WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK 2018
Michele N. Siekerka, Esq.
Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), leads the nation’s largest, most influential employers’ organization, advocating on behalf of New Jersey’s large and small businesses for policies that will make New Jersey more affordable and regionally competitive.
Under Ms. Siekerka’s leadership, NJBIA’s award-winning research on outmigration documented the loss of $20.7 billion in wealth from New Jersey over 11 years and set the agenda in Trenton for the enactment of a series of important pro-business reforms, including the recent repeal of the estate tax, and the adjustment of the state income tax threshold for taxing retirement income.
Ms. Siekerka has been at the forefront of efforts to build more effective workforce development alliances in New Jersey between academia, business and government. The NJBIA Postsecondary Education Task Force’s yearlong study of New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation millennial outmigration produced a 13-point action plan in 2018 that is driving policymakers’ discussions on how to retain our future workforce by enticing more young adults to pursue education and careers in New Jersey.
Ms. Siekerka came to NJBIA in 2014 from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where she served as Deputy Commissioner, following her service as Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources Management. During her time at DEP, Ms. Siekerka was a principal player in the state’s charge to restore New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy with the responsibility of coordinating funding, outreach and resources for rebuilding environmental infrastructure.
An attorney by trade, Ms. Siekerka’s background includes serving as President and CEO of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, senior legal counsel and vice president of human resources with the Automobile Association of America, and as a partner in a Mercer County law firm.
Ms. Siekerka is the Co-founder and Co-chair of Opportunity New Jersey. She serves on the Board of Directors of Investors Bancorp; Choose New Jersey; the New Jersey Innovation Institute; Junior Achievement of New Jersey; Young Audiences of NJ; and Better Choices Better Care.
Ms. Siekerka’s leadership has been recognized through her inclusion in Power and Policymaker list rankings by Insider NJ, Politicker NJ and NJBIZ. She was cited as one of the 17 People to Watch in 2017 by The Record. She was also among the NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business in 2015.
A Robbinsville resident, Ms. Siekerka holds a BA in Political Science and German from Rutgers University, and a JD from Temple University School of Law.