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    The following content is provided by insidernj.com via a press release from Senate President Sweeney's Office

    Atlantic City – Continuing to advocate for the fiscal and economic reforms needed to avert future financial crises, Senate President Steve Sweeney met today with top business leaders in South Jersey to promote the recommendations of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup, the blue ribbon panel that has proposed a range of cost-saving reforms, and to praise the city’s economic progress.

    Meeting with the Greater AC Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Club Meeting, Senator Sweeney spoke about how the “Path to Progress” report issued by the 25-member study group provides a working blueprint to achieve the operational and structural reforms needed to restore financial stability and affordable government.

    “The reforms and recommendations by the workgroup will have beneficial effects that extend beyond the public sector,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We must have government entities operate in a more efficient way. They will make government operate more effectively, deliver savings to taxpayers and contribute to the economic strength of the private sector.”

    The discussion with the business leaders included proposals to address soaring pension and benefit costs, hold down property taxes, make government and school districts more efficient, assess the efficiency of our tax structure and leverage state assets. The forum also offered the business leaders the opportunity to provide input, which is one of the primary goals of the meetings Senator Sweeney and other members of the study group have had with groups across the state.

    Senator Sweeney also praised the economic progress that is in the making for Atlantic City.

    “I believe that Atlantic City is turning a corner and making strides,” said Senator Sweeney. “The state needs Atlantic City to be strong. Not just South Jersey…but all of New Jersey benefits when Atlantic City is bringing tourists and conventions and gamblers to its casinos and the economic growth extends to the whole city.”

    Senator Sweeney said that sports betting and the creation of an economic growth zone around Atlantic City International Airport and the government reforms by the city have contributed to the progress.

    “Our business leaders recognize the motivations and benefits fiscal reforms that will make New Jersey more affordable and better equipped to promote economic growth,” said Joe Kelley, the Chamber President. “We welcome the opportunity to hear directly from Senator Sweeney and we appreciate the ability to offer feedback. We all want a state that is prosperous and affordable.”

    The Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup held its initial organizational meeting on January 30, 2018. Over the course of six months, the Workgroup held meetings that included presentations by policy experts on critical issues and robust discussion of the pros and cons of potential solutions. The Workgroup issued its report and recommendations on August 9, 2018.

    Following the issuance of the report, Senator Sweeney has been holding roundtable discussions and meeting with county and municipal officials and a wide range of organizations throughout the state.

    You can view the Path to Progress Report by clicking here.

    The post Sweeney Addresses AC Chamber on Fiscal Reforms, the City’s Economic Progress appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    The Greater Atlantic City Chamber today sent a letter to area State Legislators in opposition of the $15 minimum wage increase. We are concerned that this increase will negatively impact the business climate.  Our apprehension is that businesses will be forced to reduce staff, hours, and benefits.  The proposed increase has the potential to harm the same people we all want to help.

    We encourage members to voice their opinion on this issue to area State Legislators.  Their contact information can be found here.  

    Here is a sample letter to state legislators that may help you.

    Here is a copy of the letter we sent to area State Legislators.


    The post Greater Atlantic City Chamber pens letter to Legislators Opposing the Minimum Wage Increase to $15 appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    The Greater Atlantic Chamber honored the most dynamic and influential individuals on April 17, 2019 at the Hard Rock Atlantic City at our Annual Business Excellence Awards banquet.  The seven awards presented were presented are as follows: Business Leader of the Year, Community Leader of the Year, Economic Impact, Excellence in Small Business, Tourism Excellence, Outstanding Young Professional award, and Chamber Volunteer of the Year.  A selection committee composed of past recipients and members of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber’s Executive Committee select the honorees. 

    “We are privileged to celebrate this group distinguished of leaders that represent the best of our communities,” said Greater Atlantic City Board Chair, Charlie Wimberg, Vice President of Atlantic City Electric.  “They set a standard of excellence to emulated by future leaders.  Others can only be inspired by their commitment and passion that have led to great achievements.”

    John G. Fitzpatrick Community Leaders of the Year

    Jack Morris, CEO and president of Edgewood Properties, Inc. and Joseph Jingoli, CEO of JINGOLI


    Redenia Gilliam-Mosee Business Leader of the Year:

    Shelley Yak, Director of the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center


    Economic Impact:

    Mark Callazzo, CEO of Alpha Funding Solutions and Developer of the Orange Loop


    Tourism Excellence:

    Jon Henderson, President of Good Time Tricycle

    Small Business Excellence:

    Josiah Bunting, RHp, PharmD of Bunting Family Pharmacy


    Outstanding Young Professional:

    Crystal Rodriguez, Manager of Marketing at the Hamilton Mall


    Chamber Volunteer of The Year:

    Rocco Pagano


    The post Business Excellence Awards 2019 appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    One of Gov. Murphy’s first agenda items after taking office was fixing NJ Transit. He ordered an audit of the agency. More than a year later and NJ Transit has new leadership. He then signed a law to overhaul management and oversight at NJ Transit.


