Nearly 100 business leaders from various industries attended a pre-game networking event at St. John’s University on Tuesday, January 30.
The event, organized by BQE Media and the Queens Chamber of Commerce, brought together attorneys, bankers, small business owners and nonprofit leaders. They enjoyed food and drinks while making connections with other Queens businesses. The second half of the night was a premium seat to watch Chris Mullin and the St. Johns Red Storm men’s basketball team take on nationally ranked Xavier.
Anton Goff, St. John’s Athletic Director, kicked off the event by highlighting the strong ties between SJU and the local Queens business community. Goff also fielded questions about the future of the SJU basketball program.
Thomas Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber, said the networking event is part of the chamber’s mission to educate, advocate and network.
“It’s all about helping our businesses and members grow,” he said.
Grech also mentioned the Chamber’s monthly magazine, ‘This Is Queensborough’, which serves as a a communication, advocation, ad informative tool for Chamber members and all businesses in Queens.
“Through ‘This Is Queensborough’ Magazine, Chamber businesses are communicating, learning, and growing together,” said Walter Sanchez, President of BQE Media.
The event was hosted by St. John’s University Conference Services, the department of the University that rents out event space all around Campus. “Receptions, conferences, expos, graduations, performances, etc… Our SJU campus offers modern, spacious, event space options for any event,” said Cheryl O’Hara, Conference Services Event Manager.
Five hundreds dollars from the event were donated to the Variety Boys and Girls Club, which provides programming for students throughout western Queens.
Thomas Rudzewick, president and CEO of Maspeth Federal, said the room represents small businesses, which is a large focus for the longtime community bank.
“It’s all about the local community and being part of the fabric so the community flourishes,” he said.
Companies represented at the event also included representatives from: USTA, Merrill Lynch, Crown Plaza Hotel, Skanska USA, Capital One, Zara Realty, Bayside Volkswagen, Bank of America, EMU Health, Stephen Hans & Associates, P.C., Greg Newman – President of the Queens County Bar Association, Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., Jean Potvin (Former NY Islander Hockey Player), Northfield Bank, WatchGuard 24/7 Security, Lincoln Computer Services, Heroes Basketball League, Maspeth Federal Bank, Exit Realty, Boy Scouts of America, Leavitt & Kerson Attorneys, Denco Energy Management, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.
After the networking event, attendees walked over to Carnesecca Arena, where St. John’s played nationally-ranked Xavier. The thrilling game came down to the final minutes, when Xavier prevailed.