President & Chief Executive Officer, Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce
Since June of 2002, Jim Kirkos has served as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, a widely respected membership-based, business service organization whose mission is to accelerate economic, community and business development by providing its membership with networking & relationship building opportunities; destination & tourism marketing services; business education and leadership training; legislative and public affairs advocacy, and workforce development initiatives to businesses of all sizes across all industry sectors throughout the Meadowlands region.
Under Jim’s leadership, the Chamber has increased its membership from 250 to just 900 members while restructuring internal operations to strengthen the Chamber’s financial condition. Jim initiated a strategic planning process that focused the Chamber’s activities on delivering membership value and an increased visible leadership position on critical advocacy initiatives.
Having been a Chamber member for over 18 years with his prior businesses, Jim focused the organization’s attention first on enhancing membership services by expanding programs in the areas of networking, business learning and defined a regional jobs initiative as well as an economic development “Think Tank” called the Meadowlands 2040 Council. The 2040 Council’s is comprised of C –Suite level executives whose mission is to identify critical initiatives needing to be advanced that will lead to a sustainable Meadowlands economy through the year 2040. Those initiates include transportation infrastructure, regulatory obstacles, sports complex advocacy and workforce development.
In 2004 Jim led the way for the establishment of the Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau within the MRC to address the economic impact that tourism and destination marketing could have on the Meadowlands economy. The Chamber played an integral part in bringing the Super Bowl 2012 to the New Meadowlands Stadium. The MRC / MLCVB have utilized technology to advance destination marketing through the creation of websites called StayInTheMeadowlands.com, StayOnTheWaterfront.com and MLCVB.com .
Jim continues to expanded collaborations between the Chamber, the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority, the NJ Meadowlands Commission and the NJ Office of Travel & Tourism to attract visitors from all over the world and enhance a destination related economy inclusive of eco-tourism.
A 25 year veteran entrepreneur and business developer, Jim owned and operated hospitality foodservice businesses in the Meadowlands region. His assets included
Eagle Food Management, Inc., a cafeteria management company, Demetrio’s Catering and A Top Notch Production special event catering and production firms.
Active with business and civic organizations while being in business, Jim served as Chairman of the Small Business Council (SBC) of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber. While Chair of the SBC, he helped create and implement a series of Small Business Learning initiatives and Business Owner Roundtable Sessions that are still in use today. The SBC became a staple initiative of the MRC as 75% of the membership is small businesses. These initiatives have helped the MRC provide relevant benefits to members that has helped the organization grow in stature, reputation and relevance.
In 1980, Jim was elected to the Lyndhurst Board of Education and served two terms with one as Vice President. Jim also served as a Lyndhurst volunteer fireman for over 13 years from 1980 to 1994.
After selling his company in August 2001, Jim first consulted with the MRC and then joined the executive staff at the Meadowlands Regional Chamber where he was appointed President & CEO in June 2002.
Jim has served on the Bergen County Vision 2020 Commission whose purpose was to develop a framework for business and quality of life growth in Bergen County. He also served on the New Jersey Transit Advisory Council, and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority Stakeholders Committee and is currently serving the NJ Meadowlands Transportation Planning Board, the Meadowlands Renewable Energy Task Force, The Bergen & Hudson County Workforce Investment Boards, Bergen Community College Advisory Board, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Business Accelerator Advisory Board, Felician College Business Advisory Board and the Bergen Leads Advisory Board, an organization that provides leadership training programs to Bergen County residents who wish to assume leadership roles in government, community and business.
Jim attended Montclair State University and Fairleigh Dickinson University majoring in Business Administration and Accounting.