Coney Island

Harris salutes Brooklyn’s Men of Honor

John Abi-Habib, Eddie Mark among award winners

June 27, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
John Abi-Habib is one of several men in Southwest Brooklyn who are making a positive difference in their communities, according to Assemblymember Pamela Harris. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Twenty of the most quietly influential men in Southwest Brooklyn received recognition for their contributions to their communities from Assemblymember Pamela Harris who bestowed on them Men of Honor awards during a recent ceremony in Coney Island.

Harris selected men from all walks of life for the awards, including business and civic leaders and men who work behind the scenes without fanfare to help their neighborhoods.

Harris handed out the Men of Honor awards during a ceremony she hosted at Kitchen 21 Coney Island Café on June 24.

The honorees included Eddie Mark, the district manager of Community Board 13 in Coney Island, and John Abi-Habib, a Bay Ridge business and civic leader.

Other Men of Honor winners include David Anderson, Murad Awawdeh, Mo Beasley, Daniel Blake, Kwame Davis, Joe Herrera, Ari Kagan, Jimmy Kokotas, Sam Moore, James Prince, Dan Quinones, Victor Quinones, Chuck Reichenthal, Anthony Rinaldi, Christopher Robles, Jeff Sanoff, Ronald Stewart and Keith Suber.

“Many of our community leaders often go unrecognized for their considerable contributions and immeasurable hard work,” Harris said. “They’ve helped make our neighborhoods a better place, and these awards were a way to acknowledge that.”

Abi-Habib is the founder and president of MSI Net. Inc., a firm headquartered in Bay Ridge that provides internet support to schools and businesses. He was among a small group of business owners who revived the dormant Fifth Avenue Board of Trade in the 1990s. The Fifth Avenue Board of Trade eventually led to the formation of the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID).

He is a president emeritus of a Salaam Club, an organization that was founded more than 75 years ago by Lebanese and Syrian immigrants in Bay Ridge with the goal of performing charitable works.

“The award meant a lot to me,” Abi-Habib told the Brooklyn Eagle. He appreciated the idea of Harris highlighting the work of men who don’t often receive public recognition. “It was nice to be honored with people who do the work in the community without showcasing what they do,” he said.

Mark has been serving Coney Island in various capacities for more than 20 years. A longtime Coney Island resident, he served as a member of Community Board 13 from 1995 to 2014 and was the chairman for four of those years. He was hired as the district manager of the community board in 2015.

Community Board 13 covers Coney Island, Sea Gate, Brighton Beach and parts of Gravesend.

Tourist attractions like the Reigelmann Boardwalk, Nathan’s Famous, the Cyclone and the Coney Island beach are all sites that Community Board 13 can claim are in its backyard.

But Mark and the community board are often faced with major issues, like traffic and parking problems, to resolve on behalf of local residents. And nearly five years after Superstorm Sandy hit, many residents and business owners are still struggling to recover.

 


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