Jeff Berman

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Heritage Farm & Garden: Greening Long Island

The Dubner family’s half-century-deep roots in the local horticultural industry grew deeper last year when they opened Heritage Farm & Garden, allowing their passion to blossom in the retail garden center market.

The 42-acre store in Muttontown is run by Wendy Dubner Master, daughter of Long Island landscaping and nursery industry veteran Steven Dubner — both of whom pursued careers in law before plowing ahead with the family business.

“When I started the landscape business, it was purely a vehicle to help me pay for college and law school,” Steven says. “Once I was a member of the New York State Bar, I said to myself, ‘I will just keep the landscaping business two more years.’ And here I am still doing it. I get to live my passion.”

Steven founded the eponymous Steven Dubner Landscaping, Inc., 52 years ago, Northeast Nurseries in Cutchogue three decades ago and Metro Green Visions, which shares Dix Hills office space with his landscaping company, about eight years ago.

Last year, the family bought Martin Viette Nurseries, which closed after 87 years, and opened Heritage, which boasts an impressive selection of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and more — including Wendy’s acclaimed pottery designs. Prior to opening Heritage, Wendy worked in the industry for over 25 years, designing  pottery and home décor, as well as consulting with many national retailers providing trend direction.

The family, while being reluctant to publicize it, has always been heavily involved in philanthropy.  Steven started a local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America troop for kids with Down syndrome and learning disabilities, created a children’s garden at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove and most recently, the Center for Developmental Disabilities in Woodbury recruited Heritage to form an educational program for some of its 5 to 21-year-old students with learning disabilities.

Wendy will help, but her mother, Candy, will oversee the program for Heritage and handle most interaction with the students, Wendy says, adding that it represents a way to “use the facilities and location here to do something good for people in the community,” which is “one of our goals.”

It’s just another example of how this family is making the Island more beautiful.

Heritage Farm & Garden is located at 6050 Northern Blvd., in Muttontown. They can be reached at 516-922-1026 or heritagefarmandgarden.com.

Wendy and Stephen Dubner opened Heritage Farm & Garden last year.

Long Island Country Club Sales Upswing

Multiple independent Long Island country clubs were sold off to corporations in the past year as part of a growing trend that may continue due to the factors of changing demographics and increased competition.

In October, the Muttontown Club in East Norwich was acquired by Concert Golf Partners, according to Peter Nanula, a spokesman for the corporation. Just days before that, in September, the board of directors at Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Harbor voted to sell its assets—including its 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, pool and clubhouse—to RXR Realty, the largest commercial real estate owner on LI, which plans to keep the club open but signaled that it plans to develop part of the 210-acre property. That news came five months after Weiss Properties and 2020 Acquisitions bought the 109-year-old Woodmere Club in Woodmere.

The purchase of the Muttontown Club was part of a recapitalization deal, unanimously approved by the club’s board of directors and by a 96-3 vote of its members, under which Concert Golf paid off the club’s debt, lowered equity member dues and infused $1 million into the club. according to the corporation. Not clear was the purchase price.

“Terms were confidential,” Nanula says.

An update on the Engineers deal wasn’t available and RXR declined to comment for this story. Before those three transactions, in 2015, the 125-acre Cedarbrook Club in Old Brookville was put up for sale, the 107-acre Woodcrest Country Club in Muttontown sold for $19 million in 2010 and the North Shore Country Club in Glen Head was purchased for $12.5 million in 2009.

Also in negotiations for sale and partial development was the 168-acre Cold Spring Country Club. Matt Tucker, that club’s general manager, declined to comment.

A deal to acquire Cedarbrook Club fell through early this year, according to David Rafiy, its director.

“We’re looking to build up the membership and catering business, and we’ll consider other alternatives as well,” he says, noting that membership is “up significantly.”

Driving the issue is the fact that many younger parents don’t have much time to play golf, the number of courses has expanded, especially on LI — where private clubs now compete with new, “high-end” municipal courses — and certain clubs have rising debt and declining membership, Rafiy says.

“They had high standards, spent a lot of money on renovations and they had big loans,” he says. “Rather than continue to pass along the deficits to their members, they decided to sell.”

One bright spot is that the number of people interested in golf seems to be “on the upswing,” he says.

