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Power 50
50 of the most influential businessmen and women in South Jersey

by Julie Shannon

Compiling our annual list of the area’s most influential leaders is always exciting for us at South Jersey Biz. Seeing what drives these professionals and what motivates them inspires us to reach for more. Their thoughts on leadership, how they view success, what keeps them up at night, and the greatest business advice they’ve received and how they incorporate it in their workplace is equally as impressive. We think you’ll be just as inspired.

James Andreacci
Market President, BB&T
Andreacci was appointed market president of New Jersey in September 2017 and has been with BB&T for the last 8 years. Andreacci is responsible for leading BB&T’s business in the New Jersey markets and delivering the full spectrum of solutions available through the bank’s platform. He is very involved in the South Jersey community, serving on multiple nonprofit boards, including the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. 

Marlene Asselta
President, Southern New Jersey Development Council
“The greatest business lesson I’ve learned would be to listen more and talk less. Gathering information and learning the concerns of others is important in responding to an issue in a positive and effective way.  It further allows others to feel valued and serves as a strong foundation for a lasting relationship.”

Cathy Bennett
President and CEO, New Jersey Hospital Association
“At its core, leadership is about service to others. I think a good leader needs to be humble, comfortable with who you are, and willing to be vulnerable. Giving credit to others and holding yourself responsible is something that people respect and appreciate. A leader is focused on serving not just its team members and its organization, but also other stakeholder groups in the community – so that the organization itself not only grows and thrives, but also creates social and economic value that benefits others.”

Donald A. Borden
President, Camden County College

“What keeps me up at night is how many students successfully complete their program of study. Are we doing everything we can to help students get a degree or certificate that provides the opportunity to either find a living wage job or transfer to a four-year institution to complete their bachelor’s programs? While lying awake considering how we can improve in this regard, the issue of cost also enters into my thought process. Too many students are coming out of their programs with a debt burden that will negatively affect them for the rest of their lives. That’s why I am so proud of Camden County College’s efforts to offer the lowest-cost tuition in the entire Delaware Valley and state of New Jersey. With the support of our freeholder board, we have frozen tuition for the past six years and there will not be an increase in the upcoming academic year. By offering cost-effective opportunities and focusing on student success, I am looking forward to many fewer sleepless nights.”

Thomas Bracken
President and CEO, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
“[Governor Murphy] pledged to create a “stronger and fairer” economy.  He has been successful in creating the fairer portion, but my concern is that the stronger part is dragging and there is no definitive plan to meet the stronger pledge. Also, without the stronger piece, the components of the fairer portion will not be achieved.”

Louis Cappelli
Director, Camden County Freeholder Board
Cappelli has served as director of the Camden County Freeholder board for 13 years where he has driven key public policy changes in finance, public health and public safety issues. He is also a partner at the law firm of Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Cappelli, LLC, and a board member of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Cappelli has close ties to Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald and George Norcross, and played a major role in the development of Camden Metro Police.

Joseph Chirichella
President and CEO, Deborah Heart and Lung Center
Chirichella is known for his pivotal role in developing joint ventures with other hospitals, including recent partnerships with Capital Health to operate the emergency department on Deborah’s campus, and Cooper University Health Care with the HeroCare Connect program that brings quality specialty care to active duty military, veterans, retirees and their families. Chirichella holds an MBA from Wagner College and a BA from Villanova University.

Michael Cioce
President, Rowan College at Burlington County
Cioce has led many innovative initiatives at Rowan College at Burlington County as president and previously in the college’s enrollment management and student success division, most notably in implementing the college’s 3+1 program with Rowan University that provides one of the nation’s most affordable bachelor’s degrees.

Susan M. Coan
Region Vice President, Atlantic City Electric
Coan manages public policy and relationships with South Jersey’s government officials as well as with community, business, and nonprofit groups. Active with a wide range of civic and volunteer organizations, Coan serves in leadership roles with organizations including the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey, the Nature Conservancy of New Jersey and the Southern New Jersey Development Council.

Kevin P. Conlin
Chairman, President and CEO, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield
“Tackling the toughest challenges requires a person to think big, commit big and work big. Horizon’s big challenge is to help lead the transformation of New Jersey’s healthcare system so it delivers better care, not just more care. By working collaboratively with doctors, hospitals and others involved in keeping New Jersey healthy, we’re making progress and improving affordability, quality and convenience.”

Robert Curley
Market President, TD Bank
“[What keeps me up at night] is my mind. I do my best thinking when I finally relax and try to sleep!”

Vincent D’Alessandro
Southern Region President, OceanFirst Bank
“In my mind, success is achieved not by one’s monetary status or societal elevation, but instead by the lifelong connections made with people. The most successful folks I know have made a difference in the lives of their family members, partners, children, friends, colleagues, clients and community leaders. In order to have been successful in making those kinds of positive connections, successful people demonstrate balance in life between being influential at home, at work and in the communities in which they live. They are also truly committed to themselves and show a sense of awareness to those responsibilities. The result is a productive, respected and likable human being.”

