2017 Past Events

DECEMBER 2017  |

WEDLI Holiday Lunch

WEDLI members and guests met an mingled at our annual holiday gathering.  Thanks to those who joined us and we look forward to a prosperous 2018.


NOVEMBER 2017  |

Competing with the Big Boys…
 How Small Entrepreneurs are Big Business

In a world of big box stores, national chains, and online retailers, how can a small business survive? Our speakers, Carol Hoenig of Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wines and Holly Levis of Petport, discussed innovative business strategies that can help you differentiate yourself from this stiff competition, in order to survive and thrive.  They also detailed the deciding factors for striking it out on their own.

Thanks to our sponsor: Douglas Elliman Real Estate!


OCTOBER 2017  |

Going Solar…
Converting Rooftops into Revenue-Makers

SUNATION Solar Systems co-founder Mike Bailis discussed the economic benefits of “community” solar, which converts rooftop space on businesses into revenue-generating machines.  Community solar can save as much as 25% on electric bills of the Long Islanders who take advantage of the program.  He says there are more people interested in the program; the challenge is in educating business owners about the opportunity.

Thanks to our sponsor: Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana!



Brookhaven National Laboratory
Technology & Innovation for Long Island, New York, and Beyond

Brookhaven National Lab Community Relations Director David Manning led us on a tour of BNL’s past, present and future. What does their work mean for economic development on Long Island?

WEDLI also welcomed new member Yolanda Robano-Gross of Options for Community Living.


JUNE 2017  |

WEDLI’s annual Judith McEvoy Governmental Breakfast
With Rep. Kathleen Rice

Congresswoman Kathleen Rice represents New York’s fourth congressional district in Nassau County. She is the top ranking minority member on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. In addition, she is Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Kathleen is a passionate advocate for women, fighting to ensure that women get equal pay for equal work and that all workers get paid leave, protect reproductive rights, improve public education for students most in need, and protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security. And our members got the opportunity to speak to this trailblazing woman.

WEDLI also conferred its annual scholarship awards to Sarah Ashour and Kalie Smith.


APRIL 2017  |

Farm-to-Table Economy
With Long Island Agribusiness: A GROWING Industry

While Long Island’s food economy was once known primarily for its potatoes and ducks, it now produces a wide variety of high-return products, employing innovative technologies. In fact, Suffolk County is largest producer of agricultural products, based on wholesale value, of any county in New York State. We explored Long Island’s agribusiness, and how it can affect other LI businesses, with speakers Michelle Kelly of Ms. Michelle’s Cookies, Grace Marie Longinetti of Copia Granola, and Nick Voulgaris of Kerber Farms.

Thanks to our sponsor: Jaspan Schlesinger!


MARCH 2017  |

Doing Well by Doing Good
LI Businesses That Focus On Green Living

During Women’s History Month, we welcomed female entrepreneurs who focus on “green” living!

Speakers Jaclyn Bianculli McDuffey of Emerald Brand and Michelle Walrath of Organic Krush discussed how they use green and organic products while still being profitable, and how that can translate to your business.

Thanks to our sponsor: Dowd & Dowd!


JANUARY 2017  |

Discover Long Island:
Rebranding and Renewal of LI Tourism

Tourism on Long Island is a $5.5 billion industry, supporting 100,000 jobs. And spending by travelers is on the rise. LI tourism growth is among the highest in New York and outpaces the national average.  How can your company benefit?

Kristen Jarnagin, President/CEO of Discover Long Island (formerly the LI Convention & Visitors Bureau), discussed the economic importance of tourism to Long Island and the 2017 initiatives planned.

Thanks to our sponsor: U.S. Limousine Services!