top of page


N.J. Chamber to Honor IFEL CEO as Leader in Innovation

Courtesy of New Jersey Chamber of Commerce

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership CEO Jill Johnson Will Receive the N.J. Chamber's 'Women Leaders in Innovation' Award

Sep 8, 2022

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce announced today that it is honoring two women who have used desire, hard work and innovative programs to create economic opportunities for marginalized New Jerseyans, and help make New Jersey a better and more equitable place to live and work. They are:

  • Jill Johnson, co-founder and CEO of the Newark-based Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), who is a thought leader and trailblazer working to foster an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem for people from historically excluded populations.

  • DeAnna Minus-Vincent, executive vice president, chief social justice and accountability officer at RWJBarnabas Health, whose primary job responsibility calls for pursuing an “intentionally anti-racist, equitable culture” both within RJWB Health and outside its walls in its communities.

The women will be honored at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's fifth Alice H. Parker Women Leaders in Innovation Awards event on Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston.

“The award recipients selected by the N.J. Chamber have demonstrated that innovative thinking can lead to a more equitable New Jersey,” said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “Both DeAnna and Jill employ new ideas to break down old barriers and pave the way for historically marginalized people to gain access to the tools needed to succeed.”

Jill Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), is the awardee for innovation in finance and social advancement

In 2002, Johnson co-founded IFEL, an independent not-for-profit that paves the way for people from historically marginalized populations to have equal opportunity for success. IFEL does this by helping people of color access the knowledge, network and capital required for entrepreneurial success and wealth creation.

Johnson, who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Harvard, has been a driving force in creating a number of IFEL programs including:

  • ‘Women of Color Connecting,’ which leverages the power of relationship capital.

  • ‘Making of Black Angels,’ designed to increase number of black angel investors.

  • ‘Small Business Needs Us,’ a volunteer corps of business professionals ready to help small businesses.

Johnson has nearly 30 years of experience as a business strategist with expertise in financial analysis, marketing, and business development. She is an advocate for community businesses and microenterprise, and is a leading authority in the area of minority inclusion.

To register for the 2022 Women in Innovation Awards event, click here.

bottom of page