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Welcome to the Manhattan Chamber of CommerceManhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) is a vibrant business membership organization comprised of a cross section of 10,000 business members and subscribers ranging from sole proprietors to large corporations and multi-national firms. Connect with entrepreneurs, leaders and executives by becoming an MCC member today and help your business grow. Our mission is to advocate for, connect and educate the business community in Manhattan.

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    Contact: Laura Bucko, Vice President/Director of Communications, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, 212-473-7875 or


    In its third year, Marketing Week NYC is an event created by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce to address the number one need of businesses: how to attract and keep customers. Taking place from June 8-12th with 12 events MCC is hosting 6 events and promoting 6 more events that address marketing in different locations around Manhattan. Marketing week attendees will attend events in the following categories: 1) Social Media, 2) Print, Radio and TV 3) Public Relations 4) Branding and 5) Strategy. 

    MCC sponsored events during MarketingWeekNYC:

    Monday, June 8th, 8:00-10:30AM: MarketingWeekNYC Kickoff Event: How We Broke The Internet: NYC Success Stories that Change the Way We Do Business In this panel discussion, we will hear from the founders or representatives of top NYC businesses who will tell us their stories and discuss how their business models, “broke the internet” or became, in a short amount of time, part of everyday discussion for New Yorkers. We’ll also hear from some companies who are on the rise who will tell us their strategies as they penetrate the NYC market. Panelists: Olga Vidisheva, Founder, Shoptiques,   Josh Mohrer, General Manager, UberNYC and Fatima Husain, Host Management Lead, Airbnb, Moderator: Matthew Flamm, Crain’s New York Business Location: Microsoft, 11 Times Square (8th Avenue between 41st and 42nd), New York, NY

    Monday, June 8th, 6-8PM: MCC LGBT Network Presents: Pulling Madison Avenue out of the Closet and into AdRespect The MCC LGBT Network, in partnership with Pink Banana Media, would like to invite you to this educational and networking event, as a part of MarketingWeekNYC. Has LGBT equality reached advertising yet? When was the last time you saw an inclusive commercial? How do corporations and Madison Avenue stack up to today's gay-friendly world? What creative approaches work (or don't), and why? Veteran business journalist Michael Wilke analyzes the way dozens of commercials represent LGBT people - from stereotypes and homophobia to same-sex weddings - and examines how effective they are. Location: Microsoft, 11 Times Square (8th Avenue between 41st and 42nd), New York, NY

    Tuesday, June 09, 2015 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM MCC Entrepreneurship Committee Presents: Achieving Excellence in Customer Service The Entrepreneurship Committee is pleased to invite you to the second of its four quarterly presentations, Achieving Excellence in Customer Service, featuring Robert Allen, an academic and business professional with a diverse background of knowledge and wealth of experience in teaching online, traditional, and certificate courses at colleges and universities on the East Coast. Location: Adelphi University 
    75 Varick Street 2nd Floor

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM MCC Special Event at Ogilvy: Navigating Today’s Modern Media Relations  Come join us for a discussion hosted at Ogilvy & Mather where we will explore best practices for navigating today's modern media relations environment. We will focus on the need for integrated, multi-channel campaigns that include a strategic mix of earned media, social media and content -- and why this model is essential in making companies today leaders on both Wall Street and Main Street. Panelists: Jen Risi, Managing Director, Ogilvy Media Influence, Head of Media Relations, North America, April Scott, Executive Vice President, Head of Social@Ogilvy, Kathy Baird, Senior Vice President, Digital Influence, Social@Ogilvy, Moderator: Jennifer Rooney, CMO Network Editor, Forbes Location: Ogilvy, 636 11th Avenue, Between 46th & 47th Street

    Thursday, June 11, 2015 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM Constant Contact Presents... NYC MEGA Marketing & Technology Event Join us for our Mega Marketing and Technology Conference designed to help YOU build your marketing toolkit! We will give you all the building essentials needed to help you create a successful marketing structure for your business or nonprofit organization. Choose from 16 different high demand topics.
    Sessions are chosen on a first come, first served basis the day of the event. Speed Counseling from SCORE will also be offered continuously throughout the event.  Location: Microsoft, 11 Times Square (8th Avenue between 41st and 42nd), New York, NY

    Thursday, June 11, 2015 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM MarketingWeekNYC: Private Industry Event TOTO IMAGES presents The Official Marketing Week NYC - Private Industry Event - taking place at the Five-Star Trump Hotel SoHo New York -  Rooftop Venue - known as the illustrious Bar D'Eau. Location: Trump SoHo New York 
    246 Spring Street.

