J&J’s Duato, Jersey Mike’s Cancro to be keynote speakers at ReNew Jersey Summit

State’s biggest business event, March 26-27 in Atlantic City, previously announced that Gov. Murphy will speak

Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Joaquin Duato and Jersey Mike’s Subs founder and CEO Peter Cancro will be keynote speakers at the ReNew Jersey Business Summit & Expo next month, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce announced Friday morning.

The event, March 26-27 at Harrah’s Atlantic City, will feature more than 900 attendees, 50 speakers, 15 sessions on the state economy and 100 exhibitors showcasing their products and services. (Register here.)

It was previously announced that Gov. Phil Murphy also will be a keynote speaker.

State Chamber CEO Tom Bracken said the lineup of these influential and impactful speakers shows how the ReNew Jersey Summit will be the business event of the year.

“We’re bringing together a powerhouse lineup of New Jersey executives that will highlight the many benefits of calling New Jersey home,” he said.

And, while the ReNew Summit will have plenty of networking, Bracken said its substantive discussion will be the key.

“The main objective of the summit is to examine how to leverage the advantages of operating a business in New Jersey and explore actions to help make the state’s business climate more competitive and attractive,” he said. “Many of the panels and speakers will suggest recommendations and solutions to achieve those aims throughout the summit.”

Duato will speak about Johnson & Johnson’s 138-year journey from its modest beginnings as a 14-person company on Neilson Street in New Brunswick to becoming the world’s largest, most diversified health care products company, with more than 130,000 employees. Through it all, Johnson & Johnson, the summit’s co-host sponsor, has called New Jersey home.

Cancro will talk about how Jersey Mike’s went from one small sub shop in Point Pleasant, which started in 1956, to a worldwide brand with over 2,800 locations worldwide. He’ll also discuss the company’s strong ties to New Jersey — and its celebrated culture of giving back to the communities it serves.

Murphy’s remarks, which will highlight the state’s economic policies and what his administration is doing to help companies, will come on the afternoon of the first day of the event.

Some panel discussion topics will include:

  • New Jersey: The CNBC Most Improved State for Doing Business;
  • 2025 Gubernatorial Election — Important Issues for Business;
  • Legislative Leaders Discussing New Jersey’s Potential;
  • From Edison to AI: The Innovation State;
  • Companies Making Major Investments in New Jersey and Why;
  • Moving the Needle: Increasing Minority Supplier Diversity Spending;
  • Where Do We Grow from Here?
  • Smart Planning for the Future; and
  • How to Prepare New Jersey for 2030.

The ReNew Jersey Summit, originally offered a replacement for the Walk to Washington train trip in the post-COVID era, has quickly become the most important business networking event in the state.

This year, it will feature a pair of networking events: an evening cocktail reception March 26 and a morning breakfast reception March 27. The second day morning program will focus specifically on critical issues heading into the 2025 gubernatorial election season.

The event includes an all-day business expo March 26, where New Jersey businesses will showcase their goods and services — and guests will engage in valuable networking.

More than anything, it will be about what the state needs to do to continue on an upward path, Bracken said.

“In 2023, New Jersey leaped to 19th in the overall CNBC America’s Top States for Business rankings, after landing in the 42nd spot the previous year,” he said. “Many aspects of this year’s summit will examine how New Jersey achieved the ranking — and what the state needs to do to improve it.”

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In addition, the chamber announced the Walk to Washington will return in 2025.