Entrepreneurial Achievement Recipients

Entrepreneurial Achievement Recipients

Wei-Jen Chen | Mukesh M. Patel | Kristine Porcaro

Wei-Jen Chen
Nominated by Chang Jung Christian University

For more than three decades, Wei-Jen Chen has been deeply engaged in the medical and healthcare sectors. Throughout this time, he has observed Taiwan's pharmaceutical industry undergo a significant transition from a free market model to one based on the National Health Insurance system. As Chairman of the Taiwan Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Association (TPMA), Wei-Jen Chen spearheaded the evolution of quality control to align with international standards, such as GMP, cGMP, and PIC/S GMP.

Wei-Jen Chen has played a pivotal role in establishing a national association for health and functional food products. He was instrumental in setting up GMP regulations and inspection standards for Taiwan's health and functional food factories, thereby facilitating the internationalization of Taiwan's health and nutritional food products.

Throughout his career, Wei-Jen Chen has been actively involved in industry association activities. He has served as Chairman of the TPMA and was a founding member of the Taiwan Functional Food Industry Association (TFIA), where he held consecutive terms as Chairman. In these capacities, Wei-Jen Chen has served as a crucial liaison between industry stakeholders and government bodies, contributing to the formulation of pharmaceutical policies and the advancement of the functional food industry.

In the realm of corporate management, Wei-Jen Chen has demonstrated remarkable leadership by successfully turning around a struggling biotech company, and transforming it into a publicly listed entity. Under his guidance, the company has consistently achieved record-breaking annual revenue and profit figures, positioning itself as a benchmark within the health product industry.

Mukesh M. Patel
Nominated by Rutgers State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick

Mukesh Patel, a serial entrepreneur, has dedicated 25 years to fostering the startup ecosystem. Experienced in private equity, venture capital, innovation, business law, and education, he has founded numerous ventures, worked with 100+ investors, and advised more than 1,000 ventures. 

Mukesh was the founder/CEO of JuiceTank, NJ’s largest incubator where he helped incubate 100+ startups. He is the founder/CEO of VX, an innovative venture accelerator / advisory firm. 

Professor Patel has designed and taught ten entrepreneurial courses over ten years to more than 700 students per year, collaborating across schools of business, law, medicine, computer science, and engineering and has taught in five countries, receiving the university’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Education. 

Mukesh leads five programs at Rutgers: Director of  Social Innovation at the Honors College (helping students launch social ventures based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals), Director of Development at the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic (providing free legal resources to the entrepreneurial community), Director for the Collaborative for Tech Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (working with graduate students and industry mentors to commercialize intellectual property), Director of Road to Silicon V/Alley Program, and lead instructor and coach at Black & LatinX Tech Accelerator at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development.

Mukesh has been featured in global media. Entrepreneur.com named him one of “The Top 30 Movers and Shakers of New York City’s Startup Scene.” He graduated from Rutgers University with the distinctions of Summa Cum Laude, Henry Rutgers Scholar,  and Cap & Skull; and from Fordham Law School with distinctions of Dean’s List and Moot Court Board.

Kristine Porcaro
Nominated by University of Massachusetts Lowell

Kristine Porcaro has spent the past 20 years helping people make life decisions about their money. A graduate of the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell, Kristine founded Lexington Advisors in 1997 and Lexington Wealth Management in 2000. The Lexington Wealth Management team works directly with clients to address the emotional and complex aspects of personal finance, while at the same time providing expert and objective solutions.

Kristine embodies an innovative mindset with a commitment to helping others. In working with clients, Kristine noticed in meetings with couples that the women in the room hardly spoke and seemed disengaged. She began to talk with women one-on-one before or after the group meetings and found that in a supportive, judgement-free environment, these clients had a lot to say about goals and purposes for their money.

So, in 2017, Kristine started a monthly Empower Women series at Lexington Wealth Management. This successful program supports women in their financial decisions, helps them form connections, and learn from each other through monthly events on a variety of topics. 

Kristine is a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization, the United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), and Pepperlane, a group where women who are business owners and moms come together to promote and help each other. Kristine is also a current member of the Family Wealth Advisory Council and a former advisory board member for Charles Schwab.

Kristine’s style and knowledge have earned recognition from Boston Magazine as a Five Star Wealth Manager from 2012-2018. She was ranked as one of the Top 50 Owned Women RIAs in the Country (2013), a Top Adviser by Reuters Advice Point (2008) and one of Worth’s Top 250 Wealth Advisors (2008). Kristine was also an Honorable Mention on the list of Top Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts (2013).