Ed Asip became the new president of the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce last week.
“I’ve been the treasurer for the last 10 years,” Asip said. “It just seemed like the timing was right, and that it was the right thing to do.”
Asip, who is retired from Chase Bank, said that he now has the time to devote to helping the business community. He brings more than 40 years of sales management and consulting experience, delivering complex, technology-focused business solutions to retail and commercial banks.
“I have the skills, I have the time and I have the knowledge to do the job,” he said. “We have a really strong board. I’ve worked with several of these people for a long time.”
Mayor Francis Murray swore in Asip and the new members of the executive board — Vice President Donna O’Reilly Eineman, of Douglas Elliman; Secretary Carol O’Leary, of Coach Realtors; and Treasurer Tom Bogue, of Flushing Bank — at the chamber’s annual installation dinner on Jan. 25 at MacArthur Park Restaurant.
Outgoing President Lisa Umansky, the owner of Polka Dot Pound Cake, said that she offered to serve a third year as president, but traditionally, the presidency is a two-year term.
“It was a great two years,” Umansky said. “I enjoyed my time as president of the chamber. We did a lot for the community.”
Umansky said that Asip volunteered to step into the role, and is the perfect candidate for the position. “He’s been a member for many years, and knows all the ins and outs of the chamber,” Umansky said. “I look forward to seeing what we do in the future.”
Looking ahead, Asip said that his goal is to help improve the organization’s growth, communication and consistency.
“I’m excited about working with the board I have,” he said. “I think they’re a bunch of dedicated people, and they really care about the village.”
Since being sworn in, Asip has already taken steps to helping the business community grow. “I want to start by improving our internal and external communications, and really focus on certain things to help bring Rockville Centre back as the downtown hub of choice again,” he said. “It’s up to us to make (businesses) want to stay.”
Asip said he had already started the process of developing new committees, including one devoted to retaining membership.
In order to maintain a presence in the community, he also suggested finding ways to leverage some of the chamber’s major events in the village to add more focus to the downtown area.
For example, Asip suggested looking for ways to expand the organization’s annual Playing on the Porch music festival to give local restaurants the chance to get together to host some of the performances around the community, instead of focusing only on residences and block parties.
Another major chamber event has been its annual Eat, Shop, Rock street fair. After a successful eight-year run, however, the event was discontinued in 2023.
Even though a street fair is no longer an option, Asip said he hoped to see more events that encourage shopping all around the village, including shops on Long Beach Road and Village Avenue.
“My goal is to spread that out and to work with the village more closely to coordinate activities,” he said.
Asip has served in leadership positions before. He was president of the Lions Club from 2011 to 2013 and has held a number of positions on the organization’s executive board.
Lions Club International is the world’s largest service club organization, and the local club provides grant funding for local nonprofits and helps charitable and civic organizations provide diabetes education, research and detection, vision screenings and eyeglass recycling, and eye care services for those at risk of losing their sight. The organization has also been one of the leading forces behind the construction of Mr. B’s Inclusive Playground and helps raise money with several popular community events, including the annual Walking Rally, the Duck Pluck and the RVC restaurant crawl.