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New law renames NJEDA HQ in honor of Caren Franzini

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Caren Franzini was head of the state EDA for nearly 20 years.
Caren Franzini was head of the state EDA for nearly 20 years. - ()

New legislation to rename the New Jersey Economic Development Authority headquarters in Trenton to the “Caren Franzini Memorial Building” was signed into law Monday by Gov. Chris Christie.

Franzini led the EDA for nearly two decades and has made significant contributions toward improving the Garden State’s business climate, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association said.

“I can think of no better way to honor her legacy,” said NJBIA CEO and President Michele Siekerka. “Caren’s leadership at EDA made a lasting impact, and the State of New Jersey is a better place because of her vision and leadership.”

Franzini joined the EDA in 1991 as its deputy director, and became head of the agency from 1994 to 2012 before founding her own firm, Franzini Consulting LLC in Lambertville.

Franzini died on January 25.

“Throughout the nearly 20 years I knew Caren, I found her to be a warm, caring person who took her responsibilities on behalf of business very seriously,” Siekerka said. “She was a tireless cheerleader for small business, and her advice as a member of NJBIA’s board was invaluable.”

Franzini also helped found Great Trenton last year, a nonprofit dedicated to economic development in the state’s capital.

“Caren’s commitment to New Jersey business was unwavering and this new law renaming EDA’s headquarters in her honor will ensure that commitment will be forever remembered,” Siekerka said.

Franzini was named to the NJBIZ Hall of Fame in 2015 for her work in the state, which also included serving in government and on board of organizations, such as PlanSmart NJ, the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group, NJBIA, Horizon Blue Cross New Jersey Foundation board, New Jersey Community Development Corp., New Jersey Future and the New Jersey Alliance for Action. She also serves as a visiting associate at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.

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Emily Bader

Emily Bader


Emily Bader is the Web Editor and Social Media Coordinator at NJBIZ. She is a Brielle, N.J. native and a Rutgers University alum. You can contact her at emilyb@njbiz.com.

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ezeddie August 9, 2017 9:14 am

The EDA is nothing more than a "bad bank". They give out grants and loans with taxpayer dollars to firms that will never survive, and then "write-off" the money when the company folds. These "incentives" cost the local towns money and result in vacant properties after a few years !

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