Business Briefs

Buddy Benton, of the Clarksburg section of Millstone, an agent with the Prudential Insurance Co. of America, has qualified for membership in the Million Dollar Round Table. Benton’s office is located at 981 Route 33 in Monroe Township.

MDRT membership is based on excellence in customer sales and service, and only a small percentage of life insurance and financial services professionals qualify for membership each year. Founded in 1927, MDRT is an independent association of approximately 28,000 professionals who have met strict ethical and professional requirements. Its members represent 68 nations and territories and some 475 life insurance companies. Benton is one of 900 Prudential sales professionals who qualified for MDRT this year. Prudential has the fourth highest number of MDRT qualifiers, based on membership levels of insurance companies worldwide.

Stephen DePalma, CEO and chairman of the Manalapan-based engineering and consulting firm Schoor DePalma Inc., and an alumnus of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), was recently elected to serve as co-vice chair of the NJIT Board of Trustees. DePalma previously served on the NJIT Board of Overseers.

DePalma’s company has grown from a localized smaller firm grossing $17 million in 1993 to its current standing as a 12-office, multistate firm grossing $76 million in 2002. In 2002, the Engineering News Record ranked Schoor DePalma 77th in the top 100 pure design firms.

DePalma brings to the multidisciplined engineering and design consulting firm more than 30 years of experience in civil engineering and planning, including the administration and design of projects for government, industry and private clients. He represents clients in all areas of consulting, including concept planning, design, budget analysis, project management and construction management.

DePalma serves on the board of directors for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Other boards he has served on include the New Jersey Alliance for Action, the board of the Monmouth University Real Estate Institute, and the president’s advisory council for Brookdale Community College. He is also a founding member and current board member of the New Jersey Presidents’ Organization and a trustee of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity Foundation.

New Jersey Institute of Technology enrolls more than 8,200 students in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 100 degree programs offered by six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. NJIT is renowned for expertise in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and eLearning.

The Monmouth/Ocean Chapter of New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners will hold its April meeting at noon April 22 at the Atlantic Hotel, 305 Second Ave., Spring Lake. State Sen. Ellen Karcher will be the guest speaker.

The cost is $40 for members and $45 for nonmembers, and reservations are required; call Marianne Gepp, (732) 775-8900 or e-mail [email protected].

New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants announced that its Disaster Recovery Guide is now available free of charge. The updated guide provides free financial and tax advice to crisis victims, and includes information on topics such as how to document losses and replace personal identification papers. It also includes IRS forms and publications.

For a copy of the guide, visit, e-mail [email protected]., or call (973) 226-4494, ext. 246.

The New Jersey Small Business Conference, sponsored by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. April 22 at the New Brunswick Hyatt Regency, 2 Albany St., New Brunswick.

Now in its eighth year, the event will feature workshops, exhibitors, speeches and networking opportunities, as well as SBA awards to entrepreneurs and small business advocates. Representatives from the SBA and New Jersey Small Business Development Centers will be on hand to discuss the availability of loans. In addition, the Microsoft Across America Bus will also be at the event as part of its national tour. Visitors on the bus will be able to experiment with business programs, and local Microsoft-certified providers of information technology will be on hand to offer one-on-one advice and answer questions. Tickets are $49 for state chamber members and $69 for nonmembers. For details, visit or call Carol Gabel (609) 989-7888.