Hunterdon County Business News - May 2021

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Learn about the Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting and the important steps being taken to grow Hunterdon's local business community.

Remembering a true community leader who inspired others through his kind words and actions.

Hear from local business owners why joining chamber connect is the best way to network with other local business owners.


VOL. 46 NO.2




MAY 2021


President's Letter


Upcoming Chamber Events


Looking Back with Gratitude and Forward with Optimism


Retirement Announcements

10 Women's Leadership Summit 12

In Memoriam: Steve Kalafer


Hats Off


Business Milestone

32 Healthy Hunterdon 34 "Cyclists Welcome" 119 MAIN STREET FLEMINGTON NJ 08822 INFO@HUNTERDON-CHAMBER.ORG

37 Tax Tidbit 38 New Member Welcome


It appears spring, summer, fall & winter are all in the air, well I say this because we sure have had a Spring that is all over the map in terms of weather, but we are also at an extremely critical moment in terms of the re-opening of our economy for county and region. When you look at the turbulence of this past year+ in so many ways, our landscape and perspective have been forever altered. However, one thing that has not been altered, and I am so privileged to play a small role in, is the “resiliency” of so many individuals, businesses & organizations. Even during this most tumultuous unprecedented time, I have encountered so many people that continue to overcome so many obstacles. As we will look back on this time, and I can say it was quite an impactful moment in our nation, state, and local communities’ history. But the one constant I have seen is the “Spirit of Free Enterprise” pushing us forward. You can almost sense it in the air and see it on the faces of so many.


The fact that we are hopefully on the other side of so much loss for so many, there is a renewed sense of optimism and desire to push forward. Now the phrase “the new norm” gets used a lot, but what I sense is that we are entering into a period where the resiliency of our Business Community is almost palpable and we are hopefully beginning to feel, we are going to be okay. Please know the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce will continue to be the Advocate for you, our members, and the Business Community. We need to continue to band together to ensure that the recovery that we are headed for is something that brings us all forward. Please consider reaching out to the Chamber to find ways you can help the Chamber help our Business Community start the next Chapter! With best regards,


Chamber Calendar Wednesday, June 2, 2021 Leads Exchange North 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Monday, June 7th & 21st Chamber Connect II 12:00 Noon - 1:30 PM Wednesday, June 9th Chamber Membership Open House 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Monday, June 14th & 28th Chamber Connect 12:00 Noon - 1:30 PM Tuesday, June 15th Leadership Hunterdon Open House 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM Center for Business & Entrepreneurship

Wednesday, June 16th Leads Exchange Central Guest Speaker: Daniel Litts 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Wednesday, June 16th Value Vision Board Workshop 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM Center for Business & Entrepreneurship Wednesday, June 16th Leadership Hunterdon Graduation 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM Stanton Ridge Golf & Country Club Thursday, June 17th We are Reopening - What's Next? 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Based on current COVID Guidelines for gatherings, seating is limited . Hybrid events will be held at the Chamber in the Center for Business & Entrepreneurship. Register early! Visit to register for upcoming events

Announcements Use our Job Bank to post open positions (open to Members and Non-Members) Use our Community Calendar to plan your organization's major events!

To submit your organization's announcements, visit and fill out the form on the NEWSLETTER page under the 'News and Events' tab. Submissions must be received by the first Monday of the preceding month for publication. All submissions are subject to approval by the Chamber.

Make a submission to our Community Calendar at

The Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce held their 2021 Annual Meeting in late March. The virtual event featured a keynote address by Tom Bracken, President & CEO of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce; introduction of the Chamber’s 2020 annual report; and discussion of how the Chamber navigated a unique and challenging 2020. “Despite needing to be held virtually, the meeting went well,” said Chris Phelan, President of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. “Our Board and the attendees were engaged and interested as we discussed the unique year that was 2020.” Phelan describes 2020 as “challenging, but full of opportunities for the Chamber to be creative, stretch our resources and think outside the box to find new ways to be there for the business community.” Much of the Chamber’s operating income is derived from revenue from special events – something that took a hard hit in 2020, with every in-person event being canceled or held in a minimal, virtual format due to the pandemic. “It has been a unique time for everyone - that’s an understatement,” said Phelan. “If there is a bright side to any of this, it’s that we all learned to dig deep, pivot as needed, and think outside the box like never before.” HUNTERDON BUSINESS NEWS | VOL. 46

Area business leaders agree that the Chamber had its share of obstacles, but it turned them into opportunities to share resources, connections and essential information. “The Chamber connected our community to resources relating to COVID-19, providing updates that were reliable and coordinating webinars with the Department of Health, which was very helpful,” said Lesley Gabel, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Prevention Resources, Inc. “I was really impressed with how the Chamber helped promote businesses that had to adapt, such as restaurants,” said Gabel. “The Chamber also provided series of webinars on the Payroll Protection Program that were very helpful.” Paul Muir, Executive Director Red Mill Museum Village and President Guild of Clinton, agreed. “The Chamber has always been a source of information, but during the pandemic, understanding what regulations were in place and what financial assistance was available became critical.”

