2015-04-15 / Features

Queens Chamber’s Jack Friedman Passes Away At 55

Queens Chamber Executive Director Jack Friedman has passed away at age 55. Queens Chamber Executive Director Jack Friedman has passed away at age 55. The Queens Chamber of Commerce (QCC) mourns the loss of Executive Director Jack Friedman who passed away just days ahead of his 56th birthday.

His death on April 9 was unexpected.

In the seven years he led the organization, Friedman was able to enpower the QCC with countless numbers of businesses throughout Queens and build the borough’s economy for the families that called it home.

“His love of Queens came out in everything that he did and was evident with whoever interacted with him,” said the QCC in a statement released that afternoon.

Having lived in Queens his entire life, Friedman had an intimate knowledge of the borough and its history. Combined with his experience as a small business owner, this allowed him to help countless entrepreneurs.

“Jack Friedman was a beloved staple of the Queens business and civic community,” said Borough President Melinda Katz. “Jack was fiercely committed to making Queens a key center of economic opportunity and prosperity. Jack’s deep love for Queens guided his leadership and activism throughout the community for years, and he was well-respected for it. This is a loss mourned by the entire borough, and our condolences are with Jack’s family during this difficult time. He will be very much missed.”

Friedman served as Executive Director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce since December 2007, and as a member of Queens Community Board 13 since 2008. He was also a board member of the Bellerose Jewish Center, Lifeline Center for Child Development and Services Now for Adult Persons (SNAP).

“Queens has lost a great advocate for the borough’s business community. Jack Friedman did so much to assist local business owners, and he worked tirelessly to help strengthen the Queens economy. His experience and resourcefulness helped countless entrepreneurs get on their feet and grow their businesses,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “I was fortunate to partner with Jack and the Chamber on numerous occasions to promote area small businesses, and each and every time, his expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm made the project we were working on such a great success. We worked together to organize seminars and workshops for Queens small business owners and highlighted the success of Queens companies on the national stage. Jack’s passing is a terrible loss for Queens and he will be enormously missed. I send my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”

Previously, Friedman served as President of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council and was a member of Community School Board 26 for 10 years. Friedman was also chief of staff to Aseemblyman David Weprin when he was a Councilman.

“We lost one of Queens’ most ardent promoters and supporters in Jack Friedman. I always admired his dedication to assisting individuals and businesses all throughout the borough. After Superstorm Sandy ravaged my district, I worked with Jack and very much appreciated his efforts in helping businesses rebuild. Jack left a permanent imprint on Queens through his work with the Chamber of Commerce, and just his work with people every day. My prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Jack will be sorely missed,” said state Senator Joseph Addabbo.

And Councilman Mark Weprin said, “It is with great sadness that I share some thoughts about Jack Friedman following his untimely passing today. I knew Jack for over 20 years and saw him shine in a plethora of roles, all of which he filled with his characteristic charm, good nature, and relentlessly positive attitude. Jack was 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 I. 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. He was incredibly devoted to his wife Lorie and to his children, Daniel and Cara. Jack was always community minded, serving on the school PTA and patronizing restaurants across the borough of Queens, for which he was truly a goodwill ambassador. He was involved in the local Jewish community, a leader at both Bellerose Jewish Center and the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council. We shared a deep love for the New York Mets, and I know that he was planning to be at the opening game this year. Jack Friedman was a true friend, a leader, and one of Queens County’s treasures. I am among the many who will miss him terribly.”

His funeral was held on April 12 at Parkside Memorial Chapels, located at 98-60 Queens Boulevard.

Jack Friedman is survived by his wife Lorie, daughter Cara and son Daniel.

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