About Us

Jeff Kolakowski
Chief Executive Officer
609-570-2166
jeff@njba.org

Grant Lucking
Chief Operating Officer
609-570-2157
grant@njba.org

Lisa Obolsky
Vice President of Operations
609-570-2162
lisa@njba.org

Pauline A. Magnotti
Controller & Data Management
609-570-2165
pmagnotti@njba.org

New Jersey Builders Association
101 Crawfords Corner Rd.
Holmdel, NJ 07733
Phone: (609) 587-5577
Email: information@njba.org

Mailing Address:
New Jersey Builders Association
16 South Avenue West #122
Cranford, NJ  07016

Services and Staff Roles

Jeffrey Kolakowski
Chief Executive Officer
jeff@njba.org, 609-570-2166

Jeff oversees all day to day operations of NJBA and its government relations and advocacy efforts. His responsibilities include legislative and regulatory initiatives, public and political affairs, and communications. Jeff can also be contacted regarding the NJBA Master Sponsor program.

Grant Lucking
Chief Operating Officer
grant@njba.org, 609-570-2157

Grant oversees NJBA’s lobbying efforts on environmental policies and advocates on both legislative and regulatory matters impacting the industry. Grant also manages NJBA’s website and communications.

Lisa Obolsky
Vice President of Operations
lisa@njba.org, 609-570-2162

Lisa can be contacted regarding NJBA’s member benefits, including medical benefits program; NJBA office operations including HR, IT and facilities management. Lisa handles matters of association governance, coordination with the National Association of Home Builders, the four local associations, and BPAC.

Pauline Magnotti
Controller and Data Management
pauline@njba.org, 609-570-2165

Pauline can be contacted regarding all NJBA financial matters including accounts receivable, accounts payable, the unit dues billing process and budget reporting. Pauline can also be contacted regarding the Atlantic Builders Convention and the annual Sales and Marketing awards program.

Chair
Debra J. Tantleff

Vice Chair
Chris Amato

Treasurer
John Kirkenir

Secretary
Kristie Veri

Associate Vice Chair
Richard Boisch

2nd Associate Vice Chair
Stanley Graser

Chief Executive Officer
Jeff Kolakowski
Link to bio

General CounselAndy S. Norin, Esq.
Imm. Past ChairFrank Belgiovine
Environmental CounselMichael J. Gross, Esq.
Land Use CounselThomas F. Carroll III, Esq.
MXD CounselTed Zangari, Esq.
Redevelopment CounselSteve Mlenak, Esq.
Affordable Housing CounselRichard J. Hoff, Jr., Esq.
Construction CounselDaniel J. Kluska, Esq.

Who We Are

The New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) is the leading trade association for the shelter industry in New Jersey. Members include residential and commercial builders, developers, remodelers, subcontractors, suppliers, engineers, architects, consultants and other professionals. NJBA serves as a resource for its members through continuing education and advocacy. NJBA and its members strive for a more vibrant, greener, and affordable housing market in New Jersey.The three-tiered membership structure of the Association provides its member’s representation and opportunity at the local, state, and national levels. Membership is initiated at one of NJBA’s four affiliated local associations:

  • The Builders League of South Jersey (BLSJ), serving Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties;
  • The Shore Builders Association of Central NJ (SBACNJ), serving Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean Counties;
  • The Metropolitan Builders and Contractors Association of NJ (METRO), serving Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren Counties; and
  • The Builders Association of Northern NJ (BANNJ), serving Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Sussex Counties;

Once initiated at the local level membership is automatically extended to the NJBA and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

History
Chartered in 1947 and incorporated in 1948, NJBA has a history of promoting the American Dream of homeownership in the state of New Jersey. Through decades of cooperative efforts NJBA has supported the industry that has always been the leading driver of the state’s economy. As development in New Jersey has evolved over the decades, NJBA responded by expanding its membership base to reflect the increasing demand for rental housing, as well as mixed-use and commercial space. Today, NJBA advocates for all types of housing opportunities from the entry level to luxury and mixed-use development and provides educational, promotional and networking opportunities for the professionals who make their living in the construction industry.
 
Vision
The collective vision of NJBA’s members is that every citizen in our great state will have decent places to live in the market that is right for their lifestyle. NJBA’s members provide both rental and homeownership opportunities and strive to provide product that is safe, affordable and environmentally friendly. Further to the vision of our members is the production of workplaces that are attractive to the business community and provide opportunities for New Jerseyans to work and live within their communities.
 
Objectives
  • To bring together those involved in the residential construction industry in New Jersey for purposes of mutual advantage and cooperation.

