ROI Influencers: People of Color 2023 — H to N

Junie Hahn
Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi

A member of the firm’s Corporate & Securities, Banking and Finance and Corporate Internal Investigations and Monitoring Groups, he continues to serve as the firm’s point person for Triple Five in its development and operation of American Dream.



Brittany Hale
Interim CEO

A true thought leader and influencer, she is founder and CEO of BND Consulting Group and interim CEO of group that aims to key economic growth for Latina and Black women entrepreneurs and innovators.


Bernel Hall
New Jersey Community Capital

Working hard to make sure capital gets to those who need it most in underserved communities.


Ryan Haygood
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

The NJISJ recently launched the New Jersey Reparations Council, a new body that will aim to study the legacy of slavery in New Jersey and the possibility of providing reparations to those still impacted by it.


Salene Hitchcock-Gear
President, Individual Life Insurance
Prudential Financial

She is responsible for guiding the organization’s leaders and sales professionals who offer competitive solutions to meet the needs of consumers — including a diverse portfolio of products for those who face unique challenges.


Jason Holt
Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi

A seasoned attorney with more than two decades of experience in local government, municipal corporations, turnaround strategy, litigation and fiscal management, he also is co-chair of the firm’s DEI committee.


Sunita Holzer
Chief human relations officer

She is one of the top human resources officers in the region, having served in key roles at many top companies.


Dianna Houenou
Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Continuous to handle the difficult role of overseeing a commission facing a multitude of challenges that differ by issue and municipality.


Pavita Howe
Vice president, innovation & entrepreneurship

One of the sharpest minds in the entrepreneurial space, she is an expert at helping startups commercialize new technologies, launch new products, formulate business plans, pitch to investors and drive business development.


Sadaf Jaffer
N.J. Assembly

She was the first female Muslim mayor in the state (Montgomery) and one of the first state legislators. Shameful that anti-Muslim harassment is costing the state a talented leader. She will not run for reelection.


Srikanth Jaikumar
Vice president, operations
JFK University Medical Center

He recently helped lead the inaugural South Asian Community Health Initiative Health Fair — a new program focused on improving the health and well-being (and address health care inequities) of the large south Asian community in and around Edison.


Shivani Jain
Partner & tax leader

She’s a specialist in tax planning and compliance for multistate businesses and high net worth individuals (up to $1 billion).


Christopher James
Vice president, government affairs
RWJBarnabas Health

Top government affairs professional handles all aspects of relationships with state and local officials. He also sits on the board of Newark Alliance.


Dan Jennings
Executive vice president, real estate development and programs
N.J. Economic Development Authority

A leader in advancing urban growth and equity, he has led and facilitated more than $3 billion of public, private and philanthropic investments in development projects and community programs in his career.


Ed Jimenez
University Hospital

Heads one of the most important hospitals in the state: a Level 1 Trauma Center that serves as the principal teaching hospital for Rutgers while serving an underserved population.


Aiysha “A.J.” Johnson
N.J. Society of CPAs

How do you succeed a legendary figure? By being out and about, meeting members of NJCPA and the business community at large. Johnson is a ubiquitous figure on the networking circuit.


Jeh Johnson
Lawyer & board member
Various organizations

Much of his work is based out of New York City, but the Montclair resident plays a big role in New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy frequently calls on his expertise as a former high-ranking federal official.


Natalya Johnson
Senior counsel
Johnson & Johnson

The immediate past president of the Garden State Bar Association, Johnson is active in various groups that impact social equity while maintaining a top job at J&J.


Dr. Robert Johnson
Rutgers N.J. Medical School

The future of the school — as in, will it merge with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School? — will be top of mind in the coming months.


Robert Johnson
Partner & chief diversity officer
Gibbons P.C.

He’s a corporate attorney focusing on mergers & acquisitions while also helping Gibbons become a role model for DEI in the legal world.


LeRoy Jones
Principal founder
1868 Public Affairs

If this were purely a political list, Jones would be in the Top 25 — and high up. He is chair of New Jersey Democratic Party.


Rippi Karda
South Asian Bar Association

An associate counsel at Verizon with a specialty in information technology and pharma, she speaks frequently on diversity and corporate matters.


Reshema Kemps-Polanco
Executive vice president & head, oncology, Novartis U.S.

She’s a top executive at Novartis who recently was honored as one of the Elite 100 Leaders by Diversity Woman Media.


