ROI Influencers: People of Color 2021 — Difference Makers, T-Z

Ken Tanji
Chief financial officer
Prudential Financial

Tanji oversees Prudential’s global financial management matters, including financial reporting, investor relations, treasury, tax and corporate development. In addition to his role at Prudential, Tanji serves as trustee and treasurer for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.

Jackie Taylor

Widely respected and praised by colleagues across the state, Taylor leads the effort to elevate the global company’s brand in New Jersey — as well as using EY’s strength to lift up small businesses run by minority entrepreneurs.

Anna Maria Tejada
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr/Executive Women of N.J.

A top lawyer at one of the state’s top firms (she defends management in labor and employment litigation nationwide and provides counseling and workplace training), Tejada also serves as the head of Executive Women of New Jersey.

Darrell Terry
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center/Children’s Hospital of N.J.

Terry is leading hospital through a transformative $150 million upgrade, one he says will help it become better connected  to — and better serve — the Newark community it covers.

Vonu Thakuriah
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

Heads one of the most important — and most respected — schools at Rutgers, one that focuses on grand challenges regarding the environment, social and demographic shifts facing our society, and the future of work.

Sam Thevanayagam
Parts Life

Thevanayagam made his fortune with Parts Life, which supplies parts that help extend the lifetime of military products. His mission is to inspire others to achieve their potential, defy critics and thrive in the face of adversity through his Sam T Network.

Rick Thigpen
Senior vice president
Public Service Enterprise Group

The influence Thigpen wields in Trenton is great. And, though he often fights the behind-the-scenes battles for PSEG, his out-front efforts regarding the extension of the Zero Emission Certificates for utility’s nuclear power plants showed his skill.

Ralph Thomas
CEO and executive director
New Jersey Society of CPAs

When it comes to the state’s financial activities, Thomas always speaks with authority and facts — something that gives his words and opinions more impact and influence.

Anton Vincent
Mars Wrigley North America

Vincent, the new head of Mars Wrigley in Newark, has impressed those that he’s met at the company’s fantastic headquarters in the Ironside Newark building.

Varsha Waishampayan
Founder and CEO
Wings for Growth

Her nonprofit, which she seemingly single-handedly built, has been a blessing for mid-career women looking for guidance on the road to become top-level executives.

John Wallace
Tiebreaker selection
Congressional Redistricting Commission

Some would argue Wallace should be a Top 10 pick, as he is the 13th member (and tie-breaking voter) of process that will determine the state’s congressional districts — and, thus, likely the makeup of the state’s congressional representatives.

Jacob Walthour
Co-founder and CEO
Blueprint Capital

From his perch atop the state’s largest Black-owned asset management firm, Blueprint Capital, Walthour has been relentless in advocating for equitable opportunities for minority businesses and people of color in the investment business. 

Robin Walton
VP of government and external affairs
Inspira Health 

Longtime government affairs specialist just moved over to Inspira Health, where she’ll do what she does best: Work with local and state officials while representing Inspira on associations where public policy and advocacy are key goals.

Anthony Welch
VP and chief government relations officer
Cooper University Health Care

A key player at Cooper, he provides strategic guidance on public policy issues and oversees Cooper’s advocacy efforts. He also serves on board of Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers and Cooper Lanning Square Renaissance School Facilities.


Nina and Ted Wells
Lawyers and philanthropists
Various organizations

A power couple in the state, they are both high-powered attorneys who have great influence and impact with legislators, business leaders and philanthropic organizations.

Cid Wilson
Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility

Works closely with Hispanic organizations and corporate partners to increase the representation of Hispanics at all levels in Corporate America.

Steve Williams

Appointed CEO less than a year ago, Williams is working to create a new chapter in the storied legacy of Newark’s iconic jazz station, seeking to strengthen WBGO’s commitment to promoting the art form of jazz and ensuring diversity in both its workforce and audience.

Benjie Wimberly
N.J. Assembly

As chair of the Assembly committee on housing, Wimberly has been a leader in the fight on affordable housing and rent assistance.

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