Our History

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AIRPORT BULLETIN – Volume 1, Number 4 – March 1978

Good for JFK

Several months ago AIRPORT BULLETIN suggested that John F. Kennedy Airport needed a Chamber of Commerce. Problems facing the business community around the airport who deal day after day with the Port Authority, the city, the snow, the roads, the ever-changing rules and regulations, and now the bill before the State Assembly that could create a curfew at JFK.

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce is concerned with Jamaica, the Queens Chamber of Commerce is concerned with Queens, all of Queens, not just the airport. JFK has its very own set of problems. Problems that are different from the average community. How to deal with our problems? How to strengthen the business community? How to keep JFK the World Gateway no matter that airports across the country are vying for that honor?

With the signing of the Gateway Bill, passengers no longer have to come to New York for international flights. The point being they must be made to WANT to come to New York. No one person can do this.

At the risk of sounding like an organizer, The Airport Bulletin feels that only through an organization such as a Chamber of Commerce, can JFK be heard. The I Love New York campaign, for instance, is rolling along offering package deals including Broadway tickets, hotels, and airfares. We have hotels, motels, restaurants, and transportation services. But JFK is not involved. It could have brought more revenue and recognition to the area. But who could the New York State Department of Commerce contact? There was no one body to meet with.

The certificate of incorporation for the John F. Kennedy Chamber of Commerce states the purpose for which it has been founded very clearly:

a. To foster trade and commerce on or about John F. Kennedy airport.

b. To promote the general welfare and prosperity of such territory.

Airport Bulletin hopes the sponsors of the airport, namely the Port Authority, will not look upon the Chamber as an adversary, but as a viable means of working together to keep JFK the World Gateway in every respect.

What Is A Chamber of Commerce?

As defined in Websters a chamber can be anything from an arched roof to a vault. But the definition we seem to relate to is this one: a voluntary board or council. As for commerce, again we go to Webster: an interchange of ideas, opinions, or sentiments, the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place. Two definitions that blend well. A Chamber of Commerce.

The John F. Kennedy International Airport Chamber of Commerce certainly fits that description. It is a voluntary council that does express an interchange of ideas that has to do with buying and selling and very definitely involving transportation from place to place.

With all the problems facing Queens County, and especially the airport-related industries, who but a Chamber can draw attention from city leaders to those problems? Street flooding, due to the poor infrastructure of the roads, lack of storm sewers, virtually no plowing on secondary roads and streets, congestion to and from the airports at peak hours, not to mention the possibility of a curfew, and the problem of inadequate police protection for the community.

In the few short months since Chamber has been formed, much has been accomplished. The formation of committees delegated to consider, investigate, and take action on problems in the area involved, have members who have an active, working relationship with the airport-related industries, and as such have begun to put pressure on city agencies to recognize the need to move ahead quickly with plans to help the industry NOW.

A plan for adequate space for both residential and commercial properties.

The security committee, again working with the local Community Board, and Police officials has prevailed upon the city to put an additional precinct on the south side of the district, the JFK side.

Is the Chamber important? Only as important as the members make it. Only as important as the support the members will give to it. Only as important as the way the Chamber addresses itself to the problems facing it.

The JFK Chamber of Commerce is history in the making. Never before has there been an attempt to form an organization of the business community for the sole purpose of expanding, improving, and making proper use of what is available to them.

JFK is a community. A very unique community. An international community in scope. More than just a few eyes are watching this fledgling. What the future holds for the Chamber of Commerce depends upon its members. As of now they seem to be involved with the problems facing them and articulate in addressing them.

An old-fashioned word comes to mind “sticktoitiveness,” dogged perseverance. If the John F. Kennedy Chamber of Commerce has that, it will be just fine.

A Message From The President

PETER HERREN is General Manager of the Hilton at JFK, and an active member of community organizations, such as Rotary International at JFK of which he is past president. (Mr. Herren passed away on February 20, 2012)

As you know, the John F. Kennedy International Airport Chamber of Commerce was founded and incorporated in March of this year (1978).

Being a young organization, we had to overcome certain obstacles and still have a long way to go to be as successful and effective as we intend on being.

The J.F.K. Chamber was formed merely because we, the business men and women being involved with the J.F.K. Airport, and its almost 50,000 working population, felt the need for this organization.

By looking at our present membership – which is already way above expectations, we know we can achieve our goals concerning our community and the help and assistance we want to give to our community.

