Dear Merchants, Business Owners, and Fellow Members:

I hope that you all enjoyed the Christmas and Hannukah season, despite the COVID-19 ongoing pandemic. I know that many families had to practice social distancing and not be with loved ones, but I truly hope that in whatever way possible you all had family in your thoughts and prayers.

The advent of the New Year brings with it the promise and relief that we will be able to be vaccinated against this annoying virus, and get on with our lives in whatever normal way that we can. As the expression goes, “Help is on the way!!”

Remember that membership dues are now due for 2021, and I ask all to remit as soon as possible to the office if you have not as of yet.

Our Christmas Decorations Committee did a great job, and we are now finished with that for another season. We look forward to the upcoming 2021 agenda that we will set with the Board. One of these items is our upcoming scholarship program, chaired by Carol Leff and Karen Gawrych. They do a great job with this. If you know a graduating senior student at Massapequa High School or Plainedge High School, please have them check with their guidance office for details. We are also offering our Member’s Child / Grandchild Scholarship, which is open to any graduating senior who is the child or grandchild of a current Chamber member in good standing. Details for this award will soon be found on our newly designed website – thanks to Loren Wildes and Bar Harbor Web Design for the great work on the website…Loren is a true professional and her work exhibits that at all times. You may also contact our office and Shelley will assist with any scholarship information that you may need.

Our January meeting will be held on January 28th at 12:00 Noon at Gusto Divino with proper distancing and protocols in place for all attendees’ safety. Information on the luncheon is also on the website, so that you can register to join us for the afternoon and network with all attendees. We will also hold the Super Raffle drawing at the luncheon, so please get your tickets in to Past President Patty Orzano ASAP – as you have to be in it to win it!

Our Treasurer, Greg Massimi, had to step down from the Board. My thanks to him for his six months of dedicated service and assistance. Past President Gary Slavin will take over as Acting Treasurer for now. We have announced that the Board seat has opened to all to apply for, so that we can appoint a new Board Member at the February Board Meeting. Résumés are due to Shelley by January 31, 2021 for all applicants. We look forward to our new member joining us in the near future.

We have some sad news this month, as Past President Patty Orzano lost her Mother, Anne Palmieri. We give all of our sympathy to Patty and her family, and pray that her mother rests with the Lord. I never met Mrs. Palmieri, but I know how devoted Patty was to her Mom – the sign of a great Daughter. May she Rest in Peace.

I will use the other part of my monthly messages, starting now in January, to highlight our Board Members who work on your behalf tirelessly for the Chamber.

My First Vice President, Robert Zabbia, is the owner of The Zabbia Allstate Insurance Agency on Broadway in North Massapequa. He has a very successful agency, and his new office looks great right next door to Pulcinella Restaurant. Robert is the father of two children, and is a great community benefactor, as he donates to many LI charities with his money and time for fundraisers. I am proud to work with him, and look forward to his wise counsel on all of our Chamber matters. He was recently awarded a Man of Distinction award for LI, and kudos to him on that well-deserved honor.

Our Second Vice President is Karen Gawrych. Karen is a former CPA, and now represents Mary Kay Cosmetics as a Sales Representative for beauty care supplies. She is our Scholarship Committee co-Chair, and also assists with setting up our meeting luncheons with Robin Hepworth. Karen’s daughter, Kathryn, is the owner of the Freeport Ninja Academy, where she trains all for ninja sports and competition events, and she is doing very well in that business. Karen also works for the Chamber on our Toy Drive and Food Donation Committees. I value her friendship and input at our meetings, as she is always on the money.

I will highlight more Board Members as the months go on, and I ask you to continue to support the businesses of all of our members. They are all on our website for your perusal.

My best to all. Please call me at (516) 633 – 1435 for any needs that you may have. Happy New Year 2021 to all!!

Keith Wilson, President

Massapequa Chamber of Commerce