Updated Friday, April 10 10:47 a.m.
Jack Friedman, who played a big role in generating and promoting businesses in the borough as the executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, died Thursday morning. He was 55.
Friedman, who was with the chamber since 2007, had diabetes and was suffering from a “mix” of health problems, according to representatives from the organization. He was also on dialysis. He died just a few days short of his 56th birthday.
“Having lived in Queens his entire life, Jack had an intimate knowledge and history, combined with his experience as a small business owner, which allowed him to help countless entrepreneurs,” the chamber’s communications manager said in a statement. “His love of Queens came out in everything that he did and was evident with whoever interacted with him.”
Numerous Queens politicians expressed their condolences for Friedman’s family on Twitter as the news spread.
Devastated say that my dear friend Jack Friedman Exec Dir of @QueensChamber has passed away. My prayers to his family and many friends.
— Mark S. Weprin (@MarkWeprin) April 9, 2015
Before chamber president Albert Pennisi recruited him, Friedman was chief of staff to David Weprin when he was a councilman. And prior to that, Friedman owned a video store business.
As a lifelong Queens resident, Friedman also volunteered a lot of his time to serve on various civic groups around the borough. He was a member of Community Board 13 since 2008 and served as chair of its Economic Development Committee. He also served as president of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, and was a board member of the Bellerose Jewish Center, Lifeline Center for Child Development and Services Now for Adult Persons (SNAP).
“Jack Friedman was a beloved staple of the Queens business and civic community,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “This is a loss mourned by the entire borough, and our condolences are with Jack’s family during this difficult time. He will be very much missed.”
Friedman is survived by his wife, Lorie, and his children, Daniel and Cara.
The funeral for Friedman will be on Sunday, April 12 at 12:30 pm at Parkside Memorial Chapels located on 98-60 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park.
Feel free to share your thoughts on Friedman’s passing and his impact on the Queens business and civic communities by commenting below.