December 2014 cover

December 2014

There are just a few more weeks until 2014 ends and 2015 begins. Being at the cusp of a new year is always a time of renewed optimism: new starts, new resolutions, a clean slate, a brighter future, etc. In this year-end issue of New Jersey Business magazine, we like to think that we ourselves are delivering optimism to our readers (the 20,000-plus members of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association) as we enter the new year. We are doing this on two fronts. The first involves our Q&A with NJBIA’s new president, Michele Siekerka. You will learn about Siekerka’s management style, her thoughts and vision for the Association, her views on the state’s business climate, her experiences as a top-level executive at public- and private-sector organizations in the state, and how being an advocate for important issues is in her blood. … “It’s part of my fabric,” she says.

As a person with a lot of energy, Siekerka is in the midst of a listening tour of NJBIA members, trade associations, chambers of commerce, legislators and policymakers during her first 90 days in office. The goal of these meetings is to create a new strategic plan for the association that will encompass stronger member engagement and more valuable services, while “honing down on the ‘mission critical,’ and that is to create and sustain a strong business climate in the state.”

We wish her and the entire Association well on the new path “from great to nirvana.”

Speaking of new paths, businesses should read our 2015 Business Forecasts to set themselves on a journey towards prosperity in the new year. Our gratitude extends to our industry experts who took the time from their busy schedules to pen their predictions for us. The topics are in areas vital to everyday business operations and personal wealth, including: the overall economy and job creation; healthcare costs; energy prices; small business growth; banking; and the stock market. The consensus is that the state and the country are on a road to recovery with healthy GDP and employment growth at the national level, lower oil prices and, at press-time, a stock market that is reaching all-time highs. Of course, we continue to have our challenges, but it’s been a long time since we ended a year with such good news.

On that note, the entire staff at New Jersey Business wishes all of our readers a very Happy Holiday season.

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