CIANJ’s 2019 Business Forecast: New Opportunities for Revenues

CIANJ’s 2019 Business Forecast: New Opportunities for Revenues

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE IS ESSENTIAL for companies that want to plan for long-term success, and COMMERCE asked many of New Jersey top business leaders to offer their predictions for 2019. Here are the insights, observations and analyses of 83 New Jersey CEOs, which offer a valuable “peek” into the future.

ACCOUNTING

Citrin Cooperman By Alex Serrano, NJ Office Managing Partner

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) gains strength on the industry radar, accounting firms are con­sidering how to incorporate AI into their business model—potentially slashing the amount of time accountants spend on routine tasks that AI will be able to perform more efficiently. This would allow accountants to spend more time on complex business matters and add more value to audits.

Deloitte LLP By Paul Krieger, NJ Managing Partner

Look for Deloitte to become even more active with private and mid-sized companies through our Deloitte Private practice with enterprise technology offerings. Technol-ogy is leveling the playing field for this sector and creating demand for Deloitte’s insights and consultation around automa­tion, data analytics, Internet of Things and other disruptive technologies.

EisnerAmper LLP By Jay L. Weinstein, CPA, Managing Partner-in-Charge, NJ Office

We will utilize less work­space per person due to flexible work schedules and hoteling, allowing for more efficient and cost-effective use of space. We also expect to see significant technol­ogy ROI, particularly in the application of artificial intelligence for smart audits. The accounting industry should witness more competition from non-accounting firms, particularly in the tax preparation area.

Goldstein Lieberman & Company LLC By Phillip Goldstein, CPA, Founder, Managing Partner

We will continue to grow—organically and through mergers and acquisitions—because only the fittest firms will survive, and those that do must merge. The AICPA estimates that 75 per­cent of today’s CPA’s will be retiring over the next 15 years, and accounting tasks—including tax, audits, payroll and bank­ing—are predicted to be fully automated in the future.

Grassi & Co. By Louis C. Grassi, CPA, CFE, CEO and Managing Partner

As many tasks within the accounting industry increas­ingly move to automation, the impor­tance of firms offering their clients a full suite of consulting services has never been more pertinent. Over the last several years, Grassi & Co. has posi­tioned our professionals to be able to offer our clients services in technology, cybersecurity, lean principles, business advisory, valuation, private wealth and private equity.

Klatzkin & Company LLP By Thomas H. Martin, CPA, Managing Partner

Accountants should be extremely busy. Tax accountants will be dealing with the first returns filed under the 2018 Tax Reform Act. Auditors and financial accountants will be dealing with many new requirements that will be effective in 2019 or shortly thereafter. These new requirements include changes to non­profit reporting, a major new revenue recognition standard and the new lease standard.

Levine Jacobs & Co., LLC By Timothy J. Shore, CPA, Co-Managing Member

There is a constant need for financial and tax information, which yields an increased demand for accounting professionals. Compounding that with the ever-chang­ing compliance and tax laws makes it obvious why the profession is grow­ing. Our firm expects to continue on our path of steady growth and always looks for quality people to join our firm.

NJCPA By Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA, CEO and Executive Director

The accounting industry is replete with both challenges and opportunities for 2019 in the areas of applying tax regulation, technological advancements, data analytics and keep­ing an eye on Trenton. Those profession­als who can adapt quickly will reap the benefits in terms of professional growth and in obtaining new clients.

Sobel & Co., LLC By Alan D. Sobel, CPA, Managing Member

In 2019, we will see tech­nology continuing to shape our profession, especially in the realm of artificial intelligence—which is growing in importance. Our people will be called on to be more consultative, adding value by offering business advice and industry expertise. We cannot underesti­mate the importance of personal con­nections, even when using cutting-edge technology to deliver solutions.

Wilkin & Guttenplan, P.C. By Edward Guttenplan, CPA, CGMA, MBA, Managing Shareholder

Our industry is facing rapid change from new technologies, client needs driven by these technolo­gies and new generational preferences from our workforce and customers. Our focus has been to stay ahead of trends and changes and welcome change when it arrives. We harness the energy, creativity and innovative think­ing of our staff and partners to identify opportunities.

