Key Executives is pleased to announce The Top 25 COOs of New Jersey for 2024. Considered the "Medicine Chest of the World," New Jersey is home to several companies engaged in the development of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products, as well as healthcare institutions committed to medical research and manufacturing. The Chief Operating Officers highlighted in this list play an important role in the success of these industries and beyond. From financial technology to cybersecurity and insurance, these dedicated individuals have done their part to keep New Jersey expanding as the home of more than 20 Fortune 500 companies.

Among this year’s awardees is Krishnan Viswanadhan of Be Biopharma, a pioneer of Engineered B Cell Medicines that have the power to improve the lives of patients who are living with Hemophilia B and other genetic diseases, including cancer. Another honoree is Amie Hibbins of LevelUP. Dedicated to modernizing talent acquisition, Aime and her team design customized, sustainable, and DE&I-focused solutions that support companies all over the world. Last but definitely not least on the list is Brian Pike, president and COO of RhythMedix—the developer of the first and only mobile cardiac monitoring device.

Hundreds of distinguished leaders were evaluated for this year's accolade, and the selected recipients contribute greatly to organizational advancements across their industries. Please join us in recognizing the accomplishments of the Top 25 COOs of New Jersey for 2024.


1. Andrew Schwartz
Chief Operating Officer, Care Advantage

Andrew Schwartz is the Chief Operating Officer of Care Advantage. Founded in 1988, Care Advantage offers in-home care services to patients across Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Delaware. The company’s personal care aides, certified nursing assistants, skilled nurses, and therapists provide individuals and their families with the care they need from the comfort of their homes.

From data analytics and operational execution to strategic planning and performance management, Schwartz guides his team of experienced leaders to assist families in keeping their loved ones safe at home. As the former chief of staff for Elara Caring, he understands the home health and hospice landscape and recognizes the challenges for both clients and caregivers. With a track record of more than 15 years of creating real value for stakeholders, Schwartz’s other past positions include vice president at Blue Wolf Capital, and analyst at Citigroup. Schwartz earned an undergraduate degree in finance and international business from NYU Stern School of Business.



2. Billy Corrigan
Chief Operating Officer, Alera Group

Billy Corrigan is the COO of Alera Group. Serving thousands of clients, Alera Group was created through the merging of 24 high-performing, entrepreneurial offices across the U.S. The company’s insurance and financial services include employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, and wealth and retirement plans. 

Prior to joining the firm, Corrigan served as the chief financial officer for the international division at Marsh. He was responsible for the financial results of Marsh’s $3 billion business outside of North America. Corrigan also served as CFO of Marsh & McLennan Agency—a newly formed company within Marsh at the time—where he focused on growing middle-market businesses in the U.S. through acquisitions of independent agencies. Corrigan earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Caledonian University located in Glasgow. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.


3. Scot McCallum
Chief Operating Officer, eTeam

As COO of eTeam, Scot McCallum contributes to the company’s commitment to client satisfaction and profit and loss responsibility. It provides customized, strategic staffing solutions for enterprise-level projects. The company’s approach consistently results in accelerated hires, lower costs, reduced risks, and better service for its clients across North America.

McCallum has spent more than 40 years of his career focused on P&L within several industries. His past experience includes serving as the vice president and head of technology at Volt, senior vice president of Artech LLC, vice president of operations at ABTS, Inc., and multiple managerial positions at Ajilon Consulting. McCallum graduated from UW Foster School of Business with an undergraduate degree in business administration and management.


4. Gregg Spratto
Chief Operating Officer, Sovos

Gregg Spratto is the chief operating officer of Sovos, a global provider of tax, compliance, and trust solutions. Sovos’ scalable, IT-focused solutions are designed to meet the demands of an evolving and complex global regulatory landscape. Its cloud-based software platform offers a high-quality level of integration with business applications and government compliance processes.

