Larry Banks is the Operations & Business Development Specialist for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP), a non-profit organization focused on the development and success of the manufacturing industry across the state of New Jersey.
Before joining NJMEP, Larry served as the Events and Government Affairs Manager for Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, a unique network of businesses committed to improving and advancing the cause of free enterprise in the Garden State.
Over the last decade, Larry has dedicated his career to cultivating powerful business relationships across the state as well as establishing innovative collaboratives with multifaceted business partners, community leaders and industry thought leaders.
A pundit in program and event management, Larry has been responsible for the curation and development of some of New Jersey’s largest business conferences, educational programs and political and philanthropic fundraisers.
Larry holds a B.A. in Communications and Public Relations as well as a minor in Sociology from William Paterson University.
Manager, Pro-Action Education Network & Workforce Development
Lisa Brett, CPM is a highly skilled, detail-oriented, strategic professional skilled at relationship building, who leverages a unique skillset for outside-the-box thinking with extensive experience managing multiple large-scale projects. Lisa brings a wealth of experience in her varied career; from working as an educator in New York City for ten years, to working as an Adjunct Professor and Field Supervisor at Centenary College, to her most recent role as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Mount Olive Township, where she was integral in coordinating Special Projects and fundraising for over a decade.
Outside of the workplace, Lisa is also a proud mother of four adult children (and one son-in-law)— Jacqueline Pignataro, Alexis Sullivan (Jeff Sullivan), Frankie Pignataro, and Jon Pignataro. She has also proudly served as an Ice Skating Instructor and Level 5 Hockey Instructor for USA Hockey for over four decades, and she has been the driving force behind Jon’s Journey—a nonprofit organization whose goal is to ease the journey of families with children who have been hospitalized due to brain surgery by providing financial assistance for travel.
Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, New York Institute of Technology
Masters of Reading Literacy CW Post, Masters Administration and Supervision, Brooklyn College
Certified Public Manager CPM, Rutgers
Boy Scouts of America Morris County, Toast to Scouting (2018)
6Christian is the Director of Workforce Development and Pro-Action Education Networkfor the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. NJMEP is a private, not-for-profit organization that has served manufacturing agencies for over 20 years; helping to reinforce a competitive edge to bolster profitability and competitiveness of New Jersey manufacturers. Backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NJMEP enables organizations to enhance their productivity and efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee performance.
Before joining NJMEP, Christian served as the lead in diverse and dynamic roles in higher education focusing on adult and continuing education, undergraduate and graduate programming/services, faculty development and support services, innovative operations and organizational development, and strategic planning.
Christian is a highly effective goal strategist targeting reducing cost, enhancing quality, with a no blame thought leadership approach. Over the last 15 years, Christian’s ability to effectively assess and implement progressive workforce development and skills proficiency offerings and developing career road maps with corporate entities have allowed for sustainable pipelines with industry and communities. These pipelines have brought to fruition the support of economic growth initiatives by providing industry identified and nationally recognized credentialling which have led to industry job growth. To further support state and county initiatives in economic development and growth, Christian has written, secured, and partnered with subject matter experts and industry leaders to assess, develop, and implement innovative strategies and programming; crafting focused solutions and training to enhance overall diversity and quality solutions to county and state-wide industry partners.
Christian’s highly effective contributions and support for the success of the manufacturing industry have spanned from the east cost to the west coast and brought in manufacturing team members from across the oceans, ranging from South America and Europe.
Christian holds a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems from Kean University and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt from the Rochester Institute of Technology.