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Town Clerk Leslie Gross was the guest speaker at the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Meeting at Fish-Kebab on Sept. 9. She shared information about the upcoming initiatives of the Town of North Hempstead. Pictured here with the town clerk are Port Washington Chamber of Commerce member Nesli Ciner (owner of Tava Restaurant) and Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Co-President Richard Strautman.
At the September meeting of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Co-president Warren Schein welcomed six new members: Allstate Insurance, Brien Sullivan Agency and Brien Sullivan, located at 925 Port Washington Blvd.; AslanTrends USA Corp. and CEO Angelo Fernandez, a knitting yarn wholesaler located at 8 Maple Street; Ladmar Associates, Ltd. and president Linda Marra, an insurance and financial services business located at 10 Maple Street; MSP International Consulting, Inc. and international business development director Peter Tal, an international trade consulting business located at 7 Pequot Avenue; My Little World Daycare, Inc. and director Myriam Signorini, located at 2 Beverly Road; and Pig Pen Studios, Inc. and president Bill Heapps, a graphic design, advertising and photography business located at 30 Manorhaven Blvd. Schein thanked Sid Segall for bringing in two new members.

The guest speaker for September was TONH Town Clerk Leslie Gross. In introducting her, Schein said she has taken her job to the next level and is the nicest person to know. Gross said she is at home in Port Washington. Although she grew up in Great Neck, she has lived here for 28 years. Before she became town clerk, she was a trustee of North Shore Hospital, president of the Rotary Club, head of the BTDC and, in general, has always been very pro business. At the BTDC, she arranged for all the chambers in the town to communicate with each other. Louise Fishman is now in charge and Strautman is working on setting up their website.

She is often asked what the town clerk does. She is a resource for documents such as birth and death certificates. Often, the town clerk's office is the only contact people have with their local government. She is chief registrar and signs every birth certificate and performs about 100 marriages a year. She serves as secretary to the town board and posts the agendas on the town's website. When she was at the BTDC, she had two television programs on the town TV station, which is either channel 18 or 73, depending on where you live. One show was called "A Taste of the Town" and was about memories of food.

Gross brought many handouts with her. Some concern the need for businesses to get "more green." She noted that businesspeople should urge their garbage carters to keep the recyclables separate. She is planning a seminar to help businesses go green.

The winner for September was Lucy Mazany of State Bank of Long Island.

Mazany said she is the regional manager for State Bank and has been in the business for 20 years. State Bank of Long Island was started 40 years ago by a group of small businesspeople. Today it is the largest independent bank on Long Island with over $1 billion in assets. She stressed that it is important to protect your own assets and be aware of possible fraud. No one person should have complete control of your assets. If you have online banking, you should look at your account on a daily basis. Although you have one year to claim fraud on a forged signature, you only have 14 days for other transactions. State Bank has a program called Positive Pay. You can submit to the bank what checks you wrote and the bank will check them against the checks coming in on your account. The bank will do the reconciliation for you. You can also have Remote Capture, where you scan your checks and send them to the bank. If you don't want to give out your account number, the bank will issue you a UPIC, which masks your real account number.

Schein thanked Mazany for the advice and information.

Schein announced that in October and November chamber meetings will be on the third Tuesday of the month instead of the second Tuesday. The November meeting will be on Nov. 18 because the original meeting date is Veterans Day.

Schein then reported that Brenda Garfield was the unanimous choice of the executive board for Port Washington's Small Businessperson of the Year. She was honored at the annual Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce breakfast in October.

Suzanne Ressa said the Helen Keller National Center has a ribbon cutting ceremony in October for the Destiny House, which is the first home for deaf-blind people in New York State.

Dep. Chief Ron DeMeo warned that a local business suffered huge losses because an employee was misdirecting their checks. Alice Melzer warned that everyone should beware of emails telling you that something is wrong with your account. Kathy Levinson said she found her debit card numbers were taken and there were huge charges for travel. DeMeo warned not to confirm your card numbers on the Internet. Dave Allen warned that PayPal accounts may be the target of thieves on a "fishing expedition."

Phyllis Joseph also said that the new season at the Jeanne Rimsky opens in October. Christine Ebersole will be the first performance. Nov. 5 is the Landmark Gala with Brian Stokes Mitchell.


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