“The Chamber is always a great arena to build business relationships, but those relationships also became more critical as sharing of information helped more businesses quickly adapt,” explained Muir. “As businesses began to re-open after the initial closures the Chamber was a great source to best understand the state regulations. The Chamber effectively provided all grant and loan opportunities in a clear and concise manner so Chamber members could quickly find and apply for assistance.” “The Chamber was an important catalyst to bring the Main Street business associations together so that the leadership of those organizations could work together, some for the first time, to get their main streets back open safely and keep the economy stable,” said Muir. “In some cases, these main streets even saw some economic growth during the pandemic through new stores,” he added. Muir and Phelan worked closely when the Guild of Clinton partnered with the Chamber on an Economic Recovery Fund, raising over $5,000 for Clinton, which was distributed to help local businesses with operating costs during the shutdown. This program grew to include all main streets in Hunterdon.


Another important pandemic related Chamber initiative was the formation of its Economic Recovery Committee. Muir praised the Chamber for its clear vision and guidance during a time that was overwhelming and uncertain for everyone. “The Chamber was one of the first organizations to articulate that the pandemic will have long lasting impacts to the local economy and created a response committee tasked with looking out 18 to 24 months,” explained Muir. “This was unique, as many focused on the immediate impact, and it proved wise, as we now know the impacts of the pandemic will be long lasting. Phelan credits engaged community leaders like Muir, a strong Board of Directors and his Board Chair, Jeffrey Weinstein, for their leadership and commitment during these challenging times.


While 2021 continues to challenge all of us, the Chamber looks forward to the possibilities that lie just around the corner as we all begin to turn the corner of this pandemic,” said Phelan. “Our businesses need us now, more than ever, and my goal is to remind everyone that the Chamber remains steadfast – we’re here for our business community. We have the resources, knowledge and networks necessary to equip our hardworking and committed business community with the tools they need to move forward into stronger, better times.” For more information about the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and how it can benefit your business, contact them at or visit Written by Freelance Contributor Lisa Dimiceli

On behalf of the entire Membership, Board of Directors and Staff of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce we want to extend our sincere thanks to "Casey" Edward J. Bednarzyk who recently retired from ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company after a long career. Casey was an active member of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce serving on our Board of Directors, the Chamber's Annual Golf Classic Committee and most recently a member of the Hunterdon County Economic Recovery Task Force. Casey will continue to be an active member of the Chamber's Golf Committee. Bruce Black Recently Retired as the President & CEO of the Hunterdon County YMCA. Bruce also was also an active member of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce serving on our Board of Directors, the Chamber's Finance Committee and our Strategic Planning Committee. The Chamber truly appreciates the contributions that both these individuals and their respective organizations have made over the years to the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Chris Phelan commented, "both Casey and Bruce will be missed by myself and so many because of their active engagement with the Chamber and so many other organizations here in Hunterdon County. The time, effort and dedication they both exemplified in their service to the Chamber and the Business Community is something that we are very grateful for." The Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board, Jeffery Weinstein recognized and thanked both members of the Board and their organizations for all of their contributions to the Chamber during the Chamber's Annual Meeting this past March. We wish Casey and Bruce all the best for many years and a well deserved and happy retirement! RETIRMENT | 9

WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT RESILIENCY On April 23, 2021 over 40 men and women attended the Virtual Women's Leadership Summit to hear powerful stories of Resiliency from two well known speakers. This topic was key to all since everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The effect on us personally, our family, friends, etc. has changed the way we live our lives and how we tackle our next obstacle. The Summit opened with an opportunity to network, facilitated by Jim Barnoski of Performance Selling. Attendees were split out into groups to discuss. Our first speaker, Nicole Piazza, Owner of The Clean Plate Kitchen in Clinton, NJ. Nicole started off with her personal life challenges her family and their business brought on by the pandemic. Many of the attendees are familiar with The Clean Plate Kitchen, some are frequent customers but not everyone was familiar with the hurdles Nicole and her husband faced in the last 12+ months due to the personal and pandemic. Her story was truly inspiring to all and Nicole's resilience when faced with these unexpected challenges was truly inspiring.


Our second speaker, Megan McDowell, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Heartworks spoke about her tragic loss during 9/11. Megan's brother-in-law worked in Tower One or Two?? and vanished during the attack, presumably killed. For days the family had no answers till it was confirmed. Megan faced the unimaginative and looked to her faith to help her help her family. Through all of this, Megan witnessed neighbors, acquaintances, organizations, etc. bringing kindness to her and the family. From a cup of coffee, diet Coke and meals to feed the family, it was such an inspiration that she knew what she wanted to do with her life. She began to work on her business - Heartworks. Giving back to those that are faced with challenges, giving them a boost.

