FAIR LAWN, N.J. -- For Chamber of Commerce President Jack Donohue and Fair Lawn residents, the town is more than a home. It's part of their identity. That's why when Donohue was tapped to lead the chamber in 2016, he jumped at the chance.
Donohue is as close to a lifelong resident as you can get. Born in the Bronx, he moved to Fair Lawn at age two and has been a staple in town ever since. "I got married and moved into an apartment two blocks from my childhood house and currently live four blocks away from there," he said.
In addition to his 43 year tenure as a Fair Lawn volunteer firefighter , Donohue was a graphic designer by trade. After plying his craft for more than 25 years, he shifted careers, opening his own small business as a painting contractor. It's as a member of the town's business community where he really became aware of the Chamber of Commerce's power.
"When I started my business, I decided I needed to get my name out into the community," said Donohue. "Because it was a new venture, I felt the chamber would be a good way to get on top of what is happening and met those involved in the local business world. What I found was really a great group of people, that not only became great business connections but people I call my friends as well."
Donohue feels Fair Lawn's strength is in its commercial layout. "The town is nice because there are a number of different business districts that people can visit rather than just having one central district which many small towns do." As a result, this ensures that all areas of town can experience growth and host local businesses.
Annual events sponsored by the Chamber include 'Taste of the Town', college scholarships, networking events, and board members are in the process of planning a first-ever restaurant week early this year.
"People should look to the chamber as an organization to get involved with, not as much to solving a problem for them," said Donohue. "I tell people to look at it as a networking opportunity, look to build it together with us." Together, Donohue, the Chamber of Commerce and residents of Fair Lawn are making the town a great place to do business.
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