Feb. 17, 2023, was a day of firsts for the North Shore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Not only did the organization swear in its first woman President, attorney and real estate broker Connie Pinilla Esq., but the ceremony was officiated by Judge Linda Mejías-Glover. Judge Mejias-Glover is a Nassau County Family Court Judge and the first Latina elected to the post. Pinilla was sworn in along with seven other newly elected members of the board.
Held at Nassau County’s Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, in Mineola, the event was hosted by Nassau County Office of Hispanic Affairs Executive Director Herbert Flores. He was joined in welcoming the guests by Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs Deputy Director, Melissa Figueroa. “It was an important day,” stated Flores, “We were honored to host the event. The North Shore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a great partner with the county, as we aggressively work to educate and promote resources available to small businesses.”
Salvadoran-born businessman, Ever Padilla, who founded the NSHCC (North Shore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) in 2019, was also honored. Padilla has served as the organization’s president since its inception. At the Feb. 17th ceremony, Padilla was sworn into his new post as First Vice President. The other Board members sworn in were Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews as Second Vice President and Public Relations Officer; Denky Begonja as Secretary; Blase Whitting as Co-secretary; Lisa Golden, Esq. as Legal Counsel, and Carlos Santana as Membership Officer. The ninth board member, Nadia Vee, will be sworn in at a later date.
In her opening address, Pinilla welcomed elected officials to the ceremony, including North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena and Glen Cove City Councilwoman Marsha Silverman. She also expressed her appreciation to other noted guests including Long Island Hispanic Bar Association President Veronica Renta Irwin, Esq., Kiwanis Club of the North Shore President Roger Hill; and former elected officials including former Nassau County Comptroller George Marigos and former Glen Cove Councilwoman and longtime NSHCC member Dr. Eve Lupenko Ferrante. Congratulatory messages were also shared from Glen Cove Mayor Pam Panzenbeck, Glen Cove City Councilwoman Barbara Peebles and Glen Cove City Councilwoman Danielle Fugazy Scagliola.
Citations were presented on behalf of County Executive Bruce Blakeman by the Executive Director of the Office of Hispanic Affairs Herbert Flores, on behalf of the Town of North Hempstead by North Hempstead Supervisor Jenn DeSena, on behalf of Senator Jack Martins, also presented by Supervisor Jenn DeSena, and on behalf of Assemblyman Charles Lavine by Glen Cove Councilwoman Marsha Silverman.
The event was followed by a luncheon held at The Cuban Restaurant in Garden City. The luncheon included a keynote address by newly-elected president Pinilla in which she outlined her vision for the future. There was also a special presentation by Jasmine Rivero and recognition paid to the NSHCC’s newest members. “This is an exciting time to join our chamber,” stated Pinilla. “We have many new members and are putting strategies in place to further broaden our service to chamber members and the community. Also, through extensive networking, we are expanding the possibilities for the Hispanic community and for our business partners across all demographics. I invite all to join our organization and engage with us as we work to shape a better future for Long Island.” To learn more about the North Shore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, including membership options, please visit www.nshchamber.org.
—Submitted by the North Shore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce