The dictionary defines an ambassador as an impassioned advocate for an organization’s policies and purpose. And if the dictionary had photos, Fred Brody’s image would be next to that word.
For 35 years, Brody has been one of NJBIA’s most enthusiastic members and supporters. A familiar mustachioed face seen networking the room at nearly every NJBIA event for decades, Brody credits NJBIA with providing him with the information, resources, and advocacy over three decades that has helped him launch and grow two successful businesses.
Today, Brody owns a Monmouth County-based consulting business and volunteers as an NJBIA ambassador to show the association’s newest members the ropes. He wants members to take advantage of all NJBIA offers to help them grow their own businesses and meet the government and business contacts they need to be positioned for success.
“I urge new members to get involved,” Brody said. “Go to the NJBIA meetings or attend them virtually because each of the committees that we have – and they are numerous – provide a wealth of information.
“Policy committee meetings, for example, all have quality speakers and are very informative and offer members an opportunity to not only connect with NJBIA, but also different elected and appointed public officials,” he said.
Additionally, NJBIA Employer Legislative Committees, known as ELCs, operate in every county and their monthly meetings give local business owners access to legislators, cabinet officials and local leaders to discuss issues important to businesses. Brody chairs the Monmouth County ELC, which will host Assemblywoman Marilyn Piperno (R-11) on March 11.
In his role as CEO of Brody Business Development, Brody provides government affairs, strategic marketing and sales consulting services for a wide array of clients in the manufacturing, telecommunications, IT, innovative technology, energy, land use, and transportation sectors. He is known for helping his clients successfully access the people, practices, and protocols that will move their projects to completion while controlling costs.
Brody started his business career in the trucking industry in the 1970s working for companies in domestic and international freight distribution. After Congress partially deregulated the trucking industry in 1980, making it easier for new businesses to compete with established carriers, he opened his own freight brokerage firm, Brody Associates Inc.
“I went from a very regulated industry to a partially deregulated industry to opening my own business,” Brody said. “And then I advocated for complete deregulation and that is how I learned to lobby, to understand all sides of an issue … to bridge what the private sector needs from the public sector.”
In 1991, Brody merged his trucking company with Daybreak Express, a New Jersey-based business handling time-critical delivery of LTL freight nationwide. He grew the company into a $20 million transportation powerhouse before he sold his partnership in that company in 1999 to start his own consulting business.
Being part of the national effort to win total deregulation of the trucking industry in the 1990s was an experience that taught him the value of networking and making the right connections, he said. That’s why NJBIA membership is important to businesspeople, he said, because it provides reliable information and access to influential decision-makers.
“I encourage new members to reach out to NJBIA as a resource, just as legislators do,” Brody said. “NJBIA is the go-to resource for legislators who say, “Hey how would this proposed bill affect the business community?”
Small companies seeking to do business with the state, for example, have a difficult journey navigating complex procurement laws, Brody said. “You really need an understanding of all the laws and regulations that affect business and NJBIA is the go-to organization for that – and I’ve learned that over my 35 years of being involved with them.”
Brody Business Development won an NJBIA Award for Excellence for Member of the Year in 2018, an honor that Brody says means as much to him as the opportunity he has today as an NJBIA ambassador to meet new members and promote the good work the association does.
“I’m not just blowing smoke because they are truly dedicated and nice people to deal with,” Brody said. “I consider NJBIA like a family.”
Brody welcomes the chance to connect with new NJBIA members and urges them to reach out to him at email@example.com or give him a call at 732-643-0155. Go here to view the short NJBIA video about Brody’s business that was made for the 2018 Awards for Excellence program.