What does it take to be a Businessperson of the Year? It’s putting aside their personal time to serve, according to Frank Camarano Jr., president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce.
And it’s always finding a way to make each and every community in Nassau County a better place to work and live — and all 38 people and organizations who earned that honor this year have done exactly that.
Like the Bahnik family, the people behind the Mill-Max Manufacturing Co.. in Oyster Bay. They were honored for their efforts by the Oyster Bay/East Norwich Chamber of Commerce.
Mill-Max was founded by Roger Bahnik in Port Washington in 1971, but moved to a new factory on an abandoned san mine in Oyster Bay a short time later.
More than 50 years later, Mill-Max has grown into one of the premier manufacturers of electronic interconnects in the world, providing high-quality, precision-machined connectors to global manufacturers of high-reliability electronics in the industrial, medical, aerospace and telecom industries.
Mill-Max continues today under the leadership of Roger’s son, Claude Bahnik, who has worked at Mill-Max for more than 25 years, before taking over as chief executive in 2017.
The Bahnik family have long been avid supporters of their community, according to the Nassau Council of Chambers, making a meaningful impact serving as advisers and trustees to various nonprofit organizations not only in Oyster Bay, but across Long Island.
Also among the honorees is Alvin Hartley, from the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, who brings more than 25 years of strategic planning to the table, helping a number of organizations develop customer service and leadership and sales training, as well as marketing plans, budgets, strategy, concepts and training.
Hartley runs the chamber’s Business Solutions Center, all while handling counseling reporting as part of the federal Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program. He’s the chief executive and president of TMI & Partners.
Lia Di Angelo-Allan was honored by the North Shore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for her work on not only running Westbury Floral Designs, but also founding Butterflies & Zebras NYC in 2000.
She is known for her unique floral creations, strong customer relations skills, stunning weddings on a budget, business acumen, and giving back to the community, according to the Nassau Council of Chambers.
Di Angelo-Allan also is on the board of directors for the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce, and the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
She initiated a toy collection drive in 2016 for underprivileged children in Nassau County over the holidays, and expanded it to include her former home of Argentina in 2019. She also donates to soup kitchens, and works to build bathroom for paraplegic and quadriplegic children.