Valley Stream businessman Lee Feinman was honored as the 2019 Valley Stream Businessperson of the Year at the annual Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce breakfast on Oct. 18. The Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce selected him for the recognition due to his contributions to the community, as well as over 30 years running his business — Feinman, Rettig & Associates — a tax planning, insurance and financial consulting firm.
“I always had a desire to help people through financial literacy because it’s important to me,” Feinman said. “People will either live too long, die too soon, get sick or injured along the way and I’ve seen what happens when people fail to plan [their finances, insurance or taxes] and their lives end up ruined, so I wanted to educate people so they can be proactive.”
As a financial consultant, Feinman works with people to ensure that their financial affairs are in order. He helps people to plan for death, injury or sickness by aiding them in managing their finances through investments, retirement planning and insurance coverage to protect their cars, homes, savings and sources of income.
On a typical morning, Feinman arrives at his business at 7 a.m. to begin putting together applications and proposals for clients, and to meet with them to make sure their financial plans are working well for them.
He is constantly on-the-go, he said, working with brokers or agents of other companies to formulate plans to keep his clients from running out of money.
On many occasions, Feinman said, he found that his business has given him opportunities to help other people. On one such occasion, the husband of a client died suddenly, but because of Feinman’s planning, she was able to stay in her home, and prevented additional hardship on her children.
“Helping that family gave me a tremendous amount of satisfaction,” he said. “This is why I do what I do to help people protect what they’ve taken a lifetime to accumulate.”
Feinman, who graduated from Hofstra with a business-administration degree, found that his passion for business ownership always existed inside him, he said, and his favorite aspect is the opportunity for leadership.
“One of the best parts of owning a business is being able to call your own shots, and be your own boss,” he said. “Owning a business has helped me grow personally and professionally and has enriched me.”
In addition to recognizing his successful business in financial planning, the NCCC Businessperson of the Year Award also recognized Feinman for his contributions to the community, and his service on the board of directors for the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce since 2007 as well as his current role as vice president of the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce.
Feinman is also the treasurer of the Mill Brook Civic Association. In that role, he acts as the liaison between the Incorporated Village of Valley Stream, the Town of Hempstead, its representatives and departments. Additionally, he is an active participant on Valley Stream’s Sports, Parks, Arts and Recreation Committee or SPARC.
He also serves on the board of directors of Glen Oaks Village Owners Inc., which oversees a residential community of 2,400 co-op apartments in Queens, and over the years, has been actively involved in its real estate, mediation, admissions and house rules committees. Finally, Feinman has more than 30 years of experience in the banking, mortgage, finance and insurance industries.
Regarding the recognition from colleagues in the Valley Stream chamber: “It’s a privilege and an honor to have your peers and people you know appreciate the things you do.”