After months of mounting interest about the Nationwide Parnassah Expo and Business Networking Event at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, the day finally arrived on Tuesday. Busses arrived to the Expo from major New York/New Jersey communities, as did many thousands of participants by car or mass transit. Shortly after the Expo doors opened at noon, there was a parking shortage around the Exposition Center, despite the 6,000 available spots. The entrance lobby at the Center was teeming with activity, handling long lines for a significant portion of the Expo’s eight hours.
“I must admit to be somewhat surprised that even the Meadowlands had a hard time accommodating our traffic,” remarksParnassah Expo Founder and Director RebDuviHonig. The Expo was moved to the gigantic, centrally located Exposition Center after last year’s inaugural expo in Lakewood saw an overflow crowd.
In the days prior to the Expo, it was announced that all booth space on the 61,000 square foot floor was reserved. Once the Expo was underway, each section was teeming with activity. There were devoted sections for jobs fairs, career enhancement, various industries (real estate, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, etc.), academic programs, and more. Each booth was thronged by attendees discussing business ideas, dropping off resume’s and exchanging business cards.Vendors expressed amazement at the number of qualified job applicants, potential customers or other suitable resources that came by their booth, all well beyond their expectations.
Particularly noteworthy were the networking pavilions aside each Expo section. The pavilions were devoted to the nearby section’s respective field, and intense networking was underway in each of them. The general networking sessions and exclusive Parnassah Expo “Speed Networking” saw attendees of all ages, stages and stripes discussing various ideas and sharing resources. There were also panels of veteran experts in each section hosting structured networking and Q & A sessions, thronged by attendees who were intensely involved in the topics discussed. Seminar rooms featuring talks by renowned businessmen in various fields, coaches and motivational speakers were filled to capacity. Some of the prominent names delivering seminars were Charles Harary, Maurice Stein and Shea Rubenstein.
The Expo, and its host, Parnassah Network, succeeded in creating a singular umbrella for the full spectrum of Jewish communities and drawing solid participation from them all. Prominent community figures,such as Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger of Agudath Israel , Rabbi ZishaNovoseller of Emergency Parnassah Initiative (EPI) and Rabbi Josh Pruzansky of the Orthodox Union, actively participated in the Expo, as did prominent elected officials, such as New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, Assemblyman Gary Schaer of Passaic and Lakewood Mayor Isaac Akerman.
RebDuvi presented the Lieutenant Governor with an award, acknowledging her behind-the-scenes effort on behalf of the Expo, and then introduced Kevin Cummings, President and CEO of Investors Bank, an Expo cosponsor. RebDuvi spoke about the compassion shown by Mr. Cummings and his bank. Investors is known for its constant contributors to a variety of organizations in the communities they serve and the CEO was given an award for his work on behalf of Parnassah Expo.
Mr. Cummings then took to the podium, expounding upon his positive impression of the Expo and the vision behind both the business and philanthropic aspects of Investors Bank. RebDuvi noted how it was exemplary for a banker of such stature – Investors has over 100 branches and is the largest New Jersey based bank – should wholly dedicate himself to the betterment of average citizens. However, Mr. Cummings said that this is his primary duty. “We need leaders who serve, not self-serving leaders,” he commented.
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