These last few weeks are what I call the “high season.” There are galas galore and events that fill my calendar almost every night.
This past week, my favorites were supporting Americans for Israel Yad Vashem and the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital’s ribbon cutting ceremony for their new lobby.
The powerful site memorializing the Holocaust honored dear friends Mona Gore Sterling, her husband David Sterling and her adult children. Their families, friends and colleagues packed the Pierre’s ballroom to capacity at the sold-out event.
I relished my favorite thing after paying tribute to my friends: networking and meeting new “friends.” That happened at the events.
I believe the advice of my friend, former NYC TD Bank President Peter Meyer, who taught me, “When I sit down for dinner, my night is over! The best part of any event is the networking at the cocktail party.” He is so wise on many levels!
I always say my life is a great adventure. I never can predict where it takes me and those events were no different.
I took a seat at a small table up on the balcony at Pierre’s stunning large cocktail room and I reached over to shake the hand of the man next to me. With a broad smile, he said, “Vicki, I’m Jerry Lippman, publisher of the Jewish Sentinel!”
Our paths had crossed many times over the years and here he was! He then introduced me to his friend Alice Schweiger, who is an experienced freelance writer. We immediately bonded and promised to meet after the gala.I also met Zeil Feldman of HFZ Capitol, who is working on a Brooklyn development.
As Jerry left my side and began his networking, another couple looking like movie stars sat at my table. We began chatting and I got to know Jordan Edwards, who owns a chain of sportswear stores called Mixology with his sister.
What knocked me over was that he just hired my friend Patricia to manage his Roslyn store and I was in there the day before to say hello to her and make a purchase. I had asked Patricia about who handles marketing for the chain of 11 stores, and she said Jordan Edwards makes all the decisions — and there he was sitting next to me!
His stunning wife works at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she is completing her medical training to become a podiatrist. We bonded.
I had noticed a book on the Mixology shelf near the checkout titled, “This Is It: If You’re Waiting for a Sign to Start Your Business.” Jordan explained that he wrote the book with his dad Glenn to advise business people on how to have the know-how to begin a business and lead it to success. He and his dad run several startup businesses that have become successful.
He also admitted writing the book leaves a legacy for his children to know how their family achieved the American dream of building businesses from scratch. Give it a read!
Later in the week, I had the honor of receiving the Visionary award from the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Uniondale Marriott.
As with most events, there was a robust cocktail hour and a VIP party for the honorees.
Walking through the corridor, I saw Rebecca Gordon, a fellow honoree who was wearing a gold sequined top like mine, and when I came into the “honoree” room, I sat with her and her husband, Carleton.
Rebecca was recognized for her important work as Senior VP and Chief Labor Relations Officer for the Northwell Health system that is responsible for 6,000 employees.
Remarkably, we found out while getting to know each other that a valued friend of hers is my dear friend Marc Kramer, the former CEO of the Daily News who is now President of the League of Voluntary Hospitals. Remarkable! We both texted him to say we met.
Then her husband and I started talking about the borough president race in Queens and his dearest friend is Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, who I had just talked about with my staff to have her on our podcast. Well, right there at the table her husband called the assemblywoman and I arranged for her to come to my office for the podcast. Cocktail party networking at its best!
What a week it was! I loved every minute!