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WPCNJ PAC to Honor Asw. Valerie Vainieri Huttle

Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey PAC


Valerie Vainieri Huttle

Former Assemblywoman, 37th Legislative District

Spotlight Award


Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 2005 and has served for nine terms until 2022 representing the 37th Legislative District. Throughout her time in the General Assembly, Ms. Vainieri Huttle has served as the Chair of the Assembly Aging and Senior Services, the Assembly Human Services, and the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committees. In 2015, she was named Deputy Speaker of the General Assembly. She also served on the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders (now known as the Board of County Commissioners) from 2001-2007 and was board chairwoman from 2003-2005.


Ms. Vainieri Huttle has sponsored several landmark laws including the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act, the Stephen Komninos’ Law, and the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act. She has also led efforts to reform the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and has been at the forefront of promoting LGBTQ rights.


Ms. Vainieri Huttle was an ex officio member of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and was one of the General Assembly representatives on the New Jersey-Israel Commission. In 2003, she helped establish the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood. Since 2012, Ms. Vainieri Huttle had been running the District 37 Young Women’s Leadership Program aimed at introducing high school students in her district to government and public service.


Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle attended Rider University and graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.A. in English. Since 1981, she has served as president and director of Vainieri Funeral Home, a family-owned business in North Bergen.


Valerie Vainieri Huttle resides in Englewood with her husband, Former Mayor Frank Huttle III and has two daughters, Alexandra and Francesca, as well as one grandson, Jackson.



The Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey (WPCNJ) expressed both horror and outrage over the leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court, which appears ready to overturn a woman’s constitutional right to safe and legal abortions. 
"Women have been fighting for equal rights and bodily autonomy far before Roe v. Wade was decided and this fight will continue unabated until a women’s right to privacy over her own healthcare decisions is properly enshrined. 
Elections have consequences that can last for generations. While we have been prepared for this egregious decision to come down, this draft opinion is no more palatable, especially for the countless women who will be disproportionately harmed if this opinion is final. We must remain steadfast in promoting and supporting elected leaders who will defend a woman’s right to choose and not just pay lip service. WPCNJ is just as committed as ever to endorsing and electing pro-choice candidates and we will continue to work with our allies across the country who are equally committed to protecting women’s reproductive freedoms and access to safe healthcare."
WPCNJ, founded in 1972, is a chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus, a multi-partisan organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected and appointed positions in government, protecting reproductive freedom and promoting equal rights for women.
For more information on the Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey visit www.wpcnj.org.

WPCNJ Congratulates the 2022 Passion * Power * Progress Award Honorees

The Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey hosted its annual Passion * Power * Progress Awards reception on Thursday, March 10th at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. The event was a great success, honoring those whose leadership, civic involvement and professional efforts have helped make New Jersey a better place for women.
This year WPCNJ was delighted to present the following awards to:
* Wanda M. Akin, Esq., Wanda M. Akin & Associates Mary Philbrook Award
* Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Legislative District 6– Good Guy Award
* Marshall McLean, Bank of America Good Guy Award
* Ørsted – Corporate Award
* Aisha Glover, Audible Social Justice Award
* Chrissy Buteas, NJBIAPresident Award
"Congratulations to this year's honorees for your well-deserved recognition," said WPCNJ Vice President of Finance, Sharon Shinkle Gardner. "Your hard work and dedication has helped elevate women's roles throughout New Jersey."
Special guest speaker Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz celebrated the achievements of the evening's honorees and expressed the need for greater representation of women in politics and government. 
The event was attended by State lawmakers, as well as several county and local elected officials.
The Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey is the only multi-partisan, pro-choice, grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women's participation in the political process and creating a political power base to achieve gender equality. We recruit, train, and support women candidates for elected and appointed offices at all levels of government and we sponsor community education programs designed to encourage civic engagement.
For more information on WPCNJ - please visit www.wpcnj.org

