Morris Park’s own Lisa Sorin, executive director of the Westchester Square Business Improvement District was selected as the Bronx Chamber of Commerce’s next president on Wednesday, November 15.
Nervous but very excited, Sorin will begin her presidential term on Friday, December 14 succeeding Nunzio Del Greco, who departed a month ago.
Sorin will begin her term on Friday, December 14 after she wraps up her BID responsibilities. She, along with her colleagues have started a search committee to find an appropriate replacement to run the Westchester Square BID.
After what Sorin called “putting Westchester Square on the map,” since the BID’s 2012 inception, she intends to carry over those successful strategies to the Chamber.
“What we want to see is the Chamber’s membership grow and include the entire borough,” Sorin said, mentioning that a few hundred Bronx businesses are already involved in the business association.
Similar to her ‘full rebranding’ of Westchester Square, Sorin intends to hold a listening tour across the borough with a focus on neighborhoods that border Manhattan and Westchester; especially Riverdale and the south Bronx.
“These are neighborhoods that have fabulous potential for us,” Sorin said while calling Riverdale a “market of wealth and knowledge.”
Her focus on the south Bronx comes from the waterfront’s rapid economic boom that continues to lead the Bronx’ renaissance.
“They’re pioneers down there and we would love to have them involved with the chamber and share their insight to our members,” Sorin said. “The goal is to listen, talk and engage,” the president-to-be added.
That listening tour will work its way from “the outskirts of the borough in,” according to Sorin.
Closer to the “in” part of that plan is a discussion with the New York Yankees.
“They’ve always been great partners to the Chamber and we would love to grow that connection,” Sorin said mentioning that she’s a fan of the Yankees and the Yankees are a fan of the Chamber.
She also plans to involve the Bronx’ 12 BIDs heavily with the chamber as well.
“Not many understand what the BIDs really do and what kind of significant impact they have,” Sorin said while admitting some personal bias.
She believes that recruiting the BIDs and other borough business organizations would increase the Chamber’s voice while additionally providing ‘strength in numbers.’ The top priority will revolve around membership growth.
Collaborative work with Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and his team will also be vital to the success of the chamber according to Sorin.
“I know him and his team well, partnering with the borough president is definitely part of the plan here,” she said, mentioning that she’ll keep strategies that the chamber has applied successfully. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” Sorin said.
She was first recruited into the Bronx Chamber 15-years ago by Elias ‘Mr. Bronx’ Karmon ‘to revamp’ the chamber. Now she’s taking the reigns fully.
“The potential for the Bronx is endless,” Sorin said mentioning the inevitable changes that the borough is undergoing are all for the better. “It will happen, it won’t be overnight, but it will happen.”
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce will be organizing Bronx Day In Albany in 2019.