Staff Snapshots | David J. Kaschak
Dec. 30, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print
David J. Kaschak
Hometown: Lambertville, N.J.
Role: New Jersey state auditor
Years of legislative service: 38
What inspires him: “The belief that anything is possible.”
Why did you choose to work at the legislature?
It was more about choosing the auditing profession than anything else. I became interested in the profession after taking an auditing course during my senior year at Penn State. Shortly after I graduated, I went on a bus trip to Atlantic City and sat next to a gentleman who told me about his job and what it was like working in government. The way he described the work pretty much aligned with what I had learned in my auditing course. Turns out he was the assistant state auditor, and he invited me to apply for an entry-level position. I originally took the job to get experience, but I enjoyed the diversity of the work and liked seeing that my efforts potentially impacted every citizen of the state.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
I was told early in my career by one of my supervisors that I had the ability to take financial information and relate it to actual events that had occurred—sort of a “look at the forest instead of the trees” approach to reading accounting data and interpreting numbers. I have taken pride in teaching others how to do the same.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
It wasn’t so much any advice I received, but something I read in a Runner’s World article: that the miracle is not that I finished, but that I had the courage to start.
Who or what inspires you?
The belief that anything is possible. I grew up in Pittsburgh and was in attendance for the “Immaculate Reception” when the Pittsburgh Steelers miraculously came from behind and won their first playoff game in 40 years. I was 12 years old at the time, and from that day on I realized that fortunes can change for the better in the blink of an eye. That memory has inspired me to stay positive at all times and to never give up.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
New Jersey has just about everything. It has beautiful scenery, especially in the northwestern part of the state. It is very diverse both culturally and geographically, and you don’t have to look very far to find the best entertainment, educational and economic opportunities.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
I never miss a Penn State football game, and I’m currently watching “Succession” and “Yellowstone.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.