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THE BUZZ / Expo Gives Exposure To Necks and Ankles

THE LOCAL tech crowd is loosening up. Anyone walking the

floor of the TechMelt Expo at the Long Island Technology Center in Great River

earlier this month would have thought so. There was PR flack David Pinkowitz

like a fish out of water in a salmon Izod polo shirt, gray dockers and matching

gray and pink hush puppies. (Pinkowitz, who is so rarely seen out of suit and

tie that you wonder if he sleeps in one, said his wife made him do it.)

Peter Marsh, the chief of operations at Cogswell Realty, which runs the

Tech Center, said his casual garb (he wasn't even wearing socks, for tenant's

sake) reflected a conscious decision to loosen up now that the center is

becoming a functioning entity and his suits seemed almost stuffy in contrast to

the clientele.

Billy Nicholson, chief executive at Tri Star Web, imported his own brand of

Manhattan casual: creased gray suit trousers and a company T-shirt. His booth

host, picture-signing Playboy bunny Victoria Zdrok, set the standard for

ladies' casual with a low-cut, super-short, practically painted on, well, you

had to be there.

Sure, there were traditionalists among the crowd whose suits were as smooth

as their hair, but they were in the clear minority. LISTnet chairman Peter

Goldsmith, who lost the blazer but not the tie, said that in a world where it's

the results that matter, the clothes may no longer make the man-with certain

limitations.

"I don't think you'll ever see me in shorts, but maybe without a tie once

in a while," he said. "You still have to have a standard."

Tom Hallam, president of the Internet Business Group of Melville-based

Arrow Electronics, was named to the board of directors of bestroute.com in

upstate Dewitt. Bestroute, which started selling in June, is an online

distributor of hard-to-find trade products.

Privately held bestroute.com is backed by Hughes Supply of Orlando, Fla., a

wholesaler with $3 billion in sales.

Cablevision is putting two new faces forward in its public relations

department: Samantha Lugo was hired recently as director of corporate

communications, and Victoria Rodriguez is on board as director of media

relations for Internet services. Lugo comes from ABC in Manhattan and Rodriguez

was working in London most recently but has local experience as a former

spokeswoman for medical supply company Henry Schein of Melville.

Two spokeswomen recently left Bethpage. Kate Murphy is now handling

Cablevision's media relations in New Jersey, and Susan Pelcher moved out of

state, according to Charles Schueler, senior vice president in charge of

community and media relations.

Shares of Audiovox did not get the bump that often accompanies inclusion in

an index when the company was added to the Russell 2000 last week. Chief

executive John Shalam said the company will have to convince jittery analysts

that Audiovox will continue its consistent earnings growth.

Shares of the Hauppauge-based cell phone and electronics distributor have

slumped in recent months, down from a high of more than $72 in March, but, at

about $21, they're still trading at twice the price they were in August, 1999.

"We may have to wait until our third and fourth quarters to re-establish

our credibility with the investment community," Shalam said last week. He

implied, however, that shares may have gotten ahead of themselves.

"Perhaps people expected us to perform miracles-maybe there was some

disappointment," he said. With a price-to-earnings ratio below 15, however,

Audiovox looks more like a bank stock than a cell phone supplier.

Remember when everyone wanted a ".com" attached to their name? A Melville

company has just dropped its attachment.

Sickbay.com Inc. announced that it had changed its name to Sickbay Health

Media Inc. The company said the new name better reflects its business model and

product offerings.

Sickbay publications include Sickbay Today, Skincare Today and Allergy &

Asthma. Sickbay provides health news for print media and the Internet as well

as radio and television.

"While the Internet is a wonderful vehicle to deploy information and

services, a company must establish an off-line strategy to survive the

transition of individuals onto the net," said chief executive Mark Basile.

Mark Harrington contributed to this report.

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