I remember New Years Eve 2010 December 31, 2010. I was chairman of the Camden Parking Authority. I had come down to the waterfront to see how the employees were doing and to thank them for coming into work on New Year’s Eve. I know how difficult it is for them to come into work on New Year’s Eve when they would rather be with family. I had of course told my girlfriend at the time that we would not be spending new years eve together. I would be down at the Camden waterfront. What I remember the most was the countdown and when the fireworks were going off I was thinking we officially don’t have an executive director and the union contract expired. In that moment I never had a negative thought. What I was thinking was just the reality of the situation. It was a positive atmosphere seeing families and friends all of them celebrating. I didn’t have any friends or anybody around me I just had this beautiful moment to myself.
I was up for the challenge I welcome the challenge because it is easy to be a leader when times are easy. Every leader wants some kind of challenge that lets them know that they are great leader they are up for any challenge. For me 2011 was going to be a great challenge that would define my leadership as chairman of the Camden Parking Authority. I enjoyed the fireworks I thanked the employees for their hard work and dedication during the year.
The thing about leadership is you are there to make tough decisions if you have a challenge ahead of you and you have negative thoughts you have already defeated yourself you might as well step aside and let somebody else do it. My approach was this is going to be a great challenge I’m going to get through it and always make sure that you have a great team behind you. In my case I had a great vice chairman who was being very supportive and was with me. To this day he is one of the best and loyal people I have ever worked with. We became best friends. We both had the same attitude that we have a challenge we are going to get through it and I needed his leadership two get through it and it’s good when you have people around you that have that same passion that same attitude. We had differences of opinions on some things but that is the magic that makes it work.
I had a great board that was with me and those things are very important. When you are a part of something you need to be surrounded by great people. I was blessed to have a great team. If I had an attitude of oh my God what am I going to do we don’t have an executive director to the Union contract just expired. It helped that we had a positive attitude because of the events that happened during the year. We had a hurricane that hit the Jersey Shore and we had an earthquake. Having a positive attitude helped because what happened was we still had a successful year and eventually we ended up getting a great executive director we got a Union contract done in record time it was done quickly it was done very professional one of the things that I am very proud of. You can’t control mother nature but when we had the hurricane we were good neighbors and we let the residence at the Camden Waterfront park in our garage for free because we know how it is with flooding so we wanted to be good neighbors and we did that. When we had the earthquake we work to make sure that the parking garage was safe for our visitors and for our employees. it would be easy at that point to just look up to the sky and say my God can anything else go wrong. I looked at it as a challenge and to be honest I welcomed it I wanted it. I mean who wants to be a leader during easy times you always want to be a leader during tough times that’s what defines leadership other than that people will question your leadership and I’m happy that I made it easier for the next chairman.