Elisa Charters, CEO, EAC Business International

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Elisa has passionately advocated for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), and the empowerment of the Latino/a/x community for 20+ years.  In 2000, as President of the Port Authority Hispanic Society (PAHS), she identified and negotiated solutions for inclusion with the Port Authority’s C-suite Diversity Council. Subsequently, she leads various committees of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey’s (LLANJ) Board of Delegates, NJ’s most powerful statewide Latino advocacy organization.  As Appointments Chair of LLANJ, Elisa challenged public officials to increase diversity and inclusion on public boards.

In 2008, Gov. Corzine appointed her to the State of Jersey’s Minority and Women Business Development Advisory Council. In 2012, she was commissioned by Rutgers students and the Latino community to lead a Coalition supporting Martin Perez, Esq. for the Rutgers University Board of Governors (#MP4RBOG). In 2013, Gov. Christie appointed and confirmed Mr. Perez’s position on the Rutgers BOG. This was a significant win for the Latino community. Mr. Perez, a civil rights activist, is the second Latino ever appointed to the university’s board in its 240-year history.
Gov. Christie appointed Elisa to the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority (NJHCFFA), where she served as Vice Chair for four years.  During her tenure, NJHCFFA approved over $2.6 billion in financing for hospital expansions and health care entities and achieved 21% MWBE participation among co-leads in our State.

In 2014, Elisa co-founded Latina Surge, a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to educate and advocate for D&I on executive boards in government and corporate America.  On social media, @LatinaSurge dynamically challenges the status quo results of antiquated diversity models and promotes positive self-empowering action (#INpower) to reward companies for exemplifying authentic best-in-class corporate social responsibility. 

She continues to serve in higher education as an Advisory Board Member of New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Martin Tuchman School of Management focusing on the inclusion of women in business and in STEM fields, and as President of the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University (LAACU). 

Elisa is a certified Cornell/ILR D&I Management professional.  She is a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology, New York University and Columbia University with advanced degrees in Environmental Science, Real Estate Finance and International Finance and Business, respectively.
She has received awards for community service via the Junior League of Montclair-Newark, and the 2016 Child’s Hero Award by Essex County CASA. Elisa resides with her husband, Brian and two children, Remy and Lucian, and elder cousin, Manuela, in Short Hills, New Jersey.  Personally, she is deeply grateful to our fallen heroes as a survivor of 9/11 and empathetic to veterans and foster children suffering from PTSD.  The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and County Executive nominated Elisa as the opening keynote speaker commemorating the State of NJ’s memorial tribute on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, and again in 2017.

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