Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs of New Jersey for 2023. New Jersey’s economy is multifaceted and supported by a wide array of industries, most notably biotechnology, IT, telecommunications, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and publishing. The state continues to play a prominent role as a US cultural nexus, known for being one of the most multicultural areas in the county. This year’s awardees play a pivotal role in this globally connected community, navigating the financial departments of companies like Make-A-Wish America, Navitas Life Sciences, New York Red Bulls, Fortress Investment Group, and BetMGM.
Among our awardees is Demetrios Tserpelis, the Chief Financial Officer of Fortress Investment Group, which manages $45.7 billion of assets. Awardee Jose Valencia, CFO of ASA College, guided the institution to rejoin the national Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) organization. Also awarded is Michael Morack, the Chief Financial Officer of Medicago. Morack's unique strategic, analytical and practical financial expertise is a result of his notable experience, which includes leading a company to a listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of New Jersey for 2023.
1. Walter Tombs
Chief Financial Officer, Jersey Mike's Subs
Walter Tombs is the Chief Financial Officer of Jersey Mike's Subs. He first joined the company in 2016. Tombs is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the restaurant industry. He’s skilled in tax, management, strategic planning, accounting, and financial analysis. Prior to Jersey Mike's, he was a Partner CPA at McGuigan Tombs & Company. Before this, Tombs was a Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young, serving in tax and audit capacities. Tombs is a certified public accountant. He earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
2. Christine Millaway
Chief Financial Officer, Project Management Institute
Christine Millaway is the Chief Financial Officer of the Project Management Institute (PMI). Millaway is responsible for PMI's accounting, financial planning and analysis, tax compliance, banking, investment management, and procurement functions. She brings over 20 years of global finance leadership experience to PMI, including business and strategic planning, business process reengineering, enterprise system implementation, business integration, and international liaison expertise. Before joining PMI, she held several senior finance leadership roles in various business sectors, including electronic technologies, consumer and industrial products, and agricultural science at Dow Chemical, Rohm & Haas Company, and Zeneca (pre-AstraZeneca merger). Millaway is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of North Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting.
3. Anthony Pagano
EVP & Chief Financial Officer, Genmab
Anthony Pagano is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Genmab. He’s also currently the CFO Council Member of the CNBC CFO Council. Pagano joined Genmab in 2007 as Senior Vice President and eventually became the Executive Vice President. Later, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Genmab, Pagano was Corporate Controller and Senior Director of Business Planning at NovaDel Pharma, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company. He started his career at KPMG LLP, reaching the position of Manager, where he provided audit and M&A consulting services to clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies in a broad range of industries. Pagano is a certified public accountant. He received an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a BS in accounting from The College of New Jersey.
4. Cathleen Paugh
Chief Financial Officer, Make-A-Wish America
Cathleen Paugh is the Chief Financial Officer of Make-A-Wish America. She first joined the company in 2022. Today, together with their volunteers, donors, staff, and supporters, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 500,000 life-changing wishes and transformed countless lives worldwide. In addition to her role as CFO, Paugh is a Board Member of AAA Life Insurance and AAA Northeast. She also lectures at Rutgers University. Previously, she was the Head of Global Reinsurance Strategy at Prudential Financial, where she was for over 15 years. Paugh earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
5. Gary Deutsch
Chief Financial Officer, BetMGM
Gary Deutsch is the Chief Financial Officer of BetMGM. BetMGM is a market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment company. He was previously at LiveIntent, where he served as CFO and EVP of Corporate Development. He brings a depth of experience from his time at large companies like Disney and Lucent Technologies, a track record of successful acquisitions, and a strong understanding of early-stage venture capital and private equity-backed startups. Deutsch was drawn to BetMGM because of the chance to work at the intersection of sports and gaming. He has an MBA from the Wharton School and an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
6. Nicholas Hajjar
Vice President of Finance, Galaxy Digital
Nicholas Hajjar is the Vice President of Finance of Galaxy Digital, a technology-driven financial services and investment management firm. Galaxy Digital provides institutions and direct clients with a full suite of financial solutions spanning the digital assets ecosystem. Before this, Hajjar was at KPMG US for over five years, most recently as an Audit Manager. Before this, he was an Accounting Intern at Downtown Magazine. Hajjar graduated from Rutgers Business School with an MBA in professional accounting and from The College of New Jersey with an undergraduate degree in biomedical and medical engineering.
