Welcome to the New Jersey LGBT Chamber!
The NJ LGBT Chamber is the bridge to connect with New Jersey's LGBT, and allied business community. We are New Jersey's premier LGBT business organization dedicated to strengthening LGBT businesses in the New Jersey tri-state area.
Board of Directors
Stephen Blazejewski, CFP®, President
“I’m ecstatic to be on the Board of such a dynamic organization that makes an incredible impact on the LGBTQ professional community in New Jersey. Having the ability to meet so many fellow business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals motivates me to continue to grow my business and expand my network to better serve this community. Sometimes, it all comes down to who you know!” — Stephen
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Montclair State University in May 2017, Stephen joined Equitable Advisors (formerly AXA Advisors), becoming the only “out” Financial Advisor in an office of 200 employees in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Shortly thereafter, he joined the Chamber as a Volunteer on the Events Committee and in July of 2018, he was voted onto the Board as the Vice President of Membership. After more than tripling the membership base of the Chamber, Stephen shifted into the role of VP of Fundraising and Corporate Relations in January of 2021. In July of 2021, he was voted on as President of the organization, one of his proudest accomplishments to date!
In February of 2020, Stephen was recognized in BEQ Pride Magazine's Class of 2020 Forty LGBTQ Leaders Under 40 and in May of the same year, was appointed to represent the Chamber on Governor Murphy's Restart and Recovery Advisory Council in the wake of COVID-19. In September of 2020, Stephen became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, one of the youngest individuals in his company to do so and in October of 2021, Stephen was recognized in Insider NJ's OUT 100 Power List as one of the most influential LGBTQ individuals in the state of NJ.
Contact Stephen at Stephen@NJLGBTChamber.org
Joseph Renga, Immediate Past President
“New Jersey is the most densely populated state in America. We are one of the most ethnically, racially, religiously and culturally diverse states in the union. The New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the premier organization representing the LGBTQ+ business community. In my six years as a member of the board of directors this organization has afforded me access to innumerable inventive and dynamic business professionals, activists and politicians. Being a member can open a person's world on both a business and personal level." — Joseph
Joseph has been in the telecommunications industry for three decades. He is an independent consultant, sales agent, and project manager through JFR Telecom Consulting.
During the last 15+ years Joseph has created hundreds of LGBTQ+ business networking events in the New York Metro area, benefitting our influential community by connecting our entrepreneurs, executives and allies, with each other and the corporate 1000 companies all over the region. It’s a labor of love and a passion.
Contact Joe at Joseph@NJLGBTChamber.org
John Traier, CPA, VP of Finance
John graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers College (major in Economics) and a Master of Business Administration (major in Professional Accounting) from the Rutgers Graduate School of Management. He is a Deloitte alumni and served as Acting Commission of the NJ Department of Banking and then Director of the Division of Banking.
John was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2014.
Contact John at John@NJLGBTChamber.org
Laurie Seliger, Advisory Board Member
“I joined the Board of the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce because I wanted to be part of a dynamic organization that promotes the business interests and opportunities of LGBT entrepreneurs within our community and within our state. I’m excited to be part of this chamber." — Laurie
Laurie worked for over 25 years in scientific research in both academia and pharmaceutical settings. In addition to performing complex experiments, Laurie has extensive experience in laboratory set-up and management.
Laurie, with her business partner, Sherry Braun, owned Keylingo Translations of Princeton from 2011-2019, which was a certified LGBT-BE and woman-owned business enterprise. Leveraging these certification was a critical focus for their business that earned the trust of several large corporations as regular clients.
Contact Laurie at Laurie@NJLGBTChamber.org
Steven Garibell, VP of Supplier Diversity and Certification
Steven Garibell is a TD Bank vice president who heads up the Business development efforts for its LGBTQ initiatives in the US, with responsibilities not only for bringing the bank’s services to enterprises owned by members of the community but also working to ensure that TD is the top employer of LGBTQ professionals in the industry.
He has spent over 15 years fostering banking relationships with the LGBTQ community in New Jersey and New York. At TD he is the Co-Chair for the Metro NY Regional Diversity Council and a member of the LGBTQ2+ Diversity Leadership team for the US.
As part of his community outreach, he works in delivering business and community development into LGBTQ markets and neighborhoods, and leverages his skills and experience in professional networking through the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. At NGLCC, he is a member of the Certification Committee that verifies that participating enterprises are LGBTQ-owned and operated.
He has been an honoree of Gay City News Impact Awards, City and State Pride Power 100, Inaugural Edition of Crain's Notable LGBTQ New Yorkers, and City and States Bronx Power 50.
Contact Steven at Steven@NJLGBTChamber.org
Jacob Meola, VP of Membership
"The LGBTQ community has always been a second home to me. When I discovered the NJ LGBT Chamber, I fell in love! Finally, a business networking group that was more than just an exchange of business cards; and much more than sitting in a dimly-lit room at 7 a.m. chowing down on a stale bagel, waiting in hopes of a single referral. This was the family feel I have always looked for, and the connections I have made even during quarantine are long-lasting. I'm thrilled to use my position as VP of Membership to help grow the reach of the Chamber and have a real impact on the LGBTQ business community." — Jacob
Jacob Meola, a New Jersey native, has been known to do a little bit of everything throughout his 31 years on Earth. A Jake-of-all trades, if you will. He is known to many as Jake the Insurance Guy. An entrepreneur since birth, Jacob also recently launched an online bookstore with Amazon, and intends to turn it into a full-time operation. He also has an affinity for the fine arts and runs a page to sell artwork and commissioned pieces.
Contact Jacob at Jacob@NJLGBTChamber.org
Andréa Garcia, VP of Marketing
Andréa M. Garcia is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of COMMS/NATION, a full-service boutique Public Relations + Creative Graphic Design agency headquartered in Weehawken, New Jersey.
She has a decade of experience crafting award-winning communications campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, Non-Profit Organizations & Foundations, Private Equity, High-Stakes Litigation, Sensitive Crises Issues, and is a trusted-advisor to entrepreneurs and their portfolios. She’s a sought-after consultant to larger PR agencies on media relation strategies.
Andrea earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and minored in Anthropology from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. In 2010, she studied Philosophy in Athens, Greece at the Hellenic American University, and studied International Relations in Mass Communications travelling to Egypt, Romania, and Turkey during the Arab Spring.
She was appointed to the NJ LGBT Board of Directors in 2021 as the VP of Marketing.
Contact Andrea at Andrea@NJLGBTChamber.org
FOUNDING BOARD MEMBERS & PAST PRESIDENTS: