Long Island Goes Local: The Kioli Business Summit 11.3.11

Alison Gilbert's DBME press pass

Alison Gilbert's press pass © DBMEi.com

As one of the original contributing authors and business supporters of Digital Brand Marketing Education, I received proof of my proudest accomplishment the other day in the mail, my PRESS PASS. I tried it out, wearing it around my apartment and even wanted to wear it to sleep on my pajamas. But reason overtook excitement. I decided to wait until this past Thursday, November 3, 2011 for its first official outing, the Kioli BUSINESS SUMMIT at the Inn at New Hyde Park on Long Island.

Kioli ID tag © Kioli.org

Kioli Exhibitor ID tag © Kioli.org

I am no newcomer to events such as this having attended tradeshows, workshops and seminars as far back as the days when the Coliseum (New York not Rome) was home to NYC tradeshows and the Jacob Javits Convention Center was merely a cruise ship sized dream for becoming the primary host to the world of vendors and buyers for many, many industries.

After four hours at the Kioli Business Summit, including my eating a delicious lunch, listening to seminars on ‘Growing Sales’, ‘Banking, Borrowing & Investing’ and ‘Social Media & Search Marketing’ as well as attending an on-going networking tradeshow, my tired feet insisted that it was time to call it a day.

The previously scheduled Happy Hour was canceled due to a wedding that took precedence over continuing our celebration of LI Business. The news of this came as a mixed blessing, relief to my tired feet but disappointment to my boundless networking energy.

What is Kioli? To quote the November 20th, 2008 edition of The Long Island Press, it “is a catchphrase. An acronym to be more exact. It is a philosophy and a movement. It stands for Keep It On Long Island, but it means many things. (Kioli has actually become a verb as well as an acronym. To kioli means,  ‘to keep it on Long Island’.

Kioli defined

Kioli defined © kioli.org

“It means keeping our money here where it cannot be manipulated by treacherous Wall Street investments. It pleads with consumers to spend money in local businesses that are owned by local residents. Businesses founded by investments made by Long Islanders that result in profits staying here and circulating through our economy. It is a movement that dreams of providing our children with affordable housing alternatives and productive skilled employment. It is a notion whose time has come and Kioli.org is where it resides.”

LI Press

LI Press Logo © LI Press on facebook

The Long Island Press, a free weekly Long Island based newspaper distributed through out the Island and dedicated to “informing, entertaining and educating the opinion leaders of Long Island”, is the founding member of KioLi.org. “In the fall of 2008 a handful of companies, both for profit and nonprofit, came together to form a movement called ‘Keep It On Long Island’ (Kioli) for the purpose of stimulating business in the local economy. In 2009, the movement found a home online at http://www.kioli.org. Today these companies are known as Kioli Founding Members . . . .”

They are Alure Home Improvements, Farmingdale State CollegeSchwartz & Company,  Sperry Credit Union, MCL Dental Lab, Cactus Salon & Spa, Men On The Move.

Since its beginning three years ago, Kioli has been busy, very busy with the business of keeping business alive and well on Long Island. This is a serious challenge due to both the cost of living to stay here and the fact that jobs are hard to find because businesses here have been compromised by the current economic crisis.

Long Island is no exception to the hit our nation has taken. But there is a palpable ‘kioli’ spirit in the air. It is my opinion that this spirit was well represented at the Kioli Business Summit. I felt the spirit present in the amount and types of businesses, nonprofit organizations and business people who define LI for me.

Photo-of-Items-from-Kioli-Summit

Photo of items from Kioli Business Summit © Phil Jacobs

As I collected dozens of promotional items, exchanged innumerable business cards, introduced myself and shook hands with my fellow business owners, I had the opportunity to experience and feel this spirit at work, in the flesh, for the first time. I realized the foresight and dedication the original founding member businesses had.

