Long Island CEOs Chat With LIP at the 2021 HIA-LI Trade Show


Many of Long Island’s top CEOs were among the hundreds of professionals who gathered at HIA-LI’s 33rd Annual Trade Show in Melville on Oct. 14.

Businesses large and small showcased and discussed their work at the event, while others mingled and networked or attended one of several business-centered panels throughout the day. While in previous years the HIA-LI Trade Show would bring in around 4,000 people, the 2021 event had about 700 in attendance and was one of the organization’s first live events since the pandemic began, said Terri Alessi Miceli, CEO and president of HIA-LI.

“We’re so excited,” Miceli added. “Just to see people and get out there and connect is wonderful.”

A big topic of discussion that day was how to keep the millennial and younger generations living, working, and doing business on Long Island. As a business advocacy organization, HIA-LI is supporting development projects in the region that will drive Long Island’s economy into the future, said HIA-LI Board Chair Rich Humann, president and CEO of H2M architects + engineers. 

At Long Island Press’ corner of the main floor, our podcaster Skye Ostreicher caught up with Miceli, Humann, and nine more of the region’s most influential industry leaders about what’s new for their companies and the economy. Links to all 11 videos can be found throughout this post.

Kristen Reynolds-Jarnagin told the unlikely tale of how she came to lead Discover Long Island, a leading tourism marketing platform for the region, and the tools she and her team are using to get visitors and residents alike live their “best Long Island life.”

Skye also chatted with Kelly Murphy, deputy executive director of the Suffolk IDA, who spoke about how the IDA supports revitalizing downtowns and diversifying housing options in Suffolk. Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance, also spoke about supporting transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and new infrastructure, and ways to overcome the challenges to achieving some of those goals.

Entrepreneur Adam Haber shared the concept behind his new Long Beach-based business, Trellus, a delivery service for local, small businesses across the entire Island. “We are a purveyor of goods for small businesses that gets them to your home on your doorstep in really just a couple hours,” he said.

Kevin O’Connor, CEO of Dime Community Bank and board member of HIA-LI, expressed his excitement for providing financing for Long Island’s small businesses. “I think of banking as a service,” he said. “We’re not just making loans, taking deposits, we’re providing the advice, the counsel and the ability to help you.”

Investors Bank is also a community bank that values relationships with its clients, said Therese Mora, branch manager of the bank’s Huntington location.

In the nonprofit sector, Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest and Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares, each spoke about the innovative new programs that the organizations are launching to feed and assist Long Islanders in need.

Lee Silberman, CEO and executive director of Habitat for Humanity Suffolk, told the story of how he transitioned from the fashion sector to building affordable houses in Suffolk and encouraged Long Islanders to volunteer with Habitat.

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