Although he expects the number of local country clubs being put up
for sale will “level off,” he predicts “there are probably a few more clubs that will change hands.”

While member-owned Pine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich is flourishing as a “fullservice, family centric country club” with amenities including an Olympic-size pool, tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course, “a lot of other clubs are kind of going into the golf club” business and moving away from “top-level service” to save money, says Brian Lau, general manager.

Others trying to maintain high-end services are drastically slashing membership fees to be more competitive with other local clubs — “a slippery slope” because they’re “bringing [members] in at substantially less revenue,” he says. “That equation just doesn’t work.”

It also remains to be seen how clubs that were once member-owned will fare now after being bought out by corporations that start making all the decisions, he says. Experts say they must figure out ways to attract younger members to survive.

“The cost of living is going up substantially on Long Island,” he says. “Everything is going up. So, it’s really, really, really tough for young families to join a country club.”

First Champkids Coloring & Drawing Competition a Success

Kexin Su creates free form art concepts for consideration for prizes withthe Champkids competition at the Children's Museum on Saturday night (Photo by Joe Abate).

Kindergarten to 12th-grade students from throughout Nassau, Suffolk and Queens turned out to compete in the first Champkids Coloring & Drawing Competition May 12 at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City.

Champkids is a Great Neck-based company that’s out to foster creativity and competition in children and teenagers by giving budding young artists an outlet for their nascent talents. It was started early this year by Fenella Kim, an electric power engineer who also founded and serves as the CEO and president of Reliance Star Payment Services, a credit card processing company also based in Great Neck. Kim was “inspired” to start Champkids by her 10-year-old daughter, Allena, who serves as its “chief inspiration officer,” Fenella says.

“She loves to draw and color – just like when I was little,” Fenella says, noting her daughter decided to enter art competitions at age eight.

But there was one problem.

“Most of the competition was mail-in,” where you create the artwork at home and then send it in, Fenella explains, adding that, instead of finding out right away who the winners are, “days and weeks go by and we never hear the results.”

Allena’s experience prompted Fenella to tell her daughter about the more than 200 art competitions she had participated in when growing up, when she had the opportunity to face off against other kids in person and, importantly, didn’t have to wait long to find out if she won or not.

“I was never athletic,” Fenella says, noting the art competitions allowed her to build up confidence and some of the same skills and competitiveness that young athletes get from sports, and played a role in the success she’s had.

Fenella is hoping that her daughter and youngsters who participate in Champkids events can benefit the same way she did from art competition, she says, noting she went on to start her first business – tutoring – at only 14, became a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive program, and then started Reliance at 23.

“I like that the awards are live on the stage,” Allena says, pointing out she had to wait about six months to find out if she won one mail-in art competition last year.

View photo gallery to see winners. Photos by Joe Abate.

(lt to rt) Yash Patel and Rowan DeJean work at a table together to create art for prizes in the Champskids competition on Saturday night.

Picture 1 of 21

Local experts who volunteered to judge the first competition included Michelle Palatnik, 28, who teaches art at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn and the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, and also has her own art studio in Huntington.

“Fenella approached me” to participate in the event and “it was a very interesting idea,” Palatnik says. The challenge for her in judging the competition was being fair, while also considering the young age of the participants, she concedes.

Competitors included Haley Singh, a 10-year-old fifth grader from Roslyn, who says she has already taken part in art competitions at school before this. But the Champkids event has given her the opportunity to face off against strangers for the first time, she says.

“I’m hoping to win,” but if she doesn’t, then at least “I tried,” she says with a shrug.
While the first Champkids event focused on individual competition, “in the future, we plan to do it in groups… maybe a team of four,” possibly including family members, Fenella says.

Next up is a second Champkids art competition June 16 at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead. Registration will start at 10 a.m. and the event will cost $30 to compete, including aquarium admission. The drawing competition will start at 2 p.m. and end at 5 p.m., with awards presentation planned for 4 p.m.

Fenella is also looking to “set up a scholarship fund, so we can give back to the kids,” she says, adding she’s hoping to eventually expand the competition to the point that it can be held locally at Nassau Coliseum and even rolled out nationally. Champkids is looking for any art organizations interested in partnering with it.

Those interested can call Champkids at 1-888-699-0828. Sponsors of the May 12 competition included Long Island Press and Schneps Communications Events.

