Drawn to the Water ... Lake Hopatcong swimmer Bridgette Janeczko sets goals as 50th birthday nears

Lake Hopatcong resident Bridgette Hobart Janeczko began swimming at the age of 11. She continued through high school and college but then took a 25-year break and participated in some other sports. ff_-_bhjaneczo_pre-race.jpg“I really didn’t like anything nearly as much as swimming. And I began swimming again at the end of 2007. I joined U.S. Masters Swimming in December of 2007. I did my first open-water event, it was a Jersey Shore one-mile point-to-point, in the summer of 2008. And then I decided to jump to my first real open water of a distance, the Bermuda Round the Sound 10K, in October of 2008,” said Janeczko. Janeczko, a Binghamton, N.Y., native who attended Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., and received her bachelor’s degree in accounting, and later got her master’s in accounting from SUNY Binghamton, first moved to New Jersey in November 1988, while she was employed by public accounting firm Withum Smith & Brown. She worked there for 10 years. In 1999, she founded Paradigm Technology Consulting LLC, which is still based in Princeton. “We are a mix of CPA backgrounds, MBA backgrounds, engineer backgrounds, and we do a mixture of development, systems or infrastructure, networking, and then we do business system analysis, so if people are looking for financial management systems or operational systems. And we are a Microsoft Certified Reseller for their business solution called Dynamics GP, and we’ve also developed our own products,” said Janeczko. ff_-_bhjaneczo_swim.jpgIn addition, Paradigm created a product for the motor coach industry to that focuses on labor and work force management and links to operational systems. Paradigm’s clients range from small, closely held businesses to public companies from as close as the tri-state area to as far away as England and Hawaii. And most of its staff came with Janeczko from Wilthum Smith & Brown. In the same year she started her business, Janeczko moved to Lake Hopatcong. “I wanted to basically live on water. I grew up on The Finger Lakes. We had boats on Cayuka Lake and now Seneca Lake. I really wanted to live on water, and I had met my now-husband (Bob), and he was up in this area, so we started looking at property up in this area,” she said, adding that this area has a real sense of community and it feels like home to her. “You have neighbors that aren’t transients. They come here to settle. You don’t move here just as a stepping stone, like the developments off Route 1 in Princeton area. I think that’s it. You have a lot of older homes here that turn over within families. You don’t have big, new developments around the lake, and I think that’s a huge difference,” said Janeczko, who has two dogs and three cats. ff_-_bhjaneczo_finish.jpgWhen Janeczko isn’t on the road visiting client sites or working 90 miles from home in Princeton, you can find her swimming and planning the Third Annual Tom Wear Memorial Swim, held in memory of a local businessman who owned Prospect Park Marina and passed away in 2008 from a brain infection. The race benefits the Jefferson animal shelter. His wife, Regina Makowski, owns The Wearhouse Grille in Lake Hopatcong. The event will most likely be held in September. Stay tuned for details. Looking ahead, “We were awarded the 2012 two-mile national event, so this year we’re going to do a dry run for nationals. I think it’s a great way to promote our lake, the quality of our water. I know there’s a lot of people discussing, what is the quality of our water? We definitely have a weed problem. There’s no doubt about that, but overall, one thing you do realize swimming in different bodies of water, is we have a very nice lake. We have a very nice lake, we have a very cooperative Coast Guard Marine Police. We’re blessed with volunteers. You rarely see that at an event,” Janeczko said. Janeczko also serves on the board of New Jersey Masters Swimming and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees and alumni board at Nazareth College. Janezcko, who most recently swam 24 miles in Tampa Bay, Fla., on April 23 to raise money for Sussex County YMCA, has more swimming goals: “The Tampa Swim was to help qualify me for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. It’s a component of the triple crown in open-water swimming. The other two are the Catalina Channel and the English Channel. Eventually, I’d like to focus on achieving the Triple Crown of Swimming, starting with Manhattan Island and then, soon after, Catalina and English Channel. And that’s what I’m hoping to do around my 50th birthday,” she said.  

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