Women Business Leaders Forum

Unlocking the C-Suite - Event Speakers and Panelists

Though women continue to comprise more of the Fortune 500 CEO positions, they still have a long way to go. This event brings attendees together to network and identify how to increase gender diversity in corporate leadership, improve communication and negotiation skills, and provide personal strategies for success.

The forum, to be held at the DoubleTree Hotel, Somerset, on September 15, will feature speakers from more than 10 leading companies such as NJTV, Wells Fargo, NJM, Deloitte and more.

To register, please visit www.njbia.org/wblf17.

Michele N. Siekerka
President and CEO,

Michele Siekerka, Esq. has served as the President of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association since October 2014. Since that time, Siekerka has led the organization in expanding NJBIA’s voice on critical policy issues impacting New Jersey businesses, while also expanding member services and resources.

Siekerka came to NJBIA from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, where she served in the critical position of Deputy Commissioner, following her service as Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources Management.

During her time at NJDEP, Siekerka was a principal player in the state’s charge in “Rebuilding New Jersey” in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. She was responsible for coordinating funding, outreach and resources for the rebuilding of impacted environmental infrastructure.

An attorney by trade, Siekerka’s background includes serving as the president and CEO of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, senior legal counsel and vice president of human resources with the Automobile Association of America and as a partner in a Mercer County law firm. A Robbinsville resident, Siekerka earned a BA in Political Science and German from Rutgers University and a JD from Temple University School of Law.


Sally Glick
Principal & Chief Growth Strategist,
Sobel & Co., LLC 

Sally Glick is a principal of the firm and the chief growth strategist at Sobel & Co. In that role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm’s branding, and marketing communications. She functions as an ambassador to the community, driving Sobel’s business development strategies.

In April 2017, Glick was inducted into the NJ Business Hall of Fame and, separately, in March 2016, NJBIZ honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award. That year, she was also the recipient of NJBIA’s Business Inspiration Award and was inducted into the NJ Ad Club Hall of Fame. In January 2017, she was recognized with the Morris County Bar Association’s Patron Award for her commitment to the community. Among her other accolades, in 2008, she was selected as one of NJBIZ’s “Top 50 Women in Business.”

Glick serves on several boards including being the president of Association of Corporate Growth–NJ.

Glick earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she was honored with the Alumni Merit Award in 2008. She earned her MBA from The Lake Forest Graduate School of Business Management.



Whether you are a corporate woman pursuing a role as a board member or a nonprofit leader seeking to identify the best candidates for volunteer leaders, this special session will address your challenges and concerns by drawing on the expertise of panelists who will share their perspectives on the common characteristics of high performing board members. Listeners will have the opportunity to hear what nonprofits may expect of their board members while also accessing some practical tips that will make their own board search more efficient and effective. (Attendees will leave with a toolkit including sample board contract, and resources to identify potential board opportunities, etc.) 

Amy Klein
Executive Director,

Amy Klein, a California native and UCLA graduate, has broad nonprofit and volunteer experience. Having begun her career in business administration and as an avid volunteer, her recent work has been extensively in the nonprofit development and fundraising fields.

Klein currently is the executive director of VolunteerConnect and has successfully launched the skills-based volunteer movement in New Jersey, which includes short-term impact projects and nonprofit board training for individuals and corporations. Klein advises nonprofit leaders on the practice of using pro bono support to address critical budget issues, by crossing the strategic needs of nonprofits with available professional expertise. Klein also works directly with corporations to provide added-value services to their corporate social responsibility platforms to enhance their community connections and improve employee engagement.

Klein is on the advisory board of RSVP of Mercer County and sits on committees with the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Princeton Community Works.


Amy B. Mansue
President, Southern Region,
RWJBarnabas Health

Amy Mansue is president, Southern Region for RWJBarnabas Health, including all of the service area from the Raritan River south. This includes: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick, RWJ Somerset, RWJ Hamilton, Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center South and Children’s Specialized Hospital. RWJ Barnabas Health encompasses 11 hospitals, or about one-sixth of the state’s hospitals, in order to manage healthcare for 5 million people, or more than 50 percent of the state’s population. The system is committed to advancing medical education with its academic partner, Rutgers University.

