We are delighted to announce that our CEO, Monica C. Smith, is the recipient of the 2021 NJBIA Caren Franzini Leadership Award; the award honors the legacy of the longtime chief executive of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, who worked with seven governors, from 1994 to 2012, to promote entrepreneurship and economic growth, particularly in New Jersey’s largest cities.

As an employee at Marketsmith for over 4 years, I can certainly attest to Monica’s quality of leadership. I have had the great opportunity to witness and learn from her selfless leadership skills, operational excellence, and entrepreneurial spirit. Monica has an uncanny ability to put her mind, heart, and soul into everything she does, creating the space for the team to go above and beyond the expected norms for our partners, clients, and coworkers. Monica’s influence is embedded throughout the genome that makes up Marketsmith – an organization filled with people that are unapologetically themselves, mentally tough, strategically creative, and altruistic in nature.

I know that the Caren Franzini Leadership Award means so much to Monica, as it stems from her long-time commitment to driving business prosperity in the state of New Jersey. Moreover, she has a deep admiration for our long-time partner, NJBIA, and our colleague, Michelle Siekerka, President of NJBIA. Monica’s humility, compassion and empathy for others are truly some of her greatest strengths. When I spoke to her about the award, she didn’t even mention herself once, stating, “History will look back on Caren with great admiration and awe. Her work and impact on the state have been critically important; Caren was a game-changing leader that made a significant impact. This award is also so meaningful because a few of the most important women in my universe are past recipients (and great leaders), such as Amy Mansue, Charlene Brown and Sally Glick.”

It’s rare to find people who are able to lead across various aspects of life; Monica is one of those anomalies that has been able to accomplish being a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, wife, and mother (and doesn’t plan on stopping!). She leads by example, establishing a culture of giving back, which has funneled into the mission of all Marketsmith employees to be good people that do great things. She is a constant reminder to us all to be excellent in business, but she also reminds us that there is more to business than … well … business. It is about relationships, compassion, and empowering others to make the right choices.

Congratulations Monica; it is a well-deserved award. I learn from you every day, and continue to be inspired by your leadership.

2021 Women Business Leaders Forum

Join the NJBIA and Marketsmith by taking part in the largest professional women’s conference in New Jersey! This forum brings large corporations, entrepreneurs, not-for-profits and students together to get inspired and empowered, to form an agenda that will increase diversity in corporate leadership, and to build successful businesses.