ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Three months after it was originally scheduled as an in-person meeting, the Essex County Meet The Mayors event will have its 10th annual installment as a virtual program next Wednesday, July 15.

Meet The Mayors, which will go live from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. that day with open participation available to registrants on the Internet, brings together chambers of commerce from all over Essex County.

Meet The Mayors brings together business owners, employees and residents to hear from state civic leaders.

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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez will be the guest speaker this year. Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo will be honored at the event for helping to obtain a $100 million dollar bond to correct Newark's lead water issue. He will be presented by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

"Ras Baraka will present an award to Joe DiVincenzo, who got a $100 million bond to help Newark solve the problem of lead in its water," Denny Klein, the organizer of the event, said. "We have a lot of mayors signed up. After the presentations, we have a Q&A with the senator, that is an opportunity for the mayors to have a dialogue with him. We are proud of keeping this going for 10 years. There is a lot of interaction. Normally, the mayors and everybody would be interacting and networking in person. We are trying to make it a very interesting program, like a TV production, this year."

This event is being held in association with the League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area and is a project of the Inter Chamber Coordinating Council of Essex County (ICCC). The ICCC consists of six chambers, including the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, the North Essex Chamber of Commerce and the Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerc, the Livingston Chamber, and the South Orange and Maplewood Chamber.

Corporate sponsors of Meet The Mayors are PSE&G, RWJ Barnabas Health, BCB Bank, Astorino Financial, Jordan Baris Real Living Realtors, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis, Windmill Health Products, Smolin Accounting and Rand, Feuer & Klein LLC (of which Denny Klein is owner).

TAPinto.net is a media sponsor of the event.

"We're trying to carry on the best we can," Klein said. "We are still going to have the basic component we’d have if we had it live. Speakers will interact, and the audience will be able to observe. We want to make sure we get it right."

Klein said that when the event, which was originally scheduled for April before the pandemic shutdowns intervened, is held in-person, attendance continues to grow annually.

"Normally, we get 200 people or more," Klein said. "We are building with our registrations. We are the voice of small business. It is Important that small business has a voice in the community. People have come to understand Meet the Mayors as a brand. We are really proud we can be a voice."

Klein pointed out that last year's speakers were New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, and Jon Bramnick, the state's Assembly Republican Leader.

"We try to foster bipartisanship, and promote working together to solve problems," Klein said. "Bipartispanhip is a very important part of what we try to promote. There is an inextricable link between Suburban Essex and Urban Essex. While we had protests recently, they were peaceful with no looting or rioting like you saw in other parts of the country. We saw what it was like here in 1967. We have come a long way. We have a lot to be thankful for in Essex County. We are proud of its unity and diversity."

Anyone interested in attending the Zoom meeting for Meet The Mayors can register by clicking here: https://northessexchamber.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/3161