By Joshua Burd
It was a night in which one of the state’s biggest legislative issues in recent memory was in the spotlight, as voters prepare to consider constitutionally dedicated transportation funding.
So it was only fitting for NAIOP New Jersey to honor someone who “was a tireless advocate” for such causes, along with affordable housing reform, business incentives and cooperation between labor and developers. That was how Michael McGuinness described the late Joseph McNamara.
“Joe was one of the most influential leaders in New Jersey’s public policy arena,” said McGuinness, CEO of development group’s New Jersey chapter, later adding: “Joe’s untimely passing has left a void, but his impact on the industry and the association will be felt for many years to come.”
McGuinness spoke Monday night during NAIOP New Jersey’s annual President’s Awards and Hall of Fame event, where McNamara was among nine honorees before a packed house of more than 300. McNamara, who died this summer, was honored with the Legacy Award for service that included 25 years with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, three years with the state Department of Commerce and Economic Development and two decades leading the New Jersey Laborers’ Employers Cooperation and Education Trust.
While highlighting his impact on public policy — with the award coming on the eve of Election Day — McGuinness said McNamara was “instrumental in bringing labor leaders to the table with NAIOP and forging an effective advocacy partnership based on our shared interests and bringing jobs and investments to the Garden State.”
Monday’s honors during the event in Short Hills also included two Pillar Awards, which were bestowed upon Bill Hanson of NAI James E. Hanson and Kim Brennan of Colliers International. Hanson was recognized for his work behind the scenes and for being one of the “truly unsung heroes,” while Brennan was also honored for her role in leadership positions and programming with the organization.
“Whenever NAIOP asks, Kim is always ready and willing to serve,” said Clark Machemer of the Rockefeller Group, NAIOP’s New Jersey chapter president. “That makes her a pillar of the New Jersey chapter.”
Three industry legends — Charles Klatskin of Forsgate Industrial Partners, Seena Stein of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and Allen Magrini of Hartz Mountain Industries — were inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.
Meantime, NAIOP New Jersey gave its Advocacy Award to Terrance Huettl of Whitesell Construction. Jeffrey Greif of First American Title Insurance was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year, while Kelsey Nakamura of Cushman & Wakefield was honored with the Rising Star award.
“In the three short years since she joined NAIOP, Kelsey has helped to grow our membership and our developing leaders program,” said Eugene Preston of Dermody Properties, a longtime NAIOP trustee. “She has brought a vision, excitement and her extensive network of connections to the membership committee, and we’re seeing the results of her efforts to share her enthusiasm for NAIOP with her colleagues and peers.”