AFE logos

2015 Awards for Excellence

12 Companies to Receive NJBIA’s 2015 Awards for Excellence

On October 14, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association will present the 2015 Awards for Excellence to 12 companies that have done outstanding work to improve the quality of life in New Jersey.

The awards will be presented at a reception at The Pines Manor in Edison.

Every year, NJBIA honors a select group of employers from among its 20,000 members for their outstanding achievements in four categories.

All NJBIA members in good standing are eligible to be nominated for this annual award. The winners are selected by an independent panel of judges who volunteer their time to select the winners. This year’s judging panel was comprised of NJBIA Committee and Board members as well as representatives from SCORE. 

 Mercadien P.C. verified the information supplied by the winning applicants. 

Business Success Award

The Business Success Award is presented to companies that have contributed to the state’s economic growth through the expansion of their businesses.

MAG-AFE-AspireTechAspire Technology Partners, LLC

  • President and CEO: John C. Harris
  • NJ Location: Hazlet
  • Founded: 2004
  • Business: Information Technology

Aspire Technology proves that small businesses can achieve big things. In the last year, this world-class IT solutions provider has more than doubled its size, opened a new office, added an entire department to its organization, and began growing its business in other states.

In the last year, Aspire has grown by over 50 percent, adding employees from entry-level to vice president across all departments, with an average salary of $117,000.

As part of the expansion, Aspire opened an office in South Jersey to start growing its business in the lower half of the state, as well as Pennsylvania and Delaware. Additionally, Aspire has invested $100,000 in training entry-level account managers in the 12-week Cisco Partner Sales Academy.

Aspire, as the name implies, has ambitious plans and does not fear head-to-head competition with some of the biggest national players in the industry to get where it wants to be.

MAG-AFE-MaserConsultingMaser Consulting P.A.

  • President and CEO: Richard M. Maser
  • NJ Headquarters: Red Bank
  • Founded: 1984
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 329
  • Business: Design and Consulting Engineers

For Maser Consulting, diversity is the key to success. Diversity of services enabled the multi-disciplined engineering firm to weather economic downturns and come out of them in a position to grow as the economy picks up.

It’s a strategy that has served the company well. Maser Consulting has nearly doubled its revenues over the last couple of years, not downsizing its staff even once during its 31 years in business.

As the Great Recession ended and the economy began a period of slow, but sustained growth, Maser Consulting was able to build its business. Beginning in 2011, the firm expanded its practice with a new infrastructure division. It also invested in new geospatial survey technology that lead to hiring 17 new project managers. Three years later, the infrastructure division had increased revenues by 256 percent, while the geospatial division saw a 60 percent increase.

In 2012, Maser Consulting created a new division to meet growing demand for engineering in the telecommunications industry. The telecommunications division joined the other core disciplines the firm had already established – municipal, civil/site, survey, infrastructure, environmental and transportation. In all, Maser Consulting offers 25 different services, a diversification that will continue to allow it to thrive in good times and bad.

MAG-AFE-WedgewoodWedgewood Pharmacy

  • President: Marcy A. Bliss
  • CEO/Owner: Lucy Malmberg, R.Ph, F.A.C.A., F.A.C.V.P.
  • NJ Location: Swedesboro
  • Founded: 1980
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 260
  • Business: Compounding Pharmacy

Efficiency implies doing more with less, so becoming more efficient while adding to the payroll would seem to be at odds. At Wedgewood Pharmacy, however, the company has become bigger and more efficient during the past three years.

Wedgewood Pharmacy is one of the largest compounding pharmacies in the nation, preparing personalized prescription medications for people and animals who cannot use manufactured drugs because they cannot tolerate one of the ingredients, an appropriate dosage or dosage-form is not commercially available, or because a drug has been withdrawn from the market or is in short supply.

As demand for its compounded preparations grew, the company set out to improve its technology and processes to meet demand, while maintaining the high-quality of its preparations and superior customer service. First, it combined two separate software systems into a single platform. Then, the company launched a training program to teach employees how to use the new system and to reassure them about the impact the new technology would have on the workplace. Employees were made aware of the business reasons for the changes and the value the system would bring to the company. They were even included in testing the new system before it was rolled out.

This allowed the company to improve its processes for order preparation and shipping. Because the company specializes in making customized medication in response to a prescription order for a single patient, the ability to fill a prescription quickly and ship it virtually anywhere in the country is challenging. These changes reduced the wait time for prescriptions by almost three hours without removing anything of value from the process.

Increased efficiency translated into increased employment as well. During this period, Wedgewood’s workforce increased by 44 percent, from 183 employees in 2012 to more than 260 employees today.

Environmental Quality Award

The Environmental Quality Award is presented to companies that have done outstanding work to preserve or enhance the quality of the environment in New Jersey.

