General Business

2022 Awards for Excellence

New Jersey Business Magazine is proud to present the 2022 Awards for Excellence to four executives and 13 companies who have improved the quality of life in New Jersey in outstanding ways. Powered by NJBIA, the awards honor select employers from NJBIA’s membership for outstanding achievements.

2022 AFE Outstanding Employers

For companies celebrating creative and forward-looking approaches to managing HR.

Bergen’s Promise

Bergen’s Promise is a community-based care management service for children in Bergen County with serious behavioral health, substance abuse, or developmental issues, and their families. Since 2002, the organization has been offering unique, community-based services to families who have children with emotional, behavioral, developmental, mental health, and substance abuse needs.

Being forced into a remote working situation at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team converted to telehealth to deal with a myriad of pressing issues. For a population of 1,800 youths dealing with mental health challenges, it was a test for the community as well as for front-line workers.

Bergen’s Promise’s strong culture put its values into action. A robust employee culture is strengthened by solid in-place support mechanisms. From policies that foster diversity to ongoing training, self-care, and wellness initiatives for employees, Bergen’s Promise is committed to its employees and patients alike.


Building a positive culture is more than just words for CPA firm EisnerAmper. Noting that innovation starts with inclusion, its core values speak to this mission; promising that the firm will always act with integrity, place great emphasis on providing excellent service to clients, encourage firm-wide innovation and promote workplace diversity.

It’s a tall order, so the firm established a number of tools and initiatives designed to deliver a more-inclusive culture for all employees, regardless of their position. For example, the company partnered with research firm Gartner to develop an employee satisfaction survey to maintain a pulse on its culture. To help employees learn and advance their careers, the company established EisnerAmper University. Other firm perks include flextime and alternative work arrangements as well as discounts for wellness services. There’s also personal career coaching, and even busy season Bingo to keep things fun during stressful tax seasons.

Oxygen Benefits

With offices in New Jersey and New York, Oxygen Benefits prides itself on the ability to provide exceptional customer service and personal attention. As a full-service agency that specializes in the provision of health insurance products, Oxygen Benefits also sells a comprehensive suite of insurance solutions. Under the careful watch of CEO, Wayne Dougal, employees work closely with clients to ensure that they ultimately make important and informed decisions for their business and their employees.

Dougal has built an exceptionally dedicated team that loves what it does and where it works. The culture of the firm is all about the client; it is determined to make every client satisfied with their insurance decisions and remain in close contact during the year to handle issues and questions that emerge. Even the CEO follows an open-door communications policy with both employees and clients in the event needs emerge that require swift action.

ZAGO Manufacturing Co.

Founded in 1993 as part of the NJIT Enterprise Development Center Small Business Incubator, Zago Manufacturing Co. still calls Newark home, after refurbishing a 100-year-old industrial building into an ultra-efficient lean manufacturing plant. Serving a wide range of specialty industries, Zago’s components are found in military and aerospace products, electric vehicles and batteries, wind and solar devices, as well as medical devices and other electronics, including robotics and drones.

Proud of its longstanding commitment to community and diversity, this woman-owned business has paid the tuition for several of its 30 employees to advance their education. Additionally, ZAGO pays 100% of employee health insurance and offers hybrid/ remote work opportunities.

A manufacturer of environmentally safe, sustainable, high-tech sealing fasteners and components, the firm was designated an essential workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. ZAGO employees assisted with manufacturing hundreds of thousands of sealing fasteners and components for companies manufacturing ventilators.

2022 AFE Members of the Year

For company contributions to NJBIA and efforts to improve the state’s business climate.

Girl Scouts of New Jersey

Girl Scouts of New Jersey, made up of four regional councils, has been an NJBIA partner for many years and has traditionally kicked off the association’s annual Women Business Leaders Forum with a champagne toast, celebrating the next generation of female leaders. This ties in perfectly with the global Girl Scouts mission of “building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges. Backed by adult volunteers, mentors and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.

The organization has been true to its mission since its founding in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia, 110 years ago. It was time when women in the US were not allowed to vote and were expected to stick to strict social norms. … How things have changed!

Morey’s Piers

Morey’s Piers, located on the Wildwood boardwalk, is the classic seaside amusement park that has been family owned and operated since 1969. In facing workforce challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Morey’s played a critical role in helping NJBIA advocate for teen worker reform legislation. It also assisted the association in educating policy makers about the challenges and opportunities regarding the J-1 visa program during the pandemic and beyond.

