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New PB merchants to inspire leadership

The Pelham Bay Merchant’s Association has new leadership, and they’re ready to inspire change.

Sworn in on April 24, Sherry Scanlon said she looks forward to her role as president. Having served in the position years ago, she said she’d reference some of her previous work to create change for the future.

“I thought I did a good job when I was president,” Scanlon said, fueling her to once again run for the seat. “I’ll try and do the best I can.”

Councilmember Jimmy Vacca offered his support, believing Scanlon is the perfect choice to reboot the organization that has been virtually dormant over the last two years.

“I’ve known Sherry Scanlon for years. She runs a great local business and I know she will have a very talented board to work with,” he said. “I have also offered to provide any assistance I can to keep the Pelham Bay shopping area strong and vibrant.”

Scanlon said she might take Vacca up on his offer when she begins planning efforts to remove the excess graffiti and litter from the neighborhood.

By creating a clean and welcoming atmosphere to the district, she said businesses would surely benefit.

“If the eye sees nice things it motivates the mind to keep shopping,” she said.

Association vice president Michael DiFigola agreed completely. “When you walk into a store and it looks nice you want to buy everything,” he explained.

In addition to addressing the area’s outward appearance, Scanlon said the board also plans on establishing quality relationships with new merchants, as well as re-building connections with business veterans.

Ralph Giordano, owner of the Ralph Giordano Funeral Home at 1727 Crosby Avenue, said this is key to the success of the area.

“That’s really the big thing,” he said. “You have to have participation.”

DiFigola said the board also hopes to work with the 45th Precinct to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood through safer, connected local support, from both businesses and law enforcement.

“Sherry’s going to be wonderful,” DiFigola said. “She has a strong board behind her and support from the community.”

Having owned the Pelham Bay Home Center, 3077 Westchester Avenue, for 16 years, Scanlon said it’s important to gain fresh insight to change, and therefore is planning a merchant’s association meeting for next month. “I’ll be able to get the ideas and concerns from new merchants,” Scanlon said.

DiFigola expressed his appreciation for Scanlon’s insights into the future of Pelham Bay saying, “I have complete faith she will accomplish the goals she set out to achieve.”

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