Image consultant Joann Dobrowolski is the modern day Miss Manners....

Image consultant Joann Dobrowolski is the modern day Miss Manners. (Nov. 10, 2010) Credit: Randee Daddona

Joann Dobrowolski may not yet be the Miss Manners of the Long Island business community, but she's working her way toward it.

Dobrowolski, owner of YPI Consultants Llc in Melville, has been making the rounds of Long Island companies conducting seminars on that intangible - but crucial - element called "image."

"I help people refine their image, how they present themselves, how to build confidence," Dobrowolski said.

She said she sees much that could stand improvement. Too many business people, she said, punctuate their sentences with the word "like."

Others use slang or mispronounce words or use the wrong word altogether. Too many cut off clients, bosses or colleagues midsentence. Others violate peoples' personal space.

"Personal space should be anywhere from 18 inches to four feet," said Dobrowolski, who earned an image certification from the Crowning Touch Institute in California.

Dobrowolski was hired awhile back by the big Garden City-based accounting firm of Margolin, Winer & Evens Llp.

Al Materazo, a partner, said the firm is always anxious to present a professional image.

The younger people coming in, he said, aren't always aware of the proper etiquette or business attire.

Sometimes, Materazo said, some will walk along the halls texting.

Others might come in wearing a golf shirt. "Some of the young men had the unshaven look," he added.

Says Dobrowolski: "You have to put your best foot forward."

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