By Joshua Burd
The New Jersey Builders Association has tapped a longtime member of its leadership and government affairs team as its new CEO.
The organization announced this week that it has named Jeff Kolakowski to the top position after the recent departure of Carol Ann Short, its chief executive since 2013. Kolakowski, who most recently served as chief operating officer, was named acting CEO at the time and was formally approved by the NJBA’s board of directors at its June 30 meeting.
“Jeff has excelled in leading the association during this period of transition amidst the most uncertain of times,” said Michael Canuso, NJBA’s board president. “I am confident that with Jeff’s experience, unrivaled dedication to NJBA and expertise in issues facing the building industry, our association will be made even stronger and more effective.”
Kolakowski, who joined the association in 2011, has more than two decades of government affairs experience. He began his career as an aide and then chief of staff to a New Jersey state legislator, before going on to serve in the executive branch with several positions at the Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
Prior to becoming COO, Kolakowski was the NJBA’s vice president of government affairs.
“I am honored and privileged to take over as CEO of this well-respected trade association, which has been advocating on behalf of the homebuilding industry for over 70 years,” Kolakowski said. “With a stellar board and dedicated staff, I look forward to working together to propel our industry forward and ensure the diverse housing needs of New Jersey residents are met.”
Kolakowski holds a bachelor’s in political science from The College of New Jersey and a master’s in public affairs and politics from the Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He lives in Chesterfield with his wife and two daughters.