The Union County Women Mean Business Summit is an initiative of the Union County Board of County Commissioners, in collaboration with community partners. This once-a-year conference is an immersive experience that will feature a series of workshops and discussions for women of all stages in their career.
Breakout Session One
9:40am – 10:40am
Choice of one
How and Why It Is Essential to Build and Maintain Valuable Relationships
Whether in private industry or public practice, understand the value of honing your networking skills and learn some practical tools for becoming more efficient and effective at developing meaningful relationships.
Everyone, personally and professionally, can benefit from having a powerful network of contacts. During this one-hour interactive session, Sally Glick shares insights on the best practices that will enable the participants to develop a personal plan for integrating meaningful relationships into every aspect of their professional and personal lives.
Navigating the New Normal
- Dr. Peter Bolo, Psychiatrist, Atlantic Health
- Katie Tempesta, Director, Human Resources, JCT Solutions
- Jahlisa Jones, Senior Talent Acquisition, Provident Bank
- Moderator – Marcella Gencarelli, VP Chair Emeritus and Event Chairwoman of The Suburban Chamber of Commerce Founder of Women in Warren Business Networking Group
The workplace looks a lot different in a post-pandemic world and many of us are still working from home, trying to juggle work duties and regular life. We are job searching, trying to build valuable work relationships, and learning how to present our best selves virtually rather than face-to-face. On top of it all, this “new normal” can take its toll on us emotionally. Panelists from this session will help you navigate this changing landscape for the best outcomes possible.
Breakout Session Two
10:50am – 11:50am
Choice of one
Nailing the Negotiation
Negotiating can be challenging. Whether you need to do it for yourself, your company or something else in your life, we all are faced with the need to negotiate from time to time.
In this session, we will discuss strategies for successful negotiation to achieve the best outcomes.
Note: this is a guided interactive session that is driven by audience participation.
Turning Passions Into Profits
- Mary Adelman, Business Counselor, UCEDC
- Melanie Cecilio, Founder & CEO, Little Fox Kitchen
- Sneh Kadakia, Founder & CEO, from HERE
- Radiance “Rae” Ashe, Owner, HEIGHTMagazine
- Felice Twaddle, Treasurer, New Jersey CannaBusiness Association
- Moderator – Kay LiCausi, President & CEO, Hoboken Strategy Group
Do you have a hobby or activity you really enjoy? Have you ever wondered how you could turn your passion into a profitable business?
The women on this panel have done just that — and will share what they have learned along the way.
You will hear from a business counselor about what it really takes to start your own business and make it a success. This panel will be your guide to turning what you love into a profitable venture.
Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A., Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health
Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A., began serving as Acting Commissioner of Health on August 5, 2019. She was confirmed by the State Senate on January 9, 2020.
She has been alongside Gov. Murphy leading the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the response to this once-in-a century health emergency, the Department of Health under her leadership works to protect and improve the health of New Jersey residents.
The Department’s priorities include reducing health disparities, improving maternal health, addressing the overdose epidemic and increasing access to health care.
Prior to leading the department, Ms. Persichilli served as the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of University Hospital in Newark.
Ms. Persichilli was president emerita of CHE Trinity Health, the health ministry formed in May 2013 by the consolidation of Catholic Health East and Trinity Health of Livonia, MI. She previously served as the interim president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CHE Trinity Health. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Persichilli was President and CEO of Catholic Health East.
Ms. Persichilli joined CHE in 2003 as the Executive Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Division. She was promoted to Executive Vice President of acute care for the system in 2008 and then to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in December 2009 before assuming the role of CEO. Prior to joining CHE’s System Office, she served for eight years as CEO at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton.
Ms. Persichilli received her nursing diploma from the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing summa cum laude from Rutgers University, and a Master of Arts in Administration summa cum laude from Rider University. She also received an honorary Doctor of Health degree from Georgian Court University in 2009. In May 2011, Ms. Persichilli received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.
In 2006, Ms. Persichilli was inducted into the New Jersey State Nurses Association Hall of Honor. She also received the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s highest honor when she was awarded the 2008 Richard J. Hughes Humanitarian Award. In 2011, Ms. Persichilli was named one of the 50 most powerful people in New Jersey health care by NJ Biz and was selected by KYW Newsradio as a recipient of its annual Women’s Achievement Award. She also received the 2011 Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Award for Outstanding Medical Executive. In September 2011, Ms. Persichilli was awarded the Benemerenti Medal, a papal honor bestowed on her by Pope Benedict XVI. In October 2011, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s inaugural Healthcare Innovation Awards program named Persichilli as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Persichilli was named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s “300 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” list in 2012, which recognizes individuals leading prominent American health care organizations.
