No. 369: Ringing in 2019 with stocks, Bonds and Mormons, plus a little taste of France in Great Neck

First, in seconds: Proud parents Eli and Adina Derdik and big brother Azriel welcome "007," the unofficial Baby New Year for Long Island and the New York metropolitan area, born at seven seconds past midnight on Jan. 1 at Katz Women's Hospital in New Hyde Park.


Eleven pipers piping: And a drumroll (or 12) as the days of Christmas fade and the New Year settles in. Welcome, dear reader, to the end of the first week of 2019 and the beginning of a brand-new chapter of socioeconomic innovation.

It’s Jan. 4 out there – Independence Day in Myanmar, Day of the Martyrs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and World Braille Day everywhere, celebrating the tactile reading and writing system created by French inventor Louis Braille (who lost his sight in an accident at age 15).

Have gun: Arms manufacturer Samuel Colt sold his first pistols to the Texas Rangers on Jan. 4, 1857.

Will travel: New York inventor James Plimpton patented the four-wheeled roller skate on this date in 1863.

Other Jan. 4 patents include a souped-up unicycle spun out by Iowa inventor E.J. Christie and a “wood bending machine” patented by the team of H.E. Brett and W.J. Woodward, both in 1898.

Stock-in-trade: Happy anniversary, of sorts, to the New York Stock Exchange, which opened for business in its first permanent headquarters – on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan – on this date in 1865. (The exchange had formally existed since 1792, but in true startup fashion, operated through a network of rented offices and coffeehouses.)

The Mormon, the merrier: Happy anniversary also to Utah, admitted as the 45th U.S. state on Jan. 4, 1896. (True story: The Mormons had to give up polygamy to get in.)

Dumbo and dumberer: A respectful moment of silence, please, for Topsy the elephant, who was intentionally electrocuted on Jan. 4, 1903, at a Coney Island zoo by Thomas Edison, who really wanted to prove that alternating current electricity was dangerous.

And speaking of awkward silences, let’s pause to remember Broadway’s most disastrous rendition of “Frankenstein,” which opened and closed on Jan. 4, 1981.

Men of words: In addition to the aforementioned Louis Braille (1809-1852), historical wordsmiths born on this date include “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” editor Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) and stenographic shorthand creator Isaac Pitman (1813-1897).

Secret identity: James Bond (1900-1989), a real-life American ornithologist whose name was appropriated by writer Ian Fleming for his fictional British superspy, was born on Jan. 4.

History in the making: And take a bow, Doris Kearns Goodwin – the American biographer, historian and political commentator turns 76 today.

Start 2019 right: Keep up with the latest networking events in Innovate Long Island’s online calendar of events. And be sure to send your event listings (and story tips, we love those) to, please and thank you.


A few words from our sponsor: Farmingdale State College is New York’s largest public college of applied science and technology, and a national pioneer in environmental sustainability. With more than 9,600 students, Farmingdale has Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment among four-year institutions and offers rigorous academic programs in business, engineering technology, health sciences and liberal arts and sciences. Farmingdale also offers a master’s degree in Technology Management. Learn more here.



Baby … First Baby: Northwell Health welcomed its first newborn of the New Year at just seven seconds past midnight on Jan. 1, earning the second son of Adina and Eli Derdik the affectionate nickname “007.”

The 7-pound, 13-ounce Bondian babe was welcomed at Katz Women’s Hospital, part of LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park, by his parents and big brother Azriel – and is, according to the state’s largest healthcare provider (by number of patients and number of providers), the official New Year’s Baby of both Long Island and the entire New York metropolitan area.

Baby Derdik bested the next-born Long Island baby by just under 90 minutes: A 6-pound, 14-ounce baby girl was delivered to proud parents Ketan and Hetal Patel at 1:26 a.m. at Stony Brook University Hospital, marking that institution’s first arrival of 2019.

Emergency procedure: An innovative MD known for improving transportation processes for critically ill patients has taken the reins at Northwell Health’s Center for Emergency Medical Services.

