Merrick and Bellmore’s chambers of commerce have named their business leaders of the year.
Merrick Chamber of Commerce honors Therese Mora
Gathering with more than 600 business owners representing more than 30 chambers, the two honorees were among dozens awarded at the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce’s award breakfast on Oct. 18.
“Small business, no matter how tough, is alive and well,” said Merrick’s Queen of Hearts owner Julie Marchesella, who arranged the 35th Businessperson of the Year and Legislative Breakfast as the council’s legislative chairwoman.
Each honoree is the area’s Businessperson of the Year, selected on their commitment to bettering their community.
The Merrick Chamber of Commerce has chosen Therese Mora, manager of the team at Investors Bank in Merrick, as their Businessperson of the Year.
Throughout her career, Mora has combined her profession with her community philanthropy. She opened the Investors Bank branch more than two years ago, but started at Chase after graduating from Adelphi University with a dual bachelor’s degree in business and education. While developing branches in North Babylon and Huntington Village as a vice president for TD Bank, Mora used her education background to train young newcomers who were looking for guidance in their careers, she said.
Mora has worked with the Book Fairies to donate to Martin L. King Jr. Elementary School while working nearby in North Babylon. After discovering the school did not have a dedicated library, she and the Book Fairies donated roughly 4,500 books in 2009 to start one.
In November, Mora will return to the school with the Book Fairies to break a world record — the longest line of books ever laid out. Residents can join Mora at the event on Nov. 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the elementary school at 792 Mount Ave. in Wyandanch.
After receiving her associate’s degree in early childhood education from SUNY Farmingdale, Mora served as the president of the Early Childhood Club, during which she helped start a nursery school that is still operational.
Aside from being a business owner, Mora is a board member on the Merrick Chamber of Commerce and a mother of four. She contributes to the community wherever she can, such as supplying gift bags for the Merrick American Legion’s annual veterans barbeque.
“I just love Merrick — there are so many different types of people and cultures,” Mora said. “Getting involved in the community is what Investors Bank is all about — and what I’m about too.”
Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores honors Michael Pittakas
The Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores honored Michael Pittakas as their Businessperson of the Year. Pittakas opened CWC Security in Bellmore in 2006.
For Pittakas, owning a security company is all about meeting customers’ individual needs with individualized attention — and that varies across the company’s North and South Shore span.
A Bellmore resident for 12 years, Pittakas is an active board member for the chamber, sponsoring their annual car show and helping to promote other small businesses. Pittakas said he loves the area’s “small-town community” in which “everybody knows everybody.”
Along with his seemingly endless business hours and chamber involvement, Pittakas is a husband and father of two young daughters.