Our Board

Gary Pollakusky
President, Executive Director

"Founding the RPSB Chamber for our community has been one of my greatest honors. Our growing network of local businesses are committed to supporting each other. We are focused on building the local economy that we've chosen to live in, raise our families in and run our businesses in."

Gary Pollakusky is an accomplished business executive who brings to the RPSB Chamber Board a broad scope of business turnaround, marketing & communications experience. Pollakusky has more than 20 years of experience partnering with large and small corporations across multiple industries and sectors to maximize performance growth potential.

Gary’s primary business, Media Barrel LLC is a full-service Advertising organization that operates as a company’s “one-stop shop” for New Media strategy, implementation, and management. Pollakusky’s group offers expertise in developing, evaluating, and maintaining a unified employer-based or consumer-based brand across all channels of today’s Web universe. Media Barrel’s customized brand strategies, comprehensive understanding of social media, detailed metrics and monitoring techniques, and expertise in communicating across multiple departments and disciplines help businesses build an authentic, productive, and profitable dialogue between their company and target audiences.

In 2011, Pollakusky formed a travel tours business called Travel Barrel LLC providing full service, micro-branded Long Island tours like Vino Crawl, Foodie Hop, Agro Journey and Shopping Treks to name a few. Creating business and opportunity is a passion for Gary.

Prior to building Media Barrel, Gary served in management roles for Bernard HODES Group, Unilever HPCNA, Columbia Business School, and AHL Services, Inc. Pollakusky holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and is an active member of SHRM, North Shore Community Association, LICVB, and LILA. Additionally, Gary serves as a Board Member for the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency, Brookhaven Local Development Corporation and was honored with the Long Island Business News Corporate Citizenship Award in 2016. In 2017, he received the Long Island Business News Forty Under Forty Award.

Charles Todaro

"It is an honor to join the RPSB Chamber and share in the commitment with this talented Board of community members and leaders. Great things are ahead of us."

Charles Todaro has been a Rocky Point resident since 2005. He graduated from St. John's University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Beta Alpha Psi distinction. Charles has been a New York State licensed CPA for over 20 years. Charles has worked in numerous industries including real estate development, construction, private operating foundations, non-profit charities and entertainment and amusement. Charles has held managerial finance positions in health care and Ambulatory Surgery Centers.

Charles is a member of the Board of the Rocky Point Youth Soccer Club, currently serves as the Treasurer of the Club and is a coach for one of its travel teams. He has a passion for helping children develop good sportsmanship and character through active competition and remains focused on a mission to develop mature adults and responsible citizens through the lessons of teamwork and fair play. The Rocky Point Blue Storm have won its league award for Sportsmanship from Long Island Junior Soccer League in 3 of its last 5 seasons. "Much more important than our won-loss record, my players have left the field impressing our opponents and the referees as good sportsmen. I am proud of them. It made the volunteer time all the more significant and rewarding".

Nichaldeep Parhar

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the most compassionate actions of it's beautiful members"

Nichaldeep is excited to join our Chamber Board as Membership Director because he believes in going above and beyond for our community. No matter what is on his plate, Nich work’s diligently and effectively to make sure the end result is positive and successful.

Nichaldeep has been a Manager with Peoples United Bank for the last 3 years and has been with the company for 6 years. He has been in the Business/ Finance field for the last 12 years.

Part of Nich’s job is to get involved as much as possible with the community. People’s gave over 3.8 million dollars in Community grants last year.

Nich believes that connecting business and community through the Chamber is very important and looks forward to connecting with everyone he can.

Nicole Aretz
Membership Director

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.

Nicole Aretz comes to our board as a local Real Estate Broker for 27 years. She started her Real Estate career in 1995 as a General Contractor, building homes on the North Shore and marketing properties in Real Estate Sales at Century 21 MillMatt. She has worked with hundreds of community members and businesses alike in the local Real Estate Market and is an Associate Broker at Signature Premier Properties.

In 1995 Nicole had a dear family member from Rocky Point that was diagnosed with breast cancer and so became involved with fundraising for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center under the direction of Dr. Steven Sugarman. Over ten years their organization Boobie Trapped For a Cure hosted events in Rocky Point and Port Jefferson and raised over 120k for the Commack Breast Service Fund so that women on Long Island would have services that were only available to those traveling to the main campus in NYC.