Jonathan Berkowitz, who served previously as medical director of both the Westchester Medical Center Health Transfer Center and the WMC’s Health Regional Emergency Services, will provide medical oversight for Northwell’s Syosset-based CEMS, which cares for more than 120,000 patients annually – making it one the country’s largest hospital-based ambulance services, according to Northwell Health.

John D’Angelo, Northwell Health’s senior vice president of emergency medicine services, called Berkowitz “a recognized leader in emergency medical services” and said the creative doctor would be “a tremendous asset to our CEMS staff and the patients we serve.”



Upper crust: A famous French bakery with an entire nation of high-carb devotees stakes its first U.S. claim in Great Neck.

All the wage: Albany’s sliding scale of minimum-wage increases clicks again, setting a new top slot and increasing LI’s lowest legal salaries.

Like a Boss: The Suffolk County IDA helps a facilities-maintenance specialist grow to meet demand, right here on Long Island.

Sinking in Lakeland: A tough transition to new business-management software swamps a Ronkonkoma-based manufacturer’s bottom line.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational ideas from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-town innovations:

From upstate: Rochester-based augmented-reality ace Vuzix Corp. announces a CES 2019 Innovation Award for its Vuzix Blade AR Smart Glasses.

From California: Los Angeles-based More Hair Naturally releases its latest stem cell-based treatment for reversing hair loss.

From California: San Marcos-based Ellie presents a women’s workout-wear monthly subscription box that reminds you of your New Year’s resolutions.



+ Spiral Therapeutics, a California-based Clinical-stage pharmaceutical company targeting inner-ear disorders, secured $3.7 million as part of a Series A financing round co-led by Savoir Capital and Camden Partners.

+ FloWater, a Colorado-based provider of a sustainable drinking-water solutions, raised $15 million in Series B funding backed by Bluewater, a Swedish provider of sustainable home, commercial and public water technologies.

+ iota Biosciences, a California-based developer of implantable bioelectronic devices, completed a $15 million Series A funding round backed by Horizons Ventures, Astellas, Bold Capital Partners, Ironfire and Shanda.

+ BrainCheck, a Texas-based digital neurocognitive testing platform, raised $1.5 million in funding led by True Wealth Ventures, with participation from Tensility Venture Partners, XFactor Ventures, S3 Ventures and various angel investors.



+ Farrell Fritz has announced two promotions: Jaclene D’Agostino has been promoted to counsel in the Trusts and Estates Litigation practice area and Darren Pascarella has been promoted to counsel in the Bankruptcy and Commercial Litigation practice areas.

+ Catholic Health Services has announced a new slate of leadership assignments: Ruth Hennessey now serves as president at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center; she formerly served as the EVP/CAO for St. Francis Hospital. Charles Lucore will assume the EVP/CAO role at St. Francis Hospital. James O’Connor was promoted to president of St. Charles Hospital; he previously served as EVP/CAO. Ron Steimel has been promoted to senior vice president for business development for Catholic Health Services and Peter Scaminaci, formerly EVP/CAO for St. Joseph Hospital, will replace him as president of St. Joseph Hospital and Mercy Medical Center.

+ Ronkonkoma-based Campolo, Middleton & McCormick has announced two promotions: Jeffrey Basso has been promoted to partner in the firm’s Litigation Department and Arthur Yermash has been promoted to partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group.



Where the girls are: The Business Journals explores how Girl Scout cookie season became a bona fide entrepreneurship incubator.

Where the boys are: Straight from Cosmetics Design Europe, the male grooming trends to watch in 2019 (beards are back, baby).

Where the tech is: Fast Company quizzes VCs, tech analysts and entrepreneurs on the AI, AR and 5G innovations coming in the New Year.

 Where your future awaits: Please continue to support the great institutions that support Innovate LI, including Farmingdale State College, where that Technology Management master’s degree is just the tip of the innovation iceberg.