By Joshua Burd
Carol Ann Short, the CEO of the New Jersey Builders Association, is stepping down after three decades with the influential trade organization.
The association announced this week that Short will leave her post on May 31. She has spent the past seven years at the helm of the organization and has been a fixture on its executive and government affairs team, most recently helping it navigate the homebuilding industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association has not named a successor.
“When Carol announced her resignation in February, we knew we were going to lose a tremendous asset to our industry,” said Corey Wescoe of PulteGroup, NJBA’s immediate past president. “Her leadership and counsel over the years have been invaluable, as well as her most recent advocacy on behalf of the building industry in response to the governor’s declaration of a public health emergency and statewide shuttering due to the coronavirus outbreak.”
Short, an attorney and government relations professional, began her career in the counsel’s office of former Gov. Tom Kean. She then went on to work for the state Assembly Republican Office as a legislative committee researcher and later counsel.
After joining NJBA more than 30 years ago, Short served for several years as its director of legal and legislative affairs before leaving to join Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis LLP. She later returned to the association as vice president of government affairs and then as its chief operating officer.
In 2013, Short became the first female CEO in NJBA’s 72-year history.
“I have been very honored and extremely proud to be at the helm of this great association passionately representing its interests in the halls of Trenton,” she said. “NJBA is a tremendous resource for the policymakers, is one of the most well-respected trade associations in this state and is widely considered the voice of the housing industry in New Jersey.”
Gov. Phil Murphy recently named Short to a facilities and construction subcommittee as part of his newly formed, statewide advisory council on reopening the state’s economy after the COVID-19 outbreak. She’s also among dozens of influential construction and real estate professionals who have been working with the administration throughout the crisis.
Michael Canuso of Canuso Homes, who recently took over as NJBA’s president, said as much on Wednesday and noted that her work with the administration will continue.
“Although Carol will be resigning at the end of May, she will continue to serve the interests of the homebuilding industry as a member of the recovery council,” Canuso said.
In a news release, NJBA said Short has been instrumental over the last decade in leading a lobbying effort for a law that protected the viability of development projects that had stalled during the Great Recession, helping to stimulate an economic recovery in the ensuing years. She also spearheaded other key pro-building initiatives that encouraged economic development while creating job opportunities throughout the state.
“I’ve seen Carol excel for more than 25 years in her various capacities at NJBA,” said Tom Troy of Sharbell Development Corp., a past president of the association. “As CEO, Carol’s leadership has resulted in the passage of legislation that created a better environment for both the industry and consumers.
“Her proactive stance on behalf of NJBA and the entire shelter industry has been invaluable, and the respect she has earned among her peers and state legislators is well-deserved. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
The association also noted that Short is frequently recognized for her advocacy and participation in the building industry. For instance, in 2017, she was given the Service to the Industry Award by Monmouth University’s Kislak Real Estate Institute.
“The past seven years as CEO of NJBA have been the most rewarding and challenging of my entire professional career,” said Short, who has three grown sons. “I am also very proud that this association continues to play a major role in the promotion of decent, safe and affordable housing opportunities for all the residents of this great state.”