Chamber president profile: Riverhead's Janine Nebons
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Janine Nebons, general manager, Tanger Outlets Riverhead
Previous community involvement:
Riverhead Chamber of Commerce board of directors; co-founder East End Tourism Alliance
How many members are in your chamber?
120 businesses and not-for-profits
When was your chamber founded?
How would you describe the business community?
Here at the end, or some may say the beginning, of the Long Island Expressway, you’ll find the East End’s gateway town and epicenter of Long Island’s backyard. Superb beaches, renown golf courses, widely acclaimed vineyards and wineries, a world-class aquarium, a thrill-filled water theme park, leading hotels, country inns and restaurants for every taste and budget, all set against the beautiful backdrop of Long Island’s East End. Riverhead serves as the East End’s retail and service Mecca. Beginning with the Tanger Outlets at exits 72 and 73, the 132-acre shopper’s paradise is home to over 165 manufacturers and designer outlet stores. Just east on Route 25, visitors can enjoy our downtown pubs, bistros and brand-new world class restaurants, or shop the quaint, unique shops that dot Polishtown, Main Street and country roads. Visitors can shop ‘local” at our famous farm stands and “pick your own” farms that dot every road leading to and out of our great town. Families have been shopping in Riverhead since its founding in 1792 as “the marketplace of eastern Long Island”; one visit and you’ll understand why.
In more recent years, Riverhead has also become home to family entertainment and East end getaway weekends. Splish Splash Water Park adds new attractions each season, families visit Atlantis Marine World & Butterflies at the LI Exhibition Center in downtown year round.
With the growth of agri-tourism and destination weddings on the East End, leading hotel brands have sprouted up throughout the town, in addition to the Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn and newly opened Hotel Indigo, Hyatt Place is now open downtown.
Briefly, what are the main issues for the chamber?
Supporting the town's efforts at revitalization of the downtown district as well as the redevelopment of EPCAL
How has being involved in the chamber helped your business?
Our entire focus at the Riverhead Chamber is to attract, promote and support businesses interested in growing their business in Riverhead. We’re currently working on introducing a consumer-oriented collaborative marketing platform designed to add significant value to Chamber membership. The Chamber recognizes the need of its members to provide the necessary 21st century communications bridge and marketing support to drive business through the many consumers that live, work and play in Riverhead.
Whether you are a new individual or a long-established business, you will find the Riverhead Chamber to be the most important source in town for:
* contact networking and building professional relationships
* reliable information about opportunities and development
* a source for local, regional and national government information and support;
* a platform for business and service education programs
* a variety of opportunities to participate in collaborative marketing initiatives designed to drive business
Ten years from now, how will things have changed?
Main Street will be fully occupied as a year-round destination with great restaurants, bistros, markets that feature locally grown foods and hand crafted goods that complement an emerging arts district anchored by the Suffolk Theater.
Tell us something no one knows about your community.
Best-kept secret are the amazing golf courses accessible to the public, many with incredible water views.
Tell us something no one knows about yourself.
I think I have the best job on the entire East End. Not only do I get to work with a talented team in Riverhead and at our headquarters in Greensboro, I never have two days that are alike, every day brings new challenges, new people and experiences that have afforded me the opportunity to make so many friends. I could never do that on Facebook.