Build an Environment of Trust and Growth

Only trust will remove fear and replace doubt with confidence and performance. When we sacrifice honest feedback, we rob others of the opportunity to set new personal goals. Often times, this can be seen when unsatisfactory performance is recognized, but not confronted until someone is suddenly moved or terminated. The blow of an unsuspected and sudden consequence usually leaves the victim with the “deer in the headlights” look. They never realized they should have tried to do something differently. Individuals who fail to confront others with honest feedback are not leaders, but cheaters. They frequently sacrifice commitment to their colleagues to install a quick fix or serve their own personal agendas.

Think of your company as an ecosystem requiring a balance of life forms to ensure survival and growth. One of the greatest threats to an organization’s ecosystem is the absence of trust. Consider the energy you see devoted to spreading criticism and disappointment in others on any given day. Listen and be honest about what you hear. If you replace criticism and disappointment with support and solutions, you will create an environment focused on evolution rather than the threat of its predators.

Build an environment of trust and growth. We can expect people to take chances on learning if we give them the space to explore their skills. Teach individuals to grant themselves permission to make mistakes. Help others to pursue their dreams and don’t criticize the risks they are willing to take. In areas where others have failed, they may succeed.

If leaders find a colleague facing unmet expectations, they must help them stand up with dignity and move forward. The pressure of disappointment which overachievers place on themselves is always greater than the pressure anyone else can put on them. Choose to broker in honesty rather than disappointment and colleagues will seek your counsel. If failure occurs because a commitment was made but no energy was invested, the leader is responsible for delivering pressure to create focus.

If we are honest with ourselves, failure will never be unknown or sudden. It is everyone’s responsibility to design survival or end-game strategies when others fail. End-game strategies will prepare you to pull out the survivors and execute the alternatives. Teach everyone to think of turning losses into opportunities. If you focus energy on helping each other meet the overall bottom line, you will strengthen your position in the marketplace and your ability to fight competition. Invest in integrity and you will deliver trust in self, each other, and the future.

Is Your Human Resources Department Ready for the 2018 H-1B Professional Visa Lottery?

On April 1st, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions for professional workers starting employment on October 1st, 2018.

In past years, the high demand for this much sought after visa has resulted in an oversubscription of petition filings due to the limited number of visas available.

There are only 65,000 visas available per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 set aside for those who have graduated from master’s degree programs in the United States.

H-1B visas are the most common temporary work visas available to foreign national professionals. Employers should identify individuals who might require first time H-1B sponsorship. These include:

• F-1 students currently working on OPT who require changes of status to H-1B;
• Highly sought after professionals currently located outside the United States seeking employment for the first time;
• Foreign nationals inside the United States currently holding other nonimmigrant status that will max out (i.e. L-1A or L-1B visas);
• Foreign nationals currently working in the United States in H-1B status working for a cap-exempt organization (not for profit or educational institution) who require a cap-subject H-1B to work for a private, for profit company; and
• TN NAFTA visa holders from Canada or Mexico who have spent much time in the United States and would benefit from a change of status to H-1B.
We anticipate that for this coming year, the H-1B cap will be reached the first week of April 2018.
If you are considering sponsorship of a foreign national for an H-1B visa this year, advance preparation is crucial to be ready and prepared for the filing period.

A careful review of both the applicant’s qualifications and position offered by the U.S. petitioning company is important to assure that the H-1B filing is approved by U.S. Citizenship Services.

Please feel free to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at the NPZ Law Group to obtain an H-1B overview and checklists of information needed from the H-1B employer and the prospective H-1B employee. You can e-mail to us at [email protected] for this information. You can also visit NPZ’s H-1B page at H-1B Information Page

Help Employees Get the Most Out of Their Health Care Benefits in 2018

For many New Jersey state residents, new health plan benefits began in January, so now is a good time for employees to understand their coverage so they can get the most out of their plan, stay healthier and even help save money in 2018.