As COO, Spratto manages Sovos’ business operations, working with the executive team and other business leaders to establish greater levels of efficiency through data-driven decisions. During his career, Spratto has been part of more than 25 acquisitions and has participated in the successful sale of multiple companies. He is known as a creative operational strategist with a wealth of knowledge about robotic process automation and artificial intelligence.

Previously, Spratto was a president and chief transformation officer at Magnit, as well as a president and chief transformation officer at PRO Unlimited. He’s also held a number of senior-level operations roles at Cision and Autodesk. Spratto earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and political science from Indiana University Bloomington.


5. Jeff Wadsworth
Chief Operating Officer, Sazerac Company

Jeff Wadsworth is the chief operating officer of the global spirits company, Sazerac. With almost 400 years of history, Sazerac Company has thrived as an independent, family-owned company since its early beginnings as a small vineyard and distillery in 1630. Today, it is one of the world’s largest distilled spirits companies—owning brands such as Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Paddy Irish Whiskey, Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, and Southern Comfort.

Wadsworth has 36 years of experience, with expertise in supply chain systems and optimization, operation management, delivery system integration, and strategy development and execution. His work at Sazerac has contributed to various milestones, including a $1.2 million expansion of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s whiskey production. Prior to joining Sazerac Company, Wadsworth was an SVP of global operations transformation at PepsiCo. Before that, he worked with Frito Lay, Inc., working his way up from supply chain manager to distribution director to regional supply chain VP. Wadsworth graduated from Penn State University with an undergraduate degree in economics.


6. Srivatsa Sampath
Chief Operating Officer – Americas, Diamondpick

As the COO of Americas at Diamondpick, Srivatsa Sampath supports the new-age talent solutions company in their mission to support enterprises in the digital technology and operations industry. Diamondpick strives to be an enabler of business success for its clients by leveraging data, technology, and the organization’s expertise in the market. Headquartered in Chennai, India, they have a global presence.

Sampath’s areas of expertise include financial operations and cloud management, technology and enterprise business management, and financial planning and analysis. Prior to his role at Diamondpick, Sampath worked at Guardian Life for 15 years as the director of financial planning and analysis. Before that, Sampath worked at Satyam Computers as a senior project manager, where he led the PeopleSoft implementation team and engaged in various global client projects. 

Sampath has many educational accolades, including a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Madras, and a degree in cost and management accounting from The Institute of Cost Accountants of India. He also attended the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, specializing in company and corporate law, and became a chartered accountant at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.


7. Johan Claassen
Chief Operating Officer, Spencer

Johan Claassen, the COO for Spencer Technologies, supports the global IT solution and service company in its mission to provide reliable onsite and customized programs for companies across the world. For over 45 years, Spencer has offered a holistic approach to core services to support their clients’ success. As the chief operating officer, Claassen is responsible for the delivery of all Spencer’s services, the profitability of the company, and the satisfaction of its employees and clients. 

With more than 25 years of experience, Classen has worked in operations and sales management, P&L management, acquisitions, and more. Prior to his current role, Claassen worked as the COO at Diversified for several years, and as a director and VP of multiple departments at Emerson Automation Solutions for over a decade. Claassen has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria. In addition to his work, he has served as a board member of the Technology Services Industry Association’s (TSIA) Industrial Equipment Advisory Board and is a member of the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals.


8. Jonathan Ferrara
Chief Operating Officer, Vestwell

Jonathan Ferrara is the chief operating officer of Vestwell Trust Co. and the Managing Director of its platform solutions. Vestwell is a fintech engine dedicated to savings and investment programs for businesses and individuals. The company’s mission is to close the savings gap by offering flexible, cost-effective solutions to help more people save for retirement, education, and healthcare. Vestwell currently serves more than 50,000 businesses and over one million savers, supporting $30 billion in assets in all 50 states. 

