Lida Orzeck, CEO of Hanky Panky, to be Keynote Speaker at Business Assistance Forum at Baruch College Oct. 15

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NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 30 2010 — Lida Orzeck, the co-founder and CEO of Hanky Panky — a lingerie company that began as a tiny business 33 years ago and became a multimillion-dollar enterprise — will be the keynote speaker at a breakfast forum on October 15 at Baruch College that is designed to help businesses grow in today’s challenging economy.

The program, “Accessing Opportunity: A Business Assistance Forum,” is being produced by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Baruch College’s Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship.

The date: Friday, October 15.
The time: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The place: Baruch College Newman Conference Center,
151 East 25th Street, seventh floor.


The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Flatiron BID’s Intersections series, a set of programs that focus on information, ideas and the community. It will begin with a Business Resource Fair in which a number of companies and New York City agencies will participate, and end with four workshop sessions on different subjects.

Attendees will also hear welcoming remarks from Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron BID; Mitchel B. Wallerstein, the new President of Baruch College; and Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Orzeck’s story should be an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs. The Brooklyn-born executive, who graduated from Barnard College in 1968 and has a PhD in social psychology from Columbia University, began as a researcher for the New York Police Department. In 1977, she was given a birthday present by her friend Gale Epstein, a fashion designer: a bra and bikini set made from hand-embroidered handkerchiefs. Soon after, she and Epstein went into business together and launched Hanky Panky in 1977, starting with a single seamstress. Initial growth was slow, but in 1986 the company introduced Style 4811 — a thong. It became one of the industry’s best-selling items and catapulted Hanky Panky to new heights. What makes the company even more special is that all of its products are made in the United States. In addition, Hanky Panky’s showroom and offices are in the heart of the Flatiron District, at 373 Park Avenue South.

Organizations participating in the Business Resource Fair are: NBAT, the City’s New Business Acceleration Team; the NYC Health Insurance Link, an online resource that offers unbiased and detailed information about various health plans available in New York City; the New York City Economic Development Corporation; Seedco Financial, a nonprofit that provides financing and technical aid to companies in distressed or underserved communities; TD Bank, one of the country’s 15 largest commercial banks; Tekserve, the Apple specialist, which will raffle off an iPad; Con Edison; Time Warner Cable Business Class; and Baruch’s Small Business Development Center. The workshops are: Business Financing Roadmap, led by Yurhina Schmidt of NYC Business Solutions; Marketing & Branding Basics, led by Stanley Kohlenberg of Baruch; Web 2.0& Social Media for Beginners, led by Ulas Neftci of Baruch; and Banking, Bookkeeping & Money Management, led by a representative of TD Bank.

About the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (www.discoverflatiron.org) is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2006 by property owners, tenants, city officials and others with a stake in the community, an approximately 38-block area with borders extending from 21st Street to 28th Street and from Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue. The mission of the Partnership is to enhance the area’s reputation as one of New York’s most vital and exciting neighborhoods. This is accomplished by maintaining a clean and safe environment for those who live, work and visit the area; by spearheading area improvement projects; and by marketing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.

About Baruch College
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 16,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. Through its three schools—the School of Public Affairs; the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences; and the Zicklin School of Business, the largest AACSB-accredited business school in the nation—Baruch College offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees that reflect the college’s foundation in the liberal arts and its strong focus on management and public affairs. Baruch College dates back more than 160 years to the founding in 1847 of the Free Academy, the first free public college in the nation. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world.

About the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch
The Field Center, founded in 1993, is a model of entrepreneurship education built around the collaboration of an institution of higher education, government and the private sector. Faculty and students from Baruch's Zicklin School of Business, Baruch's Small Business Development Center Business Advisors, alumni and volunteers are brought together to support the entrepreneurial endeavors of start-ups and established businesses and the college's constituents. Since July 2005, the Field Center and the Baruch SBDC have served 4,630 clients; created 959 jobs; and saved more than 600 jobs.

CONTACT:

Eric Zaretsky, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership: 212-741-2323 ezaretsky@flatironbid.org

Jennifer Pauly, Baruch College: 646-660-6129 jennifer.pauly@baruch.cuny.edu