Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal — New Jersey — November 8 - 21, 2013 — C


Diversity is Key to Weathering the Economic Storm

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – “The past five years have been turbulent, but they have been our best years. Diversity is the key – different projects in different markets, completed in different ways.”

That was the message delivered by James G. Petrucci of J.G. Petrucci Co., Inc. (JGPCO) of Asbury, NJ to attendees of CREW NJ’s October monthly meeting at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park. “It’s all about people, and core values,” he said, noting that his company has 18 design-build projects currently underway, and 400 overall since he launched JGPCO in 1987. In a presentation that included anecdotes from his personal life (his mother is long-time CREW NJ member Rosalin Petrucci, attributing the mantra “you have to learn something every day” to her), he explained that his company looks forward to working on projects with or without an equity interest. “We treat all of our projects the same in any case,” he explained. “The varied diet really works. “The point is that in a bad market, the key is to avoid taking on too much debt and to diversify the risk,” Petrucci said. “Risk management has become second nature in our company’s approach. We are set up to handle the worst-case scenario.” JGPCO is specifically focused on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets, with a 50-50 split be- tween the two states. In New Jersey, the company does fewer but larger projects compared to more but smaller projects in Pennsylvania. Outlining several projects currently underway, including one with first-time institutional partner JP Morgan Chase, “diversity is our way to cope with the economy,” he re-emphasized. Comparing the two states in which his company primarily works, “New Jersey has suffered continued leakage of manufacturing jobs to Pennsylvania,” Petrucci said. “We are not in the recruiting business, but it is worthwhile to find out what’s going on in each market and don’t be afraid of geographic diversity.” “New Jersey is now better equipped to handle major leakages,” he said, expressing optimism for the newly enacted New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 (EO13). “I credit the administration of Gov. Chris Christie for recognizing that the state needed to wrap its incentive programs together in one program that is easier to sell.” In CREW NJ business, chapter president Patricia Riedel recognized the chapter’s past presidents and announced the slate of officers for 2014, headed by president-elect Monica Ceres of Giordano Halleran & Ciesla. She noted the successful and ongoing new member drive, which has netted 13 new members since the September CREW NJ meeting, “with more to come.” Other new business included announcements of such benefits as the Member Spotlight on the Chapter’s web site; a new chapter newsletter being launched by the PR and Web Site Committee, headed by Susan Karp of Cole Schotz Meisel Forman & Leonard; and the kick-off of UCREW, with a panel of six (6) CREW NJ professionals sharing their career paths slated for October 30, 2013, from 4PM-6PM at the Montclair State University Student Center. Riedel recognized the organization’s October charity, accepting donations for Dress for Success, an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women in 15 countries. Golf Committee chairman Robin Grossman of Zycus presented a check for $12,000 to Jerome Kilbane, executive director of Ocean’s Harbor House, beneficiary of CREW NJ’s summertime golf outing. Heather Suarez of Walder Hayden & Brogan and Mary Lynn Kearns of Dancker, Sellew & Douglas offered their experiences of how professional interactions within CREW NJ and the national CREW Network have impacted their careers. Stressing teamwork, “getting involved with CREW is a key to success for professional women,” said Kearns, and Suarez attributed her own success to CREW. “Our goal is to advance the professional development of women in commercial real estate through educational meetings and seminars, and to promote the opportunity for business growth through networking on local, state and national levels,” concluded Riedel, quoting the CREW mission state- ment. “We congratulate CREW NJ for making a difference in managing children’s lives,” said Kilbane, whose organization provides a safe haven for youths aged 10-21.


President & CREW Delegate Patricia Riedel, CBRE, Inc. patricia.riedel@cbre.com

President-Elect & CREW Delegate Monica Ceres, Giordano Halleran & Ciesla mceres@ghclaw.com Immediate Past-President & Advisor Cheryl Hardt, CBRE, Inc. cheryl.hardt@cbre.com Treasurer Rebecca Machinga, WithumSmith+Brown, PC rmachinga@withum.com Recording Secretary Stacey Weinberg, Federal Business Centers sweinberg@federalbusinesscenters.net Director, Membership Mary Lynn Kearns, Dancker, Sellew & Douglas mkearns@dancker.com

Director, Programming Marta Villa, CBRE, Inc. marta.villa@cbre.com Director, Philanthropy Rachel Brindisi, Print Tech rmbrindisi@gmail.com

Co-Director, Sponsorship Diane Menard, Prestige Title Agency, Inc. diane.menard@prestigetitle.net

Co-Director, Sponsorship Patricia Faulkner, NAI Global pfaulkner@naiglobal.com

Director, Special Projects-Golf Robin Grossman, Zycus rgros30687@aol.com

Director, Special Projects - Website/PR Susan Karp, Cole, Schotz, Meisel,

Forman & Leonard, P.A. skarp@coleschotz.com

Advisor Silvana Finizio, Carousel Industries of North America sfinizio@carouselindustries.com

CREW NJ’s next scheduled event is a lunch meeting slated for November 14, 2013 at the Saddle Brook Marriott in Saddle Brook, NJ.

CREW NJ is the New Jersey Chapter of CREW Network (Commercial Real Estate Network), which is dedicated to the advancement of women in commercial real estate. Membership organizations are comprised of nearly 9,000 members representing every discipline within the industry and are located in 74 chapters across North America.

Advisor & By-Laws Sheila Nall, KSS Architects snall@kssarchitects.com www.crewnj.org

Contact CREW NJ at (609) 585-6871, via email or visit the website at www.crewnj.org

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