Ferrara’s contributions at Vestwell have led to significant milestones, including a $125 million Series D equity round that established the company as one of the largest US fintech funding success stories of 2023. With over 20 years of experience, Ferrara’s past roles include senior vice president at FolioDynamix, project manager at JPMorgan Chase, and business analyst at State Street. Ferrara graduated from Rutgers University–Newark with an MBA in business strategy and information technology. He also has an undergraduate degree in finance from Boston College.


9. Joe Kubulak
Chief Operating Officer, Specialty Rx, Inc.

As the chief operating officer of Specialty Rx, Inc., Joe Kubulak supports full-service pharmacy providers by overseeing operations and account management, as well as expansion and multisite integration. Specialty Rx facilitates the complete medication dispensing process for subacute and long-term care facilities. The company forms strong partnerships with customers, supporting them with the medications they need.

Kubulak originally joined Specialty Rx as the VP of operations, before quickly making his way to COO. He’s now been with the company for over 12 years. With over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Kubulak previously served as the director of pharmacy for 15W Pharmacy. He later joined Chem Rx as a general manager, then director of operations for their pharmacy services, before working his way up as the regional director of operations, and eventually becoming the director of pharmacy. Before this, Kubulak attended Rutgers University–Newark, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy. 


10. Amie Hibbins
Chief Operating Officer, LevelUP

Amie Hibbins is the chief operating officer of LevelUP. She first joined the talent acquisition company in 2014, a few years after its founding. On a mission to modernize talent acquisition, LevelUP offers customized, sustainable, and DE&I-focused solutions to clients across the globe. Utilizing agency search techniques, innovative technology, and brand management, they support some of the best-known companies within technology, fintech, wellness, financial services, management consulting, production, data and analytics, retail, biotechnology, and healthcare.

Hibbins has played a pivotal role in the organization’s evolution and growth, optimizing operations, implementing standardized client delivery processes, and enhancing overall capabilities and services. This has contributed to establishing LevelUP as a trusted industry leader. Previously, Hibbins was a talent acquisition manager at Capco, a senior recruitment consultant at Huxley Associates, and a researcher with Blue CRM. She earned an undergraduate degree in politics and international relations from the University of Reading.


11. Jennifer Nevins
Chief Operating Officer, PS&S

Jennifer Nevins, CMCA, serves as the chief operating officer of PS&S. Founded in 1962, PS&S has evolved into an architecture, engineering, surveying, and environmental consulting firm over the years. The company provides design and consultation services to a wide range of public, corporate, institutional, and commercial clients; and serves as a resource for planning, permitting, and design at the local, state, and federal levels. 

Nevins was previously a principal of DW Smith Associates and continues to be an active Business Partner of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) of New Jersey, Pennsylvania/Delaware Valley, Hudson Valley, North Carolina, and South Gulf Coast (Florida) Chapters. She served on the Executive Board of Directors for six years and was the CAI New Jersey Chapter President in 2020. Nevins graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor of science degree. 


12. Jesse Read
Chief Operating Officer, TheoremOne

Jesse Read is the COO of TheoremOne, an innovation and engineering company that advises clients on product strategy, engineering, design, and culture. It then partners with them to build and launch technology-driven solutions to their most complex problems. 

As chief operating officer, Read is focused on improving systems and processes while building cross-functional teams. His contributions help support TheoremOne’s global team of engineers, designers, technologists, researchers, strategists, and advisors who contain expertise across a broad variety of industries. With over 16 years of experience, Read got his start as a systems engineer at Nu-Age Industries. From there, he went on to Apple Inc., Invoked Code, LLC, and Endava, before eventually rising to director of delivery at Sentient Interactive.


13. Bob Scott
President and Chief Operating Officer, Aphena Pharma Solutions

Bob Scott is the president and chief operating officer of Aphena Pharma Solutions—a pharma solutions provider focused on contract packaging, repackaging, and manufacturing for the pharmaceutical, OTC, dietary supplement, animal health, and medical device marketplaces. With over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical packaging, Aphena was formed by a family of well-established companies in the industry.

