Minutes Tenafly NJ Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting
February 1, 2023
- Businesses attending & indicating they were voting:
Ave Lumi**, Bicycle Workshop*, Bread Boutique, East Central Garage**, Friedberg Properties*/***, Goldstein Jewelers*, Honda of Tenafly*, Khuraira Make-up Salon*/***, Lege Artis Hair Salon*, Meuller Law Offices*, Mythic Entertainment*, Norma Wellington Designs*, Orly Chan, Planet CBD**/***, PNC*, Remax, Spring Café**, Tenafly Chiropractic Center*, Tenafly Rotary Club*, Touchstone Computer Systems*, U’I Shrimp**, Yasou Santorini*
* Prior Chamber member
** Opened while dues were suspended 3/2020-2/2023
*** notified prior to meeting that they were unable to attend & submitted ballot
People in the room included multiple representatives of various businesses and individuals looking to help the Tenafly businesses. Everyone introduced themselves.
The Chamber operated on a crisis footing the last three years but did perform some of our basic functions where possible. We have a little over $6,000 in the bank before the Annual Meeting / Khuraira event and spent approximately $800 on space, food and stamps. We ran Street Fairs as soon as vendors were willing to return to Tenafly. The Street Fair promoter we hire to run the Street Fair paid us $3,000 during the pandemic as part of the PPP grant he received that was designated to be paid to his clients for lost business interruption. We ran the Holiday Parade through the entire pandemic, with some reductions to accommodate health concerns. Zoom speakers the Chamber presented during the pandemic were of varying popularity with bank representatives being the most popular.
Street Fair Proposal
Our next street fair will be April 1st & 2nd. The location of the street fair is currently Highwood & Jay Street. Alex, of Planet CPD, has suggested that we reconsider using Washington & Railroad with the orientation of the vendor booths facing the sidewalk so attendees walk next to the brick & mortars. This idea has not been approved by the town although they have said that booths through the middle of the street are unacceptable. It is unclear how sidewalk seating would impact this proposal. The Chamber will distribute a ballot to businesses on Washington & Railroad to determine if they are in favor of this plan. If a majority of the businesses are in favor of the plan the Chamber will submit a revised location request to the Boro with the results of the election. Goldstein Jewelers commented that a street fair in front of her business was not helpful.
Council Liaison Report
Council has focused and prioritized the Downtown Revitalization. We hired a Consultant (BFJ) to come in and make recommendations. Of the approximately 20 ideas BFJ proposed, the Council tentatively approved about a dozen of them for further development. In the last year new lights downtown on Washington & Railroad and new seats/benches/trash cans in Huyler were installed. For this year an engineer has been hired to look at 6 traffic initiatives to focus on safety and better traffic flow to get to ‘shovel ready’. Early recommendations are expected in April to the Council. A branding consultant will present ideas around logo. tagline, positioning, wayfinding signs, etc. March 7th.
Vote For New Board & Officers
In normal circumstances (pre-pandemic) Board election votes would be open to current dues paying businesses in the Tenafly community & Officers. Attendees were told only one representative from a business could vote and that those casting ballots agreed to pay dues for the upcoming year as we had not collected dues during the pandemic. They were asked to identify their business for logging voters during the ballot collection process. Ballots were accepted from those that notified me that they could not attend the meeting.
Several improprieties occurred necessitating new elections. People were added for the position of President and Board members after the slate had been announced. A business was solicited to call in a vote and through a misunderstanding was added to the tally. Terms were not indicated and term limits were not taken into account. Extra ballots were in the ballot box.
Note: The Board has set February 22 as the date for new elections that are in accordance with our bylaws. An opportunity for all businesses to become members will be offered before the elections. New businesses must submit payment 1 week before the election for approval and class determination. Bylaws are posted on the Chamber website.
The following ran in the elections:
Christine Evron, Touchstone Computers
Jon Kreiger. Spring Café
Thomas Vaimaikis, Yassou Santorini
Christine Evron, Touchstone Computers
Marlyn Friedberg, Friedberg Properties
Hercules Invictus, Mt Olympus, LLC
Jenny Jackson, Ave Lumi
Jon Krieger, The Spring Café/ Cure Companies
Greg Meuller, Meuller Law Group
Healthway Natural Foods
Diane Nissen, The Alexandrite Group
Cory Payraudeau, La Promenade
Paul Stefanowicz, PNC Sportscards
Thomas Vaimakis, Yasou Santorini
Norma Wellington, Norma Wellington Designs
The current Board is working on a process to get a new Board & Officers selected that represents membership wishes.
Announced at meeting –
The next Chamber meeting is expected to be held March 1.
The Annual Meeting disbanded as the JCC announced it was closing. The continuation of the meeting will be held February 22, 2023 at TPR at 6:30 pm for the purpose of holding a valid vote.