Dozens of businessmen and women from the Jefferson Township, Morris County, and Sussex County chambers of commerce—along with state Sen. Anthony Bucco—gathered at Bridge Marina on Thursday night for the fourth annual "Network on the Water."
"I'm here to support the businesses around the lake," Bucco said, "which are an important part of the state economy."
With the tunes of Dave Elgart Music, a spread from the Art of Food, ice cream from Jefferson Dairy, and boat rides provided by host Bridge Marina, the evening went off smoothly, despite a stormy forecast.
"The weather did not deter me," said Judi Frank of Frank's Bookkeeping Services. "I've been here every year so far. I think this is a wonderful event."
Ray Fernandez, owner of Bridge Marina, welcomed the crowd and encouraged everyone in attendance to not only use the lake themselves, but to spread the word. "It's a great recreational opportunity right here," he said. "You could spend an entire summer here at the lake and stuff find stuff to do. And we're right here in your backyard—you can vacation here after work or on your weekend."
"This is a lovely place," said Mary Allen of POD Digital Promotions in Sparta. "And tonight has been a great way to network after hours."
Anne Marie Miskewicz, president of Crystal Concierge, said just being at the marina opened up her eyes to new opportunities within her business. "Knowing the options here at the lake will really help me with my clients," she said.
The mingling took a break as Fernandez, Bucco, Jefferson Township Chamber of Commerce president Bret Hartman (of Family Chiropractic Center), and past-president Jack Devore (of Jefferson Dairy) spoke to the crowd. In addition, tickets to Beatlemania Again at Camp Jefferson Amphitheatre, hats, and a corporate retreat boat ride out of Bridge Marina were all raffled off to attendees.
Georgianna Lewis of Bridge Marina said the event has been growing each year, with more than 65 registrants this year. "I think this is the first year everybody's been tented in, though," she said.
Fortunately, the rain held off through the evening's festivities.