WPCNJ To Honor Wanda Akin, Mary Philbrook Award Recipient

Wanda M. Akin, was formerly the Managing Attorney for Chubb & Son, Inc.’s, New Jersey House Counsel law firm, Scanlon & Akin, and a Senior Trial Attorney and Of Counsel to Podvey, Sachs, Meanor, Catenacci, Hildner & Cocoziello from November 1994 through January 1998. For 24 years, Ms. Akin has maintained her solo practice known as Wanda M. Akin & Associates in Newark, NJ. For over 20 years, she has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy And International Relations.
Akin has over 39 years of experience as a trial lawyer in a wide variety of cases, including criminal defense (in the United States and International Tribunals), complex product liability, property claims, construction accident litigation, catastrophic personal injury, employment/labor, trademark and copyright, and other complex litigation (representing three New Jersey Municipalities and their respective Police Departments and personnel, in complex employment and personal injury litigation). She has been trial counsel in numerous cases in New Jersey State and Federal Courts, New York State and Federal Courts, Maryland State Courts, and in many other Federal Court actions throughout the United States. She served as counsel to an accused at the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. She is currently included in the list of counsel eligible for appointment to represent accused and victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and represents victims of the Darfur Crisis in the case against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir before the ICC.
She was a 15 year member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence, for 18 years was a Trustee of the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, formerly a Master in the Seton Hall Law School Alumni Association Inn of Court and served as a Presidential Appointee to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Committee on Judicial Administration. In 1999 she served as the President of the Seton Hall Law School Alumni Association.
Akin has taught International Criminal Law in the Seton Hall Law/American University in Cairo summer program in Cairo, Egypt and taught International Criminal Law and Peacemaking in addition to Peacekeeping In Contemporary World at the Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy And International Relations where she was 2005 Adjunct Faculty Of The Year. For several years she taught Criminal Trial Practice at Seton Hall Law School and has lectured and presented widely in the areas of trial advocacy, international law, human rights, media and persuasion, publishing/literary ventures and criminal trial preparation to lawyers, students, bar groups and to a wide variety of businesses and other citizens on various topics.
Ms. Akin has been a periodic guest commentator on Court TV, MSNBC, Inside The Law,(PBS) NJN (New Jersey Network); UPN 9 News and CN8 It’s Your Call. She covered the delivery of the acquittal of O.J. Simpson for America’s Talking and discussed the reaction of African American Women to the verdict on Rivera Live. She was MSNBC’s political commentator during the 2000 Republican and Democratic National Conventions and the 2000 Presidential Election. She is a frequent panelist/lecturer and seminar producer on issues concerning the trial bar and in particular, International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Wanda is also counsel to three publishing houses as well as authors and writers in literary matters. She has appeared on TODAY, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, Entertainment Tonight and New York’s NewsChannel 4 with respect to cases and with clients on literary matters.

WPCNJ Applauds the Passage & Signing of A5950/S4004

“The Women’s Political Caucus of NJ, Latina Civic PAC, PAM’s List, leaders from a coalition of Black Women, and the Democratic Task Force of the Bipartisan Coalition for Women’s Appointments applaud the passage and signing of A5950/S4004. This legislation will establish two databases that will document the gender and race of elected officials from the municipal level up and all those appointed to state boards and commissions. If this data can be updated on an annual basis the political parties, legislators, the Governor and the general public can have a full picture of who is serving in government at every level. With that knowledge our hope is that decisions about who gets appointed and who runs can be made with an eye to ensuring that more women and residents from historically underrepresented communities have equal opportunities to serve in positions of power and influence. The Coalition of Women’s Organization collaborated with former Senator Loretta Weinberg, Senator Nellie Pou, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, the NJ Legislative Latino Caucus and the NJ Legislative Black Caucus to draft the legislation and fund the effort.”


