Posted November 30, 2017

Oceanside businessman eyes public office

Oceanside business owner and resident Juan Vides announced his intention to seek public office at the Five Towns Hispanic Association meeting on Nov. 22.


By Jeff Bessen

Circle Jan. 15 on your calendar. That Monday, Oceanside resident and Democrat Juan Vides may very well announce his candidacy for public office.

Vides, who would be a first-time candidate, did not say which office he might run for, but at the Five Towns Hispanic Association meeting on Nov. 22, Vides, 40, did say that more diversity is needed to offer different perspectives and connect with people who believe they are underrepresented in government.

“I started thinking about running on election night, where I saw hope and a need for representation,” Vides said in a hallway of the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence after addressing the Hispanic Association.

“I want to be the bridge to connect people and start a dialogue,” he added, referring to representing not only the Hispanic community, but also all the ethnic and religious groups on the South Shore.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, also a Democrat, will run for his second term next November, as will State Assemblywoman Melissa Miller, a Republican who represents the 20th Assembly District.

“Senator Kaminsky is focused on the upcoming legislative session and on helping County Executive-Elect Curran as a member of her transition team,” said Alexandra Farbenblum, Kaminsky’s communications director. “Senator Kaminsky is not focused on a race almost a year away and will not speculate on a hypothetical contest” — meaning a possible run by Vides.

Vides and his family came to the United States when he was 4, a journey that he was told involved a “long and dangerous trip from El Salvador.” His first English word — pen — he learned from another passenger on the bus ride from Laredo, Texas, to New York in 1981.

Five years later, his family, like many other immigrant families who entered the United States before 1982, was granted amnesty under an immigration reform bill signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. Armed with a green card and a newfound respect for an American president, Vides considered himself a “Reagan Democrat.” He attended Long Beach High School, where he learned about the nation’s electoral process. Motivated by the power of the vote, he said, he encouraged his parents to become U.S. citizens with him.

Vides did so in 1993, and began working at Trader Joe’s supermarket at 16. Five years later, he was offered a management position, but he decided that retail was not his passion.

At 26, four years after earning an associate’s degree in liberal arts and sciences at Nassau Community College in 1999, he enrolled at Farmingdale State University to study computer programming and systems information. While there he helped revitalize the college’s computer club. “I bought pizza, and we had up to 40 members,” Vides recalled, adding that Professor Ernest Falco, the club adviser, mentored Vides and helped him get a job at Pulver Enterprises/Free World Dialup in 2003.

Vides became an operations manager working for Jeff Pulver, who later co-founded Vonage, an internet telephone company. Vides went on to work for, a Massachusetts-based, voice-over internet protocol telephone service provider, as a technical support engineer before founding his own company in 2009.

The idea for TechACS Corp., headquartered on Roxbury Road in Oceanside, came to Vides after he attended a corporate trade show in Boston and his wallet, containing all his credit cards and identification, was stolen. Standing in front of roughly 40 people at the community center, he told his story using computer-generated images, and said, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.”

TechACS Corp. has built more than 1,000 websites since it was founded, and offers an array of services ranging from web development to online advertising.

Vides has also served and is currently on the boards of several organizations, including the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce. He’s a “nice guy” who’s “always trying to do the right things,” according to the current board president, Lionel Chitty. “I’m focused on revitalizing downtown Hicksville, and Juan has always been there to help support us,” he added. “I wish him the best. If he does the right things and makes the right decisions, he should do well.”

Married with two children, a boy and a girl, Vides said he hopes his success serves as an example for others and a springboard for giving back to the community. He said that helping to establish more after-school programs for children to avoid street gangs would be part of his possible platform. “If I get elected, that will be one of my goals,” he said.

Hispanic Association member Jose Serrano said the South Shore needs a Hispanic voice in government. “It’s time to support a Latino and stand behind him,” he said. “I will go door to door for Juan.”

June 20, 2016


Press Contact:
Audrey Cohen

Bethpage Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce the appointment of two prominent Long Islanders to significant roles at the financial institution. Don Balducci, Chairman of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, made the announcement.

Adam Silvers, Managing Partner atRuskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C., has been appointed to the Bethpage Supervisory Committee and Juan Vides, Founder and CEO of TechACS, has been appointed to Associate Director of the Board of Directors.

As a member of the Supervisory Committee, Silvers will support Bethpage’s adherence to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) objectives and activities, monitoring policies and procedures and offering recommendations to safeguard the credit union’s assets. As Associate Director, Vides will aid and assist Bethpage in meeting its financial, corporate and government policies and obligations. Both officials were appointed on April 21, by the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Board of Directors.