Nicole Piazza Owner of The Clean Plate Kitchen Clinton, NJ

Megan McDowell Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Heartworks Basking Ridge, NJ

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors Presenting Sponsor

Supporting Sponsor

Program Sponsor Scholarship Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

"You were OUTSTANDING! That was a fantastic summit with great messaging and energy." "Thanks again for giving your time and passion today, it was obvious that the group appreciated it."

"That was truly an inspiring summit, incredibly genuine, and I felt honored to be part of it all." "What a great way to start our Friday morning – so real and inspirational. "


In Memoriam Steve Kalafer On Wednesday, April 21st, the business world lost a true leader, that was regarded as a giant in New Jersey business, the car industry, real estate development, the arts, and the sport of baseball. But of all his successes, he was most proud of his family. He was a loving husband to Suzanne for 50 years. They raised two sons, Jonathan and Josh, that married Kori and Rachel, and gave them five grandsons. On behalf of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce we would like to extend our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the entire Kalafer Family on their loss. Steve Kalafer was truly a man who impacted so many individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout his entire life. His contributions locally here in Hunterdon County and throughout the State of New Jersey will have a lasting impact.


His belief in the Spirit of the Free Enterprise and a willingness to share with the next generation was epitomized a few years back when he spoke at a Hunterdon County Chamber evening of youth here at the YMCA on Entrepreneurship & Leadership. He shared the ideals of hard work, perseverance, entrepreneurship, giving back to your community and treating everyone with fairness and respect. These were all traits that Steve showed to those who had the opportunity to interact with him. The Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce remembers a great person, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. On behalf of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce we would like to extend our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the entire Kalafer Family on their loss.

His belief in the Spirit of the Free Enterprise and a willingness to share with the next generation was epitomized in May 2017when he spoke at a Hunterdon County Chamber evening of youth at the Hunterdon County YMCA on Entrepreneurship & Leadership. Steve shared the ideals of hard work, perseverance, entrepreneurship, giving back to your community and treating everyone with fairness and respect. These were all traits that Steve showed to those who had the opportunity to interact with him. These pictures speak a thousand words to the real spirit and enthusiasm Steve had for giving back to others.


Remembering Steve Kalafer by the Somerset Patriots

On Wednesday, April 21st, we lost our beloved founder and Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer to cancer. He was regarded as a giant in New Jersey business, the car industry, real estate development, the arts, and the sport of baseball. But of all his successes, he was most proud of his family. He was a loving husband to Suzanne for 50 years. They raised two sons, Jonathan and Josh, that married Kori and Rachel, and gave them five grandsons.

“I knew we were the luckiest people in the world having such wonderful parents, and our sons, so lucky to have them as their grandparents. Because of how we lived our lives together every day, and our sharing of how much we loved each other, all we had left was to say ‘I love you and that we will carry on with all you taught us over the years, especially when teaching your grandkids how to live a meaningful life."

“My father was the kind of man who lived all aspects of his life like he was creating a beautiful piece of art,” said Jonathan Kalafer. “From the businesses he created, to his relationships with people, to the time he spent with his family, he always brought a unique energy that was magical. It is still hard to believe he is gone, but I know he didn’t have any regrets in his life and he lived every day to the fullest. Our family will continue to carry on his legacy together through all that he taught us.”

Kalafer was born on August 1, 1949 in Essex County and raised in North Caldwell. He developed an early passion for baseball, and especially the New York Yankees, because they were his father Milton’s love. They shared a fondness of the team during countless trips to Yankee Stadium that became a Kalafer tradition for generations.

And though Steve passed at the far too young age of 71, he accomplished more than even he could have ever dreamt. “We saw each other or spoke every day. He was always available to Jonathan and I, to show his love and support in all we did personally and professionally,” said Josh Kalafer.


He took to business early as a 12-year old going door-to-door as a Fuller Brush salesman that helped him pay for college. He graduated from Rider University in 1971 with a business degree. From 1973 to 1976, he worked as the finance manager at Coleman Oldsmobile in Trenton. Then in 1976, Kalafer purchased a one-car showroom in Frenchtown and built it into one of the most respected and successful franchises in the United States for 40-plus years. Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands, Clinton Honda, and Jaguar Land Rover Princeton became the go-to place for car buyers and a staple in the community.

The consummate salesman, Kalafer often joked when giving speeches at events to audiences of hundreds or thousands of people that there was a sale going on at Flemington Car and Truck Country.

His love for the game and the Yankees was what made the announcement that his beloved Patriots were to be the iconic franchise’s Double-A affiliate this past winter that much more special.