MAG-AFE-HausmannHausmann Industries, Inc.

  • CEO: David Hausmann
  • NJ Location: Northvale
  • Founded: 1955
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 81
  • Business: Manufacturing

For 60 years, Hausmann Industries has been designing and manufacturing equipment for the medical profession. For the last 20 years, it has been relentless in reducing its environmental footprint by embracing the principles of sustainability.

No one initiative by itself can adequately define Hausmann’s efforts; each one contributes to a comprehensive environmental program. In 1994, for instance, the company undertook a facility-wide lighting upgrade that cut electric usage almost in half. A comprehensive recycling program followed five years later. To date, it has allowed Hausmann to recycle more than 160 tons of cardboard and paper, and 24,000 pounds of bottles and cans.

In 2009, Hausmann installed a $1.3-million solar electric system that has generated more than 1.2 million kWh of clean energy, enough to power 172 homes for a year. Over the course of its 25-year life, the solar array will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 3.2 million metric tons.

Hausmann has also changed materials used in its manufacturing process to more environmentally friendly alternatives. This includes reducing volatile organic chemicals by switching to water based coatings and non-hazardous cleaners. Hausmann introduced the Green Line of PVC-free products with no added urea formaldehyde, which improves air quality.

The company has also implemented reuse programs to cut waste and took on numerous electricity conservation projects – 17 environmental projects in all.

MAG-AFE-IO-DataCentersIO Data Centers

  • CEO: George Slessman
  • NJ Location: Edison
  • Founded: 2007
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 29
  • Business: Data Center Provider

IO New Jersey is the largest modular data center in the world, and it wants to lead an innovation revolution towards more sustainable operations for the industry. Data centers are at the heart of many of the productivity advantages technology offers business. Many of the electronic customer service operations rely on them to maintain their databases and records. As technology advances, more data centers will be needed in the future.

Unfortunately, data centers are also one of the largest consumers of energy and leave a lot of room for improvement when it comes to waste.

Data centers consume at least 2 percent of all of the nation’s electricity or about 76 billion kilowatt-hours. IO uses advanced modular technology to increase the efficiency of its systems. The company has consolidated modules to increase the effectiveness of the energy they use. To make cooling the servers more efficient, it has invested in improving airflow, sealing off walls, floors and doors, and installing overhead and underfloor cooling systems.

The modular data centers provide a 10 percent energy cost savings. IO’s innovations have reduced energy waste by 44 percent, saved over 1 million gallons of water, and reduced CO2 emissions by 620 metric tons.

The company also has set an example for other data centers that want to cut their energy usage.

MAG-AFE-MedtronicMedtronic Spine Division

  • Sr. Manufacturing Director: Patrick Malone
  • NJ Location: Eatontown
  • Founded: 2010 (acquired)
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 217
  • Business: Manufacturing

In business, setting a goal and meeting it is good; exceeding that goal is great. Medtronic Spine Division has to find a new adjective, however, because their results came in at twice the level they set as the goal.

The goal was to reduce both energy and water usage at the Eatontown plant by 5 percent over the past year. FY 2015 however, saw a 10.3 percent reduction in energy and a 9.3 percent reduction in water over FY 2014 levels, saving the company nearly $280,000 on its utility bills and substantially reducing its environmental footprint. The energy savings alone have reduced carbon emissions by more than 600 metric tons, equal to 129 cars being driven for a year.

The program used resources from multiple Medtronic sites to revamp its processes, including facilities engineers, the Global Energy Manager, its suppliers and others. Bringing the diverse group together allowed the campus to take a holistic approach to energy and water usage.

Medtronic Spine Division is not done yet. The $280,000 saved in utility bills this year is going to be put to work for energy reduction projects in FY 2016.

Outstanding Employer

The Outstanding Employer Award is presented to companies that demonstrate a creative and forward-looking approach to managing their human resources.

MAG-AFE-LDSLogical Design Solutions

  • President and CEO: Mary Kay Brooks
  • NJ Location: Florham Park
  • Founded: 1990
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 52
  • Business: Management Consulting

Everybody wants to feel like they are part of the team. The challenge for management is creating a team-like atmosphere amidst the grind of day-to-day business activities. Logical Design Solutions (LDS) has found a way. It’s called Team2020, and it covers everything from recruiting the best job candidates to making sure every employee hears firsthand what is going on at the firm.

LDS employees enjoy a continuous learning culture. Lunch and Learns are monthly, one-hour presentations from members of the firm on best practices or insights on the company’s operation. Attendance is mandatory.

The LDS Consultancy Exchange is a monthly discussion across all disciplines on challenges and issues for the company. This one is voluntary, but participation is still 80 to 85 percent of the LDS workforce. It also has Centers of Excellence to help employees solve project-related issues through monthly meetings and a collaboration space on the company Intranet.

