Island Park Chamber of Commerce elects new leaders for 2019


Four officers will take the reins of the Island Park Chamber of Commerce in 2019 as they continue an effort to ensure that businesses prosper in the new year.

At its first monthly meeting of the year, on Jan. 10 at Pancho’s Cantina Restaurant, members elected Barbra Rubin-Perry president, Joseph Pontecorvo vice president, Jan Rothman treasurer and Debbie Slott secretary.

“All the new officers are certainly experienced,” said outgoing President Michael Scully. “The chamber is in good hands, and we look forward to a successful 2019.”

Scully stepped down after being elected the 2019 president of Multiple Listing Services of Long Island Real Estate, which he called a “demanding and time-consuming commitment.” The owner of Century 21 Scully Realty served as chamber president for two years and will now join the seven-member board of directors.

Rubin-Perry was chamber president for 11 years, from 2000 to 2011, and has been a member for more than 25 years. During her new presidency, she said, she hopes to introduce new residents of the AvalonBay Communities and Channel Club apartments to local businesses, calling the potential new customer base a “shot in the arm” for the area.

“I took [this po-sition] back be-cause it’s important that we be active and introduce those new people to Island Park,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for the chamber and Island Park to see growth, which we need.”

Rubin-Perry was referring to a proposal from the Arlington, Va.-based AvalonBay Communities to construct a $90 million, 172-unit luxury apartment complex at the site of the former Harbor Isle petroleum facility in Island Park, which Town of Hempstead officials are reviewing. The complex would be built after a decade-long controversy about developing the site. The lot was found to have contaminated soil and groundwater from when it was a petroleum facility. The town’s Industrial Development Agency approved a preliminary resolution for the 11.6-acre lot on Sept. 18, granting tax-relief measures for AvalonBay Communities’ planned development.

The Channel Club apartments are due to open in the spring. They were built on Barnum Island by Waterview Land Development LLC, which is led by Island Park businessman and property owner John Vitale. The IDA granted a 10-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, for the $31 million project, which includes 26 one-bedroom and 60 two-bedroom units at Waterview Road and Pettit Place, the former site of Paddy McGee’s and the Coyote Grill. They were both damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Rubin-Perry, a long-time resident and president of Comp-U-Sultants Inc., now lives in Long Beach. She moved there from Island Park after Sandy and said she hoped to return in 2019. As president, she said, she welcomes ideas about how the chamber can better serve businesses and the Island Park community.

Pontecorvo agreed. He said he hoped to welcome new members with new ideas into the chamber this year, as well as promote small businesses in Island Park. Pontecorvo is a business consultant, realtor at Long Beach Real Estate, member of the Island Park Civic Association and

vice president of the Island Park Library board. The longtime Island Park resident has been a chamber member for more than 25 years. “We like to see local merchants in the area,” he said. “I look forward to working with Barbra and the new officers.”

Slott, of Island Park, owns D. Slott Design, and has been a chamber member since 2008. This will be her third year as recording secretary.

“I love Island Park, and I want to see businesses in this community thrive,” she said. “I look forward to a great 2019 with the board and officers of the chamber.”

Rothman, the incoming treasurer and an Island Park resident for more than 40 years, is also the treasurer of the South Shore Jewish Center. He said he hoped to draw more attention to local businesses this year by continuing annual events and ribbon cuttings for new shop openings. “The survival of small businesses is essential to the survival of our community,” he said. “We encourage people to shop local and hope that businesses join the chamber.”

Rubin-Perry added that she would like to invite experts in marketing and advertising to speak at chamber meetings and help owners grow their businesses.

The Island Park Chamber of Commerce’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 7 at Pancho’s. Meetings are planned for the first Thursday of each month.