Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey

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History

Business leaders shared a common vision

  • 1927

    Commerce and Industry Association’s predecessor, the Bergen County Chamber of Commerce is founded as an advocate for the burgeoning commercial hub located around Hackensack. The organization’s mission remains as true today as it was when it was established. CIANJ is 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

  • 1931

    GW Bridge before 2nd level added
    The Chamber’s Board of Directors’ campaign to construct a span across the Hudson River is a success. The George Washington Bridge is opened, providing Northern New Jersey with a gateway to New York and enhancing the transportation network and success of businesses throughout the region. The chamber continues to be a strong voice for expansion of the state’s transportation network, resulting in construction of two tunnels beneath the Hudson River and creation of a statewide highway system to feed the growth of the business sector.

  • 1937

    Always vigilant on county finances, the chamber begins a practice of annual briefings with the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders to discuss the county budget, stressing the need to keep taxes down to foster greater business growth and job creation.

  • 1941-1945

    The chamber sponsored countywide drives to educate residents on the need to save waste paper to supply raw material to paper mill plants. The collection drive succeeds in keeping open important war plants that could have been shuttered from dwindling supplies.

  • 1965

    Bergen Cover 1967
    A new voice of business emerges as monthly magazine is launched. First published as “Bergen” the magazine evolves into “Commerce,” a highly-acclaimed publication distributed to more than 30,000 c-level executive and key decision makers in New Jersey.

  • 1975

    Bergen Cover 1967
    The Foundation For Free Enterprise is established as an affiliate of CIANJ. Its focus is education, providing a variety of programs in elementary and secondary schools dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of the free market economic system. The foundation was inspired by the 1971 memorandum by Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell in which he contended the free enterprise system was threatened because many people did not understand it.

  • 1979

    PENPAC
    PENPAC (Private Enterprise Political Action Committee) is formed as a general business political acting committee to give financial support to business-minded candidates for the New Jersey General Assembly and Senate.

  • 1983

    CIANJ emerges as the successor to the chamber, expanding the focus of organization into a statewide business advocacy group. James Cowen serves as the first president of the statewide organization and shepherds it through the transition.

  • 1997

    CIANJ’s CEO Roundtable is created as an exclusive forum for executives to seek the advice of peers on topics that affect their individual businesses. It provides a unique network for small-business leaders to consult with each other at regular intervals and gain insight into the decision-making process.

  • 2001

    EBC Logo
    The Environmental Business Association of New Jersey merges with CIANJ and the Environmental Business Council is created. The council represents more than 500 businesses throughout the state, making it a leading voice in the industry.

  • 2010

    CIANJ President John Galandak
    CIANJ President John Galandak is appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to serve on the Red Tape Review Commission chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. The commission is charged with reviewing all state laws and regulations with an eye toward eliminating antiquated, duplicative or over burdensome measures that inhibit government efficiency and deter business growth.

  • 2010

    CIANJ office opens a satellite office in Trenton as a new base for its legislative efforts. The new office in the historic Roebling Mansion on West State Street provides CIANJ with a convenient location to meet with state lawmakers to discuss members’ concerns.

  • 2011

    Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno
    Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno joins CIANJ members to formally dedicate the new Trenton office. A special plaque, expressing appreciation to the CIANJ members who helped equip and furnish the office, is hung at the new CIANJ satellite.