Working together is not enough, however. The goal at LDS is for employees to know where LDS is going and how they as individuals fit into the operation. Things like changes in strategy, new business objectives or simply perspectives on the future of the industry are delivered directly by LDS leadership, so all employees learn of things from the top.

LDS succeeded because it put the goal of engaging employees at the forefront of its operations. No wonder the average employee has worked at the firm for 10 years.

MAG-AFE-Pinnacle-FoodsPinnacle Foods Inc.

  • CEO: Robert Gamgort
  • NJ Location: Parsippany
  • Founded: 2001
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 603
  • Business: Manufacturing

A more fulfilling home life and more productivity at work are not mutually exclusive. In fact, at Pinnacle Foods, they are the combined goals of the company’s LiveLife wellness program.

A benefit available to all employees since 2009, LiveLife provides incentives and support to help employees live a healthier lifestyle, all with the goal of developing, in the company’s words, “a culture of health and wellbeing.”

There is the professional support network that runs the gamut of programs. Some are simple: telephone support for maternity or managing a chronic medical condition; safety training; and free flu shots. Others are more in-depth, such as financial wellness counseling, voluntary insurance products and tuition reimbursement.

There are financial incentives as well. Employees can earn $200 each for completing a biometrics screening, filling out a health assessment survey on line and by making three “Wellness Commitments,” such as exercising for 150 minutes per week. That’s $600 per year for completing all three, and spouses are eligible too. The money is deposited in an HSA or HRA account to use for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

So far, the results are impressive. Three-quarters of all employees have completed at least one of the three incentive programs, with Pinnacle contributing nearly $600,000 to their healthcare accounts. In 2014 alone, 60 percent of salaried and non-union hourly employees received free biometric screenings.

Community Service Award

The Community Service Award is presented to companies for outstanding service to their communities.

MAG-AFE-MDAdvantage_LogoMDAdvantage Insurance Company of New Jersey

  • Chairman and CEO: Patricia A. Costante
  • NJ Location: Lawrenceville
  • Founded: 2002
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 36
  • Business: Medical Professional Liability Insurance

If nothing is done, New Jersey will have a shortage of about 3,000 physicians and 1,800 medical specialists in just five years. MDAdvantage is working to change that. The company is overseeing the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Scholarship Fund to support young healthcare providers so they can afford to go to school and remain in New Jersey.

The scholarship fund rewards New Jersey residents who demonstrate excellence in academics. Since its inception, the scholarship fund has contributed $405,000 in scholarships to 36 students.

MDAdvantage believes the scholarships will encourage more medical school graduates to establish their practices in New Jersey. Physicians tend to practice where they completed medical schools or residency training, so the more doctors graduating from New Jersey schools, the more likely they are to stay here afterwards.

This “priming the pump” is essential to address the shortage of doctors. The state ranks 33rd in the nation in medical students per capita, so the importance of keeping those graduates in New Jersey is magnified.

The company donates staff time for the foundation’s activities, including fundraising, event planning and establishment of an independent Awards Committee.

The scholarship fund is just one of several charitable efforts that MDAdvantage backs. Among them are the Camden Area Health Education Center, the Hunderdon County Medication Access Partnership (helping patients with prescriptions) and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. It’s all part of a commitment to healthy communities.

MAG-AFE-PNCPNC Financial Services Group

  • NJ Regional President: Linda Bowden
  • NJ Location: East Brunswick
  • Founded: 1852
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 2,359
  • Business: Finance, Insurance,
    Real Estate

You’re never too old to learn something new. For PNC, it seems you’re never too young to start learning. Eleven years ago, the company launched Grow Up Great, a program where preparing kids for success in school and in life starts right from birth.

Grow Up Great is based on studies that show the development of a child in the first five years of life is critical to long-term achievement. PNC works with families and educators to plant the seeds of learning before they start school, using financial support, volunteerism, and advocacy and awareness.

More than $2 million has been provided to New Jersey education and learning centers for early childhood education programs focused on vocabulary, science and understanding money. Organizations like the Center for Family Resources in Clifton and a broad range of child development centers and pre-schools have benefited from Grow Up Great.

PNC also encourages employees to get involved by providing up to 40 hours a year of paid time off for volunteerism. In 2014, PNC employees recorded 8,792 volunteer hours reading to children, engaging in outdoor games, organizing book drives and collecting donations of back-to-school supplies.

MAG-AFE-StJoesSt. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center

  • President and CEO: Kevin J. Slavin
  • NJ Location: Paterson
  • Founded: 1867
  • NJ Employees: 5,100
  • Business: Healthcare

Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in our society – one that often makes its way into the emergency department at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, a member of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System. For St. Joseph’s, treating victims’ injuries was not enough, so it launched the Hospital to Court program to treat the underlying cause in many of these cases.

