By Joshua Burd
NAIOP New Jersey has hired a new director of membership and special events.
The commercial real estate development association announced that Donna Laterza has joined the organization in the staff position. In the role, she is responsible for the New Jersey chapter’s membership recruitment and retention programs, as well as special events and its Developing Leaders and Master Sponsors programs.
Laterza replaces Bonnie Sovinee, who retired after more than 10 years with NAIOP New Jersey. She is the point of contact for all membership-related issues and event committees and will oversee the planning and execution of the association’s prestigious industry events, including the annual Commercial Real Estate Awards Gala.
“Members are the lifeblood of our association, and we are committed to providing them with the best possible resources, benefits and opportunities to grow their businesses,” NAIOP New Jersey CEO Michael McGuinness said. “Donna’s wealth of corporate events and meeting management experience, combined with her work on behalf of large international trade associations, will support NAIOP NJ’s efforts to meet the evolving needs of our members and the commercial real estate industry.”
Laterza formerly served as manager of the specialty meeting department for the International Council of Shopping Centers, where she was responsible for day-to-day operations, marketing and logistics for conferences and programs, according to a news release. Earlier in her career, she held similar positions with the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Association and the National Retail Federation.
She earned a Certified Meeting Professional designation from the Events Industry Council.
“From its public policy efforts and educational programs to providing members with exclusive opportunities to connect with other industry professionals, NAIOP has earned its reputation as the state’s premier commercial real estate development association,” Laterza said. “I look forward to working with our event committees and getting to know our members, with the goal of continuing to serve their interests and further NAIOP NJ’s mission.”
The Fanwood resident is actively involved with her local school district as well as the Junior League of Elizabeth-Plainfield, where she is a past president.