Press Release: August 16, 2018

  • Aug 20, 2018
  • emergenewjersey



Emerge New Jersey, an organization dedicated to training and increasing the number of Democratic women to run successfully for public office in the State of New Jersey, is honored to announce the appointment of the following new board members.


Mayor Collen Mahr of Fanwood, New Jersey

Colleen Mahr was elected as Mayor of Fanwood in 2004, a Union County municipality with population over 7,000 people. Mayor Mahr began her career in public service as Mayoral Aide in Jersey City and rose through the ranks to earn the post of Jersey City’s Assistant Director of Housing and Economic Development where she oversaw business trends, legislation, real estate and industrial capacity and applied the resulting data towards planning, organizing and directing economic measures for Jersey City. This year, Mayor Mahr was elected as the new President of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee. Mayor Mahr will serve on the Fundraising Committee.


Alixon Collazos of Montclair, New Jersey

Alixon Collazos is a government affairs professional with over 15 years of experience. Currently Alixon is a Public Affairs specialist working with the BGill Group LLC, a full service public affairs, political consulting and digital media firm. The company serves a diverse client base including New Jersey Governor Elect –Phil Murphy, US Senator Cory Booker, numerous local elected officials, leading labor organizations and private sector companies. Alixon was part of the second graduating class of Emerge New Jersey and serves as a board member of the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center (NJHRIC), a board member of the Latinas United For Political Empowerment Fund (LUPE Fund) and a board member of PAM’s List. Alixon will Chair the Outreach and Recruitment Committee and will also serve on the Fundraising Committee.


Melinda Zito of Union Township, New Jersey

Melinda Zito currently serves as the Deputy Comptroller for Union County where she has worked as a public servant in Union County for over 25 years. Melinda also serves as the Treasurer for the campaign of Senator Joseph Cryan in legislative district 20.  Melinda will serve as the Selection / Recruitment Director.


Shawn Laurenti, Chairwoman of the Board stated “I am grateful for these experienced and talented individuals that are joining our Board” said Laurenti, “I have always believed that one of the most important duties of a Board is to assemble a top-notch group of individuals dedicated to serving and empowering the women of New Jersey. These three exceptional individuals will be a tremendous addition to our Board and I am proud to have them on our team.”