The October Educational Series featuring the New York State Liquor Authority was very well received. Over 125 attendees from industries across Long Island enjoyed a delicious breakfast and farm-to-table lunch while making connections with industry leaders as well as networking with fellow LIFC members.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all those who attended. You found the meeting informative and extremely helpful to the growth of your business. Attendees listened carefully to the speakers and took notes while the members of the SLA, Suffolk County Health Department and NYS Agriculture & Markets fielded questions from the audience. A panel of local producers provided insight into their businesses and shared their challenges and goals.

The Long Island Food Council’s goal is to support companies by giving them a chance to learn, solve problems, and exchange ideas. We aim to help your business move forward and ultimately grow the economy on Long Island.

We would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts and let us know what topics you would like to see in future educational series events. You can do so by emailing

If you are not a member, and would like further information, please feel free to contact us or go to our website to register, All other inquiries, please contact
Photos of the event are available now. Click the button below to view the photo gallery. To view here and members can login to see the full video presentation.

Speakers & Panelists

August Ruckdeschel-
East End Projects Coordinator
Economic Development Specialist – Agriculture & Marine Suffolk County, Department of Economic Development and Planning

August Ruckdeschel is a former Long Island vegetable farmer with a B.S. in Business Administration from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Colorado in Boulder. August currently works in the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning as the East End Projects Coordinator and Economic Development Specialist in the Agriculture & Marine industries. In this capacity, August has drafted and passed legislation to expand economic opportunities for farmers on permanently preserved Suffolk County farmland. He has written grants securing approximately $3.7 million in funding for the agricultural and fishing industries. He helped launch the “Choose LI – Local and Independent” initiative, a collaborative effort to inspire Suffolk County residents to spend more money on local food and beverages. He is the sole author/editor of Suffolk County’s Agricultural and Fishing website content and the County’s Agriculture & Fishing E-Newsletter, which has nearly 2,000 subscribers. He is a co-author of the 2015 Suffolk County Agriculture & Farmland Protection Plan and the primary author of the Suffolk County Agricultural Stewardship Plan. August also serves as the Chair of the Suffolk County Food Policy Council and the Suffolk County Aquaculture Leasing Board. August teaches a Masters-level class entitled Food Policy and Health Outcomes in the United States at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.
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Vincent BradleyChairman Vincent Bradley
State Liquor Authority

Vincent Bradley was unanimously confirmed as Chairman of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) on June 24, 2015. As Chairman of the SLA, Mr. Bradley is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the

agency. The SLA has two core statutory functions: properly issuing licenses and permits in a timely fashion and ensuring compliance with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. The Chairman and the Commissioners of the SLA are responsible for creating policy, developing strategy, and directing initiatives that create a regulatory framework designed to efficiently, ethically, and professionally accomplish these functions. The Chairman and Commissioners also ensure the work of the agency harmonizes with the overall strategy and goals set by the Executive Chamber. In addition, the Chairman also presides over all Full Board meetings of the agency.

David Altman, Esq.David Altman, Esq.
Brown & Altman, LLP

David is a founding partner of Brown & Altman, LLP and has extensive experience in real estate law, commercial litigation, and environmental law. He represents real estate developers and lenders, national and local retailers, and is involved in all phases of site development.  David works with major national corporations, including Fortune 500 businesses, as well as local businesses in various aspects of the retail, commercial and industrial sectors.  As a land use attorney, he practices before municipalities throughout Long Island and New York City.  Additionally, David serves as transactional counsel to a number of commercial and residential lenders.

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David Prnick, Esq.David Pernick, Esq.
Brown & Altman, LLP

David represents institutional lenders in commercial transactions and counsels clients in a broad range of issues including commercial and residential real estate development, land use and zoning, and various litigation matters.  David is also well versed in New York’s Alcohol Beverage Law, having previously interned with the New York State Liquor Authority Office of Counsel.

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Thomas DonohueThomas Donohue –
Secretary to the Authority, State Liquor Authority

Tom Donohue is a 1986 graduate of Albany Law School. He has been with the State Liquor
Authority since 1999, first serving as the chief prosecutor in the Authority’s Albany office. He was Counsel to the Authority from 2006 until 2009 and served as Special Counsel from 2010 until 2016. As Special Counsel, he drafted many of the recent changes to the Alcoholic
Beverage Control Law, including the revisions to the winery laws in 2011, the farm brewery law in 2012, the farm cidery law in 2013 and the 2014 New York Craft Act. He was also part of the 2016 Chairman’s Working Group on revising the ABC Law and drafted the resulting legislation that including the changes to the Sunday sales hours for on-premises licensees. In 2016 he was appointed Secretary to the Authority and is responsible for the operations surrounding the Authority’s Full Board meetings. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has authored numerous training and guidance documents regarding the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including the Authority’s new “Handbook for Retail Licensees” and “Manual for Law Enforcement”.

Gary MeyerhoffGary Meyerhoff –
General Council, State Liquor Authority

Gary comes to the SLA from Dentons US LLP (previously Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal) in Manhattan, where he served for 20 years as a partner in the Litigation Department. Gary has extensive experience as a litigator and trial lawyer and has been lead counsel on numerous high-profile and high-stakes cases on behalf of businesses in a variety of industries, specializing in disputes in the hospitality industry and over the sale and management of real estate, complex fraud cases, bankruptcy litigation, Ponzi scheme matters, and internal investigations. Gary earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University.

