MONTCLAIR, NJ - Members of the North Essex Chamber of Commerce (NECC) gathered at Pig & Prince on Thursday, located in the historic Lackawanna Terminal, for their end of the year gathering.
Founded in 1969 as the West Essex Chapter of Commerce, it became the North Essex Chamber of Commerce in the early part of the 2000s when it added the Montclair Chamber of Commerce to the fold. NECC is now the official Chamber of Commerce for 9 nine towns in Essex County, including: Fairfield, West Caldwell, Caldwell, North Caldwell, Roseland, Essex Fells, Verona, Cedar Grove and Montclair.
The office is located at 26 Park Street, Montclair.
Hosted by by Barbara Ruiz, who serves as Vce President for NECC and Client Support Rep. for C3 Workplace, along with Kaitlin Kurdyla, the duo greeted members and prospective members as they arrived and checked in for the year end gathering.
Ruiz stated, "Tonight is our year end appreciation party and this is our way to thank those who have supported NECC."
She continued, "We wanted tonight to be relaxed where business and community people could meet, network and enjoy an evening of delicious appetizers and beverages."
Sponsors include C3 Workplace, B&B Community Bank, Provident Bank, PSE&G, Rand Feuer & Klein, RJ Barnabas Health and Media Partner TAPinto.
Michael Daniels, current president of NECC, walked around greeting and welcoming each attendee.
He said, "This evening gives us the opportunity to thank the many businesses that have become partners."
Daniels added, "In working and becoming involved, not only in opening a business, but becoming involved in the community, our goal is to bring community and businesses together."
One of NECC fundraiser efforts includes its annual scholarship, which is awarded to high school students that live in NECC's service area. Recipients for 2018 included: Ethan Rotman (Montclair High School ), Brendan Powell (Montclair Kimberly Academy), Sophia Conklin (Mount St. Dominic) and Joshua Kohler(James Caldwell).
As community partnerships are a major part of what NECC does, the local YMCA and other organizations have had the opportunity of benefiting from those connections.
Desiree L. Johnson, Executive Relations Director for the YMCA and Secretary for NECC commented saying, "The YMCA, in becoming a community partner with NECC, has the opportunity to partnership with local businesses and expand and address other services that include health workshops and a wide variety of community programing that allow the Y to meet the needs of the community where they are."
Prospective members included representatives Manuel Alers and Diana Pombo from Haven Savings Bank. They attended because they were considering joining.
Alers said, "We came representing Haven Savings Bank. Currently, we have nine locations, and of course, looking to expand in becoming a part of the chamber, we can connect with surrounding communities, not only in new businesses, but how can we assist in the communities and become involved."
Current roster for the 2018/2019 list of officers include: President Daniels (Financial Focus Group, Jersey City), Immediate Past President Holly Kaplansky (Minuteman Press, Newark), Exec Vice President Danielle Deptulla (Kearny Bank, Fairfield) , Secretary Desiree Johnson (YMCA of Montclair), VP Finance Julia Tsoy (Smolin Lupin & Co.Fairfield), VP of Membership Ruiz (C3WorkplaceMontclair), VP Programming Kurdyla (The Conference Center at Montclair State Montclair), VP Marketing Chelsea Dodd (Montclair Public Library) and NECC Director Mark Eulie.