Message From President & Chief Executive Officer
Dear Queens Chamber Member and Friend:
Whether business or culture, not for profit or industry; the Queens Chamber of Commerce has re-embraced our 106 year legacy of being the oldest and largest business association in Queens.
Our mission and vision rings as loud, proud and true now as it did in 1911: “With over a century of leadership, the Queens Chamber of Commerce fosters economic growth and prosperity in the most diverse community in the United States by promoting the interests of business through advocacy, networking and education”
Today, the Chamber has grown to levels not seen in many years. We have achieved a membership level of 1,125 organizations; representing over 90,000 Queens-based employees.
In 2016, we connected our Members to each other, to New York City and New York State public resources and the business community at large. This was accomplished by further engaging Queens NYC Council Members, increasing discretionary funding as well as pursuing new opportunities through our work with NYC Small Business Services. We have expanded our relationships in the MWBE sector and fully support NYC and NYS efforts in this area.
Since the end of 2015, we have added 8 new Member Committees including Real Estate, Transportation, Healthcare & Wellness, Tech, Energy & Environmental, Restaurant & Hospitality, Not for Profit and Manufacturing. Today, we are preparing to launch our Entrepreneurship Committee in response to the overwhelming response we have had to a number of small business start-up and entrepreneurial events. As the home to 7 colleges and universities, with over 70,000 students, the Queens Chamber believes we are the fulcrum to harness the power of the academic world and the business environment here in Queens County.
Our Vision 2020 Strategic Plan has a number of key initiatives; chiefly among them be the focal catalyst in Queens, increase our brand prominence, support the World’s Borough, and increase market penetration throughout Queens. To this end, we plan our doubling our membership to 2,020 Members by the year 2020.
Another key way the Queens Chamber engages our Members and others is through events and seminars. In 2016, we organized over 250 paid events and complimentary seminars throughout the Borough. We are bringing these opportunities to areas in Queens where our previous coverage was not up to par. From Astoria to Rockaway, St. Albans to Whitestone, Long Island City to Jamaica and everywhere in between, the Queens Chamber is helping businesses grow and prosper by offering our expertise and knowledge of markets, access to capital, and introductions to industry leaders.
We also have business partner and affiliate agreements in place throughout the Borough. We have established relationships with the leaders and the major organizations and BIDs in Queens. We believe in the power of unity and working together for the common good.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce is especially proud of our working relationship with the Long Island City Partnership, the Greater Jamaica Development Corp and the Queens Economic Development Corp. Further, we are supporting the efforts of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, the JFK Chamber of Commerce and the Korean American Chamber of Commerce; all in Queens and all having varied interests and agendas. We recently have begun outreach to the Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation; among others to better position ourselves to be in support of their work and mission.
With a host of new events being held at a number of new venues, we will continue our outreach throughout Queens. The launch of this new website and our e-commerce platform will showcase and highlight our connectivity throughout Queens County, the City of New York and the great State of New York.
As the most ethnically diverse place on earth, the Queens Chamber of Commerce will continue to strive, unify, connect and live by the words, “E pluribus unum”, the traditional motto of these United States of America.
If you are a Member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce; thank you for your support. If you have not yet decided, please call me for a personal introduction to our Staff, our services and all that we have to offer!
Thomas J. Grech,
President & Chief Executive Officer,
Queens Chamber of Commerce
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Vision & Mission Statement
To be recognized as the premier comprehensive business resource and driver of prosperity resulting in a vibrant Queens.
To foster connections, educate for success, develop/implement programs and advocate for members’ interests.
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Bayside, New York
Bayside is an upper middle class neighborhood located in Northeastern Queens. This area is considered one of the most expensive and affluent neighborhoods in all of New York City. The detached suburban style homes in this area give off a vibe similar to that of other wealthy Queens communities such as Little Neck and Douglaston. As of the 2010 census, Bayside’s population consists of 47% whites, 37% Asians, 12% Hispanics, and 3% African American. Bayside’s diverse population includes the likes of Italian Americans, Greek Americans, along with Korean and Chinese Americans. Bayside also has a significant Puerto Rican community.
Flushing, New York
Flushing is an extremely diverse neighborhood located in Northeastern Queens. Though much of Flushing is considerably residential, a significant portion of the neighborhood is commercial teeming with businesses and a large retail industry. Flushing is the fourth largest central business district in New York City. This neighborhood also has a major Asian American population, a large majority being of Chinese and Korean descent. Flushing’s Chinatown is the fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclave in the United States. Main Street, Flushing has become the site of major Chinese businesses. These primarily owned Chinese shops and businesses have been expanding its reach since the 1970’s.
