Victoria’s Secrets: Sharing Their Worlds

Dr. Donald R. Boomgaarden and I share the same mantra of being persistent and following our dreams.
Dr. Donald R. Boomgaarden and I share the same mantra of being persistent and following our dreams.

People make the world go round and this week I want to share their worlds with you.

Podcasts have been a powerful way to share with my readers across our media platforms and iTunes. Last week, I had a fascinating talk with Dr. Donald R. Boomgaarden, the popular president of St. Joseph’s College of New York. The school has three campuses: one in Patchogue, one in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn and a virtual campus for online classes.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Boomgaarden below. 
When I interviewed Dr. Boomgaarden, he was very upbeat because he had just gotten word that the bond issue to build a new student center had been approved. It was easy to notice the pride and excitement in his voice, having achieved another goal for his beloved school.

The college has been included in Forbes magazine’s list of America’s top colleges. Washington Monthly included St. Joseph’s in its 2020 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: Northeast list.

Because the institution was founded in 1916 by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the school places a high priority on moral behavior.

Dr. Boomgaarden, the school’s eighth president, earned his position after previously serving as  provost at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, among various positions at multiple universities.

What I found fascinating is that Dr. Boomgaarden is a classically trained pianist who graduated from the finest schools and, even with his heavy administrative responsibilities, he still takes time to perform.

I love the story he told me of when he played his electric fiddle with students during a recital. After performing, one of the students’ parents approached him and asked, “Are you really the president of the college?”

I asked Dr. Boomgaarden what advice he would offer his students to succeed and I was happy to hear him say something that I, too, believe in: “Be persistent and follow your dreams.”

It looks like Dr. Boomgaarden has found his perfect dream job and is loving every moment of it!

Listen to the podcast at


Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia Chin, who with her husband Vincent “Randy” Chin, founded VP Records in their home on the island of Kingston, Jamaica. Now, Patricia is celebrating the 60th anniversary of her incredibly successful company.

Her story of creating a multiple-generational entrepreneurship is one of glory and pain, which you can read in her recently published 10-pound beautiful table-top book, “Miss Pat: My Reggae Music Journey.”

The book celebrates the 60th anniversary of Patricia Chen’s incredible business.
Miss Pat in front of the Unisphere.

The book is a stunning presentation of her journey filled with tributes, including one from DJ Kool Herc, a “founding father of hip hop.”

“What Berry Gordy was to Motown Records, what Russell Simmons was to Def Jam Recordings, what Clive Davis was to Arista Records, Patricia Chin is to the Reggae industry and VP Records,” he wrote. 

What a fantastic, well-earned tribute!

Kudos to a fearless woman who, in a male dominated industry, became a philanthropist, retailer, merchandiser and the recipient of numerous awards, including a Grammy! Congratulations, Pat!

Getting a second chance

Having known Jim Gennaro for decades, I was delighted to see him decide to run again for City Council after a decade of being out of the public eye.

Time can be so cruel sometimes. Jim, like so many great leaders, including Claire Shulman, had their public service cut short because of term limits. He served as councilman from Jan. 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2013, when he was term limited out of office. He also lost his beloved wife after a lengthy battle with an illness. But he has continued working through it all and has been serving in government ever since.

Vote for Jim Gennaro in District 24!

Now, District 24 residents in the neighborhoods of Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills and Jamaica are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to elect Jim again. This time, he’s accompanied by his compassionate new wife Wendy Phaff, who has brought her brilliance to Queens Centers for Progress.

I know the power of bringing years of knowledge of city government will serve his constituents well. Vote for Jim Gennaro as city councilman for District 24!

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