Remembering Jim Garibaldi, Longtime CEO of Fourth-Generation Brokerage Firm

James J. Garibaldi

By Joshua Burd

James J. Garibaldi, a prominent commercial real estate broker in New Jersey who spent 23 years as CEO of The Garibaldi Group in Chatham, has died at age 72.

Garibaldi, known throughout the industry as Jim, had a career that spanned more than 50 years at the firm started by his grandfather in 1919. He is the former president of the multimarket network of independently owned brokerage firms known as CORFAC International, among other accomplishments, having also executed Investors Bank’s original lease in 2004 for more than 56,000 square feet at 101 JFK Parkway in the Short Hills section of Millburn.

His passing on Nov. 22 follows the death of his brother and longtime partner, Jay Garibaldi, in early September.

“Whether in business or in life, my uncle led with compassion,” said Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr., president of The Garibaldi Group. “In times of stress or hardship, he focused on ways to heal the ills he observed through taking action. He was a big man who made a big impact, both in the world of real estate, as well as with the people who were lucky enough to know and love him. He will forever be missed.”

Born in West Orange to Joseph and Clare Garibaldi, Jim Garibaldi was raised in Short Hills and graduated from Xavier High School in Manhattan, according to an obituary. He earned his bachelor’s in political science from Scranton University and went on to join the family business, starting his multidecade career at what is now a fourth-generation firm.

Garibaldi took over as The Garibaldi Group’s CEO after the death of his older brother, Joseph Garibaldi III, in 1997 and would remain in the post until summer 2020, the firm said. Aside from leading the company’s growth, he focused on community service as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey, The Cancer Hope Network and the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown, having also served for many years as a eucharistic minister at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Chatham.

Additionally, Garibaldi was a trustee and member of Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit and a member of the Mid Ocean Club in Hamilton, Bermuda, the obituary said.

“He was a great brother and business partner,” company CEO Jeff Garibaldi wrote Saturday in an announcement to friends and colleagues in the industry. “He loved golf, going to baseball games and concerts. And he was someone you could always have a genuine conversation with about life. He was always there to listen. We will dearly miss him.”

Jim Garibaldi leaves behind Aggie, his wife for nearly 50 years, as well as daughters Emily Deuchler and Meredith Molloy and their respective husbands, David Deuchler and Timothy Molloy. He is also survived by four grandchildren.

Visitation will be held today, Nov. 27, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home at 345 Main St. in Chatham. A funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church at 85 Washington Ave. Chatham.


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Author: Joshua Burd