Governor Chris Christie continued to create a strong, experienced team with the announcement of two cabinet positions today. Christie nominated Hal Wirths as Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Lori Grifa as Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
Gov. Christie Said, "It is important we have a strong team who is willing to be creative, think outside the box and do what needs to be done to get results. There is no disputing we have a series of difficult challenges we must tackle and overcome and I am confident that with this team in place we will fundamentally change the way New Jersey government operates."
Hal Wirths, Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Labor
Hal Wirths is a founding member and on the Board of Directors at the Highland's State Bank and has been with the firm since 2004. He is Chairman of the Loan Committee and a member of the strategic merger team. Since 2000, Mr. Wirths has been Freeholder Director for Sussex County. He serves as the Chairman of the Budget Committee, which oversees a budget of over $100 million.
From 1986 until 2004, Mr. Wirths was a successful small business owner of the Oak Shoppe Furniture store. As owner and operator of two locations, Mr. Wirths oversaw sales, acquisitions and advertising.
Mr. Wirths has been a member of a number of organizations including: Rotary International, Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Branchville Businessmen's Club and an Honorary Member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Mr. Wirths resides in Wantage, New Jersey.
Lori Grifa, Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
Lori Grifa was most recently a member of Wolff & Samson's Government and Regulatory Affairs Group. She focused on the areas of administrative, regulatory and government affairs, and handles commercial and employment litigation.
From 2002-2003, Lori served as chief of staff to New Jersey Attorney General David Samson. In that capacity, she was responsible for managing the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, a department comprised of more than 9,500 employees (including 800 attorneys), as well as for the civil representation of the State of New Jersey and overseeing the state's criminal prosecution efforts.
Before joining Wolff & Samson, she was a special assistant district attorney in the Homicide Investigation Unit of the New York County District Attorney's Office for two years and was a senior assistant district attorney in the Office of the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney from 1989-1997, where she specialized in homicide and gang-related prosecutions.
Lori received appointments by the chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court to a number of important committees, including the Committee for Women and the Courts and the State Domestic Violence Working Group. Most recently, she was appointed to the District V-A Attorney Ethics Committee for a four-year term that began in September 2008.
She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Administrative Law and was named by NJBIZ in 2008 as one of New Jersey's "Best 50 Women in Business." She has received Martindale Hubbell's highest AV(r) rating.
A graduate of Boston College School of Law, Lori served as law clerk to Judge Elbert Tuttle of the Superior Court of Massachusetts. She also earned her B.A., cum laude, from Rutgers University, where she was a Henry Rutgers Thesis Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa.