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Robert D. Prunetti

For more than 40 years, Phoenix Ventures Founder & CEO Robert D. Prunetti has been a visible leader in helping businesses and organizations throughout New Jersey foster profitable partnerships and accelerate growth. He’s served in both private and public roles throughout his career, with the aim of igniting economic development and business success throughout the region.

As the County Executive for Mercer County for more than 12 years, Robert revitalized the City of Trenton, spearheading the development of Mercer County Waterfront Park, Sun National Bank Center and the Mercer County Open Space Preservation Trust Fund. He also established a free trade Zone and International Trade Center located at Trenton-Mercer Airport.

As the executive director of the The MIDJersey Center for Economic Development (MIDCED) for more than six years, Robert leveraged collaborative economic programs that promoted the retention, expansion and attraction of businesses in the mid-Jersey region.

In that same time period, he also served as president and CEO of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce, where he worked to enhance the business efforts of more than 1,000 companies in the central New Jersey area.

Now, as the leader of Phoenix Ventures, Robert has assembled a team of seasoned professionals who will help drive your business to the next level.

Douglas Palmer

Douglas Palmer has served the public for nearly 30 years, first as a Mercer County Freeholder in the 1980s; as the first African American Mayor elected in 1990 to lead the capital city of Trenton, New Jersey for five terms; and in the past decade as a developer and implementer of urban policy and community development initiatives, presiding over the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the New Jersey Urban Mayors, and other national and statewide organizations dedicated to data-driven problem solving and best practices.


During his five terms as mayor of the City of Trenton, Douglas reduced crime and unemployment, dramatically increased homeownership for working families; maintained a high tax collection rate and balanced budgets; replaced an ineffectual police structure by establishing a civilian police director; and brought the state capital the Marriott Hotel (the city’s first), an anchor of downtown revitalization. He also led efforts to obtain funding for the $75 million expansion of the Trenton Train Station, a major engine for downtown economic development that is now attracting private investment nearby.


Since leaving office in 2010, has served as President and CEO of Douglas H. Palmer and Associates, LLC. The firm specializes in in inter-governmental and corporate consulting and has a client list that includes The American Beverage Association, The National Football League, Major League Baseball, Petra Systems, Premier Magnesium, and Comcast. He serves on several boards of directors, including Children’s Futures, a non-profit organization that serves the needs of young children. 

Maria Caputo

Maria Caputo brings more than 20 years of government, campaign and political fundraising experience to 1868 Public Affairs.  Most recently she has had a successful career as a self-employed Event Coordinator and Fundraising Consultant for political campaigns and non-profit organizations.


Ms. Caputo’s experience includes serving as Fundraising Consultant for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the New Jersey Republican State Committee and various campaigns, including Zimmer for US Senate (1996), Whitman for Governor (1997), Ferguson for Congress (1998), Cornstein for NY State Comptroller (2001) and Kyrillos for US Senate (2012).


Her past government employment includes service in the Office of Governor Christie Whitman and the Office of Mercer County Executive Robert Prunetti.  She also served for three years as Manager of Annual Giving for the Central Park Conservancy in New York City.


Ms. Caputo served on the Board of Education at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson and worked as a mentor at Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  She currently volunteers to coordinate underwriting for the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County.


Ms. Caputo earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University and resides with her family in Rumson.

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