New Jersey Policy Institute, which aims to develop winning policy solutions, launched by Becchi

The New Jersey Policy Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy incubator that seeks to bring together policymakers, business leaders, nonprofits, lawmakers, elected officials, grassroots advocates and others to focus on meaningful policy solutions regarding the major issues facing Garden State families, launched Monday night at a kickoff forum in Hamburg.

Founder and President Rosemary Becchi, a former Republican congressional candidate, said the group will address numerous issues.

New Jersey Policy Institute Board

“New Jerseyans are facing significant burdens in their quality of life, on major issues ranging from taxes and energy to our schools and a broken transportation system,” she said. “Our state government’s lack of innovation and political polarization are resulting in the same status-quo outcomes year after year, on a number of chronic state issues.

“Rather than being a think tank, NJPI plans to be a ‘do’ tank and drive policy changes through collaboration. This policy institute is designed to be an ideas incubator for new, bipartisan solutions to New Jersey’s complicated issues, ensuring a bright and prosperous future for the next generation of New Jerseyans.”

According to Becchi, N.J. Policy Institute’s initial focus will be on the following three issue areas:

  • Education: Excellence, opportunity and options;
  • Economy: Community, economic and workforce development, taxation, accessible housing;
  • Energy: Supply, affordability and reliability.

A look at the NJPI board of directors:

  • Becchi: An attorney with a long and successful career in both the public and private sectors. Her work crafting tax and education policy has prepared her to identify and bring solutions to New Jersey’s most pressing problems. As tax counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Becchi co-authored the 529 college savings provisions in the tax code. Family is her first priority. As a mom of three, she is committed to creating a New Jersey where her daughters and the next generation can put down roots and thrive. Becchi also is the founder of the advocacy organization, Jersey 1st.
  • Marcela Crossman: A businesswoman, veteran, immigrant and mother of two. She currently serves as a senior director at SS&C Technologies, which is the world’s largest independent hedge fund and private equity administrator, as well as the largest mutual fund transfer agency. Crossman oversees a global team that focuses on tier 1 asset management firms. She also serves as the chairman of the board for Jersey 1st and is an active voice in state and local politics. Crossman holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in computer engineering from Rutgers University – School of Engineering.  She served in the Marine Corps Reserves, 1996-2003.
  • Erica Jedynak: She brings executive experience in building highly effective advocacy teams and organizations. She has managed business operations, public affairs and national coalitions for numerous causes. Jedynak is a seasoned media professional and speaker; she earned a B.A. in political science, cum laude, from Drew University, and a Mini-MPA from Rutgers University’s Center for Executive Leadership in Government.
  • Andy Mulvihill: A resident of Andover Township, he is a developer and owner of the Crystal Springs Resort. He is an author of the Penguin Random House published book “Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides and the Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park.” Mulvihill has served on the New Jersey state board of education since 2011 and is currently the vice president. In his role, Mulvihill continues to advocate for an education agenda that includes support for school choice, charter schools, parental rights and enhanced teacher accountability.
  • Barbara Vartanian: She currently serves as director of advocacy and policy initiatives at New York University, where she specializes in seeking better health outcomes for the disabled community, particularly in the field of dental care. She previously worked with Project Accessible Oral Health, whose mission is to connect multiple stakeholders from across medical, dental, education, political and public sectors to function as a collective catalyst for action, moving the needle on policy, education and raising much-needed awareness of this crisis.
  • Elyssa Webber: She is the senior manager of special projects at State Policy Network, which exists to catalyze thriving, durable freedom movements in every state, anchored with high-performing independent think tanks. In this role, she works mainly on the LaunchPad program, which creates a community where social and business entrepreneurs and organizations seek innovative solutions to address pressing problems related to human freedom and civil society in the states.