George E. Norcross, III serves as Executive Chairman of Conner Strong & Buckelew, one of the nation’s largest insurance, risk management and employee benefits brokerage and consulting firms. Norcross has been the head of Conner Strong & Buckelew and predecessor companies since he founded the firm in 1979.
Norcross also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System, Cooper University Hospital, and MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, all in Camden. He has served as a Trustee of Cooper University Hospital since 1990. During this time, Cooper has been transformed into a top-tier tertiary academic medical center; launched the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, the first new medical school in New Jersey in 30 years; and opened the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. In 2015, Norcross was appointed to the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, headquartered in Houston, Texas. Norcross has won wide praise for his leadership of Cooper, including the prestigious Seven Seals Award given by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Employer Support for National Guard and Reserve in recognition of Cooper’s Veterans VIP Priority Program. Norcross was named one of New Jersey’s most powerful healthcare leaders by NJBiz, recognized as one of New Jersey’s 2013 Top Influencers in New Jersey Biotech by BioNJ, Trustee of the Year by the New Jersey Hospital Association in 2011, and Trustee of the Year by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals in 2006. In 2009, Norcross accepted the Susan G. Komen Beacon of Hope Award on behalf of Cooper University Hospital/Cooper Cancer Institute.
In addition to his role in making Cooper a regional healthcare leader, Norcross has been recognized for his personal philanthropy and support of the larger South Jersey community, especially the City of Camden. Norcross serves as chair of The Cooper Gala, which is one of the largest single event charity fundraisers in the great Philadelphia-South Jersey area each year and has raised over $12 million to benefit Cooper University Health Care, including $2.1 million in 2018. In addition to supporting The Cooper Foundation, in 2011, Norcross and his family announced a $5 million pledge to Cooper. It was the first commitment in a $50 million capital campaign to help fund the rapid expansion of one of New Jersey’s preeminent academic medical centers.
The Norcross’s family foundation focuses its charitable efforts on improving education for youth, funding research to help cure diseases, supporting the arts and culture, improving the community’s safety, and helping people with disabilities. Through the Norcross Foundation, in conjunction with The Cooper Foundation and in partnership with the non-profit TEAM Schools of New Jersey, New Jersey’s first “renaissance school” opened in September 2015. The KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy delivers world-class public education to 3,000 children, grades K-12, in Camden.
Norcross has been a long-time benefactor of the Larc School in New Jersey, a special education school for children with disabilities, and he and his family were recognized for their commitment at the school’s 50th anniversary in 2018. His involvement includes serving as Chairman of the Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge, the largest 10K run in the tri-state area and the Larc School’s most significant fundraising event. Through the run and other initiatives, Larc School has been the beneficiary of over $5 million in fundraising dollars. The Norcross family, The Norcross Foundation, and its affiliated entities provide support to over 200 life-changing organizations each year.
Norcross has been nominated for numerous awards to honor his contributions to the community. He was named the 2018 Business Leader of the Year by the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University for his successes as a business and community leader. In 2015, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey awarded Norcross and his family the Haas Regional Champion Medal for their commitment to the United Way’s mission and embodying the entrepreneurial spirit of the legendary philanthropist, John Haas. In 2013, Norcross was honored by the New Jersey March of Dimes at the organization’s Born to Shine Gala and has been honored by Chabad Lubavitch, awarded the Annual Champion of Children Award by the Camden Children’s Garden and the Tree of Life Award from the Jewish National Fund for his philanthropic and community leadership.
Norcross also serves on the Board of Directors for the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and Holtec International, a global leader in power generation technologies. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors for Delta Risk, a firm that provides high impact cybersecurity and risk management services to government and private sector clients worldwide. Formerly, he served on the Board of Directors of Commerce Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:CBH) and as Lead Director of the $7.8 billion sale of the bank to TD Bank Financial Group. Norcross also served as Chairman and majority shareholder of U.S. Vision, a large national retailer of optical products and services, which he later sold. In 2012, Norcross and other local business and civic leaders purchased Interstate General Media (IGM), the parent company of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, the region’s largest and most popular online news source. In 2014, Norcross sold his shares to the minority owners.