CAROL ANN CONSLATO, Queens Public Affairs Director, Con Edison
The first thing you notice about Jack when he walks into a room is how he engages with everyone he meets. I had the pleasure of working closely with Jack over the three years I was privileged to serve as president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. Jack is the quintessential New York civic leader who knows how to fight for a good cause while maintaining his trademark smile.
Jack has used his years of public service in city government as the foundation for a successful role at the Queens Chamber of Commerce. He has done so by ensuring that the diverse business community of Queens operates under a climate of growth and cooperation with the city’s government and civic world. Jack understands that Queens, as a borough of 2.3 million, is a major driver of our economic activity and the gateway to millions of tourists that visit New York City each year. Therefore, Jack is a steadfast defender of Queens at City Hall and within the regional business community to ensure that Queens is recognized for its place in the New York City economy and for its diverse workforce of residents.
Jack’s longstanding relationship throughout so many sectors of the community makes him the ideal person to lead this business coalition. His leadership and advocacy for the borough makes Queens a great place to live, work, visit and do business.
He is a passionate advocate who fully embodies what it means to be a true leader.
Jack and I go back many years, to the time when he served as chief of staff to City Councilman David Weprin. It was at this time that I really got to know the man and his mettle.
We worked closely together on the $1.5 million Autism Initiative, which forever changed how outside-of-school services were rendered for those along the spectrum. As the father of a son with autism, I witnessed first-hand how fervently Jack believed in the cause – and how hard he worked on behalf of these individuals.
Fast forward, and now Jack serves as one of our borough’s biggest advocates. He and the Queens Chamber of Commerce were instrumental in helping get the communities and businesses of south Queens back on their feet following Superstorm Sandy.
And Jack has been leading the charge to get Queens “on the map.” With the burgeoning tech sector, ever-expanding development and climate conducive to business, Jack has helped make Queens “the place to be.”
As a man and as a trailblazer, Jack Friedman is certainly to be admired, which is why the NYFAC Foundation will also be honoring him as our “Advocate of the Year” at our 17th annual dinner dance on Feb. 26.
Congratulations Jack…keep up the good work.
COUNCILMAN MARK WEPRIN (D-Oakland Gardens)
It is with great pleasure that I share some thoughts about Jack Friedman on the occasion of his being honored as the Queens Tribune’s Person of the Year, a tribute that he truly deserves.
I have known Jack for over 20 years and have seen him shine in a plethora of roles, all of which he has filled with his characteristic charm, good nature and relentlessly positive attitude. Jack has been a responsible small business owner, a dedicated member and chair of Community School District 26, a mentoring B’nai B’rith Youth advisor, an accomplished Chief of Staff to then-Councilman David Weprin, an influential Democratic Party State Committee Member, a steadfast member of Community Board 13, a committed board member of Services Now for Adult Persons (SNAP Senior Center), a respected Executive Director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and of course a wonderful husband and father.
Jack Friedman is a friend, a leader and one of Queens County’s treasures. As he is recognized by the Queens Tribune, I offer him my warmest congratulations.
COUNCILWOMAN KAREN KOSLOWITZ (D-Forest Hills)
I have known Jack Friedman for many, many years and he has played a significant role in putting Queens on the map. His position as Executive Director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce has benefited the entire business community of the borough. He has earned and deserves the honor of being named the Queens Tribune’s Person of the Year.
COUNCILWOMAN JULISSA FERRERAS (D-East Elmhurst)
For over seven years, I’ve known Jack Friedman to be a staunch supporter of small businesses in my District and around the city. Before heading the Queens Chamber of Commerce, he worked with the City Council’s Committee on Finance to create and expand support services for business owners in New York City. It is work I applaud and continue to build upon today as I chair the Committee.
When he moved to the Queens Chamber of Commerce, he got straight to work, bringing his passion for economic development. In no time, he organized Jackson Heights businesses to create the Jackson Heights Restaurant Week in June. Locals had long known Jackson Heights as a bustling row of restaurants offering delectable treats from around the world. But Jack helped expand their reach, making Jackson Heights a prime food destination in the process.
Jack doesn’t skip a beat. During the U.S. Open, when Flushing Meadows Corona Park is overflowing with tourists, Jack makes certain they leave with a little piece of Queens. The Queens Chamber of Commerce can be seen all around the stadium, sharing with guests all that Queens businesses have to offer.
Jack is an ambassador for Queens businesses, reviving tourism and helping keep the history of the borough alive. His affinity for our borough and helping businesses grow can be seen in his work every day and we’re fortunate to have him.