In the mid-1990’s, Kalafer had the vision of bringing professional baseball to Somerset County. His track record for success as a businessman made the risky prospect of building a ballpark for an independent franchise even a possibility, let alone a reality. His dream came to life when the Somerset Patriots played their first home game in June of 1999.

“Steve taught us all the value of doing things the right way, of taking the time to build long lasting relationships, and making a difference wherever you can,” said Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “Everything we have here is because of his tireless efforts. We were fortunate to have such a wonderful chairman, father-figure, and friend. We know his sons Jonathan and Josh will help continue his legacy and our staff will strive to make him proud every day because we know he will always be with us, guiding our path and showing us the ways to succeed.”

Under his guidance, the Patriots went on to change the landscape of professional baseball in New Jersey and impact the perception of “indy ball” across the country. The club built a reputation of winning on and off the field and ranked among the top drawing teams in the minors. “There is no one like Steve Kalafer. From the first day I met him, I loved him. He treated everyone like family and made you feel like the most important person in the world,” said Patriots Manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle. “We became friends when he hired me to manage the Patriots and I learned so much from him about the right way to do things in life and how to conduct yourself in business. Every time I set foot in the ballpark, I will think of him with an unbelievable amount of love, respect, and appreciation. He was the Somerset Patriots, and it will be up to all of us to carry his vision long into the future.”

In addition to the dealerships, baseball team, and real estate ventures, Kalafer produced documentaries to tell stories about subjects he felt needed to be told. His works garnered him three Academy Award nominations and wins at many prestigious film festivals including Sundance and Tribeca. His vast business empire allowed Kalafer to make a difference in the community and his philanthropic efforts rivaled any of his professional successes. Over the years he donated millions of dollars to non-profits and causes of importance to the Kalafer family, most often anonymously. His generosity was usually on display at events where he’d pledge donations on the spot and request others that could to match his contributions.


He was giving of his name, time, and wealth. Kalafer was the Chairman Emeritus of the Somerset Health Care Foundation and served on the Board of Directors of RWJBarnabas Health. He was also a trustee on the board of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, a CoChair of the Chairman’s Council of The Actors Fund of America, and a trustee of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation.

Whenever Kalafer was needed, he was there for the community. He’d honor the commitments made and do more than anyone could ever expect. “Over the incredibly difficult past 13 months, Steve has been vital to so many people by ensuring that our food banks were filled during the holidays, pushing for advanced medical services at RWJ Somerset, and even entertaining us with baseball during the height of the COVID pandemic after the Patriots season was cancelled,” said Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Robinson. A lifetime of achievements as an entrepreneur and philanthropist in the state made him an easy choice for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 Class. At the virtual ceremony, Kalafer said, “Our roles as entrepreneurs, as capital formation builders, as job builders is to make certain that every day, we go out to work so that the dreams of others can be met; to be entrepreneurial in the giving back business.” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy added, “Steve leaves a tremendous legacy in business and philanthropy that will be hard to match.”


Kalafer's philosophy of life was engraved on the back of commemorative coins he loved to give out: • Be kind • Be fair • Work hard • Earn Money • Do good "Steve was a wonderful human being who was generous to a fault. No one will ever know all the non-profits in our area that benefited from his generosity, as he never looked for recognition, only to do the right thing," said state Senator Kip Bateman. "He will always be remembered for bringing baseball to Somerset County."

HATS OFF! Congratulations to 2021 NJBIZ ICON Award recipient, Ed Kurowicki, MBA, CPA/CFF, CVA, Founding Shareholder of BKC, CPAs, PC for this esteemed honor. The Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce was proud to nominate Ed for this Award and we are grateful for all of his contributions as a Past Chair of the Board of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and a Past Chair and Current Board Member of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Foundation. We thank Ed for all of his service and his firm, BKC, CPAs, PC for their commitment to the Chamber, Foundation and our Business Community here in Hunterdon County & Beyond! The NJBIZ ICON Awards recognize New Jersey business leaders over the age of 60 for their contributions, their success and their leadership. Winners were chosen by a group of independent judges following an open nomination period. “For nearly 30 years, I’ve witnessed Ed’s strong leadership, drive and positive impact to our clients, our employees and our community. This is a well-deserved honor for Ed.” added fellow BKC Shareholder, Joseph Carducci, CPA, PSA

New Member: Joined March 2021 Psychologists Dr. Michele Kinderman and Dr. Kelly Yanek, owners of Wellness Outside the Box - Therapy Redefined, are pleased to announce the opening of their newest location in Flemington NJ. They are currently accepting new clients for both in-person and telehealth psychotherapy sessions. The doctors incorporate CBT, DBT, adventure therapy, and mindfulness to treat children and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues, anger management, and other life stressors. They meet client needs in a way that takes therapy off the traditional therapy couch and out into the healing power of nature. Reach out today to take the first step towards emotional health and a more fulfilling life. Email:


