Murray Hill Businesses Meet for Panel Discussion 'Entrepreneurs Growing with Murray Hill'
Friday, March 23, 2018
On December 7th, Murray Hill businesses gathered at Villa Berulia restaurant on 34th Street for a panel discussion and networking event. This event was organized by The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Business Committee, co-chaired by Lilli Seidman Davis and Michael-Ann Rowe. The mission of the Business Committee is to help Murray Hill businesses thrive.
The panel topic was “Entrepreneurs Growing with Murray Hill” and featured business members Una Baker, Design Consultant, Ash Fox, Ash Fox Photography, Daniel Koffler, Co-Founder and President, Explore + Discover Early Learning Center, and Dave Schefano, Egads AV & Computer Rental. The Moderator was Michael-Ann Rowe, Food & Travel Journalist. The panelists talked about how they become entrepreneurs, why they chose Murray Hill, and how they grew their businesses and overcame their challenges. The panelists ranged from sole proprietors to owners of capital-intensive businesses.
The discussions provided an opportunity to learn more about our neighborhood businesses and compare and contrast how they operate. The audience consisted of Murray Hill business owners and executives, and there was time for everyone to introduce themselves with a short description of their businesses. Ivan "Johnny" Ivanac and his daughter Alexandra of Villa Berulia restaurant also spoke about how they are changing with a changing world, ending on a positive note. As Alex said, they look forward to “another 36 years in business!” Alexandra's husband Stephen Varela also works at the restaurant.
The event ended with a raffle of New York State craft distilled spirits, donated by Heather Dolland of All the Tastes of New York. We are grateful to our host Villa Berulia for sponsoring this event and for so graciously making everyone feel welcome!
Comments from the panelists and participants:
"I think that a neighborhood like Murray Hill is a reflection of its citizens, residents and businesses. Having an opportunity to talk about our individual businesses, our passion for them, and how we fit into (and enrich!) the fabric of Murray Hill, is the sort of thing that should be celebrated and repeated with frequency! The networking aspect really tied it together in a way that allowed the attendees to personalize a relationship with the one another, as well as the panelists...an honor and a privilege to share my passion for my work with the group, and [I'm] open to any/all opportunities that give me the opportunity to do so in the future!"
- Daniel Koffler, panelist, Explore+Discover Early Learning Center
“Another great event held by the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet fellow business owners from the neighborhood and find new ways to partner with each other to improve what the neighborhood can offer, plus increase our bottom lines. I look forward to the next one!”
- Dave Schefano, panelist, Egads AV & Computer Rental
"It was a wonderful honor to serve as a panelist for the Murray Hill Business Meet and integrate with a vast range of business owners in our community. The conversations revealed interesting insights to the business of each panelist as well as the audience."
- Una Baker, panelist, Design Consultant
"It's an honor to be a part of the Murray Hill Community and meet other like minded people with entrepreneurial spirits. Thanks for having me."
- Ash Fox, panelist, Ash Fox Photography
“I met some special business neighbors who want to build an engaged, supportive community. We have planned to continue our morning conversation and explore how we can support each other and our neighborhood. Kudos to the MHNA Business Committee and Villa Berulla for being great hosts."
- Michele Risa, President, Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce, Collaborative Solutions
Photo of the panel (left to right): Una Baker, Dave Schefano, Ash Fox, Daniel Koffler, and Michael-Ann Rowe