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Message from the President


PlanSmart NJ’s Executive Director, Ann Brady, has informed the Board that she is retiring.


While all of us regret Ann’s decision to retire, we appreciate her dedication and commitment to advancing PlanSmart NJ’s mission of making New Jersey a better place to live, work, and play. Ann has been a dedicated employee for nearly 25 years and she brought a unique combination of planning and business skills to the organization.  On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank Ann for her unfailing commitment and leadership during a critical period in the growth of PlanSmart NJ and wish her well in the next chapter in her life.


Ann joined PlanSmart NJ (then MSM) as a Planner in 1992, and quickly became the Managing Director and was appointed Executive Director in 2013. In her various roles at PlanSmart NJ she helped to advance initiatives that promote economic development, environmental protection, social equity, and resource efficiency.  Through her leadership she has helped move New Jersey into the vanguard of thoughtful, balanced regional planning.


During her tenure, Ann has become a credible and much sought-after voice for repurposing underutilized office and retail centers and has seen PlanSmart NJ become recognized as the state’s leading independent planning organization.


Ann will remain in her present role until the end of the first quarter.  She has generously agreed to continue to be a resource to PlanSmart NJ as a Senior Advisor.  The Board is conducting a robust search for an Executive Director.   David Fisher, vice president of the PlanSmart board is the chairman of the search committee.  The Board is confident that the next leader will build upon PlanSmart NJ’s broad body of work and that there will be a smooth transition in leadership.  For information about the Executive Director search, click here.


Karen Jezierny

Princeton University and PlanSmart NJ Board President

Joseph A. McNamaraIt is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of PlanSmart NJ Board member, Joe McNamara. Joe was an active board member; the kind any executive director would like to clone.  He served on numerous committees and dedicated many years to promoting PlanSmart NJ’s mission as the Vice President of the Board. Though he served on numerous boards and had a demanding job he never appeared harried or rushed and generously offered his undivided attention. Despite his many roles, both on and off the board, Joe was always eager to help out and his hand was often the first to volunteer for completing board tasks.  He always delivered what he promised and brought integrity and honesty to every conversation and decision.  When debating issues, he always delivered respectful, cogent and well-reasoned arguments. Joe’s likeability and dependability was apparent in his connectedness with important people throughout the state; if he didn’t know an important figure, he knew someone who did.  Joe’s guidance, leadership, wisdom and commitment will be greatly missed at PlanSmart NJ.

14505884422_e6e96b9430_zFollowing our morning keynote presentation and response panels, Summit attendees were invited to discuss a series of questions in small groups at their tables over lunch. The many interesting observations recorded will guide our research in the coming year.

All tables agreed that New Jersey’s regulatory system and infrastructure funding is in a crisis, and needs to change to respond to the demands of a new economy and a changing climate.

There were recurring themes in identifying the most pressing problems: (more…)

innovation_economics_book-cover2-196x300Ezell PhotoSummary of Afternoon Keynote: Stephen Ezell, Senior Analyst

Powerpoint available here.

Stephen Ezell is a Senior Analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington, D.C.-based technology and economic policy think tank, where he focuses on science, technology, and innovation policy as well as international competitiveness, trade, and manufacturing issues. He is the co-author with Dr. Robert Atkinson of Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (

Innovation economics is a new field that challenges neo-classical economic theories in which economics is about allocating resources, by claiming that society, i.e. government policy, can improve “dynamic efficiency” through public-private partnerships to drive sustainable economic growth. Key systems supporting an Innovation Economy are Technology, Talent, Tax, and Trade. (more…)

Summary of Remarks by Jeffrey G. Otteau President, Otteau Valuation Group, East Brunswick, NJ

PlanSmart NJ “Changing Economy, Changing Land Use” Regional Planning Summit, June 13, 2014

JefferyOtteauMr. Otteau opened the Regional Planning Summit with remarks addressing the challenges and opportunities present in today’s real estate markets. Mr. Otteau has been actively engaged in real estate consultation and valuation since 1974. His practice is concentrated in providing project feasibility, market analysis, redevelopment guidance, and valuation analysis to developers, financial institutions, governmental entities, and investors. Frequently quoted in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and having made television appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg and NBC News, Mr. Otteau is widely respected for his knowledge and insight into real estate trends. His attention to detail and comprehensive fact finding has made him the go-to person for industry professionals seeking to enhance their competitive position in the marketplace.


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