LIJ FOREST HILLS
Susan Browning (pictured above), executive director of Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Forest Hills, formally joined the chamber last July as the co-chair of the Health and Wellness Committee.
Through her work on the committee, Browning said she saw how identifying areas of interest, including insurance, access to care and specific clinical conditions, was helpful to both business owners and residents.
“I saw how working on the committee and shaping the dialogue was beneficial to the members,” she said.
Browning, a Woodside native, previously served as vice president at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and later as deputy director of LIJ Forest Hills. Her other leadership posts include senior vice president at Staten Island University Hospital.
The health care veteran will now be able to leverage her experience and expertise to not only educate the members of the Health and Wellness Committee, but all members of the chamber.
She said her goal is to provide more knowledge from a health care economic perspective, such as the importance of public-private partnerships and understanding the responsibility of a hospital to provide health care to a community.
In addition to the education aspect of the chamber’s mission, Browning said networking is also important to build trust with the community.
“Being a health care provider, trust is an important component of providing care and providing access to care,” she said.
Prior to becoming co-chair of the Health and Wellness Committee, a position she will continue to hold, Browning said she attended Queens Chamber events. She knew Tom Grech from his leadership throughout the Queens community.
She decided to join the board because she likes the diversity of thought, diversity of people, the industries the chamber represents, and the energy and passion with which the chamber conducts its work.
“I’m looking forward to furthering the mission and vision of the chamber,” Browning said.
KLEIN WEALTH MANAGEMENT HIGHTOWER
Peter Klein was introduce to the Queens Chamber of Commerce two months ago, but he was so struck with the organization and the work they do, he has already joined the Board of Directors.
“I was really impressed with all of the good work that the chamber was doing, and I was really impressed with Tom Grech and Mayra [DiRico] and their entire team,” he said. “I’m from Queens, and even though I toil out on Long Island now, this is really a chance to give back to the business community from which I came.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook, an MBA from Baruch College, and receiving his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1999, Klein went to worked for Lehman Brothers and then the Melville-based Paine Webber before striking out on his own.
Philanthropy is in his nature. Klein sits on the boards of a number of charitable organizations, and in 2017 he recieved the Larry Kushnick Memorial Award for community Service. In his professional life, among his duties are helping clients manage legacy philanthropic portfolios designed to last for generations.
In his newest position, he hopes to work with members to grow the group, and said he has already found a receptive audience.
“I received a number of congratulations after Tom sent out an email welcoming me to the board,” Klein said. “I’m looking forward to working with the members to make the chamber even bigger and better than it already is.”
Nayan Parikh, president of leading construction management company Ashnu International Corporation, attended his first chamber event last year. After meeting president and CEO Thomas Grech and observing the work and energy of the chamber, Parikh wanted to get more involved.
“It’s a great organization to give my time and efforts to help grow Queens businesses,” he said.
Parikh is no stranger to giving back to the community. In addition to running an award-winning business, the India native is an active member of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Construction Mentorship Advisory Panel and an executive member of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Advisory Board for MWBEs.
His long list of affiliations include the New York State Association of Minority Contractors, the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects, and board memberships with the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the School Construction Authority (SCA).
“When you’re working with a team, you can give your input, rather than just going to events,” Parikh said. “You can use your voice and assist the chamber to grow in the right direction.”
For more than 15 years, Ashnu International has also built a strong reputation among government agencies. His Woodside-based company has been selected for projects such as Hurricane Sandy repair work in Coney Island and Rockaway Beach, MTA signal modifications, school renovation work, and other projects for city facilities.
Parikh is stepping into his new role with another important goal: to involve more diverse communities and expand the membership.
“If I’m on the board, I can spread the word to my community,” Parikh said. “It’s an honor and I’m excited to be on the board. I’m looking forward to working with an energetic team.”