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s second-largest private employer – with more than 32,000 employees, 9,000 physicians, and 1,000 residents and interns. The health system contributes a combined total of more than $550 million in community benefit services annually.

Prior to joining RWJBarnabas Health, Mansue served as president and CEO of Children’s Specialized Hospital, and Chief Strategy Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Health System. Mansue has public-sector experience at both the federal and state level. She worked for Governor Jim Florio as a staffer on healthcare policy in Congress and in his policy office. In 1993, Mansue oversaw programs for children, people with developmental disabilities, mental health and Medicaid as a deputy commissioner in the New Jersey Department of Human Services. She served as deputy chief of staff to Governor James McGreevey.

Mansue presently serves on the boards six major entities, including, for example, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce (immediate past chair).

Mansue received her bachelor’s degree in social welfare and master’s degree in social work, planning and management from the University of Alabama.


Sherise D. Ritter
CPA, Principal, The Mercadien Group,
Non-Profit Human Services Practice Leader

Sherise Ritter is a managing director of The Mercadien Group, principal of Mercadien, P.C., CPAs, and co-chair of the firm’s Nonprofit and Human Services Group. She has a broad base of experience and expertise in the performance of audits, reviews, compilations and advisory services for nonprofit organizations, government entities, colleges and universities. Highly proficient in the tax exemption determination process and maintenance of exemption for both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) entities, including addressing unique tax issues, Ritter has extensive experience in tax planning, preparation and reporting for exempt organizations and individuals. Ritter also focuses on business planning and consulting for various nonprofit and business entities, in such areas as budgeting, cash flow management, accounting systems design, strategic planning, and board governance training.

Dedicated to identifying industry trends and meeting the changing needs of clients in the nonprofit sector, Ritter is a sought-after seminar presenter and regularly authors articles for the firm’s newsletter, The Nonprofit Examiner, and other publications.

An active member of the NJ Association of Community Providers, Ritter serves on the board of directors of the RWJ Hospital–Hamilton and its Foundation, sitting on the audit and governance committees. She has been a member of the Rider University Accounting Advisory Council since 1997, helping to shape the curriculum and experiential learning programs for the accounting department. She also is a current member and past chairman of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, the RWJ Hospital – Hamilton, and former president and treasurer of the YWCA of Trenton.

In 2014, Ritter was named Citizen of the Year by the MID-Jersey Chamber of Commerce, among an array of other awards she has been honored with in recent years.

Ritter earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from Rider University, is a licensed CPA in New Jersey and New York, a licensed public school accountant, a Certified Government Financial Manager and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.



With the exception of a lucky few who always know what to say, many of us find ourselves struggling to find the right words in important meetings, when there’s conflict, or when we simply want to be included in a new opportunity. Staying silent for fear of offending or feeling unheard is frustrating no matter how much we tell ourselves it doesn’t matter. This special session with experienced leadership coaches and corporate communications officers will help you find your voice and use it strategically. Learn proven techniques to be heard when it matters most.

John Hardiman
Director of Public Affairs,
NJM Insurance Company

John Hardiman has served as public affairs director of NJM Insurance Company since May 2012.

Since joining NJM in 1994, Hardiman has taken on numerous roles of increasing responsibility in each of the company’s major lines of business. In 2006, he was named manager of policyholder services, and in 2009 manager of personal lines markets.

In 2012, he was promoted to director of corporate communications and to his current position in 2014, where he oversees the company’s corporate, crisis and employee communications, public and media relations, consumer safety, sales and social media efforts. He is also a member of NJM’s Corporate Giving Committee.

Hardiman is a Fellow of Lead New Jersey, an organization established more than 30 years ago through the efforts of former Governor Thomas Kean to unite and engage the state’s most talented leaders to create systemic change around New Jersey’s most challenging issues.

Hardiman serves on the boards of directors of The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, The Highway Loss Data Institute and The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, three of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from crashes on our country’s roadways. In 2013, he was elected to the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce board of directors, where he also serves as chair of its investment committee.