  • To promote professional, technical and ethical standards to guide those involved in the residential construction industry in New Jersey.

  • To advocate and encourage the improvement in building techniques and practices.

  • To promote and protect its members’ ability to provide all current and future residents of New Jersey with safe and healthful places to live and work.

  • To cooperate with other trade associations in all matters relating to the interests of its members.

  • To advocate building codes and development standards that will facilitate the availability of safe and healthful housing that is affordable to residents across the income spectrum.

  • To promote a balanced regulatory framework in which the availability and affordability of safe and healthful housing is increased while the environment and consumers are protected.

  • To disseminate information regarding the residential construction industry to its members, the public and the government.

  • To advance and protect the ability of its members to meet the housing needs of all of the state’s current and future residents through private enterprise.

  • To operate the Association without profit and ensure that no part of its income shall inure to the benefit of any individual member.

  • To support the affiliated local associations within the State of New Jersey.

  • To encourage and enable its members to achieve and maintain superior levels of professional and technical competence, financial fitness and ethical probity.

  • To represent its members before the State of New Jersey Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches

  • To employ the necessary means to keep the public, press and policymakers informed and to project a positive image of its members.

  • To provide services for the benefit of the membership.

Housing is a Key Element in the Economy

Just as each home is important to the family that lives in it, housing is important to the local, state and national economies and accounts for about 15% of the nation’s GPD. Included in that total are new construction of single-family and multifamily homes, remodeling and the countless products and services that are related to those activities.
The income earned from construction activity is spent and produces spillover benefits through the local economy, as the new homes that are built become occupied by residents who pay taxes and buy locally produced goods and services.
 
Construction of 100 new single-family homes in a typical metro area generates:
  • 394 local jobs
  • $28.7 million in local wage and business income
  • $3.6 million in taxes and other revenue for local government

Construction of 100 multifamily units has a similar impact on the local economy. It generates:

  • 161 local jobs• $11.7 million in local wage and business income
  • $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local government

Every $10 million in remodeling expenditures yields the following economic benefits:

  • 115 local jobs
  • $8.4 million in local wage and business income
  • $710,000 in taxes and other revenue for local government

Housing Generates Jobs throughout the Economy

It’s also important to note that the employment effects of new home construction and remodeling extend far beyond the actual structure. About half of the jobs created by building new homes are in construction, and the rest are in housing-related industries that produce building materials and provide services to both home builders and home buyers. They include:

  • Trades
    • Equipment Operators, Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC, Laborers…..
  • Home Building Products
    • Wood, Metal, Roofing, Plumbing, Electrical, Masonry, Windows, Doors…..
  • Home Finishing Products
    • Appliances, Mechanical Equipment, Cabinets, Lighting, Paint, Flooring…..
  • Home Decorating Products
    • Furniture, Wall Art, Rugs, Linens, Window Treatments, Accents…..
  • Supply Houses and Lumberyards
  • Utilities, Transportation, Logistics and Warehousing
  • Tools and Construction Equipment
  • Landscaping and Nurseries
  • Engineering and Legal
  • Architecture and Planning
  • Management and Administration Government
  • Real Estate Agents, Brokers and Appraisers
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Home Improvement and Property Maintenance

Advocacy

Perhaps more than any other consumer product, housing is “Made in America.” New homes and apartments don’t arrive in this country on container ships from Europe or Asia, and most of the products used in home construction and remodeling are manufactured here in the United States.

For more than a half century, NJBA has been the voice of the building industry in Trenton. Whether promoting its own pro-housing proposals or commenting on other legislative initiatives and regulatory measures that affect the availability and affordability of housing, NJBA is the omnipresent advocate of the building industry. NJBA’s advocacy protects the interests of its members through a multi-pronged approach. The full time professional staff and results-oriented committees work to promote the NJBA agenda and to defeat or amend potential threats to the building community. NJBA’s lobbying efforts have resulted in several pro-housing initiatives, including:
  • Permit Extension Acts I, II, III, IV & V
  • Time Of Application Law
  • Age Restricted Communities Act
  • Site Remediation Reform Act
  • Water Quality Management Plan Law Extensions I & II
  • Local Redevelopment and Housing Law Amendments
  • Economic Opportunity Act of 2013
  • DEP Waiver Rule
  • Expedited Foreclosure Process
  • Performance Guarantee Reform
  • Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act
  • Sewer and Water Connection Fee Credit Legislation
  • Site Remediation Reform Act 2.0
  • Stranded Assets
  • Private Building Code Inspections

