employing cutting-edge technologies in every aspect of every technology sector.

David Stengle
Startup Grind Princeton

Organizer of meetups at TigerLabs in Princeton, he also is a serial entrepreneur. His latest venture, Board++, is about breaking glass ceilings, diversifying startup boards and developing the next generation of leaders by placing corporate executives on startup boards.

Esther Surden
Founder and editor
NJ Tech Weekly

The undisputed top tech journalist in the state, her coverage is read by all — and her presence at an event elevates its stature. Sign up for the NJ Tech Weekly Newsletter here.

Stephen Welby
Executive director
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

An expert lecturer on using technology and engineering to solve problems of today and tomorrow, he is a former Department of Defense technology head who now runs the largest (420,000 members in 160 countries) engineering organization in the world.

Asm. Andrew Zwicker
D-Monmouth Junction
State of New Jersey

Being a professor at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab is reason enough to be on the list, but Zwicker also gets nod for his work in the Legislature, where he is the leader on all STEM initiatives.

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