Several nonprofit organizations have benefited from Hardiman’s leadership and expertise including: Ryan’s Quest, Camp Fire USA, Nottingham Little League, where he served as president from 2013 to 2015, and the Hamilton Township School Board to which he was elected in 1999 to a three-year term. In March 2016, he was elected to the board of trustees of the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, the mission of which is to assist communities, organizations and citizens in preserving New Jersey’s historic identity.

He graduated from Rider University in 1994 with a B.A. in History. In 2004, Hardiman earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Designation.


Jill Myra
Radio Broadcaster

Jill Myra has 30 years of experience in the broadcasting industry, reporting traffic, news and entertainment. Currently, she can be heard on NJ101.5, SOJO 104.9, Cat Country 107.3 and Literock 96.9. Myra is also a voice-over artist and spokesperson for Garden State CLE. For many years, she hosted the television show “Traffic Jam” and has been called on to be keynote speaker and host of various charitable events. She currently serves on the executive board of Reynolds PTA and has been involved as a school volunteer for her three children’s schools for 15 years, has greatly enjoyed her role as a Catechist for 30 years, is a past president of MOMS Club International and enjoys lots of loving moments with family and friends.



Krishna Powell
HR 4 Your Small Biz, LLC

Krishna Powell is a leading subject matter expert on managing a multi-generational workforce. She assists organizations with increasing performance, productivity and profits through employee engagement and leadership development. She is a sought-after career coach and uses her understanding of human behavior to mediate for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and New Jersey Municipal Courts. Over her 20-year career, Powell has traveled the world extensively, leading the HR/Talent Management function in various Fortune 100 and 200 companies throughout the United States, France, China and Singapore. Powell serves as CEO of HR 4 Your Small Biz, LLC, a human capital consulting firm.


Anita Zinsmeister
Dale Carnegie Training of Central and Southern New Jersey

Anita Zinsmeister is president of Dale Carnegie Training of Central and Southern New Jersey, where she oversees the growth and development of the organization, including, but not limited to, assuring the quality and consistency of the training for all of their clients. Zinsmeister began her career with Dale Carnegie Training in 1988, and is a 15-Course Certified Trainer who delivers training across numerous competencies ranging from leadership training for managers and world-class customer service, to high impact presentations and the executive image program, for example.

Zinsmeister’s clients have included, among others, Campbell Soup, Lakehurst Naval Base, Deborah Heart & Lung Center, Educational Testing Service, General Motors, Investors Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, PSEG Nuclear, ShopRite, Trump Taj Mahal, Verizon and Virtua Health.

Dale Carnegie headquarters has awarded Zinsmeister numerous times, and, additionally, she has achieved membership annually since 2002 into the Millennium Club, comprised of the top 20 Dale Carnegie Franchises in the world. She was also one of the first recipients of the Product Innovation Award, and, separately – from a sales standpoint – Zinsmeister has received many awards, and was ranked No. 6 in the world in sales, for two years.

Zinsmeister holds a BA degree from UCLA in communication studies, specializing in interpersonal relations.



Your salary, career moves, even the price you pay for your next car all come down to how you negotiate the deal. This breakout session will help you position yourself to win. Practical advice on becoming an excellent problem solver while still getting what you want, without damaging your reputation, and how to avoid common negotiation mistakes will be discussed.

Nancy Glick
Chief Operating Officer,
Newmark Associates

Nancy Glick, chief operating officer, with an MBA in Finance from George Washington University, began her career at Newmark Associates in 2005. Formerly a sales and trading representative for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation in Washington, D.C., she brings financial acumen, integrity and a keen understanding of marketing, along with artful negotiation skills, to her work at Newmark Associates.

A resident of northern New Jersey for more than 25 years who has a thorough understanding of its real estate markets and sub-markets, Glick specializes in property acquisitions and dispositions. Among her sub-specialties is working with court-appointed receivers to market and sell distressed properties.

Over the last five years, she has been working alongside Susanne Newmark to develop technology and management systems to accommodate the burgeoning growth of the company. Glick has hired and trained 10 new agents during this time, almost doubling the size of the company while adhering to the founding philosophy of Newmark Associates – entrepreneurial in spirit, committed to the pursuit of excellence with creativity and integrity.


