With 2023 winding down, we’re taking one last look at the topics we’ve covered, the experts we’ve heard from and the local leaders we’ve highlighted these past 12 months.
This year certainly gave South Jersey’s business world plenty to ponder, with economic uncertainty and continually evolving expectations being just two drivers of change, whether it’s adapting to persistent pain points like high inflation rates driving up the cost of doing business or embracing the modern mindsets that nudge us closer to long-overdue reassessments of how business should be done—and making more room for the fresh, diverse voices bringing novel ideas to the table.
As we look back on the stories that defined 2023 and the lessons it brought along for the ride, we’re also giving all the incredible professionals we’ve celebrated and whose generously supplied insights have graced our pages one final celebratory bow before looking ahead to see what’s in store for 2024.
We kicked off 2023 by highlighting 20 of the region’s CEOs and CFOs who are leading their teams—and the region’s business landscape—to success by learning from their experiences and leading by example. These decision-makers shared not only their visions for the year to come but also some of the most valuable insights from their storied careers. Those leaders weren’t the only ones generously sharing their wisdom: DEI experts illuminated the importance of embracing systemic change through continually making the professional world accessible to everyone with the talent and potential for making an incredible impact; we got some expert tips for navigating tax season; and economic experts brought some clarity to how national financial trends were expected to play out locally.
Some of South Jersey’s most impressive female business leaders—20 of them, to be exact—shared their insights and inspirations in this year’s Women to Watch. The section was filled with praise for how far we’ve come but also suggestions for realizing a world of true equity, with many stressing the importance of making room at the table for tomorrow’s incredible leading ladies. We also spoke to cannabiz insiders about what it’s been like as the budding industry closed in on its first year, found out what small- and medium-sized business are doing to leverage technology to remain competitive with their larger peers and competitors, and explored COVID’s linger impact on the commercial real estate market.
Both of our March features focused on two industries especially and profoundly impacted by COVID: health care and education. The annual Best of Health Care round-up showcased the people, places and procedures all continually bringing world-class care to our region, from delivering Level 1 trauma care to the community outreach that makes a difference one person at a time. By chatting with higher-education experts, we took a deep dive into the challenges, collaborations and changing approaches that define today’s two- and four-year college landscapes. Additionally, we covered other timely topics like the rising popularity of labor unions, why fiscal prudence can be an asset in times of economic uncertainty and tips for investing your funds to maximize long-term growth.
Despite some flagging optimism, the commercial construction experts we spoke to for our April issue highlighted the bright spots and opportunities they’re still seeing even as the white-hot warehouse-building trend began cooling down. This month also was an opportunity to recognize 14 organizations embracing their roles as good corporate neighbors with our annual Community Impact Awards. In this issue, we also spoke to some local business attorneys to get their insights into ways companies can proactively keep their houses in order to avoid common legal headaches, addressed a number of ways that small businesses can apply affordable marketing strategies for big results, and featured a handful of recently completed and in-progress construction projects that local companies were especially proud of.
Our annual 20 Under 40 list put the spotlight on some of South Jersey’s youngest movers and shakers as they proved it’s never too early to be the change you want to see by answering leadership’s call. We also found out that in-person networking is back in a big way, and benefiting from a number of lessons learned during the temporary but impactful shift to a predominantly virtual world, while also bidding adieu to AtlantiCare’s longtime leader as retiring President and CEO Lori Herndon gave us one of the last interviews of her incredible four-decade career. This issue also comes in handy as a thorough guide to some of the region’s top companies, as it contains our yearly Book of Lists.
From the frontlines to behind the scenes, South Jersey is packed with capable, compassionate health care professionals who are going above and beyond to care for their neighbors, and we celebrated 14 of them with our Who’s Who in Health Care feature. The year’s halfway point is also a great time to assess the region’s financial footing, so we chatted with some local banking and wealth-management experts who gave us their advice for navigating difficult fiscal times as smoothly as possible—as well as noting that this, too, will pass. This issue also featured nine businesswomen and female entrepreneurs who shared the advice, experiences and role models they learned from throughout their careers.
Our July issue featured 2023’s Power 50 roster, highlighting some of the most impactful individuals in the South Jersey business world, as well as giving many of them an opportunity to share their favorite kernels of wisdom and proudest accomplishments from their storied careers. Our biggest issue of the year also covered the benefits of leaning into a specialized niche to become a trusted expert in an untapped market, heard from a variety of nonprofits on how they’re still finding ways to creatively navigate the stubbornly lingering challenges of COVID, took a look at how New Jersey is preemptively combating a medical-provider shortage that’s looming just beyond the horizon, and how upskilling can be a mutually beneficial tool to both employees and their employers.
We recognized 102 companies between our editorial and readers’ picks for this year’s Best of Biz, an annual roundup of the area’s top organizations delivering the kind of results and service that earn customers’ loyalty. We also spoke with some of the region’s earliest AI adopters about how they’ve incorporated a technology many are wary of to supplement—rather than replace—their human staff. Beyond that, we heard from business leaders who explained how the state’s budget offered some much-needed relief, learned how a trio of recently signed bills spelled some big wins for both clean energy and labor unions in the state, and found out how to prepare for, prevent and recover from disruptive events and disasters.
Eleven of the region’s commercial real estate professionals shared their advice and stories for this year’s Who’s Who in Real Estate, demonstrating the dedication and knowledge they bring to not only their industry but also their clients. Our September issue also gave the area’s medical professionals a chance to discuss how they’re balancing the business of health care with meeting the medical needs of the South Jersey community. Within the pages of the magazine, we also looked at how higher education is adapting to the needs of both today’s students and tomorrow’s professions, how business consultants can help entrepreneurs get an eagle-eye perspective of their companies, and how the evolution of office space is impacting the industry.
This year’s Money Issue explored how South Jersey has reluctantly adjusted to the high inflation rates dominating 2023 while benefiting from trusted experts’ experience and education about ways to safeguard against the turbulent trends and unexpected hardships that define the economy’s cyclical ebbs and flows. We also highlighted 59 of the top legal professionals dedicated to serving the region’s businesses, from banking and finance to workers’ compensation. Additionally, cybersecurity experts both explained the importance of securing your digital fortress and discussed ways to minimize risks of attacks, while a Q&A with some local experts in relationship-building provided some insight into just how important a loyal customer base is when it comes to growing your company.
For 2023’s Executives of the Year list, we asked our 19 honorees to show us the people behind the titles and they did not disappoint, giving us a glimpse into their backgrounds, personal lives and hobbies. And befitting the season of gratitude, we highlighted the incredible, selfless work our 22 Nonprofit Stars have undertaken to make a big difference while inspiring others to support numerous large-hearted causes. We continued with the theme of altruism by asking nonprofits and their corporate supporters alike to expound upon how community-minded generosity benefits everyone, in addition to also chatting with industry insiders about the challenges and operational landscape of today’s still-growing legal-weed market, as well as exploring the big impact that small businesses have on their communities.
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Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 13, Issue 12 (December 2023).
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