Happy to Help recently received a logo upgrade through a Job Fair program with Hunterdon County Polytech. Nicole Smith joined the Chamber in 2018 with the debut of her radio show, Happy to Help. Nicole interviews Executive Directors, volunteers, fundraisers, philanthropists, authors and others about the value of helping others. Nicole was raised with the value of volunteering, from collecting pennies in an orange Unicef box while trick or treating as a tot, to donning a seersucker apron as a candy striper as a teenager. Happy to Help had the opportunity to develop a new logo through the Bridging the Gap program with the Commercial Arts and Advertising Design students at Hunterdon County Polytech Career & Technical School. Students partner with Hunterdon County Rotarians to develop their own business as an artist/designer and interview for freelance jobs with local area businesses. Students work with Rotarian mentors to write a marketing plan, design a logo, business cards, a portfolio and price list. Nicole was invited by Polytech Design & 3D Computer Animation Instructor Teresa Diaz to hire a student to develop a custom logo for Happy to Help. Nicole submitted a brief outline of logo specs and met with six students at the school. Nicole partnered with Kyle Cain of Designer Cain to create the new logo. "My favorite part of working on the project was problem solving and figuring out how to get things like the client wanted without compromising too much and making it my own at the same time." – Kyle Cain Kyle did a wonderful job creating a new logo design for Happy to Help. They listened to the client's critique and made revisions until delivering a design the client was satisfied with.” – Teresa Diaz Nicole will officially debut the new logo in June when Teresa Diaz will be a guest on the show to share her experience running the program. "I love the Bridging the Gap program and am so grateful to both Rotary and our business owners for giving my students the opportunity to develop their own business and work for clients.” – Teresa Diaz Happy to Help was awarded the Fresh Talk Award in 2018 by the Chamber for best new program and has recorded over 120 interviews with philanthropic folks from NY and NJ doing good works locally and all over the world. The show airs every Wednesday at 11am, listen live on the Chamber website or watch through the show page @happyhunterdon on Facebook. "We thrive when we have a sense of purpose in our lives." - Nicole Smith Hunterdon Chamber Radio, under the brilliant technical guidance of “Big C” Chris Bianco, and Chamber President Chris Phelan, offers a wealth of programming for the local community and beyond. The internet radio station has been broadcasting for over a decade and added a simulcast on Facebook Live for some shows in 2019. HUNTERDON BUSINESS NEWS | VOL. 46

HATS OFF! Unity Bank Names Industry Veteran George Boyan Chief Financial Officer CLINTON, N.J. (March 26, 2021) – Banking industry veteran George Boyan has joined Unity Bank as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) bringing more than 20 years of financial services industry leadership experience to the community bank. Boyan is responsible for financial and accounting operations for Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNTY), the parent company of Unity Bank, which manages approximately $2 billion in assets and $1.6 billion in deposits. Boyan, a Harding resident, had served as First Senior Vice President, Treasurer & Controller with Bank Leumi USA since January 2014. He also served as President of Leumi Investment Services, since October 2018. “George has an impressive background in financial management and will play an important role in our continued growth,” said Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes. “He brings a vital perspective to our leadership team as a financial services manager. George takes on the important role of leading the development of financial policies and overseeing all financial functions including accounting, budgeting, insurance, tax, and treasury.” Prior to Leumi, Boyan worked with Goldman Sachs and MetLife. He also worked with the late New Jersey Rep. Marge Roukema, supporting the congresswoman’s work with the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. He earned a Master’s in Accounting from Rutgers University Business School, Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law and B.S. in Finance & Political Science from Rutgers. “I am delighted to join the Unity Bank team and look forward to partnering with all of its stakeholders,” said Boyan. “Together, we will pursue the continued expansion of the financial products and services offered to the bank’s customers while optimizing our shareholders' return on investment. Unity's customer relationships are central to its mission of ‘Growing with You’ and, as we help our customers realize their financial dreams, we also fuel the next stage of growth for the bank.”


Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes Appointed to ICBA Large Community Bank Council CLINTON, N.J. (April 6, 2021) – Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes has been appointed to the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) Large Community Bank Council. ICBA is the nation’s voice for community banks. “I am honored to represent our industry and share my experiences as a community banker and civic leader to help ICBA communicate the positive story of community banking,” said Hughes, who also serves on the ICBA Federal Delegate Board. “Community banks are trusted relationship-based lenders, invested in the success of their customers and the economic prosperity of their community.” In addition to helping shape and advocate ICBA’s national policy positions and programs, Hughes’ duties include engaging in grassroots activities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to promote procommunity bank policies and serving as a liaison between community banks and ICBA staff and leadership in Washington, D.C. “Hughes is a dedicated community banker who is highly respected in the community and by industry peers,” said ICBA Chairman Robert M. Fisher, President and CEO of Tioga State Bank, Spencer, New York. “We are delighted Jim has accepted this appointment and generously volunteered his time and professional talents in pursuit of creating an environment where community banks, and the communities they serve, continue to flourish.” Hughes began his career at Unity Bank in December 2000 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and in 2003 was appointed to his current position. He graduated from Mount St. Mary’s College with a B.S. in Accounting and Finance and earned his M.B.A. in Finance from Seton Hall University. Hughes became a Certified Public Accountant in November 1983 and has been an active member of the Financial Executives Institute. In addition, he previously served as a part-time accounting professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. He has served as an active member of the Community Bankers Association of New Jersey in various officer positions. About ICBA The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services. With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at HUNTERDON BUSINESS NEWS | VOL. 46

