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Each year the Supplier Diversity Development Council (SDDC) Annual Conference hosts over 200 attendees, representing New Jersey's largest Utilities and diverse business owners to share procurement opportunities and gain insight on how to strategically position their business before Utilities and Primes.
LaSonya Berry, an HR thought leader, has an exceptional track record of helping businesses and individuals achieve their full potential. A dynamic human resource professional, she has lent her expertise to a wide array of government agencies, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies such as Wells Fargo, IBM and General Electric for over 18 years. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson, Berry & Associates (McPherson|Berry), a multifaceted consulting firm dedicated to providing first-class HR consulting, leadership development, performance and talent management solutions.
Her propensity for achieving significant bottom-line results earned her IBM’s COM Award and the prestigious IBM Leadership Award. Since being at the helm of her firm, the company was recognized with the coveted Trailblazer Award by GWBC, a region of the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She has been awarded one of the 25 Most Powerful Minority Women in Business, one of the Charleston Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, and a WBENC Business Star. In 2015 (partnership) and 2014 her company made the exclusive HR industry Leadership 500 Excellence Award for leadership development and programs specifically for individuals in STEM areas. She has served on various boards including the Georgia SHRM State Council, GWBC and currently the CVMSDC board. A two-time Clemson University alumna, LaSonya holds a BS in Industrial Engineering, an MS in Human Resource Development, and ABD in Educational Leadership. She frequently writes human resources content and publications, is featured in several magazines, conference speaker, and she is a Performance Coach to CEOs. LaSonya authored several books including “101 Power Tips for the Workplace” and the "Weekly Strategy Planner" for business owners.
Peter J. McDonough Jr. is a public policy and public affairs professional with more than 30 years experience designing, directing, and executing successful efforts to promote policy initiatives, candidates, and the interests of public and private clients. He currently serves as the senior vice president for external affairs at Rutgers University.
Mr. McDonough is one of the few individuals to have served at the highest staff levels in both the executive and legislative branches of New Jersey state government as well as in the federal government.
He served in the cabinet of NJ Governor Christine Todd Whitman as her director of communications and one of her principal strategic advisers. As director of communications, Mr. McDonough directed all communications efforts for the governor including media relations, speechwriting, advance logistics, and message and image development. Those efforts were designed primarily to burnish the governor’s public image, to build public support for her programs, and to secure legislative approval for her ambitious legislative agenda. He was chief of staff for the NJ Department of the Treasury, where he also served as assistant state treasurer.
Mr. McDonough was the youngest-ever executive director in the New Jersey General Assembly, a position to which he was appointed in 1982 at the age of 29. In this capacity, he led staff research, policy development, and communications efforts for the Republican members of the lower house of the legislature during the first term of Governor Thomas H. Kean.
Mr. McDonough’s federal government experience includes twice serving as chief of staff for Congressman Dean A. Gallo and as an associate staff member of the House Appropriations Committee. His federal experience also includes serving as a consultant to the US State Department and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. McDonough was a founding partner of the Princeton Public Affairs Group, New Jersey’s largest and most prestigious public affairs firm. He founded M3/McDonough Public Affairs, an organization that specializes in managing government affairs and communications campaigns at the state and federal levels.
Mr. McDonough has, since 2001, served as an adjunct professor and visiting associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers where he teaches the institute’s seminar "Perspectives in American Politics" for master's and doctoral candidates.
Mr. McDonough has lectured and trained government officials and journalists in Russia, the Ukraine, Kosovo, Belarus, Palestine, and the Republic of Georgia. He was a consultant for the Agency for International Development (USAID)/National Endowment for Democracy in Romania and the Ukraine, and was an international election observer for the presidential elections in Nigeria in 2003.
Mr. McDonough has served on numerous boards and commissions including the NJ Economic Development Authority, the State Building Authority, and the Mercer County Board of Taxation. He was appointed and subsequently elected as a member of the Pennington Borough Council.
