NAIOP New Jersey’s new CEO officially takes reins

Dan Kennedy begins tenure 

Dan Kennedy officially assumed the role of CEO at NAIOP New Jersey this summer. The launch of Kennedy’s formal tenure as head of this key commercial real estate development trade association followed a six-week transition period working in tandem with outgoing CEO Michael McGuinness.

In partnership with the association’s board of directors and officers, Kennedy will guide the future growth of NAIOP’s Garden State chapter — currently 850-plus members strong — and implement its mission.

“As a result of Mike’s efforts, the chapter has long supported the evolving interests of our members and served as an advocate for positive change in New Jersey,” Kennedy said. “I am honored to be working with our staff, members and leadership to make this strong organization even stronger.”

Kennedy brings an extensive background in association management, public affairs and government relations, strategic planning, coalition building and policy to his role. Prior to joining NAIOP N.J., he was senior director/director of environmental and utility operations for the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey. He previously served as a senior official in New Jersey state government. He holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and a New Jersey Professional Planner license.

Among Kennedy’s top priorities during the first months of his tenure is to initiate a thoughtful planning process that will lead to a multiyear, action-focused strategic plan.

“We will be evaluating ways we can build value for our members and ensure a future where the association continues to grow and prosper,” he said. “This plan will guide us in building on NAIOP N.J.’s solid foundation in areas ranging from public policy to programming, while continuing to meet the standard of excellence our members expect — without missing a beat.”

With an eye to the future, Kennedy emphasized the importance of providing the next generation of CRE leadership with the skills and mentorship needed for success.

“Staffing issues are not getting any easier, and it is essential that industry professionals engage with each other and New Jersey’s institutions of higher education to invest in workforce development,” he said. “We need to attract young people who are passionate about building their commercial real estate careers. And we need to help them leverage programs, like NAIOP’s Developing Leaders, that provide tools, networking and resources to foster their growth.”