There was a Memorial Day parade in May, the fireworks extravaganza at Firemen’s Field in July, weekly concerts on the Village Green throughout the summer and Community Fest in September. All of these events and more were made possible by the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce, which, in addition to its mission of welcoming and supporting local businesses, also serves as a resource for the greater Valley Stream community.
“All of this could not be accomplished without the help of the executive committee and the board of directors of the chamber,” President Dominick Minerva said of the organization’s volunteers and organizers. He spoke at the group’s annual installation dinner on Oct. 3 at Pompei in West Hempstead, where Mayor Ed Fare swore in new and returning committee and board members.
“It’s pretty amazing what the chamber does,” Fare said, listing some of the many events and initiatives the group helps to make possible, including the most recent Community Fest, which drew thousands of residents and visitors to Rockaway Avenue. “. . . Nothing is nicer than people who give of themselves, and I’m surrounded by them,” he added.
“We welcome anyone who’s interested in joining the chamber,” said returning Executive Vice President Debbi Gyulay. “We’re a very welcoming and friendly group.”
Gyulay volunteers for the chamber, including helping to organize its monthly meetings, Community Fest — which the chamber co-sponsors — and the village’s upcoming pumpkin-painting contest on Oct. 19 at Hendrickson Park. She was also the Valley Stream Herald’s 2018 person of the year.
New on the executive board this year was Lee Feinman as vice president. He is a managing partner at a tax-consultancy firm, and said a chamber of commerce membership can serve as a vital resource for any business regardless of size, providing networking opportunities, credibility, marketing and advocacy for local business communities.
“Whether you’re a business with no employees or have employees in the thousands, you can enjoy an exceptional return on investment by leveraging your chamber’s marketing, savings, advocacy and networking benefits,” he said.
For Valley Stream, newly installed Secretary Sandra Shanhai said, its increasing diversity is more and more becoming a valuable asset for the business community. “In Valley Stream, you can pretty much get just about anything that you want, especially with regards to food.”
And for her, the chamber is a vital support network for local businesses to help them, she said, “be the very best they can be.”