GOOD NEIGHBOR Written by & Re-printed with Permission by By Caroline Fassett of

Last year was already a rough year for an awards shop owner based in Hunterdon County. Then, in early November, his home and business of 100 years went up in smoke. “The bottom line is the entire shop was scorched, and the engraving machines were melted,” John Bradshaw, owner of Bradshaw Awards in Stockton, said. “And the smoke damage — because we had all these acrylic awards and things like that that went up in smoke — created this really dense smoke that just destroyed the rest of the building.” The fire, which began with an electrical problem, broke out only two days before Bradshaw and his daughter’s scheduled appearance on “Good Morning America,” an event for which he had prepared $12,000 of product in hopes of promoting his business and recouping the significant financial losses he had endured as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It obviously didn’t happen,” he said. Bradshaw pivoted to living and working from his RV to the best of his abilities, but was absent the equipment he needed to engrave his awards. So, he reached out to one of his long-time business competitors. “John came in, and we met for about a half

an hour,” Jim Gano, owner of Crown Trophy of Flemington, said. “He told me his situation and then he asked if he could still maintain the accounts, get the product to me, would I engrave it for him? And then he could package it back up and deliver it to his customers seamlessly, as if nothing happened. And I was glad to do that.” “Jim’s got a good heart and he was all for pairing up and helping out and all that good stuff,” Bradshaw added. Like Bradshaw, Gano’s business had also been hit hard by the pandemic largely because corporate gatherings, sports games, and other awards-based events came to a screeching halt over the last year. “On March 13 of last year, the phone started ringing, text messages started coming, I was getting messages on Twitter, Facebook, everything — cancel my order, cancel my order, cancel my order,” Gano


said. “In one day I lost about $60,000 in business, both future and past business. And it never came back — my business was down 80% last year because the awards industry just dried up.” While stating that he has still not fully recovered from his financial losses, Gano added that he survived by laying off employees, pivoting to making and selling plexiglass and masks, and doing “whatever we could to keep the lights on.” Despite his own fiscal concerns, Gano didn’t hesitate to help Bradshaw when he gave him a call in early December. This was largely because he couldn’t bear to see a business that had become a staple in the community suddenly disappear — even though his financial motivations should have driven him towards the opposite conclusion. “The thing that was always overriding to me was the fact that this was his 100th year,” Gano said. “I’ve been in business for 12 years, but how can you leave during your centennial? How can you shut it down because of this extenuating circumstance in the 100th year? That’s not the way it’s supposed to be celebrated.”


“It’s funny how the world works in that it happened at 100 years, and during one of the most unbelievable years in our history,” Bradshaw echoed. “This is a crazy world — or it was during 2020. That’s for sure.” With a decade’s worth of prior experience in the insurance industry, Gano is also helping Bradshaw navigate the process of regaining what he’s financially owed by his carrier. “When John would be talking and we’d meet about different jobs, I’d say, hold on, wait, that’s not the way that should go … just because I knew that they’re going to try and settle for the least amount possible, and you want to make sure you’re getting what you paid for in that policy,” Gano said. Looking forward, Bradshaw intends to eventually rebuild his store in the same location, promising that Bradshaw Awards will re-emerge “better than ever.” However, even when he’s back on his feet, he intends to continue a “behindthe-scenes partnership” with his competitor turned ally. “In our conversations, it’s gotten clear that as I rebuild and buy new equipment, we can make this work,”

Bradshaw said. “I now know that Jim does certain things that I used to do; he can do that for me now. And on the other side, there’s machines I can buy … and help him out as a vendor as he is doing for me right now. We can just cover the whole spectrum the two of us, and shift clientele from me to him and him to me.” “If I’m busy, maybe John can pick up some of the slack. And if he’s too busy, maybe I can pick up some of the slack,” Gano said. “And if we keep that productivity level high and satisfy the customers, I think we’ll be okay.”

“There’s too much business out there for us to be at each other’s throats,” Bradshaw said. “This can’t be anything except a win-win situation.” Individuals can learn more about Crown Trophy of Flemington by visiting its website or calling (908) 7821476, and Bradshaw Awards by visiting its website or calling (908) 8064445.