    Event Partners: Microsoft, Constant Contact, Ogilvy, Gay City News, New York Grant Company, Marketing Executives Networking Group, Southwest Airlines, Time Warner Cable Business Class, UPS 

    Events also Hosted by: AMF Direct, JLN Media, Co-Communications, The BullBuster Café, Law Office of Kelly Weiner PLLC, Scenterprises, Dr. Chloe Carmichael, Ideazio, True Identity Branding and Toto Images

    For a Complete List of Marketing Week NYC events, event and registration information please see: 

    About Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

    Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) is a vibrant business membership organization comprised of a cross section of 10,000 business members and subscribers ranging from sole proprietors to large corporations and multi-national firms. Connect with entrepreneurs, leaders and executives by becoming an MCC member today and help your business grow.

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    Contact Name Company Name Website
    Monty Berhane Capitol Petroleum Group
    Benjamin Hatooka Rug Wash Inc
    Vanessa J. Herman Pace University
    Thomas McMahon TLM Associates
    Terrence Martell Baruch College/CUNY, Weissman Center for Int'l Bus
    Ronald Law MetroPlus Health Plan
    Sara Ghazaii New York Genome Center
    Kathryn Wylde Partnership for New York City
    Jindan Lu USA 3D Valve Group CO.
    Timothy Hall Hall Partnership Architects, LLP
    Rich Murray Wolf Disaster Services
    Louise Shohet BSC Travel, Inc.
    Hlynur Guojonsson Consulate of Iceland
    Matthew Bauer Madison Avenue BID
    Hakan Ozcilingir NEX Worldwide Express
    Roy Gerard Roy F. Gerard, Attorney at Law
    Nur Ercan The Marmara Manhattan

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    Company Name Contact Name Website
    Advanced Data Streams Inc. Safina Hasan
    TG Paragon Associates, LLC Tarnisha Garvin
    Edwards Law Firm, P.C. Gerald Edwards
    Your Massage Concierge Lisa Hendrie
    Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. Jonathan Damashek
    Co-Communications Sarah Aires
    Scenterprises Inc Sue Phillips
    Macklowe Gallery Ben Macklowe
    Law Office of Abel  Pierre PC Abel Pierre
    MetLife Premier Client Group Daniel Rodgers
    LJM Developments LLC Shaheryar Mian
    Next Street Amir Kirkwood
    Prime Manhattan Realty Jonathan Anapol
    SKNY Real Estate Debra Flics
    ESIRT New York and California Margaret Morton
    National Recruiting Group Patrick Rozmus
    David Thiergartner Interiors David Thiergartner
    Katherine Loanzon, Esq. Katherine Loanzon
    Project Pay It Forward Amy Mintz
    The Corcoran Group Karen Kelley
    Joie de vivre online Wafaa Dan
    Oscar Wilde Tours Andrew Lear
    Israel Discount Bank of New York Michelle Tan
    Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman, P.C. Anna Slyusareva
    Green Building Center Jason Kliwinski

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    Contact Name Company Name Website
    Yasushi Sasaki Two Rivers Associates, LLC
    Shari Shabab Galerie Shabab
    Heather DeCato Ventura Associates International LLC
    William Montanaro Greater New York Council, Boy Scouts of America
    Jeffrey B. Carstens  Bank Leumi USA
    Colleen Molter QED National
    Rafael Abreu Statue Cruises
    Prajesh Patel Sempion, INC.
    Stuart Holland Sygma Technology Services LLC
    Ashraf Hamdy Consulate of Egypt
    Joseph Carfagno Fusion Employer Services LLC www.fusionemployerservices.
    Glen Friedman Gotham Insider
    Peter Semetis Sale & Pepe Caterers
    Gregory Morris  Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, Inc.
    Jay Nosenchuk Windstream
    Sabina Klimek Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in NY

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    Company Name Contact Name Website
    The Junkluggers Lon Epstein
    McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP Dan Hyman
    Winning Resumes Reisa Williams
    Insignia-BNY National Title Agency Jason DiFrietus
    Ogilvy Public Relations Jennifer Risi
    Pamela Snyder Pamela Snyder
    Bhatta Law & Associates Licelle Cobrador
    TEMPO Strategic Angela Cason
    Viridian Energy Susan Mazonson
    All Generations Entertainment Philip Herman
    TAITRA Alanka Yang
    Olympus Center Christopher Trahan
    Vaz Medical & Industrial safety Inc Emilio Vazquez
    Schwartz Heslin Group Raimundo Archibold
    Word Charmers Mary Cucci
    CPA Nigyar Mamedova
    Law Office of Kelly Weiner PLLC Kelly Weiner
    Demsker Realty Thomas Demsker
    No Brokers Please Thomas Demsker
    Alpha and Omega Theater Co. Inc. Domenic Guastaferro
    EcoTech Visions Pandwe Gibson
    Hungarian US Trade LLC Alex Benko
    Avocado Digital Media Ekaterina Lyapustina
    Goldman Sachs Srujan Linga
    New York Life Tracy Brown
    Comfort Keepers Lisa McNee

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    On Sunday, May 17, 2015, Jazz Choreography Enterprises (JCE) took the New York Jazz Choreography Project to the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House as part of the Second Sundays Performance Series. The series provides high quality, affordable live performances for the community served by the Neighborhood House on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, though all are welcome to attend.

