Markoe-Boyd, Marlene

Markoe-Boyd, Marlene

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Saying that the craft beer community is a strong community and New York Ciity and New York State has experienced a 50 percent growth in the craft beer industry, Sean Torres of Kills Boro Brewing Company spoke to our club recently about its plan to open a 10 barrell beer house this coming Spring. To be located in the Craft House at 60 Van Duzer Street, Kills Boro will brew 40 different styles of craft beer such as an Irish Dry Stout and Belgium Double Fig. To explain the type of individuals who enjoy craft beer, Sean described craft beer consumers as promiscuous always looking to taste a different type of beer. As a result, brewing companies are always looking to expand their offerings and work closely with their colleagues in the business as well.


The name of the company - Kills Boro - focuses on "Kill" in homage to the waterways surrounding Staten Island. The word "Kill" is a dutch word for body of water. Sean reminded the group of the rich roots in this borough for the production of beer and that many of those who began in the industry were from German descent and enjoyed the fresh run off water from Todt Hall to produce their beer.

Sean answered many questions after his presentation such as the reason certain beers are more conducive to being served in certain glasses; how to properly store beer for maximum taste; the higher alcohol content for craft beers; and how to brew your own beer in your home which Sean highly recommended that people do at least once.



With 15 cents in his pocket, Bucks member Ray Laursen was on his way to becoming a business owner.

After his mom gave him 15 cents to put in the collection box at church one Sunday, Ray somehow found himself in a bowling alley instead. He bowled a game and then went on to joining leagues and hanging around bowling alleys to learn the game and the fitting of bowling balls. As a young adult, bowling was very appealing to Ray and led him to a career.


Ray first entered into the bowling business 30 years ago working at Country Lanes and Pro Shop on Hylan Blvd. After discovering that bowlers don't bowl in the summer, he secured some space at the bowling alley and entered into the trophy business to supplement his income, a business he still finds himself in today.

In addition to a variety of trophy offerings, Country Awards offers many promotional items such as engraved leather picture frames, bible\book covers, water bottles, personalized flash drives, business card holders, and wine boxes.  Many of Country Awards' clients include local high schools, local sports leagues, and non profit organizations.

Discussing the many jobs and career opportunities presented to him throughout his life from his favorite job at 13 years old cleaning a church, which always put money in his pocket, to his career with the New York City Police Department, Steve Coppola offered many stories and commentary on how these work and life experiences shaped him and led him to becoming a successful owner of a security company.

APB Security is a full service company that has various niches in the security market including their video doorman service allowing landlords to control visitors and monitor loiterers through video monitoring and its own central monitoring station to monitor closely its customers security occurrences. Saying that APB's biggest investment was moving their offices to the Teleport, SI, it allowed the company to grow and include a central station and provide space for sister companies run by Steve's children:  Statewide Fire Corporation and Statewide Monitoring.

Saying its always good to have a healthy skepticism when it comes to running your business, Steve's stated his attitude and his desire to become an expert in his field allowed him to grow and create niches within the security industry.

 Steve is also involved in other local organizations such as Home Improvement Contractor's Association, Boy Scouts, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Small Business Development Center.

Saying that approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss with more than half of the people with hearing loss younger than 65 and approximately 6 of every 1000 babies having significant hearing problems at birth, member Audiologist, Dr. Mary Goodacre, reminded the Bucks membership this month that there is no age recommendation or limit in getting a baseline hearing test.

According to Dr. Goodacre, hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States and leads to a decrease in your quality of life. There are many signs that you may have a hearing loss such as:

Difficulty hearing in a noisy environment, such as a restaurant, wedding, car.

People seem to Mumble all the time.

Family and friends have to repeat themselves when speaking with you.

Have trouble hearing people when not facing you and have trouble following conversations.

You have ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds in your ears.

Untreated hearing loss can lead to sadness and contribute to dementia, depression, anxiety, paranoia and poor social relationships.