WithumSmith+Brown, PC By Bill Hagaman, CPA, CGMA, Managing Partner and CEO

As a public accounting firm, Withum expects to experience continued growth in tax and advisory services, as clients will require guidance through issues related to the effective­ness of the tax stimulus package waning in 2019, and with the impact of technol­ogy on business continuing to be at the forefront of corporate concerns.

BANKING

Bank of America By Robert H. Doherty, New Jersey President

We will see continued dedication by Bank of America to responsible growth. We’ll also see the continuation of changes in how people and businesses access capital (e.g. our 36MM and growing digital banking customers) and the related investments in new technology. We will remain focused on managing expenses and managing risk that will enable us to invest in all of our futures.

Bank of New Jersey By Nancy E. Graves, President and CEO

We expect 2019 to mirror 2018 in terms of commer­cial loan demand, particularly for indus­trial space and construction projects. The multi-family market will continue to be available with a focus on valua­tions. Deposit rates will stabilize near current levels. Retaining employees with stock options, health care and growth opportunities will be key to maintaining a relationship-based culture for our customers.

Columbia Bank By Thomas J. Kemly, President and CEO

In 2019, Columbia Bank will complete its first year as a publicly traded company. We expect to continue positioning ourselves as New Jersey’s “preeminent bank,” with new branch locations, added service staff, enhanced technology and more community support. Industry-wide, we can expect more of the same—a rising rate environment, aggressive competitive challenges, more reliance on mobile technology and fewer branches.

Lakeland Bank By Thomas Shara, President and CEO

The customer experience is the greatest differentia­tor for banks and they will strive to sig­nificantly enhance it in 2019. New tech­nologies, especially digital banking, have changed how people bank, so the focus will shift from branches to digital optimization, and more financial institu­tions will partner with Fintechs to pro­vide a superior banking experience. Customer-centricity will also dominate 2019 as banks develop ways to remain competitive.

PNC Bank By Linda Bowden, NJ Regional President

In 2019, the financial services industry will see a continued emphasis on transforming the branch banking experience by pro­viding access to new technology. This will be complemented by additional investments in cybersecurity. With antici­pated Fed rate increases and fluctuating markets, PNC will continue to focus on delivering solutions to increase efficien­cy for consumers and business clients into 2019 and beyond.

Valley Bank By Ira Robbins, President and CEO

We must expand our technological capabilities to empower our associates and deliver a more innovative banking experience. We’re in the process of implementing an aggressive technology roadmap. We’ve already made great strides and, in 2019, we expect to streamline processes for our customers, use data to create more customized solutions and make banking easier for everyone we serve.

CONSTRUCTION

Concrete Washout Systems NJ/NY/PA By Roger Haftek, President

Over the past year, we’ve seen a significant increase in both public advocacy awareness and industry events focused on the critical importance of protecting and conserving water. I anti-cipate additional activity in 2019 and expect to see that the construction community will continue to look toward incorporating more safe, responsible, environmentally conscious best practices.

Structure Tone By John White, Jr., Regional Chief Operating Officer

The market has been steadily busy for the last several years in nearly every sector we operate in. While we expect this boom to slow eventually, in New Jersey, one area of continued growth is healthcare. Healthcare systems strive to provide the best absolute care, which means upgrading their facilities regularly to add more capacity or new technolo­gies or to upgrade outdated spaces. We are currently working on a major cardiovascular unit expansion at Morristown Medical Center, as well as several projects for Atlantic Health Systems and others. The healthcare market will continue to be a strong one throughout 2019.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

LG Electronics North America By William Cho, President and CEO

The strong U.S. economy, low unemployment and upbeat consumer confidence are all positive signs for 2019. Challenges include intense competition, rising interest rates and uncertainties related to the international trade environment. At LG, we will continue efforts to minimize the impact of tariffs on our customers, while focusing on profitable growth across our core consumer busi­ness areas and our growth-engine B2B businesses.

CREDIT UNIONS

New Jersey Credit Union League By David Frankil, President and CEO

2019 will bring tremen­dous growth and opportunity to New Jersey credit unions. Our new business lending cooperative, njBizloan.com, is bringing the lower rates and lower fees that are a hallmark of credit unions to companies across the state. We also foresee a gradual housing market recov­ery, as the stock of foreclosures contin­ues to slowly work their way through the system.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS, STAFFING AND HUMAN RESOURCES

Abel HR By Jim Bell Sr., Founder and CEO

An HR priority will be timekeeping, since the earned sick leave law makes businesses accountable for tracking and accounting for all hours worked. Businesses will be hard-pressed to implement new benefits with rising costs and possible minimum wage increases. Finding qualified people will be challenging, and a lack of educa­tion will be overlooked in favor of intel­ligence and drive.

Benefit Quest, Inc. By Eric Cohen, Managing Director

The trend in the employ­ee benefits side of the insurance industry is to gravitate toward non-ACA-based health insurance plans that are ERISA-based, saving thousands of wasted dollars on market inefficien­cies. For 2019, we are placing more emphasis on technology and communi­cation to help set up these new pro­grams that help companies of all sizes attract and retain the best talent.

Corporate Ladders By Bill Taylor, President

We believe the U.S. eco­nomic outlook will remain strong in 2019, and law, accounting and other professional servic­es firms will continue or even increase their hiring. As firms onboard new profes­sionals, we anticipate an increase in the demand for learning and development programs, specifically in the areas of lead­ership and business development to help motivate employees and drive revenues.

UNITEMP Temporary Personnel By Ted Kissel, President and CEO

Temporary staffing con­tinues as a favored option to fill gaps and supplement seasonal, cyclical and peak period, on-site staffing needs. The staffing industry changes but not much. Costs to produce are going up due to government initiatives, such as paid sick leave. However, I see no major changes in usage.

ENVIRONMENTAL, RECYCLING ARCHITECTURE, ENGINERING

AnythingIT LLC By David Bernstein, CEO

Technology obsolescence has accelerated at a faster rate than ever before. E-Waste is now the largest form of municipal waste in existence. To protect the environment and their data security, both enterprise commercial and government IT organizations, as well as individuals, need to be more aware and responsible when retiring their technology hardware and the data that resides on them.

Dewberry By Craig Johnson, PE, President, Northeast Region

We are focused on work­ing with state agencies and municipali­ties to improve our aging infrastructure. More investment is needed for our rail­ways, highways, bridges and ports, as well as deteriorating water and sewer systems, especially in communities with combined sewer systems. We’re also see­ing significant redevelopment in our urban centers, including measures to become more resilient and address climate change.

Envision Environmental, Inc. By Mark Roman, President

I see a change in how commercial/ industrial sites are acquired. Over the last decade or so, many of these properties have been bought “as-is” via the auc­tion/bid process, with limited environ­mental due diligence. More buyers will realize that although the purchase price might be lower, they are often faced with costly post-closing environmental issues. We’ll see a return to more strict due diligence.

GEI Consultants, Inc. By Ron Palmieri, President

A significant part of GEI’s New Jersey environmental and engineering practice supports real estate and development projects. We see the transactional mar­ket remaining robust throughout 2019, with perhaps a modest slow-downoccurring toward the end of the year as the effects of federal monetary policy, recent changes in the tax code and tar­iffs fully integrate into the economy.

LAN Associates By Ken Karle, PE, AIA, PP, LEED AP, President

The New Jersey metro­politan area continues to expand with new housing and develop­ment, requiring new schools and other supporting infrastructure. This increase will fuel the architecture and engineer­ing industry, and 2019 will see a contin­uation of a robust construction market.

Maser Consulting P.A. By Kevin L. Haney, President and COO

We anticipate a 15 per­cent to 20 percent increase in firm growth with an industry growth average of 5 percent to 7 percent. Our current growth has facilitated opportu­nities for us to provide more specialized services in some sectors, while we’re continuing to pursue energy services and capital infrastructure programs. Regionally, growth inside New Jersey will be flat, with most growth taking place out of state.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Procida Funding & Advisors By Billy Procida, CEO

If the story of the last cycle was subprime affect­ing the 99 percent, this market correction will only affect the 1 percent. The good news is, as each cycle comes to an end, all industries receive a “cleansing.” This recession will be much less severe than the 2008-09 Great Recession. We specialize in restructuring and making loans when others won’t. So, I see a robust period ahead.

HEALTHCARE

AmeriHealth New Jersey By Mike Munoz, Market President

Clearly, there continues to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding healthcare reform. As we look ahead, affordability and market stability will remain key areas of focus for the health insurance industry. As a company, we will continue to build upon the steady progress we have made to more effectively engage with our members.

Atlantic Health System By Brian Gragnolati, FACHE, President and CEO

We will continue to fulfill our mission of delivering high quality, innovative and personal­ized healthcare, to build healthier com­munities in New Jersey. We will explore new strategic partnerships to expand access to care while investing not only in new therapies, discoveries and equip­ment, but also in innovative ways to enhance care, improve accessibility and, ultimately, affordability.

BioNJ By Debbie Hart, President and CEO

With all the activity in New Jersey, such as Celgene’s Multiple Myeloma Institute; Hackensack Meridian’s Medical School and Center for Discovery and Innovation; start-ups fostering new discoveries at Rutgers, Rowan, NJIT and in new incubators like Princeton’s BioLabs; and a new administration committed to advancing our innovation economy, 2019 promises to be a game-changing year for life sciences in New Jersey.

Create By Beth Keyser, President

We are seeing a shift toward integrated delivery systems which incentivize coordinated and preventative care. As this shift occurs, delivery systems will need to innovate to keep pace with an ever-evolving market. Our health plan product, Create®, promotes competition between delivery systems to lower costs, and a personalized rela­tionship between members and systems to allow for a holistic approach.

Delta Dental of New Jersey and Connecticut By Dennis G. Wilson, President and CEO

Advances in data science technology will enable the dental bene­fits industry to increase the standard of oral healthcare. Partnering with Google’s artificial intelligence team and using data analytics to inform our providers, we will identify trends and efficiencies, and streamline benefit uti­lization for clients. Using data to deliver the best customer experience remains central to our growth and success.

HealthCare Institute of New Jersey By Dean J. Paranicas, President and CEO

Greater engagement is likely in 2019 among our life sciences community; our universities and state agencies will strengthen our innovation ecosystem, such as through ResearchwithNJ.com, a web-based repository of research university scholar­ship. Also, we will see broader utiliza­tion of wellness and prevention pro­grams and outpatient and monitoring treatment modalities to contain healthcare spending while maintaining high-quality care.

Holy Name Medical Center By Michael Maron, President and CEO

We are developing customized mobile telemedicine applications for patients to access from smartphones—they will be able to retrieve medical records, check vital signs and interact with healthcare providers. Patients will also control their medical information and partner with caregivers in order to become more proactive with their health. Our industry is mov­ing toward secure cloud storage for medical information.

Jefferson Health, New Jersey Division By Joseph W. Devine, FACHE, President; Chief Patient Experience Officer for Jefferson Health

I predict that in 2019, we will see the continued consolidation of healthcare organi­zations; that there will be an increased focus on population health initiatives to decrease cost of care; and for Jefferson Health in New Jersey, we will see additional growth, and the continuation of major construction projects at our Cherry Hill and Washington Township campuses.

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation By Sue Kida, President

As the healthcare land­scape continues to change due to mergers, acquisitions and regula­tory activities, rehabilitation hospitals like Kessler Institute will work to ensure patient access to the appropriate level of post-acute care by aligning ourselves with hospitals/systems and having the processes and technologies in place to provide seamless transitions of care and the strongest possible patient outcomes.

New Bridge Medical Center By Deborah Visconi, President and CEO

The hospital industry has migrated to patient- and family-centered care with team-based staffing and patient engagement. Preventative wellness and educational programs into care pathways optimize value through intelligent, adaptive workflows, offering interactive, elec­tronic, personalized, 24-hour access for patients. Innovative partnerships leveraging interoperability allow early intervention support and integrating behavior health as a critical component to treat the whole patient across the continuum.

New Jersey State Nurses Association By Judith Schmidt, MSN, DHA (c), RN, CCRN, CEO

The nursing shortage will continue to increase, albeit slowly, as more experienced nurses retire. Areas partic­ularly impacted are operating room, home health and labor and delivery. Compounding the problem is a shortage of nursing faculty to teach students. New nurse residency pro­grams at hospitals are emerging to transition and retain new nurses in the acute care setting.

RWJBarnabas Health By Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and CEO

In 2019, health systems across the United States are expecting to navigate an environment of continual chal­lenges with accelerated consolidation and new, nontraditional partnerships. In New Jersey, RWJBarnabas Health highly values our existing alliances across the state, espe­cially our partnership with Rutgers University that will greatly improve care in our communities, and looks forward to creating new relationships with like-minded organizations.

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System By Leslie Hirsch, FACHE, Interim CEO and President

Healthcare is experienc­ing a positive disruption with non-tradi­tional competitors causing hospitals/ health systems to determine how they remain relevant in an ever-evolving broader delivery system. New partner­ships and more consolidation are reshaping our industry and we must respond by focusing on the shift to outpatient care, population health and, most importantly, improving access to care and affordability.

St. Joseph’s Health By Kevin J. Slavin, FACHE, President and CEO

As the business model for healthcare transforms from a volume-dri­ven model to a consumer-centric, value-driven model, new competencies are required of hospitals and health systems to effectively manage a popula­tion’s health over the continuum of care. Of particular concern as we make this transition is our ability to enhance services to vulnerable populations, improving access to preventative and primary care.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center By Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President and CEO

The future of health- care can be summarized in just one word: disruption. With advancing technology, dwindling resources and ever-increasing complexity, we must always look for ways to do things better and smarter. At Trinitas we do that by encouraging innovation at every level of the organization. The old playbook—if it ever existed— is going out the window in 2019.

UnitedHealthcare of New Jersey By Paul Marden, CEO

The health system can be challenging to navigate, but advancements in technology will enable a more per­sonalized approach to care that is scalable. In 2019, UnitedHealthcare aims to help 500,000 people through a support program called Navigate4Me, which pairs people facing complex health issues with dedicated contacts who coordinate care, address claims issues and pro­vide social support.

Valley Health System By Audrey Meyers, President and CEO

I predict that con­sumers will continue to exercise their right to choose high-quality, easy-to-access health­care services. Valley’s priority is to provide the best experience, whether individuals seek care in our doctors’ offices, their homes, the hospital, our outpa­tient locations, or they are a mem­ber of our Center for Health and Wellness. By doing so, we know that consumers will continue to choose us.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Berkeley College By Michael J. Smith, President

Higher education will continue to address the life challenges and barriers students face in achieving improved educational outcomes. The lack of a culture based on focused and sustained reading abilities will challenge institutions to design more creative ways to transfer knowledge and skills. We will ideally see more practical applications of the science of learning.

Eastwick College By Thomas M. Eastwick, President

“Free” community col­lege initiatives will likely be the headline in 2019. But since only 12 percent of community college gradu­ates go on to earn a bachelor’s six years after graduation, it remains to be seen whether it would be time better spent in short-term certificate pro- grams that provide quick access to lucrative careers in trades, technology and the medical field.

Felician University By Dr. Anne Prisco, President

As technology shapes our future and U.S. demograph­ics shift, the demand for transformative, innovative changes in the content of aca­demic programs and the manner in which they are delivered will intensify. With Franciscan values as our bedrock, Felician is utilizing the latest technologies and experiential learning to prepare stu­dents for the jobs of the future.

Georgian Court University By Dr. Joseph R. Marbach, President

In 2019 and beyond, Georgian Court University looks to attract more students from New Jersey and the surrounding region, mak­ing our state a stronger importer of new talent. GCU will attract these students by diversifying academic programs to meet market demands and expanding its physi­cal and virtual presence through multiple delivery formats (face-to-face, hybrid, online) at multiple locations.

Montclair State University By Dr. Susan A. Cole, President

After decades of failure to address the lack of any intentional public higher education poli­cy, Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin will work together to put in place the initial steps of a plan to rationalize state oper­ating and capital support for the institu­tions and to reform the TAG program to make public higher education more affordable.

New Jersey Institute of Technology By Dr. Joel S. Bloom, President

The acceleration of technology across industries, education and throughout homes and communi­ties will continue with broader integra­tion of artificial intelligence, voice tech­nology and robotics. There will be an increase in partnerships between univer­sities to optimize strengths and improve learning outcomes. These collaborations will benefit industry and enhance the quality of life for citizens through education, research, service, and economic development.

Ramapo College of New Jersey By Dr. Peter P. Mercer, President

Public higher educa- tion in New Jersey will continue to serve as a catalyst for economic uplift and civic engagement. We will grow our online offerings, expand our part­nerships with county colleges and foster the convenience of our accelerat­ed degree completion programs for adult students—providing New Jersey residents and businesses with stream­lined access to our degree and certifi­cate programs.

Stockton University By Dr. Harvey Kesselman, President

We will provide more opportunities for students at both our 1,600-acre main campus in Galloway and our beachfront Atlantic City campus. We have several new, innovative academic programs and are developing plans for a new Marine and Environmental Science Center. Stemming outmigration and moving toward equitable state funding for public comprehensive colleges and universities remain priorities.

TCNJ By Dr. Kathryn A. Foster, President

In response to sector-dis­rupting forces—shifts in tra­ditional and non-traditional populations, advanced educational technologies, con­strained public investment and public demands regarding costs, accountability and outcomes—higher education will take stock of and innovate aggressively in academic offerings, cross-sector partnerships, markets, pricing, facilities, and support services to deliver value expected by students, communities and society. Institutions that do not will struggle.

Union County College By Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin, President

We are committed to providing an affordable, accessible and excellent education to all who seek to improve their lives. In 2019, we aim to increase the number of adults who have a degree, targeting individu­als who earned credits but never fin­ished or who need a new credential to be promoted at work.

William Paterson University By Dr. Richard J. Helldobler, President

Nathan D. Grawe’s book, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education, predicts that institutions, especially in the Northeast, will be challenged to maintain their current undergraduate population. Therefore, expanding grad­uate programs linked to industry need, competency-based education, adult completer programs and diversifying revenue streams should be where higher education as an industry looks to expand.

HVAC AND PLUMBING

A.J. Perri By Kevin Perri, President

For years, we’ve seen lagging industry recruitment and accelerating retirements, but numbers are turning. Stigma around skilled trades careers is weakening as disillusionment with traditional colleges grows. Technology is advancing rapidly as smart home systems expand beyond Silicon Valley with thermostats, HVAC, lighting and security, attracting more young recruits. Everyone benefits, especially homeowners, from better, cheaper tech and more skilled workers.

LAW

Fox Rothschild LLP By Gerard P. Norton, Ph.D., Esq., Office Managing Partner, Princeton Office

The hottest areas for law firms in 2019 are employment law, sexual harassment prevention training, gaming, intellectual property, litigation and real estate. Fox Rothschild’s New Jersey offices are well positioned in all of these areas. Our attorneys are entre­preneurial and the firm’s focus on life balance and diversity helps us attract smart, creative lawyers.

Gibbons P.C. By Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Esq., Chairman, Managing Director

Throughout 2019, Gibbons will focus on our recently opened offices in Washington, DC and West Palm Beach, Florida, expanding our practices and staking our positions in these new markets. For the broader legal industry, I predict regional mid-sized firms will either articulate their visions and position themselves distinct­ly, as Gibbons is doing, or merge with/be absorbed by larger firms.

Harwood Lloyd, LLC By Curtis J. Turpan, Esq., Co-Managing Partner

Harwood Lloyd is poised for continued growth across all lines of business in 2019. We anticipate strong expansion in our banking and commercial departments, as well as in our matrimonial, estates, ADR/mediation, real estate and litigation departments. This growth is possible because our clients understand the value that Harwood Lloyd consistently provides to them.

Meyner and Landis LLP By William J. Fiore, Esq, Partner

At Meyner and Landis, we have increasing demand in our corporate immigration practice due to regulatory changes affecting employee audits and increased scrutiny of H1-B applications. We added two new attorneys this year to help meet the demand. We are also forecasting more commercial workout issues for our banking clients, due to rising interest rates affecting real estate investors.

Norris McLaughlin, P.A. By John N. Vanarthos, Esq., Chairman

I predict that Norris McLaughlin will continue to grow and prosper as our clients do in this economy. As far as the legal industry goes, I think that mid-sized firms like ours will continue to be an attractive option for clients with a need for sophisticated legal services at a fair price point.

NPZ Law Group, P.C. By David H. Nachman, Esq., U.S. Managing Attorney

NPZ predicts individuals who qualify for the Highly Skilled foreign worker visa (H-1B), the Extraordinary Ability (O-1) visa, or the International Investor (E-2) visa will con­tinue to be strong candidates for admis­sion to the United States. The H-1B Visa program, under tremendous pressure now, will remain a viable method for specialized international workers to keep America competitive in the global economy.

Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. By Max Crane, Esq., Managing Partner

In addition to providing sound legal guidance, pro­viding value to our clients from both a legal and a business perspective will continue to be a driving force at our firm in 2019. As providing value is a constantly evolving process, 2019 should continue to result in positive advances in our delivery of legal and business advice to our clients.

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

R&J Strategic Communications By Scott Marioni, President

In 2019, we’ll see more effective integration of messages and tactics across the spectrum of paid, earned, shared and owned channels. Successful firms will become more adept at collecting and analyzing data and using it to develop truly integrated programs that help organizations find and engage with their audiences—wherever they are—in an incredibly fragmented landscape of poten­tial touchpoints.

REAL ESTATE

Alfred Sanzari Enterprises By Ryan Sanzari, Chief Operating Officer

As we have seen firsthand with the substantial redevelop­ment underway near our headquarters in Hackensack, 2019 will see visionary munici­pal leadership and forward-looking real estate developers continue to make strate­gic investments in cities across northern New Jersey, aimed at creating vibrant, urban cores focused around the demands of today’s residents and businesses.

Case Real Estate Capital, LLC By Sanford Herrick, Founder and Managing Principal

In 2019, the uncertainty within the commercial real estate invest­ment market will remain, as ongoing interest rate increases affect cap rates and property values across the Mid-Atlantic and Florida regions. This will push many lenders to constrain activity. At Case, we have the vision to identify underperforming assets with significant upside potential and will continue pro­viding funding solutions for clients.

Cushman & Wakefield By Andrew Judd, Senior Managing Director, New Jersey Market Leader

Cushman & Wakefield is well poised to capitalize on the recent upturn in office activity, continued demand from e-commerce and tradi­tional industrial users and strength of the capital markets sector. The state’s commercial real estate industry will also benefit from robust fundamentals across product and transaction types through­out 2019, all driven by the state’s diverse and evolving industry mix.

Denholtz Associates By Steven Denholtz, CEO

As 2019 unfolds, I expect the extraordinary performance of the indus­trial markets to continue, as demand shows no sign of abating. Residential markets should show continued strength, but I anticipate some softening as more projects come online. Additionally, elevated development costs and limited opportunities will con­tinue to make it tough for developers to find deals across asset classes.

Levin Management Corporation By Matthew K. Harding, President

Consumers once again are embracing shopping as a pastime, as a trip to a retail center today goes beyond an outing to purchase goods and services. Shoppers are seeking desti­nations that also provide opportunities for recreation and socialization. In the coming year and beyond, the most successful properties will be those that offer diverse tenant mixes that balance these objectives.

NAI James E. Hanson By William C. Hanson, SIOR, President

Once again, industry will be the keyword in the com­mercial real estate brokerage communi­ty as we look ahead to 2019. With sus­tained demand pressure from e-com­merce and distribution firms on the limited supply pipeline, northern New Jersey’s overall industrial sales and lease rates will continue to break records and create substantial develop­ment opportunities to the west, south and north.

NAIOP NJ By Michael McGuinness, CEO

Much of what happens will be driven by the need to attract a skilled and talented workforce and to generate jobs. This will include more collabora­tion between the public and private sector (i.e. incentives to attract the new Amazon HQ); rising wages and enhanced building and campus amenities; and more flexibility in leasing terms, tenant diversity and space design.

Prism Capital Partners By Edwin Cohen, Principal Partner

Corporations are recog­nizing that investing in their real estate enables them to cap­ture the workplace lifestyle (via enhanced amenities, image and atmosphere) needed to develop teams rich with top-quality labor. This provides a robust upside for New Jersey by creating strong justification for the advancement of development and redevelopment proj­ects that are revitalizing and redefining the regional office market.

Terrie O’Connor Realtors By Terrie O’Connor, Founder, President

A shortage of homes for sale has pushed prices higher. Inventory shortages affected our market in 2017 and 2018 and will likely continue to do so in 2019. The Federal Reserve is keeping inflation in check by raising interest rates. That said, the economy is strong, and employment is high, so there is steady demand for homes and rising interest rates should not dampen home sales.

The Garibaldi Group By Jeffrey Garibaldi, President

Activity will be driven by companies looking to improve their work environment. Attracting the best-in-class labor will fuel a continued flight toward quality. Lease velocity dropped nearly 50 percent in 2018, and 2019 is threat­ening similar sluggishness with political and economic uncertainty looming. Trade wars, interest rates and market corrections could dampen enthusiasm, even though current pipelines look promising.

Walters By Ed Walters Jr., Founder, President

I believe the U.S. econo­my is strong and should stay strong in 2019. Rising interest rates will have a negative effect but will keep inflation in check. A shortage in the labor market will continue to be a drag. Tariffs will also tilt more nega­tive than positive. Fortunately, the for­ward momentum of the economy will not be stopped, only slowed.

RISK MANAGEMENT

ICA Risk Management Consultants By Barron S. Wall, President and CEO

New exposures in emerg­ing and developing markets will reshape the risk management and insurance industries, as well as reshape American society. This includes industries such as energy, aerospace, artificial intelli­gence, drones, robotics, manufacturing, 3-D printing and retail medical cannabis. A private sector expansion will require risk management professionals to pre­pare businesses in advance of their risks.

TECHNOLOGY

Integrated Business Systems By Michael Mullin, President

Leveraging technology will strengthen as a central theme in construction and development during 2019. Practitioners are embracing cloud platforms and applications that facilitate day-to-day tasks—project man­agement, accounting, contracts, recover­ies, lease abstracts, job costs and compli­ance, among others. These tools are helping users increase efficiency and accuracy, improve focus on value-added opportunities and enhance their ability to make confident decisions.

UTILITIES

JCP&L By James V. Fakult, President and CEO

Our customers will bene­fit from JCP&L’s infrastruc­ture improvements that are focused on resiliency and redundancy. Our Reliability Plus program includes nearly $400 mil­lion of targeted investments to strength­en our distribution system, which is critical in helping to prevent storm- related outages. The program includes enhanced, accelerated tree trimming, and maintenance and upgrades to over­head circuits, substations, underground equipment and automation systems.

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