After being installed as the new Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce president in a virtual ceremony on Jan. 14, Cory Hirsch said his goals included increasing membership and aiding local businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
Hirsch, 33, said businesses have been affected like never before because of the virus, with some having to close for good, and he said he planned to use technology to foster better communication between the chamber and small business owners.
“It’s my intention to grow our social media presence, as well as our physical presence around town,” he said. “It’s also so important to [communicate] over FaceTime with local businesses, because this gives us the opportunity to hear from the business owners about what their struggles are and how we can best support them.”
In addition to expanding on the work of previous chamber presidents and board members, Hirsch said he hoped to support local businesses using specific strategies to spur their growth.
To achieve those goals, he said he would start by working to increase the chamber’s name recognition — which he said would in turn lead to more support for local shops and eateries and other businesses.
Hirsch said he also hoped to work closely with Mayor Alan Beach, the village board and member businesses to assist them during the pandemic.
Despite experiencing a trying 2020, Hirsch said he is still optimistic for what 2021 will bring and said he looked forward to taking on the new role because he is drawn toward helping his community. Previously, he was a Lynbrook Fire Department member for eight years, and he has also been involved in business endeavors in the village, including owning ad operating CPA Realty, at 273 Merrick Road in Lynbrook.
“I’m confident that I will be able to bring new ideas to the chamber, and I’m humbled, very excited and very thankful to the membership of the chamber for trusting me with this new position,” Hirsch said. “I do believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m optimistic that during my term we will begin to get back to normal. I’m excited to be able to support our local businesses as things open up again and help our businesses to thrive in the coming years.”
Hirsch said he planned to lean on more experienced board members for their advice. “I’m fairly new to the chamber in comparison with a lot of the other board members, and I have been well prepared for the role by the outgoing President Steve Wangel,” he said. “I’m grateful to Wangel for all his guidance leading up to this point, and it’s reassuring to know that I will still be able to work with him as I settle into this new role.”
Wangel, who recently completed his two-year term as president, said he is now settling into his role as a chamber board member, and he will serve on a variety of committees within the organization.
He looks forward to offering his input, and he said he is experiencing mixed emotions about completing his term as president.
“It’s a double-sided coin because there’s a sense of relief that I’m passing on the responsibilities, but at the same time, being Chamber of Commerce president was thrilling and I will miss being in the position,” he said. “It’s my time to pass the baton to the vice president, and I’m looking forward to Cory being president because he has many new ideas that I can’t wait to help assist him in bringing to fruition.”
Wangel owns and operates the Kitchen Loft, at 10 Union Ave. in the village. His advice to Hirsch about his new role was to stay organized and prioritize his projects.
“My advice to Cory is that he should always keep in mind that when the business community benefits, the Lynbrook community benefits,” Wangel said. “We need to help people understand the importance of supporting local businesses because when they support local businesses, they are aiding in supporting many community endeavors, such as charitable organizations and Little League. The more we support local businesses, the more we can support our shoppers’ endeavors.”
Aside from Hirsch, other executive officers sworn in to two-year terms included treasurer Shirish Mohile and Secretary Eleanor Jobaggy. Vice presidents sworn into one-year terms included Jeff Greenfield (government affairs); David O’Neil (membership); Herald Community Newspapers’ Rhonda Glickman (public relations) and Bruce Hafner (counsel to the chamber). Directors sworn into one-year terms included Lloyd Chrein; Scott Hastings; Donald Janonis; Stuart Neufeld; Allison Shapiro-Winterton; and former presidents Wangel; Harry Levitt; Harold Reese; Denise Rogers; and Polly Talbot.
The Chamber of Commerce also welcomed four new board members during its virtual ceremony, including Michela Argento (representing Lynbrook Little League), Sue Burgher (Kingdom Ambassadors Global Ministries), Nazia DeFrank (The Gourmet Ghee Company) and Monica Rubin (School of Rock).