Ed Ramirez, director of business resources & professional development at the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, has been named executive director of Leadership Morris, the chamber’s leadership development program effective January 1. He succeeds Joe Nazzaro, who has been leading the program for the last 18 years. Ed has been shadowing Joe this year to learn the position.
Leadership Morris teaches business professionals about the opportunities, the challenges, the institutions and the people of Morris County. The year-long program is designed for recognized leaders and for those professionals identified for future leadership responsibilities, whose business acumen and community consciousness will make a difference in Morris County. The program focuses on community education, professional development, community trusteeship and business networking for about 30 students each class.
Ed brings to his new position outstanding credentials. As director of business resources & professional development at MCEDC he works closely with small and minority-owned businesses, helping start-ups properly organize and grow and existing enterprises focus on primary and secondary markets. He directs MCEDC’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Beyond, a six-week bilingual class for entrepreneurs that helps them develop business plans to secure financing. In addition, through MCEDC’s partnership with the Small Business Development Center, Ed provides five hours of general business counseling to small businesses.
Ed spent 12 years in the U.S. Army, rising to Staff Sergeant and managing a special weapons site in Turkey. He holds bachelor’s degrees in business management and accounting, a master’s degree in organizational leadership and management, a post-master’s degree in higher education administration and a doctorate in business administration and management. In addition, he served as dean of students and professor at Valor Christian College in Ohio.
Ed is an entrepreneur himself, operating with his wife Administrative Consultants, Inc., which provides tax consulting and nonprofit organizational management counseling and services to small businesses and nonprofits. He also is the founder and CEO of Harvest Church.
Regarding his leadership style, Ed said, “I believe organizations that do the same thing over and over are not going to grow. I believe in transformational leadership that allows you to grow and learn. You can create – not only expand something that already exists but create, as well. I want to help people grow as leaders, to help Leadership Morris students excel.
“My goal is to inspire people to not be afraid to try new things and fail. If you fail, you get back to it and succeed. I want to create a new version of Leadership Morris while building on the amazing foundation laid by Joe.”
Joe Nazzaro became executive director of Leadership Morris in 2005 while working at the County College of Morris (CCM). He retired from CCM three years later but stayed on with Leadership Morris. In his 18 years leading the program Joe graduated more than 500 business, nonprofit and government leaders and established the Leadership Morris Alumni Council, a network of program graduates who offer ongoing support to one another and program enrollees.
Joe was a passionate leader of the program and most loved his interaction with the people. He also is very proud of the impact graduates have had in the county.
“During my time here, I’ve most enjoyed getting to know the people at the venues, such as the sheriff, as well as the people in the classes,” said Joe. “The program is designed in part to sustain the nonprofit community and we’ve had so many alumni go on to serve as board members in the organizations.
"It was a great run and I loved every minute of it. Ed Ramirez will be a terrific executive director and I know future classes will love working with him."
Craig, Schlosser, MCEDC managing director, said the Leadership Morris program plays an integral role in the fabric of Morris County and is thrilled to see Ed move into the executive director role.
“Ed is extraordinarily gifted in helping people see and achieve beyond their potential,” he said. “He is the right person to take Leadership Morris and our next generation of leaders to the next level. I look forward to seeing Leadership Morris continue to drive growth, leadership and success with Ed at its helm.”
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