Genia is an experienced executive leadership professional and senior-level administrator in for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and government entities. She capitalizes on her expertise in the above fields as well as on her extensive experience as an executive leader and senior-level administrator to provide superior organization capacity building, infrastructure development, operations, fund development and management services. As a result of her experience, she brings extensive knowledge and best practices in leading and managing entities with complex funding, programmatic, organizational, staffing, and management structures. She brings a multifaceted array of skills that benefits business and non-profit entities in multiple ways.
Business and Community Development Strategist | Non-Profit Expert | Policy Analyst
Genia is the owner of the Synergy Strategy Group where she is the principal business, non-profit and community development strategist as well as the lead policy analyst. We provide the following services: Non-Profit, Community and Economic Development Strategy including neighborhood and property revitalization; housing and commercial property development; workforce development and, human/social services programs; Business Strategy and Executive leadership Services such as program oversight and monitoring; system-wide strategic analysis and planning, policy development and legal compliance; fiscal planning, budget development and expenditure monitoring; Operations Development and Management including fund development and grants administration specifically sourcing, writing, and management; human resources and fiscal administration; general day-to-day business administration; Capacity building and Operations Infrastructure Development in the areas of program/services assessment, design, development, and enhancement; short and long-range operational, tactical/strategic planning; needs assessments and organizational enhancement planning; system evaluations and improvement; staff assessment and development planning; and policies and procedures development; Development of High-Level Operations/Management Documents including strategic and business plans, policy documents; white papers; SWOT analysis; needs assessments, operational plans, SOP and other operations documents. Genia also provides policy guidance on federal funding programs including, CARES Act, ARPA, Build Back Better and other grant programs.
Director, Department of Economic Development and Grants Oversight
Genia served as the inaugural Director of the Department of Economic Development and Grants Oversight for an urban municipality. Her responsibilities included developing, implementing, and managing the community and economic development and property redevelopment strategy and programs on behalf of the municipality. Under her leadership, the department generated $10 million in revenue and was responsible for managing up to $8 million annually in grant funds. Job responsibilities included: implementation of community/economic development, human services, business, and workforce development programs; review and recommend for approval redevelopment projects; staff leadership and development; implementation of projects in accordance with state and local planning and land use laws and requirements. Additional responsibilities included: managing the municipality’s commercial and residential property inventory and property disposition; liaison between local businesses, developers and investors and other municipal departments; plans and hosts the Mayor’s Annual Business Summit; oversees the UEZ Program; liaison between the Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Districts; and, administering grants programs such as HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Partnerships Grant and Lead-Based Paint remediation among other grants. Genia was also responsible for designing implementing and managing the municipality’s COVID-19 relief programs to provide financial assistance to businesses and residents.
Legal Counsel/Business Owner
Before her prior position as Director, Genia operated her law practice where she provided legal services in the areas of Municipal, Criminal, Family, Employment and Labor and Immigration Law; Corporate Law focused on Non-profits and Small Businesses; Land Use and Redevelopment Law; and civil litigation matters; she also manages all operations and back-office duties of the law office.
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
As Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Empowerment and Social Justice, Inc., (CESJ), a comprehensive human services organization, she was responsible for oversight and management of the day-to-day operations and infrastructure development; grant procuring, writing, implementation and management; policy research analysis and publication development on issues of poverty and addressing systematic barriers to self-sufficiency; board development and governance; design and develop programs and services; human resources management; operational management; program evaluation and performance review; public relations strategies and materials; supervision of staff and volunteers; develop and implement strategies to facilitate partnerships and collaborations; provided technical and infrastructure development assistance to organizations; and instructed on business and non-profit capacity building.
Prior to her tenure at CESJ, Genia served as the Executive Director of the Newark Emergency Services for Families, Inc., (NESF), the largest social services organization in Essex County at that time. She was responsible for leading the strategic management, oversight and day-to-day operations; developed and implemented comprehensive client-centered programs/services; provided oversight to ensure achievement of financial and programmatic objectives; implemented effective grants management system to facilitate timely and accurate reporting to funders and to provide service delivery to constituents; developed and implemented policies and procedures; human resources and fiscal administration; recruitment, hiring, development, supervision and performance evaluation of staff; and, oversaw organization financial management to ensure the integrity of grants management and accounting functions.
Genia was appointed under Mayor Cory Booker’s Administration as the Executive Director of the Newark Workforce Investment Board, Inc., (NWIB) to lead the development of workforce and educational programs and services for the City of Newark; she worked with the Mayor, Council and the Board to ensure achievement of their oversight and monitoring responsibilities, including: system-wide strategic analysis, policy development and operational planning; oversight and disbursement of over $10 Million in Workforce Investment Act funds to implement the City’s workforce development programs; One-Stop Career Center development and oversight; budget development and expenditure monitoring; development of partnerships with State, County, local officials, businesses and community organizations; and, day-to-day operations management.
Attorney/Community Program Coordination
During her tenure at Essex-Newark Legal Services, Genia assisted the Executive and Deputy Directors with service delivery and oversight, strategic planning, agency oversight and daily human resources, programmatic and management activities; worked with the State and community development organizations to develop organizational assessment and strategic planning tools; monitored and review legislation and public policy developments affecting ENLS’s client population and implemented and lead the Anti-Predatory Lending/Practices, the Multifamily Housing Preservation and the Welfare Rights Advocacy Projects.
Genia attended Bernard M. Baruch College; New York, NY where she earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and majored in Computer Information Systems. She then earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA. Additionally, she has received a Certificate in Non-Profit Financial Management from Rutgers University, Center for Non-Profit Management, Newark, New Jersey as well as a Non-Profit Executive Leadership Certificate from Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.
Recipient, Community Award, Caribbean American Business Association
Recipient, Excellence in Business & Community Service Award, Project Redirect Youth & Family Services
Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation from the Guyana American Heritage Foundation, Inc.
Community Organizer Award from Former Assemblyman Craig A. Stanley
Shirley Chisholm Award from Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver
The Paul Flynn Alumni Award for Outstanding Service from Leadership Newark, Inc.
The Madeline L. Houston Outstanding Attorney Award from Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) “in recognition and admiration for her skillful and dedicated representation of low-income clients of ENLS”
Certificate of Appreciation for Services to Student and Parents, Newark Vocational High School
The Friend of the People Award, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
Dr. Robert Ailey Award for successfully bringing people together through leadership, Baruch College
Memberships & Appointments
Member of the National Alliance for Children and Families, Annual Executive Leadership Conference Planning Committee; Member Prudential Foundation and the Partnership in Philanthropy to participate in non-profit capacity building focus groups; Appointed by Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and the Board of Chosen Freeholders to serve on the Essex County Human Services Advisory Council; Appointed to the “Revitalizing and Investing in Communities” Transition Team Policy Group; Appointed by then Mayor-Elect Cory A. Booker’s Real Estate Policy Group Transition Team. Appointed by to the City of Newark’s Workforce Investment Board and elected by the Board to serve as chair of the Youth Investment Council (“YIC”).
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