September 27, 2023
Today's business influencers have a reach that extends throughout the economy at the Jersey Shore. You can see their impact at your job, whether your employer received a bank loan or moved into new offices. You shop at the supermarket or patronize a small business or retailer. There are technology innovators, health care professionals and restaurateurs bringing Jersey flavors to new markets across the U.S. This list is just a start.
Christopher Maher has led OceanFirst Financial Corp., the Shore's biggest locally based bank, since 2015. During his tenure, the bank has undergone the fastest growth in its 121-year history with the acquisition of seven other banks. Its assets have grown from $2.6 billion to $13.1 billion, and it has expanded its footprint to southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
The Shore's economy has benefitted. The company last year opened a 79,000-square-foot, $42 million headquarters in Toms River that houses 320 employees. Maher has guided the company through the shift to digital banking and diversified its board of directors with the addition of Dr. Patricia Turner, the first Black director in the bank's history.
Maher recently wrapped up his tenure as president of the New Jersey Bankers Association, the state's trade group, and found himself as an industry spokesman, trying to reassure the public about the safety of regional banks after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last spring. In addition to his work at the bank, Maher has become hard to miss in the community. He is on the boards of directors for OceanFirst Foundation and Helen Keller Services for the Blind. He also was recently named chair of the board of trustees for Monmouth University in West Long Branch.
Read the rest of the list here.