In expressing their excitement for what lies ahead, both business owners recognized the uncanny nature of their coalition while emphasizing that — in spite of the tragedy that inspired it — it could and should serve as a model for other competitors. “A lot of times whether it’s sports competition or business competition, there’s that in-bred ‘I hate you’ relationship … but I’ve never felt that way,” Gano said. “I respect the competition always. Even though in the past we’re all fighting for the same dollars … I think this is a business lesson for everybody that businesses can work together, can copromote, can co-partner and come out stronger as a result.”


BUSINESS MILESTONE Home Instead turns 21 in 2021 As Frankie Valli sang, “Oh, What A Night” Tracy Fazzolari owner of Home Instead Franchise in Hunterdon and Warren Counties can relate as she sings “Oh, What A Couple of Decades…” Home Instead is celebrating their 21st Anniversary. So much has happened since opening our doors in 2000, especially the last few years states Tracy Fazzolari. Tracy is a Certified Senior Adviser (CSA) and a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). Home Instead is accredited by The National Institute for Home Care (NIHCA). NIHCA accreditation is recognized by the New Jersey Commissioner of Human Services and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs as an authorized accrediting body and approved to provide accreditation as a condition of being register as a New Jersey Health Care Service Firm. Through the years Home Instead has been voted by Forbes as one of America’s Best Large Employer. As Tracy says, “ it takes a special person to become a Home Instead CAREGiver…not a special degree”. Our amazing CAREgivers are the heart and soul of Home Instead. They make a difference in the daily life of our and clients and their families…they are our lifeline. Every year we honor them by recognizing one outstanding individual who is selected as CAREGiver of the Year. This year the honor went to Dave Anderson of Washington, who has been with the Home Instead family since 2015. Home Instead is one of the few agencies to offer both the highly sought after CHHA course and CNA conversion course free to our CAREGivers. Home Instead has earned numerous Caring Star Awards and Super Star awards for one of the top-rated in-home care agencies in the nation. Originally published in 2012 as the first of its kind and expanded to include in-home care agencies based on consumer ratings and reviews. Home Instead has been named one of the Best Home Care Agencies by 2020 Home Instead of Hunterdon and Warren Counties was one of the top teams raising money for the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” by The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater New Jersey, raising $11,329. Home Instead has been named Business of the Year for 2021 by the Washington Borough Business Improvement District. Tracy was also a recent inductee of the Warren County Hall of Fame in 2019. Home Instead has proudly been serving the Hunterdon/Warren area for over 20 years. We look forward to enhancing the lives of aging adults in our community for many more years. Lucy Hurley Home Care Consultant 908-835-1400









Annual Meeting Committee Business & Government Committee Community Day Committee Expo & Restaurant Committee

Golf Classic Committee Holiday Parade Committee Membership Committee Women’s Business Forum Young Professionals Committee

We need your help with our committees! Over the last 14 months, many of our committees have been affected by volunteers leaving for retirement or moving, etc. We need to fill the empty seats! If you are interested and can spare an hour a month for a meeting, then you are the person! Please contact us at the Chamber @ 908-782-7115 or email If you have a preference of committee, let us know as well. Our committees work like teams - together!


Healthy Hunterdon Cycling Season is here! If you live in Hunterdon County one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery and get some fresh air and exercise is on a bike! We have lots of trails and lots of back roads to explore. No matter where you choose to ride, you should always be safe and follow some general safety rules. I have put together a list of basic guidelines for being a confident, safe and courteous cyclist. 1. Wear a helmet!! You should invest some money in this. Get the helmet fitted on your head properly by someone in a bike shop if you're not sure. If the helmet is not covering your head properly, it will not protect you if you fall (the forehead should be completely covered). The helmet is the most important piece of equipment a cyclist owns. 2. Put lights on your bike. This is especially important if you ride on the road. The more you make yourself visible to others the better! 3. Wear bright colored clothing. You want to make sure you are visible. 4. If you are on the road you need to follow all the same rules as a vehicle. Ride in the same direction of traffic. Signal if you are turning. STOP at stop signs and traffic lights. Yield to pedestrians that are in crosswalks or parking lots. 5. Get a bell. If you are riding on trails make sure your bike has a bell, it is helpful when coming up on people who are walking or running on the trail. 6. Passing always call out 'ON YOUR LEFT" before passing people that are either on foot or on a bike. It is just common courteous cycling etiquette (do not cut people off) to pass properly and safely. Passing another cyclist or pedestrian should be on THEIR left hand side, do not pass on the right. 7. Stay hydrated!! Pack a water bottle, wear a camel pack or get a water cage put on your bike. Cycling is work, on hot days you will sweat! 8. HAVE FUN!!! Take pictures!! Pack a snack and find a pretty spot to sit and eat. Enjoy the smells and sounds and scenery of this amazing county we live in!! Have a wonderful time out there!!! Tail winds to you all!! Visit our Website for a one day complimentary guest pass! HUNTERDON HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER LOCATIONS: Whitehouse Station: 537 Route 22 East, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889 Clinton: 1738 Route 31 North, Clinton, NJ 08809 Lambertville: 333 North Main Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530 Written by: Rita Orlans – Certified Group Fitness Instructor = Spinning, Real Ryder, Les Mills, AFAA, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer HUNTERDON BUSINESS NEWS | VOL. 46


