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Avoiding Red Lights - A Walk to Success

2007 Maury Cartine HeadshotSMALLThe son of a fruit peddler who sold his goods off the back of a truck and a mother who worked for various department stores in Newark, Maury Cartine only had one option if he wanted to attend college. He needed to walk there.

Seton Hall University was about two miles from his family’s Maplewood apartment, but within walking distance for the young man who wanted more for his life. It also was where he would discover an ability to succeed that would prompt him to go on and earn his law degree from Seton Hall Law.

Today, Partner-in-Charge of the New York City tax department of Marcum & Kliegman, LLP and a certified public accountant, he advises clients on tax and regulatory matters affecting hedge funds.

Born in Newark, he and his family moved to Maplewood when he was three. His parents wanted him and his three older brothers to attend a good high school – Columbia High. Living under the stress of very limited financial means, he always felt out of place and uncertain about his future. There never was enough money, and bills were a constant source of worry.

Then he enrolled at Seton Hall and found another side to life.

“Seton Hall was the first place where I really felt good about myself,” he says. He excelled in his studies and made the Dean’s list, all while financing his education through part-time jobs, loans, and some tremendous sacrifices from his parents.

“It’s amazing when you feel good about yourself what you can accomplish,” he says. “The first spark of success ignited a fire within me to work harder to do more.’

It was also during that time that he learned the importance of sacrifice and doing for others.

“My second semester of college, my dad drove me to the bookstore and took $70 out of his pocket and handed it to me to buy books,” recalls Cartine. “When he did that I knew it was all the money in the world to him – it was the money to pay for our household. It was the greatest sacrifice he could make and he made it because he wanted me to succeed.” The winter was a tough time for a fruit peddler, but as Cartine remembers, “my father made that sacrifice with a smile on his face and I can still see that smile as if it all happened yesterday.”

While at Seton Hall, he gained an internship with the IRS, discovered he enjoyed “doing taxes,” and decided he wanted to study law. After earning his undergraduate degree in accounting, he went to work for the IRS full-time, attended Seton Hall Law in the evenings, and served in the National Guard as an Officer, attending monthly weekend drills and biweekly Officer’s meetings

After graduating from law school in 1976, he worked for a CPA firm, and then started his own private tax and commercial law practice. In 1980, he joined Rothstein Kass as a shareholder and served as a member of the Executive Board and Vice President. From there, he went on to become Executive Vice President of Bisys RK Alternative Investment Services, and later joined Marcum & Kleigman.

Had it not been for Seton Hall, Cartine says, he would not have been able to build such a successful career. The sense of appreciation is deep and strong. He contributes to the university on an annual basis. When speaking at industry conferences, he always is sure to point out that he is a “proud graduate of Seton Hall University and Seton Hall Law.” He serves on Seton Hall Law’s Board of Visitors and on the Board of Advisors for Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business. This year, he also has pledged $150,000 to the Seton Hall Law Rising capital campaign.

Giving back and community service, he says, are characteristics he and his wife, Robin, have worked to instill in their daughters Melissa, 21, and Amanda, 20.

Along with his service to Seton Hall, he is active with Hedge Funds Care, an alliance of hedge fund professionals dedicated to the prevention of child abuse; has been a long-time supporter of the United Jewish Appeal; helped to build the first public playground in his hometown of Montville; and served on the committee that worked to establish the township’s first public library. He also has been a member of the Montville Township Zoning Board for over 10 years and serves as the Vice Chairman. Professionally, he has served as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants Taxation of Financial Instruments and Transactions Committee.

“I have been so fortunate in my life, I feel it is important take care of others,” he says.

Still, there is one dream he wishes to fulfill once he retires.

“There is one last job I would like to hold,” he says. “I want my last job to be teaching at Seton Hall Law.”

Looking back at his long walks to Seton Hall University, he recalls with a smile that he crossed many streets, but he never ran into a red light. A lot like his journey through life!