By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Carlo Scissura's first day as president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce was spent unpacking boxes in his Downtown office and ordering pizza for his staff.
“I’m still settling in, learning the phone system, trying to get to know everyone,” Scissura told the Brooklyn Eagle.
“I’m buying them pizza," said Scissura, a Dyker Heights resident who took command of the Chamber after serving as a top advisor to Borough President Marty Markowitz. "I want to treat them to lunch and give them a chance to get to know me better."
Scissura, 41, said he will be calling every member of the organization to introduce himself. “I will be delivering a simple message to our members. The chamber is here to help them. Big businesses and mom and pop stores can count on us,” he said.
The chamber has hundreds of members, so Scissura is likely to be making a lot of phone calls over the next few weeks.
“Our goal is job creation in Brooklyn. We are here to help businesses so that we can help everyone in Brooklyn,” he said.
Scissura, a lawyer who was born and raised in Bensonhurst, laid out an ambitious agenda for the borough's largest business organization.
Among his goals is the re-launching of Brooklyn Eats, a promotion aimed at assisting Brooklyn’s restaurant owners find new customers. “We’re going to be doing that in the spring,” Scissura said.
He plans to create a new position of ombudsman who would be a liaison between chamber members and city and state government. "The ombudsman would work for new members to help them get through bureaucratic red tape,” he said.
The ombudsman position harkens back to Scissura’s professional roots as an aide to Vincent Gentile in the mid-1990s when Gentile, now a city councilman, was a state senator. “It taught me how to get things done through the government,” he said.
Scissura said he wants to create a borough-wide calendar of events to be shared among chamber members, as well as the public. “If you are a member of the chamber and you’re having a ribbon cutting, or some other type of promotion, we will help you get the word out,” he said.
The new president expects to do some traveling in the coming year. He will be going to trade shows in different parts of the country to sell Brooklyn as a great place to do business. “I will be encouraging businesses to move here. If you’re starting a new soda company, the chamber wants you to start it in Brooklyn,” he said.
Scissura also plans to reach out to the borough’s business improvement districts and merchants groups.
“It’s my first day and I’m really excited about it,” he said.