City Council Member: Peter Koo District 20NYS Assembly Member: Ron Kim District 40
NYS Senate Member: Toby Ann Stavisky District 16
Elmhurst, New York
Elmhurst, New York is a working/middle class neighborhood located in central Queens. Much like the surrounding neighborhoods of the Queens borough, Elmhurst consists of an extremely ethnically diverse population. By the 1980’s there were people from 112 different nations that took up residence in this neighborhood. Since then Elmhurst has only seen a more diverse crowd moving into the area. The largest ethnic groups in Elmhurst are Chinese Americans and Latino Americans. Elmhurst also has a significant shopping center that includes two malls, the Queens Center Mall and the Queens Place Mall.
Astoria, New York
Astoria is a large middle class and commercial neighborhood in the northwestern corner of Queens. Astoria has a population of 154,000 residents. It has a significant Greek demographic that is reflected in many small business in Astoria, with many restaurants and bakeries being Greek owned. During the mid-1970’s Astoria witnessed a huge surge in Arab and North African immigration. Astoria Boulevard consisting of many Arab shops is now unofficially known as “Little Egypt”. Recently Astoria has seen widespread development of its waterfront property, alongside the East river, with old forgotten neighborhoods experiencing an expansive revival.
Fresh Meadows, New York
Fresh Meadows is a mostly residential neighborhood located in the northeastern section of Queens. The actual name Fresh Meadows dates back to the American Revolution, with the British general, Benedict Arnold, setting up camp with his soldiers in this area. It was called Fresh Meadows due to the abundance of freshwater springs that could be found. Fast forward to present day, Fresh Meadows is now a neighborhood with a thriving Jewish community. The cost of living in Fresh Meadows is twice that of the national average, with younger populations of Asian Americans, Israelis, and Bukharian Jews taking up residence in the area.
Jackson Heights, New York
Jackson Heights is considered one of the most, if not the most, diverse neighborhoods in all of New York City. It is located in central Queens, with an incredible vast array of ethnic groups living in the area. Half of the population of Jackson Heights is foreign born as of 2000. It is home to a large population of South Americans especially Columbians and Ecuadorians. Jackson Heights also houses a large South Asian population including Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis. Most businesses in this area are Asian or Hispanic owned. With enclaves like little India, little Bangladesh, and little Columbia, Jackson Heights’ diverse culture is unmatched by any other place in New York City
Sunnyside, New York
Sunnyside is a middle class neighborhood located in the western section of Queens. The subsection Sunnyside Gardens was one of the first planned communities in the United States. This area includes multiple brownstones varying from one story homes to threes story homes. As of 2007 there was a successful grassroots movement to establish Sunnyside Gardens as a national historic district, which includes 66 contributing buildings and 12 contributing sites. Sunnyside much like the rest of Queens is an ethnically diverse neighborhood, consisting of Latin Americans, Korean Americans, Chinese Americans, and Indian Americans.
St. Albans, New York
St. Albans is a middle class neighborhood in southeastern Queens, with a very rich and diverse history. There’s small enclave in St. Albans to the west of Addisleigh Park that housed notable African Americans, including Jackie Robinson, W.E.B Dubois, and more than a handful of influential musicians. These musicians included the likes of Miles Davis, James Brown, LL Cool J, and A Tribe Called Quest. During the 1970’s and 1980’s a huge surge of hip hop artists emerged from St. Albans and its surrounding area. The national historic district of Addisleigh Park was once a segregated housing district only allowing whites but as of today it is a predominantly affluent black neighborhood.
Jamaica, New York
Jamaica is a diversely populated middle class neighborhood located in southeastern Queens. Jamaica also hosts numerous government buildings including the Queens Civil Court, the civil branch of the Queens County Supreme Court, and the Queens County Family Court along with several other buildings. Jamaica is reflective of the fact that Queens is the most diverse location in the United States, including a large African American population along with sizable Hispanic and Asian communities. The diverse stores and shops in Jamaica are indicative of a lively Caribbean and South American culture. There is also a booming Indian and Bangladeshi population, with an areas in Jamaica being referred to as a little South Asia due to the countless Asian owned small business expanding in this diverse neighborhood.
Forest Hills, New York
Forest Hills is an upper middle class neighborhood in central Queens. It has some of the most expensive residential properties in queens, especially Forest Hill gardens, with houses ranging from detached two story homes to attached townhouses. Historically Forest Hills has been a predominantly German and Jewish neighborhood, however as of recent there has been an influx of Bukharin Jews from Uzbekistan. Forest Hills was once also the location of U.S open tennis tournament, at West Side Tennis club, until it was moved to Flushing Meadows Park. Now the tennis stadium is used as a venue for large concerts.
