Past Events

FEBRUARY 2024 | MARDI GRAS COOKING DEMONSTRATION & TASTING

Gumbo

WEDLI enjoyed a special members-only event hosted by Forchelli Deegan Terrana. “Chef Charlie” gave a Mardi Gras cooking demonstration with traditional New Orleans fare: Gumbo, Mr. B’s BBQ Shrimp, and Bananas Foster. We were excited to learn some tips and tricks from a pro, followed by a delicious tasting! We also enjoyed specialty cocktails and great conversation.

JANUARY 2024 | SANDS NEW YORK FEATURING TRACEY A. EDWARDS

Tracey A. Edwards headshot

WEDLI hosted a standing-room-only crowd for our January meeting featuring Tracey A. Edwards, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for Las Vegas Sands Corporation. She led a lively discussion about the economic impact of the proposed Sands New York project and their involvement in the surrounding community. We were also thrilled to induct our newest member, Kristyn Noren. Thanks to our sponsor, Marcum LLP! We were pleased to welcome Alicia Williams from the Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs, Anissa D. Moore, Deputy County Executive of Nassau County, and Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth to the meeting.

DECEMBER 2023 | HOLIDAY LUNCHEON

snowflake

A fabulous and festive time was had by all at the WEDLI Holiday Luncheon! WEDLI members and guests enjoyed delicious food, building connections, and celebrating the season. Thanks to Options for Community Living for sponsoring the celebration, and thanks to all who purchased raffles to benefit our scholarship fund. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. We hope to see you in 2024!

NOVEMBER 2023 | HUNTINGTON SUPERVISOR EDMUND J. SMYTH: MELVILLE TOWN CENTER

Edmund J. Smyth, Huntington Town Supervisor

Edmund J. Smyth, Huntington Town Supervisor, shared an inside look at the Melville Town Center – a transformative plan for the Melville area and Long Island. We were also thrilled to induct three new members: Samantha Guido, Eva Pearson, and Andrea Bonilla. Island Harvest Food Bank was also on hand to collect food and toiletry items as well as monetary donations as we head into the holiday season. Thank you to our sponsor, Advantage Title Group Agency, LLC!

OCTOBER 2023 | COCKTAIL SOCIAL

Members and guests from Forchelli Deegan Terrana at the Cocktail Social

WEDLI members and guests mixed and mingled at this strictly social event! We enjoyed delicious food, drinks, and great conversation while supporting our annual scholarship fund. Thank you to our sponsor, Forchelli Deegan Terrana!

SEPTEMBER 2023 | FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

WEDLI President Martha Stansbury, panelist Dr. Debbie Salas-Lopez, panelist Dr. Larry Eisenstein, moderator and WEDLI board member Randi Shubin Dresner, and panelist David Nemiroff in front of WEDLI banner

To kick off our new programming year, WEDLI welcomed healthcare leaders Dr. Debbie Salas-Lopez, Senior Vice President, Community & Population Health at Northwell Health and Professor of Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell; David Nemiroff, President & CEO of Harmony Healthcare of Long Island; and Dr. Larry Eisenstein, Vice President & Chief Public and Community Health Officer at Catholic Health. Randi Shubin Dresner, President & CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank and WEDLI board member, moderated the dynamic panel. Thank you to our sponsor, TPG Architecture!

JUNE 2023 | JONES BEACH ENERGY AND NATURE CENTER

The Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center explores the relationships between human beings, energy systems, and environmental stewardship. WEDLI members and friends enjoyed a tour of this fascinating facility as well as networking and conversation. What a welcome start to summer! We were also pleased to induct new member Heather Simek. Thank you to our sponsor, Eastman Cooke!

MAY 2023 | JUDITH MCEVOY LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST

WEDLI welcomed members of the Long Island congressional delegation for a panel discussion at our annual Judith McEvoy Legislative breakfast. Featured panelists were Congressman Nick LaLota (NY-01) and Congressman Andrew Garbarino (NY-02). WEDLI Legislative Chair Judy White moderated the discussion. Following the panel discussion, we were delighted to present our 2023 Madelyn Orsini scholarships to Gozde Ustuner and Karla Molloy. Thank you to our sponsor, EisnerAmper!

APRIL 2023 | FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE ON LONG ISLAND

Environmental Motif of Helping Hands and Globe

WEDLI enjoyed a lively discussion at this well attended and fascinating event. Vanessa Pino Lockel, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, moderated a panel that included Kate Fullam, Executive Director, East End Food Institute; Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht, Owner, Garden of Eve Organic Farm; Karen Rivara, Owner, Aeros Cultured Oyster Co.; Laurie McBride, Long Island Farm Bureau and Wickham’s Fruit Farm; Krystyna Read, Partner, Reckner Greenhouses & Farms; and Jennifer (Halsey) Dupree, Owner, Milk Pail, LLC. We also inducted two new members, Nina McCann and Joanna Mikucki. Thank you to our sponsor, M&T Bank!