“We are very pleased to welcome two new, bright volunteers to the Bethpage Federal Credit Union family,” said Don Balducci, Chairman of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Board of Directors. “Adam and Juan join our team with a broad base of experience to help assist Bethpage in its continued growth.”

As managing partner for the law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C., Adam Silvers is a member of the firm’s Corporate & Securities Department, Intellectual Property Group, as well as chair of the firm’s Technology Practice Group. Over his career, Adam has successfully handled a wide range of complex transactions involving mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements and venture capital financings, joint venture and partnership agreements, among others. Adam is the cofounder of the CFO Roundtable, a regular business gathering of Long Island CFO’s who meet to discuss mutual business issues and best practices. In recognition of his many accomplishments, Long Island Business News honored Adam with its prestigious 40 Under 40 Award in 2006.

“I have always admired Bethpage for its many accomplishments and strong commitment to the Long Island community,” said Adam Silvers. “Bethpage is a well-respected and recognized leader and I look forward to working with them directly during this exciting time of growth.”

Juan Vides is the Founder and CEO of TechACS, a marketing agency specializing in website design, search engine optimization and social media marketing. A true American success story, Juan came to live in the United States as an El Salvadoran refugee at the age of four, and when he was 16 years old, Juan became a citizen of the United Sates. At 26 years old, Juan attended Farmingdale State University to pursue a BS in computer programming and system information. He then continued his education at Stony Brook University where he received his MBA in Business Management and today his company has built over 500 websites and continues to evolve as technology develops. Juan is an active board member of the American Heart Association, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside Bethpage to help this community leader continue to make an impact across the region,” said Juan Vides.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union is a premier community financial institution committed to enriching the lives of its members, employees and the communities it serves for the past 75 years. Bethpage is the largest credit union in New York State, as well as 16t th in the nation. Bethpage is a federally chartered credit union which is open to new members that open a membership account with $5 dollars. As a financial cooperative, Bethpage offers the best-in market rates, low fees and worldclass service, and a full menu of personal and commercial financial services.

On Long Island, Bethpage maintains branch locations in Albertson, Baldwin, Bay Shore, Bay Shore King Kullen, Bethpage, Centereach, Central Islip, Commack King Kullen, East Meadow NuHealth Medical Center, East Northport, Elmont, Farmingdale, Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Huntington, Levittown King Kullen, LIU Post (Brookville), Long Beach, Lynbrook, Massapequa, Melville, Mineola, North Babylon, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Roosevelt, Seaford, Smithtown, Valley Stream King Kullen, West Babylon and Westbury. In New York City, Bethpage maintains a branch location at 111 W 26th Street. Bethpage also offers over 500 surcharge-free ATMs in King Kullen, CVS Pharmacy and Costco locations. For more information on Bethpage’s robust portfolio of banking, borrowing, and investment services, visit or call 1-800-628-7070.

June 20, 2016

Salvadoran businessman Juan Vides is running for the New York Assembly

What began as a dream in business communication is today a political and social challenge for Juan Vides, a resident of Oceanside who seeks to represent District 20 in the Assembly of New York.

“Let’s connect people,” says Vides, “that’s my slogan. That’s what I want to achieve “, and that is that communication is his passion. As CEO of TechACS Corp, a marketing agency specializing in website design, Vides began working with the Hispanic community of Long Island since he was 26, when he was part of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Long Island (Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) and helped them with the creation of their website. There, he says, his commitment was born.

Vides, 40, came to live in the United States as a Salvadoran refugee at the age of four, and when he was 16 he became a US citizen after former President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to his family.

“I became an American citizen two years before turning 18 to be able to vote in the elections,” said Vides, who says that “it was time for a Latino from Nassau County to occupy a seat in the Assembly”, and that is Vides explained that his impulse was born the day he had to investigate who was his representative.

Vides refers to Melissa ‘Missy’ Miller, who in 2016, decided to make her first foray into a public office, running for the New York State Assembly and replacing Todd Kaminsky, after he won the elections for the Senate of NY.

Unopposed to the Republican nomination, Miller defeated Democrat Anthony Eramo, Long Beach City Councilman, with 52% of the vote and swore his first term on January 1, 2017.

Although there are several months to go before the big election on November 7, Vides follows the community closely, sharing with residents and listening to their concerns.

“We share the same problems. We are Hispanic, we are Anglo-Saxons, we are Jews. We are all residents of District 20 and that is what should unite us to improve our lives, “said Vides, emphasizing the importance of unity. “Latinos must dare to leave our circle,” he added.

Citizen commitment

Vides recalled that his commitment to the community is strong and said that he has contributed to the community in several ways by offering his pro bono services and donating to different charities and today is an active associate member of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the American Heart Association of Long Island and the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce. In addition to being an Ambassador of BNI, a global network association.Vides was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Long Island from 2008 to 2013 and a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens from 2012 to 2014.

