Search open for Hudson County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO

Sharon Ambis, a public relations and marketing strategist and former first vice chair of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce executive board, has been named interim president and chief executive officer, the group’s board of directors announced in November. Ambis agreed to assume the role on a temporary basis after the previous CEO, Maria Nieves, resigned at the end of October 2022.

As interim president & CEO, Ambis is responsible for overseeing the transition, working with the board of directors, managing the day-to-day operations and supervising the chamber staff.

Ambis has been an active member of the Chamber of Commerce for over two decades, initially elected to the board while serving as the director of marketing of The Evening Journal, parent company of The Jersey Journal.

The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce this year will celebrate its 135th year as one of New Jersey’s oldest regional chambers of commerce. The Chamber claims to be the leading resource for driving economic growth by providing education, advocacy and access to their members in each community in Hudson County.

While Ambis serves as interim president and CEO, the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce is opening its search for the next candidate for the role. The deadline for applications is Monday, Jan. 23. You can email CV along with salary requirements to [email protected]

According to the job description summary posted on the Chamber’s website, the candidate will be responsible for overseeing the existing operations, assist in the development and implementation of policy, and recommend action to the Board of Directors for the continued success of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce. The President/CEO is responsible for developing and planning events, communicating effectively with the membership on needs, ideas, and opportunities, and creating a budget and organizational plan that advances the general welfare and prosperity of Hudson County and Chamber membership.

Chamber of Commerce holds 15th annual Legends gala

The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce presented the 15th annual Legends Ball at Liberty House in Jersey City last month.

Nearly 350 chamber members and guest supported the chamber’s annual event which honors distinguished leaders and businesses in Hudson County for their commitment and contributions to the business, cultural, and educational life of the region.

The following individuals and companies were honored for embodying the spirit of the Chamber’s motto, “We Make It Happen” and were recognized for their dedication and contributions to Hudson County: Melissa Sarmiento; Rumba Cubana; Jersey City Medical Center; and Tom DeGise, Hudson County Executive. Each received the night’s Leadership Award.

The Hudson County Chamber’s Legends committee includes co-chairs for the past 15 years Sharon Ambis and Daryl Rand, Ruddys Andrades, Karen Davis-Farage, Catherine Tantillo, and Joan Quigley.

CarePoint Health Honors HUMC physicians

CarePoint Health System presented six doctors from Hoboken University Medical Center with the Wallace T. McCaffrey Award recently, which is annually given to members of the HUMC Medical Staff who exemplify leadership, compassion and commitment with distinguished service to their patients and Hoboken University Medical Center.

Richard A. Boiardo, MD; Syed M. Shah-Gibilisco, MD; Joseph Jim E. Yap, MD; Ricardo Q. Binsol, MD; Abraham Wenger, DMD; and Jocelyn M. Lim, MD were the recipients of this year’s McCaffrey Award.

The award is named after Dr. Wallace T. McCaffrey, a general Internal Medicine specialist who was on the medical staff of Hoboken University Medical Center for 60 years and served as vice president of medical affairs for the last 10 years of his career.

To honor his dedication, McCaffrey was awarded a lifetime appreciation award and made the namesake for the yearly award given to physicians who demonstrate similar commitment to providing care to their patients.

Ashley Atkins named to NJCU foundation board

New Jersey City University (NJCU) has announced that Ashley L. Atkins, Ph.D., the director of U.S. corporate responsibility at Novartis, is a new member of the NJCU Foundation Board of Directors. Her appointment began in October 2022.

At Novartis, Atkins is responsible for the company’s community engagement strategy in the United States, including corporate giving, the Novartis U.S. Foundation and employee engagement efforts.

She joined Novartis in 2018 following 16 years at Johnson & Johnson as part of the company’s Global Community Impact Team, where she led local community-based partnerships related to education, food security, urban green space, arts & culture, and community health.

Atkins holds a B.A. in Art History and Women’s Studies from Duke University, a M.A. in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Art History from Rutgers University. She also holds a Certified Corporate Responsibility Executive (CCRE) from the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business.

A former NJCU adjunct professor in Art History, Atkins served two years on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the NJCU William J. Maxwell College of Arts & Sciences.

Her volunteer experience also includes two years as co-chair of the Alliance for Art & Health New Jersey for Art Pride NJ, and two years as a member of the board of directors for the Junior League of Greater Princeton, as nominating placement vice president and administrative vice president. She spent 15 years on the volunteer workforce for Kappa Alpha Theta.

