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Meet the Regional Director of Bergen County

 

Vincent Vicari, Regional Director

Vincent Vicari, Regional Director of the NJSBDC at Ramapo College of New Jersey

Vincent J. Vicari, Regional Director

Meet the Regional Director on this YouTube video

Vincent J. Vicari is the Regional Director of the Bergen County Small Business Development Center (SBDC). As Regional Director, Mr. Vicari has leveraged his private and public sector successes to lead the New Jersey Small Business Development Center serving Bergen County New Jersey.

Vince Vicari is a Bergen County native who joined the NJSBDC network in 2008 after a successful and wide-ranging career in retail management, sales, food service, higher education and consulting. His credentials include an M.B.A. from National University in San Diego, a B.A. from William Paterson College, and an A.A.S. from Bergen Community College. Mr. Vicari continues to upgrade his knowledge base with education in land surveying, tax, technology, and international trade.

Mr. Vicari has increased the profile of the SBDC by enjoining private and public industry stakeholders to attract Bergen County regional business clients, provide services focused on population diversity, and improve the business and political positioning of the center to service traditional and non-traditional clients including an unique focus on US veterans populations. The outcome of these strategies is an expansion of service area for the SBDC due to increased funding partner awareness and reliance, industry referrals and client attraction. The Bergen SBDC is hosted at the AACSB accredited Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College of New Jersey. “It is the staff of the local centers and the support of a central headquarters which provides the foundation of a successful center and to serve citizens of New Jersey from the SBDC vantage point, and to be selected for State Star is an honor”, Vincent Vicari.

 

Kathleen Cronin,  Head of Outreach

SBDC staff-Kathleen Cronin

Kathleen Cronin serves as the Head of Outreach at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center in Bergen County, where she has worked to provide small business owners with no-cost business management counseling and information services. Bergen County is approximately 14 miles outside of Manhattan and touts a population of nearly one million residents. As the Head of Outreach at the center in Bergen County, Kathleen has been on the front lines in the fight to save the small business community in the NY-NJ region during the COVID-19 era.

She has played a key role in governing the operations of the center. She helped launch the center’s Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative, which led to the creation of 8 Economic Recovery Task Forces to aid small businesses during the NY-NJ region’s economic recovery period. These economic recovery teams are composed of Ramapo College’s top academic performers, presidential scholarship recipients, members of the dean’s list, and various other students from extremely varied academic backgrounds. Each task force is led by a professional SBDC Business Management Consultant, who takes the lead on client interfacing activities. Each task force, which specializes in matters ranging from accounting to life sciences to financial services, is equipped to help business owners in every sector of the economy throughout the NY-NJ region come back from the COVID-19 crisis. To date, the task forces have provided thousands of hours of service to small businesses in helping them navigate the economic downturn.

 

Ryan Greff,  Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative Chair

Vincent Vicari, regional director of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center in Bergen County, appointed Ryan Greff as chairman of the center’s Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative.

Ryan Greff; chairman, Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative; Bergen County NJSBDC.

Ryan Greff, Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative Chair SBDC at Ramapo College of New Jersey

Greff was appointed in the spring of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Bergen County. In his role, he has been responsible for the creation and supervision of teams of professional business management consultants and student volunteers for this initiative of the center.

The Bergen County office is the only SBDC that has such an initiative.

Each task force, which specializes in matters ranging from accounting to life sciences to financial services, is equipped to help business owners in every sector of the economy throughout the state come back from the COVID-19 crisis. To date, the task forces have devoted thousands of hours of service in support of the small business community in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Small Business Development Center in Bergen County is hosted at Ramapo College of New Jersey. The Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College is a federal-state-education partnership, primarily funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, that provides small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with no-cost business management counseling and information services.

Greff is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey and currently serves on the Ramapo College Alumni Association board of directors.

 

Jim Palumbo, SBDC Senior Strategic Consultant

Jim Palumbo, SBDC Senior Strategic Consultant

Jim Palumbo, SBDC Senior Strategic Consultant

Jim Palumbo is a Senior Strategic Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

A former senior executive of the Consumer Electronic Industry, Jim served as President of the Plasma Display Coalition. Prior, Jim held key senior   with Sony Electronics during a highly successful 31 year career.

