As reported last week, The Board of Chosen Freeholders have begun pairing up with the local municipalities and conducting Business Roundtables as a means of helping small businesses promote themselves within Monmouth County. As liaison to the Department of Economic Development, I attended the first of these roundtables which took place in the Borough of Matawan. I partnered with Matawan Mayor Paul Buccellato to host the first Grow Monmouth Business Roundtable event. The department of economic development identified and invited businesses from Matawan to join us to discuss what makes doing business in Matawan great and what can be improved. The mayor and I were joined by Assemblyman Rob Clifton and Senator Sam Thompson. I am very pleased to report that 35 people were in attendance representing some 27 businesses. In the next couple of weeks we will be hosting roundtables in the Township of Hazlet and also in the Borough of Manalapan.
In keeping with promoting small businesses within Monmouth County, our third annual Made in Monmouth event has been scheduled for Saturday, April 12th. We are again partnering with Monmouth University for the event. We encourage all businesses that make a consumer product in the county to show and sell their products, free of charge, at the event. Made in Monmouth is open to the public free of charge. We invite everyone to attend and to take advantage of the opportunity to buy the multitude of great products that will be available.
I will be meeting with the mayors and tourism leaders of our coastal communities on March 31st at the County Connection located on Route 66 in Neptune. This is our Tourism Advisory Group where we will discuss tourism plans for the upcoming season.
Also, I have been invited to participate in Monmouth Ocean Development Council’s annual pre-Memorial Day weekend event. It is called the “Kick-off to the summer.” I will be joined by Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari. We will highlight the best of our counties for the 2014 Summer Season. This will be on May 21st at 5:00 p.m. in Asbury Park. You can expect I will report further details as the information becomes available.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate fellow brother, Carlo Roberto Brancato, Major, USMCR for being selected as the Amerigo Vespucci Society’s (AVS) 2014 Man of the Year. The AVS conducted its 121st annual dinner dance honoring Carlo on Saturday, March 1st at Branches in West Long Branch. Carlo Roberto Brancato, is a patriot who has served his nation courageously and has conducted two tours of duty, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, he served in Special Operations Task Force West during Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan from September 2012 until May 2013. As a member of the Amerigo Vespucci Society, I attended the event and presented Carlo with a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders. We are all very proud of Carlo and thankful to him for his service to our great nation.
Thomas A. Arnone is a Monmouth County Freeholder