Tuesday, December 1, 2020 (11 AM - 11:30 AM)

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Mike Figliola is a writer, television/radio reporter, and producer who has called New York City—specifically Queens—his home for more than thirty years. He has written hundreds of poems and has read them on a regular basis at such venues as the famed Cornelia Street Café in NYC with actor John Ventimiglia and poet Frank Messina, and has been a featured poet in the Brooklyn Poet Laureate’s “Brooklyn Poetry Outreach” in Park Slope Brooklyn. He has served as a producer, writer, and reporter in radio and TV on both local and national platforms.

“Mike Figliola’s The Slow Midnight on Cypress Avenue is a street level gaze at Queens, New York in the offbeat tradition of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski. There is a raw honesty to this three-part novel which kept me spellbound. Figliola is an irrepressible writer with the heart of a poet and the eyes of a journalist. Highly recommended!!—Douglas Brinkley, Editor of Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac and Literary Executor of the Hunter S. Thompson Estate


Daniel Scarpati is a former film/TV production assistant turned writer/director. After spending countless overtime hours on dozens of sets, he is now the owner of Passing Planes Productions LLC and works as a freelance video producer, director, and editor.

Daniel has a B.A. in Film Production and TV/Radio from CUNY Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, is developing his first feature film and (when not on set) is a metal detectorist in search of lost treasure. Keep up-to-date with him online at www.passingplanes.com.


Thomas J. Grech (President & CEO of Queens Chamber of Commerce)

Thomas J. Grech

President & CEO of Queens Chamber of Commerce


Tom’s career has spanned the printing and publishing industries over the past 25 years with RR Donnelley & Sons Company, Merrill Corporation and SONY DADC. For the past five years, he has been involved in the energy industry. Most recently, Tom was Director of Sales for CCI Energy Solutions, Inc.

His other interests include investing in multi-family real estate, adviser to non-profit and for-profit boards.

Originally from Astoria, Tom lives in Malverne, NY with his wife and their daughter and son. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA with a BS in Accounting and received his MBA in International Business from Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY.

He has served as President & CEO of Queens Chamber of Commerce since July of 2015.