William CrowleyBill Crowley
Director of Public Affairs, State Liquor Authority

Bill has served as the Public Information Officer for the New York State Liquor Authority for over a decade. Prior to joining the SLA, Bill served for three years as Deputy Director of Regulatory Affairs at the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. Bill previously held positions as a Special Assistant in the Executive Chamber, as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform, as the Governor’s Briefer and as a Legislative Aide in the New York State Senate. Bill began his career in state government in the Department of Research and Statistics at the New York State Department of Labor. Bill is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

Angela MontalbanoAngela Montalbano
NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets-Food Safety & Inspection

Angela graduated from the State University at Brockport with a BS in Biology in 1990. She began her career with the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, Food Safety and Inspection in 1990. Angela began working in Brooklyn as Food Inspector 1 and was quickly promoted to a Food Processing Inspector, to a St. Food Inspector,  to a Bio-Terrorism Food Inspector. She has since been promoted to Supervising Food Inspector 2 and is responsible for supervising food inspectors in Suffolk County, Long Island. Throughout her career she has received numerous recognition awards from the NYS Dept. of Agriculture, AFDO, CASA and USDA.

Angela is the Director at Large on the AFDO Board(Association of Food and Drug Officials), AFDO Retail Food Committee Chair, the NYSAFP Food Committee Chair and is the State Co-Chair for the PFP(Partnership for Food Protection) Training and Credentialing Workgroup and is on the IFPTI Fellowship Advisory Board. She is a NY CASA(Central Atlantic States Association) Conference past president and participates on national food safety and training workgroups, including the National Curriculum Standards development. Angela also authored and co-authored numerous food safety guidance documents targeted to industry and regulatory personnel.

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Steven KaneStephen Kane –
Assistant Chief, Bureau of Public Health Protection Suffolk County Department of Health Services

Stephen is Principal Public Health Sanitarian and Assistant Chief of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Bureau of Public Health Protection.  He manages the Food Protection and Training & Plan Review Programs, and also serves as the county’s Foodborne Illness officer.  He has worked for Suffolk County for 19 years, all in the Department’s Bureau of Public Health Protection.  Stephen holds a B.Sc. from the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY.

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Greg MartinGreg Martin –
Co-Owner, Long Ireland Beer Company

Greg Martin is the co-owner of Long Ireland Beer Company, one of the first craft breweries on the East end of Long Island.  In addition to running a successful business since 2009, he has also served on the board of the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce and is a past president of the Long Island Brewers guild.


Long Ireland Beer Company logo

Rich StabileRichard Stabile –
Founder and Proprietor, Long Island spirits; Master Distiller

Long Island Spirits was established in January 2007 and became the 100th Distillery in the country. Richard’s professional life began as an international business executive in the technology world with a degree in Electrical Engineering. As he grew into a senior executive, his travel schedule increased which required him to make frequent domestic and international trips including regular visits to Kentucky, California, throughout Europe and Japan. During his free-time on trips, he would immerse himself in seeking out discovering local breweries, wineries and distilleries including traveling north many times to visit Japan’s Distilleries. In the early 2000’s Rich began enrolling in part time workshops that included several at Cornell to formally learn the art of Brewing and Distilling. In 2006, he left a very lucrative career in the Technology world to found Long Island Spirits after working for over 20 years as a top executive at companies that included Unisys, Canon, NewGen, Digi International and being a co-Founder of Boston Circuits. Rich Stabile is an active member in the Agricultural community and holds a Board position on the Long Island Farm Bureau and is a recognized innovator as well as a highly regarded force in the National Craft Distillery movement.

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Chris ParlesChris Parles –
Beacon Meadery

A lover of craft beer, wine, and all things gastronomy, Chris is the meadmaker at Long Island’s newest honey-wine operation, Beacon Meadery. Hugely inspired by the aesthetic and philosophy of the grape winemaking tradition, Chris brings a culturally informed approach to the age-old craft of meadmaking, along with an emphasis on purity of ingredients. He’s devoted to helping bring this exciting category back to the mainstream by developing elegant, accessible honey wines that appeal to mead culturists, craft beverage lovers and oenophiles alike. When he’s not making mead, Chris can be found attending classical concerts in NYC.

Beacon Meadery

Michael FalcettaMichael Falcetta –
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery

Michael Falcetta is the General Manager at Sparkling Pointe.  Sparkling Pointe encompasses 40 acres of vineyards planted only with the classic Champagne grape varietals—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Using strictly the traditional Méthode Champenoise process, Sparkling Pointe is the only winery on the North Fork to produce exclusively sparkling wines.

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Peter BarraudPeter Barraud –
North Fork Brewing Company

Peter Barraud is owner and brewmaster at North Fork Brewing Company located in Riverhead NY. Peter has a combined 8 years experience in the professional brewing field. North Fork Brewing Company is a NYS Farm Brewery, meaning a minimum of 60% of ingredients used in brewing come from our state. Peter co-owns the brewery in Riverhead the company’s Hopyard located in Peconic. The tasting room was opened to the public June 2018, and the Hopyard was established in 2012.

North Fork Brewing Company logo