November 14, 2017

Dear Fellow Members,

    “Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.” Whose great idea was it anyway – to have sunset at 4:37pm? Nonetheless, one year ago to the day, November 12, 2016 to be exact – I walked into the lobby of my grammar school – St. Barnabas the Apostle in Bellmore to reunite with classmates I had not seen in forty-four years. There… standing in the foyer…was about a dozen or so old classmates becoming reacquainted. The majority of these kids had gone on together to attend Bellmore Kennedy, Mepham H.S. and Holy Trinity…while on the other hand…I would go on to attend St. John the Baptist, D.H.S. in West Islip…the only one from the graduating Class of ’72 to do so. My eyes moved quickly to one lovely, looking woman. She looked like a Kathleen. I had a terrific aunt, named Kathleen. I have a beautiful niece, named Kathleen. Trust me; I am expert on Kathleen’s…so I took a shot. Oooh, so close, she insisted it was Kathy. Not bad, I thought…at least she’s talking to me. Yes, when out of the clear blue, Kathy says something to me that has stayed with me ever since.


     After exchanging the obligatory niceties, she asks me if I remember that I asked her to roller skate at the Copiague “All Weather Roll ‘N Ice” on Sunrise Highway during a school trip in 1970? I was flabbergasted. How many of you remember the place…one floor was ice-skating and one floor was dedicated to roller-skating? Now, on the surface her incredible recall might not seem like much. “Big deal,” you’re saying, but can there be any better way to lift someone up or pay them a compliment then to remind him or her of an act of kindness? Especially, one that took place a lifetime ago (when a gallon of gasoline was 36 cents/gal.) Besides, I am sure at the time – it was really Kathy – who was being kind to me by accepting my invitation to skate. Admittedly, I don’t recall being so chivalrous at the age of twelve. I think my palms are sweating. They should be…I can’t roller skate. Yet, here she was – four and one-half decades later – making my spirit soar again. In less than ten seconds, she made me feel ten feet tall. Now, that’s a gift. “Kind words not only lift our spirits in the moment they are given,” said Joseph B. Wirthin, “but they can linger with us over the years.”


     We could all do well to lift a page from Kathy's playbook. A playbook that says, "Serve others with all your heart." One that says, "Who can I bless today." I learned long ago that a good "President's Message" should not only highlight the monthly laundry list of Chamber activities and functions, but should also encourage members to adopt a spirit that will hopefully lift them. Yes, my purpose (if I may put it simply) is “to motivate you and to lift your spirit.” I find short stories work best…even if they tend to run on for three pages. As the ever quotable, Mark Twain once wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”


   I bet if he were here now, he would advise you to attend our General Meetings. Our luncheons typically meet on the fourth Thursday of the month, but note well: To adjust for Thanksgiving…this month’s meeting will be held on Thursday, November 16th (the third Thursday.) The venue is Big Daddy’s. The time is 12:00pm. The address is 1 Park Lane, Massapequa, NY 11758. (Just under the L.I.R.R. trestle on the northeast corner of Front Street.) Here, you can surround yourself with people who will only lift you higher. Join us for the penultimate meeting of the year. Thesaurus time! Make a connection. Make someone’s day. Speak the blessing. Look around and instead of asking. “How many business cards can I hand out today,” ask yourself, “Who can I bless today?” Offer someone a compliment. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. Be sincere. I have found that remembering something unique about them is always a great icebreaker. They’ll be amazed you cared enough to remember. The thinking here is “I’ll lift you and you lift me…and we’ll both ascend together.” It takes hardly any time and it doesn’t cost you a cent. Perhaps you can serve up a vignette of your first meeting. Alternatively, how they helped you once with a solution to a business problem. Subsequently, you too will be amazed at the dividends. Now, they might not show up in November’s Balance Sheet…perhaps not even January or February’s...but they will show up. “If you want to lift yourself up,” said Booker T. Washington, “you lift up someone else.” Be an encourager. It goes straight to the heart!


   Need a real spirit lifting…then why not attend our annual “Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting? It’s right around the corner. The Main Event Sponsor is TD Bank. Thank you to Branch Manager, Lauren Pulvidente. The date is set for Saturday, December 2nd. The time is 6:00 – 8:00pm. You will find us on Broadway in Massapequa at the triangular park dedicated to USMC, Cpl. Albert F. Klestinec, Jr. It is 3/10 of a mile north of Sunrise Hwy. and is directly opposite James Funeral Home. Though I have no “five-day forecast” to offer at this time, we always recommend you bundle up. The sun will have already set. The park tends to get chilly along that strip of Broadway. We, however, will do more than warm your spirit and invigorate your souls. A host of volunteers will serve hot chocolate. I would like to thank our two, hot chocolate sponsors, Mr. Gary Slavin (Insurance and Investment Advisor (516) 873-4515) and Sal Polito (Associate Broker/Exit Realty Gateway (516) 984-3791.) Our event Chairwoman, Lucrezia Falacara has a great night of entertainment lined up. Aside from a bevy of Chamber dance studios, one can expect a visit from our friend from the North Pole. Santa himself – will arrive courtesy of a Massapequa F.D. chauffeur driven truck. Head warming, if not heart-warming gifts will be distributed by the gazebo (while supplies last) to all those kids who visit with Santa. Santa’s helpers will include the beautiful princesses from Royal Events Princess Parties…who are known for doing everything magically possible to provide the best entertainment for your next event or party.


   Let me pause and take a step back for a second to thank our veterans. Members of your Board of Directors joined American Legion Massapequa Post 1066 on Veterans Day to salute the brave men and women who protect our shores. “Freedom,” said Ronald Reagan, “is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children…what it was once like in the United States.” If you haven’t already done so, thank a veteran today.


   In less than a week, to wit: November 20th, we will kick off our “Toys for Tots” program. It will run through Monday, December 18th. Please look for drop-off locations via our Friday e-blasts. Thank you again to 7-Eleven Franchise Owner and former, Chamber President, Patty Orzano for acting as liaison between the U.S.M.C. and the Chamber. Years from now, long after the toy has been lost or has broken, a child – somewhere – somehow – will long remember the gift they received from an anonymous donor. Lift the burden of a child this Christmas season. Receive joy by bringing it to others. Your heart will be enriched and your burdens made lighter.


     How would you like to make your business burdens lighter? How would you like to increase the traffic on your website? I believe I have the solution to your problem. Pick up the phone and call our featured “Member-of-the-Month,” Loren Wildes. Loren is the CEO and founder of “Bar Harbor Web Design.” She has over 20 years of experience in the computer industry. After developing systems for the Consumer Banking Division of Chase Manhattan Bank, Loren started L.W. Consulting, where she provided software solutions to the financial industry. Bar Harbor Design was created to provide websites and media solutions to the non-profit and business community. “There are three responses to a piece of web design,” said Milton Glaser, “Yes, no and WOW! Wow is the one you aim for.” Well, if you’re aiming for “wow,” look no further…Loren’s your girl. She’s your wow!


     Loren has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Albany. In addition, Loren serves as President of the Alumnae Board at our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset and previously served on the St. Rose of Lima School Board in Massapequa. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Massapequa Chamber of Commerce and maintains active membership in the Plainview Chamber of Commerce.


   If you need a few more reasons to take action today – consider these: Affordable Prices; Personalized Service; Custom Website Design; Content Management System Specialist; Responsive Design and Online Marketing. Bar Harbor Web Design is a women-owned business with a staff that has been in the computer industry for over two decades. Best described as a “boutique agency” – BHWD offers custom web solutions for small businesses as well as non-profits. Let Loren help you grow your brand. A good website promotes you 24/7. Even the greatest of Chambers cannot lay claim to that assertion. Call Loren now at (516) 361-2805.


     The second you get off the phone with Loren, please be sure to vote for your Chamber in the “Best of Long Island” contest. We are the two-time defending champion. You’ll find us under the “Shopping Category.” Please go to the following link and follow these instructions:

1.Type in the following URL:

2.Click on the orange VOTE NOW button.

3.Scroll down to the SHOPPING category and click.

4.Scroll down to the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE category and click.

5.Scroll to “Massapequa Chamber of Commerce” and click on the red VOTE button.

6.You will then be prompted to enter in an e-mail address and password. After submitting this information, your vote will be automatically submitted.

The voting period is open until December 15th. You can vote every day. Vote for your fellow members, too. “Look for a way to lift someone up. And if that’s all you do, that’s enough!”


     Our last bit of news for the month is the announcement of our 70th Anniversary Dinner. The celebration is set for Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Please circle the date! The venue will be the Fox Hollow. They can be found at 7755 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY 11797. The event will begin at 6:00pm and end at 10:00pm. There will be information on sponsorship opportunities to follow via U.S. Mail. Look for your invitation. We will be asking members to consider donating raffle prizes. I will announce our event’s honorees in next month’s President’s Message…but until such time you can be certain that, “the vision that was planted in my brain…still remains…within the sounds of silence.”



Happy Thanksgiving!



Robert R. Barrett, President