    JCE Artistic Directors Marian Hyun and Merete Muenter assembled these choreographers, most of whom had performed in other productions of the Jazz Project:

    Robert Audy

    Lisa Biagini
    Kelly Carrol
    Juliet Dolan
    Julia Halpin
    Christopher Liddell
    Cat Manturuk
    Sue Samuels
    Jaime Shannon
    Alan Spaulding

    The Jazz Project was held in the auditorium at the Neighborhood House at 331 East 70th Street. The performance consisted of 12 pieces in a variety of jazz dance genres, including swing, musical theater, and contemporary. Audience members had the opportunity to ask the dancers and choreographers about their work during the question and answer session that followed the performance.

    The performance was enthusiastically received by the audience members, many of whom are on fixed incomes or are low-wage earners. Thanks to a generous grant from the MCC Community Benefit Festival Grant Project and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, JCE was able to pay its choreographers for their wonderful work, which was enjoyed by many who might not otherwise be able to afford to attend a live performance. JCE was grateful to MCC for the opportunity to keep jazz thriving in the New York community!

    This program was made possible in part by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. All of JCE’s programs are made possible in part by its corporate sponsor, Salon Ishi.

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    By Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft.

    It’s hard to believe it has been 12 years since we released Windows Server 2003. Back in 2003, Windows Server 2003 was the first server operating system launched after the Trustworthy Computing Initiative was announced and it introduced server roles. It had a recommended minimum processor speed of 550 MHz, and up to 4GB of RAM supported in the 32-bit version, taking advantage of the new hardware that was then becoming available. And it was well received, reaching levels of adoption that were at the time unprecedented for our server business. I want to thank our customers for partnering with Microsoft and choosing Windows Server 2003 for their needs.

    It’s been said that all endings are really beginnings, and technology is no exception. As the speed of technology innovation increases, the more our products needs to evolve to keep pace. To put this in perspective, back in 2003, smartphones and mobile applications were marginally adopted. Today, they are prolific and driving real-time business on the go. Now, my current mobile phone exceeds the original Windows Server 2003 memory and processor requirements! If you put the standards of 2003 next to the scale and scope of applications today, there just isn’t any comparison.

    Windows Server 2003 reaches end of support in less than 6 months. But we believe the end is an exciting new beginning for our customers. Many customers, from large enterprises such as Aston Martin, to smaller businesses such as Karen M. Hazleton, CPA have already upgraded to newer versions of Windows Server or Microsoft Azure. These customers are seeing real benefits, including improved performance, higher reliability, and increased flexibility in responding to business needs. If you are still running Windows Server 2003, I want to remind you that now is the time to migrate. Support for Windows Server 2003 will end on July 14, 2015.

    A good migration strategy should include several key elements. You need to identify any remaining instances of Windows Server 2003, analyze which workloads are running on those instances, and choose the right migration path. Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure, and Office 365 are all great options for migration, depending on your specific requirements.

    Windows Server 2003 instances will, of course, continue to run after end of support. However, running unsupported software carries significant security risks and may result in costly compliance violations. As you evaluate security risks, keep in mind that even a single unpatched server can be a point of vulnerability for your entire infrastructure. You can read more about Gartner’s perspective on security risks here.

    Important financial and healthcare regulations also include provisions around security: US PCI DSS section 6.1 states that all organizations must “ensure that all system components and software are protected from known vulnerabilities by having the latest vendor-supplied security patches installed,” while HIPAA section 164.308(a)(1)(ii)(B) states that covered entities must “implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable appropriate level.” Industry regulations are often country specific, so you should consult your legal, security and audit teams to ensure you understand your compliance landscape.

    Upgrading servers is not just a maintenance task. It provides an opportunity to deliver significant business value. Business users expect mobile connected applications that were barely on the horizon with Windows Server 2003. Additionally, technology capabilities have also evolved dramatically in the last decade, with the emergence of cloud and new standards for manageability and security. Migration options include:

    Consolidate physical servers or paid virtualization platforms to Hyper-V and save money.

    •  Migrate workloads like Exchange to Office 365 to get the latest productivity innovations and reduce your management burden.
    • Upgrade from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2014 to achieve mission-critical performance and faster insights on any data.
    • Migrate Web applications to Microsoft Azure or our Cloud OS Network, for the improved reach, scale and cost efficiency.
    • Update custom or line of business applications to support the needs of today’s globally connected mobile workforce.
    • If you have questions, or need help, Microsoft, our hardware partners and our system integration partners are ready to get you on the latest technology. To find out more visit our website.

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  • 06/18/15--13:21: June Family Fun Guide

  • Bigger, Better... and serious about fun! 

    Now you have access to savings up to 60% on over 80,000 hotels in the most desirable destinations around the world, brand new products including great deals on nationwide theme parks, movie tickets and rental cars, plus the same great Broadway shows and exciting sporting events you've always enjoyed. PLUS, shopping is even easier with a secure on-site shopping cart. 

