AACCNJ/NJ Chamber 2023 DEI Trailblazer Awards Nominees Announced

AACCNJ/NJ Chamber 2023 DEI Trailblazer Awards Nominees Announced

(TRENTON, NJ – October 30, 2023) The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce are excited to announce the nominees for the 2023 DEI Trailblazer Awards. This event, now in its second year, aims to recognize companies and organizations that are making substantial strides in the areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The awards reception, which celebrates these nominees and awardees, will take place on Monday, November 20, 2023, at the Old Mill Inn in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, from 5-8 p.m.

Wilbur C. Milhouse III, Chairman and CEO of Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc., will be the featured speaker. Milhouse, an award-winning entrepreneur with more than 30 years of diversified civil and structural engineering experience, has transformed his expertise into a global enterprise that has garnered national attention. His passion for community advancement led to the co-founding of Milhouse Charities in 2012, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting academic achievements and opportunities for minorities and underrepresented youth by supporting STEM-focused initiatives. “It is an honor to have the leader of the largest Black-owned engineering design firm in the United States speak at the DEI Trailblazer Awards ceremony,” comment John E. Harmon Sr., IOM, AACCNJ’s Founder, President, and CEO. “This is a special treat for our guests.”

The DEI Trailblazer Awards feature six distinct categories, each acknowledging a specific aspect of DEI commitment:

  • Supplier Diversity: Recognizing businesses that prioritize contracting with diverse enterprises for goods and services.
  • Access to Capital: Acknowledging businesses that actively work to enhance access to capital for historically marginalized businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Corporate Board Diversity: Celebrating businesses with board compositions that reflect individuals from historically underrepresented communities.
  • Workforce Diversity: Commending businesses that demonstrate a commitment to diversity within their staff through comprehensive recruiting, hiring, and retention efforts.
  • Corporate Citizenship: Honoring businesses that engage in philanthropy and community engagement efforts, particularly benefiting historically marginalized communities.
  • Emerging DEI Influencer: Recognizing businesses in the early stages of implementing intentional efforts across the above categories.

The 2023 DEI Trailblazer Awards nominees are:

  1. AmeriHealth
  2. Bank of America
  3. Bridge Builders Newark, LLC
  4. CannPowerment
  5. The Ceceilyn Miller Institute for Leadership & Diversity
  6. Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
  7. Cole Schotz
  8. Delta Dental of New Jersey
  9. Gibbons P.C.
  10. Hackensack Meridian Health
  11. Johnson & Johnson
  12. Lockerbie & Co.
  13. Modivcare
  14. New Jersey Institute of Technology
  15. Phillips 66-Bayway Refinery
  16. PSEG
  17. Santander US
  18. Somerset County Business Partnership
  19. Tené Nícole Creative Agency
  20. UnitedHealth Group
  21. We Are Jersey

The awardees for 2023 will be revealed during the awards reception on Monday, November 20.

“As we unveil the remarkable nominees for the 2023 DEI Trailblazer Awards, we are inspired by the dedication of these organizations to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. They are setting a strong example for all of us,” remarked AACCNJ Founder, President, and CEO John E. Harmon Sr., IOM. “I invite everyone to join us at the awards reception, where we will celebrate the achievements of these nominees and unveil the awardees. Your presence at this event is not just a testament to your support for DEI but also a commitment to fostering a more inclusive business landscape. Together, we can make a significant impact in the pursuit of equity and diversity in our communities.”

“The success of our inaugural DEI Trailblazer Awards left a lasting impact, but this year’s event promises to build on that legacy in even more profound ways. It’s inspiring to see organizations across New Jersey making substantial strides in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” added New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Bracken. “We encourage everyone to be a part of this remarkable journey by attending the awards reception. Your presence will not only celebrate the achievements of our nominees but also propel us toward a more inclusive and equitable business environment. Together, we can continue to shape a future that reflects the values of diversity and equality.”

The 2022 awardees included Burns & McDonnell for Supplier Diversity, Union County Economic Development Council for Access to Capital, Columbia Bank for Corporate Board Diversity, Hackensack Meridian Health for Workforce Diversity, Gibbons P.C. for Corporate Citizenship, and Provident Bank for Emerging DEI Influencer.

To celebrate the 2023 nominees and learn more about this year’s awardees, kindly register for the awards reception at https://njchamber.com/events/dei-trailblazer-awards.

About the African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ

The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) performs an essential role in the economic viability of New Jersey. While providing a platform for New Jersey’s African American business leaders to speak with a collective voice, the AACCNJ advocates and promotes economic diversity fostering a climate of business growth through major initiatives centering on education and public policy. The AACCNJ is a proactive advocacy group with a 501(c)(3) tax exemption, as is the National Black Chamber of Commerce, with which the AACCNJ is affiliated.

About the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy association based in Trenton that lobbies key stakeholders for legislation and policies designed to make New Jersey a desirable state to operate a business and establish good-paying jobs. Chamber member companies receive exclusive invitations to events that offer valuable networking and educational opportunities. Additionally, the Chamber regularly disseminates legislative updates, industry insights, and employer-related news critical to conducting business in New Jersey. The organization unites local and regional chambers of commerce across the state to address significant business issues. The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation is committed to equipping New Jersey’s future workforce with the essential skills required for success in both college and employment.

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