In the card room of the Woodmere Club roughly 20 people from diverse businesses meet every Thursday from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. to generate business referrals, help support each other and generally form bonds of friendship.
Breakfast Connect, a business networking group, consists of people from the Five Towns as well such communities that includes Cambria Heights and Fresh Meadows in Queens, Oceanside, Valley Stream and West Hempstead.
Formed out of local Business Networking International chapter, which is a franchised networking organization, the group led by Hewlett resident Andrew Liebowitz was originally established as South Shore Synergy in 2010 and morphed into Breakfast Connect two years later. Unlike a BNI chapter there are no dues.
“I have made many friendships along with strong referral partners,” Liebowitz said about Breakfast Connect. “It’s a great group and we’re always looking to grow.” He is a business development and marketing specialist with an interest in real estate and mortgages with South Shore Mortgage in Lindenhurst.
Liebowitz said that the members are like family and though he would like to see every member attend every meeting he said, “Family and business come first.”
A close second is building relationships. In the early part of the meeting, members grab something to eat and drink and talk to get the connecting started. Many bring business cars, pens and pads with the names of their businesses.
It’s a welcoming group who quickly grab the new person and engage that person in conversation. “It’s about the relationships,” said Cedarhurst-based Deborah Kaminetzky, a lawyer who specializes in estate planning, matrimonial cases, mediation and small business law. “You meet people and interconnect with businesses. It’s not a competition but a complement to your business.”
During the meeting’s second part, members then take turns introducing themselves and explaining what their business is about. David Shereck, of Shereck Video Services Inc. in Valley Stream, tweaked an old saying for his tagline. “If a picture is worth a thousand word, I like to say that a video is worth a thousand pictures,” he said.
One of the more unique businesses is Interiors by Dafna Adler, who assists clients in reimagining the space in their homes from staging a home to “rightsizing” for an assortment of different living arrangements.
Jay Hoffman, an Atlantic Beach and Lawrence native now living in Plainview, runs Eagle Box & Packaging Inc. with his brother out of Farmingdale. It’s a fourth generation company founded in 1908 by their. Akin to Breakfast Connect, the company is proud of having built strong relationships with its clients. “We care the most,” Hoffman said of his business.
Hewlett dentist Dr. Burt Kreisman is also part of the group. He noted that networking works as he connects with peridontists to help patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. Other Five Towns members include Glenn Krevans, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch in Hewlett and Adam Zalta with Atlaz Computer & Consulting in Lawrence.
“The group is small enough to maintain relationships, but large enough to generate business,” said Ingrid Schwartz, of Manhattan-based Title Nest Abstract.
If interested in joining, call Liebowitz at (516) 790-4829.