To the sound of music, clinking glasses of wine and words of congratulations, the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce hosted its 64th Annual Installation of Officers and Board of Directors on Jan. 25 at the Chateau Briand in Carle Place.
Michael Levy succeeded Frank Camarano Jr. as president, Steve Haller was named the Man of the Year, Lindsey Gallagher was awarded the chamber’s Dave Rothbaum Silver Fox Award and Christine Mooney was recognized with the Marvin Bernstein Humanitarian Award.
Haller accepted his award to a chorus of “oh mama’s,” as friends, family and colleagues shouted one of his two catch phrases — the other being, “I’m the happiest man in the world!”
Haller was the president of the chamber in 2014, during which he launched several programs centered around the theme “Shop Locally.” Haller is now retired with his wife of 47 years, Terri, with whom he has two children, Stephen Haller and Laurie Hindley, and two grandchildren.
Prior to passing the gavel on to incoming president Michael Levy, Frank Camarano Jr., the outgoing president, said, “I have been just one piece of the puzzle in the story of our success that is us. I worked really really hard just like a lot of you and took care of my piece of the puzzle. I want to thank and congratulate you all for our success because it took all of us and will continue to do so.”
“Before coming here tonight, I was discussing my talk with my wife. She said to me, don’t try to be too charming, too witty or too intellectual. Just be yourself,” said Michael Levy, with a laugh, at the start of his speech.
In his speech, in addition to detailing his commitment to the chamber, Levy began thanking those who have helped him along the way. “You have each taught me something about the chamber, about business and about what to expect this coming year,” he said.
Included in his speech was Haller, from whom he bought his business Minuteman Press in 2013. “Of course, you all know that if it were not for Steve, I would most certainly not be here tonight,” he said.
He also thanked Lindsey Gallagher and announced that the chamber made a donation to the Heart of American Homes Foundation on her behalf.
At the close of his speech, Levy said he wanted to end with an inspiration quote. “Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors, try to be better than yourself,” he said.
In addition to the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County dignitaries attending the installation, also present was Francesca Carlow, the president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, who said, “The East Meadow [chamber] is the epitome of what a chamber of commerce works for and stands for.”
The chamber’s officers are Vice President Christine Mooney, Treasurer Mitchell Allen, Secretary Richard Krug Jr. and Executive Secretary Anthony Sereno. The Board of Directors is Chairman Frank Camarano Jr., Jerry Baldassaro, Rosemary Basmajian, Lyndsey Gallagher, Debbie Kirsh, Mark Papagni, Natasha Roman, Ross Schiller, James Skinner, Mitchel Skoller, Linda Walsh and Douglas Wood.