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Message from CEO Dan Kennedy

My tenure with NAIOP NJ has begun with a 6-week transition period with our widely respected CEO Mike McGuinness. As you know, Mike is not only a true professional but is also humble, kind, and thoughtful. Mike has assured me that although he’ll soon be retired, he won’t be far away, and that gives me great comfort.

It is an incredible honor to have been chosen to lead and serve this organization. Mike and the staff here have taken NAIOP NJ from a small shop to a highly effective and universally respected business association. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with many of you in different roles I have held during my career. I am looking forward to working with President Mark Shearer, our Executive Officers, Trustees and all our valued members and partners to not only sustain but to grow our industry. The team here at NAIOP NJ has been tremendously helpful and patient with my many—and sometimes mundane—questions. You know this already, but I feel it needs to be said: NAIOP NJ has a rock-star team.

The commercial real estate development industry respects tradition, but it equally values innovation. You know this is a critical time for our industry. It is a time of both opportunity and risk from the changes we are seeing in our region and world. I feel I am ready for the challenges ahead and ask that you stay actively engaged with NAIOP NJ’s programs, committees, and other opportunities.

As we will soon begin the approaching “post-McGuinness” era, I wanted to share my background and my intended approach.

Who am I?

I am 45 and have served in professional roles within and outside government. Married for 18 years, my wife and I have two teenage girls. I am a lifelong New Jersey resident, growing up in Monmouth County and now residing in Bordentown City (Burlington County). I am intellectually curious and ask a lot of questions by nature. When I can find the time, I love to travel to New Orleans, my favorite destination, for the culture of live music and amazing food. I volunteer in my community and currently chair my town’s Planning & Zoning Board. We are one of the good ones, I swear.

What attracted me here?

I came to NAIOP NJ because I believe in its mission and have seen your work yield meaningful results.  I have seen first-hand how NAIOP NJ has helped advance the interests of the commercial real estate development sector and improve the communities where the industry’s assets are located.

Frankly, the “fit” felt right. In my career I have been exposed to a wide range of issues relevant to commercial real estate development, including, but limited to, all aspects of infrastructure, finance, physical planning, zoning, and permitting. My former employer was a construction-related trade association, where I learned about the “ins and outs” of association management and a ton about construction and development from the perspective of the private sector.

While I know I have a learning curve, I am starting off with a strong base of knowledge and relationships relevant to the work here.

What’s next?

In my initial weeks I plan to listen, learn, and participate as much as possible to become familiar with the administrative functions I am inheriting from Mike.

Concurrently I plan to work with Board leadership to design, launch, and run a strategic planning process in coordination with Corporate NAIOP this fall. I anticipate the result will be a strategic plan, including actions and metrics to take NAIOP NJ into the future. Diverse and honest input will be essential to this process. I believe we already have clarity of purpose and a strong sense of mission. I see this as an opportunity to prioritize surgical changes and innovations centered around current and predicted market conditions for all asset classes and what you currently value and expect from us.

The NAIOP NJ world doesn’t stand still and I plan to jump right in. During this transition, you will see the same or increased level of attention to your needs. We are here to help you so please let us know what we can do to advance the interests of the commercial real estate development sector.

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