Peter H. Herren

Ronald F. Harnisch
1st Vice President

George M. Faber
2nd Vice President

John N. Bates
3rd Vice President

Sidney Grant

Charles F. Constantine

Alice Borodkin
Executive Secretary

Gerard F. Brady
John F. Dailey
Wilfred Greenway
Charles Levine
Edward J. McGowan
Gregory Poulos
Jerome C. Trimboli
Ronald Waldman
Albina Meegan



All Nations Forwarding Century All Freight Emery Air Freight
*Freight Brokers International
John T. Colligan – President 1978
Karr Ellis & Co McLean Cargo Specialists
North Atlantic Freight Novo International Life Time Acrylic Signs
In Flight Newspapers, Inc. A&A Bedrosian Commodity Haulage
Lapadula Air Freight Transfer Pinto Trucking Service *Finnair
Erkki J. Granholm – Station Mgr 1978
Pan-Am Aerolins Argentinas Eastern Airlines
Iberia Airlines of Spain Qantas Airlines Dominion Air, Inc.
Scandinavian Airlines System James Nash Architect JA Green Construction
Danley General Contracting *Aviation Development Council
Jack Shelly – Executive Director 1978
Chemical Bank
Manufacturers Hanover Bank *Citibank
Phillip A. Burkett – Manager 1978
Continental Air Cago Inc.
Salem Transportation Company Port Brokers James Trombetta Ltd.
L. Robert Larson Anclar Cleaners Inc. International Shoppes
Johnson Electric Group The Maintenance Company, Inc. Queens Nassau Lighting
*Anthony Flowers
Anthony Oro – President 1978
Mersant International
Joseph Santarelli – Treasurer 1978
Longfield Contracting Corp.
Abbott Installations Idlewild Hardware RA Specialists
Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge Holiday Inn at JFK Hilton Inn
Skyway Hotel Jade East Motel Meegan Services
Breuer & Harnisch Law Firm George Faber Common Sense Systems
Donald Keogh Associates ABC Material Handling Corp. International Messenger Service
Red Ball Van Lines *Airport Press
Alice Boradkin – Publisher 1978
Boulevard Grpahic Services
Brooklyn Union Gas Co. Con Edison Pacific Supply Building
Jetports Brokerage Airport Housing Center Sky-Del Inc.
Baisley Park Carting Herald Security Investigators Koya International of America
Airport Security Council Lansdell Protective Agency Loeb Rhoades Hornblower
Edsol-Thomas Tire Co., Inc. Davis Agency, Inc. Branch Auto Parts
Jamaica Hospital All Boro Paving

* Denotes members who have continued to be active due-paying members of the JFK Int’l Airport Chamber as of 2011

Note: In 1978 Annual membership dues were $50.00 per year.

Membership Target 200
Wilfred Greenway Membership Committee

Wilfred Greenway, Chairman, Membership Committee, is President of Common Sense Systems, Inc. (Bayside, N.Y.) – a consulting and public relations concern, formed in 1975 with two associates, Peter E. George (Glen Head, N.Y.) and Joseph P. Crynes (Scranton, Pa.), two former vice presidents of Emery Air Freight Corporation. He is chairman of the International Air Cargo Transportation Course for the World Trade Institute. (Mr. Greenway passed away on March 7, 2008)

The JFK International Airport Chamber of Commerce membership currently includes almost 100 companies who are engaged in 40 different types of enterprises on or around Kennedy Airport, New York. Apart from airlines and air cargo concerns, the membership includes many banks, contractors, hotels, real estate and security firms. Over 50 percent of the membership operate a service related business that is entirely dependent upon the airline and other related activities that takes place at JFK. Monthly business meetings are held at the JFK Hilton and serve as a convenient place to become better acquainted with fellow business executives. At these meetings, progress with current projects is reported and new items discussed. Each meeting concludes with a presentation by a prominent speaker on a topic of interest to our airport-related members and guests.

Our target for 1978/1979 membership is 200 member companies who will actively participate in the affairs of the Chamber. 90 percent of our existing members maintain their place of business in Queens County, New York City. More than half of these companies form a vital part of the airport community that developed in the sixties around the perimeter of JFK Airport, and especially the area bounded by Rockaway Boulevard East of the Van Wyck Expressway and south of the South Conduit service road to the Belt Parkway. These companies were formed to service the needs of the air traveler and the air shipper and over 5000 persons are employed off-airport in this area.

In the relatively short time since the Chamber has been formed – the first meeting was held on March 10th, 1978 – there has been a most promising response from the business community in support of the Chamber’s membership solicitation appeals. Each and every one of our new members recognizes the necessity to foster the trade and commerce of JFK Airport in their own best interest.

They have also learned that it is through a strong JFK Chamber of Commerce that the general welfare and prosperity of JFK International Airport can be best promoted. The business complex that is JFK Airport is responsible for the jobs of 50,000 persons and over one billion dollars of payroll. The goal of the membership committee is to strengthen the membership of the Chamber so that its voice will be truly representative of the most important hub of air transportation in the USA.

Membership dues are $50 annually. Applications can be secured by telephoning 212-978-1104 or by writing, Membership Chairman, JFK International Airport Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 30687, JFK International Airport, Jamaica, New York 11430

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