George Norcross

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George E. Norcross III (born c. 1957) is an American insurance executive and a fundraiser for Democratic Party organizations in the south region of New Jersey.[1]

The son of a union organizer, Norcross was previously the chairman of the Camden County Democratic Party. His brother Donald Norcross is the current chairman and a state senator representing the 5th Legislative District. Norcross has never been elected to a public office, but in June 2007 he was named the second most influential political personality in the state of New Jersey,[2] and it has been said that he “runs politics definitely south of [I-195] in Jersey, and maybe across the state.”[3] He attended Rutgers University-Camden.

Norcross was investigated and recorded discussing his influence with then New Jersey governor James E. McGreevey and then United States Senator Jon S. Corzine. Chris Christie, as a U.S. prosecutor, accused attorneys of mishandling the investigation.[4][5]

Businesses and board memberships[edit]

Norcross serves as Chairman of Conner Strong Companies, Inc. (formerly Commerce Insurance Services). The company ranks among the largest insurance, risk management and employee benefits brokerage and consulting firms in the country, with offices located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Norcross has been the head of Conner Strong and its predecessor companies since 1979. The current company was formed after Commerce Bancorp was acquired by Toronto-Dominion Bank. As part of the 2007 acquisition, TD Bank agreed to sell Commerce's insurance division back to Norcross.[6]

Norcross is part of a group seeking to purchase newspapers in Philadelphia.[7]

He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System and Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey and has served as a Trustee since 1990. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of Commerce Bancorp.

Interstate General Media, LLC[edit]

In April 2012, a group of influential New Jersey business executives headed by Norcross, former New Jersey Nets owner Lewis Katz and cable TV mogul H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest purchased The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and media properties for $55 million.[8]

The sale was conducted in extreme secrecy. The purchase price — which includes up to $10 million from investors to fund operations — is less than 15 percent of the $515 million paid by a group of investors in 2006, and far less than the $139 million creditors paid at a 2010 bankruptcy auction. The buyers established a new company, Interstate General Media LLC, to operate Philadelphia Media Network.

Even as the publications have been decimated by layoffs and declining revenues, the Inquirer and Daily News have won Pulitzer Prizes, journalism's highest honor, in the past two years.[9]

“We don’t have all the answers,” said Norcross. “We hope to grow this enterprise, not to lay people off. This newspaper hasn’t made money for years.”

The company moved in July 2012, from its longtime home at 400 N. Broad St. to its new, state-of-the-art headquarters at 801 Market St. The new location has 125,000 square feet of space on one floor, the third. Community groups including the Salvation Army had benefited from donations of furniture, office supplies, and gym equipment, and financial contributions related to the company's move. Norcross praised the company's new home. "There aren't many newspaper companies holding events like this," Norcross said. "The facilities we're in are exceptional."[10]