A Message from Queens Chamber of Commerce President Mayra Dirico
April was the Queens Chamber’s Installation of Officers and Annual Members Meeting. As such, I wanted to provide our top ten highlights from the past year.
As the first Hispanic and foreign-born woman to be elected president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, it’s been an exciting year with numerous milestones as we celebrated our 105 years of existence.
1. We achieved the highest membership growth in the past five years at 21 percent, crossing the 1,100-member mark.
2. We delivered over 100 complimentary seminars to help our members on a variety of topics ranging from human resources, marketing, professional skills development, finances, taxes, and new legislation – just to name a few.
3. We hosted over 12 networking events with over 800 members participating. Our annual complimentary Business Expo at Citi Field featured 130 exhibitors and 19 seminars and was attended by over 1,400 people.
4. We continued our annual recognition events that honor excellence in the borough in business leadership with the Business Person of the Year and our 91st Building Awards Gala, in which we recognize the architects, builders, engineers, interior designers and owners of buildings in Queens.
5. “The Chamber on the Go” Program, which will be completed in June of this year, allowed the chamber to work with our legislative leaders in each of our 21 Queens neighborhoods to conduct surveys so we could better understand their specific needs. We have reached over 350 individuals with these surveys. As a result, specific targeted programs have and will continue to be developed that will help the businesses succeed throughout Queens.
6. We have expanded both the chamber staff and the Board of Directors to reflect the great diversity of our borough.
7. Over 75 projects were completed across six pillars to position the chamber to continue to be the borough’s largest and most influential business advocacy organization. The chamber currently has 32 partner and affiliate organizations ranging from other local chambers to economic development companies across the entire borough.
8. Our monthly This is Queensborough magazine has continued to give our members important articles pertinent to succeeding in Queens.
9. We held our very first all-day Queens Real Estate Expo attended by over 400 people. With over a dozen renowned speakers, attendees were able to learn that “Queens has arrived” – from the borough once traveled “through” to the borough now traveled “to.” Over the past several years, the amount of development has simply exploded. Real estate has seen a YOY 11 percent increase in median sales prices.
10. Executive Director Tom Grech continued to work closely with Borough President Melinda Katz and all of the Queens elected officials with one-on-one meetings on the legislative issues affecting our borough.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes: “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
I invite you to believe that both our borough and the Queens Chamber are destined for greatness.