Chamber Leadership

Founder & CEO Jeff Cantor

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.

President Francisco Cortes


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. 

VP, Veterans Jobs Mike Diaz


As the founder and CEO of Semper Utilities LLC, Mike Diaz is an accomplished leader with over 30 years of experience in the utility industry. Being a Marine Corps Veteran, he takes pride in being a member of the Philadelphia and NJ Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. He started Semper Utilities in New Jersey because of a need in the industry to provide professional, safe and cost-effective utility construction services. Now, being poised for success in New Jersey and a plethora of other regions,Mr. Diaz uses his vast knowledge of the industry to deliver quality, efficientand safe work across the board.Being a goal oriented leader focused on results, team building and professional development, Mike has experience in analyzing and streamlining systems and operations to increase productivity. He quickly grasps complex concepts to analyze and interpret ideas into a logical strategy. Working to provide quality utility services while giving back to the community is at the top of Mike’s priority list, and expanding diversity within the utility industry is directly tied to the goals of Semper Utilities. With a diverse portfolio of experience working with companies such as PECO Energy, Northeast Utilitiesand Kenny Construction in a number of vital and executive positions, Mike is adept to leading employees and organizations to success. Without a doubt, Mr. Diaz is a passionate, hardworking, devoted and experienced CEO who strongly believes in keeping project communication open to all networks within the company in order to provide the best experience for employees, customers and the community at larg

VP, Fundraising & Meetups Lucy Del Gaudio


Lucy Del Gaudio is a veteran of the United States Army.   During her Active Service, Lucy served in the 39thFinance Support Unit in Hanau, Germany and supported 5thCorp – Frankfurt, Germany during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. During her Reserve Service, she served in the USAR Control Group, Fort Totten, Queens.  Lucy served as a Morse Code Interceptor and Administrative Specialist. 

Lucy is a strong advocate for veterans in the State of New Jersey. She is currently the 2nd Vice Commander of American Legion Post 18 (Weehawken, NJ).  The Township of Weehawken named Lucy the first female Grand Marshall (in the 87thyear history) of their 2018 Memorial Day Parade.  She serves as Co-Chair for the NJ SOS Veterans Stakeholders Women Sub Committee. Lucy was recently name an Ambassador to the Oscar Mike Foundation – a non-for profit formed to support the mission of keeping disabled veterans “On the Move”.  She sits on the Council of Veteran Advisors for the Intrepid Museum – NYC and the YWCA Bergen County as their Veteran Liaison and Volunteer.  She is the founding/former Chapter Captain Team Red, White and Blue Northern New Jersey and a member of The Mission Continues – Newark Platoon.  

Ms. Del Gaudiois a Program Manager, Prudential Advisors Onsite, Prudential Pathways.  She is the recipient of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Points of Light President’s Volunteer Service Award and received the 2016 Prudential Employee Volunteer of the Year, having volunteered 1286 hours for various Veteran Service Organizations.  She served as the Site Lead (Roseland Campus) for the VETNET Business Resource Group and is serving as the Chief of Staff for VETNET. 

Lucy grew up in Union City, NJ and is a graduate of Union Hill High School.  She is happily married and has four wonderful children.  She enjoys running, reading and going to concerts and Broadway. 

VP, Diversity and Inclusion Rafael Mata


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.

VP, Procurement Opps Stephanie Burroughs


Stephanie D. Burroughs is a dynamic and inspirational speaker, workshop facilitator, G.R.I.T. Growth© coach; government procurement and diversity certification coachfor minority, women, veteran and smallbusiness owners.She is the author and creator of Demystifying the Diversity Certification Conundrum(Digital Training Program) and the book,“Dating Your Business Prospect -Practical Strategies for Successful Business Matchmaker Meetings".For more than40years Stephanie D. Burroughs, a supplier diversity champion,has coached thousands ofbusiness owners;created, keynoted, presented, and moderated more than hundreds oftraining programs, seminars, webinars, procurement expos, paneland matchmakers.Her prior experience includes (but is not limited to) working in construction contract compliance monitoring, certification auditing, program development; human resources; and small business development for:Gannett Fleming Corrdry and Carpenter (GFCC), The Port Authority of NY & NJ NJ Transit Rutgers, The State University/Americas Small Business Development Center NJ; andBlue Cross Blue Shield NJ Recognized as an expert in her field and a trailblazer,Stephanie has received numerous awards andaccoladesincluding: Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and IntrapreneursPWC Woman of Achievement Award –Professional Women in ConstructionDena Coy Outstanding Woman Entrepreneurship Award–National Minority Business CouncilTheShirley Chisholm Award for Entrepreneurship presented by Honorable Sheila Y. Oliver, Speaker Emeritus NJ General AssemblyStephaniebeen featured on WACP, Channel 4 and channel 789 HD,WMBC cable TV, Comcast Cable TV, Princeton TV,and in Diversity Plus Magazine, NJ Monthly Magazine,and Newark Star Ledger;several localand universityradio stationsand internet podcastsand co-hosted a live-stream cable TV programB.S. Management –Rutgers UniversityHonorary Doctorate of Philosophy -Global Oved Dei Seminary & University

VP, Skills Development & Apprenticeships Ray Martinelli


VP, Vets in Tech Program Claude A. Jones


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.

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