“I’m there to do a job to serve a population or the community, and I take the role seriously,” he said. “I expect the people involved to take it just as seriously to make sure we all accomplish our stated goals.”
His experiences and management skills will serve him well in his new position as chairman of the Queens Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
“As a member of the Board of Directors we’re not responsible for the day-to-day activities, but we set the vision for the organization and make sure that we’re fulfilling our overall mission,” he said. “It’s a role where I can oversee what’s going on, which is what a board should do.”
One month into his year-long term, Santucci has a number of goals for the Queens Chamber. First, he would like to implement an internship program for students and recent grads.
“Internships fulfill a purpose,” he said. “Internships give you experience in a business, helps you decide what your future path is, and teaches you certain skills that will serve you well throughout life.”
He thinks an internship program administered through the Queens Chamber of Commerce would prove beneficial to both Chamber members and students.
“I mentioned the internship program and I got a lot of feedback saying ‘boy, that would be great if we could do that.’ There’s no reason we can’t,” Santucci said. “I believe anything can be accomplished if you have the desire and motivation to see it through. When someone says something can’t be done, that’s like waving a red flag in front of me.”
Another of Santucci’s goals is to work with the law programs of local colleges, such as St. John’s University and Queens College, to provide legal help to businesses.
“We should go into partnerships with some of these institutions and offer pro bono legal services to some businesses,” he said. “If they need basic help, why not serve as a conduit for that?”
Santucci is also looking forward to the reenergized Queens Chamber of Commerce Foundation and its development of a workforce training program. Furthermore, he would like to create a space that can serve as an incubator for entrepreneurs where people can meet and have guaranteed Internet access.
One particular improvement Santucci would like to see is in the area of marketing and promotion by expanding the Chamber’s profile on the Internet and public television.
“We’ve got to get the word out, because we could accomplish great things, but if no one knows about it then what’s the point?” he said. “Marketing stirs interest and that stirs activity and that’s when you see things start to come together.
“We’re an organization that is helping our members in marketing, but we have to market better ourselves, too,” he added.
Even though he knows his time as chairman is limited, he’s looking forward to the progress that will be made throughout the year.
“We’re already starting to work on some of the items on the agenda, but as the year progresses, we’ll see more of it come to fruition,” he said. “To me, that’s rewarding.”