Consider the following tips:

Learn the lingo – Make sure to understand basic health plan terms such as deductible, copay, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum. A recent UnitedHealthcare survey found that just 9 percent of Americans could successfully define all four of these important terms. Need a refresher course? If so, spend a few minutes to better understand common health insurance terms and your specific plan amounts to help you make more informed decisions.

Take advantage of wellness programs – Many health plans offer discounts for staying active, such as UnitedHealthcare’s Oxford Sweat Equity program, and provide financial incentives for completing health assessments, lowering cholesterol, meeting walking goals or even shopping for healthy foods at the grocery store. UnitedHealthcare recently launched Healthy Savings in New Jersey, a program designed to make healthy food more affordable with the potential to reduce monthly grocery bills by more than $150. Incentive-based wellness programs are designed to reward people for making healthier choices and being more engaged in improving their well-being.

Know what’s covered – You can usually find your coverage and benefits information on your insurer’s website or in plan documents so you know what’s covered and what’s not. Review this information before you start using your plan and receiving treatment so you’re not surprised by costs later.

Stay in network – Choosing doctors in your plan’s care provider network will most likely mean you’ll pay less. Also, check out 24/7 telehealth services. “Virtual visits” can help save you time and money by providing convenient access to care for certain medical issues including allergies, bronchitis and seasonal flu.

Save on medications – Make sure your medications are covered by your plan, and ask your doctor about generics to see if there’s a more affordable and equally effective alternative. Also, getting prescriptions through the mail is often a good cost-saving option. Most plans enable you to order up to a three-month supply of medication you take regularly, sometimes at a discount. Your medication will be delivered right to your home, saving you a trip to the pharmacy.

Shop around and get cost estimates – Several health insurers offer online health care tools and resources that enable you to check on the quality and cost of health care services and care providers before you make appointments. Be sure to double-check the cost with your care provider before getting treatments, as prices can vary significantly for the same procedure within the same city.

For more tips and easy-to-understand information about health care and health insurance, visit the UHC Newsroom.

2018 College/University Presidents Roundtable: Teaching America’s Future Business Leaders

A COMMITMENT TO LIFELONG learning has become a vital tool in nearly every industry and career field, and New Jersey’s top colleges and universities are taking notice, as well as actions to address this growing need. From investing in STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education to adding global studies
to business curricula to linking course study with area employer requirements, the smart schools are preparing students to become the business leaders of the future with an eye on what skill sets they will need to succeed.

In COMMERCE’s 2018 College/University President’s Roundtable, the following higher education leaders discuss how they are delivering a valuable learning experience for their students.

  • Berkeley College President, Michael J. Smith;
  • County College of Morris President, Dr. Anthony J. Iacono;
  • Centenary University President, Dr. David P. Haney;
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, President Dr. Christopher A. Capuano;
  • Georgian Court University President, Dr. Joseph R. Marbach;
  • Hudson County Community College, President Dr. Glen Gabert;
  • Montclair State University President, Dr. Susan A. Cole;
  • New Jersey City University President, Dr. Sue Henderson;
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology, President Dr. Joel S. Bloom;
  • Ramapo College of New Jersey, President Dr. Peter P. Mercer;
  • Seton Hall University Interim President, Dr. Mary J. Meehan;
  • Stevens Institute of Technology, President Dr. Nariman Farvardin;
  • The College of New Jersey President, Dr. R. Barbara Gitenstein;
  • William Paterson University President, Dr. Kathleen Waldron.


Berkeley College
By Michael J. Smith, President
Our implicit promise to our students is to do everything in our power to ensure that they graduate with the skills they need in order to be successful in their lives. Whether a student is leaving Berkeley College with an MBA in Management or a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in a future-oriented profession, the Berkeley College graduate will receive lifelong career services assistance to help ensure her or his success. We know that tomorrow’s careers will change, and so will the demands in the workplace on employees, because the world is, and will be, so interconnected. We will continue to live in an age of hyper-competition. With input from professional Advisory Boards, each of our Berkeley College programs places a high emphasis on teaching and learning the soft skills, including leadership development and the value of networking, as well as technological change and innovation.


County College of Morris
By Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, President
County College of Morris (CCM) is undertaking a number of initiatives to prepare individuals to become the next generation of leaders. We are more clearly focusing our Workforce Development programs to meet the needs of employers and provide the training people need to advance in their careers. We are instituting an Honors Program to provide students with an intellectually challenging environment, so they can reach their highest potential. Our strategic plan also calls for incorporating high-impact internships and community engagement practices into our academic programs so students are better prepared for the next stage of their academic experience. Additionally, we are implementing a more aggressive grants program so students and faculty can benefit from the research and interaction such funding offers. As a recognized leader in community college education, CCM is committed to excellence in teaching and lifelong learning so people can reap the benefits obtained through a quality education.


Centenary University
By Dr. David P. Haney, President
Centenary University prepares students to become successful business leaders by providing hands-on learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. Faculty and staff help students make connections for valuable internships. Many of Centenary’s faculty members come from industry and are expert practitioners in the fields they teach. Centenary student organizations provide additional opportunities for students to develop leadership skills for the future. Many students participate in the Centenary chapter of the international organization Enactus, where students embark on entrepreneurial projects whose goal is to empower people to transform ideas into sustainable programs that benefit their communities. Centenary’s traditional students have the added advantage of being assigned to a faculty adviser and a first-year leader student, both of whom will guide them with their transition from high school to university life. For adult students at the School of Professional Studies (SPS), Centenary is launching a new “design your life” program in January where advisers will work with each student to develop a life and career success plan.


Fairleigh Dickinson University
By Dr. Christopher A. Capuano, President
At Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business, as we educate and prepare the next generation of business leaders, we’re providing the skills necessary for our graduates to compete and succeed in a complex global marketplace. Our distinguished faculty and distinctive programs inspire the development of skill sets and competencies that enable our graduates to be better equipped to manage the real-world challenges that confront businesses. The college consults with its corporate partners to identify skills most in need by employers, and then incorporates those required skills into the curriculum. Marketable skills such as data gathering and analysis, decision making, communicating with diverse audiences, a global perspective and technical competence are emphasized across the curricula. Additionally, by providing exposure to real work through industry connections with our Professional Development Program and emphasizing a “backpack to briefcase” transition, the career focus of both the curricular and co-curricular learning experiences provides students with a competitive edge.


Georgian Court University
By Dr. Joseph R. Marbach, President
Georgian Court University supports global studies through virtual collaborative online learning experiences in multiple courses, faculty-led studies abroad, and semester abroad advising. Our Global Transformation Initiative also enables more students—across various majors— to have direct experience in multiple cultural settings. Similarly, our MBA program challenges students through case studies, capstone projects and interactions with highly qualified faculty members. Business professors are constantly in touch with industry leaders, alumni entrepreneurs and area employers— many of whom work as adjunct professors and deliver real-world insights to the program—to ensure that our students are learning relevant, timely and useful skills.


Hudson County Community College
By Dr. Glen Gabert, President
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor show that 28 percent of community college graduates out-earn their four-year college and university peers over the lives of their
careers. Hudson County Community College’s signature STEM, nursing and business programs create opportunities that are in line with projected economic growth for students from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Our faculty and staff work with community and business leaders, and deliver job fairs as well as externships, internships and actual employment, that give our students the advantage of on-site experience and mentoring from experts.


Montclair State University
By Dr. Susan A. Cole, President
The Feliciano School of Business at Montclair State University is preparing students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to succeed in a global business marketplace with a wide range of undergraduate business majors and certificate program; four MBA tracks in on-campus, fully online, hybrid and executive program formats; and master’s programs in Accounting and Business Analytics. MBA students participate in cohorts that reflect their diverse interests and backgrounds, applying concepts and critical thinking to craft business ideas and solutions and experiencing cultural immersion through an intense international study trip.