Angelo Mendola
President and COO,
Priority Payments Local 

Angelo Mendola is the president and COO of Priority Payments Local – a Red Bank headquartered financial transactions and payment processing company. He founded Priority in 2013 with long-time friend and new business partner, Sal DiDonato, after spending years in banking, marketing and infrastructure management. As president and COO, Mendola oversees the company’s operations which include: infrastructure management, strategic alliances, payment security, company structure, and new product initiatives that enhance the customer and employee experience. Service and availability are two of the main focuses behind his company’s success, which recently opened a second office in Miami, Florida.


Christine Stearns
Director, Government Affairs,
Gibbons P.C.

Selected by NJBIZ as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Health Care in New Jersey” for the sixth time, and included on NJ Spotlight’s list of “Top 10 Healthcare Lobbyists in New Jersey,” Christine Stearns most recently served as vice president of health & legal affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. In her current role at Gibbons, she provides strategic counsel to an array of clients on regulatory and legislative issues, with a focus on healthcare matters. She also serves on the board of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, a nonprofit foundation working to ensure quality, accountability, and cost containment in New Jersey, and on the board of Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice south Jersey’s oldest and largest hospice.

Stearns is an attorney with a wide range of political and legislative experience who began her career with Princeton Public Affairs, where she worked with a wide range of clients to develop and implement legislative and regulatory strategies. In 2005, she co-chaired the Governor of New Jersey’s Health Care and Senior Service Policy Group, which advised the Governor during the gubernatorial transition.


Deirdre Wheatley-Liss
Principal, Wealth Preservation Group,
Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C.

Deirdre Wheatley-Liss is principal at the law firm of Porzio Bromberg & Newman, P.C., Morristown, where she divides her practice between representation of business owners and their businesses, counseling individuals and families, and advising non-profit entities. As a tax attorney, Wheatley-Liss counsels business owners on legal and structural issues related to start-up, financing, growth and exit strategy, for example. For individual and family representation, she protects the wealth her clients have earned and created over a lifetime from taxes, long-term care costs, ill-equipped beneficiaries, divorce, lawsuits and mismanagement by others. For non-profit entities, Wheatley-Liss counsels clients in a range of ways regarding the stringent tax rules needed to maintain their non-profit status.

Wheatley-Liss is the author of the book “Plan Your Own Estate,” has written magazine articles, and has been honored with five awards, including, for example, “Tri-County Scholarship Fund – Women of Achievement Award” (2014, 2015).

She is active in the local business community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, chair at the Morris Members Council, and advisor to the Women in Business Committee and Board Member of Business Owners Exchange, among a range of additional community involvements.

Wheatley-Liss earned a B.A., with honors, from Johns Hopkins University, a J.D. from Boston College School of Law, and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University.


Angela Harrington
Vice President, Communications and External Relations,
Berkeley College

Angela Harrington serves as vice president of communications and external relations at Berkeley College. Harrington oversees communications for the Office of the President and is responsible for public relations, media relations, internal and external communications, reputation management, and maximizing the college’s presence in the communities it serves across nine locations in the New York metropolitan area and online.

She oversees Berkeley’s involvement in the Newark City of Learning Collaborative, the Downtown Brooklyn Higher Education Consortium, and other external initiatives.

Harrington is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with experience in higher education, nonprofit management, business, women’s issues, economic development and entrepreneurship. In 2007, she was honored by NJBIZ as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business. She serves on the Executive Board of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Councilors to Higher Education.

Harrington holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – Douglass College and an M.S. in Business Management and Organizational Development from Capella University. She is a Graduate Fellow of Lead NJ and recently completed the Harvard Institute for Education Management.


Business Leaders Panel: Unlocking the C-Suite 

Although it can be tough to reach, the C-Suite isn’t an impenetrable fortress. While all organizations are different, there are a few fundamentals to position yourself on the short list. Hear from experienced business leaders on how to raise your own personal profile, find the advocates and allies you need in your corner, and what executives in the C-Suite do to stay there. 

Steve Adubato
Emmy Award-Winning Anchor
Thirteen/WNET (PBS) and NJTV (PBS)

Steve Adubato, Ph.D., is a broadcaster, author, syndicated columnist, distinguished university professor, lecturer and motivational speaker. A trainer and coach in the areas of leadership and communication skills, Adubato also served in the mid 1980s as New Jersey’s youngest state legislator at the age of 26.

