When Karen Davis-Farage lost her job in the tech industry six years ago, she hit a low point in her life.
"We really were in a moment of despair," she said on stage last night at the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce's seventh annual Legends Ball at Casino in the Park, where she and her husband, Eyal Farage, were one of several honorees.
"You never know how things will turn out, because I thought that my 30 years in technology was all I would ever do," Davis-Farage said.
But one day, inspired by their son's fondness for go-kart racing, she and her husband pursued something totally unexpected. Soon afterward, the couple opened Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City -- the first one on the East Coast -- and opened it to great success.
The couple was honored as "Legends" last night in front of more than 300 guests for their accomplishments and charity work. Others honored were Gary Greenberg, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County; Gerard McGraw, president of Fidelity Institutional, a division of Fidelity Investments; and the Provident Bank.
Greenberg, who started as a van driver for the Boys & Girls Club and is approaching 40 years with the organization, was honored for providing enriching educational and cultural programs for children.
McGraw was recognized for helping make Fidelity Institutional a thriving business unit and for helping the lives and careers of those around him, including being the executive sponsor of Fidelity's Women's Networking Group.
Provident Bank, the gala's first-ever corporate legend, was honored for its 175-year track record for quality service to New Jersey's families, and its deep roots in the Hudson County community.
Maria Nieves, president and CEO of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, told The Jersey Journal that the Legends Ball had become an event that the business community looks forward to every year.
"We're really glad to be the organization that can really showcase the Hall of Fame for Hudson County," she said.
The gala's co-chair, Daryl Harrison Rand, president of HarrisonRand Advertising and chair of the chamber's board of directors, added that this year's Legends Ball was the "largest and most ambitious" to date.
"We started here seven years ago ... and we had our first event here. We thought it would be very appropriate to come back," she said.
The event featured live musical performances, holiday decorations, a cocktail hour, a buffet dinner and a silent auction with items such as a personal tour of Mana Contemporary from Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
Founded in 1888, the Hudson chamber has nearly 500 members. Sponsors of the Legends Ball are Provident Bank, Fidelity Investments, CarePoint Health, former Congressman Frank Guarini, the law firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick and Cole, Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health, Wells Fargo, Connell Foley, LLP, Goldman Sachs, HarrisonRand Advertising, SILVERMAN, United Way of Hudson County, Lord, Abbett & Co., BCB Community Bank, Capital One Bank, HSBC, The Jersey Journal, Jones Lang LaSalle, Liberty Savings Federal Credit Union, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Pole Position Raceway, PNC Bank and TD Bank.
This year's gala was co-chaired by Rand and Sharon Ambis, marketing director of The Jersey Journal. Committee members for the event included: Regina Andriolo, executive director of the Liberty Health Foundation; Nina Johnson, chief business officer of Singularity, LLC; Paula Nevoso, vice president of the CarePoint Health Foundation; Sharon Reissman, interior specialist at Maco Office Source, and Thomas Stanton III, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle.
Over Taking, Karting Tips From Truman Godfrey Past U.S. Indoor Karting National Champion
The key to any overtaking maneuver is confidence. This is an essential part of karting which may take years for you to master. Some of the best overtaking moves seen are those that carry over a number of turns. Having foresight by using the ability to visualize the track ahead is the key. By fooling the driver in front or “dummy running” can be advantageous. At the moment you present yourself along side the driver you then need to be able to follow through with maneuver by controlling the pace of the kart through the bend and thus you will determine the exit speed. When you find that you are the victim of the faster driver...you need to make a decision to either block or pass. Driving defensively unless you are the generally the faster driver protecting a mistake you'll find the inevitable will succumb. So you're left with how to let this karter by with loosing as little time as possible. One way is to let the driver pass falling in line behind then chase him in the hope of learning a thing or two. If both of you are of the similar speed then try a re pass on him, by forcing him to take a deeper turn into the bend and thereby getting on the gas earlier to come up the inside.
Karting Tips, Cornering By Truman Godfrey Past U.S. Indoor Kart National Champion
Karting Tips In Cornering
Entering the corner at full throttle is a thrill but you want to be able to pull the kart around at its maximum speed. Here are some tips that will aid this. Entering the corner be careful not to out break yourself, if you feel that the kart may be loosing the grip it is possible to bring the kart back by using a combination of accelerator and break pedals...be gentle. The idea is to correct this and get back on full throttle as soon as possible it will make the difference of being the fastest. Try to ease the kart into the bend even by just de-accelerating can help the control of the kart but you will need enter the corner on deeper line. One key point to remember is that the smoother you are the faster kart driver you'll be, turning that steering wheel as little as possible, controlling the throttle is essential, wasting valuable speed and physical energy hack sawing the steering wheel only results in slower lap time and although this might not be down to driver error it will result in the same. One advanced technique in karting that you'll see in good kart drivers is the use of weight transfer. This is achieved by pushing your weight over any one of the front wheels. The effect is that the kart will flick or step out forcing the kart to cut the Apex giving you straighter line through the bend. It must be said that this will be something that will come with karting age.
Karen & Eyal Farage Named 2014 Hudson County LEGENDS
Karen Davis-Farage and Eyal Farage, founders and owners of Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, and Farmingdale NY, will be honored as 2014 Legends by the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce.
You’re invited to share in the celebration with Karen and Eyal by joining us at the Seventh Annual Legends Ball to be held on Thursday, December 11 at Casino in the Park in Jersey City, NJ. Karen and Eyal will be inducted as members of the 2014 class of Legends, along with Gary Greenberg of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County; Gerry McGraw, of Fidelity Investments; and Provident Bank. Honorees are chosen by the Hudson County Chamber membership and leadership, for the commitment of time, talent and treasure they’ve invested in growing and developing the region over their careers.
We’re particularly thrilled to honor Karen and Eyal where they founded their first Pole Position! If you’d like to join us in celebrating their achievements, please consider purchasing tickets or placing a congratulatory ad in our Commemorative Journal. Details are on the attached reservation form.
Please feel free to call with any questions or to reserve your tickets/ads at 201-386-0699, ext 350.