Business & Finance

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr Named Among NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business for 2017


FANWOOD, NJ -- Mayor Colleen Mahr has been named among the Best 50 Women in Business Awards for 2017 by NJBIZ.

Mahr, who earns $1 annually to serve as Mayor of Fanwood, is Director of Business Development for DMR Architects, based in Hasbrouck Heights. She joined the firm in June 2015 to enhance DMR’s relationships in the public sector. Mahr has worked in economic development for almost 30 years since 1989 starting in the City of Jersey City. While in Jersey City, she managed the establishment of the city’s first charter school, the Golden Door Charter School.

She spent 1999-2003 working as Director of Development for Mosaica Education, a private company promoting charter schools throughout the U.S. Her project accomplishments included strategic plan development, site selection, construction oversight, and liaison work among the School Board of Trustees, Mosaica Education, and local government officials.  

Sign Up for E-News

From March 2014 – June 2015, she worked for the County of Union as the Head of the Division of Strategic Planning and Intergovernmental Relations, where she oversaw the Bureau of Transportation Planning and Bureau of Planning and Economic Development. In this role, Mahr worked with municipalities in Union County to retain and create jobs, and seek state and federal funds for economic growth.

"I am very honored and humbled to be recognized by NJBiz for the work I do in both the private and public sector," said Mayor Mahr in an interview with TAPintoSPF. "I consider myself very lucky to be among such successful women and the accomplishments that each makes to this great state of New Jersey."

Mahr is currently serving the second year of her unprecedented fourth term as mayor. Of 565 municipalities statewide, she is one of only 73 women mayors in New Jersey and one of the longest serving. She has overseen the transformation of downtown Fanwood, starting in 2004 and continuing today with the two final parcels slated for construction in 2017. Her leadership on this front earned the Fanwood a "Smart Growth Award" in 2014 and recognition in both editions of the New Jersey Handbook on Redevelopment. This success was also recognized in a May 2014 “Living In Fanwood” feature of The New York Times.

As a mother of three boys ages 14 and under, she proudly shares her story as she serves as a role model for other women.

Winners of the NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business Awards were chosen from all across the state, in a wide variety of industries and career paths. They include C-suite executives, educators, entrepreneurs and others. In addition to this year’s class, NJBIZ has chosen a winner of a special Lifetime Achievement Award, who will be honored at our awards ceremony.

The NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business Awards for 2017 (alphabetical) are:

  1. Leslie Anderson - Title: Executive Director, Company: New Jersey Redevelopment Authority Location: Trenton
  2. Agnes Antonian -Title: Partner, Company: Connell Foley LLP Location: Roseland
  3. Abby Ayoub - Title: CEO, Company: Optical Academy Location: Clifton
  4. Anne S. Babineau - Title: Shareholder, Company: Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A. Location: Woodbridge
  5. Addy Bonet Title - CEO, Company: Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ Location: Livingston
  6. Mary Ann Christopher - Title: VP, Clinical Operations and Transformation, Company: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Location: Newark
  7. Meg Columbia-Walsh - Title: CEO, Company: WYLEI Location: Jersey City
  8. Chris Costello Title: VP - Technical Sales & Engineering, Company: AT&T Location: Bedminster
  9. Jeanne Cretella - Title: President, Company: Landmark Hospitality Location: Jersey City
  10. Christine D'Agostino - Title: VP, Operations, Company: Carpenter Contractor Trust
  11. Patricia Daquila - Title: Senior Tax Advisor, Company: Lassus Wherley Location: New Providence
  12. Alfa Demmellash - Title: Co-founder and CEO, Company: Rising Tide Capital Location: Jersey City
  13. Linda M. Doherty - Title: CEO and President, Company: New Jersey Food Council Location: Trenton
  14. Jill Draper - Title: President, Company: Marketsmith Inc. Location: Cedar Knolls
  15. Nana Duncan - Title: Co-founder, Company: TD + Partners Location: Maplewood
  16. Henrietta Fuchs Title: Senior Manager, Company: CohnReznick LLP Location: Roseland
  17. Carleen Gaskin - Title: Partner, Company: WithumSmith+Brown P.C. Location: Paramus
  18. Jill Gateman - Title: Executive VP, Company: PNC Bank Location: East Brunswick
  19. Toba Grossbaum - Title: Co-founder and COO, Company: Friendship Circle/Life Town Location: Livingston
  20. Carolyn Hall - Title: Director of FWRD Services, Company: Wiss & Co. LLP Location: Livingston
  21. Maureen Hassett - Title: SVP, Governance, Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Company: NJ Economic Development Authority Location: Trenton
  22. Jennifer Kay - Title: Managing Partner, Company: The Stevenson Group Location: Fort Lee
  23. Bethmara Kessler - Title: SVP – Integrated Global Services, Company: Campbell Soup Co. Location: Camden
  24. Galit Kierkut - Title: Member, Company: Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. Location: Newark
  25. Caryn Kopp - Title: "Chief Door Opener," Company: Kopp Consulting Location: Bedminster
  26. Kris Kucsma - Title: Principal and Senior Economist, Company: Sobel & Co.; Sobel Tinari Economics Group (STEG) Location: Livingston
  27. Jane Lally - Title: VP, Aon Hewitt Global Operations & Technology, Company: Aon Hewitt Location: Bridgewater
  28. Kathleen Lally - Title: VP Investor Relations, Company: PSEG Location: Newark
  29. Colleen Mahr - Title: Director of Business Development, Company: DMR Architects Location: Hasbrouck Heights
  30. Mary Makfinsky - Title: SVP, Regional Treasury Management Company: Wells Fargo & Co. Location: Summit
  31. Roseann Mazzeo - Title: Sister Company: Women Rising Inc. Location: Jersey City
  32. Kathy Naasz - Title: Dean for Social Media Center of Expertise, Company: Centenary University Location: Hackettstown
  33. Jayne O'Connor - Title: VP of Communications, Company: Taft Communications Location: Lawrenceville
  34. Lisa Osofsky - Title: Partner, Executive Committee Member, Company: Mazars USA LLP (formerly WeiserMazars LLP) Location: Edison
  35. Camille V. Otero - Title: Director, Real Property & Environmental Department, Company: Gibbons P.C. Location: Newark
  36. Hetal Parikh - Title: President, Company: Rangam Consultants Inc. Location: Somerset
  37. Lorraine Salvo - Title: Managing Director/Client Advisor, Company: Massey Quick & Co. LLC Location: Morristown
  38. Asha Saxena - Title: CEO, Company: Future Technologies Inc. Location: Plainfield
  39. Maria Sheridan - Title: Senior Director, Government Affairs and Business Development, Company: Morristown Airport/DM Airports Ltd. Location: Morristown
  40. Jenna Smith - Title: Managing Partner and COO, Company: Smith Design Associates LLC Location: Morristown
  41. Lynn Spence - Title: SVP, Director of Human Resources, Company: T&M Associates Location: Middletown
  42. Deanna Sperling - Title: CEO and President, Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center Company: RWJ Barnabas Health Location: Toms River
  43. Sherrie String - Title: Chief Human Resources Officer, Executive VP Company: Hackensack Meridian Health Location: Hackensack
  44. Gale Tenen Spak - Title: Associate VP, Company: New Jersey Institute of Technology Location: Newark
  45. Eva Turbiner - Title: CEO and President, Company: Zufall Health Location: Dover
  46. Amy Valentine - Title: CFO, Company: Sferra Fine Linens Location: Edison
  47. Kim Vierheilig - Title: VP, Company: Lan Associates Engineering Planning Architecture Surveying Inc. Location: Midland Park
  48. Susan Vitale - Title: Chief Marketing Officer, Company: iCIMS Location: Matawan
  49. Janice Warner - Title: Dean, School of Business & Digital Media, Company: Georgian Court University Location: Lakewood
  50. Linda Wellbrock - Title: Founder and CEO, Company: Leading Women Entrepreneurs Location: Clinton

The 2017 event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. March 20 at The Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Ave., Somerset.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Small Fire Extinguished at Addams Tavern in Westfield

June 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It likely started with a smoldering cigarette, according to Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Tiller.

The fire that started in a flower planter on an outside deck on the second floor of Addams Tavern Wednesday caused a lot of smoke as it spread to the flooring, but only about a three-foot by three-foot area was damaged, Tiller said.

The restaurant at 115 Elm St. is ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Watson Coleman Statement on Shooting at Trenton Art All Night

June 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

I am saddened and angered at the violence that took place at Art All Night (in Trenton) early this morning, and I am praying for all of the families involved, but, as I’ve said before, that’s not enough. After every shooting, we talk about motive, mental illness and every other distraction from the real problem — guns.

New Jersey has some of the strongest gun ...

Scotch Plains Library to Host Teen Afternoons in Summer

June 18, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- In lieu of the Scotch Plains Library’s after school club, the teen department will host weekly summer programs for patrons in grades 5-12. Starting on July 2, teens are invited to hang out, play games, and make crafts every Monday at 3 pm. 

Starting on July 11, the library will offer special programming every other Wednesday at 3 pm. Rock candy, slime, and ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

LifeWay’s 2018 Vacation Bible School at Terrill ...

Religions And Spirituality


Mon, July 9, 10:00 AM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Join the Summer Jewelry Making Club at the Scotch ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness Home & Garden