RANDOLPH, NJ - On Oct. 17, the Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored its annual Multi-Chamber Networking Luncheon at The Skylands. More than 120 people from Denville, Jefferson, Mt. Olive, Parsippany and Roxbury were in attendance to meet other local business members and enjoy lunch.

After some networking among attendees, everyone was seated. The President of the Randolph Area Chamber, Lou Nisivoccia, welcomed everyone and introduced the guest speaker Bart Oates, former center for the New York Giants. Nisivoccia detailed many of Oates’ successes, including helping lead the Giants to two Super Bowl titles, and later in his career playing for another Super Bowl winner on the 49ers.

Bart spoke about his roots growing up in a small town in Georgia and of the many life lessons he learned along the way.  He spoke fondly regarding the many mentors who helped him achieve success, and how they taught him how to keep good perspective on life and football. He was clear in explaining that education was always a priority for him, as it always came before sports.  Bart further explained that early in his life “football was a way to achieve an education that many people, including my parents, couldn’t afford.”

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Even after retiring from the NFL, Bart went on to pursue his law degree from Seton Hall Law School. He is a very visible and active member of the New Jersey community, and is involved in assisting many charities. The usual questions were asked of Oates, such as what was his favorite Super Bowl win, to which he replied, “Probably the first one, because you worked so hard, and dreamed your whole life of reaching that point, to finally get there is amazing.” 

When asked if he would he allow his children to play football today in light of everything now known about concussions, he said, “Yes, I would allow my kids to play. There are so many great life lessons in football about teamwork, commitment and respect.  With concussions, it is more about being careful and smart, making sure to give proper healing time so there is no repeat concussion quickly after.”

The Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce exists to promote the interests and welfare of its members by fostering and encouraging the advancement of the commercial, industrial, civic, and general interests of the township of Randolph and its trade area. The organization also serves as a liaison between local businesses and the township government. If you are interested in joining, contact the chamber at www.randolphchamber.org