Jeff Cantor is the founder & Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce which launched in November 2018. His goal is to improve the economic environment for veterans in the state and to build the infrastructure to create greater competitiveness and success for veteran business entities.
Prior to that, Jeff served as the Lead for Veterans Economic Development for the State of New Jersey. He began that role in January 2018. In that role, he was tasked with looking at ways to support veterans either through meaningful employment or veteran business support & entrepreneurship, as well as look at ways to support formerly incarcerated veterans.
Jeff enlisted in the Army in 1985 as a Private First Class and through determination became commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. He holds four military occupational specialties in Infantry, All-Source Intelligence, Imagery Intelligence, and Civil Affairs. He served in various units both in active duty and in the Army Reserves. Jeff has served in dozens of countries around the world on six continents. He recently retired in 2017 at the rank of Colonel (0-6) in the Army Reserve. He is a veteran of the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan and has been awarded a Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and many other awards over a 32-year career.
Jeff started the Marlboro Sunshine Fund in 2011 and the Veterans Foundation of America in 2015 to raise money for veterans causes. He was able to raise over a hundred thousand dollars to help veterans impacted by Superstorm Sandy, those that have been hit by hard times, affected by poor health and mobility, and given money to family members of special operators that have been killed in the line of duty.
He is currently the CEO of Lima Charlie Construction, a SDVOB focused on asphalt milling & paving, concrete, utility work, and site work.
Francisco Cortes is the CEO & Co-Founder of the global communications firm The Setroc Group, Inc. Francisco serves as the President of the NJ State Veterans Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the Corporate Advisory Board of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ.
Throughout his 20 plus year career in broadcast media, Francisco Cortes transformed the way news engaged and informed the public. He drove key innovation and programming initiatives that contributed to the historic success of News Corporation. Francisco became the first Hispanic Vice President in the companies news division and was named one of the Top Young Latinos in American Newsrooms by the Huffington Post and also named a media influencer by MyLifestyle Magazine.
Francisco also takes great pride in giving back and mentorship. He spends most of his free time giving back to veterans, running marathons and raising money for veterans causes. He also serves on the Community and Economic Development for the City of Paterson, NJ.
Rafael Mata is the Vice President of Business Development and Co-Founder of GAMBIT Services, a consulting firm that specializes in strategic solutions for government, business, nonprofit, and educational institutions whose mission is to empower and uplift the social and economic conditions of disadvantaged and underrepresented populations. In his role as VP of Business Development, he is responsible for the growth and strategic partnerships for the firm.
Before his role as Vice President, Rafael Mata served as the Managing Director of External Affairs for a New Jersey State Authority and was the Director of a Business Services Office in County Government. His expertise is in Economic Development, Workforce Development, and Small Business Development has led to the creation of new service models and programs and established him as a thought leader and innovator.
In his varied New Jersey government roles and appointments, he secured and managed local, state and federal grants that provided social supports, workforce training, and small business development to distressed populations. He implemented New Jersey’s first local Set-Aside program out of Hudson County; and, has worked for over 20 years on the empowerment of distressed communities.
His insight and experience as a business owner of a consulting firm and construction company has allowed him the wherewithal to design pragmatic solutions that help businesses navigate the workforce and economic development programs created to assist them. He has also established himself as the bridge between government and the private sector.
He graduated from the City University of New York. He is a certified Grant Manager and Grant Writer and a subject matter expert—frequently sought out by small business organizations, chambers of commerce and educational institutions. He began his career in social services at the South East Bronx Community Organization (SEBCO)—a New York City Housing Authority contracted community agency where he served as the Legal Liaison and was first inspired to work towards the improvement of the socioeconomic conditions that so often affected the tenants of 800 low-income housing units in the South Bronx.
With over 34 years of industry experience Tim serve as President/Partner of The Millennium Group, a global leader in Office Service’s Facilities Management industry. Tim has led the firm from a local provider to the largest privately held Office Service Outsourcing company globally. His experience has been centric to mergers & acquisitions, formalizing Alliance partnerships with automated receiving software, integrated peer-to-peer locker systems and cloud-based applications. Tim assist corporations streamline workflow operations, introduce supply chain programs, integrate paperless technology, and introduce cloud usage solutions for corporate business services.
