Posted by Peter Kantzilieris
Paramus Rotary Club Meeting of Thursday, January 11, 2018
Our guest speaker this week was Donna Spoto, Deputy Director of Bergen County Division of Economic Development. Donna started out as a journalist with a local paper and this is where she discovered an interest in politics. She worked as a Public Information Assistant for the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders. When a change of administration took place she worked for the well-respected Assemblyman D. Bennett Mazur as a legislative Aide. After working on a variety of campaigns she settled into North Bergen Town Hall for a brief stint doing public information. She was then asked to serve as Executive Director of the Bergen County Democratic Organization for Mayor Gerald Calabrese who was the Chairman where she stayed for 8 years.
Spoto has been a Councilwoman in Cliffside Park for 31 years serving on the finance, historical, and redevelopment committees.  A former middle school history teacher, she is currently the deputy director of the Bergen County Division of Economic Development.

Bergen County Quality of Life

Bergen County is well situated in the northeastern corner of the state of New Jersey, strategically nestled in the heart of the New York Metropolitan area. Located in one of the nation's wealthiest regions, the county is home to nearly one million residents, a vibrant and diverse business community and retail opportunities that are second to none. Bergen County offers many extraordinary attributes including highway access, quality of life, educated workforce, diverse housing stock and a supportive business environment for owners and employees to do business.

Road System

Our ample road system and transportation infrastructure allow businesses to access customers and suppliers with a well-developed road system that includes the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and the Palisades Interstate Parkway. Bergen County commuters and visitors enjoy convenient access to public transportation assets whether it is bus, train or ferry. NJ Transit, the nation's largest statewide public transportation system serves the county. Teterboro Airport is another convenient transportation option for general aviation as well as charter flights located just 12 miles from Midtown Manhattan.

Labor Force

Our labor force is one of our greatest attributes. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bergen County's percentage of adults with a college degree or higher is 44.2% which is 10% higher than the national average. Our sought after colleges and universities continue to enhance and tailor curriculum to educate the workforce of our future for our growing companies.

Culture & Recreation

Bergen County ranks high in quality of life indicators. The Bergen County Park System features a nationally accredited zoo, five golf courses, 21 parks, two horseback riding areas, an environmental center and nine historic sites. The county is proud to be home to nearly 9,000 acres of assorted cultural and recreational opportunities.
One can visit their website for more information and exciting new things going on in Bergen County!
~ Len Manis reminded us that on June 15th is Relay for Life!
~ Diane Vasile-Falcone reminds is all that the Valentine's Day Brunch is schedule for February 11th and is completely sold out!!! Please if you have any donations or any baskets forward them to Diane, Dawn or Jay!
~ Diane Vasile-Falcone also reminds us that Greeters are needed for our weekly meetings so make sure you sign up!
~ Jay Leone announced to the club that Past President Nick Laganella has secured a storage area in his warehouse and if anyone is storing Rotary stuff st their location is urged to bring the items forward for storage at this new location.
~ Jay Leone also reminded us that there is a Night Meeting scheduled for March 22nd. There will be more details to follow!