In 2001, he was named President/CEO of Aiwa America, a Sony Corp. (NYSE,SNE) subsidiary, where he was responsible for turnaround activities and integrating the brand into Sony after 100% acquisition. For nine years, as President of Sales and Marketing of the Sony Consumer Television Company,
Jim led, among other industry leading initiatives, the highly successful introductions of Sony High-Definition Television (HDTV), WEGA flat screen and flat panel televisions, and Sony brand DirecTV receivers. Under Jim’s leadership, Sony achieved a #1 position in the consumer television industry and #1 rank in
overall brand value and recognition. He also served as Senior Vice-President of  Sales for Sony Consumer Sales Company where he initiated and led several  highly successful selling programs, many of which were emulated in the Consumer Electronics and Appliance industries. Jim also held other key sales management positions for Sony Electronics prior to moving to corporate headquarters.

Jim is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (BSE) and has completed  executive development education courses at Babson College and the University of Michigan Ross School Of Business.
Jim has been chosen to lead a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force.

 

Todd A. Smith, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Todd Smith, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Todd A. Smith, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Todd A. Smith is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Mr. Smith has been an entrepreneur his entire life. As the owner of Royce Joseph Capital LLC, he has assisted countless business owners in acquiring financing to acquire, grow or expand their companies.

In addition to his professional work as a financier, Mr. Smith has authored books on finance and lending. Mr. Smith’s book “Navigating The Lending Maze” provides a detailed path to follow in obtaining a loan for company growth.

Mr. Smith serves on the Board of Directors of Community Hope. Community Hope is the largest not-for-profit in the State of New Jersey addressing the homeless veteran crisis by both housing former homeless veterans as well assisting many other veterans and their families, preventing them from becoming
homeless.

Mr. Smith is a graduate of Montclair State University with a degree in finance and economics. He is very active in several Chambers of Commerce and is an active member of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Speakers Association. He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and family.

Mr. Smith has been chosen to lead a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force. In recognition for his contributions to facilitating the economic recovery of the region, Mr. Smith was chosen as an honoree for NJBIZ Magazine’s 2021 Leaders in Finance Award.

 

Norman Chester, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Norman Chester, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Norman Chester,
SBDC Business Management Consultant

Norman Chester is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College of New
Jersey.

In addition to his work with the SBDC, Mr. Chester became an adjunct faculty member at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2015 following 36 years of accounting, finance and controllership experience in international banking with Chase Manhattan, ABN Amro, and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), most recently as financial controller of Global Restructuring Group Americas at RBS. At RBS, Mr. Chester worked with the bank’s defaulted commercial loan portfolio at the height of the financial industry collapse and bailout in 2008. He has also provided accounting and financial support to other businesses including commercial real estate finance, equipment leasing, and asset based lending.

A Certified Management Accountant since 1996, his education includes an MBA in Finance from Rutgers University and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Bucknell University.

Mr. Chester is a board member of the Bergen-Rockland-Meadowlands Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants and has presented at local, state and national IMA conferences. An avid runner, Mr. Chester has completed 20 marathons and currently serves as Treasurer of the North Jersey Masters Track & Field Club. Mr. Chester has been chosen to lead a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force.

 

Greg Markowitz, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Gary Markowitz, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Gary Markowitz, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Greg Markowitz is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development
Center (SBDC) at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

In addition to his service with the SBDC, Greg works as a Small Business Digital Marketing Strategist and Director of Client Success at BRKThru Digital.

In his role with the company, Mr. Markowitz specializes in working with small business owners that want to grow their business by using computerized and digital marketing strategies to attract more customers.

Prior to joining BRKThru Digital, Markowitz held various positions at different companies within the digital marketing industry. These positions have included Major Accounts Executive at LocaliQ, Franchise District Manager at ADP, Regional Sales Manager of Red Spot Interactive, and Media Consultant at the
digital marketing leader Hibu.

Mr. Markowitz holds a degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Mr. Markowitz has been chosen to lead a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force that specializes in digital marketing.

 

Nick Pascarella, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Nick Pascarella, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Nick Pascarella, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Nick Pascarella is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business
Development Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Mr. Pascarella is the owner of Novomni LLC. Novomni is a full service technology solutions expert providing businesses the necessary and needed information on the newest and best technology solutions to eliminate problems, reduce costs and increase productivity.

Mr. Pascarella has held several senior positions within the technology sector. Mr. Pascarella’s areas of expertise include technology consulting, web-development, and network security.

Mr. Pascarella is a member of the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, where he serves on the Meadowlands Chamber’s Technology Committee. The Meadowlands Chamber’s Technology Committee provides technical expertise to the Chamber’s membership.

