By Erin Delmore
“It really is the highlight of my career to be quite honest with you,” said Robert Marino.
Marino is the chairman, CEO and president of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and a member of the NJTV board. He’s also the newest inductee into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame.
Marino joined fellow honorees Linda Bowden and Sally Glick in the 15th annual ceremony held by and for Junior Achievement of New Jersey.
Nearly 70,000 students are involved in Junior Achievement statewide. Sixty of them were here as student ambassadors.
“I teach kids at my schools, around my city. You know, go in. It’s very exciting to see their faces when they see high schoolers come. We teach them many necessities like wants and needs, how to bank, how to help the community,” said Junior Achievement Ambassador Aleecia Figueroa.
Sixteen-year-old Figueroa introduced Bowden, the New Jersey regional president of PNC Bank.
“It’s a very good opportunity just to meet somebody like her. The way she holds herself and how she’s so confident. It’ll very much help me,” Figueroa said.
Bowden called the students in attendance “the real stars” and credited her own mentors with aiding her success.
“It means a great deal and truthfully my remarks here are going to be aimed at those young people: stay here with us in New Jersey. Help us build this community. You are our future,” she said.
“I truly hope that all of the students that are at New Jersey’s institutions of higher learning really think about making their career in this state. We have a lot to offer, whether it’s pharmaceuticals, logistics, finance, computer. There’s a lot going on in this state,” Marino said.
Honoree Glick said she hoped the students could see themselves in her shoes.
“Sometimes when you see someone as a success later in life, you don’t know the journey they’ve taken, you don’t know the challenges or obstacles that they may have faced. And so you think they can do something that you couldn’t do. No one up here has gotten anything that someone in the audience couldn’t achieve as well,” said Glick, principal and chief growth strategist at Sobel & Co.
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno stopped by the reception. We asked the candidate what she can offer the business community as governor.
“If we increase taxes in the next election, anybody that wants to increase the taxes in the next election, it’s going to be bad for not only businesses, but bad for the people in this room tonight because we can’t afford any higher taxes,” she said.
For the night, politics aside as the the business community commended today’s leaders and tomorrow’s stewards.