Regulatory

NJBA members are encouraged to participate on substantive committees that regularly convene to review state and regional regulatory programs that impact residential and mixed use projects. Through the analysis and substantive discussions held with members who are practitioners of varying disciplines, NJBA regularly comments on official agency rulemaking by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Department of Agriculture (DOA), Board of Public Utilities (BPU), Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB) and the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). When governmental entities seek information from industry experts, NJBA contributes as a resource and participates in the necessary stakeholders processes. Below are examples of regulatory matters that NJBA monitors:

  • Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure
  • Coastal Zone Management
  • Flood Hazard Area Control
  • Water Quality Management Planning
  • Stormwater Management
  • Site Remediation
  • Soil Erosion and Sediment Control
  • Coastal Resiliency Planning
  • Surface Water Quality
  • Energy Master Plan
  • Uniform Construction Code
  • State Planing
  • Green Building/Clean Energy
  • Affordable Housing

Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC)

The Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC) is the largest building industry trade show in the Northeast, drawing thousands of participants from the Northeast region, including residential and commercial builders, developers, remodelers and subcontractors, plus a variety of manufacturers, suppliers, and consulting professionals. The convention features hundreds of exhibits showcasing the latest products and services to a large and diverse audience of decision makers. Attendees gain up-to-date information about the latest market trends, government policies and technical developments at educational seminars. Visit http://www.abconvention.com/ for more information.

Builders Political Action Committee of New Jersey

The Builders Political Action Committee of New Jersey (BPAC) is a voluntary, not-for-profit, unincorporated committee that represents the many New Jersey-based firms that work every day to promote, protect and improve the building industry in the State. BPAC is a critical tool in helping spread the pro-builder message of the New Jersey Builders Association. The role of BPAC is to assist in the election of individuals that support housing and the building industry in New Jersey. Its Board of Trustees consists of members from the four affiliated local builders associations and is bipartisan in its support of pro-housing candidates. Click here to make a donation today!

National Association of Home Builders

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is NJBA’s national affiliate.

NAHB represents the largest network of craftsmen, innovators and problem solvers dedicated to building and enriching communities. Operating at the local, state and national levels, the NAHB Federation helps its members gain a competitive advantage through:

  • Knowledge: Offers education and other resources members need to expand their businesses and achieve personal success.
  • Networking: Creates opportunities within a community of home building professionals for members to build key relationships and increase their profitability.
  • Expertise: Develops solutions for members’ businesses through access to experts who provide insight and information.
  • Advocacy: Improves the business environment on Capitol Hill, in state capitols and in local communities by eliminating excessive regulations.
  • Savings: Saves members money through advocacy efforts, exclusive services and products, and the Member Advantage program.

Mixed-Use Developers

New Jersey Mixed-Use Developers (MXD), an affiliate of the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA), was formed in June 2011. Leaders in residential, commercial, redevelopment and mixed-use development have come together in response to the evolving land use patterns in New Jersey.  MXD will unite the voice of businesses involved in the construction of multi-family housing, retail and office space – otherwise known as mixed-use production, in New Jersey. MXD, along with NJBA, will advocate for providing diverse housing choices, as well as commercial mixed-use developments that will facilitate the availability of housing and workplaces for all New Jersey residents.

Professional Women in Building 

The Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) is the voice of women in the building industry—dedicated to promoting industry professionalism and supporting members at the local, state and national levels. For more than 60 years, PWB members have made meaningful strides to build a more diverse workforce and bring awareness to the important role women serve in the residential construction industry. PWB represents members working in all facets of the industry as builders, developers, remodelers, trade contractors, architects, marketers, designers and mortgage brokers, and is recognized and chartered by National Association of Home Builders.

Foundation for Housing

The Foundation for Housing, Inc. is a nonprofit entity whose objective is to increase the supply of and access to shelter in New Jersey for persons and families of modest means and support careers in the homebuilding industry by: soliciting contributions of money, material, land and/or labor; constructing, assisting in or arranging for the construction or financing of new housing or the renovation of existing housing; supporting the development of an industry workforce and careers in the construction trades through scholarships, partnerships with area educational institutions, internships and training programs; cooperating with other organizations and governmental entities which have similar purposes to address housing insecurity and provide housing opportunities for those of modest means; and employing the necessary means to keep the public, press and policymakers informed and to project a positive image of the residential construction industry.

Local Affiliates

Membership in NAHB and NJBA is accessed by joining on of NJ’s four local builders associations: the Builders Association of Northern NJ, Builders League of South Jersey, Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey, or the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey. To learn more about the regions each local covers and their unique benefits, please visit our How to Join page.

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