7. Jose Valencia
Chief Financial Officer, ASA College
Jose Valencia is the Chief Financial Officer of ASA College. Under his leadership, ASA College rejoined the national organization, Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU). He had previously served as ASA's Comptroller and CFO during the college's accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Prior to his work with ASA, he was appointed CEO of the New York Association for New Americans in 2004 when the organization reshaped itself as the number of refugees from the former Soviet Union declined. Earlier in his career, he was at the New York City Comptroller's Office as a Staff Accountant before becoming a certified public accountant, and eventually a Bureau Chief. Valencia graduated from Baruch College with a BA.
8. Kristen Fischer
CFO & Head of Business Operations, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
As Chief Financial Officer of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Kristen Fischer leads the Laboratory’s Business Operations Department, with responsibility for long-term financial strategy development, business-process improvement and operational efficiencies, innovative collaborations, risk mitigation, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, contract and compliance related matters, and the acquisition of all goods and services required by the Laboratory. The department is responsible for providing accounting, financial reporting, budget, procurement and contract management, internal controls, human resources, talent acquisition, employee relations, and general business services to the Laboratory whose annual funding is approximately $140 million, and employs over 600 employees.
Known for “defining a path to yes,” Mrs. Fischer works side by side with some of the top physicists and engineers in the world. She serves on the Executive Management Team, the Laboratory Leadership Council, the National Laboratory Chief Financial Officers’ board, the Standards of Ethics and Conduct Committee, the Budget and Human Resources Committee, and is a representative on the Princeton University International Forum Committee. Fischer recently spoke at the Advance, Grow, Accelerate (AGA) Annual Conference, where she spoke about the new business system implementation project underway at PPPL. Fischer was also a special guest of the Rosalind Franklin Society for recognizing women in science, where she delivered a speech about important roles in science for non-scientists. She earned a BA in psychology at Rutgers University, and an MBA in Business Administration at Georgian Court University (Delta Mu Delta).
9. Amy Pappas
CFO, PineBridge Investments
Amy Pappas is the CFO of Asset Management at PineBridge Investments, a private and global asset manager focused on active and high-conviction investing. Pappas has 17 years of experience. She began her career in 2005. She has proven experience in private equity, financial modeling, hedge funds, asset management, alternative investments, and financial analysis. Before joining PineBridge Investments, Pappas was a CFO at AIG Global Investment. Prior to this, she was a CFO of asset management Americas at JP Morgan Asset Management.
10. Lalit Mahapatra
Chief Financial Officer, Navitas Life Sciences
Lalit Mahapatra is the Chief Financial Officer of Navitas Life Sciences. He has over 18 years of experience in finance and accounting. Previously, Mahapatra was the CFO at Ecron Acunova. Prior to that, he was the Finance Controller at Schneider Electric India Pvt Ltd. Before that, Mahapatra was the Asst General Manager of Finance at Siemens Information Processing Service Pvt Ltd and Senior Manager of Finance at Pacnet. He is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Mahapatra has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Utkal University.
11. Charles Reinhart
Chief Financial Officer, Pacira Pharmaceuticals
Charles Reinhart is the Chief Financial Officer of Pacira Pharmaceuticals. Reinhart is responsible for overseeing all financial and capital market activities at Pacira, including accounting, financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations. Prior to joining Pacira, Reinhart served as Chief Financial Officer of Covis Pharmaceuticals. Before this, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Archimedes Pharma. Reinhart also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PharmAthene, a biodefense company engaged in developing next-generation medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats. His previous roles were at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon, and Osiris Therapeutics.
Reinhart earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree from Lehigh University.
12. Ozgur Kilic
Global CFO, Covis Pharma
Ozgur Kilic is the Global CFO of Covis Pharma. Kilic brings over 17 years of healthcare experience ranging from branded and generic pharmaceuticals to vaccines and medical devices in the US and Europe. Previously Kilic was the CFO of Vertice Pharma, a specialty generic pharma company in the US backed by Warburg Pincus. Prior to Vertice, Kilic spent 14 years at Novartis in progressive finance roles, including Country and Region CFO roles in the UK, Switzerland, Italy, and the US. He has significant experience in partnering with commercial, manufacturing, R&D, BD&L, and M&A teams at the operational and strategic level.
