The Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey (UTCA) held its 45th annual convention Sept. 23 through 26 at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.
As part of its four-day event, the UTCA presents a trade show highlighting New Jersey equipment distributors and holds a luncheon during which a well known celebrity, business leader or political leader speaks to invited guests. This year was no exception. Chris Gardner is a millionaire, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and philanthropist made famous by Will Smith’s portrayal of him in the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness. In the early 1980s, Gardner raised his young son, Christopher Jr., while struggling with homelessness. Eventually through tenacity and hard work, he was able to overcome his homelessness by becoming a top trainee at Dean Witter Reynolds and was eventually recruited by Bear Stearns & Company in San Francisco. Today, he is CEO of his own stockbrokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co, based in Chicago. Penn-Jersey Machinery; Sax, Macy, Fromm & Co.; and Tilcon sponsored Gardner’s presentation.
Also an annual event is the presentation of the Larry Gardner Memorial Award to a UTCA member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the association. This year the award went to Michael McKenna of Lewis & McKenna, a legal firm that specializes in business, construction and commerce litigation.
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