The State Advisory Board has twelve members consisting of the Dean of Rutgers Business School, the host for the state program, the Assistant District Director of SBA, and several members from the private sector, spanning different industries, including: technology and technical services, international business and consulting, the non-profit sector advocating business opportunities, organizational management and human resources, accounting and finance, commercial construction projects, and insurance planning.
The State Director (President & CEO) and the Associate State Director (Executive V.P. & COO) co-direct and manage the affairs of the Board.
In their capacity as NJSBDC Advisory Board members, they meet throughout the year to help advance the mission of the NJSBDC by providing advice and counsel concerning different issues and matters that can affect the resources and climate that small businesses need to prosper. They are called upon to help advocate for the network, channel strategic contacts to NJSBDC executive management when appropriate for specific situations, and provide feedback and input on network performance, marketing and promotional strategies, and other relevant issues that can advance the cause, mission, and vision of the organization.
Advisory Board Members
Chip Hallock, President & CEO
Newark Regional Business Partnership
Chip Hallock is president and CEO of the Newark Regional Business Partnership (NRBP), a business organization dedicated to providing its members with connections, information and advocacy that will enhance their opportunities, and strengthen and revitalize the business infrastructure of Newark and the surrounding region. Mr. Hallock was hired as NRBP’s CEO in January 2000 after 13 years at the Commerce and Industry Association of NJ including seven years as its president.
A graduate of Moravian College, Mr. Hallock previously worked in public education and as executive director of a free market educational organization, the Foundation for Free Enterprise. He is a past president of the New Jersey Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and serves on the boards of Meadowlink Commuter Services, Newark Police Foundation, Foundation for
Free Enterprise, University Heights Science Park, Greater Newark Business Development Consortium and Nation’s Port, and the advisory board of the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University.
Brenda B. Hopper, CEO – State Director
NJ Small Business Development Centers
Advanced Built Structures, Inc., Jersey City, NJ
Hon. John E. McCormac, Mayor
Woodbridge Township, NJ
John McCormac began his career in financial services with a large international CPA firm representing Fortune 500 companies and municipal governments. In 1988, he started his own Woodbridge Township-based CPA firm, which assisted hundreds of local residents with tax questions and financial planning.
Mayor McCormac’s career in government began in 1992, when he was appointed Chief Financial Officer for Woodbridge Township. In 2001, he progressed to the position of Business Administrator, responsible for managing day-to-day functions of running town government and supervising over 800 employees. In 2002, former Governor James E. McGreevey appointed him NJ State Treasurer, and he continued to serve in that capacity under Acting Governor Richard Codey until 2006.
As New Jersey State Treasurer, Mayor McCormac maintained oversight of the NJ State budget, managed more than 3,500 professional staff and employees in the 12 divisions within the Office of Treasurer. With a 15-plus year history of community service, Mayor McCormac was elected Woodbridge Township mayor in November 2006, fulfilling a life-long promise to serve his hometown.
Harry Menta – Public Affairs Specialist
NJ District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration
Lakecalm, Inc., Paramus, NJ
Lei Lei, Dean
Rutgers Business School, Rutgers University
Deborah Smarth, COO – State Director
NJ Small Business Development Centers
Susan Stultz, COO
Datatek Applications, Inc.
Susan Stultz is the chief operating officer of Datatek Applications, Inc. and one of its founders. She has held the COO position since 2008 and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, financial planning, and management, as well as long-term strategies for the company.
Prior to becoming the COO, Sue held the position of Vice President of Software Engineering. She managed the development and customer support operations for Datatek’s line of telecommunications products.
Sue’s 31-year career in telecommunications includes software development, software testing, customer support and project management for Bell Laboratories, AT&T and Lucent Technologies. She served as a technical manager in her most recent position in Lucent Technologies, responsible for the support of a large, embedded base of telecom products that were deployed worldwide and worth $1.5 billion dollars. In her role at Datatek, she has continued to support this base of equipment while assisting customers in their transitions to new products developed by Datatek Applications.
Sue holds a master’s degree from Rutgers and a bachelor’s degree from NJIT, both in computer science. She is a member of NJBIA (New Jersey Business and Industry Association and NJTC (New Jersey Technology Council).
Jerry Silberman, CEO and Founder
Corporate Turnaround, Paramus, NJ
Silberman is a regular contributor on MSNBC’s “Your Business” and has been a featured guest for CNN, Fox, CBS, ABC, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, US News and World Report and Forbes magazine.
He co-authored the “Small Business Survival Book” and has written many technical articles for various publications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Credit Management. He frequently shares his expertise on many business related radio shows as well.
Mr. Silberman started a nationwide collection agency in 1990 which led to the formation of Corporate Turnaround. He and his company have helped thousands of small businesses renegotiate affordable terms with their creditors for more than 20 years. Under his leadership, the company has successfully negotiated over 35,000 settlements that were irreconcilable prior to their involvement.
Silberman has addressed national and regional conferences of the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
NJSBDC introduced Corporate Turnaround to the national Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) headquartered in Burke, VA. and the firm has since made important presentations at three consecutive ASBDC national conferences.
Since then, Silberman and his company team have created an online educational tool box for SBDC statewide counselors as well as management consultants across the national organization. The SBDC online tool box includes educational guides, case studies, a restructuring software tutorial and calculator to help assess a financially stressed company, as well as courses of action including formulating a budget, communicating with creditors, and making offers to resolve their debt.
Avis Yates Rivers, President and CEO
Technology Concepts Group International, LLC.
Avis Yates Rivers has more than 25 years of general management experience in the information technology industry. As President and CEO of Technology Concepts Group International, LLC. (TCGI), an information technology and infrastructure solutions provider that supports the public and private sector in the areas of technology acquisition, equipment financing, professional and technical support, she is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s financial management, establishing growth objectives, goals, policies, plans and programs.
Prior to establishing her first company in 1985, Ms. Yates Rivers enjoyed an 11-year career at Exxon Corporation and its subsidiaries, where she rose to the rank of Account Executive for the full line of technology products of Exxon Office Systems Company.
She has held leadership positions in various supplier diversity advocacy organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Minority Supplier Development Council of NY & NJ, the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO), and the BPU Supplier Diversity Development Council. She and TCGI have been the recipient of local and national recognition.