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Al KoeppeAl Koeppe was longtime chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. - (FILE PHOTO)

Al Koeppe was longtime chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. - (FILE PHOTO)

The New Jersey business community is reacting Tuesday to news that former PSE&G President and longtime New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chairman Al Koeppe has died.

Koeppe, a fixture in that community, had served as CEO of the Newark Alliance, as well as CEO and president of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey and president and chief operating officer of both Public Service Electric & Gas Co. and Verizon.

Tom Bracken, CEO and president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, where Koeppe was chairman from 1999 to 2001, issued a statement Tuesday:

“The passing of Al Koeppe is a deep loss to the state, the Chamber and me personally. Simply said, Al was one of the finest people I have ever met in my career. He always put the interest of others ahead of himself and worked diligently to make our state a better place.

“The importance of his contributions to the New Jersey community are immeasurable and the example he set as a leader is the standard we should all aspire to achieve.

“This is a sad day, but I know I am speaking for many people in saying that I am grateful for having had Al in my life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”

Koeppe also served as chairman of multiple commissions and organizations, including the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation. He sat on the boards of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and New Jersey Resources Corp., as well as being a trustee of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark.

He won awards including the Council for Action for Minority Professionals’ Trailblazer Award, the Consortium of Information Technological Executives’ Diversity Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Americanism Award, and both the NAACP’s and AFL-CIO’s Corporate Leader awards.

Koeppe was a regular member of the NJBIZ Power 100 list of the most powerful people in state business. In the most recent edition, published in January 2016, he was ranked No. 88.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers-Newark and his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. He was named to the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2003.