    With all these exciting changes, to ensure you continue to receive Plum Benefits email communications (to distribute to your employees) - please add Plum Benefits to your safe senders list or address book within your email client (i.e., Outlook). 

    You can do this easily: 

    1.Right click on this email in your inbox and select "Junk Email Options" 
    2.Click on the "Safe Senders" tab and push the "Add" button 
    3.Add in the field provided 

    Please click here to read the entire article.

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    Remember the classic scene in the 1987 movie Wall Street in which Gordon Gekko places a call from a beachfront using a two-pound, football-sized cellphone? The underlying message: only a wealthy robber baron like Gekko could afford such extravagant technology.

    Oh, how far we’ve come. By 2025, there will be upwards of 4.7 billion people online. Most data will move through or be stored in the cloud. And there will be 4 billion mobile Internet subscriptions globally. Nearly every business of every size relies on the digital world—from computers and mobile devices to cloud services and social media—to do things Gekko only dreamed of, from updating sales figures from the road to serving global markets in real time.

    Rising security threats—to all businesses
    Along with the incredible business advancements, SMBs also face security challenges nobody imagined in 1987. According to the security company Symantec, small businesses with 1¬–500 employees were targeted in 41 percent of all attacks in 2013—and attacks are rapidly increasing. In fact, targeted attacks on businesses with 1–2,500 employees rose an alarming 61% from 2012 to 2013.

    Why are cybercriminals targeting SMBs? Because smaller businesses have the same valuable bank account information, customer data, and intellectual property as big businesses, often with far less stringent security practices and less advanced technology. Also, because SMBs may serve big businesses, they can be a convenient entry point for infecting their much larger partners and business customers.

    Get in front of the problem
    Despite the headlines and alarming rhetoric about cyberattacks, SMBs generally do not need to invest in million-dollar digital security solutions even if the resources for such solutions were available. Because most security threats involve malware attacks or insider misuse (losing a laptop, etc.), the most effective solutions are similarly mundane: only use protected software and cloud resources, and keep your software updated.

    Focus on implementing products, services, and policies, especially in the following areas:

    Identity: Protect mobile devices with customized security by user, location, and device – including the ability to lock devices, reset pins, and remotely wipe data.

    Access control: Invest in solutions that ensure secure, remote access to sensitive business applications and data.

    Desktop and device management: Use centralized tools to manage all your devices, and keep desktops and devices automatically set to receive the latest security updates.

    Data protection: Make sure your software – from server and desktop to email, mobile and cloud -- has built-in protections against hackers, malware, and viruses that exceed compliance and privacy standards.

    Train your employees: your team is your first line of defense. Ensure all your employees understand the policies in place and how to help implement them. Learn more about how to get your team on board to help.

    While cyberattacks can be problematic, there’s no reason to fear. Instead, invest in products and services that are inherently more secure, with security built in and prioritized throughout design and development. And make sure they’re also built for manageability and ease of use—so you can easily take advantage of the exciting benefits afforded by today’s highly connected digital world.

    Explore the following resources for information on how to help keep your business protected:

    Please click here to read the original article on the Microsoft website.

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  • 07/01/15--08:45: GREAT Tech Awards 2015

  • The third annual GREAT Tech Awards encourages high-growth technology companies in the Northeast USA to select the UK as destination of choice for international expansion.

    Six innovative companies, selected by a panel of prestigious judges and advisors, will win a roundtrip flight to London courtesy of British Airways; five nights' accommodation courtesy of Corinthia Hotel London; and valuable professional services from lawyers Fieldfisher, accountants BDO, recruitment agents Propel Executive, and real estate advisors Knight Frank. In addition, there will be high-level meetings with mentors and government officials, attendance at the unBound Digital conference in London, and business development services provided by sector specialists.

    Competition categories are:

    CleanTech - e.g. Renewable technologies, smart grid and cities, energy efficiency, transportation technologies, biofuels, energy storage, built environment, waste management, water and waste water, air quality and advanced materials.
    EdTech - e.g. multimedia learning, m-learning, digital education collaboration, technology/computer-based learning
    FinTech - e.g. big data, financial platforms, mobile banking, crowdfunding
    Health - e.g. medical devices, diagnostics, e-health, m-health, biotech
    Lifestyle - e.g. retail, fashion, e-commerce, travel, food, social discovery, nonprofits, social good
    Media - e.g. big data, digital media, technologies for video and game consoles, arts, TV content, music software, ad-tech, enterprise, publishing/content

    Best of USA:

    The Best of USA prize will be awarded to a US company from the Northeast USA established in the UK for less than 18 months. The winner will receive a return British Airways Premium Economy flight to the UK; five nights at Corinthia Hotel London; valuable professional services from lawyers, Fieldfisher; accountants BDO; and businesses development services from sector specialists.

