No. 303: On Audrey, yummy food photos, NYIT’s Long Island ambitions and May 4 in a galaxy far, far away

Fair lady: Hollywood icon and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn would have been 89 today.

That’s a wrap: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, and the end of another busy week for the Long Island innovation economy.

It’s May 4 – Memorial Day in Curaçao, Greenery Day in Japan and, here in the States, the 238th anniversary of the American Academy of Arts & Science, founded in Boston on this date in 1780. Charter members included John Adams, Samuel Adams, Samuel Phillips, Phillips Payson, Samuel Williams, Abraham Williams and several men not named John, Samuel, Adams, Phillips or Williams.

May the Fourth be with you: It’s also “Star Wars Day,” the annual fan-driven celebration of George Lucas’ masterwork, which is now a money-printing-machine for Disney, which obviously needed the help.

Early tracking suggests “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” the next installment of the galactic saga set to open May 25, is poised to shatter Memorial Day box office records. That should ease the sting for the House of Mouse, which had to wait a whole week for “Avengers: Infinity War” to gross $1 billion in global box office receipts.

Speaking of space cases: Happy anniversary to NASA’s long-outdated FLTSATCOM-2 (for “Fleet Satellite Communications System”), which launched May 4, 1979, and supported U.S. Navy UHF communications for two decades (a favorite target of Brazilian radio pirates, FLTSATCOM-2 and its subsequent generations were phased out in the 1990s).

Bottoms up: New York State repealed its prohibition law on May 4, 1923 (federal prohibition laws would remain in effect for another decade).

Unrelated: Legendary bootlegger and Chicagoland businessman Al Capone began his prison sentence for income tax evasion at Atlanta Penitentiary on May 4, 1932.

Prime achievement: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman elected prime minister of the United Kingdom on this date in 1979. She’d hold the office for 11 years.

Schoolhouse rock: Happy birthday this May 4 to American educator and author Horace Mann (1796-1859), who pioneered the U.S. public school system.

And many more child actress-turned-sex symbol-turned-widely-panned-singer Pia Zadora (born 1953), prolific American author and physician Robin Cook (born 1940), Washington Post and NBC News conservative commentator George Will (born 1941) and former LPGA Tour President Betsy Rawls (born 1928), a four-time winner of the U.S. Women’s Open, among the prodigious golfer’s 55 LPGA tour wins.

Fairest of them all: British actress and legendary humanitarian Audrey Hepburn (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “My Fair Lady”) would have been 89 today.

Wish Horace, Pia and the gang a happy birthday at, and maybe giftwrap a hot story tip or interesting calendar suggestion for us. Innovate LI’s weekend is never complete without hearing from you.

The art of delicious: Before we recap the busy week, a quick shout out to the Amagansett Food Institute, which is combining two popular passions – photos and food – in a special May 9 workshop, Photography for Food Businesses.

The innovative intro to food photography stars Yvonne Berger of the Farmingdale-based IMAGE School of Photography, a good friend of many East End clients in search of digital and social media promotions. Farmers and food producers are invited to attend a workshop at either noon or 5 p.m. Wednesday at South Fork Kitchens, AFI’s business incubator for food enterprises, located on Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus. Space is limited; get on it at or (631) 632-5129.


A few words from our sponsor: EisnerAmper is a leading international accounting, tax and advisory firm serving more than 500 technology and life science clients. Our dedicated team of more than 125 professionals support startup companies and emerging growth, IPO-track and publicly traded clients.



Sikh, and ye shall find: There are some very interesting goings-on going on tonight at Adelphi University, which is hosting its first-ever Sikhs Collegiate Conference.

Presented by Adelphi University Sikhs United – which focuses on justice and equality and is open to people of all faiths and creeds – the conference is slated to feature guest speakers sharing insights on the topic “How To Become Movers and Shakers” at the community, state and even global level, while staying true to the Sikh identity and the tenants of Sikhism, a monotheistic religion that dates back to the 15th Century.

Scheduled guest speakers include violinist Raaginder Singh and Supreet Singh of the international educational organization Basics of Sikhi, among others. The conference is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. this evening with a short dinner break. More information awaits here.

Well, well: Northwell Health has opened its first educational, wellness and retreat center – a unique medical facility focused more on promoting vitality than curing diseases.