Atkins recently published the paper “Arts, Health, and Well-being Across the Military Continuum: White Paper 2.0 – 2020 and Beyond” for Americans for the Arts. The paper chronicles the achievements of the National Initiative for the Arts & Health in the Military and articulates the need for an increased focus on how to serve the most underserved military-connected communities using arts interventions.

Dr. Atkins lives in Central New Jersey with her husband and two sons.

Hudson County cardiologist named medical director

Jersey City Medical Center announced the appointment of Dr. Raashan Williams, to the position of medical director of the Catheterization Laboratory effective in late December 2022.

As medical director, Williams will set the direction of the Catheterization Laboratory in partnership with the hospital’s clinical and administrative leadership. He will also focus on collaborating with internal and external providers to identify opportunities for growth, innovation, and change, and improving clinical technology and programs to continue the excellence in patient safety and outcomes.

Williams, who has been a member of the medical staff at the medical center since 2007 has led a large cardiology practice in the region for more than 15 years. He earned a degree in medicine from Temple University School of Medicine and completed an internship and residency at New York Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital Cornell Medical Center, and a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at Temple University Hospital, where he served as Chief Cardiology fellow. He also completed an Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at NYP Hospital Cornell Medical Center.

Williams is a specialist in performing high-risk coronary interventions, including advanced coronary imaging, and complex peripheral vascular interventions. As an interventional cardiologist, he has previously served in various roles as a hospital leader.

Reproductive Medicine Associates has clinic expansion in Jersey City

Reproductive Medicine Associates (RMA) New Jersey announced the opening of its newest fertility center in Jersey City in early January. The center marks RMA’s 11th center in New Jersey, adding to its network of clinics across the state.

The Jersey City clinic, located at 100 Town Square Place, focuses on fertility assessment and treatment in one location. The clinic began accepting patients on Jan. 11, and is currently scheduling patient visits at

According to Fertility and Sterility, 70 percent of women who froze eggs when they were younger than 38 and had a thawed egg count in the double digits, had a baby.

The full-service center will offer a range of services, including intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), to meet patients at any stage of their fertility journey. The clinic also offers fertility acupuncture, nutritional coaching, and licensed support counselors.

Jersey City Medical Center names new chief medical officer

Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) recently announced the appointment of Dr. Ije Akunyili, MBA, MPA, as the new chief medical officer effective Jan. 2. Akunyili is the Medical Center’s first Black Chief Medical Officer.

In her most recent role, Akunyili served as the regional medical director for TeamHealth, Northeast Group, where she had strategic, operational, and clinical oversight of nearly 20 emergency departments, critical care, and hospitalist service lines in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. She led an unprecedented fourfold expansion of service lines with a specific focus on medical services and access to care for underserved populations.

She previously served as the chair of emergency medicine at Waterbury Hospital, a Level II trauma teaching hospital where she led a team in reducing the lengths of stay, improving overall performance across multiple patient-centered metrics, and increasing physician staffing. She was awarded the 2019 Medical Director of the Year Award for the impressive turnaround of the Waterbury Hospital Emergency Department.

In addition to her executive experience, she is currently serving as the President of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians (CCEP). Prior, she served for several years on the board of directors of Texas and Connecticut Colleges of Emergency Physicians. She was an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor School of Medicine Houston, TX, and she is currently a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Yale University.

Dr. Akunyili graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania and attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her emergency medicine residency at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. In addition, she earned an MPA in international development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Akunyili and her husband are the parents of two teenage children.

24-story building reaches 262-foot peak In Jersey City

Fields Grade and Alpine Residential have announced the topping out of 270 Johnston Avenue at 262 feet on Friday, Jan. 13, providing visual context for what will be the tallest building in Jersey City’s Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood.

Development officials joined a team of tradespeople from KL Masters Construction Company to celebrate the building reaching its full 24-story height, marking a milestone toward the project’s completion in early 2024.

When fully constructed, 270 Johnston will comprise 169 residential units, roughly 9,000 sq. ft. of street-level and 2nd-floor retail space, and indoor/outdoor amenities. The residences will feature studio-to-three-bedroom floorplans.

270 Johnson Avenue is the latest collaboration between Fields Grade and Alpine Residential, who have teamed up for multiple mixed-use projects throughout Bergen-Lafayette. The new properties are all rising on former industrial and vacant sites concentrated around the light rail.

The property was designed by Hoboken-based MHS Architecture, with interiors from GRT Architecture.

Amenities and social spaces will include a 24-hour concierge, a fitness center with Cross-Fit equipment, and a package room. The 24th-floor amenity level will feature an indoor resident lounge, communal kitchen, co-working spaces, and a gaming room, while the outdoor landscaped deck will offer a plunge pool, grilling stations, and dining areas.

By Antoni

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