Adubato currently anchors three television series produced by the Caucus Educational Corporation (CEC): “Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato,” an Emmy Award-winning public affairs series; “State of Affairs with Steve Adubato,” the CEC’s new series providing in-depth analysis of New Jersey’s political, social and cultural issues, through compelling conversations with our state’s government and industry leaders, as well as other experts; and “One-on-One with Steve Adubato,” the nightly series that brings viewers in-depth interviews with some of the region’s most compelling personalities. Adubato has also anchored many high-profile television specials including an exclusive, live primetime interview with Governor Chris Christie and a primetime special with US Senators, Bob Menendez and Cory Booker.

These series air on PBS stations Thirteen/WNET (the flagship station in New York), NJTV in New Jersey and WHYY-TV 12 in Philadelphia; cable station Verizon FiOS1 as well as on National Public Radio (NPR) stations WNYC and WBGO; and online.

Steve Adubato: has been the recipient of four prestigious Emmy Awards for his work on public television, among other, separate honors; is a regular contributor to MetroFocus, a PBS series; is the author of five books; has served as a distinguished visiting professor at New York University and has also been a lecturer at five higher education institutions. Adubato received his Undergraduate Degree from Montclair State University, his MA from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and later his Ph.D. in Communication Sciences from Rutgers University.

He is a sought-after motivational speaker through his firm Stand & Deliver, which offers a hands-on professional development and executive coaching program for a variety of clients.


Michellene Davis, Esq.
Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer,
RWJBarnabas Health

As the executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer for RWJBarnabas Health, Michellene Davis leads Social Impact and Community Investment across the System. She oversees the areas of policy development and governmental and external affairs, healthy living and community and employee wellness and engagement, and global health. She is the creator of the RWJBarnabas Health Women’s Leadership Alliance and Institute for Corporate Internship. Davis helps to direct the strategic policy decisions of the system and strengthens the system’s position with state and federal elected officials and agencies. Davis joined Barnabas Health in 2009, and soon after was named executive vice president of corporate affairs, the first woman and first person of color to serve as an executive vice president in the Barnabas Health system’s history.

In 2017, she was named to the top 10 on the NJBIZ “Health Care Power 50,” and to the 2017 Top 100 in Business, both lists on which she has been named previously. She has also been ranked by NJBIZ as the State of New Jersey’s top lobbyist in the healthcare industry and by PolitickerNJ as one of the most politically powerful people in the State of New Jersey.

Before joining Barnabas Health, Davis served as chief policy counsel to former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, the first African American to serve in the role, and Acting New Jersey State Treasurer. Prior to Treasury, Davis led the New Jersey Lottery as executive director and CEO and served as a senior policy advisor in the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

Of note, she founded the New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Office of Supplier Diversity and Division of Minority and Women Owned Businesses.

Davis is active in her civic community and services. She serves as a board member, trustee or president for 13 organizations. Davis has received national and statewide recognition for her dedication and career accomplishments. She is an Honors graduate of Seton Hall University, and holds a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall School of Law.


Lillian Rodríguez López
Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Customer PAC Support,
Coca-Cola North America

Lillian Rodríguez López is the vice president, stakeholder relations and Customer PAC Support for The Coca-Cola Company. In this role, she is responsible for fostering dialogue and positive relationships with the company’s key stakeholders and supporting customer channels on public affairs and communications related issues in North America.

Rodríguez López previously served as director, Latin affairs for The Coca-Cola Company, helping to position the company as the leading corporate citizen in the US Hispanic community by managing external relationships, communications and sponsorships. From 2004 – 2012, she served as president of the Hispanic Federation (HF), a non-profit membership organization of 100 Latino health and human service agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Prior to her departure from HF to join Coca-Cola, she was elected by Hispanic national community leaders to chair the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of the leading Hispanic national organizations focused on federal public policy. She also worked with various diversity councils at major corporations having served on the Nielsen, News Corporation and Comcast councils. Her efforts have resulted in her being recognized by People en Espanol as one of the “25 Most Powerful Hispanic Women in the country” in 2010, and as one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics in the country” in 2009. She currently serves on the boards of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, La Amistad, and Chairs the Hispanic Advisory Council of the Nielsen Corporation, and the Board of Business Advisors for the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.