Alturrick Kenney
Essex County

The former deputy mayor for Newark has been instrumental in transforming Essex County Surrogate’s Court — launching a major community education program, increasing online accessibility of necessary documents and making it 100% self-funded.


Suzan Kereere
Head of global business solutions

Former chief growth officer now oversees the company’s merchant-focused offerings — all while serving as a champion for, and sought-after authority on, equity in the corporate space.


Andy Kim
D-3rd Dist.
U.S. House of Representatives

How’s this for different: In a Congress increasingly filled with grandparents, Kim helped start a dads caucus (there is also a moms caucus) that — hopefully — will bring issues parents are facing to the forefront.


Heeyoung Kim
Chief diversity officer & director of Teaching & Learning Center
Rider University

In addition to leading DEI efforts, she serves as an adjunct assistant professor in information systems and supply chain management, where she teaches statistics and analytics courses.


Dr. Vasantha Kondamudi
Chief medical officer
Holy Name

Recently-named CMO will spearhead clinical research, direct the development of clinical information systems, lead physician engagement and oversee the new Graduate Medical Education Program.


Allison Ladd
Director of Economic and Housing Development

She has long established herself as a go-to person and thought leader on one of the biggest issues facing Newark (and all urban communities): affordable housing.


Rey Lambert
Lowenstein Sandler

His practice focuses on complex commercial disputes, class actions and domestic and international arbitrations. He is the immediate past president of the Hispanic Bar Association.


Raymond Lamboy
Latin American Economic Development Association

The LAEDA, a leader in South Jersey, pursues its mission in three areas: entrepreneurship development and business counseling, commercial district revitalization and commercial real estate redevelopment.


Cecilia Lassiter
Member & Chair, State and Local Incentives Practice
Sills Cummis & Gross

Known as one of the top real estate lawyers in the state — and one willing to give back in many ways. She sits on boards of Commercial Real Estate Women of N.J., Rutgers Center for Real Estate, University Hospital, NJ Sharing Network and Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Kellie LeDet
Chief government affairs officer
Kean University

Under her leadership, Kean received the unique designation of being the first Urban Research University in New Jersey. Previously, she was the first African American and the first woman to serve as regional administrator for U.S. Small Business Administration.


Alan Lee
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Recently elevated to role — he came to RWJUH from New York-Presbyterian, where he served in multiple senior leadership roles since 2009 — Lee is proving to be the right person for challenging times.


Robert Lee
Director of community outreach

Go-to person at Jingoli also serves on board of directors of Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey.


Thai Lee
SHI International

She no longer lives in New Jersey, but her billion-dollar company — the one that has the naming rights to Rutgers’ football stadium — maintains its huge presence in Somerset.


Eric LeGrand
LeGrand Coffee House

Selected as the Buy Black partnership winner for the 2022-23 season, his brand’s logo appeared on the New Jersey Devils’ helmets during all road games — giving him solid exposure throughout the U.S. and Canada.


Lei Lei
Rutgers Business School

Her research expertise includes supply chain network design and optimization, operations planning, scheduling and process recovery after disruptions, demand-supply planning and resource allocation optimization.


Indu Lew
Chief of staff
RWJBarnabas Health

Highly regarded in health care (she previously served as chief pharmacy officer), Lew is completing her first year as chief of staff, helping to oversee all aspects of system’s transition to new leadership.


James Lewis V
Chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer; President
Cole Schotz; Garden State Bar Association

Highly honored as an employment lawyer, he also is a champion of DEI issues, serving as firm’s first chief diversity officer and also as president of Garden State Bar Association.


Jose Linares
McCarter & English

A legendary figure in legal circles, Linares chairs McCarter’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice. He previously served as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.


Aixa Lopez
Vice president of operations
Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of N.J.

In addition to her work at the chamber, she is one of the top engineering consultants in public and private sectors. She serves on committees connected to the Wind Port and North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. She also is very active in Puerto Rico, as member of board of PAYE PR.


Jose Lozano
Senior vice president, strategic partnerships
Hackensack Meridian Health

Senior executive is leading real estate strategy for how HMH will organize its massive footprint beyond its 18 hospitals. And, as former head of Choose New Jersey, he maintains connections to key government officials and business leaders.


Adrian Mapp

He’s ahead of the curve on every issue, which is why Plainfield continues to grow and prosper.


Pamela Marcenaro
Assistant vice president, enrollment management
County College of Morris

Seasoned bilingual higher education leader in the areas of academic support services, college readiness, admissions, recruitment, advisement, financial aid and online higher education marketing.


