Chamber President Looks Back At A Great Run


After over one year as president of the Greater Roslyn Chamber of Commerce, Rich Branciforte has stepped down from his leadership post.
Replacing Branciforte will be Mimi Howard. At its January meeting, the following board members were re-elected: Barbara Kaplan, Lou Federico, Steve Blank, Wayne Wink, Graciela Hall, Janine Dion, Melissa Spitalnick, Jimmy Zanfardino, Alicia Brown and Garnet Ardila. Incoming board members include Howie Mann, Kate Lumetta, and Gwen Levy.
A vote was taken at the meeting and approved. The installation will be reviewed and voted in at our next board meeting in February.
Branciforte’s term officially ended on Feb. 6. He used the occasion to reflect on his successful tenure.
“It is always sad when something you love doing comes to an end, After 15 months as president of the Greater Roslyn Chamber of Commerce, I did not run for re-election,” he told The Roslyn News. “I became president fifteen months ago when the then president resigned. We held a board meeting and no one wanted to move up. I often kid that I became president because we flipped a coin and I lost, but in fact I won because I made great new friends and business acquaintances, ran many first time events and got to see the chamber grow.
Branciforte reflected how on back in November 2021, there were 42 members, and now, the chamber is pushing a hundred.
“Our treasury was depleted then, today we are financially sound with no outstanding debt,” he said. “I was president once before, in 1995-96 and prior to that had served two terms as vice-president. We have to remember that the chamber is an organization of businesses and its goal is to help our members and the community. I think we have done both.”
The chamber started the year with a Christmas tree and Menorah lighting at the Clock Tower that was well attended.
“The same night we got the Roslyn Theater to re-open for the day and showed the movie Elf which drew over 150 residents and their families,” Branciforte said. “We followed up with a trip to Citifield to see the Mets play in April. Then in May, we were the only Chamber of Commerce on Long Island to have a booth at the HIA Trade show where we picked up some new members and great contacts.”
The key to any organization, Branciforte said, is membership, and this chamber’s membership has more than doubled since going “old school.”
“I went door to door to the businesses in our area, which takes in Albertson, East Hills, Greenvale, Roslyn Village and Roslyn Harbor,” he said. “Owners were surprised, they hadn’t seen anyone from the chamber in person in a while. This was very important; it gives you the opportunity to explain why you should be a chamber member.”
In July there had been a very successful concert in Gerry Park with over 250 people in attendance. And regular board and general meetings that are held at 8 a.m. once a month have been attended by 30 to 40 members.
“I also was blessed with a good team of officers and board members,” Branciforte said. “Barbara Kaplan and Lou Federico have put in numerous hours as vice-presidents. Our newest board members helped tremendously and a special thanks to Jimmy Zanfardino of Delicacies for all his support. We also had what seems like a gazillion ribbon cuttings for new members.”
Branciforte says he will continue to run his own business, Good Times Magazine, which is now in its 54th year.
“I am also a member and inductee in the new Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame which opened in November in Stony Brook, and frequently act as a docent there,” he added. “And to make sure I don’t get bored, will be running the big Great Guitar, Musical Instrument and Audio Show April 15 at L.I.U./ C.W. Post and the Support Long Island Music Festival Nov. 17 to 19 with 150 bands appearing at 100 locations. Plus perhaps a Poetry Slam in Roslyn for good measure.”
He urged anyone who has a business in Greater Roslyn to join the chamber, as they won’t be disappointed. Those interested can reach

At the Roslyn Wine and Liquor ribbon-cutting.
(Photo courtesy Greater Roslyn Chamber of Commerce)

Meanwhile, the chamber recently performed another ribbon cutting. New member Roslyn Wine and Liquor, located at 1366 Old Northern Blvd. in Roslyn Village, offered friends and customers tasty treats plus several delicious beverages to try, including Prosecco and tequila.
The new owners are Sergey Kalantarov and Yair Pinkhasov, and familiar face Anna Chablaney, who is the former owner, is now the manager of Roslyn Wine and Liquor.
The chamber was well represented. Barbara Kaplan, Mimi Howard, Wayne Wink, Graciela Hall, Alicia Brown, Garnet Ardila, Melissa Spitalnick, Howie Mann, and Kate Lumetta were all in attendance as was Town of North Hempstead Councilman Peter Zuckerman.
—Information submitted by the Roslyn Chamber of Commerce

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