Approaching 11 years at Aphena, Scott has extensive experience in contract manufacturing, outsourcing, general management, manufacturing operations, continuous improvement, lean manufacturing, supply chain, finance, cost control, and team building. Some of his accomplishments include P&L responsibility resulting in triple-digit growth in sales and profitability, labor savings of over $17 million, waste reduction of 66%, and overhead reduction of $5.2 million.

Previously, Scott was a chief operating officer at Medicia Holdings, LLC, and before that, an OTC pharmaceuticals & personal care manufacturing & outsourcing expertise at RFS Consulting. Early in his career, he worked with Outsourcing Services Group (Kolmar Labs) as a vice president of strategic initiatives. Scott earned an undergraduate degree in finance and economics from Indiana University Pennsylvania.


14. John Lamberti
Chief Operating Officer, Famous Smoke Shop

John Lamberti serves as the chief operating officer of Famous Smoke Shop, overseeing vital aspects of the company's operations. Founded in 1939, Famous Smoke Shop boasts a rich history of selling premium cigars, humidors, and accessories to aficionados worldwide. Over the years, the company has evolved into a renowned retailer offering an extensive selection of products. As the largest privately owned cigar retailer in the US, Famous Smoke Shop has garnered a reputation for excellence and reliability within the industry. In his role as COO, Lamberti plays a pivotal role in steering Famous Smoke Shop towards continued success and growth. 

With over two decades of experience in the consumer market, he previously served as the company’s vice president, director of marketing, manager of marketing analytics, and project management. Before joining Famous Smoke Shop, Lamberti honed his skills during his eight-year tenure at Toys "R" Us, laying a solid foundation for his career in retail operations and marketing. Lamberti graduated from Thomas Edison State University with an undergraduate degree in operations management and supervision.


15. Michael Bremer
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Summit Financial

Michael Bremer has served as the COO and vice president of Summit Financial for nearly a decade. As an independent financial services firm with legacy business from its predecessor dating back 40 years, Summit guides clients toward financial success by aligning extensive experience with a forward-thinking philosophy. 

In his role, Bremer is responsible for providing the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure that the company has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and ensure operating efficiency.

Bremer is a 30-year veteran in the insurance and financial services industry. Prior to joining Summit, Bremer spent 18 years at MetLife in a management position working across multiple disciplines including running sales offices, annuity departments, and marketing. Bremer is a Rutgers graduate and holds nine Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licenses, including Series 7, 24, and 4. 


16. Jessica Breslow
Chief Operating Officer, PJW Restaurant Group

Jessica Breslow has been the chief operating officer of PJW Restaurant Group since 2021. A multi-concept operator, PJW Restaurant Group is an American restaurant holding company. The company currently owns and operates a total of 28 restaurants across six brands in Pennsylvania and New Jersey., including The ChopHouse and The Pour House.

From 2016 through 2021, Breslow led the group’s information technology and marketing departments and now oversees day-to-day operations. Her contributions to PJW include leading the implementation of systems, technology, and marketing innovation that helped the group respond to the coronavirus pandemic with online ordering and third-party delivery. She also supported the group as it grew its operations and launched several new concepts.

Before joining PJW, Breslow was an associate vice president at the food service company Aramark, where she was involved in marketing and operations in the education sector. Before that, she oversaw Ford Motor Company’s network in the Mid-Atlantic. Breslow graduated from Penn State University with an MBA in marketing and from Seton Hall University with an undergraduate degree in communications and business.


17. William Acevedo
Chief Operating Officer, Ever/Body

William Acevedo is the COO of Ever/Body, a beauty service founded with the mission to make cosmetic dermatology more accessible. Ever/Body offers a curated collection of clinically-tested face and body treatments, delivered by trusted medical professionals and designed to deliver natural-looking results. Through an elevated, seamless, and personalized experience, Every/Body strives to help its clients establish a modern approach to skincare as part of their self-care routine. Acevedo helps drive this mission forward by developing business strategies, maximizing financial objectives, and elevating employee performance, collaboration, and engagement. 

