WOMENS HISTORY MONTH Recognizes Zeita Merchant head of NJ NY U.S Coastguard for Making History, being Appointed Rear Admiral and Joann J. Hill, Chief, Office of MBDA - US Department of Commerce


The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce's Women's History Month that took place in NYC Times Square was a momentous occasion that brought together influential leaders from various sectors to celebrate the remarkable achievements of two outstanding women: Zeita Merchant and Joann J. Hill. The event also served as a platform to highlight the importance of diversity and empowerment in business and community development.

Women's History Month 2024 which was hosted together with the Greater New York chamber, brought together powerful women from all sectors, races, and religions. This event was a testament to the Chamber's commitment to promoting new relationships, opportunities, and contacts in order to build bridges between diverse communities and empower minority leaders. The event was attended by business leaders from a wide range of industries, as well as representatives from government agencies, including the federal, state, and New York City mayor's office.

The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce has long been a champion of diversity and inclusion in the business world. As a leading organization representing all sectors of minorities and the broader business world as a whole, the Chamber understands the importance of fostering relationships and partnerships with individuals and organizations from all walks of life.

At the event, attendees had the chance to network and connect with one another, forging new relationships and exploring potential business opportunities.

 The Chamber's vast network of business leaders provided a unique platform for women to share their experiences, exchange ideas, and learn from one another. 


One of the key goals of the event was to build bridges between minority leaders and those who enable empowering them. By bringing together women from diverse backgrounds and providing a forum for open dialogue and collaboration, the Chamber sought to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all entrepreneurs and business owners. Through panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities, participants were able to learn from each other, build meaningful connections, and inspire one another to aim higher and achieve their goals.

The Chambers Women's History Month was a testament to the organization's commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and empowerment in the business world. 

Through its vast network of business leaders and government contacts, the Chamber helps build bridges between minority leaders and those who enable empowering them, creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all entrepreneurs and business owners.

Recognizing Zeita Merchant's historic appointment as Rear Admiral in the United States Coast Guard marked a significant milestone in the organization's 233-year history. As the first African American woman to hold this esteemed position, Merchant shattered barriers and paved the way for future generations of women of color to aspire to leadership roles in the military. Her dedication, skills, and leadership qualities were recognized and celebrated at the event, where she was honored for her groundbreaking achievement.
Joann J. Hill, the Chief of the Office of Minority Business Development Agency at the US Department of Commerce, was also recognized for her outstanding contributions in empowering minority businesses and fostering economic growth. Hill's tireless efforts to support and advocate for minority-owned businesses have had a profound impact on the economic landscape, helping to level the playing field and create opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs. Her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusivity in business development was applauded at the event, where her leadership was celebrated.

The event started with a VIP roundtable discussion hosted by the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce and Joann Hill brought together a diverse group of leaders, including government officials, community organizers, and business owners. The participants engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue on issues related to economic empowerment, minority business development, and community engagement.

Participating at the roundtable was Kevin Kim NYC SBS Commissioner… Curtis Archer, Harlem Commuity Development Corp… Chef Eric Marshall, Slapp’n Seasonings..Duvi Honig , Orthodox Jewish Chamber…James Kim, Korean America Chamber…Mark Jaffe, Greater NY Chamber…Ali Kocak, Turkish American Chamber, Amit Shah, Greater NY Chamber… Rajankarma, NY Nepalese Chamber… Shari Ascher, Westchester County directory of small business and chambers of commerce helping empower minority Businesses.
The collective expertise and insights shared during the roundtable provided valuable perspectives on how to foster collaboration and drive positive change in communities across the country.

The cocktail and award reception that followed the roundtable was a celebration of excellence and achievement, with over 150 community and business leaders in attendance. The event provided a platform for networking, collaboration, and inspiration, as guests from all walks of life came together to honor the exemplary work of Zeita Merchant, Joann J. Hill, and others who have made significant contributions to their respective fields.

The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce's commitment to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of women, particularly those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, is commendable. By shining a spotlight on trailblazing leaders like Zeita Merchant and Joann J. Hill, the Chamber is helping to inspire future generations of women to pursue their ambitions and break through barriers to success.


Also in attendance were Commissioner James Hendon, who serves as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans' Services, alongside Sean Ramsaywak who heads JP Morgan Chase & Co's North East Division. The event served as a platform not only to honor women leaders and entrepreneurs but also to recognize the impactful work of JP Morgan Chase in empowering minority businesses.

The Chambers recognized Jumoke M. Fagbay-Butts, the V.P. Sr Business Consultant at JP Morgan Chase, for her exceptional leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion within the company. Additionally, three women business owners who had participated in JP Morgan Chase's minority empowerment program were highlighted for their successful businesses that had flourished through the program's support.

The presence of Commissioner Hendon and the JP Morgan Chase team at the event underscored the importance of fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for women in business. Their commitment to empowering diverse voices and promoting female leadership sets a powerful example for the business community as a whole.

The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce & Greater NY Chamber of Commerce’s Women's History Month event was a powerful testament to the transformative impact of leadership, diversity, and empowerment. By honoring a diverse group of Women and their leadership highlighting the remarkable accomplishments of Zeita Merchant and Joann J. Hill, as well as other influential women in US history, the event served as a reminder of the importance of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of women in all sectors of society. It also highlighted the importance of collaboration, community engagement, and inclusivity in driving positive change and fostering a more equitable and prosperous future for all.