Kilic received his MBA in finance and investment with distinction from the Stuttgart Institute of Management Technology (SIMT) in Germany. He earned a BA in business administration from Koc University in Turkey.
13. Michael Morack
Chief Financial Officer, Medicago
Michael Morack is the Chief Financial Officer of Medicago. With over 30 years of experience in senior financial positions in the healthcare industry, Morack has unique strategic, analytical and practical financial expertise. As a part of Medicago’s executive committee, he’s responsible for the development of the finance and information technology strategy. Previously, Morack held positions of increasing responsibility at Merck & Co., from investor relations and planning to financial analysis and control. He was then appointed Chief Financial Officer and Financial Manager of Sanofi Pasteur-MSD. Prior to joining Medicago, Morack was Executive Vice President at ConvaTec Plc, a medical device company. Under his leadership, the private equity firm was transformed into a successful company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Morack is also a member of the Board of Directors of Giving Hope Network.
He is a certified public accountant and a certified management accountant. Morack has an MBA and a a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Rider University.
14. Dean Gels
Chief Financial Officer, Netrix Global
Dean Gels is the Chief Financial Officer of Netrix Global. He brings over 20 years of corporate finance and leadership experience to this role. Gels was previously the CFO at LRN. His work history extends to several high-growth tech companies. Earlier in his career, Gels was the VP of Corporate Development at Borderfree, managing the sale of the business to Pitney Bowes for $489 million. Prior to that, he was a Technology Investment Banker at RBC Capital Markets, completing more than 40 deals amounting to $17 billion in aggregate transaction value. He previously served as an Infantry Officer in the US Army. Gels has an MBA from Boston University and a BS from the US Military Academy at West Point.
15. Angel Denis
EVP & Chief Financial Officer, First Harvest Credit Union
Angel Denis is the EVP and Chief Financial Officer of First Harvest Credit Union. The credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services to multiple member groups but primarily serves federal, state, and local government employees. Denis first joined the company in 2018 as SVP and CFO. Previously, Denis was the Vice President and Controller at 1st Constitution Bank. Before that, he was a Chief Accounting Officer at Grand Bank. Earlier in his career, he worked with Provident Bank as an FVP. Denis earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from New Jersey City University.
16. Denise McGlone
Chief Financial Officer, Teachers Federal Credit Union
Denise McGlone is the Chief Financial Officer of the Teachers Federal Credit Union. This is one of the country’s largest credit unions, with $8.8 billion in assets and more than 400,000 members across all 50 states. In this role, McGlone is directly responsible for controllers, treasury, and enterprise risk management. She first got her start in 1984 as a VP of Marketing, Trading, and Global Derivatives at First Chicago Corporation. From there, she went on to Security Pacific National Bank before eventually rising to EVP and CFO at PenFed Credit Union. McGlone graduated from American University Kogod School of Business with an MBA in finance and an undergraduate degree in education from Dunbarton College.
17. Armine Arustamyan
Chief Financial Officer, EcoHealth Alliance
Armine Arustamyan is the Chief Financial Officer of EcoHealth Alliance. She’s an expert in nonprofit financial management. With more than 20 years of experience in accounting, her skill set spans budgeting, internal control, and reporting for complex nonprofits with multiple funding sources. This includes government grants, contracts, and an affiliate structure with a diverse program. Before joining EcoHealth Alliance, Arustamyan was a Managing Director of Financial Services at the General Board of Global Ministries. Before that, she was the Chief Financial Officer For Studio In A School at Quatrro. Earlier in her career, she worked as a Junior Researcher and Lab Technician at Yerevan State University.
Arustamyan earned a doctorate in business administration from California Intercontinental University and a master's degree in system management and industrial engineering from the American University of Armenia. She graduated from Yerevan State University with a master’s in physics.
18. Luis Garcia
Chief Financial Officer, New York Red Bulls
Luis Garcia is the Chief Financial Officer of the New York Red Bulls. He first joined the company in 2011. Originally from Mexico and an avid soccer lover, Garcia’s background is central to his work over the past two decades and key to his love of the sport, which he’s turned into a career. Previously, Garcia was a VP of International Finance at the National Basketball Association (NBA). Before that, he was a VP of Finance, Americas at Thomson Reuters, where he was for 16 years. Garcia earned an MBA in international business from Tecnológico de Monterrey and an undergraduate degree in public accounting from Universidad La Salle.