Op-ed columns written by Mr. McDonough have appeared in major newspapers throughout the US. He is a regular contributor to the Newark Star-Ledger and has appeared as an analyst for several network television affiliates.
Mr. McDonough is a graduate of Lehigh University.
Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and scholar, and as a leading voice for his generation in business and technology. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar consulting, research, technology, and analytics firm headquartered in Newark, NJ.
Dr. Pinkett has received numerous awards for business and technology excellence including the Information Technology Senior Management Forum’s Beacon Award, the National Society of Black Engineers’ Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the National Urban League’s Business Excellence Award. He has been featured on nationally televised programs such as The Today Show, Fox Business News, MSNBC, and CNN. In 2009, he was named to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s official shortlist as a potential running mate for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.
Dr. Pinkett is the author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business and No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash and co-author of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, which was named one of “The Best Books of 2010.” He holds five degrees including: a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University; a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oxford in England; and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering, MBA, and Ph.D. from MIT. Most notably, he was the first and only African-American to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University; he was inducted to the Academic All-America Hall of Fame, as a former high jumper, long jumper, sprinter and captain of the men’s track and field team; and he was the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, “The Apprentice.”
Born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Pinkett is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and First Baptist Church in Somerset, NJ, where he resides with his family, including a daughter and two sons. Dr. Pinkett firmly believes that “for those to whom much is given, much is expected,” so throughout his endeavors, he places great emphasis on his desire to give back to the community.
Richard S. Mroz, Esquire, was named by Governor Christopher J. Christie as President to the N.J. Board of Public Utilities on October 6, 2014. President Mroz also serves as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. Mr. Mroz was nominated by Governor Christie to serve as a Commissioner to the Board on September 18, 2014 and was confirmed by the Senate on September 22, 2014.
President Mroz is a member of the Electricity Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) which deliberates on policy recommendations and emerging issues as well as best practices in regulatory policies in the electric generation, transmission and distribution industries. He also serves on NARUC’s Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues—Waste Disposal, which deliberates on nuclear policy recommendations and emerging issues, as well as nuclear waste disposal. Mr. Mroz is the voting member representing New Jersey to the Organization of PJM States, Inc (OPSI) the official representative organization designated to interact with the regional transmission organization. Mr. Mroz is also a member of the New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities Advisory Council.
Mr. Mroz continues a long and distinguished career in legal affairs and public service. Before becoming President of the NJBPU he worked in private practice as a lawyer and lobbyist as Managing Director of Archer Public Affairs in Trenton, New Jersey and Of Counsel to Archer & Greiner P.C., in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
From 1991-1993 Mr. Mroz served as the County Counsel for Camden County New Jersey. In 1993 former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman appointed him to the first of several senior positions in her administration. He served as Director of Authorities and Governor’s counsel for, and liaison to, the State’s largest independent agencies. Governor Whitman then in 1998 appointed him as Special Counsel to undertake responsibility for a series of special projects
Governor Whitman appointed Mr. Mroz to be Chief Counsel in 1999. He served as the Governor’s primary advisor for legislative affairs, judicial and prosecutorial appointments, as well as, legal, policy and management issues of the State government. Governor Whitman designated Mr. Mroz as New Jersey’s representative to Philadelphia 2000 (Philadelphia’s Host Committee) for the National Republican Convention. In that position, he coordinated all of New Jersey’s efforts to support the 2000 Convention including numerous special events.
After his departure from state government in 2000 he continued to serve in various capacities in political and public affairs. He was appointed and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, which provides funding to member financial institutions in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He has served on the Bank’s Congressional and Regulatory Affairs Committee, is a founding member of the Bank’s Corporate Governance Committee, and was a member of the Board’s Compensation and Audit Committees.
Of particular note is that President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Mroz to the Commission on White House Fellows in 2007. This national non-partisan commission is made up of individuals who represent a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and professions. Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows program is America's most prestigious program for leadership and public service.
In 2012, Governor Chris Christie appointed Mr Mroz as a Commissioner of the Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA), a congressionally chartered bi-state transportation agency. The DRBA operates bridges, airports and ferries between New Jersey and Delaware including the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Cape May- Lewes Ferry.