Glendale, New York
Glendale, an upper middle class neighborhood, located in western Queens was originally a swampy area known as Fresh Ponds. Now Glendale has become a quiet residential neighborhood in Queens, known especially for their German restaurants. Traditionally Glendale has had a significant number of German residents which is reflected in many of the German businesses in the area. However, over the last decade or two, Glendale has witnessed a westernization in its local businesses. Most residents of Glendale are either of German or Italian descent with a recent influx of Eastern Europeans and Hispanics.
Ozone Park, New York
Ozone Park is a working class neighborhood located in the southwestern portion of Queens. Ozone Park is known for its Aqueduct Racetrack, a popular thoroughbred racing spot. The neighborhood is also known for its prominent Italian American population. Since the beginning of Ozone Park’s history it has been a center for immigrant communities. Though the majority of immigrants were Italians during the 1900’s, the turn of the century saw an influx of Latin American, South Asian, and West Indian communities. With these new arrivals, Ozone Park is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing ethnically diverse communities in New York City.
Rockaway, New York
Rockaway, also known as the Rockaways, is a peninsula on Long Island in Queens. It encompasses the neighborhoods, Breezy Point, Far Rockaway, and Rockaway Beach. Rockaway has a diverse mixture of lower, middle, and upper class residents. It is relatively isolated from the city, and is a popular summer retreat for many Manhattan residents. It is also one of the most rapidly gentrified neighborhoods in all of New York, especially Queens. Rockaway is increasingly becoming known for its well-kept beaches and recent waterfront property expansions. Rezoning and new development projects has paved ways for new residents to move into the area, often bringing increased economic benefits with them.
Rochdale is a Housing foundation/ Co-op and neighborhood in the southeastern corner of Queens. Located in Community Board 12, Rochdale Village is grouped as part of Greater Jamaica, corresponding to the former Town of Jamaica. Rochdale Village was named after the English town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, where the Rochdale Pioneers developed the Rochdale Principles of cooperation. Rochdale Village, sometimes called the "Jewel of Jamaica", is located on a 120-acre residential park. It consists of 20 buildings in five circular groups.
Mayra DiRico is selected as the first foreign-born, female President of the Queens Chamber Board of Director
Thomas J. Grech becomes the Chamber’s Executive Director
Under the stewardship of Executive Director Jack Friedman, the Queens Chamber takes on a major relief role after Hurricane Sandy
Queens Chamber celebrates its’ Centennial of 100 years of service to the community
After a terrorist attack destroys the World Trade Center, Chamber coordinates donations and volunteer recovery and relief activities.
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
Chamber Executives meet with City representatives seeking support for a study on building a mid-sized convention center in Queens
The Port Authority contracts for construction of the first phase of the Airport Access system at JFK International Airport
Chamber celebrates 85th anniversary by honoring past presidents.
Chamber moves to Bulova Corporate Center, 75-20 Astoria Boulevard, Jackson Heights.
Chamber begins "Queens Chamber Today," a program on Queens Public Television (QPTV)
Lucy C. Nunziato is appointed the first woman Executive Director of the Chamber
Chamber hosts its first annual business expo.Apr
Margaret "Peg" Swezey of Citibank is elected the Chamber's 27th President, the first woman to hold this position
Chamber moves to new offices at 29-15 Queens Plaza North, where it remains for 13 years.Jan
Chamber announces plans to issue "scorecards" on elected officials' positions on business issues.
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
Sister Thomas Francis, executive director of St. John's Queens Hospital, becomes the first woman to address a Chamber luncheon
To welcome the arrival of the New York Mets to Shea Stadium, Chamber hosts organizational meeting of the Queens Mets Booster Club
Chamber President Ira H. Genet appointed to Temporary State Commission on the 1964-5 World's Fair
John T. Clancy, who served six terms as Chamber president, becomes Borough President.
Chamber sponsors a series of television programs, principally on business and community life in Queens, in conjunction with New York City's Summer Festival
Former Chamber president James A. Lundy sworn in as Queens Borough President.
In series of meetings with civic groups, Chamber proposes broad transit expansion program in Queens.
Chamber announces plans, never realized, for its own building. A site selection committee is formed.
Chamber forms industrial Council to pool the borough's manufacturing resources for defense.
Chamber announces plans for a pavilion at the New York World's Fair.
At Chamber fete, President Roosevelt breaks ground for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.
Chamber designated to represent National Recovery Administration in Queens.
Chamber's Aviation Committee recommends construction of airports along Flushing and Jamaica bays.
Chamber inaugurates Annual Building Awards contest to honor outstanding buildings in the borough.
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.Jun
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.
Chamber announces results of its first survey of business hours, holidays and vacation policies.
Chamber places advertisements in The New York Globe promoting Queens.
Chamber accepts its first female member, Mrs. V. Koelbel of the Model Brassiere Company, Elmhurst.
