If you have aspirations of breaking into the food industry or are in need of some tasty advice, you are in luck! On Thursday, November 3, Blackstone LaunchPad at CSI will be offering a Zoom panel featuring established food entrepreneurs. The event is a collaboration from the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business, the Staten Island Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and CSI’s Campus Dining to bring this exciting panel to the campus and beyond.

The panelists will include Ruby Chen, founder of Solare Global; Nicole Di Lena, co-owner and co-founder of Dilena’s Dolcini; Maji Mashriqi, founder and owner of Halal City; and Mario Rapaglia, owner of Barrio’s Pizza. The panel will be moderated by Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business alumna and Blackstone LaunchPad coordinator Natalia Sandor, founder and owner of Sand Bars Handcrafted. The foreword will be provided by James McBratney, co-founder of Jimmy Max and former president of The Staten Island Restaurant & Tavern Association.

The panel represents a variety of entrepreneurs within the hospitality industry with experience in hospitality public relations (Ruby Chen), launching and running an online bakery focused on Southern Italian cookies (Dilena’s Dolicine), serving Halal food through multiple channels including food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants (Maji Mashriqi), and a brick-and-mortar pizzeria and catering business (Mario Rapaglia).

Together, these panelists will share the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the food industry and the opportunities they see in the future. If you are interested in listening to the panel and having a chance to ask questions, you can RSVP at https://csi.startuptree.co/event/s/b3RrMDZiuC64TN8MYUWkbF/Hungry-to-Learn%253F-Come-and-Listen-to-Our-Panel-of-Entrepreneurs-in-the-Food-Industry

This event is open to CUNY students and the Staten Island community. Please contact Blackstone LaunchPad co-Director Heidi Bertels with any questions at Heidi.Bertels@csi.cuny.edu.

By John Paul Hoey