Last night at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, Christine LaCroix, partner, Deloitte; Dennis W. Pullin, president and CEO, Virtua Health; and Carol Stillwell, president and CEO, Stillwell-Hansen, were honored by Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ) at the 2022 New Jersey Business Hall of Fame event.
Nominated and chosen by their peers, these three New Jersey business leaders were recognized for their visionary leadership, high standards as role models for New Jersey youth, and their impact in positively shaping their businesses and communities.
“We are thrilled to honor such an inspirational group of diverse leaders this year. Our 2022 Business Hall of Fame Laureates embody the entrepreneurial spirit and are excellent examples of leadership and success,” said James Horne, Jr., president & CEO, JANJ. “These individuals exemplify growth, tenacity, and leadership. Their impressive achievements are reflections of the skills and values we hope to instill in New Jersey’s students through our learning experiences.”
The event’s proceeds benefit JANJ’s High School Heroes youth leadership initiative, in which “High School Heroes” receive training from JANJ staff members that prepare them to present JANJ financial empowerment and work readiness curriculum to younger students, becoming role models themselves while helping their communities.
“The JA programs are a great way to introduce these young people to new fields or whatever it is they are searching for,” Stillwell said. “Being successful is about what it is that speaks to your heart and giving 150% to it everyday. You can not truly dream about something if you have never been exposed to it, so take a chance and do it!”
Pullin echoed these sentiments, advising the high school students in attendance to pursue their passions and remain curious. “I believe it is possible to achieve all the goals that this award exemplifies as long as you show up with purpose and are authentic,” he said.
Additionally, LaCroix spoke about the importance of mentorship and building a network of people you trust and can help you on your journey.
“The people you surround yourself with make all the difference,” she said. “I advise you, especially the youth in the room, to surround yourself with people who will listen to you and have your best interests in mind.”
A New Jersey native, Christine LaCroix joined the Deloitte team immediately following her graduation from Hofstra University. She is currently a successful partner at Deloitte, with more than 30 years of audit experience, advising our some of our largest clients in the energy and resources industry. LaCroix also serves as the Audit & Assurance National Energy Resources and Industrials Leader.
LaCroix has served as chair of the JANJ State Board of Directors for six years. In total, she has served JA nearly 20 years, including 16 years as a Governing Board Director. She has been an exceptional executive champion in the recruitment of volunteers – both internally and externally. As chair for the State Board, member of the Finance Committee and Board Nominating Committee, and former treasurer, LaCroix is constantly engaged in dialogue about the vision of JANJ, status of its finances, internal auditing procedures, sustainable processes, and Board Development. She represents excellence, passion, respect, collaboration, belief in youth, and extraordinary commitment. Christine is a woman of the highest integrity, who is a role model for all, especially for women.
Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, is president and CEO of Virtua Health, a not-for-profit integrated health system. Pullin’s extensive background includes many leadership positions in hospitals, academic medical centers, physician group practices, and private industry. Prior to joining Virtua in 2017, Pullin was president of MedStar Harbor Hospital and senior vice president of MedStar Health. Throughout his career, he has made a major, positive impact on the health and well-being of people of New Jersey and beyond through his extraordinary vision, leadership, and compassion. He has instituted a “Culture of WE” that centers on shared understanding, respect, and empowerment of each staff member. This extends to a robust inclusion, diversity, and equity program Pullin launched in 2020. As a leader, he realizes that the better Virtua fosters inclusion and diversity within its workforce, the more it mirrors the community and provides purposeful, personalized care.
Some of his notable achievements include guiding Virtua Health’s acquisition of Lourdes Health System and leading the creation of South Jersey’s first Proton Therapy Center—offering a revolutionary type of cancer treatment in partnership with Penn Medicine. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association. He is a current member of the Economic and Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and serves on the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey Regional Board of Directors, among others.
Carol Stillwell is president and CEO of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., a manufacturers’ representative company that specializes in HVAC solutions for computer room sales and service needs, as well as commercial fire alarm, detection, and suppression services. Stillwell’s company is a leader in data center infrastructure solutions based in Edison. She joined the founders Gordon Stillwell and Paul Hansen as part of the Stilwell-Hansen team at its inception in 1969. Beginning with nothing more than a desire to work in construction and thoughts of one day owning her own company, Stillwell worked tirelessly to learn the industry quickly becoming the company’s director of operations. Stillwell would marry founder Gordon Stillwell in 1988. In 1996, with the retirement of Paul Hansen, Stillwell purchased Hansen’s share of the company realizing her goal of business ownership, and soon became the company’s CEO.
Along her journey, Stillwell has mentored many, always teaching others that success must always begin with belief in yourself. She has been named among the top 50 NJ Women in Business as just one of many recognitions of her wonderful career.
Stillwell’s successful career has helped her realize her desire to give back to the community. She has been involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors. Two of her most noteworthy acts of generosity include a $3 million gift to Riverview Medical Center to establish the Larkin-Stillwell-Hansen Infusion Center and a $250,000 commitment to Bayshore Medical Center to support the new Emergency Care Center unveiled in July 2021. Stillwell also gives back to the community by devoting much of her time to sitting on many Boards for organizations that serve to improve the lives of others, particularly in the fields of education, healthcare, children’s services, and the arts.
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