Most importantly, I came to understand how both consumers and businesses on Long Island must think and stay local in order for Long Island to survive. That is what ‘Keep It On Long Island‘ means. Everyone on Long Island has a stake in this.

Fortune 52 Event Oct 17, 2011

Fortune 52 Honoree Event Oct 17, 2011 © LI Press

Even a major national social media company, Constant Contact, that is not Long Island based has provided us with a direct, full time and in-person link to the heart of their products. Ellen DePasquale, was a Kioli Summit speaker  in the afternoon  and a Kioli participant, giving a seminar at SUNY Farmingdale (a Kioli founding member) in the morning.

Best of LI 2012

Best of LI Competition 2012 © LI Press

The Long Island Press, Kioli’s founding member, plays a huge part in ‘kioli’ daily. In addition to its weekly publication both online and on paper, it is host to and reporter of many local activities. It adds an extra spark to the mix with its ‘Best of Long Island‘ yearly competition and Beverly Fortune’sFortune 52‘ and the honoree events. Felice Cantatore, Executive VP, bears highlighting as well. When he is not representing the LI Press or boxing, he is the ‘poster man’ for Kioli. I see him at every LI Business event I attend. And I am sure he goes to many more.

With the ability to travel from one end of the Island to the other in under two hours (depending upon the traffic) and in seconds (depending upon the cooperation of the Internet, WiFi and 3G), Long Island is in the process of becoming one business community. Although it is comprised of two counties (actually four if you count Brooklyn and Queens) and countless municipalities, towns, villages and cities, those boundaries are fading and in my opinion need to continue to be replaced by a sense of one common goal, Kioli.

Nonprofits at Event

'Giving is Good Business', Nonprofit Organizations at the Kioli Event © Phil Jacobs

Common concerns and cares as well as a love for the life that we have here on Long Island are partly what glue us all together. With the extraordinary assistance of skyrocketing technology, we are becoming one. Not only does Kioli serve to ‘Keep It On LI’, but these types of gatherings and movements also strengthen that intention and further the unification of LI into one local business community. Kudos to Kioli, its founding members, its present participants and activities, as well as its energy in working towards this economic lifesaving destination.

SOURCES:
Who Cares About LI?  Kioli Business Summit Announcement

Kioli Business Summit
Keep It on Long Island
About Kioli
The Long Island Press
The Founding of Kioli.org

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Comments

  1. Doesn’t Koili realize that the way businesses become huge and end up on wallstreet is because of the loyal support that they got from their community for years and years? I say nip big businesses in the bud and stop spending money at all! Joking of course. But really. I don’t understand this mentality against big business. I’m a small business owner and I aspire to work hard and make my business a household name. I don’t see anything wrong with that. People should be concerned with unethical criminals on a case by case basis, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    • Thanks for your comment, Brian. I agree with you that a business does not have to be intrinsically evil because it is big. But it does seem that something has happened historically when businesses do get very big and go from small, local businesses to large corporate entities.
      Unethical behavior needs to be handled on a case by case basis. That is true. My instincts tell me that although I am not a yet corporate titan there does seem to be an infection called greed that can all to easily spread as a company grows. It is not an absolute 100% parallel.
      But I think we would all be served well if business were to be done differently at all levels. The greed factor is a poison that has destroyed many peoples lives for the benefit of a very few. That seems to be on our minds very consciously these days. I can only hope that big changes will take place even if they have to start single footsteps.

  2. Great article Alison! I enjoyed reading it. Sounds like it was a great event, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it!

    • Thanks so much Vanessa. It was a real eye opener. I am beginning to see that the importance of an event can be the meaning of it behind the activities, the mission, the ultimate intention of it. It the case of Kioli, it really has to do with alerting us, consumers and businesses alike to the danger we are in of ‘losing LI’ unless we ‘Keep It On LI.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] and retailers to residents have on LI at this time. To learn more about Kioli.org, refer to the previous article written by this author. Kioli defined © LI [...]

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