Joseph W. Devine, FACHE
President and CEO, Jefferson Health
"Success is being able to make a positive impact on the lives of my family, friends, community, colleagues and organization, who have all been part of my life journey.

John A. DiAngelo
President and CEO, Inspira Health
“Finalizing the completion of our state-of-the-art hospital and our leading-edge cancer center in Mullica Hill tends to keep me up at night. I am lucky to have a team that is doing an excellent job of keeping these projects on time for completion by November 2019 and January 2020, respectively.”

Dr. Anthony DiFabio
President and CEO, Acenda Integrated Health (formerly Robins’ Nest)
"With our July 1st merger, affiliation, new name and re-brand—suffice to say there are a lot of things keeping me up at night! There is still so much work to be done in the social service and healthcare industry, specifically in New Jersey. Our Acenda workforce and all of those we serve in the community deserve to have industry leading tools, resources and services available to them. I stay awake at night trying to make sure that happens."

Thomas Doll
President and CEO, Subaru of America Inc. (SOA)
Doll joined SOA in 1982 and has been chief executive officer since 2018. That same year, Subaru moved to an all-new zero landfill headquarters facility in Camden. With more than 50 years in the South Jersey area, Subaru has made significant investments in the Camden community and continues to expand its broad community support through nonprofit partnerships, local grants, employer volunteer opportunities, job training and more.  Subaru of America is committed to being a positive force in the communities it serves, not just with donations, but with actions that set an example for others to follow. 

Christopher Gibson
President, Archer Law
“A good business leader understands that he or she always leads by example and the importance of being transparent. Transparency helps to build a culture of trust and trust is incredibly important when it comes to building solid workplace relationships.  Good leaders also realize how important it is to remain flexible.  A good leader can adapt to the changes as they come, revising plans to overcome challenges and still achieve goals. They take risks and make hard decisions, knowing they could sometimes be wrong.  Being optimistic, and not being afraid to fail at times, is the key.”

Bill Golderer
President and CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia Southern New Jersey
“The best, most transformational leaders are those who are in service to something other than themselves—a cause or a community. When leadership is approached from the posture of service, we recognize and elevate the humanity of the work and see the possibility and the people, rather than just the problem. Rather than being naysayers and bystanders, we become doers and solvers.”

Phoebe Haddon, J.D., LL.MM
Chancellor, Rutgers University-Camden
“Seeing and hearing are essential for good leadership. The ability to simultaneously look back and forward when fronted with a challenge is critical, as is the skill of helping others to refine and realize their own visions of leadership in order to build a strong field of leaders. The best leaders are those who also listen to the perspectives and advice of others.”

John T. Hanson
CEO, Delaware Port Authority; President, PATCO; Chair, Camden County College Board of Trustees
“The greatest business lesson I’ve learned is always make the people you work with look good, listen for invitations to collaborate, and build agreement by saying, “Yes, and…”

Lori Herndon, RN, BSN, MBA
President and CEO, AtlantiCare
“As health care leaders, we have a tremendous opportunity to impact the social issues affecting the health of our community. Using our knowledge and talent to make a difference outside of the health system—to address issues such as food insecurity, housing and the opioid epidemic—allows us to be part of the solution to the challenges that affect us all. It is so important to look at the entire continuum of health, from caring for patients when they need us to providing the resources they need to be proactive about their health. Figuring out how to utilize our talents to address social determinants keeps me up at night.”

Vernon W. Hill II
Chairman, Republic First Bancorp; Chairman/Founder, Metro Bank UK
Prominent businessman Hill founded Commerce Bank (now TD Bank) in 1973 with a major focus on reliable customer service before forming Metro Bank UK in 2010—a bank with the same mission and the first bank to open on London’s High Street in over 100 years. He is also chairman of Republic Bank and chairman of Petplan, the largest pet insurance provider in the world.

Dr. Ali A. Houshmand
President, Rowan University
“The greatest business lesson I’ve learned is to hire a good team—people with true passion. Give them ownership of their areas of responsibility, but expect that all their decisions are based on metrics.”

Ernest Huggard
President and CEO, South Jersey Federal Credit Union
“A great business leader communicates, motivates and inspires their team. As the leader of South Jersey Federal Credit Union, it is my responsibility to influence the team members in accepting my vision which, ultimately, will positively drive success of the credit union. Trust is the cornerstone that allows a leader to empower the team. My twenty-eight years serving in the New Jersey Army National Guard provided me with leadership skills that taught me to always set the example by putting the needs of the member and staff above my own.”

