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Right Under Your Nose

Chamber directs customers to shop locally

Newly elected Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce Vice President Walter Imperatore announced a new marketing concept, “It’s right under your nose.” It illustrates the you can find anything you want right here in the OB-EN area and that it is located right under your nose.

He and chamber members illustrated the idea by wearing black handlebar moustaches on Feb. 28 at their installation dinner held at Christ Church parish hall.

“If you wonder why we keep changing the location of our installation dinner, it is because we keep on growing,” said Michele Browner, as she finished up her third term as president.

One of the things the chamber is known for is acknowledging and thanking people for their work with the chamber. Those thanks were extended to Christ Church Pastor Peter Casparian, who is in California; and the church’s sexton Hector for setting up the room. Round tables were covered with white tablecloths. Potted plants decorated them, on loan from Dodds & Eder, courtesy of Dottie Simons, newly elected president. Jack Hallyards American Restaurant catered the evening’s buffet with treats provided by Sweet Tomato.

Browner acknowledged State Sen. Senator Carl Marcellino who inducted the new board of directors and officers; and Legislator Judy Jacobs who presented citations to Browner for her work with the chamber and to Dagmar Fors Karppi on her retirement from the Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot. Jacobs also informed the group that because of the new redistricting of the legislature, Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove, East Norwich will no longer be in her care.

Browner said, “Whenever a new business opens we can count on Judy to be there at the ribbon cutting ceremony.” A new business opened on Saturday, March 2, the Mad Potter at 17 Audrey Avenue from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is a walk-in and work pottery place for adults and children.

Committee Reports

Walter Imperatore, chair of the Valentine’s Day Fair said they have 50 weeks to plan the next one. Dottie Simons, Beautification chair said April 23 is the annual cleanup day in the hamlet. She said, “If kids need community service hours they should get in touch with me. I love kids and they really help in the work.”

Austin Azzaretto, Cruise Night chair said there will be live music and a Billy Joel memorabilia auction at the Tuesday night events from April to the end of September. Browner called up his committee members and showed the group the new safety vests they will wear and presented them with gift, a tire gauge.

Michele Browner, as Health Fair chair reported work is underway for the May 19 event. She is also chairing the holiday events which will include a tree lighting, menorah ceremony and Snowflakes [the electric snowflakes that decorate the OB-EN area].

In 2012 they added new wreaths on Audrey Avenue. She thanked town workers for putting up the Snowflakes in spite of all the work they had to do to cleanup after Hurricane Sandy. She added, “The LIPA bill is on the way.” The chamber pays the lighting bill for the holiday decorations. The good news is that the chamber is getting 35 more lampposts. Ten lampposts are funded by Judy Jacobs and 25 are funded through a grant Browner and Rob Brusca worked on to receive. “It’s the first grant we wrote,” she said proudly. Soon flower baskets will be hanging on them too, she added.

Les Schachter talked about his marketing work for the chamber so enthusiastically he “got the hook” from Walter Imperatore. He is working on the Hamlet Advantage card; and said to go to visitoysterbay for information on the chamber.

Browner said she will take on the Membership Committee work, as Alex Gallego retired from his directorship with the chamber.

She welcomed new members in attendance from Long Island Picture Framing and the Oyster Bay Brewing Company and Steven Stefano of Mass Mutual.

Shari Cope-Dembowski said the Oyster Festival committee is already meeting. She reminded members to read her Tuesday e-blasts. She keeps everyone alerted to what’s going on in the business community.

Awards and Retirements

Browner called a series of people up to the dais to honor them on their retirement. She called up Patricia Aitken to present her with a chamber gift in honor of her retirement from being the Friends of the Bay executive director. Les Schachter, who with his wife Jean, is moving to Huntington was thanked for his work in marketing, a position he is keeping. He received a Leading Light pin.

Alex Gallego too was honored for his three years of service to the chamber. “He built the bridges for the things we see happening now,” she said. Legislator Judy Jacobs was thanked for all her work for the community. “I’ll always be here for you,” said the legislator.

Saving the best for last, Walter Imperatore said they wanted to help people remember to shop in the hamlet and they came up with the concept that it is all right here – under your nose. He named all the various offerings including history, arts, culture, and all the shopping venues available in town. The moustaches are available at Buckingham Village. Photos of people wearing them will be on the visitoysterbay website.

Senator Carl Marcellino inducted the new board of directors including: President Dottie Simons of Dodds & Eder; Vice President Walter Imperatore, Renaissance Properties; Secretary Michele Browner, Hospice of NY; Treasurer John F. DeLillo, John F. DeLillo, CPA; new board members: Susan Dembo, Dawn Reily, Bob Santos, Fran Walker; returning board members: Austin Azzaretto, Robert Brusca, Donnamarie Chaimanis, Bernie DelBello, Catherine Drabin, John McEvoy, Tina Mazzarella, Chuck Panetta, Les Schachter and Dave Waldo. [Not all were present that night.]

Browner presented all the directors with a flash drive with a complete set of chamber documents for their use including their bylaws and applications for the upcoming Health Fair.

They thought of everything.