Novomni has partnered with the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College to deliver technology consulting services for small  businesses throughout New Jersey.

Mr. Pascarella holds a degree from William Paterson University.

Mr. Pascarella has been chosen to lead a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force.

 

Thomas Roberts, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Thomas Roberts, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Thomas Roberts, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Thomas Roberts is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Before joining the SBDC, Mr. Roberts served as a faculty member in the Marketing/Management Department at William Paterson University. During his career in academia, Mr. Roberts aimed to explore the changes in the workplace with regards to disabilities as well as the types of accommodations that could be
made in accordance with the law. Notably, Mr. Roberts co-authored “Reasonable accommodations and the ADA: The impact of technology,” which was published in the Journal of Management and Marketing Research. Mr. Roberts’s published work analyzed the legal applications of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 with regards to employment obligations, legal history, worker rights, court conflicts, and how technological advancements over 20 years altered what the law considers “reasonable accommodations.”

Prior to entering academia, Mr. Roberts served in various roles at a multitude of companies including Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, HSBC, and Drexel Burnham Lambert. Mr. Roberts also worked for the Depository Trust &  Clearing Corporation, an American post-trade financial services company providing clearing and settlement services to the financial markets.

Mr. Roberts has been chosen to lead a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force composed of SBDC student interns from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

 

Ellen Smolko, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Ellen Smolko, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Ellen Smolko, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Ellen Smolko is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Ms. Smolko grew up in a family of philanthropic entrepreneurs and small business owners, so it made sense that she would eventually focus on working with smaller companies and nonprofits. She spent her early career working with larger companies, but her entrepreneurial spirit could not be denied, so in 2001 she walked away from “corporate America” and founded Foresight Performance.

Foresight started as a full-service agency working with larger companies, but the business model soon shifted to be more responsive to the marketing needs of smaller companies.

Today, Foresight Performance specializes in developing custom marketing and revenue growth strategies that advance brands, generate more leads, improve conversion rates, and enhance corporate sustainability. Foresight Performance’s strategies are customized to meet business goals with the vision, innovation, and creativity to inspire action and enhance customer loyalty.

In 2020, Ms. Smolko led a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force composed of SBDC Student Interns. In 2021, Ms. Smolko was tapped to take on special client cases within the Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College. In this role, Ms.
Smolko interfaces with businesses in order to help them grow in the post-COVID economic landscape.

 

Vito Mazza, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Vito Mazza, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Vito Mazza, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Vito Mazza is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center  at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Mr. Mazza’s professional background includes different positions in sales, coaching, and communications.

Before joining the SBDC, Mr. Mazza worked as a Distributorship President at World Book Inc., where he introduced dynamic sales and recruiting methods to 650 consultants and managers in 13 cities. Additionally, Mr. Mazza conducted World Book International’s first sales and marketing training programs in Russia and helped launch the company’s first Russian distributorship.

Mr. Mazza has been featured as a business expert in Forbes Magazine as well as on Joan Herrmann’s WOR 710 AM and iHeartRadio’s program “Change Your Attitude/Change Your Life.”

In addition to his work with the SBDC, Mr. Mazza is the owner Mazza Consultants LLC, which provides professional services such as coaching with regards to communications and sales.

Mr. Mazza holds a degree from New Jersey City University.

Mr. Mazza has led a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force composed of 2 Ramapo College student interns.

 

Dr. Stephen C. Betts, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Dr. Stephen Betts, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Dr. Stephen Betts, SBDC Business Management Consultant

Dr. Stephen C. Betts is a Business Management Consultant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

In addition to his work with the SBDC, Dr.Betts is a Professor of Management at William Paterson University. He has a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MS in Management Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and an MBA and PhD in Management from Rutgers University.

He has been teaching at the college level since 1983. His primary teaching area is organizational behavior. In 2003 he received the Academy of Educational Leadership’s Award for Innovative and Creative Teaching. He also is an active researcher with over fifty journal articles and a hundred conference presentations.

Before turning to academia as a full time career, Dr. Betts worked with several consulting firms participating in live industrial sociodramas and facilitating group exercises in such subject areas as Building Strength Through Diversity, Work/Home Family Balance, Burnout, The Maturing Worker, Sexism and Racism in the
Workplace, Managerial Coaching, Organizational Transition, Teambuilding, Downsizing/ Outplacement, Sexual Harassment and Gender Communication.

Dr. Betts has led a SBDC Economic Recovery Task Force composed of 3 Ramapo College Student Interns.