Changing Perceptions – New View, New You

Kristine De Jesus holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Rutgers University, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies. She completed a Masters of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology in 2001, a Masters of Arts in Organizational Behavior from Alliant International University (2003), and received a Doctorate of Psychology degree from the California School of Professional Psychology (2004).   

Prior to founding The Wellness Cooperative, she worked at Montclair State University as the Coordinator of the Alcohol and Other Drugs program, and at Tuttleman Counseling Services at Temple University as the Educational Coordinator of the Campus Alcohol Substance Awareness (CASA) program.  Kristine prides herself in working with diverse populations including the LGBTQ, Latino, and African American communities. Kristine is a on the board of the National Youth Recovery Foundation, and has served as the Co-Chair of the Montclair State University Advisory Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs, and planned the first Symposium on Marijuana Legalization (April 2014) .  She serves as the Chair of the New Jersey Higher Education Consortium on Alcohol and Drugs  and is an active member of the Rahway Municipal Alliance/Rahway Prevention Coalition.

Powerful Presence-Communicate with Clarity & Confidence

Dr. Diane Brescher, President and Founder of GEM Leaders, the focus is on Generating Exceptional Leaders in profit, nonprofit, and government agencies.  While Diane has worked with all levels of leaders in organizations, her passion is to help mid-level leaders successfully address their workplace challenges so they achieve results efficiently and effectively when resolving today’s global problems.  Diane has a high level of success in building and maintaining client relationships and achieving business results while developing the appropriate individual, team, and organizational performance interventions. She has over 27 years’ experience in the field of adult learning and organizational learning, with a deep expertise in leadership development. She also has extensive experience in the principles of adult learning.  Additional strengths include facilitation, strategic thinking, creative thinking, emotional intelligence, change management, coaching, feedback, influencing skills, communication skills, and political savvy. Fascinated by the topic, she is currently writing a book on Business Politics, focused on identifying the situation and determining ways to most effectively address. 

Diane is well versed in all learning and development competencies ranging from assessing needs, designing and developing courses, competency development, program management, curriculum design, facilitating both face to face and virtual, coaching both group/team and individual, and implementing learning evaluation tools and processes.   She has expertise in developing competency models, talent assessments, change management, and designing and facilitating train the trainer sessions. Diane’s leadership coaching enables leaders to ‘polish their perspective’ and better understand themselves in terms of how they think, interact with and ultimately impact others.  It also helps them become more strategic and emotionally intelligent when achieving business results.  

Diane is very active in ATD, Association for Talent Development, and has been on the NNJ board since 2008, currently serving as VP of professional development. Currently she is also volunteering for the NYC ATD Chapter and is a volunteer coach for the New Career Start Initiative, which provides career coaching to those 45+ older NJ long term unemployed workers.  Diane has published articles on influencing, social networks, transitions, entrepreneurship, and leadership. 

Be Decisive: Commit to Financial Success

Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas is Global Head of Sustainable Investing in the Chief Investment Office at UBS Wealth Management. She is responsible for the Chief Investment Office’s sustainable investing strategy worldwide. Rina was previously managing partner and CEO of ESG Analytics, an environmental, social and governance-oriented investment consultancy, and later Social Impact Director at Mastercard. She also is an adjunct Professor at Columbia University on Sustainable Investing and since 2013 has been one of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Young Global Leaders.She was named in 2014 by Newsweek as one of the leading Women in Tech in NYC. Rina is founding member of the New Innovators Council at the World Resources Institute and is Board Member at IamtheCode, a global movement to teach girls and young women to code as a way to build their creative capacity and help them realize their own potential.

Rina founded in 2015 the Impact Lab for the WEF, a boot camp to identify ideas to tackle global social challenges, having launched successfully more than 20 Global  Initiatives. She is an Advisor to the Sustainable Finance Professionals Network at Columbia University and a member of the B-20 Germany Climate Change Taskforce in 2016-2017. She is founder of the Gender Lens Investing Network a partnership between UBS and UNWomen.  Rina holds a MA from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and Certificates on Innovating for Sustainability and Corporate Performance from Harvard Business School and Certificates on Public Policy for the 21st Century from the Harvard Kennedy School and Public Policy and Leadership from Yale.

