Carol Katz didn’t come to Trenton in 1990 to be a lobbyist.
She was only in the capital to help her father sell his business, which just happened to be lobbying.
But two weeks after her arrival, she found herself testifying at a legislative committee hearing.
At issue was a bill that would force bus drivers to keep the temperature inside their vehicles comfortably cool. Bus drivers had no problem with turning on the AC, but with people constantly opening windows and doors, it would be nearly impossible to keep the temperature within a specific range.
Speaking on behalf of the bus association, she had to convince legislators that such a bill only sounds good in theory.
“If you saw a bill like that, you’d say, ‘Oh great idea,’ ” she said. “You would never know the logistical issues.”
“So I nervously prepared my testimony,” she said. “It turned out to be very easy.”
“I have that ‘I love lobbying’ gene, but I didn’t know it until I actually landed here and started doing it,” Katz said. “I got bit by the bug, and I realized that it’s a really fantastic profession, despite the things one hears.”
Although she came to Trenton only to help her father transition into retirement, Katz ended up staying and embarking on a 23-year career in lobbying.
Ten years ago she launched her own firm, Katz Government Affairs, with her husband, Mark Connelly. They keep things small, with about 10 to 12 clients at any given time, but those clients have included major industry players, from CVS Caremark and eBay to the New Jersey Credit Union League and Princeton HealthCare System.