No. 337: A dean for NYIT, oysters for New York Harbor and (another) sale for Globecomm

One million years: Not quite … but Raquel Welch, the singer, entrepreneur and award-winning actress recognized for her positive promotion of Americans of Latin heritage turns 78 today.

Back to it: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and with the Summer of 2018 unofficially in the rear-view mirror (autumn doesn’t officially begin until Sept. 23), it’s back to school, back to work and back to reality.

Our deepest apologies.

On the bright side: It’s Wednesday already, Sept. 5 to be exact, and the week is half over – not to mention this coming Monday is the middle day of Rosh Hashana, so most schools are closed and it’s an optional holiday for state government employees in Texas. So, there’s that.

Today is also the U.N.’s International Day of Charity, and while its heart is in the right place, Canadian officials are warning donors around the world to be aware of potential charity scams.

Make Russia shave again: On the subject of classic scams, an ill-fated attempt to “modernize” Mother Russia – and fairly blatant federal-revenue grab – was perpetrated on Sept. 5, 1698, when Tsar Peter the Great imposed a beard tax on his hairiest constituents.

Bra-vo: Much more supportive was German inventor Christine Hardt, who patented the first modern brassiere on this date in 1889.

The Beat goes on: “On the Road,” arguably the masterwork of Beat Generation pioneer Jack Kerouac, was first published on Sept. 5, 1957.

Beer ye, beer ye: A new-and-improved beer keg – specifically, a keg designed to more easily pump out the suds using compressed gas – was patented on this date in 1967 by all-American inventor Baron Haag.

Tunnel vision: It’s only the ninth-longest now, but when it opened on Sept. 5, 1980, the Gotthard Road Tunnel – running 10.5 miles from Göschenen to Airolo under the Swiss Alps – was the world’s longest underground road tunnel.

Bell ringing: Speaking of long-distance breakthroughs, today is the birthday of Frank Jewett (1879-1949), the one-time head of research (and first-ever president) at Bell Telephone Corp. Among other things, Jewett is credited with fostering the science behind long-distance television broadcasts; he also invented radio astronomy and synchronized sound to moving pictures.

Also born on Sept. 5 were iconic American outlaw Jesse James (1847-1882, the son of a preacher man), American businessman Arthur Nielsen (1923-1980, namesake of the Nielsen Ratings), one-and-done Bond George Lazenby (born 1939) and vocally blessed Queen front-man Freddie Mercury (1946-1991).

Still love the fur bikini: And take a bow, Raquel Welch – the sexy star of “One Million Years B.C.” and other campy classics turns 78 today.

Wish them all a happy birthday at, but save the presents for us – story tips and calendar items especially appreciated.


About our sponsor: The Law Offices of Andrew Presberg is Long Island’s premier “IDA attorney” for businesses relocating, expanding and growing on Long Island. Founded in 1984, the practice also focuses on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial and industrial property, SBA loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.



Quigley on top: The New York Institute of Technology has made it official, naming longtime faculty member Daniel Quigley dean of its College of Arts and Sciences.

Quigley, who has already served 14 months as the college’s interim dean, is celebrating his 30th year as a member of the NYIT faculty. A past president of NYIT’s Academic Senate and longtime member of the institute’s Educational Technology Committee, he currently chairs the College of Arts and Science’s Curriculum Committee. He succeeded former Dean James Simon, who filled the office for roughly two years.

As dean of NYIT’s third-largest school (more than 1,500 students and 73 full-time faculty members), Quigley will continue to oversee program development and strategic planning, while providing “support and leadership” to 25 College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate and graduate programs at NYIT’s Manhattan and Old Westbury campuses.

Credit check: From the Credit Where Credit Is Due file comes Hauppauge-based Teachers Federal Credit Union, which this week announced its acquisition of all member shares, as well as some loans and other assets, of Queens-based Melrose Credit Union.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but TFCU noted Melrose Credit Union’s 19,864 members and roughly $1.1 billion in assets in its acquisition announcement. All accounts switching over to Teachers Federal will remain insured by the National Credit Union Administration’s Share Insurance Fund, TFCU said.

The newest Teachers Federal members can now access 27 full-service TFCU branches throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties and “5,600 shared service centers” around the country, according to the announcement, while the Hauppauge-based mothership gains “the opportunity for continued growth into the NYC market and beyond.”



Full circle: Forty years after earning his PhD at Stony Brook University, computer-science legend John Hennessy has personally endowed a new professorship at his alma mater.

Big time: By promising to share its new micro-computed tomography machine with outsiders, NYIT is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Long Island’s other major-league research institutions.

Well read: If you enjoy reading this newsletter as much as we enjoy writing it, please help us help you by sharing it with your fellow innovators – and encourage them to subscribe for free.



Take me to your leader: The world’s 10 most innovative leaders, as ranked by Forbes.

Hot potato: From Newsday, it’s goodbye “Globecomm” and hello “Speedcast,” as the Hauppauge-based remote-communications tech firm is sold for the third time in five years.

That’s a wrap: From our friends at, a cautionary tale about that fast food you love – if it doesn’t kill you, its wrapper just might.



+ Bark, an Atlanta-based tech company that proactively monitors text messages, emails and social media for potential safety concerns, raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Signal Peak Ventures, with participation from Two Sigma Ventures, Symmetrical Ventures, Fuel Capital, Hallett Capital and Atlanta Seed Company.

+ Fit4D, a New York City-based diabetes management technology services company, raised $4 million in expansion financing led by existing investor SJF Ventures, with participation from new investors C&B Capital, Esther Dyson and North Haven Capital and existing investors Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Nebraska and StartUp Health.

+ Kettle & Fire, a Texas-based shelf-stable bone broth/soup brand, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Cavu Venture Partners.

+ RootPath, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company developing a personalized T cell therapy platform that bridges precision medicine and cancer immunotherapy, raised $7 million in seed funding led by Sequoia China, with participation from Volcanics Venture, Baidu Ventures and Nest.Bio Ventures.

+ SOCi Inc., a California-based provider of social media and a reputation-management platform for multi-location brands, closed a Series B funding round of $10.5 million led by Vertical Venture Partners, with participation from Grayhawk Capital, Blossom Street Ventures and Tallwave Capital.

+ Bear Flag Robotics, a California-based agtech company developing autonomous technology for farms to automate common tasks, raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by True Ventures.



Oy, vey: Behold, the triumphant return of New York Harbor’s critically important oyster population.

While we’re on the subject: The biggest oyster found in New York in 100 years can tell you a few things.

Final frontier: From this week’s second-annual golf classic to its upcoming regional conference, catch up with the USS Britannic, Long Island’s busiest “Star Trek” fan club.

Beam us out: That’s all for today, brave crew – but please remember to support the great firms that support Innovate LI, including the Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, which boldly goes where no real estate law firm has gone before.