Tales from the Front Lines:  How Local Women Business Owners Continue to Beat the Odds

BJ Dowlen is the Founder and President of the top sports performance, writing and product development company Bodyworks Enterprises, LLC, and inventor of the award winning, Made-in-America BodyworksBall line of products.

She started her career as an entry level employee in a small exporting company. Spurred by her true passion in life —  helping people to get out of pain and improve their mobility – she has built a wide-ranging career that combines a rich trove of experience in business, sports performance therapy, corporate wellness and academic studies. Among the recognitions for BJ’s work are Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, Prevention Magazine and Yahoo Health, which rated the BodyworksBall as one of the top new wellness items for 2016. BJ won Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran #SealOfApproval contest and she has been featured on The View, The FABLife, TodayShow and many, many more.

BJ was among the many New Jersey residents who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy – home, car and business – but she hasn’t slowed down. Her #Take2AndRenew program has gained national attention. She has been invited to teach the program at the first Cancer Prevention Summit in New York and she is planning to roll it out to the mass market, with the aim of helping today’s tech and office workers live healthier lives.  With three books already completed or nearly finished, she is co-writing another four books and is preparing to debut Stretch.Flex.Breathe.Roll., the next BodyworksBall product.

Tammie Ramos-Crispino is a Certified Life and Career Coach, Artist and Owner of Fire Me Up! Studio in Cranford, NJ. and Founder of Imperfectly Balanced Life.   Her passion is to help individuals find purpose, success and balance in their lives.  After a 12 year career on Wall Street, she followed her love for the arts, and opened her own business, a Contemporary Art Studio. 

Tammie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The University of Connecticut and pursued a Masters in Computer Science Engineering from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY.

She lives in Westfield, NJ with her husband, Todd, of 14 years and her three kids,  Alec, Addison and Brianna and their two beautiful dogs, Phoebe and Onyx.



From Reactive to Proactive: Are you hirable?

Arielle Cassidy brings a boundless reservoir of energy and passion to the growing ranks of entrepreneurial women. The pursuit of healthy living captured her interest early in life and propelled her into the field of health and nutrition. She has paired her academic training with business savvy as owner of The Juice House in Garwood, where she has fostered a welcoming environment that provides consumers with support for a wide variety of healthy choices including juices, smoothies, bowls and on-the-go options.

Arielle’s supportive approach to business also resonates in her nonprofit work. She is founder and President of the Resilient and Relentless Foundation, which aids families that take off from work to care for critically ill members. She is a member of the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce – Women to Women Networking Committee, and her enthusiasm for reaching out to make a difference is reflected in fundraising activities for the Westfield Y, Children’s Specialized Hospital, Garwood Knights of Columbus and many others.

Tracy Cooper is a Résumé Writer and Career Workshop facilitator. Previously, she held the role of a Project Consultant and was the Transfer Counselor at Essex County College in Newark, NJ. She is also the founder of “The Résumé Workshop”. As the owner of this company, she wears many hats. She designs branded résumés for her clients that she gains from attending numerous networking and community events, via recommendations from her former clients and from her active involvement in social media.

Tracy teaches branded résumé writing and career workshops in an effort to allow her clients and students to become self-sufficient in the creation of their own résumés. She is passionate about her work and loves to share the same with everyone she meets. She is an entrepreneur who often speaks of her business as “a one-stop résumé writing service where résumés are designed by her or created by you in “hands–on” résumé writing workshops”. Ask her how!

Tracy earned her master’s degree in Communications from Seton Hall University, a bachelor’s degree in Management Science along with a certification in Adult Training and Development from Kean University, an associate’s degree in Business Management from Union County College, a Project Management master from George Washington University and a certification in Human Resources, Selection and Staffing from Cornell University.

