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In Partnership With
Association Member Trust
Focus NJ
Genova Burns LLC
Greater Trenton
NJBIA HR Support Center
New Jersey Business Magazine
NJM Insurance
Hybrid May 10 7:30 am - 10:15 am $75 Cooper’s Riverview
50 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08611
The NJBIA Event Team Email

A Collaborated Event

Great Trenton

Reimagining and Repurposing
Vacant Properties

Many post-industrial cities and suburban communities struggle with stranded assets reflecting changing market dynamics and the functional obsolescence of some existing buildings. This group of experts will discuss lessons learned from recent activities throughout New Jersey with a particular focus on the Trenton corridor.

The panels will address adaptive reuse and other creative approaches to address the challenges of finding new uses for old buildings and revitalize New Jersey’s urban and suburban communities. As a business owner/operator, you need to understand what stranded assets are, what they can become, and how they affect your long-term bottom line.  

This is a hybrid event.

View our full program along with speakers bio here.

Click on the white plus sign to view our program.
  • Program Details
    7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    Breakfast, Networking & Registration
    8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
    Opening Remarks, Panel Discussions, Followed by Closing Remarks.

    Reframing Incentives for Stranded Assets, the Government’s Role in Stranded Assets: This panel of experts will discuss the assessment and repurposing of stranded real estate assets in urban and suburban environments and their role as a catalyst for action.

    Driving Change and De-Risking Real Estate: This panel of experts will discuss the value of stranded assets, why they are an opportunity, their life cycle, and why increasing numbers of companies and investors are realizing that this change can extend the lifecycle of their assets, and how the perception of those assets must change as we evolve and move forward.

Michele N.     Siekerka, Esq. Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. President & CEO, NJBIA

Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, leads the nation’s largest, most influential employers’ organization, advocating on behalf of New Jersey’s large and small businesses for policies that will make New Jersey more affordable and regionally competitive.

Being known as a collaborative leader, Siekerka is leading an NJBIA established coalition (New Jersey Business Coalition) comprised of more than 100 business and nonprofit associations across the state to tackle the tough economic and business challenges our state is facing during COVID 19.

Well versed on the ‘boots on the ground” issues affecting our state’s business community, Michele is often the “go to” resource for media and is sought after to share her expertise in public forums across the state.

Anthony Birritteri Anthony Birritteri Editor-in-Chief, New Jersey Business Magazine

Anthony Birritteri is Editor-in-Chief of New Jersey Business Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. He is responsible for overseeing all editorial content in the magazine, which is the longest standing statewide business publication in the state, founded in 1954.

Birritteri is responsible for developing story ideas and assigning feature articles to staff and freelance writers on a daily and monthly basis. He is also responsible for selecting and editing news items for the magazine and NJBIA’s daily news broadcast New Jersey Business Today (NJBT). He also writes feature and breaking news stories for both the magazine and NJBT.

Over his 33-year career in business journalism, Anthony has won numerous awards from press associations and was a past president of the Garden State Journalists Association.

He has participated in various journalism and public relations panel discussions throughout the years and has been published in the New York Times, Business Travel Executive, and Credit Union Times.

He majored in English Literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where he graduated with high honors in 1989, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree. He received an Associate Degree from Union County College, Cranford, where he majored in communications – with a concentration in journalism – graduating in 1986.

John D.S. Hatch, FAIA, LEED AP John D.S. Hatch, FAIA, LEED AP Partner, Clarke Caton Hintz

In his more than 25 years with Clarke Caton Hintz, John Hatch has managed the design and construction of a wide array of architecturally significant buildings. These include Glen Cairn Hall at TESU, the new School of Business at NJCU, the restoration of Morven, the former governor’s mansion in Princeton, the Roebling Complex Re-development, and multiple phases of the Roebling Complex Redevelopment.

His work includes new and renovated facilities for Colleges and Universities, as well as public and independent schools; multi-unit and senior housing projects; historic and urban revitalization projects; as well as significant commercial and civil projects.

All of his projects address issues of context, civic life and sustainability. In addition to his design work, John has written and lectured about such topics as historic preservation, sustainability and urban redevelopment. 

Daniel E. Jennings Daniel E. Jennings Executive Vice President, Real Estate Development & Programs, NJEDA

A collaborative leader in advancing urban growth and equity. Jennings has have led and facilitated more than $3 billion of public, private and philanthropic investments in development projects, community programs and activities to start and grow small businesses. Knowledge areas include complex public-private transactions and partnerships, development finance, city and neighborhood planning, and policy and program design.

Matthew Kertz Matthew Kertz Partner, Genova Burns LLC

Matthew Kertz is Partner at the firm and specializes in Commercial and Residential Real Estate Leasing and Appellate, Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment and Complex Commercial Litigation law. He focuses on commercial and residential leasing and corporate transactions and has extensive experience drafting and negotiating retail, office and industrial leases and assisting landlords and tenants in resolving all aspects of leasing, acquisition and litigation-related issues. In addition, Mr. Kertz drafts and negotiates franchise leases and counsels clients on related matters. Mr. Kertz routinely counsels commercial purchasers and sellers regarding acquisitions, sales, leasing and development projects as well as acquiring and disposing real estate. He advises landlords and tenants in commercial real estate disputes and assists in litigation before state and federal courts.

Mr. Kertz handles contract and settlement negotiations with a focus on complex commercial real estate issues. He represents numerous clients with national real estate portfolios regarding lease negotiations and disputes throughout the country and is involved in litigation examining novel questions of real estate law.

Mr. Kertz handles all aspects of negotiating and drafting New Jersey commercial ground retail, office and industrial leases.

