Statement from the NewJerseyPrideChamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors:
The NewJerseyPrideChamber of Commerce (NJPCC) President Stephen Blazejewski has resigned his position, effective Thursday, January 26th. The Board was made aware last week of Stephen’s decision to step down, and we fully support him as he focuses his energy on healing from the tragic loss of his partner and venturing on to the next stage of his journey.
The Board has currently launched a 30-day period to meet and vote on the next incoming Board president amongst its current directors and will send out an update in March. In the interim, Gus Penaranda, NJPCC’s Executive Director will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization until a new President is elected by the Board.
We would like to thank Stephen for his unwavering dedication and tireless work towards supporting and developing the foundation of the LGBTQ+ business community in NewJersey. Stephen started his NJPCC journey in 2018, when he joined as a Volunteer Event Coordinator, then on to VP of Membership, and was elected to be the President of the Board in July 2021. As president, Stephen made significant contributions in building the Chamber’s success, including:
Tripled the organization’s membership base under his presidency.
Became the youngest-elected President of a Chamber, at the age of 24, out of the more than 150 Chambers of Commerce in the Garden State.
Appointed to represent NJPCC on Governor Murphy's Restart and Recovery Advisory Council in the wake of COVID-19.
Assembled the largest Board of Directors in the history of the organization, as well as formed the Advisory Board and Ambassador Program.
Expanded into new territories of NewJersey to increase the organization’s reach.
Developed the NewJerseyPrideChamber of Commerce brand and implemented its rollout at the beginning of 2022.
Formed the NJPCC Foundation.
Led discussions with Governor Murphy’s office to pass the historic Executive Order No. 295 which calls for the inclusion of LGBTQ+-owned businesses in the state’s existing Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program, which will be launching in March.
The Board looks forward to building on the successful momentum and will continue advancing the Chamber’s mission as we kick-off our 2023 planned-strategy, events, partnerships, and new initiatives. Make sure to keep an eye on your email, because in the next couple of days we will be releasing our event calendar. We hope to network with you at a future event!