Students in all fields throughout the university may participate in the innovative programs of the Center for Entrepreneurship, in internship opportunities
that prepare students for work in business environments, and in programs that connect the business disciplines to the sciences, the social sciences, and language, culture and the arts.


New Jersey City University
By Dr. Sue Henderson, President
NJCU prepares students for leadership roles in the digital age by providing a business education grounded in leadership, ethics, and critical thinking. The NJCU School of Business offers a particularly relevant M.S. degree program in Business Analytics and Data Science, which facilitates informed business decision-making and prepares students for careers in the burgeoning field of data analytics. Students hone skills needed to gather, store, analyze and interpret large amounts of “Big Data,” which is increasingly at the center of global business practice. The degree program benefits new graduates as well as seasoned professionals who wish to become leaders in this vitally important emerging field. Courses are taught by NJCU faculty experts who are top practitioners in the field. NJCU’s School of Business has launched a pilot program with Harvard Business School’s digital learning initiative—HBX, which utilizes HBX’s online platform to prepare entering graduate students with a non-business background for graduate studies in business. The program engages NJCU’s MBA students with the HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) program, which offers an interactive, social and case-based education in business analytics, economics and financial accounting.


New Jersey Institute of Technology
By Dr. Joel S. Bloom, President
NJIT has taken several bold steps this year to prepare our graduates to lead the industries of both the present and the future. We are proud to be the first university in the United States and the only institution in North America to collaborate with IBM and adopt the IBM Skills Academy. We also opened Makerspace at NJIT, which will dramatically enhance the learning and creativity of our students; will foster collaborations among students, faculty and businesses; and will be an engine for economic growth. NJIT’s Makerspace will provide opportunities for industrial partners to participate as mentors, trainers and instructors. Students will learn real world, tangible skills such as product design and prototyping, manual and computerized metal and woodwork, industrial metrology, and computer-aided design. Initiatives like these complement our myriad partnerships with industry that give NJIT graduates a competitive advantage and have led to multiple job offers in hand by graduation, starting salaries that exceed the national average by nearly 20 percent, and long-term career success that puts NJIT among the top 1 percent of colleges and universities for return on educational investment.


Ramapo College of New Jersey
By Dr. Peter P. Mercer, President
Today’s global economy requires its members to be critical thinkers, nimble professionals, and culturally competent leaders. At Ramapo College, we foster the development of these qualities in our students through a wide range of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary coursework that integrates all majors in a humanities context, often transcending traditional boundaries of study. We will be launching in fall 2018 an undergraduate baccalaureate degree in Sustainability that will be a structured cohort model rooted in a nested Triple Bottom Line design of “Profit, People and Planet.” Through an innovative cross-disciplinary approach, Ramapo students will gain a strong understanding of sustainability issues and their correlation to the social and economic factors of business, the sciences and technology, and all areas of industry and commerce. Upon completion of the Sustainability major, students will be well prepared to apply with balance and depth their knowledge and experience as they venture into their future careers.


Seton Hall University
By Dr. Mary J. Meehan, Interim President
Seton Hall has cultivated a sterling reputation for preparing students to be leaders in many fields. Specifically, our Stillman School of Business is home to the Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development, which has been named the top leadership program in the nation for the past three years. The Buccino Center has been so successful that we plan to establish additional leadership centers in our other schools and colleges. In addition, this year our MBA program has added a foundational experience that allows students to focus on one company across all core courses and business disciplines (i.e., accounting, finance, information technology management, marketing and corporate social responsibility). Company executives teach and mentor in the classroom, while students act as consultants at the company’s headquarters. In doing so, our students will learn to visualize, comprehend and connect with the dynamics and challenges of an actual business organization.