The 6,000-square-foot Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine, part of the Katz Institute for Women’s Health in Roslyn, offers dozens of programs for people of all ages seeking “a holistic approach to care that addresses physical, mental and spiritual health,” according to the New Hyde Park-based health system. Among the wide range of programs and classes on tap are exercise physiology assessments; yoga and tai chi lessons; guided imagery, meditation and breathwork therapies designed specifically to promote wellness; and various energy-healing efforts.

Lucy Gade, a trained obstetrician/gynecologist and the center’s medical director, trumpeted the “new model of health and wellness” offered by integrative medicine, which “aims to combine the latest in medical care, healthy lifestyle practices and complementary healing therapies.”



Hank’s a lot: After a year at the helm of NYIT, President Hank Foley looks back at three decades of higher-ed management – and looks ahead to a bright future for the Old Westbury campus.

Studio audience: Edgewood’s Lorraine Gregory Communications is playing to the crowd with the launch of two new video-production studios, according to CEO Greg Demetriou, who is not camera shy.

Brookhaven makes the call: Ambitious real estate investors will renovate a former IRS call center in Holtsville into a three-pronged industrial space, with a little help from the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency.

Good read: If you like reading this newsletter as much as we like writing it, please forward it to as many innovators as you can – and encourage your crew to sign up here.



If you didn’t already know it, Long Island is blessed with some incredibly innovative women and some amazingly altruistic brewers, while Stony Brook University boasts inexhaustible inventiveness.



Oh, Henry: Newsday reviews a very busy month for Melville-based global medical-device distributor Henry Schein, which has added an Iowa-based software company (and other new pieces) to its bulging portfolio.

Dust up: New Stony Brook University research suggests prolonged exposure to toxic moon dust could prove dangerous to future astronauts.

Laser focus: From Forbes, how “serious creativity” and other innovative thinking helped a bootstrapping med-laser startup from back in the day carve its unique niche.

The old ball game: With the Mets playing like the Mets again, take a break from the agony and enjoy this tale of baseball’s very first “league” game, played 147 years ago today in Indiana.



+ Harry Fournaris has joined the Water Mill office of Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz as a real estate associate. Fournaris was previously an associate at Lieb at Law P.C. in Center Moriches and the firm’s former law clerk.

+ Arthur Fougner was named president-elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, Fougner is Northwell Health’s chief of gynecologic ultrasound.

+ David Neuman has joined Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz as a corporate associate concentrating in tax law. Previously, Neuman was a senior associate at KPMG LLP. He also worked at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and as a legal intern at Lincoln Square Legal Services Inc.

+ John T. Mather Memorial Hospital has appointed three  new members to its board of directors: Kevin Beiner is senior vice president and eastern region executive director for Northwell Health in Bay Shore; Roger Blumencranz is a managing director of Plainview-based BWD Sports and Entertainment; and Ralph Nappi is executive vice chair of the Northwell Health Board of Trustees.

+ Robert Ward has been promoted to resident director of the Riverhead office of Merrill Lynch. Ward joined Merrill Lynch in 2015.

+ Maggie LaCasse has been promoted to director of communications for Discover Long Island. She was formerly senior manager of communications.

+ Jane Chen, an associate in the Corporate and Commercial and Real Estate practice groups at Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana, was named to the Hofstra University Law School Alumni Association executive board.

+ Therese Mainella has been promoted to vice president of clinical affairs at Edgewood-based dental-device maker Parkell Inc.

+ Michelle Peretz has joined Uniondale-based Rivkin Radler as counsel in the Trusts and Estates Practice Group. She was formerly an associate at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron in New York City.

+ Gregory Greene has been promoted to senior vice president at Hauppauge-based Cashin Associates. Greene formerly served as director of environmental programs.



Up-cell: A $15 million NYSERDA fund will support the installation and operation of fuel cells at critical infrastructure sites including hospitals and supermarkets.

Like the Big Duck, only different: Welcome to the Chicken Church, one man’s unique spiritual path in Indonesia.

Keep it simple: Neuroscientists have determined the five simplest ways to bring your brain joy – and none of them involves winning the lottery.

Still looking: And still no sign of this “free news” we’ve heard about. For now, please keep supporting the great firms that support Innovate LI, including EisnerAmper (why, yes … that is Steve Kreit’s firm).