The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of its annual leadership awards. The winners will be recognized at a gala on Dec. 4 at the Tournament Players Club Jasna Polana.
Bernard Flynn, President and CEO of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, has been named business leader of the year. Flynn has served as president and CEO of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company since 2008, and as chairman of the board of NJM Bank FSB from 2009 to 2013. He joined NJM as a staff attorney in 1993. Before he joined NJM, he served as a New Jersey Deputy Attorney General from 1987 to 1993, serving as counsel for the state commissioner of insurance from 1991 to 1993.
Flynn is also the chairman of Choose New Jersey, an independent, privately funded and managed non-profit corporation created to promote New Jersey as a place to invest and do business. He has served as a Trustee for Public Media NJ, Inc. since 2011 and as a Board Member of the New Jersey Network Foundation from 2009 – 2011.
Bob Carr, chairman and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems, has been named innovator of the year. Carr founded Heartland Payment Systems, the nation’s fifth largest payments processor, in 1997. Heartland is a Fortune 1000 company. The company has grown from 25 to 3,000 employees, and now serves 275,000 business locations.
Carr spearheaded the Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative to promote fair card processing practices on behalf of business owners. He has been a driving force in the enhancement of payment card security and at the helm of the development of Heartland’s end-to-end encryption technology that is designed to protect cardholder data at rest and in motion throughout the cycle of card transactions.
Ben Weiss, founder and chief executive officer of Bai Brands, has been named entrepreneur of the year. Weiss created Bai Antioxidant Infusions in 2009. Bai is now available in thousands of retail locations in the United States.
In 1994, Weiss designed the Godiva Café, a coffee and chocolate partnership with U.S. theater chains that extended Godiva into the beverage market and introduced the brand to a wider demographic. In 2002, he helped transform the company from a seasonal gifting business to an everyday beverage destination by creating Chocolixir, a frozen blended coffee beverage that features pieces of Godiva chocolate as the key ingredient.
Linda Meisel, executive director of Jewish Family and Children’s Service, has been named community leader of the year. Meisel has been executive director of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County for the past 15 years.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service is a social service and mental health agency that provides a safety net for those residents facing difficult economic, social and emotional challenges in their daily lives. Last year the agency touched the lives of nearly 5,000 people. During her 15 year tenure, Meisel has expanded and diversified the agency’s programs and community services, as well as its relationships and partnerships with other Mercer County institutions. She has tripled the annual budget of the agency with innovative programs, including a professional development course for social workers and public programs addressing family issues.
Gala tickets are $250. For more information about tickets, packages, and gala ads or sponsorships, call Cheri Durst, director of events at (609) 924-1776 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.