The New Jersey Technology Council’s upcoming annual meeting will see an important milestone. Maxine Ballen, who founded the trade group in 1996 and has been its president and CEO ever since, will step down and introduce her successor: James Barrood, who is currently executive director of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The NJTC will hold the annual meeting at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe on Thursday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit or call 856-787-9700. The meeting is for members only. Tickets from $70.

Both Ballen and Barrood serve on the Fairleigh Dickinson advisory board. Barrood joined the institute in 1997, and has been active in the business community, frequently speaking at regional business events. He is the editor of a book, “Entrepreneurship and Innovation,: Real Solutions for Every Small Business Riding the Economic Rollercoaster.”

Barrood, who earned a bachelor’s in economics from Rutgers and an MBA from Texas A & M, got his start in his family’s real estate business before working in the auto industry and then joining the Rothman Institute. As executive director, Barrood produces summits, conferences, and roundtables, bringing in speakers from different industries.

He is no stranger to business advocacy, sitting on boards of the state Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Women’s Business Research, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

In addition to Barrood’s introduction, the meeting includes a roster of speakers from throughout the state’s tech sector.

Keith Cooper, CEO of Connotate Inc., a New Brunswick-based web data company, presents the keynote speech entitled. “There is only one thing of which I am certain: What in this business plan is NOT going to happen.?”

Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla and Willum­Smith+Brown will present the results of the Technology Outlook Industrial Survey. A panel of CEOs will respond:

They include Mark Clifton, general manager of SRI Sarnoff; Ron Gaboury, CEO of Yorktel, an Eatontown-based videoconferencing services company; Ralph Izzo, CEO of PSE&G; Calvin Knowlton, CEO of CareKenesis, a Moorestown-based pharmacy; and Fran Pierce, CEO of DSA, a Trevose, Pennsylvania-based IT company.

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