EDA Board Chairman Al Koeppe Receives Leadership Award
TRENTON, N.J. (June 10, 2016) – Hailed as a business leader and champion for economic development, Alfred C. Koeppe was honored by New Jersey Future with the Cary Edwards Leadership Award. Presented at the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization’s Smart Growth Awards last night, the Award recognizes individuals who have an outstanding commitment to improving the quality of life and promoting smart growth in New Jersey through sustainable land-use policy and practice.
Over the course of his distinguished professional and public service career, Koeppe has served as chairman of the New Economic Development Authority (EDA) twice; he was appointed by Governor James E. McGreevey in 2003, serving until 2006, and again by Governor Chris Christie in 2010. He continues to preside over the 16-member Board today.
“This well-deserved honor recognizes Al’s strength of character and a career defined by integrity, compassion and effectiveness,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen. “Under Al’s leadership, the depth and capacity of the EDA has grown considerably. He has left an indelible mark at the Authority and in this State, and we are deeply grateful for his continued service.”
Koeppe most recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Newark Alliance, a nonprofit he helped found over a decade ago to improve Newark’s public schools and economic conditions. He began his career as a lineman with New Jersey Bell in 1969, and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate by attending the evening program at Seton Hall University School of Law. By 1993, Koeppe was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey, and subsequently joined Public Service Electric and Gas Company as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2000.
Among his myriad accomplishments, Koeppe was appointed Chairman of Chief Justice Wilentz's Supreme Court Commission to reform the New Jersey Court System, and also was asked by Acting Governor Richard Codey to assume the chairmanship of the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation in 2005 to enhance its fiscal oversight. He previously chaired the New Jersey Higher Education Commission and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Koeppe currently serves as a trustee for St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark and a director of the Board of Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey and of the New Jersey Resources Corporation.
Having earned his BA from Rutgers University-Newark, Koeppe is a member of the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Trailblazer Award, presented by the Council for Action for Minority Professionals; the Diversity Award, presented by the Consortium of Information Technological Executives; the Anti-Defamation League's Americanism Award; the NCCJ Humanitarian of the Year Award; and both the NAACP's and AFL-CIO's Corporate Leader Award.
At the EDA, Koeppe helped to oversee implementation of the Municipal Rehabilitation and Recovery Act, which included the creation of the State Economic Recovery Board, a subsidiary of the Authority tasked with stimulating economic development in the City of Camden. He also has presided over the EDA’s administration of the State’s incentive programs, both under the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act and through the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act.
“With his Jersey City roots, Al has brought a unique and personal perspective to the EDA Board, grounded by an unwavering commitment to spurring economic opportunity in New Jersey’s cities,” said EDA President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura. “His integrity is paramount and he has continuously guided the EDA with a steady and skilled hand, demanding the highest level of operational and ethical performance from staff, whom hold him in deep regard.”
New Jersey Future hosted its 15th annual 2016 Smart Growth Awards last night at the Newark headquarters of Panasonic North America. Among the projects recognized was the redevelopment of the Hahne and Co. Building in Newark. Approved by the EDA under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) program, the project is currently under construction and will convert the former department store into mixed-income housing, street-level retail featuring a Whole Foods, and a new arts and cultural center for Rutgers University. The public-private partnership includes Rutgers University-Newark, L+M Development Partners, Hanini Group, Prudential, Goldman Sachs, and Citibank.