By Joshua Burd
As the housing industry looks to move beyond the coronavirus crisis, two female executives are poised to play prominent roles as board members of the New Jersey Builders Association.
The organization last month installed Debra Tantleff of Tantum Real Estate and Kim Manicone of USI Insurance Services as its builder vice president and second associate vice president, respectively. They are among seven board officers helping to lead the association as it provides advocacy and education for builders and industry professionals across the state.
“It’s an honor to bring my perspective to NJBA’s leadership, having closely navigated the complexities that face the homebuilding industry in our state,” said Tantleff, Tantum Real Estate’s founding principal. “I am committed to our mission to foster collaboration between the state, local governments, developers and the end user in order to better promote overall housing affordability. This is particularly critical in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, as the shelter industry has the opportunity to lead our region’s economic growth in a meaningful way.”
Tantum, which is based in Jersey City, is a boutique development and advisory firm that specializes in multifamily and mixed-use projects in New Jersey. The certified women’s business enterprise also provides development and construction advisory services to property owners, developers, asset managers and investors.
As builder vice president, Tantleff becomes the first woman builder to be named an NJBA state officer since 1998, according to a news release. She is a longtime association member who started her career at Roseland Property Co. as an on-site construction administrator, where she later ascended to vice president of development.
Tantleff also serves as a trustee of the organization’s political action committee, chairing its annual fundraiser to support lawmakers who advocate for thoughtful housing policy.
Manicone, a vice president in USI’s property and casualty division, is the first woman to hold the position of NJBA second vice president since 2015, the news release said. She previously served in a leadership role with one of NJBA’s local affiliates, the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey.
The association noted that, in her role at USI, Manicone has served as a strategist for New Jersey’s top builders, developers, subcontractors and professional services companies, providing them with risk management and professional liability services.
“Having been a 20-year partner to the New Jersey real estate industry, including many NJBA members, I’m extraordinarily invested in the success of this association and the regional real estate community at large,” Manicone said. “I’m eager to serve as a resource for our increasingly diverse membership, helping to empower large-scale developers and individual homebuilders alike to build stronger networks that support the long-term growth of their businesses.”
With a history that dates back more than 70 years, the NJBA’s focus includes promoting a more vibrant, green and affordable housing market in New Jersey. Its members are commercial developers, single-family homebuilders, developers, remodelers, subcontractors, suppliers, engineers, architects, consultants and other professionals.
The association also expects to play an even larger role, as the housing industry helps to lead the charge of reviving the state’s economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Deb and Kim are examples of two exceptional women leaders that have dedicated their careers to substantively advancing our industry,” said Michael Canuso, president of NJBA. “We’re lucky to have both of them as part of NJBA’s state leadership, and we’re confident that their perspectives will elevate our ongoing efforts to improve access and affordability of quality housing in New Jersey.”