The six leading members of the Site Selectors Guild — the group that represents the most influential site selectors in the world — already were impressed with New Jersey by the time they entered the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center on Monday night.
A day of meetings at the Heldrich Hotel had shown them a lot of what the state has to offer — and what it will have to offer, especially in terms of the transformative medical research that is expected to take place at the Hub in New Brunswick.
But, before they could sit down to a meal of Wagyu steak and tuna, cooked on individual salt blocks, heated to 600 degrees (let’s be clear, Jersey can do food as well anyone), they got another surprise: Gov. Phil Murphy joined them for the cocktail hour.
That the room already was filled with leading members of government, higher education and health care — all working together — was one thing. But the fact that the governor was willing and eager to stop by, 22 days before the election, meant something else.
So said Chris Paladino, the president of New Brunswick Development Corp., the master developer of the Hub, and organizer of the night’s festivities.
“One of the things they said that they were truly interested in and impressed with is the collegiality and the united front and the working relationship with the (Economic Development Authority), the Governor’s Office, the local government, not-for-profits, and (Rutgers University) in moving a project forward,” he said.