    The Best of British:

    The Best of British prize will be awarded to a UK company established in the US using disruptive technology in their sector. The Prize will include an event in the US, professional services from lawyers and accountants, and business development services from sector specialists.

    Applications close on 31 July 2015. Finalists will be announced in September and winners will be presented at a gala and ceremony on 29 October 2015.

    Please click here to access the event page.

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    Contact Name

    Company Name


    Matthew Roth Matthew Aron Roth Photography
    Trung Truong Borough Construction LLC
    Jessica Robinson PurePoint International
    Steven Buchwald Buchwald & Associates 
    Shoko Sekiguchi Ampleen LLC
    Rise Hourani HVAC Mechanical Supplies & Solutions
    Brittany Grando Grando Energy
    Janet Falk Falk Communications and Research
    Patricia Warmack PitaP's Productions, Inc.
    Michael Cano Gateway VIP Services
    Renee Leibler NotifyNeighbor
    Michael Heiligenstein Fit Small Business
    Irina Gubenko Fragrant Wellness
    JoAnna Riggins JB Riggins Consulting, Inc.
    Kishan Alexander A.Logan Insurance
    Iren Gurarye ArtsInteractive
    Liyah Eliyahu New York Life
    Stephanie Rios Pop Squid Mkg
    Anthony Constantinople Constantinople and Vallone Consulting
    Angelique Kirton The Concept NYC
    Michael Grove Nimzo Capital
    Abraham Wilner
    Alison Josephs Josephs Design, Inc.
    Nora Campbell Execu|Search
    Josh Fox Bottom Line Concepts


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    Contact Name

    Company Name


    Caroline van Scheltinga

    Blocadi Capital LLC



    Joanna Anastasiadis

    Marathon Energy Corporation

    Kishan Alexander

    A.Logan Insurance Brokerage

    Melanie Gass 

    CenterPoint Solution, LLC

    Torkan Maham

    Torkan USA Inc.

    John Craven 

    John F Craven CPA LLC

    Kamu Kilinc

    SKALA International Holding Inc.

    R. Ashton Wall

    Colloquium Depot, LTD.

    Lewis Gross

    Alexa Adams

    Ohne Titel

    Jeff Gorman


    Warren Davis

    Warren Davis - Human Resources Consulting

    Chris Jones

    Promethean IT

    Anthony Carro

    Point Vantage Employee Benefits


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    "We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the class of 2016! The NYC Venture Fellows is a world class year long fellowship program, designed to help potential entrepreneurs scale their ventures in New York City through mentorship, CEO Conversations, executive training seminars, and peer engagement.

    As member of the NYC business community, you can play a pivotal role in helping us to identify founders of NYC startups that should be considered for our next cohort. If you know someone who should be considered as a Fellow, or if you yourself are a founder of a NYC startup, visit our website and learn how to submit a nominations today!

    Have questions about the program? Please keep reading to get caught up on what the Fellows are up to and to see who's in our network of Mentors & Advisors.

    Thank you for your support the City and the 92nd Street Y. Please contact us at with questions."

    Team NYCVF

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    On Thursday July 16th from 8AM to 10AM, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce hosted a Chairman’s Discussion with a special focus on the rezoning of Midtown East. New York City Councilmember Dan Garodnick, who represents Midtown East, gave the keynote address.
    Garodnick’s remarks were followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Ken Biberaj, Chairman of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

    The panelist featured experts in development, real estate, infrastructure and brokerage, including:

    - Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
    - Chris Sameth, Head of Acquisitions, Kuafu Properties
    - Dirk Hrobsky, Executive Vice President, DTZ United States
    - Jeffrey Holmes, Director, Woods Bagot

    To view the video, please click here:…/929f4fadeaaf42d4814b23cd510b792…

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    By Zach Hutchins,

    The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce last week hosted a panel discussion on higher education standards, the value of assessments and business engagement in education at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City. The event—sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of New York State (PPI) and the Committee for Economic Development—featured a panel of local stakeholders: Cass Conrad, executive director of School Support and Development at CUNY; Tenicka Boyd, director of organizing at StudentsFirstNY; Neal Gorka a teacher at Democracy Prep Charter Middle School; and Robert Patterson, business development manager at Progressive Computing Inc.
    Since its adoption by the New York State Board of Regents in January 2011, the Common Core has been conflated with a host of unrelated issues, namely teacher evaluations, which include a student-growth component centered on state and local assessments.
    Boyd, who is a strong supporter of both the standards and Common Core aligned-assessments, told the audience about her background growing up in a low-income neighborhood in Milwaukee. There, Ms. Boyd told how she was inspired by her third-grade teacher, Mr. Smith, who made a huge impact on her life and the lives of her classmates. She also noted that the opt-out movement—which has been wrought with misinformation— was not prevalent in lower-income and minority communities.
    In regard to the current workforce’s preparation for 21st century careers, Patterson noted that job applicants often lacked “soft skills,” including working in groups and critical thinking.
    We would like to thanks the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce for partnering with us on this great event.

