In the summer of 2012, Laura Goldzung and Howard Sawransky each notified the ACAMS chapter leadership of their desire to start a New Jersey chapter. ACAMS leadership put them together, and Goldzung and Sawransky met for lunch to discuss the opportunity. After several phone calls and meetings, the ACAMS Northern New Jersey Chapter name was chosen because the Philadelphia Chapter already covered southern New Jersey. Several anti-money laundering (AML) professionals in the area were anxious to participate, including a lineup of banks and brokerages. The chapter began with six board members.
The chapter held its first event in Morristown, with nearly 70 AML professionals in attendance. Former ACAMS Executive Vice President and Director John Byrne traveled up from the D.C. area to kick off the festivities, and the Northern New Jersey chapter was born! Between 2012 and 2018, Goldzung and Sawransky planned numerous events, sought out top presenters in the area, and successfully built the membership roster. In 2018, Todd Brungard and Robin Farshadfar took over the reins and are the current chairs.
In March of 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this presented challenges for the Northern New Jersey Chapter. The chapter was not allowed to conduct its traditional in-person meetings and switched to virtual training to continue serving chapter members. From the start of the pandemic, the Northern New Jersey Chapter hosted 16 virtual training events at no charge to anyone. The chapter kept everyone current with informative training on topics including the Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) money laundering scheme, the growing landscape of cannabis banking and the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020—just to name a few. Even during the pandemic, the chapter had a record number of people attend its virtual webinars.
In 2021, the Northern New Jersey Chapter was renamed as the New Jersey Chapter to expand its reach across the state. The newly formed chapter looks forward to serving members by reintroducing in-person events and conducting virtual training as situations demand. Despite the obstacles, the chapter board works diligently to seek out top speakers who present topics that are relevant and engaging. In 2022, the chapter has had meetings on various subjects, including cryptocurrency, model validation and sanctions screening. The chapter is looking to build its presence in New Jersey and invite everyone in the state to join! Please visit the chapter page to learn more.1
ACAMS New Jersey Chapter
- ACAMS New Jersey Chapter, https://www.acams.org/en/chapters/united-states-northeast/new-jersey-chapter#overview-471cb1a9