Bucks Blog

Bucks Blog

Here is the Bucks Blog, used to talk about current events and such.

Representatives  of NYC Business Solutions spokes to Bucks  members recently about the free services available to businesses to start, operate, or expand their business.

NYC Business Solutions offers a variety business courses such as computer courses in Quickbook and other programs, courses that educate business owners on how to respond to a city, statae, or federal bid for contractual services, and access to pro bono legal advice to help with business matters such as reviewing contracts and leases, for example. NYC Business Solutions can also help business owners access financing assistance through traditional and alternative lenders and government grant money available to those businesses looking to develop their employees' skills through proper training.

Bucks members learned about a division of NYC Business Solutions, Work Force One, which keeps a database of eligible employees for companies looking to hire. Work Force One looks to connect employers with prospective employees helping to address business recruitment needs.

Representing their impact for just half of 2014, NYC Business Solutions citywide has helped 244 business people with financing awards, conducted 277 business development classes, and 295 business people have accessed legal services.

Bucks very own Scott Weisberg discussed the variety of services provided  by his company, Everything Entertainment, at a recent meeting. His clients are many and some have some very unique needs when it comes to planning their particular event. 

Scott began his career in the field of entertainment by working as a magician in his late twenties. This led him to becoming a booking agent, providing rental equipment for a variety of party needs.  Securing his own rental inventory and catering and delivering for his own clients seemed to be the next natural step for him. Everything  Entertainment was born. 

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Everything Entertainment can handle all types of event and celebrations. From private birthday parties and weddings to red carpet Hollywood premiere events in NYC, Scott and his team can handle the set up and accent pieces for a variety of clients. Everything Entertainment handles tents, lighting, carpeting, staging, and can produce speciality items in its own production shop. The company just built a custom-made parade float overnight when a client's original float got in a car accident. Everything Entertainment has designed and executed themed events, such as  a Kentucky Derby event for the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. The security details of federal officials call on  Everything Entertainment to set up security posts because of the safety of its  equipment and its reputation.  Scott and his team have executed numerous corporate picnics, bridal shows, and just recently did the setup for the "Transformers 4" red carpet premiere in New York City. 

Everything Entertainment is dedicated to delivering for their clients and exceeding their expectations. 




Hector Molina, Business Advisor for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, was the guest speaker at the Bucks Business Networks’ July 30th meeting.

In the United States, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to education, financial capital and business support services.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Providing statistics that demonstrate how the economy is driven by the success of small businesses, Hector Molina explained how the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program, started 10 years ago, is designed to tap into small business economic power by providing entrepreneurs across the country with the resources they need to grow and create jobs.

Discussing ways in which the program can help small businesses through the components of the program - Practical Business and Management Education; Access to capital; and Business Support Services, -M r. Molina also shared with the Bucks membership the success of the program.  The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program has a 99 percent graduation rate; 47 percent of the graduates have created jobs; 56 percent of the graduates have doubled their revenue within 6 months; and 80 percent of alumnae do business together.

A Bucks member and graduate of the program commented, “This program is amazing, it has greatly impacted my business and personal life.  Goldman Sachs 10KSB program is the science behind business growth.  The education will remain with me for life, “said Glen V. Cutrona, AIA, CEO.

In introducing Mr. Molina, Bucks member David Rampulla of Ferryads and Goldman graduate, said, “This program helped me determine achievable projections for my company. I made the necessary changes to meet those projections and what resulted from all of that is a significant increase in my revenue.”

Small businesses have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years. They represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, hire 40 percent of high tech workers, and produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. (provided by Small Business Administration, http://www.sba.gov/).

The program is currently operating in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. It will continue to expand on a city-by-city basis.

Applicants to the Goldman program must demonstrate a commitment to growing their business and creating jobs within their community. Business owners targeted for the program include, but are not limited to: business revenues between $150,000 and $4 million in the most recent fiscal year; a minimum of four employees; and has been in operation for at least two years. If businesses meet this criteria they may be eligible for the program. Learn more about the program at http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000-small-businesses/US/

Bucks members had an opportunity to hear from Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis about a variety of good government initiatives and the legislation she has been involved with as one of Staten Island's representatives in Albany since 2010. Winning election against a 2-term incumbent, Assemblywoman Malliotakis is the first Greek-American and Cuban American female to be elected to the New York State Assembly and the first legislator of Hispanic-descent to represent Staten Island.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

In her remarks, the Assemblywoman discussed her efforts to force the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to release the results of a bridge toll impact study conducted by the agency. The Assemblywoman took her case all the way to the Supreme Court. Her court victory assisted in providing transparency to Port Authority records and helped to provide a truck toll discount at Port Authority bridges as well as a residential discount for repeat use. The Assemblywoman throughout her tenure has been involved in helping to close a 13 billion dollar deficit without raising taxes and a reinstatement of the tax exemption on clothing. The Assemblywoman also assisted the effort to keep senior centers open, reduce hidden energy taxes in utility bills, alleviate tax burdens on businesses to create economic growth, and increase support for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Working long hours in the pizza business began for Mario Rapaglia at the age of 17 and he hasn't stopped since having just celebrated 25 years in business for Bario's Pizzeria and Catering.