Over the years, Vides has received numerous awards and recognitions, including 2011 Business Person of the Year from the Nassau Chambers Council and, most recently, the Long Island Business News 40 Under 40.

Family values, lower taxes, the promotion of education, the fight against the opioid epidemic and hurricane preparedness are the keys to Vides’ campaign, who said he was ready to represent everyone.

Latin pride

“12% of the residents of District 20 are Hispanic,” explained Vides, who is clear that his representation is a great responsibility, in a national political climate that is creating an anti-immigrant atmosphere after the election of President Trump.

“This is for everyone, that’s why my campaign is in English, Spanish and Hebrew,” said Vides, who would win a district with 129,187 residents, according to the 2010 census.

His triumph would also be a historic victory for the Hispanic community of Nassau County, where a Latino has never been able to represent a district in the state Assembly. In Suffolk County, Assemblyman Phil Ramos is so far the only Latino in this position.

October 20, 2012

Long Island

For Latino voters, immigration is key issue

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney disagree sharply on how to overhaul the tangle of laws and regulations designed to curtail illegal immigration and guide the flow of newcomers into the country, and their policies could have a major impact on thousands of undocumented Long Islanders, experts said.

Obama, a Democrat, said he supports comprehensive immigration reform that would allow undocumented immigrants to earn a path to citizenship. He also wants to improve border security and streamline enforcement to focus on people with criminal histories and repeat immigration violations.

He backs DREAM Act bills that would grant legal residency to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors.

He also has used executive power to defer deportations for many who were brought here illegally before they turned 16.

Obama, who has continued Bush-era policies that led to record deportation levels of some 393,000 people in his first full fiscal year in office, is still seeking to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to overhaul the immigration system. He blames Republican opposition in Congress for stymying his efforts.

Romney, a Republican, rejects "amnesty to those who've come here illegally." He proposes "self-deportation" for immigrants who have run out of options to work and live in the United States.

He wants to require employers to verify the immigration status of new hires, a measure modeled after a controversial Arizona immigration enforcement law.

He has promised to veto the DREAM Act if it is approved and to end Obama's deferred action program for young undocumented immigrants.

Romney called for a "long-term" solution to illegal immigration, but did not spell out his plans beyond saying he supports a legal pathway for immigrants in military service and wants visas for highly skilled immigrants.

Clash over enforcement

The policy clash in the presidential campaign is largely focused on the estimated 11 million people nationally -- about 625,000 in New York State -- who crossed the border illegally, overstayed visas or entered with fraudulent documents.

Juan Vides, an Oceanside resident from El Salvador, says immigration policy was his deciding factor in picking Obama over Romney.

Vides, who owns a Web design and Internet marketing company, entertained the idea of the country having a businessman in the White House and went to see Romney address Hispanic entrepreneurs in Los Angeles last month.

The policy clash in the presidential campaign is largely focused on the estimated 11 million people nationally -- about 625,000 in New York State -- who crossed the border illegally, overstayed visas or entered with fraudulent documents.

Juan Vides, an Oceanside resident from El Salvador, says immigration policy was his deciding factor in picking Obama over Romney.

Vides, who owns a Web design and Internet marketing company, entertained the idea of the country having a businessman in the White House and went to see Romney address Hispanic entrepreneurs in Los Angeles last month.

But Vides, who was brought illegally to the United States as a child and received amnesty during Ronald Reagan's presidency, found Romney's pro-enforcement speech harsh.

"He doesn't believe in amnesty," said Vides, 35. "To me, that's saying you didn't believe in Ronald Reagan, you don't believe in giving immigrants a chance and you don't believe in my own journey to live the American Dream."

Mauricio Gaviria, a U.S.-born citizen of Colombian heritage, says he is much more concerned about the economy and maintaining a strong defense, though he pays attention to immigration issues.

Gaviria, a U.S. Department of Defense employee and staff sergeant with the Air National Guard, petitioned for legal status for his wife and other relatives from Colombia -- and then waited years for the process to unfold. He sees no problem with stricter enforcement and prefers Romney.

"I have a very deep respect for doing things the correct way," said Gaviria, 28, of Ronkonkoma. "I have very low tolerance for people who cheat the system . . . I think people who stay illegally are so selfish that they do not think about the ripple effects of that."

Experts also are split.

Patrick Young, a Long Island analyst with the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, a nonprofit that campaigns for immigrant rights, supports Obama's approach.

Young said Romney has taken "a sharp right turn on immigration." He added that Obama has been "implementing a policy of prosecutorial discretion so that enforcement measures are softened for immigrants who don't have criminal records."