Stevens Institute of Technology
By Dr. Nariman Farvardin, President
Our students graduate with intensive technology experience across all disciplines, including arts and business to the STEM fields. This technology immersion is a real differentiator for Stevens graduates. Nearly 100 percent of graduates have participated in some experiential learning activity, including cooperative education, internships or a corporate-sponsored senior design project. The Stevens curriculum also cultivates entrepreneurship skills from the freshman year through the capstone project. Lastly, state-of-the-art laboratories such as the Hanlon Financial Systems Laboratory provide students with opportunities to learn the tools of their industry, so they are immediately productive on the job. These features of the Stevens education have led to truly stellar outcomes for Stevens students, 96 percent of whom secure employment or enter graduate school within six months of graduating. In addition, Stevens is #10 in the Payscale ROI ranking for 20-year net return on investment of the cost of college.


The College of New Jersey
By Dr. R. Barbara Gitenstein, President
Business leaders of the future must be able to adapt to an ever-changing landscape and to embrace interdisciplinary teamwork. At TCNJ, we foster those skills with experiences that challenge individual students to defend and advance their thinking. We have developed numerous mechanisms that encourage learning and sharing among faculty, students, and practitioners from all disciplines. For example, our annual Mayo Business Plan Competition is designed to increase appreciation for the process of developing a viable business; our Fed Challenge—an annual academic competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in partnership with the Eastern Economic Association—helps build the confidence and communication skills necessary for leadership development and encourages students to learn more about the U.S. macro economy. TCNJ’s combination of classroom learning and practical experiences in the field ensures that our students graduate ready to lead.


William Paterson University
By Dr. Kathleen Waldron, President
Our College of Science and Health offers degree programs in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, environmental science, computer science, computer information technology and mathematics—enhanced by significant opportunities for research with faculty, leading to conference presentations and publication in peer reviewed journals. Our new, unique master’s degree in materials chemistry features a cutting-edge curriculum geared to applications in the technology, communication, computer and other New Jersey sectors, while our master’s in biotechnology now incorporates courses in project management, business and professional communication relevant to the industry. Our Cotsakos College of Business offers an MBA program emphasizing pragmatic coursework and innovative and future-oriented business practices and strategies with a variety of concentrations, including entrepreneurship and human resource management. MBA students collaborate with the University’s Small Business Development Center in Paterson to address real-world business problems of the center’s clients. Also, our new 11-month executive master’s in sales leadership helps sales executives and other customer-centric positions advance into strategic business and leadership roles.

Diversity as a Competitive Advantage

THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN, THE FIRST African-American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces, changed the course of history through their courageous contributions to the Allied victory during World War II. As February is Black History Month, it is appropriate to once again honor their service to the country, and their role in advancing civil rights on the home front.

Formerly known as the “Red Tails” because of the crimson paint applied to the tail section of the unit’s aircraft, these brave aviators faced overwhelming prejudice and doubt during a racially segregated time in our nation’s history. Their accomplishments include three Presidential Unit Citations, a Legion of Merit, a Silver Star, four Soldier Medals, 96 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 25 Bronze Stars and 1,031 Air Medals. They are credited with 1,578 missions, 15,533 combat sorties and 112 aerial kills.

“The Tuskegee Airmen proved that African-American pilots could fly missions as well as their white counterparts, which led President Harry S. Truman to integrate the U.S. Armed Forces in 1948,” according to the U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency.

In the years since, the U.S. Armed Forces has led the way in using diversity as a competitive advantage, with minorities well represented in the ranks and in leadership positions. For example, USAF General Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr., who was commander of the Tuskegee Airmen, became the first African-American general officer in the United States Air Force.

Other examples include the first African-American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking officer of the U.S. Armed Forces—former Secretary of State, retired Army General Colin L. Powell; U.S. Navy Admiral Horacio Rivera, the first Hispanic fourstar Admiral and Vice Chief of Naval Operations; and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, the first nurse and the first woman to serve as the U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command.

Corporate America has followed the military’s example, but has more work to do to achieve its goals of diversity and inclusion. Programs and initiatives are addressing the need, but these efforts are a work in progress. To assess how some firms are using diversity as a competitive advantage—a key driver of opportunities—COMMERCE asked New Jersey’s leading accounting, banking, environmental and law firms to discuss their outreach, and how it allows them to deliver value to their workforces and clients.


