"United in Impact Awards: Rising Together" Keynote Speaker- Michele Siekerka Biography

Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, 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.

Being known as a collaborative leader, Siekerka is leading an NJBIA established coalition (New Jersey Business Coalition) comprised of more than 100 business and nonprofit associations across the state to tackle the tough economic and business challenges our state is facing during COVID 19. 

Well versed on the ‘boots on the ground” issues affecting our state’s business community, Michele is often the “go to” resource for media and is sought after to share her expertise in public forums across the state. 

Under Siekerka’s leadership, NJBIA’s award-winning research on outmigration documented the loss of $24 billion in wealth from New Jersey over 12 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.  

Siekerka has also 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 a13-point action plan that is driving policymakers’ discussions on how to retain our future workforce.

Siekerka came to NJBIA in 2014 from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, where she last served in the critical position of Deputy Commissioner.  At DEP, 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, Siekerka’s background includes serving as the 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.  

Siekerka serves on the board of directors of Investors Bancorp; The New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors; Choose New Jersey; the New Jersey Innovation Institute and Junior Achievement of New Jersey.  As a testament to her passion for women’s leadership, she serves on the advisory council of both SheTek and Wings for Growth.

Siekerka’s leadership is annually recognized through her inclusion in Power and Policymaker list rankings by Insider NJ, Politicker NJ, South Jersey Business and NJ BIZ. She is a proud Laureate of the NJ Business Hall of Fame.  A Robbinsville resident, Siekerka earned a B.A. in Political Science and German from Rutgers University and a J.D. from Temple University School of Law.