Roy Beck, president of Numbers USA, a Washington, D.C., group that seeks lower immigration levels, said Romney's policies appeal to voters who favor strict enforcement.

"Romney made his position clear, which was that illegal immigration hurts American workers, and the way you handle illegal immigration is to take away the jobs magnet," Beck said.

Importance to Latino voters

Despite the polarized debate, the matter remains a marginal issue for many voters.

A Pew Research Center poll in September found that registered voters ranked immigration 12th out of 12 "very important" issues.

Latino voters, however, cited it as their fifth most important issue in a Pew Hispanic Center poll this month. Obama, who was elected with Latino support in swing states including Florida and Colorado, led the poll of Hispanic registered voters with 69 percent to Romney's 21 percent.

Sylvia Manzano, a Houston-based senior analyst with the polling firm Latino Decisions, said her organization's tracking polls have shown consistent Hispanic support for Obama. Among those voters, immigration is surpassed in importance only by "the economy and jobs," Manzano said. Immigration remains "a gateway issue for Latino voters . . . either a sign of welcome or rejection."

Long Islanders who follow the debate closely see immigration as closely related to the economy and jobs.

Barrett Psareas, vice president of the Nassau County Civic Association in Cedarhurst, said illegal immigrants take jobs and dollars out of the local economy.

"If you live on Long Island you know taxes are not cheap, and we are all carrying that burden," he said.

Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, director of immigrant-rights advocacy group Long Island Wins, in Old Westbury, said the nation needs a viable path to citizenship so those workers exit the underground economy.

"A working immigration system and immigrants are essential to maintaining a productive, diverse and flexible workforce," Slutsky said.

No matter who's elected president, any immigration reform deal would require Democrats and Republicans to work together, said Rosanna Perotti, a political science professor at Hofstra University in Hempstead. The next president would have to "set the tone" for that kind of debate.

"The president can help by lending his support," she said, "but it's absolutely not possible to achieve immigration reform without enlightened leadership in Congress and a commitment to compromise."



-Supports comprehensive immigration reform that would combine "a pathway for legal status" for undocumented immigrants with improved enforcement measures.

-Would continue Bush-era enforcement policies that include voluntary employment verification checks, increased border patrols and cooperation with local law enforcement to deport undocumented immigrants.

-Implemented a "Deferred Action" program to exempt from deportation young undocumented immigrants brought illegally to the United States before they turned 16 and who had not reached 31 years of age as of mid-June.

-Backs DREAM Act proposals that would grant permanent residency to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors.

MITT ROMNEY, Republican

-Opposes any amnesty proposals that would allow undocumented immigrants to "cut in line" ahead of legal petitioners.

-Is against DREAM Act proposals that would offer legalization to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors, but says he would welcome a pathway to permanent residency through military service.

-Supports establishment of a mandatory verification system so that employers must check the immigration status of workers they hire.

-Backs "self-deportation" option for immigrants who are out of options to work and live in the U.S., letting them voluntarily exit the country.

Sources: Candidates' speeches and debate statements; candidate websites; news media reports


October 6

I Don’t Need Your Card

Imagine handing your card to someone at a networking event and having it handed back to you with “I don’t need it.” Well, that’s exactly what happened to Juan Vides recently. Juan found this pretty insulting, and he wrote to me to ask how I thought someone should respond in this situation.

First, let me talk about giving and getting business cards.

A business card is a tacit invitation to make a future connection. How you handle that connection afterward will determine how responsive your new contact will be. So be respectful with what you do after someone gives you their card.

You should always have plenty of business cards with you. It still amazes me that people go to networking events and knowingly don’t bring cards with them. I recently read a blog where many people said they didn’t bring cards so that they wouldn’t get spammed by people they meet. Really? Have they never heard of a spam filter? I use it regularly with unwanted spam. Besides, that argument is like saying I don’t want to advertise because someone might read the ad and cold call me? What kind of logic is that? Buck-up, dandelion, bring cards. It is a “networking” event!

The ideal scenario is to have a meaningful (even if brief) conversation with someone where they ask for your business card (how to do that is an entirely different blog). However, that doesn’t always happen. When it doesn’t, it is still ok to offer your business card to someone. There is nothing wrong with that.

Refusing to take someone’s offered card is just plain bad form and it’s probably too late to send them back to Mom for retraining on how to play with the other kids in the sandbox.

So what do you do if this happens to you? Pick the correct choice below:

Squash a cupcake on their nose and say “take that, you dandelion.” Say “Really, you [bad word, bad word] dirty [bad word], I hope I never see you again at one of these events. Let’s go outside and finish this (like someone I actually know did at a networking event!)? or Realize that some people just have little or no people skills and move on to someone who does.