WPCNJ To Honor Ørsted, Corporate Award Recipient

Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey
Ørsted Offshore North America
Corporate Award
Ørsted is a global renewable energy company with operations in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America. Publicly traded since 2016 and headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted develops, constructs, owns and operates offshore and onshore utility-scale wind farms, solar, energy storage facilities and bioenergy plants and provides energy products to its customers. In the U.S., Ørsted Offshore North America employs over 150 people and is jointly headquartered in Boston, MA and Providence, Rhode Island. Additionally, the company is opening its newest headquarters for Digital Operations in Newark, NJ later this year.
Over the past decade, Ørsted has transformed from an energy company based on coal and oil to a global leader in renewable energy. In September 2017, the company divested from upstream oil and gas production and will phase out all use of coal by 2023. Ørsted is ranked the most sustainable energy company in the world in the Corporate Knights 2022 Global 100 index of most sustainable corporations for the fourth year in a row and will become carbon neutral by 2025.
As the global leader in offshore wind, Ørsted has built more offshore wind farms than any other developer in the world. In the U.S., Ørsted Offshore North America owns and operates the Block Island Wind Farm, America’s first offshore wind farm. Ørsted has secured ~ 5,000 megawatts of additional capacity through seven projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and is developing two projects in New Jersey: Ocean Wind (in partnership with PSEG) and Ocean Wind 2.

WPCNJ To Honor Aisha Glover, Social Justice Award Recipient

Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey
Aisha Glover
Vice President of Urban Innovation
Social Justice Award
Aisha Glover has over 15 years of experience as a champion and change agent for economic empowerment and social responsibility. As the Vice President of Urban Innovation at Audible, Aisha works to develop innovative solutions to exemplify what a company can mean beyond what it does. She's worked in Audible's headquarters city of Newark, NJ for the past six years, previously serving as the President & CEO for the Newark Alliance and Invest Newark. In both roles, she oversaw a range of innovative and community-focused economic development initiatives, in partnership with Mayor Ras J. Baraka, for the state's largest City-Newark. Aisha led the city's bid to attract Amazon for selection of its second headquarters, helping position Newark as a major destination city, strengthening the small business ecosystem, supporting a thriving entrepreneurial base and attracting corporations, investors and developers.

WPCNJ To Honor Marshall McLean, Good Guy Award Recipient

Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey
Marshall McLean
Senior Vice President and Institutional Client Advisor
Bank of America
Good Guy Award
Marshall McLean is a Private Client Advisor with Bank of America Private Bank in New York City and New Jersey. Marshall serves an ultra-high-net-worth clientele that spans generations and the nation’s geography – business owners, corporate executives, and families who have accumulated and inherited significant wealth. He also assists non-profit organizations including private foundations and colleges.
Marshall has a background in law and complex tax issues, but does not provide tax, accounting or legal advice in his role. His areas of focus include succession planning, concentrated equity positions, and intergenerational wealth planning. Marshall also works closely with non-profit organizations and their investment committees as one of a select circle of advisors that holds the ICA (Institutional Client Advisor) designation.
Before joining Bank of America, Marshall worked as a corporate transactional attorney*. In that role, he navigated critical transitions on behalf of business owners and their families, including mergers and acquisitions. He is experienced in multiple aspects of the corporate lifecycle, including the sale or transfer of multigenerational businesses, succession strategies, and wealth transfer initiatives. His previous firms include McCarter & English and Reed Smith.
Marshall earned his J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law where he was Lead Article Editor for the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. He received his B.A. from Bowdoin College.
Marshall serves on several non-profit boards including the Greater Newark LifeCamp, the Newark Museum and the Newark Boys & Girls Club. Married with three children, Marshall resides in Bernardsville where he coaches boys and girls lacrosse, and youth hockey.

WPCNJ To Honor Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Good Guy Award Recipient

