The Sabrin Center for Business Center and Anisfield School of Business hosted the 2013 Northern New Jersey Business Outlook Event in the Trustees Pavilion.
The event was open to the greater public. The crowd consisted of Ramapo students and faculty, in addition to local business professionals of Northern New Jersey.
Dr. Rita Shea-Van Fossen, Associate Professor of Management, organized a panel of four prominent experts in the North Jersey economic realm: James E. Glassman, Managing Director and Senior Economist of JP Morgan Chase, Senator Kevin O'Toole of New Jersey's 40th Legislative District (including Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Morris counties), John Galandak, Exceutive Director of the Commerce and Industry Association New Jersey and Robert Topel, Vice President of Marketing for UPS East Region.
"I was pleased with the result of the event," said Shea-Van Fossen. "The ASB Advisory Board was helpful getting contacts to speak for the event. Galandak is a friend of the college. UPS, especially Topel, is a big supporter of Ramapo. I knew Glassman by professional connections, and Senator O'Toole by local government."
The discussion was based off of the state's economic performance in 2012, it's current state and what legislators and business specialists hope to make of it.
The panelists provided insightful perspectives from the business field. Political issues including minimum wage and Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts were also mentioned.
"Sandy postponed the event since we've planning since October. However, it ended up working better than expected in January," Shea-Van Fossen explained.
"It was very insightful to hear Senator O'Toole speak about bipartisanship and the need for both Democrats and Republicans to work together to solve the issues facing New Jersey's and the US's economy," said senior marketing major Craig Homa.
Homa found O'Toole's approach refreshingly bipartisan.
"Both parties are arguing issues, just for the sake of arguing, and many good ideas for reform brought to Congress are shot down simply because of party politics. After attending this event, the only way to remain optimistic in such an uncertain economy is for our representatives in government to begin caring more about the people they represent and forming a compromise on legislation," said Homa.
Dr. Shea-Van Fossen also comments, "We are interested in organizing this again, since the speakers raised the bar for the event. We're hoping it becomes an annual event. The nice part is giving perspective to college students; there is hope, and there are opportunities to seek after graduation."