The Debrief

Debrief: Big stage, challenges for sonic Boomgaarden

For his next number, Donald Boomgaarden is playing way past Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” (an aria plus 30 riffs, mastered years ago). The longtime concert pianist became St. Joseph’s College’s eighth president in July 2017, high note (so far) of a crescendo career soaring from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music (master’s and doctoral degrees) to the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership to the University of Salzburg’s Institut für Musikwissenschaft, part of a…


Debrief: Topper, on a world of reinvention and hope

Thirty years later, Hilary Topper – part marketing ace, part social influencer, all 21st century It Girl – is still going strong. Game-changing technological jolts, 9/11, the Great Recession and now, of course, the great 2020 coronavirus pandemic … none have stopped the clever self-promoter and fierce businesswoman from building Long Beach-based HJMT Public Relations into one of Long Island’s best-known and most-respected marketing brands. With a new book (“Branding in a Digital World: How…


Debrief: He’s Fine (but manufacturers aren’t)

  From its Parisian headquarters and throughout its multinational network, accounting giant Mazars has unequaled exposure to the coronavirus crisis, spanning continents and industries. And thanks to its global nature, each of its international offices shares equally in that front-row, from-the-trenches perspective, including its Long Island operation, a pulsating hub of 165 professionals with coast-to-coast clientele. Craig Fine, managing partner of Mazars USA’s Woodbury office, says the parent company and its subsidiaries were well-prepared to…


Debrief: Abiding Kevin Law, as LI collides with destiny

  Hard to believe, but it’s been five long years since Innovate LI last Debriefed Kevin Law, who’s now logged a full decade as President and CEO of the Long Island Association. As 2020 dawns, the primary influencer and leading architect of regional socioeconomics is enjoying another “Top Performer” effort by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (the council, which Law co-chairs with Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz, snagged $87.9 million in Albany’s ninth-annual…


Debrief: Michael Chiang, mic’d up at Stony Brook SBDC

  Michael Chiang didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. But firsthand exposure to Baruch College professors who were also successful entrepreneurs changed his mind (and his major), instilling a desire to “create something that impacts the lives of many people.” Flash forward: The Long Island native, Baruch grad (BBA, entrepreneurship, business law and mathematics) and Kickstarter success story has done that, as the creative force behind FitBark, MatchPuppy and other commercial successes, (including his…


Debrief: Innovations past and future, with Marc Alessi

  Arguably the hardest-working man in Long Island innovation, former New York State Assemblyman Marc Alessi enjoys a singular socioeconomic viewpoint. The entrepreneur and champion of 5G connectivity has had a productive year as both executive director of the Business Incubator Association of New York State and executive director of Shoreham’s Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, all while leading his 2014 advanced-scanning startup SynchroPET to the edge of commercialization and chairing Campolo, Middleton & McCormick’s…


Debrief: One year in, NYIT Prez Foley sees LI’s promise

Decades of high-level experience in university-based research and strategic planning, including 10 months at the helm of the New York Institute of Technology, infuse everything Hank Foley says about higher education and its role in the larger socioeconomic scheme. Foley, who succeeded former provost and interim NYIT President Rahmat Shoureshi in June 2017 and was “officially installed” last month, came to New York from the University of Missouri system, where the longtime executive VP (and…


Debrief: CSHL’s Whiteley fills shoes, answers needs

A seasoned veteran of scientific- and medical-research commercialization, Andrew Whiteley stepped up this month to take over Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s technology-transfer operations from Teri Willey, who served five years as CSHL’s vice president of business development and technology transfer and is off to her next adventure, running an Indiana-based VC fund. Whiteley, who in 2015 was named the laboratory’s first-ever Executive in Residence, assumes control of a dedicated team focused on licensing, business formation,…


Debrief: Bill Lindsay III is on a manufacturing mission

Lack of skilled workers and overregulation are among the issues undercutting Long Island manufacturers. And they’re in the crosshairs of the Long Island Manufacturing Task Force, unanimously approved this month by the Suffolk County Legislature. Legislator William Lindsay III (D-Bohemia), who introduced the task force bill, will chair the pro-production panel, formed in response to 8,000-plus job openings at Long Island factories (as counted by the Long Island chapter of the Workforce Development Institute) and…


Debrief: LIU innovation chair, not in Kansas anymore

As the first person to occupy Long Island University-Post’s Vorzimer Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship – the “charter chair,” according to the school – Dane Stangler is all about breaking new ground. The visiting (and first-time) professor, who will also help drive LIU Post’s T. Denny Sanford Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will leverage lessons gleaned during an impressive rise to nationally renowned entrepreneurship expert, including a term as VP of research at the Ewing Marion…


Debrief: Scientifically, Kevin Tracey is all business

Fresh off keynoting an international symposium at the New York Academy of Sciences, bioelectronic medicine pioneer Kevin Tracey is (as usual) busily overseeing operations at the groundbreaking Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. That includes bioelectronics R&D, though Tracey is adamant that science – not sales – is Feinstein’s focus (example: he claims no involvement with a spinoff company based on his nerve-stimulating expertise). For the Feinstein president, collaboration and discovery set the tone, and the…


The Debrief: On LI Innovation, Alessi is more

Still trying to cram 27 hours into every day, former New York State Assemblyman Marc Alessi has added another hat to his collection, heading efforts to support and grow the state’s network of economic-foundation-laying business incubators. Already hard at it chairing the economic development practice group at Ronkonkoma law firm Campolo, Middleton & McCormick and ushering Stony Brook-based SynchroPET’s breakthrough MRI/PET scanning technology to market, Alessi – who also squeezes in a few hours as…