19. Carl Calarco
Chief Financial Officer, Symphony Talent
Carl Calarco is the Chief Financial Officer at Symphony Talent. Calarco leads Symphony Talent's finance, legal, and IT teams, utilizing more than two decades of financial and business operations. His experience includes serving as Chief Financial Officer at technology companies, Qognify and Createthe Group. He also served as Divisional Chief Financial Officer at DoubleClick, where he was critical to driving the company’s growth before it was sold to Google. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Calarco has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University at Buffalo.
20. Eric Kotlarz
Chief Financial Officer, Brazill Brothers & Associates
Eric Kotlarz is the Chief Financial Officer of Brazill Brothers & Associates, Inc. He first joined the company in 2006 and has been the CFO since 2018. Brazill Brothers, an ESOP company, is one of the largest electrical manufacturer rep firms in the country and currently represents New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC territories. Having worked in various roles of the company prior to taking on the CFO role, Eric was able to learn the business from the ground up. He has been instrumental in improving different areas of the business including operations, sales, and logistics. Taking what he had learned from his mentors and adding new ideas along the way, Brazill Brothers has seen consistent growth over the last few years. Eric holds his MBA from Rutgers University and a Bachelor degree in Finance from Stockton University.
21. Judi Pulig
Chief Financial Officer, York Telecom
Judi Pulig is the Chief Financial Officer of Yorktel Telecom. She’s responsible for the day-to-day management of all aspects of Yorktel Telecom, including strategic planning, accounting, forecasting, and budget management. Pulig supports the President in developing and managing the operating budget, oversees the coordination of all fiscal reporting activities for the organization, and reports to the CEO and Board of Directors in regards to securing new funding. In 2016, Pulig was recognized as a finalist in the NJBIZ CFO of the Year Awards. Pulig graduated from the Georgian Court University with a BS in accounting.
22. Michael Delvecchio
Miachel Delvecchio is the CFO of Prosek. He’s a seasoned finance professional with more than 17 years in the marketing services space, spending most of that time as a strategic financial partner across various successful firms. Before joining Prosek, Delvecchio was at the Interpublic Group (IPG) for almost 16 years, most recently as the SVP of Finance and CFO. Prior to this, he held various positions at Telcordia Technologies, PrimeMedia, and Miller Freeman. He is a Board of Visitors member for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. Delvecchio has an MBA from Monmouth University and a BA from Northeastern University.
23. Anna Volynsky
CFO, Hardesty & Hanover
Anna Volynsky is the Chief Financial Officer at Hardesty & Hanover (H&H). She joined H&H in 1997 and has been serving as the firm’s CFO for the last five years. Volynsky was instrumental in navigating the company through the challenges of the recent tough economic times while cultivating close relationships with financial institutions. Volynsky assists the company’s management team in developing the firm’s strategic direction, focusing on the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations and financial units. Volynsky graduated from the Pace University Lubin School of Business with an MBA.
24. Stephen Scott
Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer, Dodge & Cox
Stephen Scott is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Dodge & Cox. Dodge & Cox manages money for individuals and institutions using a single value-oriented investment philosophy across a focused set of strategies. Scott has a strong financial and strategic decision-making background, with a record of achieving results. Notably, he has delivered earnings and operating margin improvements in multiple global CFO roles. Scott first got his start as a Data Management Assistant at Barclays. From there, he went on to Lloyds Bank before eventually rising to CFO at Aflac Global Investments. Scott graduated from the University of Reading with an undergraduate degree in history.
25. Mark Ciano
Vice President of Finance & Administration, PNY
Mark Ciano is the Vice President of Finance and Administration at PNY. This computer equipment company delivers a full spectrum of high-quality products to elevate the overall computing experience. With over 30 years of experience, Ciano is a valued financial and strategic advisor. He utilizes this experience to lead a team of accounting, human resource, and information systems professionals. He began his career as a Senior Accountant at KPMG. In 2019, the New Jersey Tech Council honored him with the Caren Franzini Hall of Fame award. Ciano graduated from William Paterson University of New Jersey with a BA in accounting.