MARCH 2023 | WOMEN COLLEGE PRESIDENTS

entrance to old ivy covered gothic stone college building with fall colors

WEDLI was delighted to host a wide-ranging discussion with three leaders in higher education. Dr. Maria P. Conzatti of Nassau Community College/State University of New York, Dr. Susan Poser of Hofstra University, and Dr. Christine M. Riordan of Adelphi University discussed women’s leadership and success, challenges and opportunities in higher education, and keeping the next generation of leaders on Long Island. Randi Shubin Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank and WEDLI board member, moderated the discussion. Thank you to our sponsor, Bank of America!

FEBRUARY 2023 | MEMBERS ONLY: POTTERY PAINTING

Artistic photo of paint brushes representing a creative painting motif

WEDLI members enjoyed an evening of painting, food, and laughter at this members-only event. Attendees enjoyed tapping into their creativity by painting pottery while enjoying dinner and one another’s company. Thanks to our great venue, Claytime in Huntington!

JANUARY 2023 | THE ENERGY-ENVIRONMENT-ECONOMY NEXUS: DR. ALLISON MCCOMISKEY OF BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LAB

Allison_McComiskey

WEDLI was delighted to welcome Dr. Allison McComiskey, Department Chair, Environmental and Climate Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory, as our speaker to kick off 2023. She discussed how BNL is undertaking fundamental science within this nexus to guide policy and personal decisions regarding energy production that will impact the health of both the economy and environment, and feedback onto human well-being. Thank you to our sponsor, Brookhaven National Lab!

Download Dr. McComiskey’s presentation here.

NOVEMBER 2022 | BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY AND CRYPTOCURRENCY 101 FEATURING JESSICA BAQUET AND JESSICA STUMACHER

blockchain

WEDLI members and guests received an invaluable primer on crypto, blockchain, NFTs, and everything in between at our November breakfast meeting featuring Jessica M. Baquet, Partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischeck, and Jessica Stumacher, Director of Blockchain & Digital Asset Services at Eisner Advisory Group. Our panelists demystified blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and fielded a host of questions on these hot topics. We also inducted new members and contributed donations of healthy food to Island Harvest. Thank you to our sponsor, EBI Consulting!

OCTOBER 2022 | LONG ISLAND ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FEATURING SHITAL PATEL, PRINCIPAL ECONOMIST AT THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Shital Patel

WEDLI was delighted to welcome Shital Patel, Principal Economist at the NYS Department of Labor and the labor market analyst for the Long Island region. She discussed the economic outlook on Long Island, nationally, and globally as we head into the end of the year. In particular, she touched on industries of significance to our region including manufacturing, technology, and other tradable sectors. Thank you to our sponsor, Frank D. Palmeri, ChFC®️

SEPTEMBER 2022 | TOWN OF ISLIP, MOVING FORWARD FEATURING SUPERVISOR ANGIE CARPENTER

Angie Carpenter, Islip Town Supervisor

WEDLI provided members and guests an inside look at critical economic development projects on Long Island by hosting Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter! Supervisor Carpenter discussed the Midway Crossing project and developments at Long Island MacArthur Airport that will revitalize Suffolk County and the region. She answered questions about this once-in-a-generation transit-oriented development opportunity for Long Island and shared ways for community leaders to get involved. Thank you to our sponsor, Forchelli Deegan Terrana!

JUNE 2022 | SUMMER SOCIAL & INSTALLATION DINNER

Italian Dinner with Appetizers and Wine Glasses

WEDLI was pleased to host a strictly social event at Matteo’s in Huntington to welcome summer and celebrate the installation of our new board for 2022-2024! We also inducted four new members.

JANUARY 2022 | WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

stairs and skyscrapers

WEDLI was pleased to welcome three distinguished guests to discuss how they are building the diverse workforce needed on Long Island and bridging the connection between the workforce and the business community. Speakers included Andrea Bonilla, the Workforce Development Institute Regional Director for Long Island; Phil Rugile, Executive Director of the Institute for Workforce Advancement and its affiliated web platform, oswsupplychain.org, and the Director of LaunchPad Huntington; and Rosalie Drago, Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing, and Consumer Affairs. Thank you to our sponsor, Cantata Health Solutions!

DECEMBER 2021 | Holiday Luncheon

holiday table

WEDLI members and friends mixed and mingled at this strictly social event! Networking and delicious food was had by all. We were also pleased to donate food and funds to Island Harvest. Thank you to our sponsor, Branch Real Estate Group!

MAY 2021 | Legislative Breakfast: Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar

Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar

WEDLI welcomed Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, the first woman of Hispanic heritage to lead a Town in Suffolk County. A Retired Detective Sgt. with the NYPD Counter Terrorism Division, Aguiar also holds a PhD in business administration and had never previously run for office. She discussed her unique career path and the challenges and successes along the way, as well as revitalization and development efforts in Riverhead. We also were pleased to induct new WEDLI member Carol Lane and award the 2021 Madelyn Orsini Scholarship to Melanie Jelen.

