Each year, the Clinton Business Group Foundation selects three graduating seniors from Hunterdon County’s five high schools, as well as Hunterdon County Polytech and private-school/homeschoolers, as finalists for the organization’s Staats Brokaw Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. All three finalists are invited to attend the local networking group’s Awards Breakfast in May. To be considered, each finalist submits a 350 to 500 word essay and each will receive $1,000.00, for the effort. The grand prize winner is announced at the breakfast meeting and receives an additional $1,000.00. The awards are presented by Louise Brokaw and the J. Staats Brokaw Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Committee.
The award is named in honor of beloved CBG founding member J. Staats Brokaw who was born in Somerville, NJ. J. Staats Brokaw, III grew up in Bridgewater, graduating from Bridgewater-Raritan High School, then studying civil engineering at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, where he received his BS and MS degrees. He moved to Hunterdon County in 1973 and lived in Clinton Township until his death from colon cancer at the age of 57. Staats’ “entrepreneurial spirit” developed early when, as a boy, he raised rabbits for sale to Ortho Pharmaceuticals in addition to holding a paper route. As an adult, he began his career as a civil engineer working for other companies and became licensed as a professional engineer in several states. He started his own engineering firm in 1987.
Perhaps Staats’ best attribute in his professional as well as personal life was the ability to say “yes”. He saw challenges rather than problems and found ways to make things work rather than discarding ideas as too difficult or impossible. The four finalists and grand prize winner of the Clinton Business Group’s Staats Brokaw Entrepreneurial Spirit Award exhibit that same positive, can-do attitude toward their projects.
Founded in 1998, The Clinton Business Group is a non-profit corporation composed of forty professionals, business owners and decision makers from the Greater Clinton Area. Networking, business development and community service are key elements. New members must be voted in and only one of any business category is permitted. The CBG meets at 7:45 am, every Thursday morning, at The Hampton Inn, Clinton. Every other week, the CBG holds a business meeting, featuring two speakers from the group. Meetings adjourn at 9:00 am.