Genetics, the aging process, exposure to loud noise, and ear diseases can cause hearing loss and according to Dr. Goodacre there are many types of hearing aids that can help people hear better and live a better life. Dr. Goodacre spends a good part of her day at her practice, Staten Island Audiological Services, counseling patients and their families about the effects of hearing loss, something she finds very rewarding.


What began as a heating business in 1930 by Vito Scarangello, the grandfather of Bucks member, Tom Scarangello, Scaran has branched into offering homeowners a multitude of services in addition to oil and gas heating such as residential plumbing services and air conditioning systems.

Sharing the business operations with his brother Frank Scarangello, Tom and Frank are continuously looking for ways to re-establish themselves with their local market as homeowners change citing that 300 to 400 homes are sold on Staten Island every month. Adding a text option to the company's website, working on a presence in search engines such as google, and traditional marketing tools are ways Scaran attempts to stay in touch with customers. In the 1990s Scaran developed a full advertising campaign which resulted in consumers recognizing their company, their brand, and then ultimately recognizing Scaran trucks. Tom noted during his presentation that Scaran trucks are a big referral base for the company.

On a personal note, Tom received his Masters in Finance from New York University in 1987 and joined the Bucks in 1993. He also serves on the boards of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, the College of Staten Island Foundation Board, and the Staten Island University Hospital Foundation Board.

Saying that 2 and a half million Americans quit their job every month and half of employers saying that millenials have a greater job turnover, Belinda Digiambattista, CEO and Founder of Choose Your Metric, a business consulting company, spoke this week at Bucks offering tips on how to engage your employees so you can retain them.

Belinda discussed the different reasons why employees generally leave their place of employment such as:  lack of opportunity or personal development; wanting a more customizable career; looking for something different; inadequate compensation; bored, lack of a challenge; or looking for a better work\life balance.  These indicators are red flags for employers to be aware of and address so employees can be retained and professionally developed for the betterment of the company. Ms. Digiambattista pointed out that loosing a solid employee costs the company money in the long wrong.


"How to get your employees to stay" was outlined throughout the speaker's remarks and several tips and suggestions were offered with the goal of encouraging business owners  to engage their employees both in their work and the future of the company. Ms. Digiambattista suggested to our members that we  meet with our employees either individually or collectively such as through a company town hall meeting to discusss the state of the company and how employees are an integral part of the operation, the team.  Reminding us that millenials often want to feel connected to their work\their cause, the speaker suggested we work with employees to identify their goals and create a work culture or environment that supports them. Job sharing, working from home, time to attend to family commitments, are all examples of how employers can offer some flexibility to better support their employees, and in turn, breed loyalty and support for the company overall.

"When you show some support for the priorities of your employees whether with their professional goals or personal goals, you often get back so much in return when it comes to the support for your business, " said Ms. Digiambattista. She added that stay interviews and performance evaluations are important as well so employees know what is expected of them to ensure a solid future with the company.

Saying that Northfield Bank has demonstrated its longevity and commitment to our borough by operating on Staten Island since 1887, Robin Lefkowitz, Executive Vice President of Northfiled and Bucks member, discussed with the club membership the advantages of businesses using the services of Northfield Bank.

Businesses who use Northfield develop strong relationships with their branch managers who stay in contact with business owners about their business accounts, alerting businesses if any issues arise and offering them the latest products and services.  Northfield charges no analysis fees, offers free scanners for remote depositing, and has an app to help with banking interactions. Saying that Northfield is "as sophisticated as the bigger banks" the staff at Northfield takes pride in the service and support they provide to the Staten Island community including a foundation that dispenses grants to local non profit organizations and charities.  Northfield has 11 branches on Staten Island and several in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

Robin has had a long and distinguished career in banking having worked for Green Point Bank, Staten Island Savings Bank, and Independence Bank prior to joining Northfield Bank in 2006. She serves on the board of a variety of community organizations including Eden II and the Richmond University Medical Center Foundation. Robin has been a long time member of Bucks having competed against three other banking institutions to gain membership when the banking category was open in the club. During her remarks, Robin quipped, " I had to attend 15 meetings before I was even granted memership. I value being a member of this club."