Simunovich stood for more than four decades as a towering figure in New Jersey business, government, health care, and politics. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey before being raised in West New York, Simunovich attended Colgate University to obtain his bachelor’s degree before heading to Fairleigh Dickinson University Graduate School for his master’s in Business 

Management. Throughout his lifetime, Simunovich was an executive Bell Atlantic New Jersey, New York Telephone (Verizon), and President and Chief of Staff for SUEZ North America. He began his service at the Hackensack University Medical Center Board of Governors in 1991 and held a variety of roles, including as the founding chair of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall Board of Governors. Active in governmental and civic associations, Simunovich served in leadership positions for 9 New Jersey Governors, was the longest-serving vice-chairman of the NJ Economic Development Committee, a Hudson County Freeholder for 12 years and Director and Chairman of the Board for 3 years. During his tenure as Chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, he guided the historic cost-saving consolidation of the Garden State Parkway with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, oversaw the removal of Parkway toll booths to speed traffic flow, and the implementation of E-Z Pass. Additional associations included the Bergen County Economic Development Corporation, the New Brunswick Development Corporation, the National Association of Water Companies, the National Council of Public-Private Partnerships, the Leadership Committee of the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board, and New Jersey City University. With a deep-rooted commitment to service, lifetime honors included the United Hospital Fund of New York Distinguished Trustee Award, the New Jersey Hospital Association Trustee of the Year Award, and NJBIZ Magazine’s Icon of the Year Award.