Persichilli co-founded the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, which provides fundraising support to organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. In April 2013, Modern Healthcare named Persichilli to its 2013 list of Top 25 Women in Healthcare.
Ms. Persichilli resides in Pennington.
Mary Adelman, Business Counselor, UCEDC
As a business consultant, trainer, speaker, author, and entrepreneurial change agent, Mary brings a broad spectrum of expertise to her role as UCEDC’s Business Counselor.
Mary understands what it takes to start and operate a business. She has more than 25+ years of experience in providing strategic direction to help small businesses grow and generate revenue. This includes creating individual and group exercises to provide participants with opportunities to develop pragmatic, well-focused strategic action plans, among other business-development initiatives.
Prior to joining UCEDC, Mary was Assistant Director of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center of Northwest Jersey (NJSBDC-NW) where she mentored and provided business support to clients representing various industries.
Mary holds an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from the County College of Morris and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ashford University.
Radiance “Rae” Ashe, Owner, HEIGHTMagazine
Becoming a self-made entrepreneur can be extremely rewarding with dedication, hard work a solid foundation and faith. Radiance Ashe is a mother and driven woman who believes that living out your dreams while giving back is the only option to attaining true success.
In 1993, she hosted a local cable access show called “Video Club House”, served as a radio personality for two online stations, Streetz96.com and BKS1 Radio. Radiance also organized the summer concert series “The Brick City Summer Jam” a local open mic platform for aspiring musical artists of all genres. A native of Newark, New Jersey, she studied communications as a major at Rutgers University for two semesters. Although Radiance has found a solace through writing and creating positive projects for the entire family, she also finds complete fulfillment in opening doors for others. The Founder and CEO of HEIGHT Magazine has managed to expand her brand which started out as a guide for tall women, is now far beyond a popular fashion and lifestyle read. Since 2009 she has managed to steadily increase its platform to an upscale online and publication which has branched several positive outlets for men, women and teens. The weekly Daily Dose Podcast on Spotify, Google, Anchor, Deezer and Speaker. Plus, the growing community of HEIGHT Magazine Television TV on YouTube.
Adding Producer to her credits. In 2019 Radiance created, directed and distributed her first television show. Learn How To Marry Me airs across millions of homes through Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and several other streaming platforms.
Radiance saw a void when it came to showing more positive content highlighting African American women on television. While aggressive television appears to be more lucrative and entertaining. She has created the GIM Network for Women which offers independent and well-known female producers, writers, actresses and directors. The end goal to provide balance when it comes content and sharing it with the viewing audience. When it comes to paying it forward and giving back. Radiance believes that’s the real achievement. The Women of Height Organization is very proactive in the community and abroad. Radiance is dedicated to helping other women become successful in various fields of businesses through several networking experiences allotted. Girls of Height Inc., nurtures and empowers 9 to 17-year-old girls in high risk communities. The programs created for each age group have proven to be successful for many of its mentees. Several have overcome poor self-esteem issues and gone off to college to pursue their goals and dreams. Aside from Radiance’s foundations and outreach programs, she has also helped the American Cancer Society’s annual ‘Making Strides for Breast Cancer’ walk, raising over 1 million dollars in 2017 where she serves as Team Leader heading up with the Women of Height Organization.
Radiance has continued to elevate her brand. With new ventures ahead. She’s paving the way for other women who dream bigger than their surroundings and circumstances. Showing others, it can be done by continuing to believe in yourself and trust the process.
Dr. Peter Bolo, Psychiatrist, Atlantic Health
Peter Bolo, MD, is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who is Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Overlook Medical Center and the Resiliency Advocate for Atlantic Health System in northern New Jersey.
He has thirty years of clinical experience and areas of interest include inpatient psychiatry, complex mood disorders, behavioral disturbance in dementia, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). His educational background includes undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan followed by medical school and psychiatry residency training at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons / New York State Psychiatric Institute.
In 2017, following the formation of Atlantic Medical Group—an integrated then 800-member multi-specialty group—Dr. Bolo launched the AMG Resiliency Taskforce to address rising concerns of burnout amongst healthcare workers. Defining resiliency for Atlantic, Dr. Bolo helped refine a three-part framework for programmatic development: strengthening ourselves, being more effective together, and nurturing a culture of well-being.
A listening tour of the AMG membership led to early initiatives to optimize electronic health record usage, improve the physician contracting experience, and bring greater equity to compensation for academic activities.
Dr. Bolo was named Atlantic Resiliency Advocate in 2019, charged now with creating resiliency programming for all 18,000 Atlantic Health System team members. He has led the organization to being honored this year in the AMA Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition program.
