On a cold winter morning, Dan Fahrer can be found sipping a cup of coffee at his office desk while virtually interviewing one of the many fascinating businesses that make up the Somerset County Business Partnership. When he accepted the role of Director of Business Services at the Partnership last June, he never imagined part of his job would be to morph into a daytime talk show host, but Dan saw that the local businesses needed help getting the word out about the status of their opening and their everchanging services. Naturally charismatic and not one to shy away from the camera, he decided to volunteer as tribute.
Dan holds a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Drexel University. He first became involved with the Partnership while working for The Jewish Federation. His Executive Director encouraged him to seek more corporate support, so Dan turned to the Partnership and quickly became an active member and volunteer at the organization. He was eventually named the Lead Ambassador. When Chris Edwards was promoted to President and CEO of the Partnership, Dan was offered his previous position.
Part of Dan's responsibilities includes recruiting new businesses to join the Partnership, reaching out to existing members to support their needs, and hosting networking events. While transitioning careers in the height of COVID-19 has certainly presented its challenges, it has been rewarding for Dan to help businesses connect and succeed during these trying times.
"The Partnership never took a day off during the pandemic and was a leading resource in supporting local businesses from the beginning of COVID," says Dan. "We have presented over 200 COVID-based support webinars, offered a marketing grant to the restaurant industry, and continue to work daily to keep our businesses connected and growing in a safe and prosperous environment."
For the past 101 years, the Partnership has been a landmark organization in Somerset County. With over 800 members coming from businesses of varying sizes, the Partnership has always been a hub for networking. COVID-19 has added a layer of difficulty, but they have adapted successfully to these circumstances and now run a robust virtual networking program.
The Partnership views 2021 as the year of the economic comeback. Dan says, "In addition to being a leader in Somerset County's economic development and tourism hub, we've pivoted to being a beacon for the business community and a nexus to keep everyone connected. In the middle of a crisis, the need and value of the Partnership is as evident now as it's ever been."