TRENTON, NJ—(SBN)—Governor Philip D. Murphy named Laurence M. Downes as chairman of the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). Downes joined the EDA Board in 2010 and has served as Vice Chair since 2016.
“I am honored that Governor Murphy has selected me to serve as chairman of the EDA and I look forward to helping advance his vision for a stronger and fairer economy,” Downes said. “The EDA is staffed by a professional and dedicated group of individuals and I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue our efforts to create jobs and revitalize communities across the state.”
Downes is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Jersey Resources (NJR) and its principal subsidiary, New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG). He joined NJR in March 1985 and has served as CEO since July 1995. Mr. Downes is a Director and past Chairman of the American Gas Association and the Natural Gas Council, as well as a Trustee of the American Gas Foundation. He chairs the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development’s National Advisory Board at Rutgers University and serves as a member of the Boards of the Drumthwacket Foundation and Choose New Jersey.
“I applaud the Governor’s decision to designate Larry Downes as the EDA Board’s new Chairman,” said Tim Sullivan, who will join the EDA as CEO on February 20. “With a long and distinguished professional and public service career, including eight years on the EDA Board, Larry’s knowledge and insight will be indispensable as we work to grow New Jersey’s economy.”
The EDA is an independent State agency that finances small and mid-sized businesses, administers tax incentives to retain and grow jobs, revitalizes communities through redevelopment initiatives, and supports entrepreneurial development by providing access to training and mentoring programs. The EDA is guided by a 16-member Board, which includes 10 public members, one non-voting member, and five ex-officio members.