Dr. Frederick Keating
President, Rowan College of South Jersey
July 1 marked another first in New Jersey when Rowan College at Gloucester County and Cumberland County College merged to become one regional, dual-campus college—Rowan College of South Jersey. An important milestone in the history of community colleges, the jointure is the first of its kind in the state. The merger, in conjunction with an expanded 10-year premier partnership agreement with Rowan University, offers students diverse, one-of-a-kind educational opportunities at one of the lowest tuition rates in the state.

Thomas Kemly
President and CEO, Columbia Bank
“Never forgetting to give something back to those people and communities that you serve is perhaps the greatest lesson that I have learned during my business career. The personal example that you set, by doing even the simplest of “good deeds” that help others, will resonate many times over within your organization. Once recognized by your staff that “giving back” is part of the day-to-day operations of your business, it will begin to catch on and quickly multiple. People actually desire to help those in need and feel a sense of personal satisfaction when they do so. I’ve learned that it doesn’t take much to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Harvey Kesselman
President, Stockton University
“When Stockton University Atlantic City opened in fall 2018, it immediately added 533 residents in our new residential complex on the boardwalk. In addition, more than 2,000 students attend classes in our new academic center; work, intern and shop in local stores. Stockton Atlantic City has also hosted numerous public events, including an international summit on faith-based terrorism that garnered international attention for Atlantic City, which supports our goal to diversify the city’s economy.”

Kris Kolluri
President and CEO, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership
“A good business leader has the ability to develop a strategy with his/her colleagues and execute it with precision, takes ownership of mistakes and is determined enough to recalibrate, learns to deal with disruptive events rationally, and realizes customers help the business sustain and employees make the business successful.”

Greg Lalevee
Chairman, Engineers Labor Employer Cooperative
“Make progress every day, even if it's incremental. You don't have to achieve everything at once, although it's tempting to try. Steady progress moves mountains over time.”

Barry Mertz
CEO, NAI Mertz
“The greatest business lesson I’ve learned is one that bridges between personal and professional as it is rooted in how we make others feel.  I always attempt to apply the Golden Rule in all interpersonal exchanges. Most people appreciate being heard and feeling respected.  I do, and attempt to extend the same to all that I encounter and I encourage my team to do the same.”

Kevin Mahoney
President and CEO, Penn Medicine
Mahoney has served many leadership positions since starting at Penn Medicine in 1996. Currently, he is directing the development and construction of a new $1.5 billion hospital, The Pavilion, on Penn Medicine’s West Philadelphia campus, which will house inpatient care for the Abramson Cancer Center, heart and vascular medicine and surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, and a new emergency department. It’s the largest capital project in Penn’s history and is expected to be completed in 2021.

Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE
Co-President/CEO, Cooper University Health Care 
Dr. Mazzarelli has had various roles at Cooper since his arrival in 1999. His most recent role prior to being named co-president/CEO of Cooper University Health Care was as chief physician executive and senior executive vice president. He was one of the three original team members to work on integrating Cooper and Rowan in preparation for the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. A member of the board of trustees for the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties, as well as the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers, Mazzarelli has also received commendations for his leadership, and was named an Outstanding Young American by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Denise Monahan
Administrative Vice President, M&T Bank
As administrative vice president at M&T Bank, Monahan oversees relationship and portfolio managers in South New Jersey and Philadelphia. A proven leader with over three decades of experience, Monahan manages her team in coordinating client acquisitions, strategic initiatives, sponsorships and talent development throughout the bank’s commercial banking segment. She currently serves on the boards of Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Catholic Partnership Schools in Camden, The Philly Pops, The Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey and is an associate trustee at St. Joseph's University.

Bill Mullen
President, NJ Building and Trades Council
As president, Mullen directs the activities of the statewide body, comprised of 15 international building trades unions and 13 county councils—representing some 150,000 members. During Mullen’s tenure, the council has been an influential voice for the union construction industry in New Jersey and played a key role in winning passage of many proworker initiatives—including renewal of the Transportation Trust Fund and Schools Improvement Program and project labor agreements.

Mike Munoz
Market President, AmeriHealth New Jersey
“Our industry faces a lot of uncertainty on a regular basis. We continue to adapt to change and find better ways to serve our members in the process. However, because of the industry’s size, and the multiple sectors at its core, progress can often feel slow. Challenges are inevitable, but the end goal is a more efficient system and we will continue to build on the steady progress we have made.”

Phil Murphy

Governor of the State of New Jersey
New Jersey’s 56th governor continues to push his progressive agenda in an effort to advocate for the middle class and breathe life into the state’s economy and touts the belief that “New Jersey’s best days are before us and our future is unlimited.”

George E. Norcross III
Executive Chairman, Connor Strong & Buckelew
A fixture in both the business world and the political arena, Norcross’ name rings bells throughout the state. Closer to home, he’s known as a staunch supporter of Camden and his work as chairman of the board of trustees of the Cooper Health System has helped the city cement its place in the cutting edge of regional health care.