    Days before signing the bill, Murphy said, “In one sentence, this reform puts into law the simple concept that NJ Transit works for commuters and not the other way around.”  Read More.

    The Atlantic City Rail Line is scheduled to start on May 12.  View the schedule here.


    The post Atlantic City Rail Line needs improvements after its return, says Joseph Kelly appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority will give about $100,000 more to the Atlantic City Airshow this year than last, to expand the number of days of the show and fund more flying acts.


    The board voted Tuesday to increase funding to $152,850 to the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, which organizes the show.


    The extra funds will be used for opening ceremonies Monday night, Aug. 19, with the show’s first-ever evening jump by the U.S. Army Golden Knights on the beach between Bellevue and Texas avenues, said Chamber Executive Vice President Michael Chait.  READ MORE.

    The post CRDA increases airshow funding for longer event, more performers: Press of Atlantic City appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    As we mark the one-year anniversary of the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey this month, it’s important to recognize the significant impact it has had on the Garden State, particularly in Atlantic City and Atlantic County. The passage of sports wagering helped create new jobs, generate economic growth and provide a major boost to the Atlantic City casino industry.  Read more.

    The post On one-year anniversary, sports betting exceeding all expectations appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    Local health and law-enforcement officials came together Tuesday to talk about efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and address the challenges it poses for employers in the state.

    The Greater Atlantic City Chamber partnered with panelists from the New Jersey Department of Health, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, AtlantiCare, Enlightened Solutions, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley and the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office to host the forum “The Opioid Epidemic and Its Impact in the Workplace” at Linwood Country Club. The panel was moderated by Press of Atlantic City Staff Writer David Danzis.

    Dr. Shereef Elnahal, New Jersey health commissioner and the event’s keynote speaker, called the opioid epidemic an emergency in the state.

    Although the state has seen an 82% reduction in the number of prescriptions for opioids in the past two years, Elnahal said there have been 874 overdose deaths so far this year. There were more than 3,100 in 2018.

    Elnahal said 75% of those addicted to opioids in 2019 started with a prescription.

    A 2017 National Safety Council report stated that 71% of U.S. employers have been affected in some way by employee use of prescription drugs and 47% have experienced absenteeism or impaired worker performance.

    Pat McKernan, chief operating officer of Volunteers of America, talked about how some employers she has dealt with have had workers overdose on the job, which has forced them to start thinking about providing naloxone training to ensure safety standards.

    “They can’t have this kind of risk in the workplace,” McKernan said.

    Robert Snyder, chief operating officer of Atlantic City-based Enlightened Solutions, which runs a detox center, a farm and a cafe, said a company can save $3,200 a year if an employee recovers.

    Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler said he thinks employers also have an obligation to their employees. He and Suzanne Kunis, director of behavioral health solutions for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, both talked about the concept of providing programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the workplace.

    Dr. Bradford Bobrin, medical director of addiction services at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, talked about some of the signs and symptoms of addiction in the workplace, which he said can be as subtle as taking frequent breaks and showing mood or attitude changes.

    View Dr. Shereef Elnahal’s presentation by clicking here.

    Photos Courtesy of John DiMaio Photography:

    The post Local leaders discuss opioid epidemic and its impact on the workplace at forum appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    After a successful 23-year tenure as President of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, and a 40-year career in Chamber work, Joseph Kelly plans to retire as the Chamber President on January 1, 2020.

    “Working with the Greater Atlantic City Chamber has been an honor and I take great pride in the work we have done in the community.” Kelly stated. “The success we had at the Chamber is a direct reflection of the hard-working volunteers and professionals I’ve had the privilege to work with.  I am extremely proud of our accomplishments.”

    “Joe has been a rock for the Chamber for almost a quarter century,” stated Jeff Ropiecki, the Chair of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber. “His innate ability to bring people together and execute a plan is evident in his many accomplishments.  Merging the Atlantic City and Atlantic County Chamber and spearheading the Atlantic City Airshow are two that immediately come to mind.”

    Kelly also served on several boards during his tenure, including the Workforce Development Board, the United Way, and the Atlantic County Homeless Consortium.

    Kelly has led the Chamber through some of the most transformative years in our region’s history. “The Chamber is now recognized by both public and private sector leaders as the voice of business in our marketplace,” said Charles Wimberg, Immediate Past Chair of the Chamber.

    Prior to coming to Atlantic City, Kelly served as the Executive Vice President of the Toledo, Ohio Chamber and Executive Director of the Bucyrus, Ohio Chamber during his career in leading Chambers. He was a national Trustee for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management (IOM) at the University of Notre Dame, with an Undergraduate degree from Salem University in West Virginia.

    Michael Chait, the Executive Vice President of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, will assume the responsibilities of the President as of January 1, 2020.

    “Strong leadership succession is critical to the health of any organization. We are very fortunate to have Michael Chait, presently the Chambers Executive Vice President, to succeed President Kelly.  It will be a seamless transition,” stated Wimberg.

