For photographs of the gala, click here. (photos by Russ DeSantis)
New Jersey Chamber's 100th Birthday Party
Raises The Roof at The Palace in Somerset
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th birthday in grand style on Thursday with a gala that drew 630 people, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno; former Governors Brendan Byrne and James Florio; and three great grandchildren of N.J. Chamber founding member Thomas A. Edison. Also attending the event at the Palace in Somerset Park were Chamber past presidents and past chairs, as well as leaders of New Jersey's top companies that have long supported the N.J. Chamber's mission to make the state a great place to live, work and run a business.
"Tonight we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce," said Thomas Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. "But more than that, we are here to celebrate everything that makes New Jersey and our country great."
Lt. Gov. Guadagno, during a rousing speech, touted N.J. Chamber's vital role in the Garden State.
"I turned to the Chamber of Commerce when I was appointed and I asked what is it that we need to do to revitalize business in New Jersey," Guadagno said. "Directly because of the Chamber of Commerce, I think we have been successful as an administration and in New Jersey as a whole at creating nearly 50,000 private sector jobs in the last 22 months simply because we listened.
"I like to think people are talking about New Jersey because we have taken your advice to heart, that we need to lower taxes, give people access and we, as Trenton bureaucrats, need to get out of your way," Guadagno continued. "I don't know if we could have done as much as we have done in the last 22 months without all the help of the people that support the Chamber of Commerce. Working together, we have been able to change the way people perceive New Jersey.
"Thank you to all of you and particular thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for being so good at what you do and being so open minded and welcoming to me so I can take your work on the road," Guadagno added. "Congratulations and happy birthday Chamber of Commerce."
The event included tributes to Thomas Edison and his family and the legacy of innovation he left in New Jersey, past Chamber leaders, and other New Jersey business leaders that have paved the way.
The event's turnout "says A, the business community is alive and well, and B, they like what's going on," Bracken said. "There are a lot of good vibes."
A special thank you to our Gala's Diamond Sponsors: Bank of America, Investors Bank, Merck, Prudential Financial and Wells Fargo.
For photographs, click here.
For article in NJBIZ newspaper, click here.