Meet our Board


Gordon Haas

Founder & President

Gordon has an eclectic educational and professional background. His interest in the Sciences led him to a Ph.D in Anatomy from UMDNJ. His medical school students always voted his classes the most popular but computerized medical education was making a debut and Gordon pursued other interests.
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John Perry


John began his career in the aviation industry with Eastern Airline in 1966 as a reservation agent in New York City. During his twenty-five year tenure, he had a history of promotions through increasingly responsible positions that led him to work at several airports throughout the States.
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Andrew Gaffney

Vice Chairperson

Andrew serves as a loan officer on UCEDC’s lending team. He is responsible for new business development and loan packaging for UCEDC’s loan products, including micro-loans, Community Advantage 7a loans, and SBA 504 Commercial Real Estate loans.

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Denise Palazzo

Vice Chairperson

Denise Palazzo is the General Manager of The Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, NJ. Her varied career included the opening and construction of the Jersey Gardens Mall, VP of stores for the Federal Department stores (Macy's) and Merchandise Buyer for Macy's in Women's Sportswear.
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William Holzapfel


William R. Holzapfel was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1959 and has been the City Attorney of Elizabeth, New Jersey, since 1993.
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Reinaldo Cruz


Northfield Bank appointed Reinaldo Cruz as Vice President and Area Manager.  Mr. Cruz  manages Northfield’s Union and Westfield branches. Reinaldo will be responsible for the day to day operations of the Union branch along with developing new business in the area. Northfield’s Union office opened in 2012.

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Merrit Duffy

Past Chairperson

I am the very proud 4th generation owner of my family’s insurance agency located in the city of Elizabeth established in the late 1800’s. I can’t imagine ever relocating to another area because our city’s vibrancy and strength of perseverance excites me and is ever-expanding in its improvements.

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Marcy Metz

Past Chairperson

Marcy is President of BJ&M Auto Inc. and ASISCO Automotive Company Inc., located in Elizabeth, NJ. She holds a NJ state inspector license and a NJ state diesel emission repair technician license. ASISCO is an automotive and truck warehouse distributor.

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Emerson Amador

Emerson Amador is a bilingual, full-time real estate broker and REALTOR who has been licensed in New Jersey for over 26 years. Emerson is a Westfield resident who was born and raised in Union County. He has been involved in community improvements and events over the past several decades. He has experience in all surrounding communities.

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Giovanni Antonuccio

Giovanni Antonuccio is the General Manager of Client Services at APM Terminals Elizabeth, LLC. (an independent business unit of the A.P. Møller – Maersk Group.) Throughout his 15-year tenure at APM, he has held various leadership positions at the terminal ranging from marine and yard operations and has also earned his Six Sigma certification.

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Nancy DiLiegro, PhD, FACHE

Dr. Nancy DiLiegro, FACHE, is the Chief Clinical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations and Physician Services at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
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David Gibbons

Dave Gibbons serves as CEO of Elberon Development Group, a family commercial real estate business that owns and operates approximately 2 million square feet of commercial industrial space in northern New Jersey.

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Stephen Hehl

Stephen Hehl, a founding partner of the firm, has vast experience in the area of land use and development, zoning and planning law along with commercial litigation and complex real estate and business transactions.
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Ben Hertz

Ben Hertz is the Store Manager of Elmora Healthcare and the Owner/Franchisee of the UPS Store inside the pharmacy.  Ben graduated Westfield High School in 1999 and continued his education at The Chubb Institute with a degree in Computer Network Design and Troubleshooting.

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Lisa Hiscano

Lisa is the Executive Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. She oversees the Industry-Business Institute, the Continuing Education department, the Union County Workforce Innovation Business Center, and the Center for Economic and Workforce Development.

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Carmine Liotta

Carmine Liotta born Elizabeth, New Jersey, January 28, 1939; admitted to bar, 1965, Pennsylvania; 1965; U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit; 1966, New Jersey; 1973, U.S. Supreme Court. Education: Cornell University (A.B., 1961); University of Pennsylvania (LL.B., 1964).

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Ana Liranzo

There is a relatively small segment of leaders in the business world; individuals who seem able to build relationships, trust, and rapport with almost anyone, and then are able to broker the relationships and make connections between people, creating partnerships and alliances, and motivating forward momentum to get things done.

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John Long

John Long is a seasoned professional and advisor in the financial services industry. As Senior Vice President of EPIC Wealth Management, LLC, he has an extensive track record of financial success with business and individuals. His commitment goes beyond building wealth potential, to the needs far too many advisors miss.

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Brie Parker

As a Sustainable Solutions Representative, Brie Parker is responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships through community outreach activities and acts as Covanta’s liaison with neighborhood leaders and organizations.
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Steven Pesce, Sr.

Steve Pesce is the owner of Elizabeth Truck Center, a full service Commercial Collision Repair Center with facilities in New Jersey, New York City and Eastern Long Island. Along with his Dealership, Steve business is a Distributors of Miller and Chevon Wrecker and Tow equipment.

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Carmen Rivera

Carmen Rivera is the Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager for Investors Bank in Elizabeth. The company’s core values (Character, Commitment, Community and Cooperation) reflect her own core values for life. She is also a real estate agent and finds joy in helping people reach the goals they set out for themselves.

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