With over 60 years of experience in serving small businesses, MetLife recognizes that small business owners work hard. They take care of their firms, their employees, their families, and their communities. That’s why MetLife, one of the nation’s leading providers of employee benefits to small businesses, is recognizing New Jersey small business owner Michael Dennis of Chester Township, NJ, as its first “MetLife Small Business Champion.”

Dennis is the owner of the Big Green Group, a diversified telecommunications firm in Fairfield, NJ, that he formed in 2010. He is being recognized not just for building up a successful small business, but for creating strong, loyal relationships with his employees and for being an active citizen in his community. Factors in qualifying Dennis to be selected as the MetLife Small Business Champion included being an existing MetLife client with a demonstrated passion for the New York Giants -- a team that plays at MetLife Stadium -- as well as a long history of being an engaged community leader. To acknowledge his accomplishments, Dennis was chosen to receive a once-in-a-lifetime experience at MetLife Stadium.

As MetLife Small Business Champion, he was surprised by Giants legends Dhani Jones and Super Bowl champion David Diehl with a “takeover” of his business for the afternoon in which they helped run Big Green Group to give Dennis a rare afternoon off (worked out in advance with Dennis’ employees to make sure the firm keeps running smoothly). The players provided Dennis with tickets for that evening’s game and he, his wife, and some of his staff were transported to MetLife Stadium, where they enjoyed special game-day hospitality hosted by Giants great and Super Bowl champion Mathias Kiwanuka, and Dennis was featured on signs and jumbotrons throughout the stadium. The entire experience has been captured on video to serve as a lifelong souvenir of the day, and highlights are being distributed on social media.

“Selected from MetLife’s thousands of local small businesses customers, Mr. Dennis truly exemplifies the spirit of American entrepreneurs – succeeding in a competitive field, serving as a model employer, and making a difference in his community,” said James Reid, executive vice president, group benefits, MetLife. “His employees, as well as his family members, couldn’t speak highly enough about how hard he works to move his business forward, yet always has time to listen to people’s concerns, and to mentor others. Mr. Dennis is an example that all of us can look up to – and he is a die-hard Giants fan! We salute him as a MetLife Small Business Champion, and wish him and the Big Green Group continued success.”

Dennis, owner of the Big Green Group, previously was a partner in and served as Chief Operating Officer for JNET Communications, and also was the majority owner of General Sports Venue, LLC, after a long career with AT&T, Lucent, and Avaya. Michael earned a degree in government from Dartmouth College and he has completed Executive Programs at three leading business schools. In the February 2000 issue of Black Enterprise magazine, he was recognized as one of the “Top 50 African-American leaders in Corporate America.” Dennis served as the chairperson for INROADS Central New Jersey, a non-profit organization focused on mentoring young minorities interested in working in corporate America, from 2003 to 2005. He lives with his family in Chester.

Added Reid, “At MetLife, we believe we understand the key ingredients for what success looks like for an entrepreneur, as we serve more than 40,000 businesses with products tailored to help companies with two to 99 employees balance costs and employee needs. We know that for the business owner, their businesses are anything but small. That’s why we are proud that our team of experts has helped Mr. Dennis – and his employees – confidently select and manage their benefits options. We salute Financial Advisors of Delaware Valley and Savoy Associates in identifying such a deserving candidate to be our first MetLife Small Business Champion.”

About MetLife 
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("MetLife"), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit

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David Hammarstrom