Bario's competes with 131 pizzerias that call Staten Island home and competes with them well. At a recent meeting, Bucks member, Mario Rapaglia, shared some insight into what has worked for him and what hasn't during the 25 years he has been in business. Much of what has worked for him and his business are opportunities that came his way through networking and being involved in the community.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Noted for his dollar slice and the variety of his restaurant and catering menu, Mario has pursued opportunities to sell his food not only in the restaurant but through an expanding catering business. Bario's provides catering for clients such as the Macy's Firework crew, local party centers, condominium pools, concession stands at local baseball fields such as the South Shore Little League, and of course private celebrations. Wanting to get into any market he can, Mario's latest addition to his catering services is online school ordering providing box lunches to local school kids.

Although menu items such as the Bison Salad and Egg and Ham Pizza did not work out, the 1,000 pounds of chicken cutlets prepared by Bario's every week is an example of what does work!

The way Bucks member Claudette Duff of Integrity Senior Services started her remarks as a recent guest speaker are indicative of the way she overcame her own childhood struggles to become the successful businesswoman and community leader she is today. Claudette began with saying that she wants to mentor young people who want to start a business or have started one and are struggling. The theme of her mentoring would simply be - "no excuses."

Claudette certainly made "no excuses" during her life having overcome her own set of personal struggles which centered around her mother abandoning her and her siblings at a very young age. Fortunately Claudette was raised by another family member and went on to graduate from the Pratt Institute and New York University School of Social Work thanks to the financial support of the close knit community she was raised. Claudette's initial career path included working at St. Vincent's Hospital  but her alliance with the former Swedish Home on Staten Island and the programming services she was providing to that home and its residents set her on a path to becoming a business owner.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Integrity Senior Services specializes in the treatment of older adults, caregivers and the disabled. The agency provides in-home mental health counseling, case management, and supportive cleaning services. The goal of her agency is to help older individuals attain their maximum functional potential. The agency is expanding and now has an office in Manhattan.

Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:31

NY Wheel Head Speaks to Bucks

Written by Markoe-Boyd, Marlene

"No better spot than Staten Island" is how Richard Marin, head of the NY Wheel project, described the location and his overall sentiment and excitement for the 630 foot Wheel being built next to the Staten Island Ferry, a project he is overseeing. 

Mr. Marin visited the Bucks recently to talk about the NY Wheel project, the largest wheel ever to be built to date, and the benefits it will bring to Staten Island. Mr. Marin encouraged the Bucks members and all local businesses to find a way to participate and reap the benefits from the possible 4 to 6 million visitors targeted to visit this attraction. In a recent survey conducted of tourists riding the Staten Island Ferry by the New York Wheel, approximately 80 to 90 percent of those surveyed said they would get off the boat upon arrival on Staten Island and visit the Wheel.

View the embedded image gallery online at:


The NY Wheel expects to market the Wheel and the surrounding amenities including the retail outlet center planned, Lighthouse Point, and local cultural attractions such as the St. George Theater and Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens, to the 55 million tourists that visit New York City and encouraging them to spend a day on Staten Island not only visiting the Wheel but local attractions as well. With the Wheel and all the surrounding amenities, Mr. Marin said the north shore of Staten Island is positioned to be a popular destination and a stand out in New York City by offering both residents and tourists a unique half mile of commercial waterfront to explore and enjoy. 



Bucks member, Glen Cutrona, spoke to the club this month about his profession, his passion, and his family. His remarks were preceded by a well-received rendition of Jimmy Hendrix's STAR SPANGLED BANNER played by Glen on his guitar. It was a unique and pleasurable way to start off the weekly, early morning meeting of the Bucks Business Network club.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Glen stressed throughout his remarks to the club that - "he loves the music thing." His music interest started at a very young age. When Glen was in Kindergarten he came from school one day and shared with his grandfather that he wanted a guitar. He got one ! From there grew a lifelong interest and passion in the guitar which included studying the instrument intently during his adolescent years, joining bands and booking "gigs", and studying jazz for 12 years with a jazz purist. Glen teaches guitar and still acts like a student of the instrument himself spending many nights sitting by the computer studying and perfecting his art.