A graduate of York College of Pennsylvania and a retired Officer of the U.S. Army Reserve-National Guard,
Tim has presented at national seminars/trade shows on leadership, industry benchmarking, security assessments jointly with the USPS Postal Inspection Service & FBI, as well as guest speaking at national seminars to include MailCom, National Postal Forum, IFMA Worldwide Workplace, NY/NY Postal Customer Councils, National Association of Purchasing Managers, National Association of Educators & Buyers, and the Florida Postal Customer Council. Tim has been featured in MAIL: The Journal of Communication Distribution numerous times for leadership, security as it relates to bio/chemical preparedness, and future trends in outsourcing.
Currently, Tim serves on numerous Executive Boards to include Smiota Inc., a global advanced delivery locker system & software delivery application, The Millennium Group of Delaware, Inc., Direct Mail Depot, Shamrock Trucking, and VIP Digital Print Services. Tim has and continues to serve on numerous community/professional boards to include the NJ Mail Systems Management Association, NJ Postal Customer Council, 28th Infantry Division Officer’s Council, Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County, the YMCA of Monmouth County and the New Jersey Veteran’s Chamber of Commerce. Tim is also a member of the National Guard Aassociation, Marine Memorial Foundation, and the American Legion.
Tim has been decorated with numerous military awards to include the 28th Infantry Division Officer of the Year, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Unit Citation Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal.
A native of Monmouth County who grew up in Shrewsbury, and settled into Middletown for 20+ years, Tim and Greta now resides in Sea Bright, NJ. Together they have raised two daughters who are now beginning their professional careers.
Recently recognized by NJBIZ as one of New Jersey’s top privately held companies in the prestigious list of 250; Tim has built multiple businesses and recognized in New Jersey as a job creator, builder of supply chain relationship, and establishment of a NJ based network that brings value to the New Jersey Veterans Chamber of Commerce.
Frank Townsend, is the President of Patriot Shotcrete. Patriot Shotcrete is a Service Disabled Veteran O wned S mall B usiness. Previously , he was the Vice President of Operations for Superior Gunite. Frank transitioned the East Coast Superior Gunite team to Patriot from Superintendent, Estimator, and crew. He is a Civil Engineer graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in MA, and Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri. Frank served as an Army Engineer Officer who deployed to numerous deployments from Central America to the Middle East. He was selected to Command the HHC Company for the 249 th Engineer Battalion where he was in the Army Corps of Engineers leading Disaster relie f responding for the Federal government for Emergency work during Natural Disasters. Frank Served for 8.5 years and separated from the Army with a Service Disability with an honorable discharge. He then worked for Conti Federal Services and Schiavone Cons truction as a Superintendent and Project Manager for the Croton Aqueduct project and the 2 nd Ave Subway 72 nd St project. Frank is an active member of ACI 506 and ASA, and currently serves on the ASA Board of Directors. Frank is a member of the Moles and Beavers (Heavy Construction Organizations), NJ ACI, NY CIB, American Society of Concrete Contractors, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Society American Military Engineers (SAME), remaining a lifelong soldier. He has been Awarded the US Army Corps of Engineers deFluery Medal and Engineer News - Record New York’s “Top 20 under 40” design and construction leaders in 201 6 . Some notable projects include below grade wall at the World Trade Center, New York; Structural Shotcrete on the East Side Access Project, New York; Henry Hudson and Bayonne Bridge in New York, just to name a few.
Claude A. Jones is the Founder/Principal/ and CEO of EnSync Interactive Solutions, Inc. EnSync Interactive Solutions, Inc. is a professional service Information Technology consulting firm headquartered in Freehold, NJ.
Claude was commissioned as an Air Defense Artillery officer through Rutgers ROTC. He entered active duty in 1977 after graduating from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He holds a Master’s of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University; a Bachelors of Psychology degree and a Bachelors of Political Science degree from Rutgers University.
