It Ain’t Just Exhibit Booths!

Top photo: The trade show floor. Bottom photo: The executive luncheon panel.

Every May, HIA-LI’s Annual Trade Show and Conference infuses our year-round programming  with a healthy jolt of momentum.

This year’s event, our 31st, was the most successful ever. The May 30 exposition – held at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood – attracted 375 exhibitors and more than 3,000 attendees. It was a joy to see attendees reinforce valuable business relationships on the trade show floor.

One high point was Executive Breakfast keynoter Carl Banks, the former NFL linebacker who earned two Super Bowl championship rings as a New York Giant.

Carl is president of GIII Sports, an apparel company ranking among the top three sportswear licensees in professional sports. He shared lessons for success he had carried from the football field into the business world.

Later, a stellar Executive Luncheon panel was moderated by Mitch Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute and a huge HIA-LI booster.

Panelist Bob Coughlan, principal with TRITEC Real Estate, updated attendees on the 50-acre Ronkonkoma Hub. His company is master developer of a project Bob calls “one of the East Coast’s best transit-oriented sites.”

In a presentation by David Wolkoff, a principal at Heartland Business Center, guests were briefed on Heartland Town Square, a walkable, 450-acre “smart growth” community unfolding on Brentwood’s former Pilgrim State grounds.

David Pennetta, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield, discussed such novel development strategies as a recent proposal to permit multi-family development within an aging Melville business park.

Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri drew praise from fellow panelists for his community’s precedent-setting, redevelopment makeover, including TRITEC’s $112 million, multi-use “New Village” community.

Panelist Joe Campolo — the Managing Partner at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP and our HIA-LI board chair — reinforced the upbeat spirit by focusing on the action plan spelled out in the recent “Opportunity Analysis” completed for the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge, the new name of the Hauppauge Industrial Park.

The analysis was sponsored by Suffolk County IDA and the Regional Plan Association – and a Task Force is poised to turn the plan into a reality.

While every panelist acknowledged the urgent need for Long Island to retain the youngest stratum of our workforce, Joe said that the strategic re-creation of our business park would play an instrumental role in keeping young people here.

The energy of a successful trade show – combined with the anticipation we’re all feeling as the Park launches its expansion plans – made for an exciting day!

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