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Wayne Tamarelli Honored by JumpStart NJ

Members Remember Co-Founder Who Died in December

Antarctica, seven times. The remote continent kept being mentioned as JumpStart NJ members recently honored Wayne Tamarelli, a co-founder of the group of angel investors who passed away on Dec. 4, 2023.

When not investing in startups, Tamarelli loved to travel and made a promise to all his grandchildren to take each one on a trip anywhere in the world–their choice–which is how the Basking Ridge resident kept going back to Antarctica.

“He was the most renaissance person I’ve met in my life,” said Alan Wink, who knew Tamarelli for 30 years and recalled his travels to 177 countries plus love of wine, the arts and sports. “This was a person who lived life to the fullest.”

Rudy Valli added, “He did such wonderful things, but he was never a braggart.”

Wayne Tamarelli

JumpStart NJ investors honored Tamarelli on March 26, during a monthly meeting held at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park. JumpStart NJ also made a donation in Tamarelli’s name to the Park Avenue Foundation, which supports nonprofit human service and cultural organizations. The donation included memorializing Tamarelli with a scoreboard for the bocce court at Park Avenue Club, where Tamarelli was a longtime member and lover of bocce.

Steve Dyer, chairman of JumpStart NJ, recalled how Tamarelli helped start the angel group in 2002. “It really grew. Wayne was instrumental,” said Dyer.

Most of all, JumpStart NJ members recalled how helpful Tamarelli was in sharing his keen investing insight, and how they wanted to soak up his knowledge.

“What an honor to have two hours with Wayne. He really taught us,” said Harry Sangree who explained how Tamarelli taught him how to be the lead on a deal team. “He always honored his commitments.” 

Edmond Cunningham added, “Everybody looked up to him for that guidance.”

Memorializing Tamarelli at Park Avenue Club

Gina Tedesco noted Tamarelli encouraged her to join JumpStart NJ. “He was really my mentor when there were very few mentors for women angels,” she said. “I wanted to be just like him, and travel the world.”

Tamarelli was a Pied Piper of sorts, leading others to the best deals.

“If Wayne went in on a deal, I felt comfortable going in on a deal,” said Mark Baum.

Ken Silbert said Tamarelli had the Midas touch. “He was certainly the right guy to follow,” said Silbert. 

Tamarelli was also generous in coaching startups, and also new members of JumpStart NJ.

“Wayne was always generous with his time, and he was always supportive of startups,” said Mario Casabona. 

Dan Van Tran, a newer member of the group, noted Tamarelli’s wealth of knowledge and experience. “I wish I had had more time with him,” Van Tran said. 


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