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Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce President Comes Under Fire

Jan. 13, 2014 By Christian Murray

The president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce is facing a leadership challenge following the manner in which long-serving marketing director Luke Adams was ousted last week.

Rigo Cardoso, the treasurer of the business organization, took a shot at Swain Weiner, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, over the way Adams was let go.

Last week, Weiner announced that Adams’ position was “eliminated” and cited “financial restraints” as the reason.

Today, in a lengthy letter to Chamber members, Cardoso wrote that Weiner made the announcement without the board’s approval and that it was inaccurate. He said that Adams was laid off—not eliminated—and that “We look forward to calling on this excellent man when we get the funds.”

Cardoso said that the organization lacks funds due to its lack of community outreach. He said the merchant group needs to recruit new members and hold more fundraisers.

“There is a need for change at the chamber,” Cardoso said in an interview. “The organization is losing members and is losing ground.”

“We need more people and need to work better together,” Cardoso said.

Weiner, who had not read the letter at the time he was called, did not comment.

Cardoso said he plans to run for chamber president in April. He said he is a US citizen born in Ecuador who would aim to recruit business people of all cultures. However, he would like other independently minded people to run for the top chamber job too.

He said he would also want to have the monthly chamber meetings in restaurants throughout the neighborhood—to help all the different restaurant/bar owners gain exposure. Currently, the monthly luncheon meetings are held at Dazies.

Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, Letter by Rigo Cardoso by Queens Post on Scribd

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43rd & 43rd

If your job is in communications, you should be able to handle running SpellCheck. Nobody (in this industry, at least) is calling for 100% perfection, but you should at least make an attempt. If you can’t, then communications is not the field for you.


Who in their rite mind is going to comment about Luke’s spelling? Some of us can’t spell correctly but does that mean he has to be thrown to the curb??? Shame on anyone who would even mention that. Luke s an upstanding member of our community and I hope all the local people who know him and loves him will stand behind him now. As far as the chamber of commerce is concerned forget about what the chamber what can do for u and look at what the chamber can do for Sunnyside. It s supposed to benefit the community and not an indiviual !!!


I should have mentioned that Luke did a newsletter every month in which he introduced new businesses and their owners/operators and included color photos. His spelling wasn’t perfect but his efforts were a lot better than the void which now exists.

Dorothy Morehead

It used to be a lot better. The website was wonderful, there were regular business-card swap events, the luncheons attracted government officials who would listen to the issues affecting Sunnyside’s small businesses, the bus trips to Atlantic City and the Amish country offered reasonable day trips for Sunnysiders and were real community builders. I was a member for years and would love to see the Chamber revitalized. The organization could supplement, not duplicate, the good work of the BID (Sunnyside Shines).

Disengaged Business Owner

BoFA — I’m not young — and I do agree with you that technology is not a substitute for experience. But all that experience didn’t help Luke Adams’s atrocious communications skills — really, just shameful for the Marketing Director of our local Chamber of Commerce — do I need to post examples?

Anyway, my main point wasn’t to “enlighten you all with electronic marvels,” it was simply to point our that more and more people (and not just young people) do use their devices more and more to shop, research service providers, read about local events, sign up for discounts, etc. If we (i.e., older and more experienced business people) fail to adapt to these new technologies then we will fail to reach our customers.

Breath of Fresh Air

@ DBO Technology is meaningless without knowledge, experience and heart. If young people are disinclined to communicate by anything other than “devices,” they are missing out on a lot of life, which takes place person to person. I’d like to see your “emails” know who to call late on a Sunday night when something goes wrong.

Younger people need to reach out to the mature people who have made Sunnyside the beloved neighborhood you young business people want to make your living in. Believe it or not, life did exist here before you came to enlighten us all with your new electronic marvels.

@ This is BS Since when are major personnel changes not news? Have you ever been in the news business?


This is BS! – I agree. This is not news. This is all fluff for Rigo as he makes a runs for President. He criticized the use of eliminated vs. let go…. ok, Luke Adams is still SOL correct?

Is there really a need to publicize this? He is the Treasurer, go and speak to Weiner, the President about how you feel, not a letter to Sunnysidepost.

Disengaged Business Owner

I dropped my Chamber membership, too, as I honestly did not see the value of belonging. While I feel bad about Luke Adam’s current health situation, he was just terrible at his job as Marketing Director. Has any one here ever received his email communications on behalf of the Chamber? Mostly inarticulate, riddled with typos and providing no additional value — he mostly just forwarded things along that were sent to him by inner circle members. I found him to be an embarrassment.

With a few exceptions, Sunnyside’s CoC membership, especially among the board, is dominated by old timers who have made as little effort to reach out to younger business people as they have in embracing newer marketing technologies that might stand them a chance of growing membership and really building a business community. Compared to the beautiful job they are doing at Sunnyside Shines — nicely branded email communications, social media presence, etc., — the CoC is a very sad affair.

This is BS!

I’m going to stop reading the Sunnyside Post because this is simply not news. I’m done.

Dorothy Morehead

Members pay for their own lunches. Dazie’s has a separate room for meetings and small parties and offers a very nice lunch for a reasonable price. I’m not sure how much it is now because I dropped my membership. It is a fallacy that older people do not care about day care. It may not be at top of their list of concerns but most long-time residents recognize the importance of good day care and schools to keep the community vital. One of the most loving people in Sunnyside is 103. She prefers to live here in her own home and not in a nursing home.

Breath of Fresh Air

@ Plainspoken I guess it would be a nice chunk of change for any restaurant the meeting was held in.

@ Sunny…hates me and No Weiners Although you may be too young to see it, “old” people have experience. If you are old and in business, you are successful. It’s great to have non-old people bring in new ideas and energy, but unless they are mature enough to know that there is a lot they don’t know, they risk exhausting themselves re-inventing the wheel. The best organizations find a way to match up experience and energy.

@ Dorothy Moorehead When you find out where to sign up, let me know, too.

Mr. Weiner, it seems to be time for a graceful exit. Bon Voyage!

Sunnysidepost, thanks for running this story. People usually get away with their back room skullduggery because no one has the courage to shine a light on their activities. I’d like to establish a Sunnyside Press Award and make you the first recipient.

Plain Spoken

Mr. Cardoso’s got a socialist idea there about having the chamber’s luncheon at different establishments. Who pays for that luncheon? Does it come out of the chamber’s budget or out of the pockets of those attending? In any case that’s a nice chunk of change every month for Dazies.


Old people running things is no good. Old people don’t care if we have no day care centers.

Plain Spoken

He’s not getting Dazies vote. Hey Dazies do something with that dump next door. You own it.

no more damn weiners, please

get these old men outta here already. this treasurer and chamber of commerce can’t find $300 bucks to pay mr Adams. Were 10 minutes by subway to grand central and if these old men can’t figure out how to bring some decent business in from this great location here, step aside. im tired of nail salons and 99 cent stores when Astoria and surrounding areas has real shopping.

stop strangling business.


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