These Conversationalists are changemakers who are working to save the world through social justice initiatives or environment improvements to sustain the planet. The will inspire you with their commitment, compassion and courage to do the right thing.
Ben Strauss, Armond Kinsey, Jim McGreevey, Mike Stanzillis, Rev. D. Sidney S. Williams, Jr., Ayo Sanderson Wilson
Climate & Science
Dr. Benjamin Strauss serves as President, CEO and Chief Scientist at Climate Central, an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public. He is an expert on sea level rise and the architect of the Surging Seas suite of maps, tools and visualizations. Strauss has testified before the U.S. Senate and his scientific research has been cited by the White House and two Secretaries-General of the United Nations. He has won coverage in U.S. and International publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, and other international outlets in at least 110 countries and 29 languages. He has also appeared on national network news, nationally syndicated radio and documentary television. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Biology from Yale University.
Health & Pharma
Social Impact & Government Relations
|Former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey now serves as Chairman of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation which provides persons returning from incarceration with critically-needed services such as employment and training, identification and legal assistance, and links to medical and behavioral healthcare. Jim previously served as Executive Director of the Jersey City Employment and Training Program and also directed spiritual counseling for the women of the Integrity House Program at Hudson County Correctional Center. Having pursued seminary education and training at the General Theological Seminary, Jim conducted his field work with formerly incarcerated women and men at Exodus Transitional Ministry in Harlem. In addition to serving as NJ governor, Jim also served as State Senator, State Assemblyman, Mayor of Woodbridge, Assistant Prosecutor in Middlesex County and with the NJ Assembly Majority Office. McGreevey received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and holds a Master’s of Education from Harvard University. He is also the author of a memoir, The Confession.|
- MIKE STANZILLIS, Morris County Chamber of Commerce – VP, Membership & Government Affairs; Mayor, Mt. Arlington
|Mike Stanzilis has been a Morris County resident since 2002, when he and his family relocated from New York City to settle in the lake community of Mount Arlington, where he is now mayor and VP of the Morris County League of Municipalities. He has always had a strong sense of commitment to helping others and being involved in his community. While living in NYC he volunteered for the NYC Coalition for the Homeless, New Leash on Life Animal Rescue, and was as an NYPD Auxiliary Police Officer. Mike’s college years were spent in Boston at Berklee College of Music. He and his electric bass have traveled around the world, working as a music director on cruise ships, playing with notable artists, including Chick Correa, Ben E. King and Tony Orlando, and opening for bands such as Tina Turner, Santana, The Bangles, the Kinks and Hall & Oates. He performed extensively on music recordings, and has performed on Broadway. After retiring from a fulltime profession in music, he entered into the business world with Securitas Security Services USA managing a multi-million dollar portfolio and overseeing a staff of 1,200 people. Mike is originally from Rumford Maine and enjoys skiing every chance he gets until the spring thaw! In the not so cold months he likes golfing, boating, and camping with his Eagle Scout son, Michael Jr.
Find out here what Mike thinks is the best part of his job at the Chamber.
- REV. DR. SIDNEY S. WILLIAMS, JR. – CEO of Crossing Capital Group; Independent Board Director for Valley Bank; Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Morristown
|Recognized as a visionary and a transformational leader among community stakeholders and financial institutions, Rev. Dr. Sidney S. Williams, Jr., currently serves as CEO of the Crossing Capital Group, is an independent director for Valley Bank and the pastor at the Bethel Church of Morristown. He also advises several non-profit organizations, privately held middle-market companies and start-up ventures. With more than 30 years in corporate and community development, Rev. Dr. Williams has led diverse efforts to provide access to capital to marginalized communities. In 1990, he was the first graduate of Howard University to be recruited by Goldman Sachs. While employed on Wall Street, he advised c-suite level executives of Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries. He has made a continuous effort of identifying where theological and marketplace frameworks interact — and more significantly, where they should interact. He has pastored churches in Cape Town, South Africa and the USA, trained pastors and church planters on three continents, holds two masters degrees and a doctorate in ministry, and has written dozens of articles and two books – Morning Meditations:100 Days to Believing You’re Successful. Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, Jr. and his wife Teresa have four children.
Learn more about Rev. Dr. Williams’ impact on the Morristown community in this 2018 article from Tap into Morristown.
|Ayo Sanderson Wilson is a non-profit leader who founded and chairs the board of Empower The Village, a datadriven nonprofit focused on restoring prosperity, peace and power to the Black community. She previously served as COO and EVP for Cornerstone Family Programs & Morristown Neighborhood House. Before taking on leadership roles in the non-profit world, Ayo worked as a corporate senior executive. Most recently, she was VP of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation where she was responsible for completing the merger of the Comcast and NBCUniversal foundations. Before that, Ayo served as an Executive Director for the US Pharma Division of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. She began her professional career practicing law and serving in other corporate leadership roles for nearly 20 years at several Fortune 500 companies. In parallel with her professional career, Ayo currently serves as a Board Member for the Community Foundation of NJ, Better World Leadership Council, and the African-American Chamber of Commerce of NJ. Ayo has earned numerous awards and recognition for her professional and community-based work. She earned her JD from Columbia University, School of Law and BA from The Johns Hopkins University. Ayo resides in Morris Township with her husband and their two adult children. She enjoys reading, traveling, theatre, listening to Prince and spending time with family and friends.
Meet Ayo here and learn more about Empower the Village, her passion project.