Rodríguez López has a B.A. in communications with a concentration in broadcast journalism from Fordham University.


Vincent Maione
Region President,
Atlantic City Electric (an Exelon company)

Vincent Maione is region president of Atlantic City Electric, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation. His responsibilities include developing and maintaining key customer, community and governmental relationships as well as ensuring the company’s services and performance meet the expectations of these same customers, regulators and government officials throughout the utility’s service territory.

Maione began his career in 1984 with Atlantic City Electric in the company’s commercial and industrial marketing department. He has held various supervisory and management positions within the company throughout his career including distribution/transmission engineering, field operations and project management.

Maione is a graduate of Villanova University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a minor in mathematics and an MBA from the University of Maryland. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and holds licenses as a professional engineer in New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

Maione is on the board of the New Jersey Utilities Association and the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. He is a steering committee member of the W.J. Hughes Center for Public Policy as well as an advisor member of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism of Stockton University. Maione is an executive advisor to Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business. He is also a board of trustee member for Public Media NJ, Inc. (NJTV).

Maione was appointed by Governor Christie in 2012 as a member of the New Jersey Italian and Italian American Heritage Commission. He is a founding board member of Choose New Jersey, a nonprofit corporation created by New Jersey business leaders to promote the state in the global market. Maione is a former town council member in Hammonton, where he served two terms in public office.


Keynote Speaker 

Chef Jeff Henderson

California native Jeff Henderson, known as Chef Jeff, is the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio, a well-known television personality, a sought-after speaker and a New York Times best-selling author.

Henderson started his culinary career in the most unlikely place: prison. When he was released in 1996, he started working for Chef Robert Gadsby as a dishwasher. With his foot in the door, Henderson was determined to make the most of this opportunity. He studied his mentor and worked harder than anyone else in the kitchen. Under Gadsby’s tutelage, Henderson soon moved from dishwashing to the prep station, to desserts. Henderson was focused on the job. He was always “first in last out.”

Whenever he got paid, he bought the latest tools and books. Henderson stayed driven, working at Gadsby’s restaurant for a year before leaving to make his way through the world of fine-dining, including stints as sous chef at the Coronado Island Marriott, and Chef Tournant and Banquet Chef at L.A.’s Hotel Bel-Air.

Upon hearing about the booming restaurant scene in Las Vegas, he left Los Angeles and headed for Vegas where he was eventually hired at Caesars Palace and became the first African-American Chef de Cuisine to run restaurants at the hotel. In 2001, the American Tasting Institute named Henderson Las Vegas Chef of the Year, the exposure of which helped him start a catering company in Los Angeles called Posh Urban Cuisine. A year later, he returned to Las Vegas to work as an executive chef at the world-renowned Bellagio.

In 2007, Harper Collins published Henderson’s memoir “Cooked,” which landed him on Oprah. Shortly after the show aired, Sony Pictures bought the life rights to his story. At the end of his book tour, things began to take off, which led him to leave his post at the Bellagio to do private chef work, consulting and public speaking. The same year, he launched a new reality show on the Food Network, “The Chef Jeff Project,” which followed Henderson as he brought a group of disadvantaged young adults to work for his private dining company to teach them cooking and life skills.

Henderson shares his knowledge and excitement for food through his cooking shows and cookbooks.

In 2009, he published his first cookbook, “Chef Jeff Cooks” (Simon & Schuster). In 2011, he released his second cookbook “America I AM Pass It Down Cookbook” (Hay House/Smiley Books), a collection of recipes that have been passed down to preserve African Americans’ food legacy. In 2013, he released his first self-help book “If You Can See It, You Can Be It” (Hay House/Smiley Books).

In 2012, Henderson’s first cooking show “Beat The Chefs” premiered, followed by “Family Style with Chef Jeff.” He is currently the host of two shows on the Z Living Network.

When Henderson is not behind the stoves, he delivers his inspirational message to corporations, associations and across the country. Henderson resides in Las Vegas with his wife, Stacy, and their five children.


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