During his remarks, Glen provided some insight into his path to the profession of architecture. Glen shared with club members his fond memories of classroom B-63 at Susan Wagner High School. This particular classroom was occupied by as he described - a teacher, an architect, an engineer, an author, a psychologist, a magician - Dr. Lance Martin - the teacher who showed him how to love the profession of architecture. His architectural career began with working for an architect, opening up a firm with a colleague, and then ultimately venturing out on his own and forming Glen V. Cutrona Associates. Glen is proud of the work and achievements of his award-winning, designed-oriented, multidisciplinary firm that works on projects such as residential structures (primary and secondary homes), corporate complexes, and medical and religious institutions. A new aspect of Glen's business is Fixture Appraisal, negotiating on behalf of clients whose property is being taken by the government for a public component. The firm's role is to act like an attorney in some respect and protect the investment interests of the business owners.

Glen V. Cutrona Associates prides itself in "green design" having just designed the firm's current office space using western red cedar, recycled metal, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and materials that were attainable close to home (no more than 500 miles away) to cut back on trucking.

Glen joined the Bucks club in 1991 and his brother was an original member of the club. Glen met his wife, Ann Marie, at one of the gigs he was playing at with his Top 40 band years ago. He told Ann Marie that night that he needed a favor. His favor was to "act like his girlfriend." The rest is history. Glen has been married to Ann Marie for 33 years and they have two adult children, Lisa and Jonathan.


Gerry Fredericksen, a long time member of Bucks and owner of Love Travel, spoke about the value of hiring a travel professional at a recent meeting.

With 36 years of travel profession experience and 15 years as the owner of Love Travel, Gerry impressed upon the club that hiring a travel professional to assist in organizing your vacation plans is very important. "When you hire a travel professional you benefit from their knowledge and experience in the industry and reap the awards from the advice they can give on certain destinations because of the first-hand experience they can offer, " said Gerry. Love Travel consistently visits the resorts and destinations they recommend to their customers making sure the places they recommend are of high quality and value.

View the embedded image gallery online at:



Love Travel regularly books cruises, European tours, Disney vacations, and even destination weddings for their clients always looking to provide the best experience at the best possible price. During her remarks, Gerry advised club members to buy insurance for any vacation or excursion they take because it provides protection for those unforeseen circumstances life may throw your way. "You never know what can happen to disrupt your vacation plans. You invest so much money, it is imperative that you buy insurance to protect that investment, " commented Gerry.

Bucks member, Dr. Steven Acker of Elite Dental of Staten Island, educated the membership on the health effects for those suffering from sleep disorder breathing,sleep apnea, at a recent weekly meeting.

Ninety-Five percent of those who snore have sleep apnea. It is considered a major health issue but it can be addressed and that is why Dr. Acker established the Staten Island Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center.

View the embedded image gallery online at:


Patients that are referred to the SI Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center from a sleep specialist are first given a sleeping survey, a tool recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, to determine the severity of their condition. Further testing can be done to properly diagnose patients through studies undertaken at sleep labs and studies done at home as well. Treatments for snoring and sleep apnea include a CPAP mask which has been the most common form of treatment over the years. The mask rests over the face during sleep to assist with proper breathing. The latest technology, however, includes intraoral devices such as the Lamberg Sleep Well Appliance which is fitted for each patient and rests inside the mouth. The appliance provides maximum comfort and is very unobtrusive.


Anyone who has restless and difficult sleep, or who has a partner that snores regularly, should be evaluated by a sleep specialist and explore treatment options. When sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are not addressed they could affect overall health through high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, memory loss, and strokes.



As this week's guest speaker, Congressman Michael Grimm, spoke to a variety of federal issues and answered numerous questions from club members.

Touching on everything from Immigration Reform to the Affordable Care Act, the Congressman admitted that there are several issues that will not be touched this year because of the election cycle. Two of these issues are tax reform and immigration reform. As much as the backlog in immigration must be addressed, especially for business owners who are looking to bring over talent from overseas and experiencing delays of several years to legally admit these individuals, the topic will not be tackled until after November. Additionally with regard to immigration reform, a better mechanism to track overstayed visas needs to be implemented. According to the Congressman, the federal government does not track who overstays their visa.


Recently the Bucks were visited by Jared Jax, Career and Technical Education Coordinator (CTE), at Staten Island Technical High School.

Invited by Bucks member Rich Grado, who has a long affiliation with the school, Jared gave an overview of the opportunities available for Bucks businesses to build relationships with Staten Island Tech students that will be mutually beneficial.

The SI Bucks Better Business Network held an installation ceremony on the morning of April 2nd at the Hampton Garden Inn, SI to install their 2014-15 Officers and Board of Directors.

District Attorney Dan Donovan presided over the installation and America’s Tenor, Danny Rodriguez, “the singing policeman”, began the ceremony with an exquisite rendition of the National Anthem.

Jerry Amerosi, owner of Gold Mine Jewelers and Pandora, was installed as the 2014-2015 President succeeding David Rampulla of Ferryads.


Page 4 of 4