Kenneth O'Brien, NJ 211 Board President
Ken serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Gemini Shipper Group a not for profit shippers association. Ken is the founding President of bigboxSMALLBOX / Orion Management Group, an analytics consulting and SaaS firm engaged in providing companies with innovative ways to leverage their data assets to improve performance and supply chains. Prior to founding bigboxSMALLBOX Ken spent twenty one years in the liner shipping industry with APL and Hapag Lloyd. He held various senior Trade Management and Operations roles including managing APL’s $3 billion Pacific P&L as Senior Vice President of the Transpacific Trade. Ken received his Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Administration from Texas A&M and has a Master of Science degree in Business Analytics from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. Ken and his family reside in Montclair, New Jersey.
Melissa Acree, NJ 211 Executive Director
Melissa Acree is an accomplished professional with a rich and diverse background. Her career began in the public school system as a Special Education Teacher and soon transitioned to Training & Development in business. Her business exposure spans corporations, nonprofits, healthcare, accounting and retail organizations.
She joined the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership in January 2013 as the Staff Development and Training Manager. In this newly created position, Melissa standardized the new hire training, managed the AIRS certification process and developed SOPs for new initiatives with UWW, CDC and community agencies. She was promoted to Director of Business Development and Training, in July 2016, where her leadership ability, collaborative nature and strong interpersonal skills are being channeled with our United Way and state partners. Named to the position of executive director on May 1, 2017, she will continue the work of building relationships with existing and future stakeholders. Melissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from William Paterson and a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Melissa is actively involved in her church as a lector and a member of the fundraising committee. As a mother, she has spent the past 16 years advocating for services and programs for her son who has autism. For enjoyment, she likes cooking, traveling, reading and participating in a variety of outdoor activities. Melissa and her husband, Doug, reside in Morris County with their three teenage children.