Previously, Acevedo was a chief operating officer at Glamsquad, and before that the senior vice president of retail and outlet channels at The Limited. Early in his career, he worked with Macy’s East as a senior vice president and regional director of stores. Acevedo earned an undergraduate degree in Hispanic language and linguistics from Brown University.


18. Fatih Orhan
Chief Operating Officer, Xcitium

Fatih Orhan is Xcitium’s chief operating officer. Formerly known as Comodo Security Solutions, Xcitium’s patented ZeroDwell technology isolates and removes threats for more than 5,000 organizations across the world. Since its inception, Xcitium has had a track record of zero breaches. As COO, Orhan works closely with his digital intelligence team and over 200 security analysts to develop and implement the best combination of cybersecurity technology and innovations, machine learning-powered analytics, artificial intelligence, and human insight to secure and protect individuals and businesses around the world. 

Orhan has more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry, with nearly 10 years spent at Xcitium. In 2015, he founded the company’s Antispasm Lab—where more than 45 analysts now collaborate to provide protection and security in the email domain. His success in the industry began when he served for more than five years as the software architect at Siemens PSE, where he created solutions for quality measurement of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) communications. Orhan received his undergraduate degree in computer engineering and a master’s degree in science informatics from Middle East Technical University. He also has a certification in project management from the Project Management Institute.


19. Krishnan Viswanadhan
President and Chief Operating Officer, Be Biopharma

Krishnan Viswanadhan is the president and COO of Be Biopharma, a pioneer of Engineered B Cell Medicines (BCMs). BCMs dramatically improve the lives of patients who are living with Hemophilia B and other genetic diseases, including cancer. Be Bio was founded by B cell engineers David Rawlings, M.D., and Richard James, Ph.D., from Seattle Children’s Research Institute. In his role, Viswanadhan is responsible for all operational aspects of the business. With over 20 years of experience, he has played a broad cross-functional role in advancing new medicines for patients with serious and life-threatening diseases.

Prior to Be Bio, Viswanadhan was senior vice president of the global cell therapy franchise at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) where he was responsible for overseeing the integrated cell therapy franchise strategy across the enterprise. Viswanadhan has also served as vice president of business development and global alliances at Celgene Corporation where he was responsible for managing the portfolio of partnerships and equity investments. Viswanadhan is a registered pharmacist and received his Pharm.D. from Rutgers University and an MBA from Cornell University. Krishnan also serves on the board of JW Therapeutics, a leading cell therapy company in China.


20. Brajesh Ugra
Chief Operating Officer, SimpleSolve

Brajesh Ugra is the chief operating officer of SimpleSolve, a leading Insurtech company providing enterprise insurance software for (P&C) insurers in the United States. As COO, Ugra has successfully created strong corporate cultures with a focus on performance, accountability, ethics, and customer service. He has established best practices to improve consistency and efficiency and has a proven record of achieving results while leading multi-function and diverse teams worldwide.

Prior to his role at SimpleSolve, Ugra was president of Datamatics. Leading up to that role, he held several senior global positions, including long-term leadership roles at Birlasoft and Satyam. Throughout his career, Ugra has launched and managed large teams and processes across continents resulting in aggressive growth in scale with a clear focus on execution impacting enterprise profitability. He has an MBA in business law and marketing from the University of Allahabad.


21. Alicia Barker
Chief Operating Officer, Staffing 360 Solutions

As chief operating officer of Staffing 360 Solutions, Alicia Barker contributes to the company’s pursuit of acquisition targets that place candidates in jobs within finance and accounting, administration, engineering, information technology, and commercial staffing. The company brings experienced management professionals together with extensive staffing sector expertise as well as consultants and industry partners, together to execute on various emerging opportunities within this sector.

