Sunset Park has ‘BID’ adieu to one of the neighborhood’s most influential figures.
Renee Giordano, who for 20 years has served as executive director at the Sunset Park Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), announced her retirement earlier in the year.
Members of the BID, residents, 72nd Precinct officers, elected officials, business owners and friends gathered at the Victory Outreach, 840 Fifth Avenue, to celebrate Giordano’s decades of service during a retirement reception.
Giordano was touched by the outpouring of love from all the attendees.
“I still have tissues on the side that my daughter told me to have,” said an emotional Giordano. “I can’t believe all this was for me. I’m used to planning these things for other people but it was very touching to hear all the things people were saying. All these years, I just did what needed to be done.”
Attendees discussed the impact Giordano has had since taking the difficult position.
“I was on the board of the BID for many years,” said attorney Christopher Robles. “I just left a few months ago, but Renee has been a pillar of our community. This is very fitting celebration for all her hard work and we wish her well in all her endeavors. We wish she could stay but we are happy for her. She’s done a great job organizing the street vendors, the celebrations we have, the sanitation improvements, the lighting. She’s really been hands on. It’s going to be very tough to replace her.”
“We are all here to celebrate a great milestone and a wonderful person that cleaned up Fifth Avenue and made business owners and property owners stay here ,” said John Miniaci, owner of Johnny’s Pizzeria. “She’s leaving but will never be forgotten.”
Eddie Artica, a BID staffer, recalled how Giordano changed his life. “Thirteen years ago, I saw a job posting for the Sunset Park BID,” he said. “I sent my resume and I went to the office the same day. I met with Renee, we talked and it’s been amazing ever since. She always instilled in me integrity. I want to thank you for mentoring me and teaching me to care about my community.”
Giordano received citations from many elected officials, including Borough President Eric Adams, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Congressmember Nydia Velazquez.
Nan Blackshear, community affairs director for Adams, discussed her achievements, such as making Fifth Avenue graffiti free, providing decorative trash receptacles on all four corners of each intersection from 38th street to 65th Street, replacing standard lampposts, bringing in free wi-fi, assisting in the formation of a BID in Detroit, and more.
“When she came on board, the BID was stuck,” said former BID President Delvis Valdes. “It wasn’t really performing the way we wanted. She came in and molded the position. The BID was only a year old and she made her vision reality on how to serve business owners. She did great for two decades, giving Fifth Avenue a presence in the community. The BID is known now throughout Brooklyn.”
Giordano also received an award from the BID.
As you retire, know that we will miss you. Every day, we will feel the gap and the empty space in our lives,” said BID President Llamil Núñez. “Look back at your major accomplishments, the lives you have touched. You’re caring and nurturing. As you retire, be fulfilled, be happy, be adventurous because you deserve it. Thank you for your contribution and know we deeply appreciate it on the avenue.”
No successor has been announced as of yet. “We just had a round of interviews today and it’s tough to find somebody to match up to what we had,” said Valdes.