Hospital to Court is a way for victims – women and men – to get legal protection before they even leave the hospital. In a private setting within the hospital, the victim is connected to a Superior Court judge or hearing officer using video.

The judge then takes testimony on the incident and decides whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order. If the answer is yes, the court will fax the order to the hospital and the victim can leave the hospital with the legal protection order in hand and a police escort to ensure the victim gets home safely.

Since its launch, the program has expanded from St. Joseph’s Emergency department to the Pediatrics Emergency and Obstetrics/Gynecology departments, and as needed, throughout the hospital. It also expanded the service to a round-the-clock operation, thanks to a strong commitment from the Passaic Vicinage Domestic Violence Officers, Superior Court Assignment Judge and the Presiding Family Court Judge. St. Joseph’s Hospital to Court is a model for other similar programs implemented across our state.

Outstanding Employer & Community Service Award

The Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery has demonstrated excellence in both the Outstanding Employer category and the Community Service category. 

MAG-AFE-Phillips66Phillips 66 – Bayway Refinery

  • Refinery Manager: Darren Cunningham
  • NJ Location: Linden
  • Founded: 1909
  • Full-time NJ Employees: 1,100
  • Business: Refining

Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery is a major producer of gasoline and diesel as well as home heating oils and other petroleum products. The company’s commitment to their employees and the local community has earned the company two Awards for Excellence.

For the Outstanding Employer Award, Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery was selected for the innovative ways in which it integrates new employees, promotes career advancement and fosters better communication between employees and management. The company is a strong supporter of employee resource groups such as the New Hire Network, the Women’s Network and the Bayway Employee Action Team (B.E.A.T.). The ideas of these resource groups offer forward-looking approaches to improving Bayway’s work environment.

The Women’s Network, for instance, offers a dozen programs on professional development, mentoring and community outreach. Likewise, the New Hire Network helps employees with fewer than five years meet and network while promoting professional growth through social activities, community involvement and learning events at the company. Employees are trained in safety and offered numerous professional development opportunities. And Bayway started B.E.A.T. to promote an open exchange of suggestions, comments and concerns to ensure that employees are heard.

Bayway won the Community Service Award for its far-reaching support of the community. Bayway Refinery has a rich manufacturing heritage in New Jersey and in Union County, having been in operation for over 100 years. Phillips 66 has been the owner and operator of the Bayway Refinery since 2012. The company vision, “We Are Phillips 66: Providing Energy, Improving Lives,” is demonstrated through the refinery’s support of local schools, charities and institutions. The company has sponsored several academic awards and scholarships, including the Excellence in Science Scholarship for Linden High School Seniors. Bayway Refinery has also created the Never Forget Thy Neighbor Program, which provides food and clothing for neighbors in need and has promoted employee volunteerism in the community for 28 years, as well as the Bayway Good Neighbor Fund, which has provided educational equipment and supplies to local schools and organizations.

Then, there is the support Phillips 66 has shown for established philanthropic organizations through sponsorship, donations and volunteers. More than 35 such organizations have benefited from Bayway Refinery’s commitment to its community. Phillips 66 strongly encourages a commitment to giving back and investing in the communities where they operate, live and work. Focus areas of giving for Phillips 66 include: Education and Literacy, Environment and Sustainability and Community Safety and Preparedness.

Verification of Awards for excellence Information
Provided by Mercadien, P.C., CPAs.

Mercadien, P.C., Certified Public Accountants performed the agreed-upon procedures to verify the information supplied by the award-winning finalists. As entrepreneurs serving entrepreneurs, Mercadien’s principals and staff are uniquely suited to provide creative solutions to a variety of business challenges.

Mercadien offers a full spectrum of accounting and advisory services, including traditional audit and financial reporting, Federal, multi-state and international tax compliance and consulting, Section 404 internal control reviews, and management and board consulting. 

Mercadien works with a diverse group of clients to develop strategic and financial plans designed to maximize wealth and profitability, minimize taxes and risk, and evaluate systems and processes, while increasing efficiencies.

Mercadien has a strong background providing services to nonprofit organizations; professional trade associations; colleges and universities; government agencies, authorities, municipalities and other public entities, as well as to businesses of nearly every type and industry.

Mercadien has served New Jersey and the Delaware Valley for more than 50 years and has a staff of 130 professionals, including 15 principals.

The Mercadien Group is a family of distinct companies created to serve the diverse and sophisticated needs of clients in a capacity greater than any single organization can offer. Mercadien provides accounting, auditing, tax planning and compliance, and management consulting, as well as technology, wealth management, outsourcing and investment banking services. A team of trusted advisors working together, The Mercadien Group shares a broad knowledge base and creates seamless solutions that meet clients’ personal and business objectives. Learn more at


Related Articles: