A Bronx Tale on Leadership
With over 1.4 Million people in The Bronx, there are many many stories. This is Nunzio Del Greco’s story: “A Bronx Tale on Leadership”.
Nunzio Del Greco was born in the city of Orsogna, Abruzzo, Italy. His family immigrated to the United Stated in 1958, settling in The Bronx to pursue The American Dream. He comes from a family of builders and construction workers. His grandfather Raffaele travelled back and forth from Italy to New York in the early 1900s to work as a sand hog in the New York City subways and tunnels. His father Francesco was a bricklayer and worked on many of the skyscrapers in Manhattan. Nunzio was the first in his family to graduate college earning a Bachelor’s Degree from Queens College and a Master’s Degree from St. John’s University. His family values helped him develop an impeccable record of leadership, integrity and professionalism promoting business and economic development.
He began his career on October 3, 1983 as Executive Vice President of the Bronx Board of Realtors. He quickly became an intuitive problem solver and consensus builder. He coined the slogan “you never know where your next big deal is going to come from”. Through his efforts, many companies generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business. In 1983 with a membership of under one hundred and a budget of less than $80,000, Nunzio over the years grew the membership to over 1,000 members and began generating over $1,000,000 annually without any grants or public funding. He also expanded the organization’s jurisdiction to include Manhattan with the name change to Bronx-Manhattan Association of Realtors (BMAR).
Nunzio Del Greco has been recognized by many prominent organizations including: the Distinguished Service Award in 2004 and the first Lifetime Service Award in 2013 from BMAR; the Businessman of the Year Award from the Bronx County Historical Society in 2010; recognized by City & State Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in The Bronx and ranked 9th, in December 2016; presented with the first citywide Corporate Social Responsibility Award by City & State Magazine in March 2017; and the Community Service Award by Providence Rest in May 2017.
Unique Peoples Services (UPS) will be presenting Nunzio Del Greco with the Lifetime Achievement Award at their Annual Gala on October 25, 2018 at the Marina del Rey Caterers. This award is especially significant to Nunzio as it is recognition of a lifetime of dedication and achievement to The Bronx. The recipient of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award was former Mayor of the City of New York, Hon. David Dinkins. Receiving the 2018 UPS Lifetime Achievement Award following the former mayor is very humbling stirring many emotions to reflect and write “A Bronx Tale on Leadership”.
Nunzio Del Greco is currently President and CEO of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since November 2015. For Nunzio, it’s a homecoming since he was a member of the Board of Directors in 1984. He has a framed copy of the 91st Annual Luncheon Program held May 29, 1985 at “The Eastwood” Manor. His name is printed in the Program along with such distinguished individuals as the New York Yankees’ Owner, George Steinbrenner; Chairman of Dollar Savings Bank, Henry G. Waltermade; Bronx District Attorney, Hon. Mario Merola; former Executive Director of the Bronx Chamber, Michael J. Durso; and many others. Nunzio is a part the Bronx Chamber’s rich history and leads the organization into the future.
His vision is to expand and foster Community and Strategic Partnerships to further promote economic development to build a Greater Bronx. He is very proud to have published the first Annual Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide in 2017. The borough of The Bronx has never had such a comprehensive publication. The Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide features a wealth of valuable information including: alphabetical listings with complete contact information of Chamber members; listings by categories products or services; company advertisements, complete contact information of all Bronx elected officials, the Value of Membership, Timeline of the Bronx through the Centuries, New York City Resources contact information and much more.
In addition, he rebranded the 2017 Gala as the Bronx version of the Academy Awards – The Bronx Business Awards with 6 Distinguished Categories and rebranded the 2017 Annual Golf Outing as the Best of the Bronx Golf Outing with three Honorees for the first time. Both rebranded events generated additional income and sponsorships over the prior year with significant growth potential for future events. With the goal of opening up the Bronx Chamber of Commerce to untapped companies, organizations and professionals, he invited both members and non-members the opportunity to nominate candidates for the Gala, Golf Outing, Heritage Awards and Veterans Luncheons. The response was overwhelming generating additional new members, sponsorships and income for the Chamber.
Nunzio Del Greco sponsored a historic meeting with the Executive Directors of the Bronx BIDs and Merchant Associations producing the first Bronx Business Legislative Priorities. He recently testified before the NYC Charter Revision in July 2018 to advocate for the establishment of a Small Business Commission made up of actual small business people. He strongly believes that amazing achievements can be accomplished in partnership with elected officials and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. He serves on a Working Group connecting communities, economies and the region to thoughtfully integrate the 4 new Metro-North stations into the fabric of the Bronx neighborhoods and communities.