Chamber members gather in the Club Room to hear the presidential election returns. This becomes a quadrennial tradition for a number of years.
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.Jan
Chamber launches drive to decorate the Long Island Rail Road ferry terminal at Hunters Point to welcome back troops from World War I.
Chamber cancels 7th annual dinner and instead creates a fund for the Red Cross war effort.Jan
Former president William Taft addresses Chamber's sixth annual dinner at Biltmore Hotel, January 20.Jan
Former president William Taft addresses Chamber's sixth annual dinner at Biltmore Hotel, January 20.
Chamber establishes traffic and industrial bureaus.
Chamber joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber begins placing advertisements promoting Queens in trolley cars of New York & Queens County Railway.Jun
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.
Chamber publishes its first Bulletin, which by September 1915 evolves into QueensBorough magazine.Jun
At the request of Borough President Maurice Connolly, Queens Chamber of Commerce approves the design of a flag for the Borough of Queens.Apr
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
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.Jan
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.
Community Partners and Affiliates
These organizations offer networking and information opportunities for your everyday needs
82nd Street Partnership
Leslie Ramos, Executive Director
Asian Women In Business
Ms. Bonnie Wong
212.868.1368 | 212.868.1373
Bayside Business Association
Ms. Judith Limpert, President
Bayside Village BID
Mr. Lyle Sclair, Executive Director
Beach 116th Street Partnership
Estonian-American Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Krista Altok Tassa
Flushing Chinese Business Association
Mr. Peter Tu / Executive Director
516.850.6620 | 718.961.2931
Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce
Greater Jamaica Development Corporation
718.291.0282 ? 718.658.1405
Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation
Ms. Maria Thomson, Exec Director
Guyanese American Business and Professional Council
Ms. Shanie Persaud
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Alfonso Quiroz, President
Jamaica Center Business
Valerie Stevens, Executive Director
90-50 Parsons Blvd. Suite 402
Jamaica, NY 11432
JFK International Airport Chamber of Commerce
Junction Boulevard Merchants Association
Mr. John Ferreira
Long Island City Partnership
Long Island City Partnership
Elizabeth Lusskin, President
Maspeth Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 780265
Maspeth, New York, 11378-0265
Middle Village Chamber of Commerce
7947 Metropolitan Ave
Middle Village, New York
National Association of
Hispanic Real Estate Professionals
(NAHREP) NY - Queens Chapter
President, Nancy Vargas-Johnson
26 Railroad Avenue #130, Babylon, NY 11702
Queens Economic Development Corporation
Mr. Seth Bornstein
Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation
Mr. Kevin Alexander
Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Wexler Elias, President
Southeast Queens Chamber of Commerce
Reverend R. Simone Lord
Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce
Rico Cardoso, President
Rachel Thieme, Executive Director
Turkish American Business Improvement
& Development Council
Mr. Gokhan Ozkok
Woodside on the Move
Mr. Rosa M. Reyes
Mayra DiRico - Chairperson Howard Graf - First Vice President Henry Wan -Treasurer Nash Roe- Secretary Fran Biderman-Gross - Associate Treasurer Richard Dzwlewicz - Associate Secretary Albert F Pennisi -Immediate Past President Thomas J. Grech - President & Chief Executive Officer
Board of Directors
Joshua E. Bienstock
Dispute Resolution Institute of New York
New York Presbyterian/Queens
Kenneth J. Buettner
York Scaffold Equipment Corp.
Charles E. Callahan
Carol Ann Conslato
Consolidated Edison Co. of NY, Inc.
Crifasi Real Estate, Inc.
TD Bank, NA
Joseph R. Ficalora
New York Community Bank
Howard Graf, A.I.A.
Graf & Lewent Architects
Raymond J. Irrera
Raymond Irrera + Associates Architects, P.C.
Roosevelt Building Maintenance Co., Inc.
Lee & Associates
Webline Designs, Inc.
Jeffrey E. Levine
Levine Builders, Inc.
Port Authority of NY & NJ
Queens Center Mall
Albert F. Pennisi
Pennisi, Daniels & Norelli LLP
Vincent L. Petraro, Esq.
Law Office of Vincent L. Petraro, PLLC
John Hancock Financial Network
Queens College CUNY
Greater NY Automobile Dealers Association
Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens
Resorts World Casino New York
Thomson Strategies, L.L.C.
Runway Tire Service, Inc
Greiner Maltz Company of NY
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
US Tennis Association
Thomas J. Grech
President & Chief Executive Officer
Chief of Operations
Strategic Program Coordinator
Manager of Committee Development & Member Engagement
Business Development Manager
Community Outreach Liaison
Community Outreach Liaison
Chamber On-the-Go Representative