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Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey
Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald
Legislative District 6
Good Guy Award
Assemblyman Lou Greenwald has represented New Jersey’s 6th Legislative District since 1996. He currently serves as the Assembly Majority Leader. During his tenure in the Assembly, Majority Leader Greenwald has led the fight on many key initiatives. He was the architect of the 2003 legislation to increase competition in New Jersey’s broken auto insurance market, which stopped a ballooning crisis in New Jersey and significantly increased the number of auto insurers in the State. Additionally, he was the lead sponsor on recent legislation to expand the use of design-build for New Jersey construction contracts, aimed to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness for the state’s procurement process. As a supporter of cancer research and trying to find a cure, the Majority Leader helped in bringing a branch of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey to South Jersey, ensuring South Jersey cancer patients would not have to cross the Delaware River just to get the treatment they needed. He also played an integral role in protecting charity care funding for our State’s hospitals, and he led the fight to get students vaccinated for meningitis before college. A leader on health care policy, Majority Leader Greenwald successfully fought to ensure all women in New Jersey continue to have access to affordable healthcare services, which were jeopardized by the federal government’s Title X “gag” order. Additionally, he was a critical advocate for legislation to create a state-wide healthcare insurance exchange, so that residents of New Jersey can purchase affordable healthcare coverage.
Majority Leader Greenwald has been a champion of the effort to reduce gun violence. He authored laws that, among other things, limited ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, banned-armor piercing ammunition, and closed the background check loophole. Recognizing that gun violence is a public health crisis, he also championed laws to stem cycles of gun violence through hospital-based violence intervention programs, which has gained broad support from gun control advocates and physicians alike.
Most recently, with New Jersey gripped by the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Majority Leader Greenwald fought to support Main Street businesses by sponsoring legislation authorizing the Economic Development Authority to award millions in grants and loans to struggling small businesses. He also sponsored a law which prevented potential billion-dollar unemployment payroll tax increases, to allow business owners to better recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
The Majority Leader has been widely honored and recognized for his legislative leadership and dedication to public service. He has received the Legislator of the Year award from the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the South Jerseyan of the Year award from the Walter Rand Institute, the New Jersey Elected Official of the Year award from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Consortium, the Standing Ovation Award from the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, and the Legislative Champion Award from the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research.
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WPCNJ To Honor Chrissy Buteas, President Award Recipient

Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey
Chrissy Buteas
Chief Government Affairs Officer
President Award
Chrissy Buteas is Chief Government Affairs Officer of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation’s largest state-level business association whose member companies collectively employ 1 million people.
Buteas also serves as the Executive Director of the NEW JOBS PAC, the State’s largest and most influential ideological business political action committee.
Prior to joining NJBIA, Buteas served as the president and CEO of the Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey, representing New Jersey home health agencies, hospices and health care service firms servicing the state’s Medicare, Medicaid and private pay patients. She serves on the board of trustees of Middlesex College, Girl Scouts of Heart of NJ and is a member of the Northern Board of Junior Achievement whose mission is to inspire and prepare young people in grades K-12 to succeed in a global economy through real-world relationships with business, government, and education partners that can help them develop the employability and financial literacy skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
Buteas serves as a member of the New Jersey Medical Assistance Advisory Council, New Jersey Small Employer Health Benefits Program and the New Jersey Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Commission, which responds to requests from the State Legislature to provide independent analysis of the medical, financial and social impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates.
She also serves on the board of Focus NJ, an independent research non-profit conducting timely, innovative, nonpartisan economic and workforce research, as well as the Boards of Associated Member Trust and the South Jersey Technology Park @ Rowan University.
Previously, Buteas served on the Murphy-Oliver Transition 2018 Healthcare team, as vice president of the Capital Impact Group, a public affairs and business development firm that advocates on behalf of nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies. She was also a policy specialist at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Buteas is also the former president and current board member of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to advancing women in government. 
In 2021, Buteas was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, NJBIZ's 2021 Next Generation of Leaders, a Barrier Breaker as part of Jersey's Best magazine’s Spring issue honoring trailblazing women in the state and recognized on ROI-NJ's Influencers: Power List for Government Affairs. In 2018, Buteas was named to NJBIZ’s Best 50 Women in Business list. She was named to NJBIZ’s “40 Under 40” and “Power 50 Health Care” lists in 2017, as well as the 2017 “Insider 100 Policymakers” list by Insider NJ.
Buteas holds an MPA from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark and a BA from Rowan University. She is also a graduate of Leadership NJ, a leadership development program, and served as a Raimondo Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is a member of the Rowan University Alumni Association and Eagleton Institute of Politics Alumni Association.

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