Dee C. Marshall; Mita Mallick
Brown Table Talk

Understanding and action starts with education. They take on important issues, giving voice to concerns that were not addressed.


Rick Martinez
Founder and president
Senor Sangria

Hard work and persistence — combined with a superior product — are the secret to his success.


Wendy Martinez
Atabey Consulting Group

After building a reputation on reaching, engaging and mobilizing the Latino community at Atabey Consulting Group, Martinez has also begun working with 1868 Public Affairs.


Monica Martinez Milan
Various organizations

Call her an entrepreneur extraordinaire. She is owner of the Green Brook location of Stumpy’s Hatchet House, managing partner of Tyrol Group LLC and board member of Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Somerset County Business Partnership.


Sabeen Masih
Senior vice president
Capital Impact Group

Her influence across the state continues to grow. She was appointed to AAPI Commission by the governor and continues to serve as mentor to students at Rutgers, Rider and Rowan universities.


Ramelle Massey
Owner and president
Massey Insurance Agency

Massey (along with her mother, Emma Massey) heads one of the few African American women-owned brokerages in the country. The two are quick to give back through internship and mentoring programs.


Tammy Mata
Chief diversity officer
Valley Bank

Valley continues to be one of the best places to work — and best places to bank. Mata and her team have a lot to do with that.


Laura Matos
MAD Global Strategy

A key player at the fast-growing firm. Matos is one of the top government affairs leaders in the state (and country), serving on numerous boards and commissions.


Shennell McCloud
Project Ready

A social activist, she is helping those in underserved communities to empower themselves by demanding better educational opportunities while encouraging them to vote — and run for office.


Davon McCurry
Deputy head of government and market affairs

A key player for wind energy company finding its way in shifting market conditions.


Shadae McDaniel
Director of strategic initiatives
All Stars Project of New Jersey

The nonprofit with the creative model of mixing students and business leaders has impacted more than 35,000 kids since coming to Newark in 1999.


Vaughn McKoy
Connell Foley

Well known throughout N.J. and N.Y. for his leadership of corporations, communities and people, he has earned a reputation as a business-savvy lawyer who is equally at home in the boardroom and in the trenches (he serves as chief operating officer in Paterson).


Citi Medina
Founder; co-founder
Medina=Citi; =Space

This is impact: Seeing a need for a space where multicultural, LGBTQA and women-owned startups and ventures could work and build a community led Medina to create =Space (read it as “equal space”) in Newark.


Anjali Mehrotra
Equality, Period. NJ

Led the fight to pass a law requiring N.J. schools to offer free menstrual products for students in grades 6-12. This is a big deal.


Michele Meyer-Shipp
Dress for Success

She leads an organization with 144 affiliates in 23 countries that has a mission to help women achieve economic independence via a suite of services to include job readiness support, professional development resources, coaching and mentorship and workplace attire.


Xavia Mitchell
First vice president & senior human resources and diversity business partner
Provident Bank

Veteran human resources executive is an expert on ensuring regulatory and legal compliance, identifying opportunities for process improvement and developing an internal talent pipeline.


Natasha Moody
Senior vice president, diversity and impact
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

Executive who handles diversity & inclusion standards, programs and initiatives — most significantly, the Buy Black program — at HBSE.


Marsha Moore
Post Polak

Chair of the firm’s redevelopment and land use practice, the Jamaican-born attorney has represented major developers (Hanini Group, RBH Group, L+M) on large-scale mixed-use projects throughout the state and in many of Newark’s major land-use projects in the past 20+ years.


Taylor Mullins
Account manager
Hill+Knowlton Strategies

She not only is a rising star as a communications professional in various aspects of health care, but a champion of health equity and DEI initiatives, eager to educate others and implement initiatives.


Vincent Myers
Co-founding member and president
DIGroup Architecture

He is a recognized leader in designing spaces to fit the complex needs of the new aging generation, from independent living residents to those requiring skilled nursing and memory care services.


Megan Myungwon Lee
Chair & CEO
Panasonic North America

Leads North American headquarters for global giant.


Saymah Nah
Executive director
Gateway U

Heads Gateway U, a hybrid college that partners with Southern New Hampshire University to provide personalized coaching to students while working to improve socioeconomic mobility through an affordable and accessible college choice.


Wendy Neu
Chair & CEO
Hugo Neu

She’s an entrepreneur, philanthropist and grassroots community organizer and activist who brings decades of knowledge and experience on environmental boards — including serving as a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Read all the influencers below: