Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey

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CIANJ President's Message

"New Leadership, But Free Enterprise Principles Remain Our Core Values"



by John Galandak, December 2014 COMMERCE Magazine Column

For 87 years, the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) has been the leader in free enterprise advocacy for the purpose of “providing, through education, legislative vigilance and membership interaction, an economic climate that enhances business potential and makes New Jersey a better state in which to live, work and conduct business.”

But what sets us apart from other organizations is that we help New Jersey’s elected leaders see the world through the eyes of the entrepreneur—the creative man or woman that takes big risks to bring his or her creative vision to life. Innovation is the process by which we create new jobs, careers and grow existing and new markets. The process makes the world a better place, and energizes the economy.

Free enterprise principles are our core values and CIANJ is New Jersey’s business advocate. In fact, we are increasingly being recognized as that statewide business advocacy group synonymous with free markets, which has led to a significant growth in membership this year. If businesses are looking for a strong voice in Trenton, they are choosing the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey. In 2014, we signed up members such as LG Electronics, Tesla Motors, Haier America and yes—the Town of Newton, New Jersey.

I know it may sound strange to announce that a town is a member of CIANJ—and indeed Newton is the first—but I am excited about Newton’s decision because the catalyst for joining CIANJ was the town’s desire to transform its image into one that welcomes business. We want to help Newton to be the kind of town where businesses want to locate, and I am proud to be working with Newton’s leaders, including Mayor Kevin Elvidge and Town Manager Thomas Russo, Jr., to make this a reality.

I am also grateful to Tracy Straka for her leadership as our chairman over the last two years. During her time as chairman, the level of member engagement and the scope of activities have increased dramatically, and we have seen a significant increase in the number of members who have taken an active role in guiding the direction of the Association.

At CIANJ’s 87th Annual Meeting & Luncheon on Oct. 31, 2014, at the Hilton Woodcliff Lake, Immediate Past CIANJ Chairman Tracy Straka, executive vice president of Creamer Environmental, Inc., passed the torch of leadership to CIANJ’s new Chairman, Martin W. Kafafian, Esq., managing partner for the law firm Beattie Padovano, LLC. Congratulations to our new chairman, and our new slate of officers including Vice Chairman Robert Iacullo, executive vice president, United Water; Treasurer Andrew Silverstein, member, Dorfman, Abrams Music, LLC; Counsel Richard Abramson, Esq., partner, Cole Schotz Meisel Forman & Leonard; and Secretary Elizabeth Napoli, president, MC&M Ltd. The following at-large officers were also elected: Chilton Medical Center President and CEO Deborah Zastocki; Harwood Lloyd, LLC Co-Managing Partner David Repetto; Lakeland Bank President and CEO Thomas J. Shara; and XSolutions Consulting Services Partner Joseph Imperato, Jr.

I also would like to thank the sponsors of this year’s Annual Luncheon: AmeriHealth New Jersey; Beattie Padovano, LLC; Columbia Bank; COMMERCE Magazine; Connell Foley LLP; EisnerAmper LLP; Hackensack University Medical Center; Haier America; Harwood Lloyd, LLC; Inserra ShopRite Supermarkets; J. Fletcher Creamer & Son; Lakeland Bank; Mack-Cali Realty Corporation; McCarter & English, LLP; PSE&G; PwC; Sharp; United Airlines; Valley National Bank; Verizon; and WeiserMazars, LLP.

A special thanks to Hackensack University Medical Center for its sponsorship of the Networking Reception; Haier America for its sponsorship of our keynote speakers; Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation for providing ground transportation; and Stuyvesant Green Earth Press for printing the program.

For more on CIANJ’s 87th Annual Meeting & Luncheon, see page 8.

To view the complete December issue of COMMERCE Magazine, click here.

87th Annual Luncheon

Click here to view pictures from the 87th Annual Luncheon.

NJ statesman meets with CIANJ

Click here to view the article.

December 16th, 20148:00 am | Register Now

Business 2 Business Council

Through the Business to Business Council, CIANJ is seeking to provide opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs to gain the contacts, knowledge, and information necessary to grow their businesses profitably. The B2B Council events will connect them to opportunities across New Jersey’s diverse business landscape.

CEO Roundtable

The CEO Roundtable provides a forum for chief executive officers or business owners to seek advice and share experiences. Participants freely discuss issues they confront daily, such as compensations, financing, dealing with family members, relocations, sale of a business and many of the topics.

Environmental Business Council

Since its inception, the EBC’s mission has been to recognize the important economic role the environmental industry plays within the state, to demonstrate that environmental issues are also business issues, and to teach the business and regulatory communities that environmental responsibility and economic growth are fundamentally related

Financial Decision Makers Roundtable

CIANJ’s Financial Decision Makers Roundtable is intended for senior executives in key financial positions within their firms, as well as CIANJ members and invited guests. The purpose of this roundtable is to share critical information related to financial decision making and to allow attendees to develop professional relationships with each other. CPE credits are offered.

Generation Now: A Young Professionals Or

Generation Now is a group of young professionals in alliance with one another for the purpose of education, networking and peer-to-peer exchange leading to personal and professional growth.

Healthcare Roundtable

CIANJ’s Healthcare Roundtable is a forum for professionals who work within a spectrum of related disciplines to interact with one another by discussing critical issues that affect healthcare, as well as to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and develop relationships that enhance business

Human Resources Council

CIANJ’s Human Resource Roundtable is intended to advocate HR awareness by providing information and resources in various HR disciplines. It educates those responsible for HR in their organizations by sharing knowledge to solve common challenges. As an HRCI Approved Provider, attendees can earn continuing education credits toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR

Legislative Roundtable

The mission of the Legislative Roundtable is to provide a forum where business executives can meet with state and federal lawmakers to discuss the latest issues affecting commerce.

Manufacturing Roundtable

The Manufacturing Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complimentary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect manufacturing, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business

Real Property Roundtable

CIANJ’s Real Property Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complementary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect real property, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business

Technology For Business Roundtable

The Technology For Business Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complementary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect technology, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business.

Recent News

  • 2015 Chairman's Reception Nominations

    The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey in partnership with COMMERCE Magazine will salute corporate philanthropy at the 2nd Annual Chairman’s Reception on March 11, 2015 at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack. COMMERCE Magazine’s  March 2015 issue will feature a Special Chairman’s Section on “Companies that Care: Giving Back, Paying it Forward.” To participate and be considered for an award and/or recognition in COMMERCE, please provide the following:

    1. In 100-200 words, please describe how your company and employees contribute to a specific charitable cause—why is it important and what have you done to help? (Entries that list many charities instead of one will not be considered.)
    1. Please provide a high resolution jpeg photo of your team/employees working with this charity and a caption of no more than 30 words. Captions should describe the activity and not be a list of names for group photos.
    The deadline for submissions is 3:00 P.M. EST on Friday, January 16, 2015. All submissions should be emailed to Diane Walsh at If you have any questions, she can also be reached at 201-368-2100. All winners will be announced at the reception on March 11. #costhatcare

  • Member News - Wolff & Samson

    Francis J. Giantomasi, one of New Jersey's top real estate and redevelopment attorneys, is joining Wolff & Samson as a member. "Mr. Giantomasi brings to Wolff & Samson a wealth of experience in commercial real estate and related transactional work and is recognized as a leading redevelopment attorney in the state," according to Wolff & Samson member Jeffrey Chiesa. "Frank is a significant addition to our already strong real estate practice group." In addition, Mr. Giantomasi's son Francis M. and daughter Gemma will continue to practice with Mr. Giantomasi at Wolff & Samson. Mr. Giantomasi said that his new relationship with Wolff & Samson will enable him to maintain his Essex County and Newark presence while providing additional resources to serve current and new clients.

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  • Member News - Lakeland Bank

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