From left: Carol Ann Short, Grant Lucking, Kyle Holder and Jeff Kolakowski — Courtesy: NJBA
By Joshua Burd
New Jersey Builders Association CEO Carol Ann Short has named a new chief operating officer as part of a series of changes to its government affairs team.
Short announced this week that the organization has promoted Jeff Kolakowski to the COO position. Now in his seventh year with the association, Kolakowski will lead a new, revamped government affairs team and assume additional operational responsibilities.
The moves also include promoting Grant Lucking to vice president of environmental affairs and hiring Kyle Holder as its new director of legislative affairs.
“New Jersey’s housing industry continues to face challenges that constrain our ability to increase the availability and affordability of housing, so it is important that our industry is adequately represented before the state’s policymakers,” Short said. “NJBA and its members strive for common sense and practical public policies and I am very excited about our newly refined government affairs team advocating for balanced and sound housing policies, strategies and programs.”
Kolakowski, a 20-year veteran of government affairs and politics, has been an integral part of the NJBA’s advocacy efforts in areas such as redevelopment, land use, codes, utilities, mixed-use development and economic development incentives. He 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.
Lucking is now in his fourth year with the association. He previously served as the director of communications and public affairs and will now focus on NJBA’s environmental agenda, promoting growth in New Jersey’s economy and housing market.
He has more than eight years of collective experience in government affairs and engineering, having earned a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public policy from Monmouth University.
Holder, NJBA’s newest hire, joins after several posts in the state Legislature, according to a news release. He has worked in the offices of lawmakers such as Assemblyman Jerry Green, the longtime chairman of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.
The Rutgers graduate received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public policy from the Bloustein School.
“The homebuilding industry is one of the leading drivers of the economy nationwide and we take great pride in the fact that housing is ‘Made in America’ and cannot be outsourced,” said Tom Troy of Sharbell Development Corp., who is NJBA’s president. “All the jobs that we create are staying right here in New Jersey and our new team will ensure that our industry continues to provide growth to the state’s GDP and opportunities for new careers, businesses and upward mobility.”