Low Commercial Vacancies Persist on Long Island

Commercial real estate vacancy rates on Long Island ended 2017 below the historical average for the region and little has changed so far this year, according to local realtors and data providers.

Nassau/Suffolk industrial vacancies are still at 3.1 percent, office vacancies remain at 7.1 percent and retail vacancies have dropped from 4.4 percent to 4.3 percent, according to CoStar, a commercial real estate information provider. The most noticeable shift is in the retail sector, where brick-and-mortar stores are adapting to the rise in online shopping.

“Retailers are closing their stores and doing much more business online,” says Ron Koenigsberg, a broker and president of Garden City-based commercial real estate company American Investment Properties. “They are increasingly purchasing and renting warehouse space to use as distribution centers.”

Office space vacancy is “down significantly from the 19 percent it once was not that long ago,” says Mario Asaro, a broker and president of Melville-based commercial real estate company Investment One. On the other hand, retail vacancy rates “seem to be climbing due to e-commerce,” he says.

“The malls will have to become entertainment and recreational-minded to attract shoppers,” Asaro predicts.

Jeffrey Pliskin, CEO at Garden City-based Pliskin Realty And Development, notes that while he’s been busier, clients have been signing leases for smaller spaces.

“They realize they don’t need as much,” Pliskin says.

As for the industrial and office markets, Koenigsberg says he’s “expecting to see an increase in rental rates and a decrease in vacancy rates for both sectors.”

Total commercial sales inventory seems to have increased within the past year, he adds.

“Many of our clients were waiting to see how the political environment and tax reform would affect their investment properties,” he says. “Now that some of those questions have been answered, clients are making better informed decisions on whether they will like to sell their properties.”

The “changing landscape” he’s seeing is “primarily because of the transition in the retail market,” he says. One strong positive is that there are “many new businesses buying properties” on LI, he says.

Although Toys “R” Us is closing all its stores and Sears continues to close stores, other large players are expanding, he notes, pointing to Amazon-owned Whole Foods announcing that it’s moving forward with plans to open two more stores, in Garden City and Commack.

James Metzger: Winning In Sports and Business

James C. Metzger is as well known for his philanthropy as he is for leading the Whitmore Group.

As chairman and CEO of Garden City-based Whitmore Group, James C. Metzger has guided the privately held company that he started in 1989 into becoming one of the most successful independent insurance brokerage and financial services firms in the region. We recently caught up with him to get his take on technology and other trends impacting the insurance market, what sets the Whitmore Group apart from its rivals, and how sports have played a key role in his youth and career. Here are excerpts from our conversation:

Long Island Press: What would you say sets the Whitmore Group apart from other insurance companies?

James C. Metzger: By virtue of building the company over 30 years, the premium volume that we have with our carriers – both in terms of the number of carriers we represent and the premium volume that we have developed with those carriers – gives us underwriting advantages and underwriting leverage with those markets.

LIP: What is your vision for the company amid the challenges faced by your industry?

JM: I feel like we’ve kind of figured out over 30 years how to be really good at what we do, and to achieve critical mass with the insurance companies and to develop a lot of trust and confidence with our carriers. And what has helped us achieve that is making strategic acquisitions, over the last 10 years in particular, of smaller agencies. We’re still a privately held firm and one of the relatively few left of our size that have maintained our independence.

LIP: Can you specify how technology may be a disruptor?

JM: I have strongly considered how self-driving cars will impact the automobile side of our business. That’s a real concern. Algorithms and robotical [technology also]. Let’s face it. We saw what happened to travel agencies a long time ago. The role of the advisor and the role of the consultant, I think, will always be important in the insurance industry.

LIP: When you say some are buying insurance directly from rivals, would I be correct to guess some of that is being done online?

JM: Sure. I think life insurance is probably bought online more frequently and in a bigger way than property and casualty. Life insurance and automobile insurance, I think, we’ve certainly seen competition that way. Those verticals within the insurance industry have taken a pretty big bite out of the apple.

LIP: You were a lacrosse All-American at Hofstra University and played lacrosse and football at Half Hollow Hills High School. How do you incorporate those interests into your career?

JM: I think a win is a win – whether you’re vying for an account and you win the account or you win a lacrosse game or a football game. And you don’t always win. There’s always a guy bigger, faster or stronger, and you learn how to compete. And I think you can learn a lot from losing as well, not just winning. Sometimes you can learn more from losing than winning because you have to address possibly weaknesses or areas that require improvement.

LIP: Philanthropy in general is very important for you. Can you explain why and how you select which organizations to support?

JM: Many of our clients will approach us with their philanthropy or the causes in which they’re involved, or the charities and foundations that they support. I believe in supporting academia on Long Island. I have become involved with the Arthritis Foundation, the American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, to name a few. It is a win-win-win situation. We’re able to support the community and enhance and bolster our brand in the community as well, and sometimes support our client.

LIP: How much of an impact did growing up on Long Island have on your worldview and success?

JM: I think I had a lot of advantages. I was extremely fortunate that I grew up where I did. I think it had a great impact on my business career too because our school district was terrific from an academic standpoint and  my experiences as a student athlete.

LIP: What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

JM: People will laugh if you write this and they read it, but I’m really a humble person. I’m around a lot of people often, but I really relish time that I can spend alone, reading and being reflective, and I have a lot of interests away from the business.

Time To Buy: Spring Home Shopping Guide

With spring’s arrival, many Long Islanders will start looking to buy a new home.

We spoke with local realtors who offered tips for prospective homebuyers to guide them through the daunting process — for first-time buyers or those  looking to downsize or upsize.

GET CRACKING

The season usually starts in April because it’s warmer and the timing’s right to get children enrolled in school by September. And it’s best to start searching now since supply is low and demand is high.

“There is so little inventory, you had a lot of pent-up buyer frustration last fall because a lot of people got shut out,” says James Izzo, licensed real estate broker and owner of Weichert Realtors Cow Harbor Realty in Northport.

Patrick McCooey, a licensed associate real estate broker at the Garden City and Manhasset offices of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, stresses that it “could take 90-plus days to get the mortgage commitment and get closed, so you don’t want to feel that pressure” by waiting until the last minute.

GET PRE-APPROVED

It’s absolutely crucial to “get pre-approved” for a home loan, because if you find a home you like and you’re not pre-approved, you’re going to miss out,” says Izzo.

STICK WITH A BUDGET

Some buyers fall in love with a home and don’t factor in all the potential costs involved, including property taxes and commuting. That’s why it’s important to “stick with a budget,” says Izzo. When home buyers don’t stick to a sensible budget, they often end up buying a house they can’t afford.

“You don’t want buyer’s remorse on a home,” he warns.

BUY THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Realtors we interviewed all stressed how important it is for buyers to select not only a home they like, but a neighborhood they like.

“If you can buy a home in an area for significantly less than a similar home somewhere else, there is usually a good reason,” says McCooey.

“Schools, commute and safety are generally the biggest factors affecting price. If you are not interested in the schools and don’t commute you might consider taking advantage of the price discrepancy in another area that doesn’t offer those things.”

Izzo has often seen people buy homes and quickly become unhappy – “not so much because of the house but because of what’s around them,” he says. “The house is only, to me, a third of the equation.”

“If you buy a nice, big home you love and you’re in your car two hours in each direction,” he says, “you’re not really enjoying your home.”

“Everyone should do their own due diligence,” he continues. “There are a lot of good websites for all different categories, whether it be proximity to shopping or proximity to transportation.”

He also suggests calling the local police precinct to see what the crime rate is. But he adds: “Nothing substitutes driving around and looking at the areas and looking at neighborhoods and seeing where the shopping is and seeing how far the railroad is.”

BE REALISTIC

“When working with a buyer, I will ask them as many questions as I can to find the right fit for their needs,” says Jamie Gorman, a licensed real estate salesperson at Charles Rutenberg Realty in Plainview. But, if you’re looking for a home, it’s best to be realistic.

“I always tell them that you can’t have it all and you have to prioritize what is most important to you and your needs,” she says.

Long Island Car Collectors Tout Favorite Models, Eye Next Additions

Sergio Alvarez and his son, Logan, pose with his Porsche 918 Spyder.

Long Islanders love their cars. Some Long Islanders really, really love their cars, and even love many of the ones they don’t even own…yet.

This is evident by the many car shows, swap meets or other gatherings of local car collectors that are routinely held throughout Long Island – from Belmont Racetrack to the parking lots where local collectors show off everything from collectible exotic cars to custom hot rods and classics of all kinds.

“I have had a love for all things automobile since the age of 5,” says Sergio Alvarez, 45, of Old Brookville, who has been collecting cars for the past five years. “I still own my first-ever car.”

That 1985 Pontiac Firebird, which he bought used in 1991, is now part of a collection that includes more than 20 cars, including 14 “supercars” and one “hypercar” – all limited and special edition models, he says. For the uninitiated, supercars are generally classified by car enthusiasts as high-end models that are faster and more expensive than most cars released in any given year, while hypercars exceed the average supercar in speed, performance and price.

He’s overcome one of the main challenges that car collectors often face: finding a place to store them all — although his 14-car garage is now at capacity. Alvarez struggled to name his favorite.

“That’s like asking which one is your favorite kid,” he says. “They are all so different and unique it’s hard to pick just one. If I had to make a choice, it would be the Porsche 918 Spyder. It is one of the world’s fastest cars in every respect.”

But still, he wants more.

“One that I missed on that I really want is the Ferrari LaFerrari,” he says. “The prices have skyrocketed, and I missed the opportunity to get one early on.”

Steve Linden, 60, of Smithtown, meanwhile, has been collecting cars and motorcycles for about 40 years.

“My father enjoyed old cars, and he got me interested,” he says. “This seems to be a common theme in the collector car community.”

Linden is “down to one car (and one motorcycle) in addition to my daily drivers” right now, he says, adding it’s “much more enjoyable to use the car that I have, rather than spend all of my spare time maintaining a large collection.”

At one time, he had about 10 cars and 10 motorcycles, and over the years he’s owned well over 100 collector cars, he says, noting he keeps his vehicles in a barn on his property now, but rented a warehouse in St. James when his collection was larger. His favorite is a 1972 Cougar convertible that he’s owned for over 40 years.

“My wife and I drove off from our wedding in it, and my son drove it to his prom,” he says. “We use it regularly, and even though it looks great, we don’t worry about parking it and leaving it.”

He cited a 1971 or 1972 Pantera and a 1956 or 1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II as the cars he longs for.

“I think that they are both beautiful examples of the market that they were intended for,” he says.

The history behind the eventual production of either of those car models could also easily be the subject of a movie, he says.

“If the opportunity to own the right car were to come along, I would probably buy it,” he says. “But, it’s been my experience that these opportunities come along when you’re not looking. If you’re looking for the perfect car, you probably won’t find it.”

At 27, Reid Branston is the youngest of the three local car collectors interviewed for this story. He’s been collecting cars for more than five years.

“I got into cars through my father, who is a huge collector,” he says.

The two of them run the exotic and classic car dealership Motorcar Classics in Farmingdale. Between the cars he and his father, Motorcar Classics CEO and founder Will Branston, own and cars they’re selling through the dealership, they have at least 70-plus classic and late model cars, Reid says.

The “coolest” model they have in their inventory now is Paul Newman’s 1978 Datsun 280ZX racecar. But the car he would most love to add to his collection is the BMW Z8, he says.

“I’ve sold a few over the years through our dealership,” he says. “But I’ve never owned one personally.”

This driveway full of sports cars is less than half of Alvarez’ collection.

Rallye Auto Group Eager for New Models at NY Auto Show

2018 Lexus LS

Like many car enthusiasts, Juliana Curran Terian, President and CEO of Rallye Auto Group in Roslyn, is eager to see the new models that carmakers take the wraps off of at the New York International Auto Show.

The show, which will be held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan March 30-April 8, inspires an annual pilgrimage of car enthusiasts and auto industry types. As of mid-February, most carmakers still hadn’t announced what new models they planned to show at the event, but some clues snuck out.

“We don’t know what they’re going to show us because even they, at the last minute, they’re scrambling to see what they’re going to be able to finish to put in the show,” Terian says, noting that carmakers also tout new models at other car shows around the globe each year and try to top themselves each time.

The carmakers typically hold preview events in New York for car dealers and reporters, right before they open the show to the public. Typically, much of the biggest new car news winds up being announced at those press events.

Terian has been attending the New York show for about 15 years.

“I remember when smart cars first came out and the cars that I saw at the auto show weren’t necessarily the cars that we were able to get to sell,” she says. “I loved those and when I went to Europe and went to the auto show, those were always the most fun. They had all the electric cars.”

Rallye Auto Group — which has separate Acura, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz dealerships on Long Island — doesn’t carry such vehicles since “there’s not a big ask for electric in our market,” she says. “We do more luxury cars in our neighborhoods where our dealerships are.”

The all-electric cars aren’t as popular as the hybrid car models that use gas and electric, she notes, saying hybrid models are “really the way to go in the future.”

On the luxury car front, Terian said she had heard Lexus will probably show the 2018 LS (luxury sedan) at the New York show, calling that a “beautiful car” that she saw in summer 2017 at the annual dealer meeting in Colorado. Lexus confirmed that it will be showing the new LS at the show.

The carmaker already announced that new flagship LS at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January and even ran a Super Bowl ad for it. Terian expects that model to be available in March, by the time the New York show starts.

It’s also possible that BMW will show the 2019 i8 hybrid Roadster, she says. BMW declined to provide any details on what it planned to tout at the New York show. But the carmaker already showed that model at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year.

The convertible car “has a soft top that opens in 15 seconds,” Terian says of the model, predicting it will be “hot” and customers are “going to eat it up” – especially the ones who like to be the first ones to get something.

“If it’s beautiful and it’s environmentally responsible,” that’s a big plus.

So far, Rallye hasn’t carried a lot of hybrid car models simply because the brands its dealerships carry haven’t offered that many, she notes.

“But whenever there’s a car that you can get either all gas or hybrid… people go for the hybrid,” she says. “I bet our customers would be more interested in safety features than in hybrids if they had to choose one thing to pay more for… especially the Mercedes customer.”

It also remains to be seen if any carmakers will showcase autonomous/self-driving car models at the New York show.

“If any of our customers would be interested in it, I think they would have one as the other car; like the second car would be one, or maybe the fifth car,” Terian says.

Although the technology is close to becoming available, it also remains to be seen how fast they will make it on our roads because “people want to drive their own car,” she says.

Long Island Tech Companies Tout New Products at CES

Carson Optical’s MicroMini MM-380 20x with smartphone adapter.

Every January, technology companies from around the world – including several from right here on Long Island – gather in Las Vegas to tout their latest products and services at the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The standout trend this time was the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) – used already in Amazon Echo and its other gadgets using the Alexa voice-powered personal assistant – across a vast array of new devices and services. Other standout trends reflected the growth of Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TVs that offer four times the resolution of HD TVs and over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services, as more and more consumers “cut the cord” with traditional pay TV services.

NeuLion

Among LI companies at CES, none demonstrated as many key show trends as Plainview based NeuLion, specializing in digital video broadcasting and the distribution and monetization of live and on-demand content to Internet-enabled devices. The company demonstrated new features of its NeuLion Digital Platform, used by a variety of media companies. “One of the biggest things that we launched at the show was the ability to collect watch data” enabling clients to gain better insight into how viewers are watching streamed OTT content and on what devices they’re watching, Chris Wagner, NeuLion co founder and executive vice president, said.

Carson Optical

Among the new microscopes and telescopes from Ronkonkoma-based Carson Optical, one clear standout was the MicroMini MM-380 20x with smartphone adapter. It offered a clear sign that smartphone popularity is even impacting the microscope market. The $19 microscope comes with an LED microscope light, an LED flashlight and a UV light.

Innovative Technology

Port Washington’s Innovative Technology capitalizes on turntable demand and its purchase of the historic Victrola brand name. Standout new products that the US record player market share leader introduced at its 15th CES were the Madison, a reproduction of a 1922 Victrola turntable that retails for $199, and a new mid-century modern line ($199-$149) that’s highlighted by the Empire, said CEO and company founder Corey Lieblein. These “all-in-one” music systems feature not only turntables, but a CD player, FM radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The Empire also has a cassette player.

truMedic

Kings Park-based massage- and pain-relief tech company truMedic introduced the MC 750 Zero Gravity Compact Massage Chair at $1,799.97 and the MC-500 Rocking Chair Massager at $1,999.97. The latter “combines the relaxation of a rocking chair with Shiatsu massage and zero gravity to provide a stress-relieving experience even in smaller condos and apartments,” the company said.