Michael G. McGuinness Michael G. McGuinness Chief Executive Officer, NAIOP New Jersey

Michael G. McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer, oversees the daily operations and programs of the association. He works in consultation with the officers and board of trustees to carry out the association’s mission. He is a registered legislative agent, directs the advocacy program and manages the Developers Political Action Committee (DPAC). Mike frequently meets with and testifies before New Jersey legislative committees and regulatory agencies on matters of importance to the industrial and commercial real estate development industry.

George Sowa George Sowa Chief Executive Officer, Greater Trenton

George Sowa, whose family history in Trenton dates back over 100 years, brings a successful nearly 40-year career in real estate development, finance, and management to his role as founding CEO of Greater Trenton.

For 18 years prior to joining Greater Trenton, Mr. Sowa was with Brandywine Realty Trust, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded, full-service, real estate companies. Most recently, he served as Brandywine’s executive vice president and senior managing director and was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s New Jersey and Delaware operations and development.

Sowa has substantial experience in urban development including leading Brandywine’s selection by Campbell Soup Company to be the developer of the Camden Gateway District — a transformative 1.5 million square foot, mixed-use project for that city. As a result, Mr. Sowa played a key role in Subaru’s selection of Camden as the site for its $118 million North American headquarters.  Mr. Sowa has also developed over $105 million in two separate, mixed-use projects in New Brunswick, NJ.

Prior to joining Brandywine, Mr. Sowa was director of development for Keating Development Company and was also director of development and operations for Linpro/LCOR. He has served as Vice Chairman of the National Board and Executive Committee of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), and is a past President of NAIOP’s New Jersey chapter. He is also the past Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey. Mr. Sowa currently serves as a Trustee of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation (“CCRC”). The CCRC is a state agency, in but not of, the Department of Treasury. Created by statute in 1988, CCRC is charged with facilitating redevelopment in the Capital District of the City of Trenton.

A native to Trenton, New Jersey, Mr. Sowa holds a B.S. Degree from Cornell University.

Willard Alonzo Stanback Willard Alonzo Stanback Acting Director, Dept. of Housing and Economic Development for the City of Trenton

The principal of WILLARD ALONZO STANBACK P.C. (Willard Stanback) has been engaged in the practice of law for over 30 years.

Willard began his legal career with Morgan and Finnegan, a New York City based law firm specializing in intellectual property. As a summer associate at Morgan & Finnegan and later as an associate, Willard learned the day-to-day basics of intellectual property – its protection through registration and, as necessary, through litigation. Working primarily in patent law, Willard was also involved with trademark, copyright and other matters. He conducted research and prepared legal memoranda on litigation, patent and trademark issues, while also drafting and prosecuting patent and trademark applications.

In early 1991, Willard was hired by the general practice law firm Reed Smith. There, he continued his work handling clients’ intellectual property rights and began to develop an expertise in business transactions, especially in connection with the licensing of intellectual property.

In 1994, having acquired a strong foundation in the protection and licensing of intellectual property, Willard joined Sega Channel. His new employer, jointly owned by Sega of America, Time Warner and TCI (now part of Comcast), had recently launched its operations. Sega Channel distributed Sega Genesis-formatted videogames to subscribers through cable systems and a patented system, including a specially made adapter with an input from the in-home subscribers’ cable jack and an output readable by the Genesis console.

He also provided legal and business counseling, drafted and negotiated various contracts (including agreements with video game publishers, service providers, cable distributors, consultants and technology-based contractors), managed intellectual property rights, and provided other legal services for all departments of Sega Channel. In 1997, Willard launched Willard Alonzo Stanback P.C. and then, over the next few months, transitioned from his role as in-house counsel at Sega Channel to its primary outside counsel (by the end of April 1997 there were no in-house counsel in the company). Willard later advised Sega Channel through a possible acquisition and oversaw the legal and contractual aspects of the company’s six-month wind-down after the owners decided to cease operations of the business.

Willard Alonzo Stanback P.C. was launched in early 1997 and grew through mid-1998.

In June 1998, Willard suspended the law firm when he accepted full-time employment with one of his clients, in the Legal Affairs department of the cable programming division of The E.W. Scripps Company. During the next 12 ½ years, this division became part of the spinoff known as Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. and expanded from two programming services (HGTV and Food Network) to six networks falling within three genres (Home: HGTV and DIY Network; Food: Food Network and Cooking Channel; and Travel/Entertainment: Travel Channel and Great American Country).

Willard Alonzo Stanback, P.C. relaunched in 2011, building on his strong foundation in intellectual property, licensing and technology law, along with his extensive experience in entertainment and media.

Willard is a 1985 graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT, he received a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with concentrations in both Economics and Political Science. Prior to his MIT graduation, Willard was admitted to both the graduate school of engineering and the law school at the University of Virginia. He elected to defer law school for one year, graduating from UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1986 with a Masters of Engineering in Systems Engineering. Willard then enrolled in UVA’s School of Law and graduated in 1989 with his Juris Doctorate.

Willard A. Stanback currently sits on the board of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation (CCRC) and the Thomas Edison State University (TESU) Foundation Board. He is also the immediate former chair of the Board of Director of the Trenton Downtown Association (TDA). Prior, he served three one-year terms as the TDA Board Chair, having joined the Board in January of 2015. Mr. Stanback’s past work in support of not-for-profit organizations has included membership on the boards of Isles, Inc. (for 4 years) and of the Trenton Community Music School (now Trenton Music Makers – for 6 years). He has also been a three-time grant application reviewer for The I Am Trenton Community Foundation.