From left: Jim Garibaldi, Jeffrey Garibaldi Sr. and Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr.
By Joshua Burd
The Garibaldi Group has made a major change to its leadership structure, including a move that brings the firm’s fourth generation into the uppermost ranks of its management team.
The real estate brokerage and services firm, which is based in Chatham, announced Tuesday that it has elevated Jim Garibaldi to chairman of the board. Meantime, Jeffrey Garibaldi Sr. has taken over as CEO and Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr. has assumed the role of president.
The moves continue the family’s leadership of the 100-year-old business, which has lasted through several downturns and is now navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When I joined the firm in 2014, an influential factor for me coming on board was having watched from afar how hard Jim and Jeffrey Sr. fought to keep this company intact through the 2008 recession,” Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr. said. “It was one of several economic downturns I watched them navigate and I knew that if the company was going to have a future, the next generation of leadership would have to be in place to weather the next big challenge and I wanted to be a part of that team. We have very big shoes to fill.”
As CEO, Jeffrey Garibaldi Sr. will continue as the face of the company. He previously served as president and has led The Garibaldi Group’s corporate services division and the Bell Works leasing team in Holmdel, while consistently being among the highest-grossing salespersons in the firm.
For Jim Garibaldi, the new role means less direct management of day-to-day activities and more focus on strategic planning, new business development initiatives and the purpose-driven aspects of the business, according to a news release. He and Jeffrey Garibaldi Sr., grandsons of founder Joseph J. Garibaldi Sr., have led the company for the past 25 years.
As the firm noted Tuesday, Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr. joined the firm in 2014 in order to help pitch its services to Ralph Zucker and Somerset Development, seeking to be the exclusive office leasing team for the Bell Works project. The effort marked the start of his role in spearheading company marketing initiatives and being actively involved in new business development.
He was also instrumental in founding The Station, a Garibaldi-owned co-working space in Chatham, of which he serves as managing partner.
“We’ve seen for a while that the future of the office is changing,” Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr. said. “The Station offers the suburban market a ‘grown-up’ co-working option. It provides the amenities of a large office without the hassle, and allows us to build relationships with smaller companies and advise them as they grow.”
In his new role as president, the firm said he is focused on The Garibaldi Group’s people and culture.
“As we add to our team, we’re looking for complementary personalities, skills and styles,” said Michael Staskiewicz, the firm’s managing broker. “We want to make sure everyone is playing to their strengths, and that we are positioned to best serve our clients’ needs, now and in the future. Jeffrey Jr. understands this more than anyone, and more importantly, he has an innate ability to relate and connect with people. His ability to see and accentuate each person’s talents organically will serve us immeasurably well as we build for the future.”
Jeffrey Garibaldi Sr. said the beginning of the pandemic was a pivotal moment in the shift in leadership.
“Before New Jersey went into lockdown and companies scrambled to make sense of the situation, the young leaders at our firm rose to the occasion without ever being asked,” he said. “They immediately took it upon themselves to close the office, walk our people through the necessary procedures, make sure everyone was comfortable, and ensure our firm was fully functional.”
When discussing the future of the corporate real estate industry, Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr. said he sees a landscape of opportunity.
“I love a wide-open canvas, where everything is on the table,” he said. “The corporate real estate market has been ripe for disruption for a long time — COVID-19 has accelerated that, which makes this an exciting time for the industry as a whole.”