New Jersey CEO Council joins Choose New Jersey

Choose New Jersey, the state’s leading nonprofit economic development organization, announced the integration of the New Jersey CEO Council (CEO Council) into the organization, creating a powerful partnership that will strengthen Choose New Jersey’s mission to grow the state’s economy.

The creation of the CEO Council was announced in October 2020 as part of Governor Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 Restart and Recovery Commission. At its inception, the CEO Council’s mission was to leverage the resources of some of the State’s largest companies to aid those communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly minority communities.

The Choose New Jersey Board of Directors formally approved the integration of the CEO Council into the organization on October 27, 2022. Current CEO Council members, Becton Dickinson (BD), Campbell Soup Company, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., and Bristol Myers Squibb have joined Choose New Jersey at the Ambassador level.

The other CEO Council members, Verizon, PSEG, Prudential Financial, RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, and American Water, through its New Jersey American Water subsidiary, are existing Choose New Jersey board members, several of which are founding members.

“The integration of the New Jersey CEO Council into Choose New Jersey will bolster the organization’s effort to grow New Jersey’s economy, while leveraging the resources of additional major players in the New Jersey corporate community,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The CEO Council is a prime example of the public and private sectors working together to address structural inequality across the state. Its effort to provide employment opportunities for underserved communities, as well as to support women and minority-owned businesses, reflects New Jersey’s values of fairness and equality.”

“Since its inception, Choose New Jersey has been committed to attracting businesses to New Jersey and growing its economy,” said Ralph LaRossa, Chairman of Choose New Jersey, and President and Chief Executive Officer of PSEG. “By adding the CEO Council and four new Board Members, Choose New Jersey is gaining valuable experience and influence from some of the state’s leading corporate citizens. I’m excited to continue the work PSEG has done with the CEO Council and to see how the mission of Choose New Jersey can be supplemented by the addition of these globally recognized brands.”

“For more than a decade, Choose New Jersey has shown businesses domestically and abroad why New Jersey is the best state in the country to grow and expand,” said Wesley Mathews, President and CEO of Choose New Jersey. “I am excited to welcome the New Jersey CEO Council to our organization. The addition of these globally recognized business leaders to our already distinguished board will greatly enhance our ability to market the state and recruit businesses to New Jersey.”

Phillip Loureiro, Business Development Officer at Choose New Jersey, will have day-to-day management of the CEO Council.

Highlights of the CEO Council’s work over the past two years include:

  • Commitments to increase diversity in both hiring and procurement practices within their organizations, pledging to hire or train 30,000 New Jersey residents by 2030 and spend an additional $250 million on procurement with state-based, diverse companies by 2025.
  • In partnership with the State of New Jersey, the CEO Council established and financially contributed to the Pay It Forward Program, the first-ever publicly funded career impact bond program in the country.
  • The CEO Council funded the Diverse Procurement Center of Excellence program in partnership with the Rutgers Center for Supply Chain Management. The aim of this program is to assist CEO Council member companies in their diverse procurement goals.

“I share the excitement of the Governor and my fellow council members about the integration of the New Jersey CEO Council into Choose New Jersey,” said Charles Lowrey, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, and Co-chair of the N.J. CEO Council. “Both groups bring unique insights to the table that will advance our collective goal of generating economic mobility for New Jersey residents.”

“New Jersey has the 22nd largest economy in the world and I am proud to have worked alongside Governor Murphy and fellow executives to make sure that the state’s prosperity reaches all of the people who live and work here,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon. “We are committed to helping Choose New Jersey harness the power of the public and private sectors to bring rising living standards, economic mobility, and opportunity to everyone across the state.”

“This integration increases our resources and our ability to effect sustainable economic growth throughout the state of New Jersey. As an anchor institution we welcome the opportunity to work with our new partners to promote economic stability and equity, especially in our most vulnerable communities,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health.

“The partnership of the New Jersey CEO Council and Choose New Jersey creates a strong team of diverse industry leaders from all parts of the state. Campbell looks forward to advancing the important work to better our communities and grow New Jersey’s economy,” said Mark Clouse, President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company.

“Choose New Jersey has an impressive legacy of attracting leading companies and growing our economy,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Choose New Jersey.  “By integrating the CEO Council into Choose New Jersey, we can collaborate more deeply to further drive the economy and create more equity and opportunity for all companies.”

“As the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility in the nation, American Water is honored to have its corporate headquarters in New Jersey, where we serve one out of every three residents through our New Jersey American Water subsidiary,” said Susan Hardwick, President and CEO of American Water. “We welcome the opportunity to further collaborate with Governor Murphy through this unique public-private partnership and to leverage our strengths and those of the other great businesses in the state in accelerating innovation efforts across the state.”

Choose New Jersey’s quarterly board meeting was held on October 27 in the Gateway Complex in Newark. Choose New Jersey had a successful third quarter highlighted by an expanded international reach, including the announced opening of the Choose New Jersey Ireland Center. During the quarter, Choose New Jersey assisted 9 companies in relocating or expanding to New Jersey, resulting in 271 new and retained jobs and generating $89 million in economic impact. Eight of the nine were international companies.

Choose New Jersey is a privately funded 501 (c)(3) economic development organization with a mission to stimulate job creation and attract capital investment to New Jersey. Choose New Jersey markets New Jersey both domestically and internationally as the best place to grow a business in the United States. Knowledgeable, experienced staff, supported by a network of State agencies and private partners, provide free, confidential assistance to guide companies in establishing operations in New Jersey.  By harnessing the power of business, labor, academic and government leaders, Choose New Jersey enables growth across all sectors of the State’s economy, aspiring to build a stronger and more prosperous New Jersey for all. Learn more at

Meadowlands Magazine, the official publication of the Meadowlands Chamber and its affiliate organizations, has proudly served the business community of the Meadowlands region sine 1976. We are among largest business magazine in New Jersey (second by circulation) and offer prime visibility opportunities for businesses to connect with potential customers.