Christopher J. Powell, partner at Hardenbergh Insurance Group in Marlton, became New Jersey PIAPAC’s new chair on July 1, 2021. He has a long history of political involvement in New Jersey, which makes him perfect to lead the political arm of PIANJ. Recently, I chatted with Chris to learn more about him, his political awareness, and his goals for NJPIAPAC for 2021-22.
Q: When did you first get involved in New Jersey politics?
Powell: My mother served as an election judge at our local polling place, so I became knowledgeable about election processes at a young age. I first became involved in a local municipal race and from there, continued my political activity with both local and county campaigns. While attending college at Rutgers University-Camden, I interned with then Freeholder Director Robert Andrews. Andrews went on to serve as the Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for New Jersey, and I joined his staff. Years later, I sought public office in my hometown of Lindenwold, was successfully elected and became council president.
Q: You have a lot of experience in New Jersey politics. What experience do you think will help you the most as you lead NJPIAPAC this year?
Powell: I know the various legislative leaders and I know how working through the state government process works, which I think will benefit how effective NJPIAPAC can be this year.
Q: What are your goals for your term as chair of NJPIAPAC?
Powell: I want to increase NJPIAPAC donations and communications, and I want to provide an understanding of the work that takes place behind the scenes on a daily basis to protect our industry.
Q: Can you share why you support NJPIAPAC and why others should, as well?
Powell: We support the PAC at the Platinum Level, because we are familiar with the work that takes place behind the scenes—not only from our members and PIA staff but also from PIANJ’s lobbying firm, Katz Government Affairs. The donations provide us with the opportunity to attend various events at which PIANJ members are able to discuss the association’s concerns on pending legislation, as well as share their thoughts and insights on the impact of legislation.
I strongly urge our members to not only continue their support, but to consider increasing their donation amount. We pay for professional liability insurance to protect us from potential errors in our professional services. Members should consider NJPIAPAC as protection against legislation that erodes our protections and affects our bottom line negatively.
Katherine “Kat” Slye-Hernandez, Ph.D.
Katherine “Kat” Slye-Hernandez received her Ph.D. in political science from the State University of Albany, Albany, N.Y., in May 2020. She also has her Master of Arts from SUNY Albany and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Elmira College, Elmira, N.Y.