By Mark Giamo, CPA, NJ
Office Managing Partner, Assurance
BDO has a culture of inclusion. We believe a diverse workforce makes our business and the world around us stronger. The ideas, opinions and contributions which come from employees of different backgrounds and experiences have a positive effect on our growth and the growth of our people. The more diverse our backgrounds, the deeper our insights. Exceptional client service begins and ends with exceptional regard for our people. We don’t just hire individuals with exceptional skills and talent, we provide them with the environment and mentorship they need to develop and grow as professionals—enabling them to make significant contributions at all levels of employment. BDO’s multicultural alliance, pride alliance, women’s inclusion and veteran recruitment initiatives further the firm’s ongoing efforts to promote an environment that is inclusive for all. We strive to foster a culture that encourages diverse voices and empowers our professionals—that is truly our competitive advantage.


CohnReznick LLP
By Imad Khoury, SPHR, National Director of Talent Acquisition
In the accounting industry, having great people is the competitive advantage. So, maintaining a diverse, inclusive culture that attracts the industry’s best and brightest is fundamental to CohnReznick’s client service model and long-term success. By hiring people with a wide variety of life and work experiences, we believe we deliver our very best thinking to our clients. That’s because the advice our clients receive from us results from a collaborative effort where many different ideas, opinions and approaches have been shared and debated. To bolster diversity in our recruiting efforts, CohnReznick maintains relationships with many different universities, industry associations and leading organizations such as the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), ASCEND, the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and Women in Business. As a core operating principle of our firm, and as a key driver of competitive advantage, CohnReznick stands by the adage that “strength lies in differences, not similarities.”


Deloitte & Touche LLP
By Melissa Naple, Partner, Chair, NJ Executive Women’s Leadership Forum
At Deloitte, we believe that inclusion unleashes the power of diversity. To foster an inclusive culture and insightful dialogue, the New Jersey office recently launched a unique program. Under the leadership of Deloitte’s Executive Women’s Leadership Forum, the initiative reaches local women executives with opportunities to network with one another and discuss critical conversations such as board diversity, future of work and business strategy. We see firsthand the benefits to be gained from the unique backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of an inclusive workforce, and we’re proud to offer programs that broaden that philosophy across the New Jersey community by promoting the careers and leadership skills of talented women. The forum was founded on the premise that talented female professionals and executives can benefit from both trusted mentors and a strong, diverse network of colleagues to establish themselves as leaders in their careers and in the community.


By Corey Temple, Managing Partner (Short Hills)
At KPMG, diversity and inclusion are critical to the fabric of our firm. We believe that building a truly inclusive culture is essential to becoming the clear choice for our people and our clients. With an inclusive culture, all of our professionals feel a sense of belonging at KPMG and are able to bring their whole selves to work. We are proud to be a firm where diversity of thought is welcomed and embraced, which is critical in today’s business environment where complex business issues demand diverse perspectives and innovative ideas to achieve resolution.



Sobel & Co., LLC
By Bridget Hartnett, CPA, PSA, Member-in-Charge, Nonprofit & Social Services Practice
At Sobel & Co., we believe having a diverse workforce provides us with a key competitive edge. As such, one of our core values is “Understanding Diversity,” and we hold fast to that principle. Employees from different cultures, races and religions who represent different genders and generations enable us to expand our own vision and mission while at the same time offering unique perspectives to our clients. When we brainstorm as a practice group or across the entire organization, we appreciate having access to a wide range of viewpoints. As a result, we make better, more meaningful decisions. The same is true when addressing clients’ issues. Providing a variety of outlooks from a diverse team of professionals brings the client added value. This advantage is especially relevant in our nonprofit practice, where clients span diverse demographics. We are even more effective on their behalf when we align our diverse approaches with theirs.