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    Eric Hrubant and CIRE Travel are featured in the VISA® Small Business Spotlight campaign. Visit the CIRE Travel blog to view the commercial!


    MCC often helps its members by alerting them of press opportunities. When MCC sent out a press opportunity in April, it led to a member being featured in a national campaign! Eric writes about his experience below.



    Hi Laura,


    Working with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce has helped me land this great opportunity to be featured in this VISA Small Business campaign.  The email that was sent out, led to me working with the a booking agency for an audition and subsequent invitation to shoot the commercial


    While my team and I prefer working behind the scenes to make travel far easier for our clients, Visa provided us an excellent opportunity to briefly encapsulate my story and discuss how I make it even easier for my team to deliver for our clients.  I’m particularly pleased that Visa chose to showcase the vibrancy of travel agencies, which are not just thriving, but booming.


    The power of networking is extremely important as evidenced by my experience with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce – you just never know where an opportunity to build your business can come from. It’s fundamentally important to spend and invest in your business as I continually do. The dividends it pays are worth every penny.


    Thank you again!





    Eric Hrubant, President

    CIRE Travel, A Division of Tzell

    119 West 40th St. | 14th Floor | New York, NY 10018

    tel (212) 339-2917 | fax (212) 812-3191

     Newsletter  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn



    MCC’s Press Opportunity Sent to Members on April 14, 2015:


    Dear MCC Members:


    A Casting Director from Vitamin Enriched, Maryann Driscoll, is looking for business owners in the NY Tri-State area for a Visa ad campaign and would like to reach the MCC members.


    Vitamin Enriched is casting for Small Business Owners in the New York Tri-State area who will share their stories of how their businesses came to be.  It's a paid project and would offer some great exposure for the businesses that are booked.

    More details about the project can be found here!


    • Auditions via Skype April 20 & 21, 2015

    • Callback - in-person in NYC on April 27th, 2015

    • Shoot day: May 01, 2015

    • Payment: This is a union (SAG) commercial. The shoot day pays over $600, plus additional compensation.


    If you or one of your clients would be interested in applying, please contact Maryann directly.  


    Maryann Driscoll

    Vitamin Enriched





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    When Jeanne Sullivan took the stage at the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce “Funding Your Passion + Financing Your Business” event last week to discuss startup funding -  she cut an unassuming profile, at least for a seasoned all-star venture capital professional.

    Jeanne offered some practical advice about startup funding, based on her many years of VC experience. She is co-founder of StarVest Partners, a venture fund created in 1998 with $400 million under management

    Forbes described Sullivan as “one of the women VCs changing the world – grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs” and she serves on the board of the NY Venture Capital Association. She’s dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs, in what is still a male dominated world for most tech startups.

    She now heads “Sullivan Adventures” as Chief Inspiration Officer. And she certainly inspired the MCC audience with her advice to entrepreneurs seeking funding for their startups:

    • Get the meeting: Identify who wants what you have: sector/stage/geography/you. Never go in cold. Get introductions from law firms, accounting firms – build and use your network.
    • Get the story out of your mouth: Articulate and package the business model. Provide use cases. Use the “eyebrow” test – try to raise the eyebrows, get them intrigued.
    • Tell me about the business of the business: Include the go to market plan, how you will build the business. Lay out the functional skills you will need to hire – as soon as you get funded. Stress your unique advantages.
    • Know your Financials (cold): Gross margin, capital needs of the business, estimated valuation, be a careful curator of other people’s money. Get the smartest outsourced financial person possible to show you the way, bring them to the meeting.
    • Follow up – and negotiate – appropriately: Business wins, key hires, fund raising, if they hear some other investors are coming in they will follow.

    The thing that may set Jeanne apart from many others in VC community is her approachability. Talking to many NYC-based VCs makes one feels like being in the beholden presence of royalty.

    Jeanne offered her e-mail to the audience at the end of her remarks, encouraging people to reach out her. She actually stayed around during the reception following the formal event remarks, and made the time to talk to everyone that approached her.

    When asked why she has such passion for the venture capital world, she replied:

    Entrepreneurism is driving the economy and fulfills passion and prosperity.  What good are all my connections and experience unless I leverage my network and knowledge and help support the efforts of others.

    Jeanne’s Twitter stream is well worth following @gianna212.

    And she delivered a thoughtful and funny talk at the recent TEDx Barnard College event entitled “Master the Minefield – Dealing with Bullies, Bozos and Buffoons.”

