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Sweeney, Gordon Laud Willoughby for Service to New Jersey and its Business Community


Senators praise retiring NJ Business and Industry Association Chief Government Affairs Officer

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Bob Gordon, chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, today lauded Melanie Willoughby, who is retiring after 14 years at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, for her service to New Jersey’s citizens and business community.

“Melanie Willoughby has been a staunch, effective and thoughtful advocate for New Jersey’s business community,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester). “We don’t always agree, but I always knew that Melanie fought for what she believed in. On critical issues, she ensured that the New Jersey Business and Industry Association would stand up for the interests of the entire state, even when it was unpopular to do so.

“She was one of the strongest voices in the business community for our bipartisan Senate plan to fund the Transportation Trust Fund, while cutting the estate tax and the tax on pension and retirement income to keep our seniors in the state. And just this week, she and the NJBIA stood up to oppose Republican congressional efforts to eliminate the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes because it would hurt New Jersey,” he said.

Willoughby served as Director of State and Governmental Affairs for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs under Governor Brendan Byrne and served for many years as President and CEO of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association before joining BIA in 2003.

“Melanie has made important contributions to shaping public policy on economic and fiscal issues under Republican and Democratic governors and Legislatures,’” said Senator Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic). “She has played a critical statewide leadership role in recent years in advocating for the needs of New Jersey’s manufacturing sector, and she has worked closely with our Legislative Manufacturing Caucus on a wide range of issues. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”