Business Beat

February 1, 2013
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Eastern Monmouth Chamber Bestows 21st Annual Spinnaker Awards


When Super Storm Sandy forced a rescheduling of the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce’s (EMACC) Annual Spinnaker Awards, members had no choice but to combine the event on Jan. 17 with the previously scheduled annual meeting and election of officers and directors.

Any worries that attendance might have been negatively impacted were put to rest when a record number of guests registered and the night took on a new meaning. The Spinnaker Awards were created 21 years ago to honor those businesses and individuals who give of themselves to make life better for everyone in eastern Monmouth County.

After the devastation of Sandy it was more apparent than ever that the community is blessed with people whose compassion, generosity and actions exemplify the spirit and courage of the Monmouth County community.

The honoree’s acceptance speeches were brief, but heartfelt and inspiring to the 235 guests in attendance who were also treated to fine dining, complimentary cocktails, a fine-art exhibit, a concert pianist, a color-guard flag ceremony and an entertaining video featuring past and present Spinnaker honorees – including outtakes.

The evening also featured the introduction and election of new board members and, most importantly, the awarding of the coveted Spinnaker Awards accompanied by resolutions for each honoree prepared by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

On a note of surprise, EMACC was also honored with recognition from the freeholders with a certificate proclaiming the date as Spinnaker Awards Day.

The winners of the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce 2012 Spinnaker Awards are: front row, Leslie Backlund of The Guild of Creative Art; Freeholder Lillian Burry and Gwen Love of Lunch Break; middle row, Vince Matulevich of The Guild of Creative Art, Ed Somers of Arrow Limousine and Dan Murphy of Danny’s Grill and Wine Bar; and back row, attorney Al Zager and Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson.

The winners of the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce 2012 Spinnaker Awards are: front row, Leslie Backlund of The Guild of Creative Art; Freeholder Lillian Burry and Gwen Love of Lunch Break; middle row, Vince Matulevich of The Guild of Creative Art, Ed Somers of Arrow Limousine and Dan Murphy of Danny’s Grill and Wine Bar; and back row, attorney Al Zager and Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson.

The 2012 Spinnaker Award honorees are:


The Guild of Creative Arts, Arts and Culture Award

Lunch Break, Non-Profit of the Year

Arrow Limousine, Corporate Good Neighbor

Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, Public Service Award

Danny’s Grill and Wine Bar, Community Service Award

The City of Asbury Park, Economic Development

Albert Zager, Esq., Volunteer of the Year.


NJ Natural Gas Savegreen Project Extends Rebates, Incentives


WALL – New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) received approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to extend through June 30 the current rebates and financial incentives offered by The Savegreen Project®, NJNG’s energy-efficiency program.

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“The Savegreen Project has been a tremendous success, and the extension of its current rebates and financial incentives is a testament to the state’s commitment to help make energy-efficiency upgrades more affordable for our customers, particularly in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources, NJNG’s parent company.

During the extension period, the BPU and the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel will continue to review NJNG’s Savegreen filing, which was submitted in July 2012.

“This decision will ensure the continuity of our energy-efficiency rebates and incentives without disruption to customers and participating contractors,” Downes said.

In the July filing, NJNG requested a continuation of Savegreen until 2016 and approval of program modifications to provide residential customers with incentives to upgrade their water-heating equipment, as well as their heating and ventilation appliances. A final decision is expected prior to June 30.

Savegreen offerings complement the energy-efficiency programs administered through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™ (NJCEP), providing rebates and financial incentives to help customers save energy and offset the costs of energy-efficiency upgrades. As a result of the extension, eligible customers will continue to receive an enhanced NJNG rebate of $900 for the purchase and installation of high-efficiency heating systems. Additionally, the rebate can be combined with NJCEP’s WARMAdvantage rebate, along with recently approved enhanced energy-efficiency rebates to New Jersey residents who have incurred damages to their homes as a result of Super Storm Sandy. Qualified customers could receive up to $1,500 in rebates for the purchase and installation of a high-efficiency furnace or boiler, and some equipment may be eligible for the recently approved Federal Tax Credits.

For more information, contact The Savegreen Project at 877-455-NJNG (6564).


Curchin Group Launches New Family Business Blog Site


RED BANK – The Curchin Group, LLC, a mid-sized, full-service accounting firm based in Red Bank, has announced it has launched a new family business blog site ( which will share the firm’s Family Business Advisory Practice’s knowledge of issues specific to family businesses.

The blog site is intended to serve as a resource, providing timely information, tips and strategies for building and sustaining family enterprises.

“We are excited to unveil our new family business blog site, which will serve as a continuous resource offering advice and best practices on timely topics and issues that regularly impact our clients, said Curchin Group partner Lynn A. Conover, CPA, CFBA. “This blog will be a valuable tool for helping family businesses navigate complex decisions.”

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Celebrating more than 55 years in Monmouth County, The Curchin Group, LLC is a certified public accounting firm that helps small to mid-sized businesses, credit unions, non-profits and families and individuals reach their financial goals through providing a broad range of assurance, tax, financial planning, outsourced accounting, business advisory, and litigation and valuation services. The firm is dedicated to giving solid accounting and financial advice, sustaining long-term relationships with its clients and employees and giving back to the surrounding community.


HR Group to Hear About ‘Recruiting Service Excellence’


NEPTUNE – Robert Bennett of Skill Survey will present “Recruiting for Service Excellence” at the Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources (JSAHR) meeting from 8 to 10 a.m. Feb. 14 at Jumping Brook Country Club, 210 Jumping Brook Road.

Attendees will learn how to explore and compare a variety of industry statements of service excellence; what organizations, such as Disney, GlaxoSmithKline and Starbucks do to recruit candidates that fit their vision; ID key behaviors that HR professionals must account for but are often overlooked; and the steps for recruitment pre-screening that will match vision and goal statements.

The registration fee and a full buffet breakfast is $25 for members; $40 for nonmembers; and an additional $5 for walk-ins.

Registration is available by contacting Kathi Evans, JSAHR administrator, at 732-270-5204 or email

JSAHR is a Superior Merit Award Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.


McDermott Joins Resources Real Estate in Rumson


RUMSON – Donna McDermott has joined Resources Real Estate in Rumson as the newest member of its sales team. McDermott brings to the office seven years of experience in real estate and was formerly with Gloria Nilson Realtors in Shrewsbury.

“We are very pleased Donna has joined Resources,” said Carolynn Ozar-Diakon, broker-senior partner.

“As a child I spent the summers at the Jersey Shore and love everything it has to offer.” said McDermott, “I feel Resources Real Estate represents the Jersey Shore best!”

As a real estate professional and past business analyst on Wall Street, McDermott is connected with many industry professionals that can help make the process of buying or selling a home easier for her clients as well as keep them better informed.

“With Donna’s vast knowledge of this area and her past experience we feel like she is a perfect fit for Resources Real Estate,” said Thomas McCormack, broker-managing partner.

McDermott is involved with several local charities and devotes much of her free time helping out the local Girl Scouts troop and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. McDermott believes in giving back to her community.

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