Morey’s Piers was voted the best seaside amusement park in the world by Amusement Today and #1 Best Beach Boardwalk by Family Vacation Critic. The company has more than 100 rides and attractions spanning over 18 acres along six beach blocks and includes three amusement piers and two beachfront water parks.

Along with Morey Hotels & Resorts, Morey’s Piers combines the pure joy of an amusement park, the sights and sounds of a classic boardwalk, and outstanding accommodations.

NJ Council of County Colleges

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) has had a long-standing partnership with the NJBIA. Among the joint initiatives is NJCCC’s Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, which along with the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, has helped deliver the NJBIA Workplace Literacy and Basic Skills Training Program. This free program, which teaches literacy skills, communications, math, management and soft-tech skills, has trained nearly 200,000 employees from more than 11,000 companies.

Last year, NJCCC and NJBIA created the New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities initiative, which brings together businesses, industry associations, labor unions, education institutions and workforce development partners to provide students and workers with the career pathways they need to find new career opportunities and to ensure employers have access to a highly skilled workforce.

NJCCC today oversees 18 community colleges in the state that enroll more than 300,000 people in credit, non-credit and workforce development courses at more than 70 campuses.

Phillips 66

Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery’s mission is to be the top Northeast refinery – admired for its people, performance and commitment to the community.

The refinery produces transportation and home heating fuels critical to meeting the energy needs of the Northeast. As a key energy provider in the state, Phillips 66 has worked collaboratively with NJBIA’s government and regulatory teams on energy policy and is proud of sponsoring key NJBIA programs/initiatives. As a large employer in the state, offering various career opportunities, the company is engaged in NJBIA’s workforce development initiatives.

Phillips 66 is proud of its role in contributing to the world’s energy needs as a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. The company is leveraging its existing capabilities and advancing investments in new energy technologies to continue to fulfill its vision of providing energy and improving lives. Phillips 66 is about the future of energy and helping the world move forward.

2022 AFE Excellence in Disability Inclusion

For companies focused on delivering equal opportunities to qualified people with disabilities.

The Arc of New Jersey

The Arc of New Jersey is the state’s largest organization advocating for and serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. It does so through initiatives focusing on empowerment, education and prevention.

The organization believes that all people have the fundamental moral, civil and constitutional right to live, learn, work, play and worship in safe and healthy communities of their choosing.

Through its Project Hire program, the Arc also secures employment for the disabled. According to Tom Baffuto, Arc NJ executive director, Project Hire works with some 850 New Jersey businesses to assist the disabled in such areas as job matching, sampling, on-site training, and travel training.

“An employed person gains skills they wouldn’t otherwise receive,” Baffuto says. “Having a job offers a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging to an organization or business.”

2022 AFE Community Service

For companies committed to leadership in finding solutions to social or economic challenges.

Affinity Foundation

Basking Ridge-based Affinity Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in New Jersey, directly impacting the lives of more than 127,000 New Jerseyans. Its Affinity Foundation continues to create opportunity, foster personal growth, and develop necessary skills and knowledge within the New Jersey community to encourage a better tomorrow for everyone. The foundation not only works diligently in the office, but is hands-on in the field reaching out to members who are struggling financially, students who are looking to further their education, and anyone else in need of a helping hand.

Affinity far exceeds the expectations of a typical credit union, offering a customized member experience that is focused on improving its members overall financial well-being.

Affinity President and CEO John Fenton provides Affinity’s 450 employees and over 200,000 members with a clear perspective on the role Affinity should play in its members lives – more than just a financial services provider, but a true partner in achieving financial goals.


Covanta strives to make a positive impact wherever it can. Through its community-based programs, the Morristown-based waste management company works with a variety of organizations on the environmental and social issues that are top of mind for its neighbors and facilities.

Although the company’s Camden location makes up only a fraction of Covanta’s employee and resource base, workers there have dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort to supporting their neighbors and the places they call home.

Throughout 2022, Covanta’s Camden facility has: worked with the Audubon Society to convert an empty lot into a pollinator garden; teamed up with Wholesome Riches & the South Jersey Food Bank to help distribute food at the H.B. Wilson Family School; participated in “Camden Strong” clean-up events; helped sponsor the city’s Juneteenth event, and participated in the Camden County Police Department Pride Parade; participated in three Camden County Police Department community clean up events; and much more.

Shore Builders Association

The Lakewood-based Shore Builders Association of Central Jersey stands for quality, integrity and responsibility, serving Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer and Ocean counties. Collaboration and innovation are at the forefront of the association, allowing its members to make advancements together in today’s ever-changing landscape.