APRIL 2021 | Wind Energy

wind farm

WEDLI welcomed Jennifer Garvey, New York Market Affairs Manager at Ørsted, a renewable energy company, to speak on wind energy and its impact on the Long Island economy.

MARCH 2021 | Women in Finance

calculator

WEDLI presented an informative and personal panel discussion as three of Long Island’s leading women in finance shared their unique journeys and outlook for the future. Our distinguished panel included Janet Verneuille, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of The First National Bank of Long Island; Michelle McAteer, Senior Vice President, Director of Loan Operations at Dime Community Bank; and Amanda Sexton, Controller at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick. WEDLI President Cathy Allen, Partner at FisherBroyles, moderated the lively discussion.

FEBRUARY 2021 | Virtual Wine Tasting

a collection of wine bottles

WEDLI members and friends enjoyed a virtual wine tasting and special presentation by Richard and Carolyn Mora, owners of Mora’s Fine Wine & Spirits in East Setauket. The presenters treated us to a discussion of old world vs. new world style, terroir (sense of place) winemaking, flavor profile, and food pairings.

DECEMBER 2020 | Volunteering at Island Harvest

Island Harvest

A group of WEDLI members and volunteers spent a wonderful morning together packing boxes of food at Island Harvest for our neighbors in need. What a rewarding way to kick off the holiday season!

OCTOBER 2020  |  Women in STEM

DNA

The study of science, technology, engineering, and math – collectively known as STEM – helps prepare future leaders to analyze information and solve complex challenges. At our October webinar, we heard from two STEM trailblazers, Dr. Subrina Oliver and Donna Tumminello, about educating and preparing students for STEM careers and feeding the career pipeline, as well as their personal leadership journeys.

Thanks also to our fabulous sponsor: The Small Business Development Center at Stony Brook University!

group of padlocksFEBRUARY 2020  |Members Only Event: Puzzle Break – Escape the Room!

WEDLI members enjoyed an evening of networking, food, and fun as we were challenged to solve puzzles, decode locks, and “escape the room” within one hour!

Long Island mapJANUARY 2020  | nextLI: Long Island Index & Regional Outlook

The Long Island Index, a research report published annually to help local leaders devise solutions to regional problems, is now a website and online forum called nextLI, a project of the Newsday editorial pages. Since its initial publication in 2004, the index has galvanized support for high-profile projects such as the third track for the LIRR, redevelopment of village downtowns, and combating inequities in public school funding. At our January meeting we welcomed nextLI’s Amanda Fiscina and Coralie Saint-Louis to discuss what the latest report reflects about young residents’ perception of the future on and off Long Island.

Thanks also to our fabulous sponsor: Schroder & Strom!

Holiday tableDECEMBER 2019  |WEDLI Holiday Luncheon

WEDLI members and guests enjoyed a strictly social event filled with networking, raffles, plentiful food, and a goody bag for all! We also collected donations of gently used professional apparel for Dress for Success Brookhaven.

Thanks also to our fabulous sponsor: Branch Real Estate Group!

Discovery Park aerial viewNOVEMBER 2019  |Discovery Park: Economic Engine and Gateway to Brookhaven National Lab

Discovery Park is a new vision for the gateway to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory – a world leader in discovery science and transformative technology. It also provides an opportunity for economic and community development on Long Island, New York State, and beyond. Marty Fallier, BNL Campus Development Director, joined us to discuss the planning and development of Discovery Park. He addressed the need and proposed approach for the development and how a public-private partnership approach can address a number of needs, promote technology-based economic development, and promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for Long Island.

During the meeting, we also collected donations for Island Harvest.

Thanks also to our fabulous sponsor: Carter DeLuca!

cannabis leafOCTOBER 2019  |Medical Cannabis: Growing Long Island’s Economy

The expansion of the medical cannabis industry is a unique case study in economic development. Michelle Bodner, President & CEO of Curaleaf New York, a nationwide medical and wellness cannabis operator, and Eric Altstadter, Partner at EisnerAmper, who has worked directly with the industry players making their mark on the Long Island economy, gave us an inside look at this fascinating and growing industry.

During the meeting, we welcomed new member April Intrabartola!

Thanks also to our fabulous sponsor: Options for Community Living!

buildingsSEPTEMBER 2019  |Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge: Anchoring the Tradable Economy

A recent Opportunity Analysis commissioned by the Suffolk County IDA revealed that the newly rebranded Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (formerly the Hauppauge Industrial Park) has the highest concentration of tradable businesses on Long Island – offering unparalleled opportunity for Island-wide economic development. Kelly Morris, Deputy Executive Director of the Suffolk County IDA, shared the astounding results of the Opportunity Analysis, the tradable industries that are bringing new dollars and new employees to the region, and how the IDA is forging relationships between the private and public sectors to boost this economic jewel.

We also conferred a scholarship award to a promising young pharmacy student, Isabelle Litvak.

Thanks also to our fabulous sponsor: Terwilliger & Bartone!