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The Corridor will enter its third year on January 17, 2012. I went into business blind and stumbled into the shadowy Networking Universe. In three years I have met thousands of people, some of whom are truly remarkable. In my humble opinion, the following are some of the people you have to be aware of in 2012. I have great respect for each one and feel privileged to have met them. For the most part they have the same ideals and goals, even when it appears some of them earn way too much money and might be just a bit self-serving…they all strive for improving the quality of life on the Island. They feed and clothe the hungry, fight for affordable housing and transportation, attempt to improve an anemic economy, assist in job creation, find ways to make our stupid energy costs affordable, fund, encourage and support small business–in short they are available, able and concerned. Each perspective and approach is different and while at times they may appear at odds with one another, the truth is they are united by a common thread of goodness, decency and well-meaning. These are among the most intelligent, insightful and thoughtful people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. If you do not know them yet, be sure to put them on your list of “People to Meet” and “People to Support” in 2012.
Eric Alexander—Vision Long Island—Eric is a Rock Star. A young, brash, outspoken, polished professional who has accomplished a surprising number of daunting projects. Their statement of purpose is “Vision is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization that educates, advocates, plans, designs, and provides technical assistance on Smart Growth projects. We bring the best practices of community design together with experts, stakeholders, and decision makers to advance quality growth and preservation on LI. ” The goal is the creation of “Smart Growth Communities” which support green energy programs, sewer investments, homeless services, community and youth services and small business concerns. Very powerful, very necessary and very altruistic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbzCsL1RW8M
Mike Deluise and Ted Macaluso–Melville Chamber of Commerce–The Melville Chamber has had a growth spurt this past year, due to the strategic planning and charm of the President, Mike Deluise who knows everyone, and Ted Macaluso, the Executive Director, who now knows everyone also. They are completely devoted to the success of their membership, and often take a personal hand ensuring it. Publicly apolitical, they offer mentorship, support, programs, an outstanding network and a place for every one of their members. You can actually pick up the phone and call, and they are likely to answer themselves. Their mission is to “… provide networking opportunities, business to business services and many other programs to create and stimulate business opportunities… foster a stronger and more vital business environment not only in our area but throughout Long Island… work together with our business leaders, community leaders, professional leaders, and our Elected Officials to continue to improve the quality of life for both our business community and our residents.”
Roz Goldmacher—Long Island Development Corporation— Ms. Goldmacher supports Long Island Business on a daily basis and personally meets with potential and current entrepreneurs. In 30 years they have given out $750 million in direct loans. ” Long Island Development Corporation (LIDC) is part of a 501C3 not-for-profit economic development family providing a variety of low cost loan programs and free technical assistance to help businesses and not-for-profit organizations in New York, concentrating on Long Island.” Roz knows where the money is and how to get it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7qVILK_6mQ
David Gussin—516Ads.com & 631 Ads.com—Say what you want about David’s Evangelistic delivery for “igniting business”, his catch phrase. The former bagel boy, self-proclaimed inventor of the “everything bagel” inspires confidence in people. His loyal entourage will follow him from one end of the Island to the other, lugging donations of canned food, pajamas, jackets, for whatever worthy charity has touched him that week. David is a force for Good and deserving of our support. http://www.veengle.com/s/david%20gussin.html
Rich Kruse— ExecuLeaders— Co-Founder/Vice Chairman Emeritus of LISTnet/The Long Island Software & Technology Network. Rich’s booming voice, vision and staggering number of connections in addition to his willingness to make “it work” regardless of differences of opinion and status make him an invaluable ally. ExecuLeaders networking events at Carlyle on the Green are unique and very high quality. Mr. Kruse is the consummate professional, an innovator on the move. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xb64uu_execuleaders-rich-kruse-bob-maurino_webcam
Kevin Law—Long Island Association—Long Island’s most visible swashbuckler, formerly the CEO of LIPA, Mr. Law moved to the LIA, Grandfather of Long Island business associations,“…has spawned separate organizations to focus full-time attention on specific issues, including the Long Island Better Business Bureau; the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Long Island Housing Partnership…; the LIA Health Alliance, …; the Long Island Works Coalition, …; LISTnet, which focuses on the information technology industry; and the Millennium Centers for Convergent Technologies, which is developing a high technology research program…”in 2011. Consonant with LIA’s mission, Mr. Law has his eyes on the “bigger picture” and we expect big things from him when he gets to Albany. http://libn.com/video/2010/01/08/shoreham-according-to-kevin-law/
Terri Miceli-Alessi—Hauppauge Industrial Association—I am always impressed with the cohesion of HIA events. This is entirely due to the staff under the watchful guidance of Terri. Terri has been in the business a long time and has emerged as a powerful ally for women’s rights. The many diverse projects HIA offers, Manufacturing Revitalization Initiative, Workforce Development Initiative, Healthcare Initiative, Infrastructure Initiative, Business Development Initiative, Clean Tech & Renewable Energy Initiative, Virtual HIA-LI Initiative, Organization Growth Initiative are handled with alacrity and balance. http://www.fios1news.com/longisland/node/9000
Michele Michael— Sweetheart of The Corridor—I have seen a single word from Michelle cause ripples and create business up and down the Corridor. She is responsible for the creation of the Cystic Fibrosis Hunt for the Cure, the Melville Chamber of Commerce Young Professional program, the Melville Chamber of Commerce Mentorship Program, the creation of the Long Island Real Estate and Business Renaissance, June 1-2 2012, creation of the Long Island Business Force networking group, the Long Island Commercial Network (Commercial Real Estate) events which each can draw more than 300 people. Michele’s most recent effort is a blood drive to be hosted by Helen Zagaro, CEO of Star Promoz. I have no doubt that Ms. Michael is responsible for more real, completed business with money actually exchanging hands on Long Island than anyone else. She is a great presence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfs2TdXX264
Jed Morey –Long Island Press—The Journalist’s Journalist, fearless, verbose and scathingly articulate, Jed Morey’s observations are on the edge and his knowledge base is vast. His social conscience is right up there making decisions based on reality, not rhetoric. The message is clear and nobody is exempt from his x-ray vision. The most delectable items can be found at http://www.JedMorey.com. Very refreshing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MgQEVFHhS4
Sheldon Sackstein – Action Long Island—Mr. Sackstein has been an innovator on Long Island for 30 years and the recipient of this year’s Business Leader’s Award given by the UJA Federation. He was the Board Chairman of 110/Action-LI, has kept Republic Airport Open, Widened Rt. 110, andaccomplished a multitude of other projects. ALI’s mission statement is “to promote business and economic development and improve the quality of life for Long Island residents. To accomplish this mission, ALI brings leaders from the business, professional, labor, education, government, and civic communities who have joined together with local, county, state and federal officials for the mutual benefit of the business climate and quality of residential life on Long Island. ”
This is The Corridor’s pick of people and organizations that we will support in the coming year. They are Social Warriors, Heroes and the Great Hope for Long Island. We wish each of you a very Happy and Successful New Year!