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Bergen County And You, Perfect Together?

Local business leaders, educators, developers, and government officials meet to discuss ways on how to make Bergen County a desirable tourist destination

If Destination Bergen County, a campaign designed to drive tourism to the region, can be nearly as successful as the 1970’s “I Love New York” campaign was for New York City, the think tank behind the effort could exceed expectations. 

The economic development program presented June 12 by members of the 2012 Bergen LEADS class during a public forum at Bergen Community College (BCC) opened the possibilities by presenting ideas that highlight the best Bergen County has to offer including historical sites, almost 9,000 acres of county parks, and a multitude of dining and shopping choices that make Bergen County a viable tourist destination. 

Major events coming to Bergen County over the next year or two could also aid in the branding effort to lure in lucrative tourism revenue including the Ironman U.S. Championship triathlon on Aug 11, where all segments of the race will traverse Fort Lee, Formula One racing, and the 2014 Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium. 

William “Pat” Schuber, former Bergen County Executive and Bergen LEADS seminar director said the Bergen LEADS leadership training program is based on a very simple premise – leadership makes a difference.

“It makes a difference in the success of our organizations, and our communities,” said Schuber. “And our future depends upon our ability to foster leadership at the non-profit level and the community level.”

Members of the class presented their ideas or “fruits of their labor”, which they elaborated on over the past year, in hopes of leaving a lasting legacy for the County and its residents.

They include Michael Wilenta of Wyckoff from Wilenta Carting in Secaucus, Rabbi Neil Tow from the Glen Rock Jewish Center, Rev. Dr. Matt Tittle of Oradell from the Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, Shirley Ericson-Seay of Upper Saddle River from the Orange and Rockland Utilities, and Michele Ogden of River Edge, the CHEER Program Director and Community Outreach Coordinator of Visiting Homemaker Home Health Aide Service of Bergen County in Hackensack.

Other members include Christopher Bennett of Englewood, a procurement officer for the NYC Dept. of Education, Division of Contracts and Purchasing, Nino Cammalleri of Haworth, a real estate attorney at Cole Schotz in Hackensack, and Larry Hlavenka, Jr. of Westfield, a public relations professional at BCC in Paramus.

More on the meeting later this week.   

Sally G November 04, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Mr. Mays, I do not believe that your mindset is so limited that you can find nothing to do on a Sunday: there are movies, restaurants, museums, parks, etc., etc.—if you really can do nothing but shop on a Sunday, then I feel sorry for you. Yes, I am content to send the tax revenue elsewhere to protect MY sanity, the quality of life of owners of small businesses in the county and employees of the large mall stores. Nobody moving into the county should have been unaware of the bule laws; researching a potential new home should be more complete by that, in my opinion.
Sally G November 04, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Tom, Mr. Mays is a known provocateur on these pages. No need to respond seriously.
jp1 November 05, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Cannot shop in six days what makes you think you can do it in seven?
Sally G November 05, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Mr. Mays, I really should not engage, but the malls were first built in the late 1950s, they were told that they would be able to open 6 days a week. They were assessed their portion of property taxes. Yes, there have been malls built since; yes, the original two malls—the Garden State Plaza and the Bergen Mall, now the Town Centre—have expanded since, but my family is among the residents who lived here all through. I am not sure what you mean by a “regular suburban county”; when my parents moved in, they had to go to Hackensack to shop 7 days a week. We just recently waited through a huge construction project on the Route 4/Route 17 intersection to accommodate all the new residents, commuters, shoppers, etc., who travel through an intersection at a rate of >100,000 per day. It is not that we do not want to change with the times, it is that we want the change to be directed by residents and neighbors, not dictated to us by outsiders who move in knowing the rules of the area. I am glad that you are looking forward to living in Manhattan; why wait? (sorry if that seemed flip, but since you are planning to move, I see your weighing in on this issue as rather presumptuous—the effects of any decisions will last longer than your tenure.)
Sally G November 05, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Gary, Mr. Mays is a known provocateur. He will insist on the last word, and will bait endlessly. Most of us are with you.

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