By Joshua Burd
A longtime homebuilding executive has taken the reins as president of the New Jersey Builders Association, with a mission that includes helping it navigate the ongoing public health crisis.
Michael V. Canuso, CEO of Michael Canuso Homes and vice president of Canuso Communities, is now serving as the 67th president of the influential trade association. He brings more than two decades in the building trades industry, succeeding Corey Wescoe of PulteGroup at the helm of the NJBA’s board.
“I’ve been a proud member of the New Jersey Builders Association for many years, and I am now truly honored to represent this association and its members as president,” Canuso said. “Our association has been through difficult times like what we faced during the Great Recession of 2008, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and this global COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us once again. As president of NJBA I will do all I can to help the industry survive, thrive and emerge even stronger from this public health crisis.”
The association installed Canuso, whose firm is based in Haddonfield, and its other new board officers during a virtual meeting on May 4. The new slate also includes:
- Vice President: Josh M. Mann, Iron Ore Properties LLC
- Treasurer: Thomas P. Bovino, Jackson Development Corp.
- Secretary: Frank Belgiovine, Belmont Construction Corp.
- Builder Vice President: Debra J. Tantleff, TANTUM Real Estate
- Associate Vice President: Brian Maffia, General Plumbing Supply
- Second Associate Vice President: Kim A. Manicone, USI Insurance Services
Carol Ann Short, the association’s CEO, thanked Wescoe for his leadership over the last year and said she was confident that Canuso would bring additional expertise to the association.
“I am certain that Michael Canuso has the experience and perseverance needed as we navigate through these uncharted waters over the next year,” said Short, who has been part of NJBA for 30 years and at the helm since 2013. “His continued commitment to our industry, residents and homeowners throughout the state will continue furthering our mission of creating a more vibrant, greener and affordable housing market in New Jersey.”
Wescoe pledged to support Canuso and thanked Short for her leadership and devotion to the association and the industry during his tenure as president.
“It’s been a real honor to work with Carol and all of the extremely talented team at NJBA,” Wescoe said. “Their ambition, access and expertise is best in class, and it’s proven out daily as they successfully advocate on behalf of the development community. As for the future, I’ve been fortunate to work alongside Michael for several years and there is no one I can think of better prepared to lead this amazing association.”
As CEO of Michael Canuso Homes and vice president of Canuso Communities, Canuso is responsible for daily operations including project acquisition, securing entitlements, managing project improvements and oversight of sales and marketing. He has served for the past year as NJBA’s vice president, with other roles including chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee and of the Land Use and Redevelopment Committee.
In 2015, he was elected as the 72nd president of the Builders League of South Jersey, where he chaired several committees and task forces.
Canuso is on the board of the Canuso Foundation and is involved in fundraising to support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Ronald McDonald House and families afflicted with childhood cancer or disabilities, according to a news release. The Canuso Foundation has raised in excess of $2 million dollars since its inception in 1974 and has given 61 partial scholarships for Villanova University students who have experienced a hardship caused by a diagnosis of cancer.
Additionally, Canuso served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant in the Finance Corps, where he was deployed as part of Operation Joint Guard/Operation Joint Endeavor and stationed in Sarajevo, Bosnia/Herzegovina, and Zagreb, Croatia. He received several awards including the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Overseas Service Medal, NATO Medal, Army Service Ribbon and German Marksmanship Medal.
Canuso received his bachelor’s in marketing and finance from Villanova University.