    The post Greater Atlantic City Chamber President Joseph Kelly Announces Retirement after 23 Years of Service appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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    The Greater Atlantic City Chamber will host the first Red, White, and Blue Beach BBQ as part of the opening ceremonies celebration for The Atlantic City Airshow “A Salute to Those That Serve.” Ticket holders will dine with representatives from all five branches of the military, and pilots and crew members that perform in the Atlantic City Airshow. The one-of-a-kind beach BBQ will feature traditional BBQ fare provided by Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Highlighting the event will be an evening jump by the United States Army Golden Knights. The event will take place on Monday, August 19 at 6:30 PM at the Bellevue Avenue Beach in Atlantic City.

    Individual adult tickets are $65 and children 12 and younger are $35. Groups larger than 12 can contact the Greater Atlantic City Chamber at (609) 345-4524. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

    In addition to the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, USAF Thunderbirds, GEICO Skytypers, and the US Army Golden Knights, the following aerial demonstrations have been added to 2019 lineup:

    Jim Beasley P-51 Mustang: Beasley is an accomplished warbird and aerobatic pilot, with commercial and multi-engine instrument ratings, and is one of the few pilots in the world qualified to operate high-performance World War II fighter aircraft, such as the North American P-51 Mustang with the USAF Heritage Flight Program. He resides in the Philadelphia area and has participated in every Atlantic City Airshow since the first event in 2003.

    Ace Maker Airshows T-33: The T-33 was one of America’s first operational jet fighters and trainers. Flown by Greg Colyer, the aircraft is based in California and flies airshows all over North America each year. Fans will enjoy seeing the T-33 “Shooting Star” jet aircraft as it performs picture-perfect passes, vertical rolls, inverted aerobatics and more.

    Lucas Oil, Mike Wiskus: Mike’s air show career is a testimony of how dreams really can come true. As a 2002 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, and a member of the 2004 U.S. Aerobatic Team, Mike has traveled the world with the same aircraft, the Pitts S2S, you will see him performing in at this air show. His excitement for aviation and willingness to share his experience with people around the country is nothing short of contagious in his attempt to help encourage kids of all ages, to not only dream, but to live their dreams and never give up!

    Lee Leet Short Tucano T Mk1: The Short Tucano is a two-seat turboprop basic trainer used by the Royal Air Force. It was developed in order to meet a requirement to replace the Jet Provost as the basic fast-jet trainer for the RAF. Lee will take the aircraft through a tactical aerobatic demo that is sure to amaze everyone with loops, rolls, snap rolls, hammerhead turns, and Cuban-8 maneuvers.

    Jerry Conley and the Vampire Jet: Development of the aircraft began during the Second World War in 1943 as an aircraft suitable for combat that harnessed the new innovation of jet propulsion. Originally ordered as an experimental aircraft only, the decision to mass-produce the aircraft as an interceptor for the Royal Air Force (RAF) was finalized in May 1944. The aircraft is partially made of wood and is the first operational jet fighter of the Royal Air Force. Jerry performs in the aircraft all over North America with a fast paced, low level jet aerobatic routine.

    Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Michael Chait, Executive Vice President, at (609) 345-4524 ext. 102 or via email at mchait@acchamber.com.


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    Tom Bracken and Michele Siekerka of Opportunity New Jersey (ONJ) are on a mission to make New Jersey more attractive for businesses — and more affordable for employers and residents. The two business leaders presented this week at a meeting of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber board of directors, where they spoke of the importance of putting the state’s economy on the right track.

    Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and Siekerka, President and CEO of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, provided an update on the establishment of Opportunity New Jersey’s Economic Development and Advisory Council, which is poised to be a leading voice in Trenton on statewide business and economic issues. They also walked participants through the tenets of ONJ’s Plan for an Affordable New Jersey.

    The Plan, which was introduced at a press conference in Trenton this summer, outlines key action items to position the state for job growth and make it more regionally competitive businesses and employers. These include reforming corporate and individual taxes, making key investments in infrastructure and workforce development, and taking steps to attract venture and private equity funding to New Jersey.

    Bracken and Siekerka praised the state’s many assets and advantages, which include an exceptional labor market, ideal proximity to major metropolitan areas, and a strong transportation infrastructure. “However, the practical reality is that New Jersey has too many structural challenges that continue to hold it back from achieving the competitiveness it deserves  — including tax rates that make the state less affordable for both our younger and aging populations, and an outmigration of wealth that affects our ability to generate revenue for the state’s operating budget,” they said. “Quite simply, the Garden State needs a course correction on the path to affordability and becoming a welcoming environment for businesses.”

    Bracken and Siekerka are scheduled to make a similar presentation to the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce in November. More information about the Plan, and the newly formed Economic Development and Advisory Council, is available at www.opportunitynj.org.

    The post Opportunity New Jersey leaders give presentation to Greater Atlantic City Chamber Board of Directors appeared first on Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

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