2016 Year in Review
By Nunzio Del Greco
President & CEO
Bronx Chamber of Commerce
Completing my first year as the new President & CEO of The Bronx Chamber of Commerce has been exciting, challenging and rewarding. I enthusiastically lead this prominent organization to reach historic success for the direct benefit of the current and future membership. I developed and expanded membership to the Chamber and enhanced strategic partnerships with other organizations and companies for our mutual benefit.
Planning, coordinating and implementing successful programs and events is one of my many strengths. The Bronx Chamber of Commerce has sponsored, hosted or co-sponsored over 65 workshops, seminars and networking events for members, non-members and businesses in The Bronx since January 2016. Each event was well attended and feedback from attendees and participants was very positive. I promote and encourage networking and business card exchanges at every setting. I firmly believe: “You never know where your next big deal is going to come from”.
The positive messages and promotion of the events resonated in the business community. Successful professionals are drawn to other successful professionals and want to be affiliated with organizations that are professionally managed. I reached out to my over 13,000 Outlook contacts; 5,800 contacts on LinkedIn and additional contacts on FaceBook to attend events and join the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Due to my experience, integrity and reputation, they responded. Over 100 new companies joined the Bronx Chamber of Commerce in the past 12 months. I am very encouraged that membership will significantly increase over the next 5 years.
Project with the Greatest Impact
Based on my experience and understanding of how to manage and strategically grow an organization, I strongly believe it requires a current and up to date database and Membership Directory. While many organizations have replaced a printed or hard copy directory with an electronic or on-line version, I am an advocate of both the printed hard copy and the electronic version of the directory.
Without the luxury of time, I prefer to utilize the experience of other professionals in similar positions rather than attempting to “reinvent the wheel”. I visited with neighboring Presidents and CEOs of Chambers of Commerce to examine how they operate regarding programs, services and membership directory. I requested and received a number of proposals from publishers to produce the first annual membership directory for the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
My personal preference was to work with Rich Martinelli of Today Media. The Board of Directors of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce unanimously approved the Today Media proposal at their March 2016 meeting. I was delighted to announce and promote that we have entered into a partnership with Today Media (publishers of the Brooklyn, Yonkers Chamber of Commerce and Westchester Business Council Directory) to produce the 2017 Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide for the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
I clearly see an important need and service being fulfilled by producing the 2017 Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide. There is a lot of excitement and very positive comments from current and new members that have recently joined. They see and understand the value and benefit of the printed directory. The 2017 Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide will list all members alphabetically and by category for referrals and new business contacts. The Directory will also feature important resource information.
Major businesses and institutions in The Bronx also believe in the concept and value of the Bronx Business Directory and have committed significantly with their advertising dollars. Some of the confirmed 2017 advertisers include: Active Staffing Services; American Maintenance; Apple Bank; Berkeley College; Bronx Lebanon Hospital; Castle Hill Recycling; Certified Alarm Tech Systems Inc.; Children’s Corner Learning Center; Cottam Heating & Air Conditioning; Country Bank; F & F Insurance Services; Flushing Bank; Fordham University; Hutchinson Metro Center; ISE Office Plus; Law Offices of Joseph A. Romano PC; Manhattan College; Marriott Residence Inn; Metro Optics Eyewear; MetroPlus Health Plan; Monroe College; Mosholu Montefiore Community Center; New York Yankees; Pisacano Eye Surgery & Laser Specialists; Premier Facility Management; Rand Commercial; Ridgewood Savings Bank; Rite Check Cashing; Rooter Plus Plumbing & Heating; Stop & Stor New York’s Self Storage; The Woodlawn Cemetery; and Tompkins Mahopac Bank.
Supercharging Productivity in 2017
Membership in 2017 will significantly increase with the printing of the 2017 Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide delivery date of the end of January 2017. The Directory will be distributed to more than 2,000 member businesses, new businesses, and select governmental offices. It will also be distributed at Bronx Chamber of Commerce events throughout the year.
Companies and businesses that were not included will join the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and will make sure that they do not miss out on future editions. Advertising in the 2018 Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide will also significantly increase due to the exposure and benefit it brings to the Bronx businesses and institutions and the referral business for small and mid-sized companies. I can easily predict that company advertising will more than double for the 2018 edition.
Greater participation from the membership will emerge from the expanded list of committees of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Serving on committees is an excellent way to network and meet potential new customers; contribute directly to the work of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce; interact with fellow members to share ideas and common interests; further the Chamber’s objectives for Bronx businesses and the borough through its promotion, support and advocacy initiatives.
We have a place for all professionals including serving on any one of 9 committees such as: Business Development; Bylaws; Events; Finance; Legislative; Membership; MWBE; Technology & Social Media; and Young Professionals Network.
Emerging trends driving investment and development in 2017
As I stated when I accepted the position of President & CEO of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce over 1 year ago, “We are witnessing a renaissance in our great borough that is unprecedented. Together, we will grow the Chamber, enhance its influence and further improve the image of “The Bronx”!
My staff and I recently participated at the New York Business Expo (NYXPO) at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in Manhattan. Thousands of business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals from throughout the greater New York metropolitan region attended the full day event of excellent seminars, workshops and trade show exhibitors. I love trade shows and networking. I spoke to hundreds of people. What I found most remarkable was that no one had anything negative to say about The Bronx! I only heard positive comments and questions about investment and development opportunities.
I am very excited to be a leader in the continuing renaissance in our great borough and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to your active membership and meeting you at some of our upcoming networking events. My vision is for our Bronx Chamber of Commerce to be one of the most influential and successful organizations in Bronx County. It will happen with our successful Annual Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide and inclusive organization.
Helping you grow your Bronx Business is our Goal!