Laurence M. Downes has been appointed Chair of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development’s National Advisory Board.
Mr. Downes is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey Resources (NJR), a Fortune 1000 company that provides safe and reliable natural gas and clean energy services, and its principal subsidiary, New Jersey Natural Gas. He joined NJR in March 1985 and has served as CEO since July 1995. He 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 Finance Council of the Catholic Diocese of Trenton, and serves as a member of the Boards of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Drumthwacket Foundation, and Choose New Jersey. Additionally, Mr. Downes is a member of the Board of Questar Corporation.
He received a Bachelor’s degree in business administration in finance and a Master’s degree in business administration in financial management from Iona College.
“To follow in the footsteps of John Heldrich is a privilege and a great opportunity,” Mr. Downes said. “I look forward to building upon his legacy to help prepare and empower the workforce of today to compete, succeed, and prosper in the global economy.”
“Larry has been an invaluable member of the Board since the Center’s inception in the late 1990s,” said Dr. Carl Van Horn, Director of the Heldrich Center and Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers University. “His wisdom, expertise, and advice will be critical to the Center’s continued development and success as we approach the 20th anniversary of the Heldrich Center in 2017.”
Mr. Downes succeeds the late John J. Heldrich, who served as founding Chair of the National Advisory Board from 1997 until his death in October 2014.