PNC Bank
By Linda Bowden, NJ Regional President
A commitment to diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but in a state like New Jersey it provides a clear, competitive advantage. We are home to one of the country’s most diverse populations, with more than 10 million residents who identify as LGBT, African American, Hispanic, Asian and myriad cultural communities that reflect our nation’s broad cultural heritage. Early on, PNC realized the need to support the needs of a diverse base of customer segments. One example of this commitment is a training program developed for our bankers to become certified Women Business Advocates and serve as experts in supporting women business owners. PNC’s Employee Business Resource Groups in New Jersey also play a key role. These groups are focused on women professionals, LGBT, African American, Latino, Asian American, military veteran segments, among others. Fostering a culture of diversity enables us to better understand one another and earn the business of New Jersey’s diverse population.


TD Bank
By Kelley Cornish, Head of U.S. Diversity & Inclusion
TD Bank is committed to embracing diversity. Our mission is to cultivate a service-oriented, barrier-free culture that attracts, invests in and promotes all talent, reflecting the diverse communities we serve. We foster an inclusive environment where our customers feel welcome, and our colleagues feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. We place the same value on delivering against our success in this area as we do with our strategic and business objectives. Every leader in our organization is accountable for our success by recruiting, developing, retaining and promoting the very best talent from people of all backgrounds and abilities; ensuring every colleague has access to challenging career opportunities and focused individualized development; supporting business resource groups dedicated to advocating for minorities, women, individuals with diverse abilities, members of the LGBT community and veterans; serving the diverse needs of the communities where we work and live; and conducting business with diverse suppliers.


Valley National Bank
By Ira Robbins, President and CEO
At Valley National Bank, we actively seek to create a diverse environment including employees, vendors and the communities we serve. We are proud to embrace a culture of diversity that encourages our associates to share their perspectives, passions and talents. Diversity at Valley means more than an individual’s ethnicity. It includes their background, beliefs, experiences and unique perspectives. A diverse staff, reflective of the cultures and communities where we do business, brings fresh ideas and different skills to our company. These differences serve as effective resources for helping us build talented and cohesive teams that provide an exceptional customer experience every day.



By Kim Camacho, Director, Global Inclusion & Diversity Organization and Employee
As one of the world’s premier, fully integrated infrastructure firms, AECOM is proud to support our 87,000 employees around the world, including more than 500 in New Jersey. AECOM’s longstanding commitment to providing equality for all, without regard to race, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, education, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation is exhibited through honors such as being recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index. We are committed to ensuring an inclusive and diverse work environment for every employee, client or partner—regardless of where in the world they live and work. Our emphasis on diversity and inclusion helps AECOM secure and retain top talent and enables us to better understand our clients and the communities in which we live and work. Collectively, this makes AECOM more competitive in the marketplace.


Bayshore Family of Companies
By Valerie Montecalvo, President and CEO
Ethnic, religious and gender diversity are a way of life at the Bayshore Family of Companies. Of our total workforce, 49 percent are in minority classifications with 34 percent Hispanic American, 9 percent African American and 6 percent Asian American. Diversity has greatly enhanced our work experience internally on a daily basis as we learn and better appreciate our cultural differences and strengths. Externally, being a WBE gives us a competitive edge in bidding on jobs. Having more than 60 percent of our senior managers, billing, sales, communications and compliance staff being women makes us unique in the construction and heavy highway industry. For example, our Vice President of Technology & Business Development is an experienced woman environmental engineer. The sales force is comprised of women with backgrounds in marketing and sales. Finally, our communications program is run by highly effective women who manage all advertising, publications, social media, press and participation in conferences and events.


Archer Law
By Christopher R. Gibson, Esq., President
Diversity, and creating a culture of inclusion, make us a better employer, a better community partner and a better advocate for our clients. Creating a workplace environment that not only embraces—but actively cultivates—different perspectives and cultures helps employees flourish, and also helps us attract the best and brightest attorneys and support staff. Tangible, meaningful initiatives to increase diversity also show our clients and the larger community that we’re serious about our role in upholding and advancing fairness and equality in all of our business practices and, thus, are a good partner. To thrive in today’s incredibly diverse and competitive business environment, law firms must be a clear and accurate mirror of our multicultural society.