The Professional Women in Building (PWB) Group of the Shore Builders Association is dedicated to empowering women through professional development and leadership training. For more than 60 years, national PWB members have made meaningful strides to build a more diverse workforce and bring awareness to the important role women serve in the residential construction industry.

In addition to contributing financially, the group is hands on and heart in, providing monthly visits and long-term mentoring to the girls in its residential program, and offering them real-life examples of who they can become as women in the building/construction field.

Manasquan Bank

For more than 148 years, Manasquan Bank has provided support to a wide variety of non-profit organizations seeking to make a positive difference within the communities it serves. As it continues to expand, so does the impact the company makes on its local communities, which extends beyond banking.

With the formation of the Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation in 2014, the bank continues to bring its philanthropy initiatives to the next level. Designed to support those serving unmet local needs in new ways, the foundation serves as the bank’s single source of financial assistance for qualified 501(c)(3) non-profits.

Whether they’re providing assistance for a non-profit fundraiser, cleaning up beaches, or offering their time serving on non-profit boards for causes that matter to them, Manasquan Bank’s colleagues help make communities thrive. In the first half of 2022, its employees have already devoted 189 hours to community service outreach.

2022 AFE Executives of the Year

For individuals who demonstrate leadership and passion while achieving business success.

Jeffrey Farrell, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark

When Jeffrey Farrell assumed leadership of Newark Habitat for Humanity in 2011, his goal was to build a broad range of resources and opportunities to be able to enrich the lives of thousands of residents. Under Farrell’s leadership and vision, the organization has been renamed the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark to reflect its geographic expansion into Essex, Hudson and Union counties.

In 2016, Farrell developed the Critical Repair and Healthy Homes Initiative, focusing Habitat’s expertise in identifying and fixing barriers to safe and healthy living conditions. Cobbling together more than $1 million since the initiative began, Habitat has made repairs such as mold and asbestos remediation, and energy-conserving improvements. Habitat of Greater Newark works to keep low-income families, seniors and veterans in the homes they already own. In addition, more than 100 homes have been built with low-income family partners who otherwise may never realize the dream of homeownership.

John E. Harmon Sr., IOM, Founder, President & CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ)

Founding the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey in 2007, John Harmon Sr. has built a powerhouse advocate association, serving black-owned sole proprietors, small businesses, and major corporations throughout the state. His demonstrated prowess in marketing and communications extends statewide and nationally via radio, television and social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram). The organization’s weekly radio show, “Empowerment Hour,” has more than 2,000 listeners. Meanwhile, Pathway to Success, AACCNJ’s monthly television broadcast, airs on NJTV and, where it garners 1.6 million viewers. It also appears on, attracting an audience of more than 28 million viewers.

For the past 15 years, Harmon has leveraged the AACCNJ’s expansive platform to mitigate economic and health disparities and enhance the resources, opportunities and information for the prosperity of New Jersey’s Black residents and Black business owners.

Sanjay Mirchandani, Director, President, and CEO, Commvault

Tracing its origins to high-tech innovators Bell Labs, Lucent and AT&T, Commvault emerged as a stand-alone company in 1996 when it was sold by Lucent. Today, the company provides enterprise software to back up, restore, archive, replicate and search data. When Sanjay Mirchandani arrived at Commvault in 2019, the IT services company was experiencing some operational challenges. The Tinton Falls-based company embarked on important new service innovations, including its Intelligent Data Services platform and Metallic, a SaaS (Software as a Service) business unit providing cloud-based backup services. The latter, under Mirchandani’s inspired management, grew with lighting speed in six business quarters to become a $50 million operation. As a result, in 2022, the company experienced its best year ever. These innovations represent Mirchandani’s leadership abilities to create a cultural shift, encouraging bold steps, fresher approaches, and a renewed focus on the customer experience.

Lisa Paley, President, North America, Haleon

Lisa Paley leads Haleon, the country’s largest stand-alone consumer healthcare company. If that name is unfamiliar, it is probably due to its short history as a corporate entity. Haleon was established in July 2022 as a corporate spin-off from GSK. As the president of the North American operations, headquartered in Warren, Paley, who joined the company in 2019 from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, is a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. She is responsible for helping guide the enterprise and overseeing the business unit. It is no small task, considering the health and wellness brand portfolio includes Advil, Centrum, ChapStick, Sensodyne and TUMS among others.

In the face of uncertain times, Paley has empowered her organization to deliver on its business goals despite supply chain challenges, a pandemic, and a shift in consumer behaviors. Paley embraces change; welcoming new and agile ways of working and encouraging learning opportunities.

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