In 2018 Nicole became very aware of the growing Opiate Crisis plaguing our communities and decided to get involved in Service work part time. She is a Certified Peer Recovery Advocate, certified through New York State OASAS; Office of Addiction Services and Supports. She works for the Thomas Hope Foundation which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She helps Families and those suffering from Substance Use Disorder navigate treatment services and recovery supports.

Nicole hopes to bring her experience in community minded endeavors together with other Business Professionals in our area to build a stronger connection through community and commerce.

Julie Fontanella
Fundraising Director

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Growing up in Miller Place fills Julie's heart with warm memories. After living in NYC for half her life, she is proud to now be a Rocky Point resident and part of the Real Estate industry as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Signature Premier Properties. Julie strives to help her clients sell their existing home as well as find a new home to build memories in. Julie’s ability to relate with her clients on a personal and professional level offers the perfect combination for guidance through each individual's journey.

Julie graduated from Long Island University, CW Post Campus, where she studied Business Marketing & Advertising. Her experience working with Fortune 500 companies developing advertising campaigns to create brand awareness, increasing revenue, and building brand recognition for her client’s product launches, has proven to be a smooth transition into the real estate Industry.

Julie has a big heart for helping others and is easy to talk to. Her attention to detail, honesty, and commitment shines through every step of the real estate transaction.

Julie embraces quality time with her family, friends and the furry loves in her life. She continues to excel in playing classical piano and offers her time to support non for profit charities. Also, she is dedicated to staying active for a healthy lifestyle and enjoying all Long Island has to offer.

Kim Wehnke
Director of Promotions

“Social Media is a tool for connecting people, a way to convey a message, a gallery to showcase creativity and a lot more.”

Kim is a charismatic and bubbly social media and restaurant manager who is making a name for herself in her hometown of Rocky Point and Sound Beach. With a passion for connecting people and conveying messages, Kim believes that social media is much more than just a platform for posting pictures and status updates.

As the Director of Promotions for the Chamber Board in her community, Kim is dedicated to bringing people together and promoting local businesses. She is honored to have this opportunity to give back to the town that she grew up in and is excited to see what the future holds.

Kim's true passion, however, lies in her role as the manager of Marinelli's Pizzeria, a newly established restaurant in town. She has big plans for the pizzeria and is already hard at work growing the business and making it a staple in the community.

With her creative flair and love for social media, Kim is also responsible for managing the restaurant's online presence. From posting mouth-watering pictures of their delicious pizzas to engaging with customers and responding to reviews, Kim ensures that Marinelli's Pizzeria is always top of mind for locals and visitors alike.

But Kim's drive and passion don't stop there. In addition to her role as a restaurant manager, she is also a direct support professional at Maryhaven, where she spends time with individuals in need. This is her way of giving back to the community and making a difference in the lives of those around her.

Kim's infectious energy, unwavering positivity, and dedication to her community make her a true asset to the RPSB chamber. With her sights set on opening her own businesses in the future, there's no doubt that Kim will continue to make waves in the world of business and beyond.

Dean Gandley
Specials Events Director

"They say all politics is local, and they’re right, but all economics is local too, so without our local businesses, our economy falters."

Dean has deep roots in Rocky Point and the local area. He graduated from Rocky Point High School in 2015 and then went on to Saint Joseph’s College in Patchogue where he obtained a BA in history with departmental honors and a second in political science. He is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta and Theta Alpha Kappa honor societies. Dean then went to Germany and completed his MA in International Relations and Global Governance from the University of Bremen. Dean is an Eagle Scout from Troop 244, and before studying Germany, he was the Troop Chaplain and Assistant Scout Master.

Dean returned to his roots in Rocky Point and began working for New York State Assemblyman Joseph P. DeStefano as District Office Director. Working for the state has helped Dean built relationships with local businesses, not-for-profits, libraries, and countless government representatives across the political spectrum.

In his free time, Dean enjoys going to volunteer events in the local community such as beach and land cleanups, being active in his local Ancient Order of Hibernians division which helps with local food drives year-round and toy drives during Christmas and is now eager to assist the Rocky Point-Sound Beach Chamber of Commerce.