Fox Rothschild LLP
By Prince Altee Thomas, Esq., Co-Chair, Diversity Committee
At Fox Rothschild, our ultimate goal is to provide the best product for our clients. Uniformity in thought, experience, and background promotes blind spots in fashioning the best product—therefore, diversity is an integral part in our firm exploring, designing and delivering the best product for our clients. With a continued emphasis on diversity in how we recruit, how we compose client teams and how we shape policies that impact the lives of our attorneys and staff, we gain access to nuanced perspectives and experiences that enable our firm to be high-performing and agile. Furthermore, our organizational alignment with diversity as an imperative not only allows us to be innovative in our understanding and approach to legal issues, but positions the firm as a trusted broker of legal services at a time when client opportunities and challenges are driven by the reality of an increasingly diversified world


Genova Burns LLC
By Rebecca Moll Freed, Esq., Partner, Chair, Corporate Political Activity Group, Tax-Exempt Organization Practice Group and Vendor Political Activity & Ethics Compliance Training & Audit Programs
As the workforce becomes more diverse and more companies are doing business in a global marketplace, diversity is the key to success. Our firm has found that private- and public-sector clients value diversity when choosing a law firm. In fact, some clients will not select a firm to provide legal services if that firm fails to meet diversity benchmarks. Because Genova Burns has attorneys from diverse backgrounds at various levels within the firm, we have been able to enter new markets and build upon current relationships. In many respects, our diversity has enabled us to become highly integrated with our clients and their teams—and this type of seamless integration is key to providing effective legal representation.


Gibbons P.C.
By Patrick C. Dunican, Jr., Esq., Chairman and Managing Director
Since our founding in 1926, Gibbons has been headquartered in Newark, a city with a dynamic, diverse population from which we have always drawn a significant portion of our employee base. We have, therefore, always been aware of the distinct competitive advantage diversity brings to a workplace: valuable perspectives, cultural competence, and talents that allow us to be more creative, effective, and successful in the practice of law and service to our clients. Diversity of perspective results in diversity of solutions, and we are in the solution delivery business. We also support two renowned programs— the Gibbons Diversity Initiative and the Gibbons Women’s Initiative—designed to recruit, develop, retain and promote a more diverse attorney workforce. These programs are exceptionally well-received by our attorneys, which leads to more satisfied employees and, in turn, lower turnover and continuity of service that is extremely beneficial to clients.


Jackson Lewis P.C.
By Gregory Alvarez, Esq. Managing Principal (Morristown)
Reflecting a diverse workforce is vital to an organization’s success and cultivating a competitive advantage. Our clients want to work with attorneys who reflect their own workforces and communities—who make the clients feel their needs will be understood. In addition, as employment lawyers, Jackson Lewis attorneys help clients seek the broadest possible candidate pool to create positive, highly productive work environments. Led by our chairperson, we have taken aggressive steps to promote diversity and inclusion, including creating the Jackson Lewis Scholarship Program, expanding our summer law clerk program, establishing an internal D&I Committee with responsibility for enhancing firm diversity and inclusion, and retaining a nationally recognized consultant to provide unconscious bias training. By leveraging the unique qualities our diverse workforce brings to the table—different experiences and perspectives—we are better equipped to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations, and to succeed in today’s competitive legal landscape.


NPZ Law Group, P.C.
By David H. Nachman, Esq., U.S. Managing Attorney
The Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group is an immigration and nationality law firm. Our staff is international, and our clients benefit from our collective knowledge of multiple cultures. For example, a client’s U.S. Investor Visa application was processed smoothly because our staff was able to collaborate effectively with the client’s foreign bank to obtain financial information in a format which was acceptable to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the American Consulate overseas. While staff diversity is essential to the function of our organization, on a more personal level, each of us is happy to earn the respect and admiration of co-workers upon making a unique contribution to a project. NPZ also views diversity at work as a form of “continuing education” for the staff because it inspires novel approaches to solve problems.