Westfield resident Jeffrey C. Scheininger, president of a Linden manufacturing firm and a lifelong member of Congregation Anshe Chesed in Linden, was named chair of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce board of directors on June 15.
He is the first small-business owner to be appointed chair of the organization, which has 1,200 member companies and associations representing 500,000 employees, with billions of dollars in annual revenue.
Scheininger, 54, is president of Flexline/U.S. Brass and Copper Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial hose products that employs 20 workers. He took the company over from his father in 1980 and has significantly increased its size since then.
An active member of the chamber for many years, Scheininger has sat on its board of directors since June 1999. For the past two years, he has served as first vice chair, under the chairmanship of his predecessor, Dennis Bone, president of Verizon NJ.
Scheininger told NJ Jewish News in a June 20 interview that he got involved with the chamber because “I couldn’t understand why the state was conducting a war against my customers, and chasing industry after industry out of NJ — not to Asia, which I’d understand, but to places like California and Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, places that were more business-friendly.”
He has taken over the reins just as the chamber is celebrating its centennial. In a statement issued after his confirmation June 16, he said, “I am humbled to become the chairman of an organization that has existed and flourished for 100 years. The chamber does vital work and I feel fortunate to be an integral part of its efforts.”
He continued, “As we continue to emerge from a difficult economy, we need to remember that small businesses produce about 90 percent of all the jobs in New Jersey. I am looking forward to enhancing the chamber’s work with and on behalf of the small business community to help make New Jersey stronger and more competitive than ever. Our message is clear — if New Jersey is to be successful, we must all work together, along with state government, to ensure that everyone in New Jersey has a chance to prosper.”
Scheininger told NJJN that he is feeling optimistic. “For probably the first time in my entire business career, we have a business-friendly administration that is trying to grow the economy for all the citizens of the state. It will make a huge difference. If the public sector can be brought back into order, we should be able to bring good paying jobs into the local economy.”
Health care has been one of Scheininger’s major areas of leadership with the chamber, and he expressed great satisfaction with “the tangible improvements that have been made in health-care delivery in New Jersey.”
He served as chair of the chamber’s Platform for Progress Health Care Coalition and was instrumental in the development of its position on federal health-care reform. He was selected along with 125 others from across the nation to participate in a health-care reform discussion with President Barack Obama at the White House, which was aired on ABC’s Primetime in June 2009.
In 2007, Scheininger was presented with the NJ Chamber of Commerce Business Advocate Award for his grassroots efforts to keep the public abreast of business issues.
Scheininger and his wife, Manette, have a son, Daniel, 24, and daughter, Ava, 21. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY, in 1978, and earned his MBA from Cornell University in 1980. He is a lifelong member of Congregation Anshe Chesed, the Orthodox synagogue in Linden.