Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00
The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours gathering on Jan. 25, had Serata Italian Restaurant abuzz with conversation as about 40 bussiness people chatted. The chamber’s concept of getting business people from the area together for networking is a great success. Business cards were collected and late in the evening three cards were drawn and those guests received a copy of the book Bare Knuckle People Management by visiting author Sean O’Neill.
President Michelle Browner introduced Walter Imperatore, who is working with Dottie Simons on the Valentine Fair weekend events, Feb. 10, 11 and 12. Raynham Hall history tells us that British Officer Col. Simcoe gave Sally Townsend the first Valentine in America. A replica of it will be shown at Raynham Hall Museum, along with some of their collection of valentines. The chamber is encouraging local businesses to join in the valentine weekend fun with a promotion of their own.
Oyster Bay also has The Chocolate Lady, another important part of Valentine’s Day, said Mr. Imperatore. He asked members to get back to him so the chamber can promote the activities the businesses will be holding for the promotion.
Denise VeyVoda, MA, DDS said she is having a special valentine event. She was informing people that she is back on staff full-time working at the office she shares with her husband Dr. West. Dr. VeyVoda is holding a Botox Cosmetic Charity Event on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 9:30 to 7 p.m. She is offering discounted Botox treatments; Juvederm Facials; and Zoom whitening. They will donate 10 percent of the event proceeds to Fisher House for Wounded Warriors and Families. Call 922-5730 for information or to make an appointment.
Gulden of Gulden’s Café is planning a Valentine’s Dinner. She said she likes to come to the Chamber meetings, “To see what is going on, check on the town, and maybe I can help them.” Gulden serves breakfast, lunch and started offering dinner once a month. She is working on the menu for a Valentine’s Day dinner which will be held around Feb. 17. Call 922-7727 for details and reservations.
“This is my third year as president,” Michele Browner said. ‘The vice president is Carmine Pirolo, Dottie Simons is the secretary and John DeLillo is treasurer. The annual Installation Dinner, will take place on Tuesday, February 28 at the Sagamore Yacht Club at 7 p.m. It is hosted entirely by the chamber for members. “Come out to celebrate,” said President Browner. She introduced two new board members, Dave Waldo of The WaterFront Center and Tina Mazzarello of Sweet Tomato restaurant.
Sean O’Neill, author of the book Bare Knuckle People Management spoke to chamber members to give them a taste of his style. Mr. O’Neill said, “I hate when people in my business act and pontificate and stand up on a soapbox and tell people how to do it. Life is not that easy. It’s more nuanced and complicated than that.”
He said his approach is, “I deliver a lot of stories and anecdotes and my personal findings which I think translates to people saying to themselves – ‘Oh, that applies to me.’ So people get a tickle or two.” He said he enjoys “the different flavors of people.” In his book promotion he said there are “Sixteen basic worker types you must learn to recognize, from The Badass to The Burnout, and how to customize your leadership style for each type.”
He’s come to his knowledge of business management training from his experience in soccer, the NBA, and NASCAR, working at team building, sales training and management. “People are complex and can be hard to work with. Let me share with you how I get to know people,” he said.
He complimented the chamber’s suggestion that people exchange business cards saying that it was part of the process of meeting people.
Member Sally Robilotto said, “I have heard so many people rave about this place since it was redone. And the food is ‘to die for’ everyone has said the same thing, that the food is excellent and the décor is very nice. I can’t wait to bring my husband here.” Alex Gallego said he was there when people were dancing on the tables. “I would love to see that,” said Sally.
Host Michael Bednar said, Serata Italian Restaurant is unique. “It’s different than any place on Long Island. We show famous ‘one-liner’ movies, [the kind that have given the vernacular those one-line phrases like “Make my day,” and “I’m melting” and “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” and “We’ll always have Paris”].
Mr. Bednar said, “The lighting is fantastic, like a discoteque. There is outside seating and we do catering. We have plenty of parking and can seat 74 guests which makes it convenient for this area.”
There are phrases in Italian drawn on the terra cotta walls. There are 10 television sets on the walls that were simultaneously showing The Bronx Story – with the sound off, as the chamber members provided the vocal accompaniment.
Host Michael Bednar said they opened on June 9. It’s a casual setting to show what they can do. It’s all set for a party. Outside on the patio, a terra cotta fireplace warmed the entrance area.
Serata is open Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, from 5 to 11 p.m. They are located at 160 Mill River Road, Oyster Bay. [Call 628-2800 for information.]