Claude’s key military assignments include: Air Defense Artillery Assault Fire Platoon Leader, 1stBattalion, 2ndAir Defense, Komori, South Korea; Air Defense Element Staff Officer, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Commander, Delta Company, 9thBattalion, 2ndBrigade, Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Staff Officer, Headquarters, V Corps, Frankfurt, Germany; Chief of the Regimental, Automation Data Processing Office, Fulda, Germany; Headquarters Department of the Army G-3 Staff Officer, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Claude A. Jones is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College, Advanced Program Management Course. Claude retired from the Program Executive Office, for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey as an Acquisition Staff Officer in 1998.
Claude is a 2009 Matawan High School Hall of Fame inductee. His memberships include a Life membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Claude is active in VFW Post 1333. He is also a life member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. Claude is a member of the North Jersey Men’s Club (NorJerMen). He also is a member of the Shore Knights S.A.C, of Matawan, New Jersey where he serves as the Secretary; Chair of the Scholarship Committee and the Chair of the Shore Knights Annual Children’s Christmas Party. He coordinates with the Marines’ Toys for Tots program for support. Claude and his wife are the proud parents of three (3) young adult children.
Ken has over 30 years of work experience comprised of military and financial services. After his service in the US Army, Ken began his financial services career with the Office of Thrift Supervision. During his time with the OTS, Ken gained experience in Capital, Earnings, Management, Asset Quality, Liquidity, and Interest Rate Risk. By the end of his time as a regulator, Ken had obtained specialties in risk governance framework evaluation and analysis and in credit risk, twice selected to work on OTS’ Shared National Credit Team. Ken left OTS to join PricewaterhouseCoopers to work on Dodd-Frank implementation and regulatory issues around third-party oversight. Ken then accepted a position at Citi Bank in Operational Risk in which he led the audit management, records management, supplier due diligence, data governance, and process and quality teams. During his time in that role, Ken led the development and implementation of Branded Cards Supplier Risk Management Program, which was later implemented at Retail Services and the Retail Bank. After the successful implementation of those programs, Ken was offered the role as Internal Audit’s Director of Regulatory Liaison and Management, in which Ken helped manage Internal Audit’s regulatory interactions globally. Ken was also instrumental in helping develop Internal Audit’s new Franchise Audit program. Ken was then recruited to be the Chief Audit Officer for the $6 billion Flushing Bank in Uniondale, NY. Today, Ken owns the Minuteman Press franchise in Newark, NJ.
Ken is a commissioned federal regulator accredited in Safety and Soundness and Consumer Compliance. Ken holds the Institute of Internal Auditor’s Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) designations. Ken completed his undergraduate degree in Finance at Texas State University and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University.
Bio Coming Soon
CanDice Miller is a public speaker, advocate, minister and servanthood leader. Miller officially founded Beauty From Ashes Foundation, Inc. (BFAF) in June 2020. She and children, Tara and Tyrece, began to conceptualize the organization in 2016 after the trauma of sexual assault destroyed their family. Questions like, “How can we prevent this from happening again…to anyone?” and “How can we stand in the gaps of the system that allowed us to fall through the cracks so that other families don’t have to hurt or feel alone as often as we did?”, fueled the desire to help others through their healing process. Developing BFAF actually aided in the healing process for Miller’s family. Miller feels that even in the darkness of her grief, she can still shine light on hope for others.” The lessons Miller learned and heartaches endured serve as a catalyst for the organization’s inception and successful fruition. Miller is a US Army Veteran, where she served as a Unit Supply Specialist (92Y), AFGE Union President, Public Relations Manager , Suicide Prevention Liasion, and Volunteer Chaplain for her local Family Readiness Group. As a civilian, Miller has served the community by working in the mental health industry and for organizations that served the homeless, and at risk of becoming homeless, Veteran population. As a job developer and outreach specialist, she aided the Veterans in obtaining gainful employment; connected them with other Veteran resources to address their mental and physical health issues; provided peer-to-peer counseling, and referrals to agencies that assisted with emergency and long-term housing solutions. Miller has always been very passionate about developing solutions that address present needs and eliminates future issues. She pays acute attention to detail and logistical processes. Miller is a servanthood leader with a genuine desire to make things better. She is passionate about progress and compassionate about meeting the needs of others. Miller has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Communications from Eastern Michigan University, a Mini-MBA in Business Management for Military and Veterans from Rutgers University and is presently working on a Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. Miller proudly serves as one of the first African American, female VPs for the New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce, where she presently serves as VP of Special Events and Community Outreach. Miller previously served as Member Relations Manager and Business Developer for the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey where she supported the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program (SBBRAP) in partnership with the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Miller is a self-proclaimed “Southern Belle with Northern exposure” as she was born and raised in Austin, Texas but has resided in New Jersey for the past 18 years. She loves laughing, spending time with her family, ministering, singing, dancing, speaking at various events, and playing basketball, football and volleyball…and making TikTok videos. Miller’s military, academic and civilian background, coupled with her passion for excellence and her love for God, are the driving forces behind Beauty From Ashes Foundation, Inc.