Kevin O’Dowd, JD 
Co-President/CEO, Cooper University Health Care
O’Dowd is co-president/CEO with Anthony Mazzarelli, where they oversee all strategic direction and day-to-day functions and operations of the health system. O’Dowd joined Cooper in 2014 as senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer. Before joining Cooper, he served in the Cabinet of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and chief of the securities and health care fraud unit in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. He serves as the chairman of the board of trustees of the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey, is a member of the Camden Health and Athletic Association board of trustees and member of the Morris Catholic High School board of trustees.

Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE
President and CEO, Virtua Health System
Pullin is a seasoned health care executive with extensive operational and business development experience. Most recently, he led Virtua’s acquisition of Lourdes Health System, resulting in more comprehensive, coordinated care for South Jersey residents. Previously, Pullin was president of MedStar Harbor Hospital in Baltimore. His business expertise is complemented by his personal commitment to improving access to health services in underserved communities.

Annette C. Reboli, M.D.
Dean, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU)
Reboli provides oversight for all CMSRU programs, administrative functions and strategic initiatives and previously served as the school’s founding vice dean. One hundred sixty-three physicians have graduated from CMSRU since its inception in 2012, and 373 medical students are currently enrolled. Board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases, Reboli received her medical degree cum laude from Georgetown University School of Medicine and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society. Over the course of her career, she has garnered over $5 million in research support from a variety of sources, including National Institutes of Health, private foundations and industry.

Michael Renna

CEO, South Jersey Industries
“Success usually comes to those who would rather let their character and integrity define them.”

Linda Rohrer

President, Rohrer and Sayers Real Estate; Chairman of the Board, 1st Colonial Community Bank; Board of Trustees, Rowan University
“I have been in the real estate business for over 40 years and have learned many lessons. You can be over prepared but never be underprepared. Have a Plan A, a Plan B and have Plan C in your back pocket. Actually listen to what people say.”

Jim Samaha
Senior Vice President, Comcast Cable, Freedom Region
“A great business leader is someone who gives their employees a voice and listens and responds to feedback. It’s critical to seek and accept input from your team when setting goals or tackling problems for your organization.”

Michele Siekerka
President, NJ Business and Industry Association
“What keeps me up at night are thoughts on how to give New Jersey small businesses the best chance to succeed, whether it’s throughout advocacy or our products and services. New Jersey’s business landscape is always changing and challenged. So I put myself into the place of every small business owner, trying to best make ends meet, while reinvesting in their people and products amid continued new mandates and demands on their existing business model.”

Angela Snyder
President and CEO, Fulton Bank
“The greatest business lesson I’ve learned is to surround myself with individuals who have different experiences, thoughts and views from my own. As others challenge me to think beyond my individual perspective, this leads to achieving stronger results as a team.”

Susan Story
President and CEO, American Water
“In our business of providing water and water services, we can never forget that at the end of every water pipe is a family depending on the safety of the water they give their children; that at every fire hydrant lives may depend on us; and that every wastewater treatment facility is a barrier between our customers and disease. Ensuring that our water is clean, safe, reliable and affordable requires constantly being on the leading edge of research, innovation and technology deployment in all things water.”

Tim Sullivan
CEO, New Jersey Economic Development Authority
“Success is a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy where diverse talent, companies and ideas can flourish; where pathways exist to the middle class; where opportunities exist for all New Jerseyans to prosper; and where environmental stewardship, fiscal prudence and high labor standards are promoted and encouraged.”

Steve Sweeney
Senate President
“The most important lessons that we all need to take to heart is fiscal responsibility and the fair treatment of workers go hand-in-hand. We want to promote economic growth, but it should be accomplished in ways that bring fiscal reforms to public finances and support working families. The recommendations of the Path to Progress report will make New Jersey more affordable. Enacting an increase in the minimum wage, expanding paid family leave and earned sick leave are the fairways of supporting the workforce. These will promote economic opportunities that will serve the interests of the state for the future.”

Chris Warren

Senior Vice President, Investors Bank
Warren provides commercial banking services to companies and firms in the Burlington and Camden County markets. He has 40 plus years of experience in commercial banking, focusing on middle market companies, merchant banking, as well as professional firms and nonprofit organizations.

Jason Wolf
Founder and managing principal, Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE)
One of the main reasons for WCRE’s steady growth and success is Wolf’s focus on building successful relationships. With over 24 years of experience and leadership, his vision and values are the foundation in which WCRE is built—these include integrity, responsiveness and a passion for the community. WCRE oversees more than 200 plus properties comprising 4.2 million square foot and has earned the trust of many of the most influential players in the region.

To read the digital edition of South Jersey Biz, click here.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2019).

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