CIANJ’s 91st Annual Meeting & Luncheon: Richard W. Abramson Elected Chairman

THE COMMERCE and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) marked 91 years of advocacy for New Jersey’s business community and fighting for free enterprise at its 91st Annual Meeting & Luncheon, held Oct. 26, 2018, at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

More than 500 business and community leaders attended the VIP event, which offered top-level networking for company executives, education leaders and local and state government officials—plus it is a yearly opportunity to connect with clients, colleagues and new contacts.

Decision-makers—elected officials from Trenton and local governments—were recognized from the podium and asked to stand when their name was called, which highlighted the caliber of attendees that were in the audience.

We also announced our new headquarters location—365 West Passaic Street, Suite 490, in Rochelle Park, New Jersey—and discussed many planned CIANJ events around the state in 2019, including CIANJ’s Annual Companies that Care Awards in March; Annual Golf Outing in May; Annual Best Practices Awards in September; and the 92nd Annual Meeting and Luncheon in October, which will again be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

CIANJ Elects a New Chairman of the Board. Cole Schotz P.C. Member Richard W. Abramson, Esq., was elected as CIANJ’s new Chairman of the Board. He was previously Vice Chairman of the Board, and succeeds Dorfman, Abrams, Music LLC Partner Andrew Silverstein, who served a two-year term.

Abramson is currently co-chairman of Cole Schotz’s Real Estate Department and the Real Estate Special Opportunities Group, and he counsels property owners, developers, real estate equity and opportunity funds, real estate investment trusts, investors, owners and tenants in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions.

His practice—which is national in scope and encompasses a broad range of transactions—deals with acquisitions, dispositions, development and retail leasing. Abramson’s professional focus includes the management, financing and construction of commercial, retail, industrial and residential properties; mezzanine financings; joint ventures; and the acquisition and disposition of distressed debt.

New CIANJ Board Members. The following business leaders were elected to CIANJ’s Board of Directors at the Annual Luncheon: AON Insurance Resident Managing Director Peter Webster; Archer EVP & Director Thomas Herten, Esq.; CarePoint Health EVP, External Affairs, Randy Minniear; Jersey Central Power & Light Vice President John Anderson; New Jersey City University VP & Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kroll; PNC Wealth Management SVP & Managing Director John Manna; United Airlines Regional Sales Director Christine Cormier; and William Paterson University President Richard Helldobler.

Honors and Awards. The following honors and awards were announced at the Annual Luncheon: the Chairman’s Outstanding Leadership Award to CIANJ Board Member John Corcoran, chief operating officer of D’Alesandro, Inc.; the Chairman’s Outstanding Volunteer Award to Morgan Stanley financial advisor Corethia V E Oates; and CIANJ’s Legacy Award to Larry Inserra Jr., chairman and CEO of Inserra ShopRite Supermarkets. Dorfman, Abrams, Music LLC Partner Andrew Silverstein received an award for his two years of service as CIANJ’s Chairman of the Board.

Keynote Speakers. We were fortunate to have two keynote speakers from the American Dream project, which was being constructed across the street from the hotel and has been described as a game-changing entertainment attraction for New Jersey and the region. Project Manager Tony Armlin gave an update on the build- out and described the economic engine American Dream will become with jobs and revenues being infused into the local economy.

Triple Five’s Don Ghermezian, Jr., made sure everyone knew how special American Dream will be. “Our approach to entertainment, dining and retail will create a truly unique customer experience,” he said. “Our focus on 40+ million customers annually is driven by experiential retail offering interactions with brands unique to American Dream; customer service technologies that will provide resort-level services; carefully curated entertainment partners that include DreamWorks, Nickelodeon and Vice Media—all found in an architecturally stunning environment that is customized to meet the needs of our tenants.”

Annual Luncheon Sponsors. CIANJ thanks all of the sponsors, including: Reception Sponsors—Hackensack Meridian Health, Verizon; Speaker Sponsor—Mazars USA; Registration Sponsor—Santander; Video Sponsor— TD Bank; Luncheon Sponsors—AmeriHealth New Jersey, Bayshore Family of Companies, Beattie Padovano LLC, Cole Schotz P.C., Columbia Bank, COMMERCE Magazine, Dorfman Abrams Music LLC, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Inserra ShopRite Supermarkets, J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, Inc., Lakeland Bank, McCarter & English, LLP, MWWPR, M&T Bank, PNC Wealth Management, PSEG, Selective Insurance, Spencer Savings Bank, Stuyvesant Press, United Airlines and Valley Bank.

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