As a “Baby-Boomer” having experienced the incredible changes in our society and economy driven by technology, Nunzio Del Greco has embraced social media and is a relentless promoter of The Bronx with nearly 15,000 LinkedIn contacts. Many of his social media posts are viewed by thousands of individuals and professionals. Some of the recent posts include: NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Economic Snapshot of the Bronx with almost 5,000 views; A Bronx Tale – Chaz Palminteri with 12,351 views; Bronx Ferry Launch with 12,467 views in 6 days; Summerfest Networking Event with 2,944 views; and 1st Bronx HIRE Summer Youth Program with 1,545 views in 2 days. The power and reach of social media is indisputable and does translate to very positive and measureable results.
The experience of seeing A Bronx Tale on Broadway was amazing and inspired reflection on what it means to be a great leader. Actor Ted Brunetti AKA Coffee Cake gave us an incredible tour backstage and mentioned the great family feeling amongst the cast. He said it starts at the top down and makes a big difference! Practice being kind to everyone. Treat people the way you want them to treat you. Great leaders inspire, encourage, motivate, coach, led by example; and are kind. Great leaders do NOT belittle, threaten, harass or look for faults. According to a very well-known Bronxite General Colin Powell, “Great leaders are most always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”
Very prominent Bronx business, community and elected officials have written Testimonials on the work and accomplishments of Nunzio Del Greco including: former Council Member James Vacca, 13th Council District; Stephen J. Jerome, Monroe College; Lisa Sorin, Westchester Square BID; John Bonizio, Metro Optics; Rich Martinelli, Today Media; Joseph Coleman, RiteCheck; and many others.
The 1010 WINS Bronx Minute will be launched after Labor Day 2018. Hosted by 1010 WINS legendary announcer Rob Walsh, the Bronx Minute will highlight one Bronx Chamber member sponsor five times per week during PM drive time! As stated by Rob Walsh: “You give us one minute and we’ll give you the Bronx Minute!” Each Bronx Minute spot will reach 2.2 million listeners weekly! Nunzio Del Greco is excited to work while on vacation on August 27, 2018 to record a segment of the Bronx Minute.
Nunzio Del Greco takes his work role very personal and is committed to excellence. He possesses strong gut instincts and is highly intuitive. In terms of work/life balance: typical day begins 5:30 am, start working 6:00 am reading news feeds, reading and replying to emails, check calendar and prepare for meetings and appointments /schedule new and upcoming meetings with focus on creating /cultivating Community and Strategic Partnerships/follow up with staff to insure priorities are on track/personally post key meetings and events on social media/ usually work until 8:00 pm or 10:00 pm depending on events. He often receives important calls off hours and weekends. With the advent of the internet and smart phones, the fine line between work and home has been blurred. According to Nunzio: “I am very passionate about my work and come up with some of my best ideas off hours, while commuting or in my sleep. I’m having fun!”
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1894 and is the oldest Chamber of Commerce in the City of New York. Similar to a landmark designated building or property over 100 years old, the Chamber requires significant renovations, updating and maintenance. Under the leadership of Nunzio Del Greco, a lot work has been accomplished in less than 3 years to build a solid foundation for the benefit of the Bronx business community and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. According to Nunzio, “In order to be successful over the long term, leadership within the Chamber must be a partnership; show support of the President/CEO and the Staff to build morale; provide constructive recommendations to assist in the success of the Staff and simultaneously ensure the success of Chamber; do what you can. If you have the financial resources, commit to a Community Partnership and encourage others to do the same; lead by example. If you do not have the financial resources, encourage your contacts and everyone you do business with to join the Chamber; if there is a problem, provide a solution”.
A few notable and very influential Bronx people have been mentors to Nunzio including: Ralph J. Taibi, commercial real estate broker from Hunts Point; Michael J. Durso, Senior VP Dollar Savings Bank; Elias Karmon, philanthropist well known as “Mr. Bronx”; and Virginia Gallagher, developer of Pilot Cover Manor on City Island. They have each profoundly impacted Nunzio and are fondly referred as his “Guardian Angels”.
On a personal level, Nunzio is married to his better half and wonderful wife Aureliana (Lana) for over 33 years and is the proud father of Robert, Stefanie and Christofer with a first grandson expected Thanksgiving 2018. For leisure, Nunzio enjoys quality time with his family, yoga, gardening and wine-making. Nunzio lives and works every day with enthusiasm and passion. It’s a Bronx Tale on Leadership!
Visit: www.BronxChamber.org for membership, networking events, free seminars and workshops or more information on the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.