Business & Finance

East Brunswick Redevelopment: Cohen Assembles A-Team to Lead Initiatives

Michael Corona
Jason Freidman
Mike Lachs
Mirah Becker

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Mayor Brad Cohen has assembled a team of heavy-hittters to drive East Brunswick's vision for redevelopment.  At an inaugural meeting on August 7, the five members of the East Brunswick Redevelopment Commission will meet at an open session to set some parameters for their group as they move forward as a consulting body.  

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm at the EB Municipal Building, and the public is invited both to meet the Commission and to hear the priorities for redevelopment.

All members of the commission are unpaid volunteers and residents of East Brunswick.  The members were chosen by the township administration from among dozens of qualified candidates.

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Says Jonathan Sternesky, Economic Development Officer, "They are experts and professionals who are willing to commit their time to the improvement of the township."  Sternesky also noted that many people have commented that  "This is one of the most qualified boards in New Jersey."

Councilmen Jim Wendell and Sterley Stanley will also serve with on the new committee.  The members include Allison Nagelberg, Michael Corona, Jason Friedman, Michael Lachs, and Mirah Adah Becker.  Their biographies follow.

Allison Nagelberg has served as the General Counsel of Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (NYSE: MNR) since 2000.  MNR invests in net-leased industrial properties on long-term leases to credit tenants. She has deep knowledge in the fields of real estate, finance, risk management, and corporate governance. In 2015, she received an award for New Jersey Legal Department of the Year. Ms. Nagelberg serves on the Advisory Board of the Rutgers University Center for Real Estate. She is also a seasoned director with senior leadership roles on several non-profit boards including: AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), JNF (Jewish National Fund), National Ramah Commission, Congregation B'nai Tikvah, Golda Och Academy, Chabad of Texas A&M, University of Illinois Hillel, and Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center. Her passion for service and philanthropy has been recently chronicled in the Vanguard Law Magazine.  Ms. Nagelberg holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from Tufts University (1986), from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, a J.D. from NYU Law School (1989), and an M.B.A. in Finance from Rutgers University (2012), which she earned while working full-time as General Counsel.  While an MBA student, she won the award for Outstanding Investment Research, CFA Institute Research Challenge 2012, NYSSA Region.  She also holds a General Course Certificate in Economics and Philosophy from the London School of Economics. She has lived in East Brunswick for 26 years together with her husband and three children. She was recognized in the East Brunswick community as a Woman Who Makes A Difference.  

Michael Corona is an attorney with a small independent agency of the United States federal government whose mission is to investigate and prevent catastrophic chemical incidents. His work focuses largely on worker safety and environmental laws and regulations. He is a graduate of East Brunswick High School (’06), Rutgers University (’10), and Georgetown University Law Center (’14). He has a strong interest in the growth and redevelopment of East Brunswick in order to attract younger residents like himself. He resides in East Brunswick with his wife, Staci.


Jason Friedman has been a resident of East Brunswick since 2010 and lives in the Green Acres neighborhood with his wife Jeanine and son Aidan. He is a life-long construction professional, currently employed as a full-time Representative for the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, and Vice-President of Mill-Cabinet Local 252. He performs a variety of volunteer activities for our community including raising funds the Hike for Hunger that supports the Hands of Hope food pantry, sitting on the Middlesex County Planning Board, as well as on the Middlesex County Board of Labor and Workforce Development. When not at work he may be found with his son’s Cub Scout den, or rock climbing.

Michael Lachs is long time resident of East Brunswick.   Mr. Lachs has worked in the commercial real estate industry for nearly thirty years in a variety of positions ranging from valuation, debt & equity placement, zoning, entitlements to property management.    He is currently Director of Finance & Investments at the Stro Companies, a boutique real estate investment firm focused on industrial properties in Northern New Jersey.   Prior to his employment at Stro, Mr. Lachs was employed with HFF and NorthMarq Capital where he gained nearly 20 years of experience underwriting and placing debt and equity for commercial real estate with a total transaction volume in excess of $2.5 billion.  Prior to his work in commercial real estate finance, Mr. Lachs was a full-time practicing commercial real estate appraiser for ten years. Mr. Lachs has also served as the Commissioner and Vice-President of the Middlesex county Board of Taxation and Vice-president of the New Jersey Chapter of the Urban Land Institute.  He is also a member of the East Brunswick Education Foundation and a trustee of the St. Bartholomew's Buffalos Football and Cheerleading Teams.  He is a graduate of George Washington University.

Mirah Adah Becker, AICP/PP is a Resident of East Brunswick for eighteen years, serving as Member of the East Brunswick Traffic Advisory Board for the last thirteen.  Ms. Becker graduated with Highest Honors from the University of Chicago with a major in Geography and received a Master’s of Science degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Historic Preservation. She traveled to Kunming, China on a travel fellowship to devise a redevelopment plan for a portion of the waterfront that runs through the middle of the city characterized by dilapidated housing and public health concerns. Ms. Becker worked for the Bronx Borough President’s Office on environmental policy and social justice projects. With over fifteen years of private sector environmental planning experience, she is currently employed as a Supervising Planner with the Middlesex County Office of Planning,  overseeing the Division of Comprehensive Planning and the Environment. She is involved in all facets of redevelopment, farmland preservation, wastewater management, development review, and master planning for the residents of Middlesex County.  Ms. Becker has been a Member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Executive Board for the last ten years. She is a licensed New Jersey Professional Planner,  a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and a  member of the New Jersey County Planner’s Association.

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