Meet Sayville’s new chamber president
SAYVILLE—Eileen Tyznar, the new president of the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce, said this year is going to be a good one. “I can feel it,” she said when the Suffolk County News spoke to her earlier this week, two days before her post was made official. She explained some of her goals.
Tyznar has been a Sayville resident for 26 years. Born and raised in Seaford, she began visiting relatives in the community when she was a child. “I always used to say to my aunt, ‘I’m going to move out here,’” she said.
Tyznar noted that after she married, she told her husband, Matt, “I know about this town,” referencing Sayville, which at the time had been billed as the “friendliest town in America.” She still uses that designation to this day. “I never worried about my son growing up here,” she said.
After buying a house in the community, Tyznar didn’t wait long to get involved in various local organizations. “I just wanted to dig in,” she said.
While her son, also named Matt, was still in grade school, Tyznar was on both the PTA council and Special Education Parent Teacher Association, known as SEPTA. She described herself as a “big proponent” of the latter. In fact, Tyznar’s business, TEACH Consulting Services Inc., located on Railroad Avenue, provides advocate and consulting services, parent coaching, and training for families of children with developmental disabilities and other unique needs.
Early on in her residency, Tyznar was introduced to the Sayville Rotary Club. About five years ago, she became an official member, as well as the New Generations rep. “[The organization] needed someone enthusiastic to attract young members. That’s nice to hear when you’re in your 50s,” she laughed.
Tyznar also become an official chamber member in 2010. It was this post where, five years ago, she took over the annual Miracle on Main tree-lighting ceremony that takes place at the onset of the holiday season. The ceremony had already been in existence for seven years, but has continued to grow in the years that followed, she said.
Serving one year as chamber president is the norm, according to Tyznar, who ran for her current post unopposed. However, it isn’t too uncommon for some individuals to serve two years as president. “It’s our hope that members move up,” she said, regarding different posts within the chamber. However, it doesn’t always work out that way, Tyznar said, adding that some leave to pursue other avenues.
When asked about the proposed Island Hills development, Tyznar referred to the chamber’s stance on their website, noting it is “very clear.”
“We understand that residents in our community have concerns about the proposed plan for the rezoning of Island Hills,” the statement reads. “For clarification, the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce does not have any jurisdiction over this matter. We are a volunteer organization of local business owners and are not town officials.
“The aim and purpose of the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce is to foster progress in the commerce and industry of the greater Sayville area. In addition, we aim to support the community in its efforts to advance its cultural, moral, and civic responsibilities in accordance with the chamber by-laws and the laws of the state of New York.
“The chamber is a group of local merchants, and we are very aware that residents are the lifeblood of this town and are committed to serving our community.”
The statement was posted early last year under the previous chamber president Leslie Jantz. Tyznar said the chamber’s position remains the same.
She also confirmed that the parking lot on N. Main Street, across from Sparrow Park, is still up for sale, which remains a concern because of the need for parking downtown. The owner, Jeremiah Brown, put the lot on the market shortly after Islip Town stopped leasing the property at the beginning of last year.
Tyznar said her biggest goal as chamber president is to “keep the community thriving.” She said the chamber’s main focus this year will be pushing the idea of “shopping small” and helping other communities across Long Island to learn Sayville’s name.
“We have more than just Main Street,” Tyznar said, listing Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts and the Long Island Maritime Museum. “We have things, I feel, that tourists want to see,” she said, adding that the chamber hopes to attract more tourists.
Tyznar also hopes to organize an LGBTQ parade in the community. The plans, such as the location, are still in the early phases, she said. However, Tyznar is aiming for a time that doesn’t conflict with other, much larger events, like the LGBT Pride March in New York City that is scheduled for Sunday, June 30, 2019.
“I think we should celebrate our diversity,” she said, adding that Sayville has a history of supporting such marginalized groups.
Promoting the professional businesses in the community, such as accountants, doctors, lawyers and therapists, and making sure there are no closed storefronts is another priority for the chamber, Tyznar said. A new chamber website is also expected to go live at the end of the month.
While admitting that the chamber has many lofty goals, Tyznar recalled something her mother always used to tell her: “‘Have 500 goals, but accomplish three of them well.’”
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