With over 20 years of experience in a variety of industries, Barker has served in leadership roles for publicly traded companies, independently owned boutiques, and international advertising agencies. She has managed large teams and provided professional development and executive coaching to a wide variety of professionals. Her last corporate role included overseeing the HR operations for 37 offices as the lead HR Executive for Hudson North America. Barker was also previously the owner of Act II, a privately owned HR consulting and executive coaching business.


22. Brian Pike
President and COO, RhythMedix

Brian Pike is the president and COO of RhythMedix, a provider of innovative technology designed to improve cardiac monitoring for both patients and clinicians. Its RhythmStar® System provides the first and only wearable device that uses powerful cloud-based algorithms to evaluate every heartbeat and empower physicians with timely and actionable reporting.

Almost 10 years ago, Pike joined RyhthMedix as a managing partner before becoming president and COO. Today, he supports RyhthMedix across a myriad of areas, including medical sales and marketing, sales management, product development, and quality and regulatory systems. With 25 years of experience, Mike is a seasoned professional in medical technology. His past experience includes working his way up from national sales manager at Universal Medical, Inc. to director of business development and vice president of sales and marketing at Mednet Healthcare Technologies, Inc. Pike graduated from The College of New Jersey with an undergraduate degree in communications.


23. Luke Vaccaro
Chief Operating Officer, ColdTrack

As chief operating officer of ColdTrack, Luke Vaccaro supports the cold chain logistics platform for eCommerce food and beverage brands by driving results in manufacturing, supply chain, and engineering. ColdTrack focuses exclusively on the complexities of shipping perishable goods, enabling ground shipping of 48 hours or less time-in-transit to more than 99% of the United States population.

With deep expertise in Lean and Six Sigma, Vaccaro has established himself as an advisor to C-level executives and senior operations leaders on growth strategy within the industrial and consumer goods industries. His over 20 years of experience includes leading large multi-site global manufacturing and fulfillment operations with end-to-end supply chain responsibility at places like Amazon, General Electric, and Honeywell. His other past experiences include serving as the COO at Hungryroot; the director of operations and quality excellence at Verizon; an engagement manager at Booz Allen Hamilton; and several positions at GE. 

Vaccaro has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business, a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Lafayette College, and a Six Sigma Black Belt certification from Honeywell.


24. Brian Devlin
Chief Operating Officer, Gainful

Brian Devlin is the COO of Gainful, a manufacturer of performance nutrition products. Gainful provides personalized products and one-on-one registered dietitian support to empower people to reach their goals by transforming their health. 

While serving as COO, Devlin has contributed to reaching over one million orders, growing Gainful’s product line, and launching a nationwide partnership with Target. Before his role as COO, he quickly advanced within Gainful’s ranks from senior director of operations to VP and head of operations in a few short years. With 13 years of experience, Devlin has worked in a variety of roles for companies focused on consumer goods. These include senior roles at places such as, Toys and Games, and Walmart eCommerce. Prior to these many experiences, he began his career in retail sales at Kraft Foods while also consulting for IBM, and later held several positions at Deloitte. Devlin holds a bachelor of science in marketing from the University of Maryland.


25. Janelle Hazell
Chief Operating Officer, Rue Insurance

As chief operating officer, Janelle Hazell supports Rue Insurance’s mission to help clients protect their assets and improve their profitability. With over 100 years of history, Rue was founded in Windsor, NJ to help local farmers protect themselves from losses caused by a fire. Today, it has grown from a single coverage operation into a regional leader in risk and asset protection across major business insurance, employee benefits, and personal insurance. 

With over 20 years of industry experience, Hazell is an expert at focusing on bottom-line results, while formulating and implementing practical business solutions. She works to ensure the team is working effectively and efficiently, as well as delivering desirable results for clients. Before joining Rue, Hazell worked at an international insurance carrier as a commercial underwriter before moving on to fill multiple roles at a local insurance agency over the course of 10 years—including account manager, commercial lines manager, and operations manager. She eventually advanced as a director of client experience for a national brokerage and consulting firm. Hazell received her bachelor’s in English from Rutgers University.