Meet the Queens Chamber Staff

ABOVE: Pictured from left to right are Rae-Anna Persad, Brendan Leavy, Alejandra Espejo & Rony Kaliya.

RAE-ANNA PERSAD

How long have you been with the Chamber? 18 months
Previous job: I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over six years.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given: In life, make sure you love what you do.
What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team? Do it! The team at the Chamber is beyond amazing.
Favorite music genre? Pop
What’s the most inspiring part of your job? Helping small businesses get the resources to succeed.
Name one thing you hope to accomplish in 2021? Finally learning how to drive.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Michelle Obama

BRENDAN LEAVY

How long have you been with the Chamber? Over four years
Previous job: I was a licensed commercial insurance broker for ten years, and I previously owned an Allstate Agency for 16 years.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given: Ethics matter
What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team? You’ll meet people from all walks of life from all over the world because Queens is a microcosm of the world. Be open-minded, and you’ll learn a lot about other cultures just by working in Queens.
Work hard, and you’ll make an impact helping small business owners realize their dreams and grow their businesses.
Working at the chamber you’ll meet business owners, community board members, and elected officials, and learn how the chamber collaborates with them to help support small businesses.
Favorite music genre? I grew up on classic rock like Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles, and became a huge U2 & Police fan in the 80’s…oops I gave my age away!
What’s the most inspiring part of your job? Helping small businesses connect with important resources and contacts that can help them grow their businesses! I love helping business owners.
Name one thing you hope to accomplish in 2021: I want to be grateful every day for my blessings. If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it has reminded me of what is important in my life – my family and friends and doing my part to help people in need.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Jesus. Actually, I’m hoping to meet Him one day (trying to avoid that other guy with the horns).

ALEJANDRA ESPEJO

How long have you been with the Chamber? Four years and four months
Previous job: Sales and Purchasing Manager at AMDUSA Restaurant Supply Warehouse
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given: Treat others like you would want them to treat you.
What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team? We are like family at the chamber, so be yourself and know that it is an open-door policy with everyone. We are all here to help, listen, and learn from each other.
Favorite music genre? I love all type music, and I guess it depends on my mood. Today I am in a Tejano music type of mood, who knows what tomorrow has to offer.
What’s the most inspiring part of your job? The fact that we are making a difference and helping our small businesses. Especially this year, it has been harder than ever, but knowing we can help inspires me to work harder.
Name one thing you hope to accomplish in 2021? To be a first-time homeowner.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Frida Kahlo

RONY KALIYA

How long have you been with the Chamber? Three-and-a-half years
Previous job: Marketing Management at the New York Law School
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given: Everything has an answer, you just have to look really hard for it.
What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team? Always ask your coworkers for help whenever you need it.
Favorite music genre? Rock & Roll and Classical
What’s the most inspiring part of your job? Humanity and hospitality.
Name one thing you hope to accomplish in 2021: To maintain or improve my quality of life.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Wolf Messing, the famous Polish Jewish psychic and telepathist.

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