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By Julie Mansmann of the Long Island Herald
Members of the Wantagh Chamber of Commerce celebrated at the annual installation ceremony at the Riviera in Massapequa on Feb. 16. The organization’s new leaders said that they are looking forward to planning events, meetings residents and business owners and engaging in community service projects in 2017.
Patrick L.Y. Benot, of SwiftLife Computer Services, was installed as the chamber’s new president. First Vice President Matt Levin (First Infinity Coverage Group, Inc.), Second Vice President Heidi Felix (NEFCU), Financial Secretary Mitchell J. Rich (attorney), Recording Secretary Laurie Erb (Mi Casa Laundromat), and trustees Floyd Earl, Marlena Schein, Ryan Koutsogiannis (TD Bank), Tom Splescia (The Nook), Ira Reiter (Merrick Dodge Chrysler Jeep) and Anthony Suppa (Oregano Joe’s) were also sworn into their positions.
As president, Benot said he would enhance the chamber’s Internet presence and technological communication. He aims to create an online membership database; make a registration and renewal form for members on the chamber website; allow business owners to maintain their own pages on www.wcc.li; and create a WCC Instagram account.
Benot said he also plans to advertise the new events and programs that the chamber board will introduce this year. For instance, the organization will be hosting regular breakfast and lunch networking events so that business owners may get to know each other.
“We want to bring the chamber up to the 21st century,” he said of the new board. “I have a lot of new, innovative ideas about different methods to connect with everyone in the community.”
Chamber leaders also honored several merchants and community groups. Members of the Wantagh High School Key Club came to the ceremony to accept the Organization of the Year Award. The Beautification Award was presented to Koutsogiannis and Charles Godino, also of TD Bank.
Gregg Markin, of Andy’s Luggage and Leathergoods, was named the 2016 Business Person of the Year. Rich was the chamber’s citizen of the year.
Chamber officials also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Home. General Manager James Bruno, President Louis Guerra and Vice President Louis Bruno accepted the honor.