"Cyclists Welcome" Campaign Promotes Bicycle Tourism Bike Hunterdon, an initiative of goHunterdon, has developed a new campaign to help local businesses capture the impressive revenue generated by bicycle tourism. "Hunterdon is well known as a bicycling destination," says Tara Shepherd, Executive Director. "You need only look around on a warm sunny day and you will see cyclists on many county roadways, along the D&R Canal Towpath, Columbia Trail, and other locations across the county," she notes. "Our goal is to help bicyclists identify businesses to visit." “Bicyclists look for establishments like coffee shops, breweries, wineries, restaurants, and retailers where they can easily park their bicycle, grab a bite to eat and re-fuel,“ says Caryl Harris, goHunterdon Bicycle Specialist. “Our goal is to help the business community to understand the types of amenities that attract cyclists and to identify businesses where bicyclists are particularly welcome."


Hunterdon businesses and destinations are invited to request a free "Cyclists Welcome" clear decal that may be displayed on the front door or window of the business or destination. For more information about the Bike Hunterdon initiative, visit



TAX TIDBIT Employers – Leaving Money on the Table? 2020 was a very bad economic year for many businesses. Quite often when you hear the phrase, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”, the common response would be, yeah right! But 2020 was quite different. Congress enacted several pieces of key legislation that greatly helped many small to mid-size businesses. Under the Consolidated Coronavirus Relief Act, 2021 (CCRA, 2021), congress expanded the eligibility for companies to claim the Employee Retention Tax Credits (ERC). Under the CARES Act, if a company received a Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPP) they were not eligible to also claim the ERC. The CCRA, 2021 now allows businesses that received a PPP Loan to also qualify for the ERC. During the year 2020, if your business recognized a 50% or greater reduction in revenue in any quarter, over the same quarter in 2019, you may qualify for the ERC. Businesses that were ordered closed or were only allowed to partially open to a limited occupancy capacity rate, do not have to meet the revenue reduction test. However, you cannot use the same wages that were covered by a PPP loan, to use for the ERC. Once the PPP proceeds have been spent, the wages paid in the following payroll period would qualify. The qualifying wages for the ERC were capped at $10,000 per employee in 2019 and the credit is equal to 50% of the qualifying wages, not to exceed $5,000. The American Rescue Plan, that was signed into law by President Biden, increased the number of businesses that would qualify for the ERC. To qualify under the revenue reduction test in 2021, businesses must sustain at least a 20% revenue reduction and not 50%, as was the requirement for 2020. Qualifying wages paid during the year 2021 are now capped at $10,000 per quarter, per employee. The ERC credit was increased from 50% in 2020 to 70% in 2021. Under the Family First CORONAVIRUS Response Act, (FFCRA), employers that paid their employees while they were out of work recovering from COVID or caring for a family member that was recovering from COVID are eligible for reimbursement. Many employers were unaware of these benefits and are eligible to file amended payroll tax returns to claim the credits. Our tax professionals at BKC are uniquely qualified to assist businesses in assessing the various tax credits that they may be entitled. To receive more information, please contact us at 908782-7900 or visit


Welcome New Members Cardinal Capital Management Contact: Paul Boudreau Financial Services Hunterdon Land Trust Organization 111 Mine Street Flemington, NJ 08822 (908)237-4582 Contact: Samantha Davis


Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship 285 Madison Avenue M-MSI-05 Madison, NJ 07940‑institutes/rothman/ (973)443-8577 Contact: Maura Pniewski SESI Consulting Engineers 12A Maple Avenue Pine Brook, NJ 07058 (973)808-9050 Contact: Bruce LaPenta



"Do business with each other" “Being a part of the Chamber’s Connects #2 group has been a great experience in meeting regularly (using Zoom during the pandemic) with a close-knit group of business owners that seek to make referrals and do business with each other." - Eric Lathrop, Senior Wealth Advisor, Aurora Private Wealth

"Enhance relationships and share leads" “Every other Monday business professionals interact, network and enjoy time spent together to enhance relationships and share leads." - Tom Bay, Owner Anita's Angels, Inc.

"When we connect, we grow business" “As a Hunterdon County professional, I have found the Chamber Connects program to be an effective means to expand my legal practice among countybased businesses. When we connect, we grow our businesses." - Kevin M. Kilcommons, Esq., Clinton.