Maria L. Salazar , was born in Peru in 1980. In 1992, her family relocated to the United States. Her father Jose Salazar, mother Maria Vasquez and sister Sandy and Andrea settled in Bridgewater NJ, where she attended and graduated High School in 1998. Salazar earned an Associates of Paralegal Studies from Raritan Valley Community College in 2000. Following the heinous acts of 9/11 Salazar enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Completed boot camp in Parris Island, SC from May 2002. She was awarded the Honor Grad from Maintenance Management School at Camp Johnson, NC earning meritoriously the rank of Lance Corporal. In November of 2002, Salazar reported to her first unit, 6th Motor Transport Battalion, H&S Co, in Redbank NJ. Her military occupation was Logistics Specialist. Salazar’s unit was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi freedom in January 2003, a 8 month long deployment. Salazar was honorably discharged in 2011 with the rank of Sgt, E-5, having served 9 years. Upon entering the civilian sector, Salazar became a fitness and dance instructor, based mostly in central NJ. In 2016 Salazar got admitted to Long Island University in Brookville NY where she pursued a BS of Art Therapy with a focus in Ceramics and Art History, graduating on May 10, 2019, with honors and also being inducted into SALUTE, a Veterans National Honor Society for outstanding academic achievement. Salazar plans to pursue her Masters in Art Therapy and Counseling. Jr Vice Comander VFW Post 1819 Henderson-Marino First Woman Grand Marshall 2019 Memorial Day Parade, Port Washington NY. Past Comandant Marine Corps League Ft Capodanno Det. Awarded a Senate Proclamation by Senator Anna Kaplan Certificate of Commendation by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran Multidisplinary Exhibiting Artist/Sculptor Art As Therapy Facilitator Veteran Artist Program Member Poetic Theater Productions Participant Resides in Bridgewater NJ with her family.
Tony is a proven leader with over twenty-five years of experience in leading multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams and conducting program/project management of multi-million dollar projects in a wide variety of sectors. He develops solutions to complex problems and transforms strategic visions into actionable plans complemented by first-hand knowledge and technical expertise. His experience includes multiple overseas assignments and extensive collaboration with private and government entities. In his current civilian capacity, Tony is the President and CEO of Renaissance Global Services, LLC, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, specializing in Project, Logistics and Construction Management. He has a background of over twenty years of experience in managing municipal capital improvement projects and commercial and residential land development projects from inception through design and construction. As a Vice President at Citigroup, he also conducted change management and process improvement for acquisition and delivery of data and applications in the banking sector. Tony has also served over thirty-one years in the US Army. He is currently a Colonel in the Army Reserve with oversight of airborne operations for a command of over 2,000 soldiers. Tony has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and commanded units at every level including a premier Airborne Civil Affairs Battalion. Tony holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also graduated from the Inter-American Defense College in Washington, D.C., with a Master of Science degree in Inter-American Defense and Security. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and licensed Professional Planner in New Jersey and is fluent in Spanish and Russian
Another leader coming soon!!!
Contact our Chamber President, Francisco Cortes, at email@example.com