The Syosset Woodbury Chamber of Commerce was first founded in 1998 as a way of promoting local businesses within the community it served. In 2013, it incorporated its neighboring Woodbury into the equation. Currently boasting a membership of approximately 80 local merchants and entrepreneurs, the chamber seeks to promote its membership and entice residents to shop locally and support their local economy.
One such way the chamber promotes businesses is by holding ceremonial ribbon-cutting events whenever a new member opens their doors in the neighborhood. Budget Blinds is one such business, and new Chamber President Charo Ezdrin recently rolled out the red carpet—well, ribbon, actually—to make them at home in Syosset. It’s part of a long tradition that Ezdrin said she was only too happy to take part of.
Ezdrin, senior partner at Syosset-based Ezdrin and Woods, P.C. and an East Setauket resident, assumed the chamber president mantle three months ago, succeeding previous President Chanbir Kaur. Ezdrin, an energetic go-getter and experienced law professional, said that upon moving her practice from Mineola to Syosset last year, she became so enamored with the area that she felt compelled to get more involved with the community by helping the Chamber of Commerce become all it could be.
“When I first moved here from Mineola, I just fell in love with the area…it was just love at first sight when it came to Syosset,” she said. “I just love the stores, I love the restaurants and I love the community. And after being here for six or seven months, I just felt it deserved a proper chamber. For the businesses to be able to come together, network amongst each other, help one another and build our business and civic community into what it should be.”
Changing careers in her late 20s, Ezdrin graduated law school in 2004 and subsequently passed the bar exam that same year. She began working for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, prosecuting abuse and neglect cases in family court. After two-and-a-half years, she mulled over the decision of leaving to go into private practice, but then-County Executive Tom Suozzi asked her to stay on as his director of Government Relations, a position she held for more than six years until Suozzi lost his reelection bid to current County Executive Ed Mangano. It was at that time that she finally struck out on her own and founded her own law practice, Ezdrin and Woods, P.C.
“Initially I opened my practice in Mineola, and then moved to Syosset in 2016,” she said. “I specialize in matrimony and family law and I do criminal law as well. I have four other attorneys on staff, so we do almost everything in this office except for immigration and tax law. Two of us are admitted in the Federal court, so we do bankruptcy and any other federal actions. We have a wide range here.”
Despite her obviously hectic schedule, Ezdrin decided to take on yet more responsibility; that of the presidency of the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce. The idea of getting so involved with the chamber first came to her when she initially applied for a membership to the organization.
“The chamber was in a bit of disarray, although the leadership at the time was comprised of all very, very wonderful people… Chanbir Kaur did a fantastic job as president, but she just didn’t have the help she needed,” she said. “It was just a matter of somebody with experience coming in and organizing and implementing changes to make things more efficient and effective. It just needed it a breath of fresh air.”
Ezdrin feels that she brings many helpful attributes to the table which will establish the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce as the premier organization to strongly represent the businesses in the community.
“The whole goal is to make us much more visible…I have revamped and updated our website, I’ve reestablished committees at our board meetings and I’m trying to establish an engine for information so that people in the area know that we’re here,” she said. “The changes that I’ve made are for generating more awareness of the chamber being here and improved contact amongst members. Plus, I want us to have a greater presence…we’re putting posters up, marketing and advertising, and I have an intern. Starting next week, we will be going store to store, which is a big change.”
Currently the chamber is headquartered out of Ezdrin’s law office; however, once membership levels have increased, the plan is to eventually rent a space and possibly hire administrative staff, she said. Among the many responsibilities of the president of any given Chamber of Commerce is to welcome new members into the fold via the time-honored tradition of the ribbon cutting ceremony, which she did for Budget Blinds on the day of this interview..
As for Ezdrin, she said that she’s looking forward to a long and fruitful tenure as chamber president, and with the help of both her membership—which she intends to grow to record-breaking numbers—and the community, the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce will reach heights they’ve never dreamed of before.
“It’s very exciting to bring people together, to help other businesses and watch them to grow, and to see people get involved,” she said. “My hope is that more businesses in the community continue to come together…I want our members to know that I’m here, and that I want to help bring us all together. The Plainview Chamber of Commerce has over 350 members right now, and that’s my goal…to make us as big as the Plainview Chamber. We’re up and coming, and as Tom Suozzi used to say, it takes teamwork to make the dream work.”