“Reshaping New Jersey to Unleash our Creative Potential”

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, The War Memorial
Trenton, NJ


8 am     Registration and Networking with coffee, tea, and continental breakfast. Sponsored by: Wells Fargo Home Mortgage


8:30 am  Welcome Lucy Vandenberg, Executive Director, PlanSmart NJ

Implementing the New State Plan:  Strategic Investment in People and Places

8:45 – 9:15 am                  Gregory Olsen, Ph.D., President, GHO Ventures

Greg Olsen, an entrepreneur and scientist, discussed environments that stimulate innovation and creativity and what government and businesses need to consider to attract and retain talent in New Jersey. Presentation.

Investing in our People: How the New State Plan Can Foster Investment in New Jersey’s Workforce

9:15 -10:30 am

NJ’s State Strategic Plan seeks to both prioritize investments in projected growth industries to foster job creation and to create priority growth investment areas.  Business leaders, academics and government officials will discuss how they can work together to foster innovation and attract and retain talent to meet the market demands of tomorrow’s workforce.  Speakers will discuss the role of education and workforce investments as factors in creating functioning regions and sustainable economic growth.


Carl Van Horn, Executive Director, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Moderator
Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D., Dep. Commissioner of the NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development
Debbie Hart, President, BioNJ Presentation
Dan Kennedy, Deputy Director, NJ Dept. of State, Office for Planning Advocacy Presentation
Dean Paranicas, President, Healthcare Institute of NJ Presentation
Anne Strauss-Wieder, Principal and Founder, Strauss Wieder Presentation

Investing in our Places:  Strategic Investments in NJ’s Physical Infrastructure.

10:45 am– 12:00 pm

The State is poised to adopt the new State Strategic Plan.  This panel will discuss the importance of strategic investment in our physical infrastructure as a component of State Strategic Plan implementation. State investments should be made to create more efficient land use, greater attention to equity, job growth, and environmental sustainability, while resolving conflicts among multiple goals and multiple agencies.


Karen Alexander, President & Chief Executive Officer, New Jersey Utilities Association, Moderator

Glen Abrams, Manager, Strategic Policy and Coordination Philadelphia Water Department, Office of Watersheds Presentation
Bob Iacullo, President, United Water Presentation
Nisha Mistry, Manufacturing Advisor/Mayor’s Office Fellow, City of Newark Presentation 
Steven Santoro, Assistant Executive Director, NJ Transit Capital Planning And Programs Presentation
David Zimmer, Executive Director, Environmental Infrastructure Trust Presentation

Lunch & Keynote Speaker

12:00 – 2:00pm

Post Recession Opportunities: Richard Florida

Professor University of Toronto and Senior Editor, The Atlantic

12:30 – 1:45pm Richard Florida will demonstrate how the great recession has the potential to transform how we live and work and how we can plan for a more prosperous future by nurturing the creative class and reinventing our cities and centers.

The Path to Success Response Panel on Richard Florida’s Ideas

2:00- 3:00 pm

Drawing on their own experiences, leaders in urban and suburban redevelopment will reflect on the concepts presented by Richard Florida. They will discuss what works and what does not work in attracting and retaining talent and generating vibrant communities.


Dede Myers, Retired, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Moderator
Bob Antonicello, Executive Director, Jersey City Redevelopment Authority
Kenneth Drucker, FAIA Senior Principal HOK
Anne Bovaird Nevins, Senior Vice President, Market Development, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Navy Yard Project
Edward McKenna, Chairman of State Planning Commission and former Mayor of Red Bank 

Fostering a Regional Sustainable Economy: A South Jersey Case Study

3:00 – 4:00 pm

What’s needed to make New Jersey’s regions work?  What will it take to create functional regions that will promote economic development, and provide housing and transportation choices for New Jersey’s “creative class”? Learn what’s in store for South Jersey in terms of planning and infrastructure investments, synergies between higher education and the private sector, and planning for livable communities.  What is the region doing to foster innovation and attract and retain talent?


Jim Kehoe, Chairman of the Board, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Moderator
Ali Houshmand, Ph.D., Interim President, Rowan University Presentation
Rich Landers, Vice President Tax and Real Estate, Campbell Soup, Video
John Matheussen, CEO, PATCO Presentation

Closing Remarks

 4:00 pm Richard Goldman, Drinker Biddle & Reath and PlanSmart NJ Chairman of the Board



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