2009-02-20 / Community

New Chamber President Has Old Look

Former President Takes Reins, Sees New Vision

John Lepore, right with other chamber members and Keyspan officials just after 9-11. John Lepore, right with other chamber members and Keyspan officials just after 9-11. In a unanimous vote at the January meeting of the Rockaway Chamber's Board of Directors, John Lepore, past ex-officio and owner of the Allstate Insurance Agency on Beach Channel Drive, was named new president of the board. First Vice President Ira Seplow, Esq. of Beach 116 Street, Secretary Linda Plummer of Peninsula Properties of Far Rockaway, Treasurer Kevin O'Mealy of Capital One Bank in Rockaway Park, Vice President Harold Cornell of Rockaway Park, Vice President Steven Greenberg of Breezy Point and Vice President Noni Signoretti of Browns Hardware on Beach 116 Street round out the officers of the Chamber "I am happy to have the support and assistance of the board in these difficult economic times," said Lepore. "The Chamber is the only organization on the peninsula that can provide the support necessary for our business community."

Lepore says that 2009 will bring a host of challenges and opportunities for new leadership at the Chamber. It is expected that the Chamber, which has had a difficult year, will look to rebuild the organizational infrastructure and get out to meet with members to hear about their most pressing issues.

"As a Chamber of Commerce, it is our role and utter responsibility to provide a voice and leadership to the businesses of the entire Rockaway peninsula. We hope to spend the first quarter on ensuring that processes are in place to put together an annual calendar of events, meetings and collaborative engagements in order to begin rebuilding the relationships we have with our local elected officials, community agencies, and most importantly, member businesses."

The Chamber's first goal, Lepore says, will be a listening tour of member businesses, along with a simultaneous overhaul of Chamber programs and services.

But there is no one silver bullet.

"We face extraordinary challenges with the economy, the credit and housing markets, challenges that we have not seen in many decades. But with challenge comes the opportunity to act as a voice on behalf of Rockaway businesses to ensure that we are heard and accounted for."

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