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Queens Chamber kicks off biz card exchange on Bell Blvd.

Web developer Neil Levin (l.) shares his networking app, herematch, with insurance agent Thomas Eagar at the Queens Chamber of Commerce's business card exchange at the Bourbon Street restaurant on Bell Boulevard in Bayside. Photo by Rich Bockmann
TimesLedger Newspapers

Bell Boulevard’s Bourbon Street restaurant played host to the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s first business card exchange of 2012 last week, when the borough’s captains of commerce stepped out of the staid January doldrums and networked with one another amid a Mardi Gras theme.

“We have business card exchanges monthly at different venues,” the chamber’s chief of operations, Sophia Ganosis, said Feb. 1, sporting a purple, beaded necklace. “We all have our beads. It’s a fun thing to do for a business networking event. People can meet, talk, exchange cards and hopefully do business.”

Of the night’s 70 or so attendees, New York Life insurance agent Thomas Eagar and Neil Levin, vice president of a Long Island City Web development company, showed up early around the 5:30 p.m. start time, with the aim of either stocking up on beads or making as many connections as possible.

Eagar, whose office is in Melville, L.I., offers individual, long-term care, health and disability insurances.

His interlocutor, Levin, appeared to be an expert on the low- and high-tech ways people make business connections. As he handed out his card, he advised, “bend the corner over” in order to make it stand out.

With his glowing iPad in hand, Levin showed off herematch, the app his company developed that allows users to create a profile and build connections with each other.

“You know what they do and they know what you do,” he explained, demonstrating how he checked in at Bourbon Street as he would at any networking event — a bit like a foursquare, the popular social-networking application that allows users to check in at various locations — for the business crowd.

The chamber of commerce is scheduled to host several events throughout the month of February, such as the “How to Protect Your Business” seminar Feb. 10, when John Rafferty will discuss how his private-investigation firm can make businesses safe and secure at the Bulova Corporate Center in Jackson Heights, at 75-20 Astoria Blvd., Suite 140.

For more information, visit

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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