Melanie Cecilio, Founder & CEO, Little Fox Kitchen
An eye-opening year at Ecole des Roche hotel school in Switzerland led Melanie to her culinary path. She has brought her immense talents to teaching, developing, and curating recipes, and heading up product initiatives for leading global food companies, including Kraft, Nestlé, Glad, Monde Nissin, Cuisinart, and Heinz-UFC.
She has distinguished herself by establishing and doing all of the concept work—from architecture to relationship development—for building Hudson Table in Hoboken. She has also taught cooking classes at Haven’s Kitchen, Hunt Hill Farm, Natirar, Sent Sovi in Barcelona, and was chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York for over ten years.
She is presently the founder and Culinary Director of Little Fox Kitchen, a culinary school and event space in Cranford NJ. Little Fox Kitchen is Melanie’s dream school – a place to share cuisine learned at the side of master chefs around the world; to inspire and educate amateur chefs and food aficionados; and above all, to celebrate the joys of food with others.
She has developed corporate team building culinary programs for the top global companies, Google, E-Bay, Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook (Meta), Pinterest, L’Oreal. She continues to serve as a culinary consultant to companies and institutions.
Melanie, a firm believer in experiencing food, continues to travel to culinary hotspots, bringing back stories, techniques, and history to properly season her recipes—both original and traditional.
Marcella Gencarelli, VP Chair Emeritus and Event Chairwoman of The Suburban Chamber of Commerce Founder of Women in Warren Business Networking Group
Marcella is currently Vice President with over 20 years of banking experience and proficiency in business development, coaching and relationship building.
Initially a successful entrepreneur in the food industry, Marcella transitioned into the corporate world of banking by utilizing skills acquired through creating differentiated marketing and client experiences, business development strategies and maintaining strong relationships.
Marcella attended Essex County College and obtained various American Bankers Association certifications. During her time at PNC Bank, she received the Circle of Excellence and Service Excellence awards, and ABA business of Banking (top 10% performance excellence across all of PNC) Consistently a top performer and exceeding in categories such as sales goals, client goals, customer experience and net promoter scores.
Marcella was also recognized as the Summit Area YMCA Mission Volunteer of the Year, 2018 Boy Scouts of America Patriot’s Path Council Tribute to Women Honoree. Chair of multiple fundraising events including annual Awards Dinner for The Suburban Chamber of Commerce. Annual contributor to Union County Women Mean Business, Panelist and moderator.
Marcella is the founder of the women’s networking group, Warren Ladies Lunch, Immediate past Chairwoman of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce (Events Chairwoman currently) and serves on the Executive Board of The Boy Scouts of America Patriot’s Path Council, The Advisory Board of The Summit Area YMCA, Board member of Montville Chamber of Commerce. She is a former board officer of the Millburn Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the Summit Lions Club and the Rotary Clubs of Caldwell, Summit/New Providence and Berkeley Heights.
Sally Glick, Principal & Chief Growth Strategist, SobelCo.
Sally Glick is a Principal of the Firm and the Chief Growth Strategist at SobelCo. In that role she is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm’s branding, marketing communications and functions as an ambassador to the community, driving their business development strategies.
Sally is deeply involved in the community, serving on several nonprofit and business boards and committees including as the President of the Association for Corporate Growth NJ, Vice-Chair of the NJ District Export Council, Board Member for Commerce & Industry Association of NJ, Committee co-chair of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Council, Board member and executive board member for the Center for Nonprofits and advisory board member of Montclair State’s Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship, M&T Bank and Bank of NY Mellon.
Sneh Kadakia, Founder & CEO, from HERE
Sneh is a founder and CEO of “from HERE”, a network of commitment-free, on-demand workspaces conveniently located in your neighborhood. She was featured on Forbes’ Next 1000 list in 2021. ‘from HERE’ was recognized in Bloomberg’s “50 Startups That Rose as America Locked Down” in September 2022 and proudly represents the state of New Jersey.
Sneh launched her first start-up in June 2019, Lokus, an enterprise technology solution and two-sided marketplace that facilitates coworking within hotels in New York City. The pilot was set to launch in April 2020 and postponed due to COVID-19. Prior to launching her own companies, she had an expansive career in human resources that revolved around curating the best employee experiences, developing people-centric technologies, and being a trusted business partner for leaders at all levels.
Sneh has written about and presented on numerous topics that impact today’s workforce, leaders, and companies. She holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neural Science from New York University.
Jahlisa Jones, Senior Talent Acquisition, Provident Bank
Jahlisa Jones is the Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Provident Bank and has been encouraging and inspiring business professionals for several years.