Mr. Mroz also has been active with representations or service to professional and community organizations. He has been co-counsel and legislative agent to the New Jersey Conference of Mayors and was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. He was Chairman of the Board of the Volunteers of America of the Delaware Valley and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Alliance for Action and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Active with his college alma mater, Rick served for many years on the Board of the University of Delaware Alumni Association and served as the association President.
Mr. Mroz is married to Lynne A. Mroz, M.D. and has three children, Julia, RJ, and Caroline.
Yvette Mouton serves as an AT&T Supplier Diversity Manager. Ms. Mouton advocates and facilitates opportunities for minority-, women- and disabled veteran-owned business enterprises. In her capacity as a Supplier Diversity Manager, Ms. Mouton mentors current and prospective diverse suppliers to enable their maximum growth and professional skill sets. In addition, she manages all AT&T Supplier Diversity communications, and publishes a bi-annual Prime Newsletter that spotlights diverse suppliers and current diversity news and events. Also, Yvette Mouton participates on a myriad of panels to impart sage advice to diverse suppliers. Previously, Yvette worked as an AT&T Regulatory Compliance Director, External Affairs Manager and a Senior Contract Manager.
In 2016, Yvette Mouton was appointed to serve as the President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Supplier Diversity Development Council. The SDDC is comprised of representatives from major utilities that conduct business in the state of New Jersey. In 2015, Ms. Mouton produced and directed a “Success Stories” video that features women-owned businesses that have excelled as a result of their relationships and collaboration with the SDDC. In addition, Ms. Mouton is active member of several AT&T employee resource groups such as the AT&T Women of AT&T, Community Network, HACEMOS, and 50+ Professionals that foster her professional development and enable her to collaborate with volunteer opportunities (i.e. Habitat For Humanity).
Ms. Mouton is an author, motivational speaker, pro bono attorney, and television producer and talent. Yvette Mouton (a.k.a. Mother Mouton) is an advocate and mentor for foster care girls. Currently, Ms. Mouton is producing a talk show to provide professional development and life skills to foster care girls, and young women. In addition, Ms. Mouton serves as a Bethany Baptist Church Youth Ministry foster care volunteer and mentor. Moreover, Ms. Mouton is a volunteer motivational speaker at Twin Oaks Social Services where she motivates women who are suffering from mental illness. Also, Ms. Mouton mentors numerous young women to help them pursue their professional goals. Additionally, she is a Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) Alumni volunteer interviewer for prospective (GULC) students who reside in New Jersey.
In addition to Ms. Mouton’s extensive legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney before joining AT&T Services, she is fluent in Spanish and has spent most of her life volunteering on non-profit boards, and mentoring women, children and the underserved. Moreover, she has been a member of numerous boards such as the Child Advocates of San Antonio; the Girls Scouts Board; the Battered Women’s Shelter; the Rape Crisis Center; and the Inner-City Games Board.
Yvette Mouton is a graduate of Teaneck High School, Seton Hall University and Georgetown University Law Center. In addition, Attorney Mouton is a member of the New Jersey Bar; the District of Columbia Bar; the Court of Appeals Bar and United States Supreme Court Bar. She is the proud mother of two sons, Charles Mouton II and Aaron Mouton.
Currently serving as the Facilities Category Manager at Rutgers University, Michael has over 34 years of experience in the procurement field, earning the life time Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation in 2004. His experience encompasses operations, supply chain and contract management in the higher education and manufacturing sectors.
Wes Coleman joined the Rutgers’ University Procurement Services Team in 2015. Serving as Manager of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability, he is responsible for working with both internal and external stakeholders to lead the development, implementation and delivery of the university-wide Supplier Diversity and Sustainability strategies and policies. He has over 10 years of experience identifying business opportunities and providing training that advance the growth and development of diverse suppliers.
Prior to joining Rutgers, Wes served as Compliance Manager for the County of Essex, Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action.
Wes holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Hampton University, and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University.