The Inaugural Newark Financial Professionals Breakfast

With a group approaching 100 guests, members of the Greater Newark financial community gathered last Thursday in the Crystal Room of the Robert Treat Hotel to make new friends, re-establish connections and to learn about the Newark Boys Chorus School.

“For a first-ever event of this type in Newark, I thought the enthusiasm and attendance was great, “  commented Kathleen Swain, Vice President  Internal Audit,   Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and event co-chair.  “Everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoyed seeing their colleagues from other financial organizations,”  continued Swain.

The event was hosted by the Newark Boys Chorus School as a fundraising event for the school and  as an effort to provide a community service for the City of Newark. The program represented an expansion of the school’s highly successful Lawyers Leading the Way event held each February and is in advance of a similar program for the construction/developers breakfast in the planning stages  for next spring.

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Hannel Hiraldo, an 8th grader at NBCS, provided the opening remarks.  He spoke of his experiences as a student at the school and, especially, what he has learned through music, touring and his classes.  Hannel plans to attend Science Park High School, a competitive exam high school in Newark, and wants to become a physician but he has yet to identify a specialty!

The Keynote Speaker, Barbara Kauffman, was introduced by Mark O’Connell of Citrin Cooperman who spoke of his friendship and respect for Barbara.   Ms. Kauffman serves as the Executive Vice President and COO of the Newark Regional Business Partnership.  She spoke of the experiences she has had in the city since first arriving in the 1970’s.   Her remarks included:

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“A great deal has happened to shape this fine city.  Many notables such as Ray Chambers and Tom Kean showed us the vision, persistence and the where-with-all to make it happen.  Their leadership brought us to this point.  Look around you can see building everywhere.  Just across the street the Hahne’s building has great space;  Teachers’ Village is another shining example of what’s happening in our City.  And the Newark Regional Business Partnership works tirelessly to support these and other important initiatives such as Young Entrepreneur’s Academy (YEA!)."


Ms. Kauffman’s remarks were very well received and really engaged the audience in appreciating the advances the City of Newark has made over the years. 

After a short video, Think of Me, about life at the school, Richard Willett, Head of School introduced the Concert Chorus under the direction of Donald Morris.  Their singing and earnest but smiling faces captivated the audience.  “I cannot wait to come back next year", concluded David Huber, CFO, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey.

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