Jahlisa graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Studies. Prior to working at Provident Bank, Jahlisa worked for Mott MacDonald, a global Engineering Consulting Firm, where she led several recruitment and training initiatives.
She was often invited to speak for the nonprofit organization ‘Dress for Success’, Medgar Evers’ spotlight on STEM Student Conference, The Calculus Project and St. Peter’s University to touch on a variety of topics geared towards educating students on career advancement. She has helped acquire jobs for business professionals in leading industries.
Although Jahlisa finds joy in the many aspects of business of which she’s involved, her greatest passion is mentoring and nourishing the careers of her peers. Jahlisa is a strong believer in “pull the next one gives helpful career advice including tips to nail your interview, dressing for the job you want and best post interview follow-up practices. Her relevant guidance continues to help others obtain successful careers in every industry.
Kay LiCausi, President & CEO, Hoboken Strategy Group
Kay LiCausi is a highly sought-after government and public relations strategic advisor and issues advocate. A creative and dynamic business leader with almost 30 years of experience in government and politics at the local, county, state, and federal levels, Kay knows how public policy, politics and process intersect to craft and deliver personalized strategies to achieve client objectives.
As the founder and President of Hoboken Strategy Group, a boutique government and public relations firm, Kay has led HSG since its inception in 2008. HSG represents a diverse client-base including Fortune 100 companies, pharmaceutical interests, brownfield developers, national associations, and government entities. HSG works with organizations in New Jersey to increase their business presence, solve regulatory challenges, or champion legislative issues.
Kay is a determined advocate for women and children. She believes that business and government entities are stronger when a diverse array of voices collaborate, which is why she dedicates her time to ensure the placement of women in key governmental positions and on boards and commissions.
Kay serves as the co-lead of the Democratic Task Force of the Bipartisan Coalition for Women’s Appointments; the former Co-Chair and current Board Member of PAM’s List, a New Jersey fundraising network for democratic women legislators; the board of Latina Civic PAC; and as the Treasurer for Girl Scout Troop 10370.
Cherron Rountree, President & Partner, Direct Development: Design + Communications
Cherron Rountree is a New Jersey native business executive with 20 years of diverse leadership experience in government affairs, strategic planning, board collaboration, redevelopment, and public relations.
Cherron has an extensive history of service in public administration for New Jersey county and municipal government entities. Cherron has an expertise in developing strategic partnerships, and financial management. Serving as Administrator for both urban and suburban communities, Cherron has developed constituent relations, secured millions of dollars in grant funding, improved service to residents, negotiated partnerships, reduced taxes, and led redevelopment efforts that enabled the attraction of new residents and businesses. Cherron is a past recipient of the Gateway Chamber of Commerce’s Business Administrator of the Year Award.
Cherron is a part-time lecturer with Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, instructing students on municipal management. Additionally, Cherron is a licensed real estate agent with White Realty in Union, NJ.
Cherron has served as the Board Chairwoman for the Union County Improvement Authority and as a member of Union County College’s Board of Trustees, the Union County Workforce Investment Board, the Long Branch Planning Board, Elizabeth Development Company Board of Directors, Union County Performing Arts Center Board of Trustees, and Someone’s Daughter Inc.’s Board of Trustees.
She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University, a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University and is a Certified Redevelopment Agency Executive Director.
As the current President and Partner of Direct Development, Cherron specializes in strategic planning, project development, and public relations for both public and private organizations.
Cherron brings a collaborative approach, strong business acumen, and leadership to her clients and partners.
Katie Tempesta, Director, Human Resources, JCT Solutions
Katie Tempesta is a third generation West Orange, NJ resident. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies, from Caldwell University in 2008. She currently holds various Human Resource Certifications which include HR Management, Learning and Development and Employee & Labor relations.
Katie has more than a decade of experience in the field of Human Resources and now serves as Director of Human Resources at JCT Solutions. She currently oversees identifying and evaluating hiring challenges, employee retention, work-life balance, recruitment, performance management, mediation and employment law.
Katie is recently married and resides in West Caldwell, NJ with her husband Joe.
Felice Twaddle, Treasurer, New Jersey CannaBusiness Association
Felice Twaddle is an accomplished public service professional, advocate, speaker and host whose many year of public advocacy led her to the field of Cannabis.
Felice was appointed to the newly formed board of New Jersey Cannabis Association by Senate President Nicolas Scutari. She immediately became an advocate for a legal and responsible cannabis industry.
Felice also saw the need for more attention to the black and brown community and became a voice for social justice working along with Assemblyman Jamel Holly.
Felice was appointed Treasurer for the organization and also became the Event Coordinator. Post legalization Felice became a member of Burton Trent Public Affairs, where she currently works with clients who are trying to obtain an industry license.