Ann Meyers Piccirillo is no stranger to the challenge of juggling a career and family. Having stepped off her career path, she worked odd part-time jobs over the course of 10 years to make ends meet — jobs as a reporter, a Mommy and Me instructor, a secret restaurant reviewer, door-to-door insurance salesperson and a volunteer with just about any organization that needed help.

Having 14 years’ experience in HR, she never anticipated the difficulty she would encounter trying to return to full-time employment in her field. She credits the support of her network, along with pure luck, for getting an offer at KPMG.

Ann is currently working in the Innovation group at KPMG where part of her focus is to utilize her HR background to work with creative people to develop cutting edge solutions for attracting senior talent to fill the gender, diversity and leadership gaps. Ann is co-chair of KPMG’s Network of Women Community Outreach committee, a committee that partners with women’s shelters to organize collections of needed items and provides professional development opportunities for women transitioning out of the shelter system. She is also national co-chair of KPMG’s Diversity Network where she serves on the national diversity recruitment, market development, and Special Olympics committees.


Dr. Denise Dennis is an author, speaker, expert, and business coach who guides new and aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs to personal and business success. She is the founder of Prepared Mind Coaching, LLC, a coaching and training company.

Dr. Denise works with individuals and groups to increase self-awareness of their skills and strengths, create strategic action plans, and maximize accountability leading to increased productivity, profitability and personal growth.  In addition, she helps entrepreneurs grow their business on the side while they continue to work their full-time jobs.  She uses an evidence-based approach to help her clients tackle the challenges of limited time, energy, and resources.

Dr. Denise has been working in the fields of education, training, and coaching for over 20 years.  She received her doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology from North Carolina State University. Currently, she is a full professor of psychology, teaching courses in introductory psychology, career development, group dynamics, and the psychology of coaching and mentoring.

She is the author of Make That Change! 8 Steps for Crafting Your Ideal Life, and The B.O.S.S. Journal: Set Quarterly Goals, Track Daily Progress, and Be a Business On the Side Success! Through one-on-one and group coaching, leadership assessment, keynote speeches, and corporate training, Dr. Denise Dennis provides powerful learning and growth to her clients and audiences of all sizes.

He Said/She Said: Rock & “Link In” your Networking Opportunities

Pat Roque is much more than just a networking and LinkedIn expert. She’s a global speaker, success coach and master connector who shares her inside secrets to how she’s skyrocketed her sales, global media attention and landed amazing speaking gigs. Pat just returned from a global workshop teaching HR and employee engagement best practices. She launched her company, Business Boomers, in 1988. She has authored two respected books including the Rock On Success: 90-Day Fast Action Planner and Rock Your Golf!

A true go-giver, she’s often called “the Tony Robbins of the Golf World” as she helps raise millions of dollars for charity. She often teaches folks how to leverage the relationship-building of golf as a business tool. Pat mentors at numerous universities, SCORE, and had doubled membership as the Marketing Officer for the Women’s Golf Association of NJ; she is a founding board member of the nonprofit AdaptiveGolfers.org.

Look for the launch of Rock Your Strength program in June, supporting the nonprofit DreamtoSucceedFoundation.org. For your complimentary “rock your success” discovery session or to learn more about how to leverage your talents, go to www.rockonsuccess.com/discover

Bill Dorf is a high energy experienced sales, marketing and business development executive with a proven track record of delivering solid sales, increased revenues and profitability.. His lucrative career includes early roots in the home goods retail industry: he created his own warehouse home center chain in Florida and later sold Home Owners Warehouse to Home Depot.

Having retired for about 15 minutes he then started Special Recognition, Inc. to service Fortune 500 companies with brand identity merchandise. He has reinvented himself again and now leverages his corporate relationships by representing many companies around the country.

Mr. Dorf earned his undergraduate degree from LIU/Post and his MBA from University of Michigan. He was one of the founders of The Network of Opportunity here in Central Jersey and has given many presentations on the art of networking. Bill served on the board of NJ Make-A-Wish, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Morristown Seeing Eye Foundation, and Circle of Life and is very active with children’s causes and career counseling.