    Please click here to find out the original article on
    Original Blog Post by PM+CO

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    Contact Name Company Name Website
    Dr. Ankur Prakash Well Balanced Chiropractic, P.C.
    Ava Seavey Avalanche Creative Services, Inc.
    Claudette Duff Integrity Senior Services
    Rita Ewing Massage Envy Spa-Midtown West
    Beth Bronfman VIEW
    Frank Apollo JP Morgan Chase - Frank Apollo
    Jihan Mitchell RCN of New York
    Ona Burns Consulair, Inc.
    Colette Malouf Colette Malouf Inc.
    Barry Korn Barrett Capital Corporation
    Eric Hrubant CIRE Travel, A Division of Tzell
    Hedi White Haug Realty Corp.
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    Article by Milene Fernandez, Epoch Time

    NEW YORK—A tall, slender woman, with an inviting dignity about her, and the most radiant smile on earth, hugged children as they trickled into her fashion-forward boutique by Madison Square Park, Noir et Blanc, at around 10:30 on a sunny morning.

    “You can give love and there will always be more. It’s a barrel that never gets empty,” Deborah Koenigsberger said beaming.

    She told the children to gather at The Thrifty HoG next door so that they could get ready for their summer camp activity that day. They were going to have a fun day at the beach on Coney Island. On other days they have visited museums, universities like Yale, or cities like Philadelphia where they learned about the Liberty Bell; they write essays and get extra tutoring after school.

    A board member of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Koenigsberger owns the French-inspired boutique, Noir et Blanc, and the stylishly curated resale boutique next door, The Thrifty HoG. Her stores double as the administrative office for the nonprofit she founded 20 years ago, Hearts of Gold (HoG), which has been helping homeless children and mothers become self-sufficient. The summer camp, STEP (summer team enrichment program), for preteens and teens is just one of several HoG programs. 

    While her customers can afford to buy Prada, they keep coming back to Noir et Blanc for the unique pieces she carries—made in Europe, Canada, and the United States. As a former model and a stylist, she’s well known for advising her high-profile customers and friends on fashion choices. “It’s like a one stop shop, so I get a lot of referrals,” Koenigsberger said.

    Her Noir et Blanc customers and celebrity friends will often donate clothes to the The Thrifty HoG, and all the proceeds go to her nonprofit. Koenigsberger also provides on-the-job training to the mothers employed at The Thrifty HoG.

    A 2-year-old lets go of her mother’s hand, runs over to Koenigsberger, and gives her a hug. “I always say this, and it’s so true, I get so much more out of this than I put in, I do!” Koenigsberger said. “I get so much joy out of that little girl running down the block to give me a hug, who doesn’t want that?” she added.

    Definitely a woman of action, Koenigsberger’s confidence and generosity is palpable. She’s always moving, because sitting blocks her energy she said. She doesn’t waste time worrying or mulling over what could be done. She just does what she knows she can make possible.

    “To me the word ‘enough’ is a big deal. We all need to understand is where our enough point is and then say, ‘Okay, now I can share and give because I have more than enough,'” she said.

    Helping Others Get Out of a Box

    The chance meeting of a homeless woman sleeping in a cardboard box, a Stevie Wonder song, and the encouragement of a makeup artist friend all coalesced to give Koenigsberger the idea to found Hearts of Gold.

    She lived on Madison Avenue between 32nd and 33rd streets when she was studying romance languages and German at NYU. She would walk through Madison Park when it used to be trashy, “like a heroin den,” she said. She came across a young woman who slept in a cardboard box with her daughter. “I was initially leery, because you never know … but I slowly approached her one day,” she said.

    The woman did not talk very much but told Koenigsberger that she had decided to live in the park because people would steal her things, would harass her, and beat her up in the shelter. Koenigsberger built up a kind of relationship with the woman, bringing food for her and her child.

    One day the woman wasn’t there anymore. “I lost her, never saw her again, never saw her again,” Koenigsberger repeated. “But even though she physically left, she never left me. I pray for them and I hope that they are doing well wherever they are,” Koenigsberger said.

    That experience along with the song about homelessness, “Take the Time Out” (Album: Conversation Peace, 1995) by Stevie Wonder—who’s Koenigsberger’s idol, “this man is just beyond,” she said smiling—inspired her to affect change. Three years before that song came out, during a summer vacation in Florida, Koenigsberger met Bobbi Brown when Brown was a makeup artist just about to launch her cosmetics company.

    Back in New York Brown encouraged Koenigsberger to give a talk at a homeless shelter on 28th Street to mothers about how to dress at job interviews, while she talked about makeup. So both of them created an immersion program that was a huge hit.

    “Every child got a red shopping bag with toys and books and clothes and stuffed animals, it was great and it was really like Christmas, but something also happened,” she said. One of the little girls went to show her mom what she got and her mother just said, “So,” with indifference. “I remember being so shocked and heartbroken, but it was because I didn’t understand,” Koenigsberger said. She didn’t understand because she and her husband always wanted to give everything to their two sons.

    Then she remembered a refrigerator magnet that her mother had at home practically telling her what to do. The magnet read, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

    When Easter came around she approached her friends in the fashion industry, including Ivana Trump for whom she did wardrobe consulting. She provided Easter Bunny baskets with gifts for the children and the mothers. Brown provided a cosmetic product and Trump, who was making gazillions of dollars on HSN (Home Shopping Network) provided jewelry.

