Each year, Staten Island’s business community gathers at a variety of mixers, galas, expos and conferences – each with a particular fundraising or networking initiative in mind. Many of these functions have been celebrated for decades: Signature, can’t-miss events that demand months of preparation and are attended by a who’s who of local faces. So mark your calendar, because this is what’s on tap for 2019:
Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
With more than 700 members across 250 different categories, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce has a rich borough history, serving the need of merchants and residents since 1895. Chamber membership ranges from small, family-owned storefront shops to leading institutions and large employers, the vast majority of members are small companies with fewer than 10 employees. And the organization makes great effort to gather the Staten Island business population together on a regular basis at mixers, galas and informational expo events.
Young Professionals Group Mixers – Monthly:
This faction of the Chamber meets on a monthly basis at a variety of different venues throughout the borough to socialize, network and foster new business relations. Members are from several different industries – healthcare, retail, law, finance and non-profit to name a few – and YPG’s goal is to connect these groups as needed.
Business After Hours – Quarterly:
Headlined by complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, these networking events attract business professionals including many company owners and presidents. Event sponsors represent a wide range of industries and each meeting is billed as an opportunity to uncover new business prospects and gather information on products and services your company needs.
Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Awards – February:
The Louis R. Miller Leadership Awards Breakfast is a prestigious event highlighting the accomplishments of outstanding small business owners and not-for-profit organization executives on Staten Island. This year’s event will honor Dr. Kenneth Byalin, Integration Charter Schools; the Rev. Dr. Demetrius Carolina, Central Family Life Center; Keith Cummings, KCM Plumbing; Massimo Di- Donna, Partners in Sound Productions Inc.; Annamarie Gulino Gentile, Angiuli & Gentile LLP; Danielle Reyes, Wealth & Legacy Group; Debra Surmanek, Ivy Branding & Marketing group and Tariq Zaid, Richmond Hood Co. The awards ceremony is currently slated for February 13, 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Gala – April:
Now in its 124th year, this is the Chamber’s longest running event. The theme and venue change annually and a variety of businesses sponsor it, making the Gala the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Chamber. This year’s Gala is currently slated for April 13, 2019 at a Taste of Honey Caterers on Victory Blvd.
Twilight 9-Hole Golf Outing – May:
The Chamber recently refined the format of its traditional, all-day, 18-hole Annual Richard B. Irwin Memorial Golf Outing, offering a shorter Twilight 9-Hole Golf Outing followed by a cocktail reception and buffet dinner. Popular Hole-in-One challenges net famed motorcycle and vacation prizes.
ChamberCon – October:
This annual membership meeting and community showcase held each year at the Hilton Garden Inn features a member breakfast, award presentations for businesses celebrating milestone anniversaries and several keynote speakers.
Building Awards – December:
Excellence in residential and commercial construction is recognized each year at the Chamber’s annual Building Awards Ceremony. The affair celebrates both new construction and renovations, bestowing the prestigious Chairman’s and President’s Award to properties who have achieved its highest honors. The Albert P. Melniker Award is presented to a special person, group, or structure that enhances the quality of life on Staten Island.
Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC)
Dedicated to improving Staten Island’s economy and assisting small business, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) has served as an advocate for economic development on Staten Island since 1993. The group’s events, which gather the Staten Island business community together at least six times a year for some major networking opportunities, have become a hallmark of the industry. Here’s a look at their signature events which will once again return to the business calendar in 2019:
Business Conference – April:
This annual event, which gathers hundreds of attendees at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomfield, will celebrate its 21st year in 2019. The free conference features a variety of seminars, networking sessions, informational booths and several keynote addresses. Highlights of last year’s conference included a panel discussion regarding future transportation options in the borough and an informal gathering of “Powerful NYC Women in Business.” Important small business initiatives are often announced and launched at this event.
Green & Clean Expo – June:
Now entering its ninth year, this annual festival focuses on Staten Island’s sustainability and what small business can do to promote environmental awareness and decrease their carbon footprint. Held last year at the Staten Island Zoo in West Brighton, the Expo features hundreds of vendors and seminars all focused on how business owners can capitalize on green opportunities like the use of solar energy, cogeneration and recycling.
Chairman’s Cup – June:
This two-day golf outing takes place each year in Atlantic City. Now in its 12th year, the event gathers business leaders and preeminent Staten Island officials together on the links for a unique interaction and exchange of ideas.
Golf Outing – July:
Held each year at the Grand Oaks Country Club in Huguenot, this event draws more than 100 golfers and serves both as a networking opportunity and an organizational fundraiser. The annual outing is sponsored by Northfield Bank.
Health & Wellness Expo – October:
Sponsored yearly by Staten Island University Hospital/ Northwell Health and Richmond University Medical Center, this free conference aims to educate Staten Island residents on the importance of self-care through various exhibitions, seminars, medical screenings and fitness and nutrition demonstrations. Last year, in light of the borough’s ongoing drug epidemic, an emphasis was placed on opioid abuse.
Awards Reception, November:
Since its inaugural debut in 1997, this event has brought together business leaders, community and elected representatives and SIEDC members to recognize those who have made a difference to the borough’s business climate. Hundreds attend the reception, which acknowledges the outstanding work of the borough’s economic advocates.
Staten Island University Hospital Foundation
The mission of this philanthropic organization is to raise funds for several of Staten Island University Hospital’s initiatives, which bring stateof- the-art treatment facilities and programs to the borough’s local hospital.
Maffeo Foundation Casino Night – March:
This event, which benefits SIUH projects, features a buffet dinner, open bar, silent auction, blackjack, roulette and craps tables as well as a money wheel and Texas Hold Em Tournament. One individual is presented with the organization’s Angel Award, which recognizes commitment and compassion for the Foundation’s work. This year’s recipient will be Valerie Strange.
Bocce, Golf and Tennis Outing – June:
More than 200 amateur bocce aficionados descend on the grounds of Richmond County Country Club each June, loosening their ties and mingling with local business owners and politicians for Staten Island University Hospital’s annual classic. The event, which was originally just a golf and tennis outing, added a bocce element five years ago, which increased the outing popularity exponentially. There are generous portions of cannoli and sfogliatella and bottomless glasses of Peroni and red wine. The sounds of Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Vale echo throughout the Club. “In golf and tennis, the rules of play are a little more serious, you have to be quiet on the green,” noted the event’s organizer, Lou Tobacco. “But bocce etiquette is to eat, drink and be merry. There is a lot of networking happening on those courts.”
Charity Ball – October:
Hosted each October, this gala recognizes the hospital’s biggest philanthropic supporters and earmarks funds for a particular project. Last year’s disco event, held at the Hilton and characterized by lavish performances and a Studio 54 theme, raised money for the hospital’s developing Women and Newborn Center.
Night of Networking – October:
Now in its 10th year, this independent event is hosted by Rich Grado, owner of Creative Media, a print marketing and consulting business based on the North Shore, in an effort to gather local business people for a casual night of music and fun. Grado started the casual business function in 2008 during a tough economy just so local business owners could gather at a venue and commiserate. The event, which is known for the appearance of several famous musicians, features a jam session during which many Staten Island business owners randomly jump on stage to perform.