New President and New Executive Director plan to achieve 2022 goals for NJPCC
If 2021 was the year of reassessment, then 2022 is the year for taking action and achieving goals. The New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce (NJPCC), formerly the New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce, has completely redefined itself and what it means to be a proud business owner and employee working in the Garden State.
Over the last year, NJPCC put in place its new President, Stephen P. Blazejewski, who realized if they wanted to compete for future members they would need to reimagine the Chamber from the ground up. This meant a new brand, a new leadership board, and a strong new direction.
“Before COVID, NJPCC was operating with a limited bandwidth and an extremely tight budget,” said Blazejewski. “We were able to reposition the organization to better serve our members’ new business needs and realities. We’ve been hard at work creating dynamic resources, fun networking events, and building an inviting community where people can do business and become friends.
“After a one-year hiatus due to COVID crowd restrictions, our first event back in the summer was in Asbury Park, right on the beach. It was one of our most successful networking events to-date. Members, both LGBT and allies, stayed even after the event had finished. People have been in lockdown for the last two years and during that time they’ve realized that they want to be part of a vibrant, growing, and confident community where you can be comfortable being yourself.”
The rebranding and organizational overhaul was spearheaded by Blazejewski. NJPCC has appointed four new board members, all volunteers, who are experts in their respective fields who will help build the next generation of the organization. They have developed an ambassador program that will help integrate new and existing members–creating even greater networking and professional opportunities.
“The board realized that they needed someone who could navigate the ever-changing political landscape, which is why they appointed their first-ever dedicated paid staffer, Augusto “Gus” Penaranda, Jr., as their new Executive Director in January,” said Blazejewski. “He is a political maverick with extensive career experience working with political leaders across both sides of the aisle; he has worked in senior-leadership positions for different New Jersey government agencies and at the American Red Cross.”
“We needed someone with the right energy and ability to help persuade the Governor’s administration to formally acknowledge LGBT business owners as a diverse business classification, creating a more equitable playing field for state contracting,” concluded Blazejewski.
The rebranded NJPCC is looking for your support and your membership today in the fastest-growing Chamber for professionals in the state.