The Great Neck Chamber of Commerce will honor Valerie Link, longtime Great Neck Record account executive, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 6, at Leonard’s Palazzo.
“I am humbled that they picked me to receive this most prestigious award that has only been bestowed three other times before,” said Link proudly.
The native Long Islander graduated from Roslyn High School and earned a degree in business at Bryant College in Providence, RI. While at her first job in Manhattan’s garment center with zipper manufacturer Swift Slide Fastener, she appeared as a contestant on the TV show What’s My Line? wearing “a terrible-fitting dress made of zippers,” said Link. “[But even] with all those zippers, they still couldn’t guess what I did.”
Link quickly moved on to fabric sales and became the second woman member of the Fabric Salesmen’s Guild.
After getting married, she returned to Long Island and began writing restaurant reviews and selling ads for Pennysaver. She transitioned to Anton Media Group, where she was an account executive for nearly 30 years before deciding to spend more time with her daughter, Brooke; son-in-law, Greg; and granddaughter, Madden, who are happily anticipating the arrival of a new edition to the family this fall.
The Lifetime Achievement Award winner served as secretary and copresident of the Great Neck Village Business Association and was an active participant in the promotion and production of the Great Neck Village Crafts Fair and welcome banners along Middle Neck Road. She also became a director of the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce.
“I’ve been with the chamber for 20 years, six as the president,” said Link. “I’m the longest-running president.”
Link was chair of the Mayor’s Committee for the Beautification and Revitalization of the Village of Great Neck. Her involvement in the chamber includes managing the Annual Awards Dinner, the Taste of Great Neck at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, networking events where vendors share products and services, ribbon cuttings for new businesses, the Affinity Program, the Shop Great Neck Program and the chamber members’ lower-rate credit card program.
Her Clean-up Great Neck Campaign focused the chamber’s determination to revitalize the business district by keeping the peninsula clean and thriving in an effort to attract new tenants to vacant stores.
Link has previously been a recipient of the Giraffe Award and the Robert E. Friedman Award.
Other 2017 honorees include Richard Stancati, who will receive the Crystal Award; and Yanni Kopatsis, of Yanni’s Furs, and Adrian Benitez, of Metro Floral Decorators, who will receive the Robert E. Freedman Retailer Award. During the event, the chamber will be selling raffles; half of the proceeds will go to the raffle winner and the other half will go to Stepping Stones Lighthouse.