Join the Chamber

Our History

January 1911

Fifteen Queens businessmen sign an agreement to form Queens Chamber of Commerce.

April 1911

Chamber holds first meeting on April 20 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan; 55 charter members in attendance. Offices established at 4 Herriman Avenue (now 90-25 161st Street), Jamaica.

May 1911

Chamber incorporated by State of New York.

January 1912

Chamber holds its first annual dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, January 11. Addresses by Queens Borough President Maurice Connelly, Court of Special Sessions Chief Justice Isaac Franklin Russell and Tenement House Commissioner John Murphy.

September 1912

Chamber moves to offices in the Electric Building (formerly the Queens Plaza Court Building), 28-11 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City. A separate dining room is established as the Plaza Lunch Club, but is absorbed by the Chamber by the 1920s.

Spring 1913

Chamber publishes 144-page book, Queensborough, featuring information on industry and residences in the borough. The Chamber issued new versions of this book in 1914, 1920

June 1913

At the request of Borough President Maurice Connolly, Queens Chamber of Commerce approves the design of a flag for the Borough of Queens.

December 1913

Chamber publishes its first Bulletin, which by September 1915 evolves into QueensBorough magazine.

June 1915

Members of the Chamber's transit committee officiate at the opening of the Queensboro elevated line, June 22; Chamber Secretary Walter Willis purchases first ticket.

September 1915

Chamber joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 
Chamber begins placing advertisements promoting Queens in trolley cars of New York & Queens County Railway.

August 1916

Chamber establishes traffic and industrial bureaus.

January 1917

Former president William Taft addresses Chamber's sixth annual dinner at Biltmore Hotel, January 20.

November 1917

Chamber cancels 7th annual dinner and instead creates a fund for the Red Cross war effort.

January 1919

Chamber launches drive to decorate the Long Island Rail Road ferry terminal at Hunters Point to welcome back troops from World War I.

July 1919

Chamber luncheon honors crew members of the first trans-Atlantic flight, which left the Rockaways on May 8, 1919 and landed in Lisbon, Portugal on May 27.

November 1920

Chamber members gather in the Club Room to hear the presidential election returns. This becomes a quadrennial tradition for a number of years.

September 1921

Chamber accepts its first female member, Mrs. V. Koelbel of the Model Brassiere Company, Elmhurst.

1922

Chamber places advertisements in The New York Globe promoting Queens.

March 1924

Chamber announces results of its first survey of business hours, holidays and vacation policies.

June 1925

Chamber moves to new offices on the top floor of the Crescent Plaza Building, 24-16 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City. Facilities include a conference room, dining room with daily luncheon service, and club room. Later the building is renamed the Chamber of Commerce building; this name remains today.

September 1925

Chamber's transit committee suggests construction of a transit station in the Sunnyside Yard to allow connections between the Interboro and B.M.T. "els," the Long Island, New York, New Haven & Hartford, and New York, Westchester & Boston railroads. Chambers formally endorses the recommendation in December.

1926

Chamber inaugurates Annual Building Awards contest to honor outstanding buildings in the borough.

1930

Chamber's Aviation Committee recommends construction of airports along Flushing and Jamaica bays.

1933

Chamber designated to represent National Recovery Administration in Queens.

October 1936

At Chamber fete, President Roosevelt breaks ground for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.

February 1938

Chamber announces plans for a pavilion at the New York World's Fair.

1943

Chamber forms industrial Council to pool the borough's manufacturing resources for defense.

January 1946

Chamber announces plans, never realized, for its own building. A site selection committee is formed.

1949

In series of meetings with civic groups, Chamber proposes broad transit expansion program in Queens.

January 1952

Former Chamber president James A. Lundy sworn in as Queens Borough President.

1954

Chamber sponsors a series of television programs, principally on business and community life in Queens, in conjunction with New York City's Summer Festival

January 1959

John T. Clancy, who served six terms as Chamber president, becomes Borough President.

1960

Chamber President Ira H. Genet appointed to Temporary State Commission on the 1964-5 World's Fair

1964

To welcome the arrival of the New York Mets to Shea Stadium, Chamber hosts organizational meeting of the Queens Mets Booster Club

1976

Sister Thomas Francis, executive director of St. John's Queens Hospital, becomes the first woman to address a Chamber luncheon

1977

Sister Thomas Francis of St. John's Queens Hospital and Margaret Swezey of Citibank become the first female members of Chamber's board of directors

April 1982

Chamber moves to new offices at 29-15 Queens Plaza North, where it remains for 13 years.

April 1983

Margaret "Peg" Swezey of Citibank is elected the Chamber's 27th President, the first woman to hold this position

1983

Chamber hosts its first annual business expo.

1992

Chamber announces plans to issue "scorecards" on elected officials' positions on business issues.

March 1993

Lucy C. Nunziato is appointed the first woman Executive Director of the Chamber

1994

Chamber begins "Queens Chamber Today," a program on Queens Public Television (QPTV)

April 1995

Chamber moves to Bulova Corporate Center, 75-20 Astoria Boulevard, Jackson Heights.

June 1997

Chamber celebrates 85th anniversary by honoring past presidents.

1998

The Port Authority contracts for construction of the first phase of the Airport Access system at JFK International Airport

October 1999

Chamber Executives meet with City representatives seeking support for a study on building a mid-sized convention center in Queens

April 2000

Chamber establishes new Sub-Committees to keep in step with the change in the County: Telecommunications Sub-Committee, Export Sub-Committee, Education Sub-Committee and the Minority and Women Owned Business Sub-Committee

September 2001

After a terrorist attack destroys the World Trade Center, Chamber coordinates donations and volunteer recovery and relief activities.

Major Corporate Sponsors