David Brogan is no stranger in Trenton.
Having spent the last 17 years there, including the last nine lobbying for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, Brogan has been a staple of the business community’s government affairs operations in New Jersey over the last two decades.
But when he first got a call from the New Jersey Apartment Association a few months back inquiring about his interest in an open government affairs position, Brogan, who wasn’t out searching for anything new at the time, said he’d only consider it if the “scope of the job was beyond just government affairs.”
As it turned out through the course of the interview process, Brogan would be in luck. The top spot at the organization opened up and was rolled into the offer.
So, meet David Brogan, the NJAA’s new executive director and executive vice president of government affairs and business development. For Brogan, the new title is not just a mouthful to say. It’s an opportunity to lead.
NJBIZ sat with Brogan last week:
NJBIZ: What are some of the challenges awaiting you?
David Brogan: Whereas at NJBIA I focused primarily on state issues (and) I didn’t delve into local issues, this is very different. Here, you have to deal with federal issues, state issues and local issues — and the local issues are the tough ones, (such as) rent control. That, I think, is the biggest challenge.
Clearly, I (also) want to raise the bar for the organization and get it to a new level (and) increase membership. We can do that through a variety of ways in terms of demonstrating what we have to offer through our education, our advocacy and things of that nature. But also we want to open the doors to more women- and minority-owned businesses, and so that’s something that we can do as part of our overall strategy.
NJBIZ: Why does the apartment industry matter?
DB: What a lot of people don’t really understand is how much this industry contributes to the state of New Jersey. It’s $1 billion in property tax and local tax revenue. It’s $5 billion in state gross domestic product. It’s 44,000 jobs, and these are good paying jobs and they’re stable. Everyone’s looking for ways to stimulate the economy, here’s a great way to do it. Make sure we’re not creating burdens and unnecessary restrictions on the multifamily housing industry, like through rent control.
NJBIZ: Is it a goal to increase the NJAA’s visibility?