40 Years of “Personal Touch”

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Pictured from left: Grant Hendricks, Vice Chairman, Suffolk IDA; Hon. Ed Wehrheim, Supervisor, Town of Smithtown; Terri Alessi-Miceli, President & CEO, HIA-LI; Jack Kulka, President & Founder, The Kulka Group and HIA-LI Lifetime Board Member; Sophia Serlis-McPhillips, Director, Middle Country Public Library; and, Joe Campolo, HIA-LI Board Chair and Managing Partner, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP

I’ve said it before: One special attribute of HIA-LI is that we bring “a personal touch” to our work.

This pleasing dimension of our operations was evident at last week’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Stonebridge in Hauppauge.

We were able to have some fun, interact socially, honor some great friends, and reflect on HIA-LI’s many accomplishments over four decades.

It’s nice that HIA-LI doesn’t default into clinical-style, by-the-book networking. Instead, we enjoy each other’s company. We engage each other as people, not just business prospects.

It calls to mind my initial encounters with the group about 30 years ago. As an executive with Dale Carnegie Training, I was a rank-and-file member of HIA-LI, hoping to drum up some local business.

But what treatment I received! Marcy Tublisky introduced me to virtually every CEO in the organization.

My first reaction was, “This group is different. Sure, they’re all aiming for business success. But these people bring ‘a personal touch’ to the whole enterprise!”

And it was a personal thrill for me last week when we recognized four honorees:

We applauded an HIA-LI founding father and development icon Jack Kulka — President and Founder of The Kulka Group — who was there on Day One in 1978.

We recognized the Miller Business Center of Centereach, represented by Middle Country Public Library Director Sophia Serlis-McPhillips. Few know that HIA-LI had been poised to launch our own business library years ago when we realized that the nearby Miller Business Center was an ideal partner to fulfill our needs.

Attendees also praised the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency – represented by Vice Chair Grant Hendricks – which aggressively promotes the growth of our business park.

Supervisor Edward Wehrheim spoke for the Town of Smithtown, our final honoree. He’s already begun building upon the legacy of former Supervisor Pat Vecchio in facilitating the enrichment of our complex.

And I was truly surprised and humbled to be given an award by the HIA-LI board. It is my honor to serve as president and C.E.O., and I share this honor with the outstanding staff at HIA-LI who work hard every day in order to make my job look easy.

We also recounted some of HIA-LI’s achievements over four decades, including our growth from 350 to nearly 1,000 member companies.

HIA-LI remains an effective agent of regional economic growth, while maintaining the “personal touch” that facilitates relationship building among members. And HIA-LI keeps advocating for the Hauppauge Industrial Park, whose 1,350 businesses and 55,000 employees make it America’s most job-rich industrial park east of the Mississippi River.

We’ve leveraged dozens of assets for the Park and its member firms, such as a Northern State Parkway exit ramp, a dedicated COPE car in cooperation with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the country’s first-ever industrial park-based childcare centers, dozens of sewage, lighting, and road improvements, and a truly lengthy list of other deliverables.

Click here to check out our 40th Anniversary Report for a more complete list of accomplishments, current initiatives, and along with the history of HIA-LI.

So, bravo to you, HIA-LI! And congratulations on 40 proud years of successful business advocacy – all carried out in a way that maintains a warmly appreciated “personal touch.”

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Rooftops Provide Solar Opportunities

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Pictured at a recent HIA-LI Solar Initiative Town Hall Meeting are, from left: Scott Maskin, President, SUNation Solar Systems, and HIA-LI Solar Initiative Co-Chair; Terri Alessi-Miceli, President & CEO, HIA-LI, and Joe Campolo, Managing Partner, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, and HIA-LI Board Chair.

What do you do when you have 20 million square feet of unused rooftops?

Go solar!

And why not?

  • There would be no negative environmental impact from trees having to be cut.
  • It would supply low-cost electricity for HIP businesses as well as to low and moderate income residential customers.
  • It would generate 50-100 construction jobs created during the build-out period as well as $40 million in total construction revenue.
  • And it would produce an estimated $4 million in annual payments to building owners in the Park.

That’s why HIA-LI’s Energy, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee formed the HIP Solar Initiative.  This cooperative initiative will provide economies of scale previously unattainable and going solar will allow building owners to take advantage of substantial economic benefits.

As stated by Lifetime Board Member Jack Kulka, Chair of HIA-LI Energy, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee, “The HIP Solar Initiative provides the unique opportunity to various businesses in the HIP to upgrade their aging roofs while concurrently installing state of the art solar systems at substantially discounted costs.”

According to Michael Voltz, Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewables for PSEG Long Island, PSEG encourages businesses to consider installing solar because it’s clean, renewable energy that helps reduce energy costs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuel.

“The Hauppauge Industrial Park has vast roof area and vast untapped solar potential. Through this innovative program, the HIP has the potential to become a national leader in renewable energy while keeping Long Island dollars at home, said HIA-LI Board Member Scott Maskin, CEO of SUNation Solar Systems.  “It’s exciting to play a part in fortifying the PSEG grid, while delivering economic benefits to HIP building owners, tenants, and local residential ratepayers. It’s a win-win all around.”

The project would also differentiate the HIP as a leader in distributed energy generation in the United States.  It would also help to achieve Governor Cuomo’s initiative to have 50 percent renewable energy in New York State by 2030.

This is yet another example of how HIA-LI – formed 40 years ago with a prime directive in making the HIP the finest concentrated working environment on Long Island – is always on the lookout for ways to enhance members’ opportunities to positively impact their bottom line.

Building owners interested in participating in the program can learn more here.