From bringing in new members to engaging a new mayor to launching a program to help foster young entrepreneurs, leaders with the Newark Regional Business Partnership feel they have taken a major step forward over the last two years.
Now, the organization is looking to keep that momentum going as a new chairman takes the reins of its board of directors.
The organization last month installed Dr. John Brennan, CEO and president of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, as its new chairman. He succeeds McCarter & English Partner Frank Ferruggia, who served for two years in that role and remains on the board of the business group.
Ferruggia, a Newark native and longtime board member, said he was most happy about the birth of a program last year that trains highs school students in the city in entrepreneurship and how to grow a business. The 30-week program, which follows the model of a national initiative established in more than 100 other cities, kicked off about 12 weeks ago and is allowing NRBP members to engage the students as mentors and advisers.
“That program has gotten off the ground, and I think it’s going to be a very worthwhile, successful program that we’re hoping to sponsor,” said Ferruggia, a prominent real estate and property tax attorney, later adding: “The board wholeheartedly concurred and went into both feet first. I think it’s going to be a very significant program for kids in the city.”
Of Brennan, who is also an executive vice president with Barnabas Health, Ferruggia said, “Barnabas has been such an important player in Newark and they’re very lucky to have him being willing to serve and taking over.”