    “It was beautiful,” she said. The mothers were like, “Yea, look what I got too.”

    She realized that the homeless mom had never really had a childhood. Koenigsberger said, “She grew up in this abusive craziness and she couldn’t even appreciate it [the Christmas gift] for her kid because she just never had it herself, and all of a sudden you were asking her to appreciate something she knew nothing about.”

    That’s how she decided she was going to make Hearts of Gold about moms and kids.

    It Takes All Kinds to Make a World

    But Koenigsberger’s initial spark for founding Hearts of Gold and her strength of character goes further back to her childhood experiences growing up in Jamaica and her strong-willed mother who passed away 20 years ago.

    “I just don’t remember a time when my mom complained about stuff. We had enough, we had certainly enough love from my mom and dad,” Koenigsberger said.

    Her mother moved to New York City to establish her career as an assistant nurse at NYU, and her father would soon follow a couple of years later to work as an electrical engineer at AT&T and establish a new home for the family. In the meantime, Koenigsberger was put under the care of her paternal grandparents and would spend time with her high-class aunt and uncle in Jamaica. Her aunt treated her like a second-class citizen. She recalled feeling like Cinderella while her cousins were treated like royalty in comparison.

    “I was born with the fire of my mother, so I’ve always had a mouth, I would always say what I thought. In Jamaica you can’t talk like that, it’s not allowed, it’s not polite,” she recalled. So to keep her in her so-called place, her aunt would say things to her but fortunately at the tender age of 10 Koenigsberger did not realize how hurtful those things were at the time.

    “She basically said to me, you will be nothing and you will have a string of kids, you won’t even know who the fathers are. When these things were said to me I didn’t process them as anything important, except that it made me really angry,” Koenigsberger recalled.

    Koenigsberger is the kind of person who becomes more determined to prove such assumptions wrong in the short and long-term. In September she will celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary with her very supportive and loving husband, Thilo. She raised two very philanthropic minded sons. Stephan, the younger, is a nationally ranked swimmer studying geology at Middlebury College, and Florian, the older one, graduated from Yale and now works at Google.

    She attributes her aunt’s insensitivity to the practice of class prejudice handed down from the former British imperialism in Jamaica.

    “It was the culture. People looked down on other people. Here in this country, you have racism, there [in Jamaica] you have social class, and you are raised thinking that if you come from this side of the fence then you are that, and if you come from that side then you are that, that’s just how it was,” she said, pointing in opposite directions.

    Koenigsberger knows what it feels like to be put in a box, and to overcome other people’s assumptions or limitations they impose on her. Instead of bringing her down, it fires up her empathy and generosity even more.

    “Somebody needs to be telling these kids and mothers that they can. It’s amazing what will happen if you don’t drink the Kool-Aid. So I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid and here I am, and I’m going to make sure that they don’t drink the Kool-Aid,” she said.

    It’s a matter of will and choice. “I tell the moms all the time, ‘You know this is not your life. This is just a moment in your life, unless you choose to make it your life, and if you do, you will stay in this place.'”

    The Hearts of Gold children regard her as an aunt, the mothers as a sister, a strong and compassionate pillar of support. “They [homeless mothers] need love and they need somebody to disappoint,” said Koenigsberger. “When you have somebody to disappoint, you try harder,” she said.

    She will warn the mothers not to disappoint her, because she’s putting out a lot to help them get out of the poverty rut. “If everybody knows that somebody’s got their back, it’s a beautiful thing,” she said.

    Koenigsberger has gathered over $9 million in financial support for homeless mothers and their children. At her first fundraiser in 1996 she gathered $3,000. Last year she raised $800,000 with her board. The next Hearts of Gold fundraising gala will be on Nov. 5 at Nasdaq in Times Square.

    “It’s grown, and I have really amazing friends,” she said calling the biggest benefactors, Michael and Cheryl Barrett, who have supported HoG from the very beginning, and Nick and Shelley Schorsch, “Amazingly huge hearted people.” In addition to Brown and Trump, she has also received support from Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, Marcia Gay Harden, Hoda Kotb, Laura Linney, Emme, Soledad O’Brien, Tamara Tunie, Vanessa L. Williams, and Stevie Wonder.

    French people say ‘Il faut du tout pour faire un monde’ meaning, you need a little bit everything to make a world, Koenigsberger said with a fluid French accent.

    “And everybody has to be doing different things, because if everybody stopped what they were doing today and only focused on charity work there would be nothing to give, so we need a Schorsch to be super successful, so he can give, we need the guy who delivers my mail, we need a little bit of everything,” Koenigsberger said, smiling as the mailman comes into Noir et Blanc to deliver certified mail. Koenigsberger signed and said, “There you go,” with a radiant smile.

    This Is New York is a feature series that delves into the lives of inspiring individuals in New York City. See all our TINYs here:  and @milenefernandez

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