Dear Syosset/Woodbury Chamber of Commerce members:
As the calendar turned to 2021, Syosset/Woodbury Chamber members faced many unknowns in the direction of business. Pandemics, masks, social distancing, vaccines, lockdowns were the words on most of our minds. During the past six months, I, as Chamber President, and my great board members, have tried to keep you informed on how to deal with these unique times. We have held Zoom meetings with several important local elected officials including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, and our County Legislator from the 18th district, Joshua Lafazan. Members were able to hear about how our officials were addressing local issues, and freely ask questions on a variety of topics. In addition, State Senator for the 5th district James Gaughran, County Legislator for the 16th district Arnie Drucker and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Tom Hand spoke at our virtual installation event in January. The Chamber was able to obtain a large supply of masks and hand sanitizer thanks to the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management that was distributed to local business members who needed additional PPE. Interspersed with those virtual meetings, we were able to get great speakers including Kiki Orski, Evelyn MacDougall and Edie Reinhardt to help our members to succeed in business. Rikki Massand and the Syosset Advance continued to support our members with frequent articles and other mentions in the weekly publication. The Chamber expanded its online presence via LinkedIn and Twitter. I encourage all of you to follow the Chamber on those two social media platforms, along with Facebook and Instagram. The Chamber shares business news, photos and information from our members via those sites, and you should send what you want posted to firstname.lastname@example.org to take advantage of this perk for being a member. Membership has continued to grow in these challenging times, and the Chamber has consistently held online events monthly to allow members to network with each other. My goal as President is to see all of our members, not just survive, but thrive in this challenging environment.
As we look forward to the second half of 2021, there have been many exciting developments in the past few weeks signaling that we are starting to get back to normal. In June, the Chamber had our first in-person network event at Butera’s in Woodbury. More than twenty members came out on a beautiful Monday afternoon to share our experiences, and finally meet face to face without masks, and network like it was 2019. Laurie and the staff at Butera’s were great hosts, and we look forward to working with them again. We have also honored two outstanding graduating students from Syosset High School, Maiya Raghu and Maxwell Spiller, with $1,000 scholarships on behalf of the family of Debra Parisi and the 120+ members of the Syosset/Woodbury Chamber of Commerce. A special thanks go out to Jessika Chautin and the Syosset Public Library for hosting that event on short notice due to inclement weather. The Chamber participated in its first ribbon cutting, grand opening at the Primrose School of Woodbury. Board members, local elected officials and members of the community were there to honor Shveta and Rahul Alreja along with the staff at Primrose for growing their business during these challenging times. They were amazing hosts, and everyone came away impressed with the school. Home Depot and Michael Gallo generously donated arts and craft kits to the Faith Lutheran Church as part of their open house at the end of June. Faith Lutheran’s school has been closed for 16 months since the pandemic started, and it is great to see members helping out other members during this unusual times. Tricia Shannon, Carolyn Paladino and Jo Costa have done a great job organizing events for the Women in Business group.
The Chamber and the local business community are eager to transition the rest of 2021 back to normal. We have scheduled our 2021 Syosset/Woodbury Street Fair for September 19th. Already, several members have stepped up to be platinum and gold sponsors for that great event. Alan Goldberg is once again working hard to make sure this year’s Fair is a success for sponsors and visitors to downtown Syosset that day. While it will be challenging to match 2019’s achievement, it appears there is robust interest in this year’s event, and we expect several thousand local residents to join with our businesses in celebrating the re-emergence of the Syosset/Woodbury community. The Chamber is joining with the Plainview/Old Bethpage and Westbury Chambers to host a golf outing on October 7th that I encourage all of you to sign up for. It will be another great opportunity to network with your fellow business leaders, and those of the surrounding communities. While the summer is normally a quiet time for the Chamber, this year appears much different. We are still looking to host more in-person events, and seeking out other opportunities to help you during this re-opening of Syosset/Woodbury.
I have been honored to have been chosen to be the President of the Syosset/Woodbury Chamber of Commerce for 2021, but it’s not a one person job. I have an outstanding executive board including Vice President, Danielle DelGrosso, Treasurer Bill Chabina and Secretary Christine Patti, who also happens to be planning a wedding when she isn’t helping out, to support my efforts on your behalf. The Chamber also has a great group of board members who are always willing to step up when needed to make this year a success. The Chamber’s administrator, Felice Linder, has been instrumental in getting the word out to all of you.
For the past twenty two years, I have lived in Syosset with my beautiful wife, Lori and my two daughters. Crystal graduated with an MBA with honors from SUNY New Paltz, and currently works in social media marketing via her company, Green Media, including helping several Chamber members with their online presence. My younger daughter, Kacey, had the challenge of experiencing her senior year at Syosset High School during the pandemic, but now we are proud of her upcoming college journey at Purdue University. Lori helps families celebrate occasions via LMG Calligraphy, and continues to support me in whatever endeavors I want to pursue. As President of RPG Wealth Management, Inc., based in Syosset, I consult with individuals, small businesses, retirement accounts, 401k plans, guardians and trustees on their investment portfolios.
In summary, the first half of 2021 has been about surviving the pandemic, the second half will about thriving and making the Syosset/Woodbury business community the place to be to succeed. Please work with your fellow chamber members whenever possible. I can be reached at Russell.email@example.com or my cell number 516-205-2319 if you have any suggestions, ideas or just want to talk about the Chamber of Commerce. I want to thank all of you for your trust in me as the President of the Chamber, and wish all of you success for the rest of 2021 and beyond.
Russell P. Green
Syosset Woodbury Chamber of Commerce President