Fresh off her State of the Borough address delivered at the end of January, Borough President Helen Marshall updated district managers and representatives from all of Queens’ community boards, members of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and various guests from around the borough at the annual Breakfast with the Borough President held at the LaGuardia Marriott in East Elmhurst.
Each year, Marshall takes the opportunity to update those in attendance about a range of issues that will affect the borough in the coming year. She began with an optimistic economic outlook for 2012, which she believes hinges on the city’s many tourism opportunities — with Queens leading the way.
“With our two major airports, Queens is the gateway to New York — and the gateway to the world,” she said. “This is something we need to continue to capitalize on.”
Marshall specifically mentioned Cuomo’s announcement that the nation’s largest convention center will be built in South Ozone Park, while also stating that a smaller convention space is still being planned for Willets Point.
“The Willets Point convention center will not be in competition with other centers in the borough, it will be a compliment,” she said. “We are going to stay on the necks of the elected officials and make sure it gets built.”
Before Marshall rose to give her speech, she was introduced by Carol Conslato, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. Conslato told the audience that Marshall has been able to accomplish so much during her time in office because she truly cares about Queens and wants to see it prosper.
“Helen is truly dedicated to this borough,” said Conslato. “She’s passionate about everything that she does, and passion makes all the difference.”
Marshall lauded the Chamber for being an advocate to the business community and spurring much of the growth — and the demand for growth — around the borough. She said that the Chamber has “done a very good job promoting Queens from a business standpoint.”
Jack Friedman, the Chamber’s executive director, said recent developments in the Queens business landscape make this a very special time in the borough — and he credited Marshall with facilitating much of the growth.
“There are so many things happening. I’ve never had more fun than I’m having right now,” he said. “And much of it is thanks to this borough president.”