Monday, January 12, 2015

NGLCCNY: Transition and Expansion of Committee Leaders

Dear NGLCCNY Members,

We are so excited about the transition and expansion of leaders on our volunteer Executive Committee and Industry Council.  It is with great pleasure that we welcome new committee chairs Phyllis Mehalakes, Rob Finkelstein, Brian Pasalich and Shameek Bose to their respective committees of Ambassadors, Supplier Diversity, Financial Services Industry Council and Social Impact Industry Council.  In addition, we are honored to have David Ricciardi moving from our Supplier Diversity Committee to chair the newly created Corporate Engagement Committee.  Please learn more about these incredible leaders in their bio and committee descriptions outlined below.

Phyllis Mehalakes
Ambassadors Chair

Phyllis Mehalakes is an Associate Broker and Relocation Specialist with Douglas Elliman Real Estate with 14 years of experience.  Phyllis has works with sellers, buyers and investors in the sale and purchase of condominium and cooperative apartments, multifamily and single family townhouses, mixed use buildings and small apartment buildings.  In her work as a certified relocation specialist she also works with corporate executives and others relocating into, and out of, Manhattan.  She takes pride in guiding her clients through the challenges of buying and selling real estate in the city and works in a consultative manner to empower her clients and understand their exact needs and priorities.

Prior to her career in real estate, Phyllis was a management consulting executive and senior technology professional.  She developed and implemented technology strategies, managed multimillion dollar application development and systems integration projects and developed technology solutions to support mission critical business initiatives for Fortune 500 clients in the financial services and telecommunications industries.  She was employed at some of the most well respected technology and consulting companies in the industry including KPMG and IBM.  Phyllis has a BS in Computer Science from Stony Brook University and a MS in Management from NYU-Poly.  Phyllis volunteers for the NGLCCNY as Chairwoman of the Ambassador Committee, and is President of her co-op board. 

The Ambassador committee will continue to enhance the overall experience of the NGLCCNY by showing our members and guests how to best leverage NGLCCNY resources to improve business growth and development.  We look forward to hosting our New Member Breakfasts and welcoming guests and members to our monthly M3 Mixers. Phyllis can be reached at

David Ricciardi
Corporate Engagement Chair

David Ricciardi is moving from his long-time role as Chair or Supplier Diversity to the new position of Chair of Corporate Engagement.  In his new role, David will be working, along with the Chamber Staff, as the liaison between the NGLCCNY and its growing list of corporate partners.  David will work to make sure that our partners get what they want through their relationship with the chamber. He will also work to find new corporate partners, which will benefit the Chamber’s growing base of business members, certified and otherwise. David asks that anyone that may have a recommendation on a company that would like to join the NGLCCNY as a partner, please reach out to him!

As always, David is Founder & President of Proximo, an LGBTBE that specializes in data analytics, warehousing, and integration. David can be reached at

Rob Finkelstein, Esq.
Supplier Diversity Chair

Robert F. Finkelstein, Esq. is a partner of Finkelstein Platt LLP where he practices commercial litigation, construction law, employment law, and general business law. The firm’s clients include start-ups to medium and large sized businesses. The firm is also experienced in representing individuals in employment related matters and in contested probate proceedings. Finkelstein Platt LLP has been certified by NGLCC as an LGBTBE since the firm was formed in 2013.

Rob has been a member of NGLCCNY since early 2009 and has served on the Media and Communications Committee where he authored numerous articles for the Chamber’s newsletter, Excelsior!, profiling various corporate partners. He has also served as a guest speaker for Webinar Wednesday and the Supplier Diversity Roundtable.

Rob is very excited to join the Chamber’s Executive Committee as the Chair of Supplier Diversity. The Supplier Diversity Committee is already busy planning a great year of programming, including continuing the Certified Superstar, Supplier Diversity Roundtable, and Webinar Wednesday programs.

Whether you are a corporate partner, LGBTBE, or a prospective LGBTBE, please feel free to contact Rob if you are interested in speaking at or attending any of our programs. Rob can be reached at

Brian Pasalich
Financial Services Industry Council Chair

Since a young age, Brian’s passion has been serving others and giving back.  In high school he became an EMT volunteering on the ambulance and with Search & Rescue. After graduation he served as a flight paramedic with the Army Reserve, on two SWAT teams, as a civilian flight paramedic for a trauma center and spent time providing medical care in third-world countries. Post college, Brian had a change of direction and realized that, though medicine was an amazing career, he felt there was something more. 

Growing up in an immigrant family, he understood the importance of having goals, a clear direction and a strong work ethic. This led him to a career as a financial planner with a wealth management firm over a decade ago.  

Early on in his career Brian was promoted into management and has hired, coached and developed hundreds of advisors and built teams committed to helping clients achieve their goals.

Brian is active in LGBT issues, serving as board member for Marriage Equality USA, as well as Financial Services Industry Council Chair for NGLCCNY. 

Brian believes that every individual should have the opportunity to not only live a life of success but one of significance. 

"In my role as Financial Services IC Chair, we will create a collaborative environment where best practices are shared together we are able to provide the best support to members of the LGBT community.  If you are interested or know of someone who could contribute please contact me at 

Shameek Bose
Social Impact Industry Council

Shameek Bose is a dynamic branding and marketing professional with experience in both the public and private sectors. As the manager of business partnerships at amfAR, (foundation for AIDS research) Shameek was responsible for developing strategic alliances and building public-private partnerships. Shameek worked with clients including Harry Winston, Ferrari, FIJI Water, Microsoft, Delta Air Lines, MAC Cosmetics, and other fortune 500 companies in his efforts to fundraise through partnerships. He developed and introduced new sources of revenue from licensing, celebrity endorsements, and other retail focused endeavors. Previously Shameek worked as a consultant and helped with business development for several organizations in the nonprofit and social enterprise space, including Gay Men’s Health Crisis, The Lesbian Gay, Bi-sexual & Transgender Center, and Endeavor. This work included pitching, winning and designing co-branded multi-city marketing campaigns with companies including Whole Foods and DreamWorks Theatrical. Shameek started his career as a relationship manager at JP Morgan Asset Management. Shameek holds a Masters in Public administration from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs. Shameek can be reached at

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer on any of our committees or programs should reach out to myself at or via our website Staff & Executive Committee and/or Industry Council Chairs.

Thanks for your continued support and we wish you all a prosperous 2015!

Derrick M. Brown
Executive Director
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce NY

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