Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘I get my ideas from things that annoy me since that enables me to envision opportunities for improvements.’

Melville

“I have been an inventor for over 20 years and I hold 13 issued patents. I get my ideas from things that annoy me since that enables me to envision opportunities for improvements. I got the idea for my first marketed invention — the Balloon-O-Band — after my daughter, Alana, lost a balloon at Nassau Coliseum.

“My most successful items tend to be those in the home goods realm, such as Pull Ties that keep food fresher for longer; Knot Out, which removes knots from jewelry; and Eggstra Space that serves as a space-saving egg carton.

“My most recent invention is the Paper Towel Topper to keep the top of your paper towel roll clean and dry. Some inventions I manufacture and sell directly — I’ve been on QVC for almost three years — and other inventions I have licensed and earn royalties from.

“Being an inventor is very rewarding, but I want to do more; I want to help other inventors. In 2007 and 2012, respectively, I established both the Suffolk and Nassau County Inventors & Entrepreneurs clubs separately and then merged them to form the Long Island Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club in 2018.

My goal with the organization is to connect with other inventors and resources to help guide them towards success and commercialization of their ideas.

“In 2020, during the COVID lockdown, I realized that I could reach more people if I changed the name to the National Inventor Club and an online platform. The Farmingdale Small Business Development Center was very helpful to me during this evolution.

“My goal with the organization is to connect with other inventors and resources to help guide them towards success and commercialization of their ideas. I give them opportunities to pitch their concepts, meet representatives from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and network. I have been an inventor coach for 17 years and have assisted tens of thousands of inventors, especially through the monthly meetings we hold, which also helps to establish a community of creators.

“I have authored books about inventing, including ‘How to Make Money With Your Invention Idea.’ I also host a TV show and podcast called ‘Got Invention Show,’ where inventors promote their new ideas or products, and I have interviewed people such as John Tesh, ‘Shark Tank’s’ Lori Greiner, and hosted events with Alibaba.com.

“I see a lot of ideas for kitchen appliances, hardware, housewares, health and wellness, beauty, and toys and games. I know what a wonderful and rewarding feeling it is to see an invention come to realization and end up on store shelves. I am really thankful that I can consult or guide others to attain that same great feeling of accomplishment.”

‘The mental and physical benefits of dancing are almost beyond measure.’

Melville

“After 58 years of marriage, the last 10 of which were consumed by the relentless attack by Parkinson’s disease on my husband, it struck its final blow and the suffering was over, at least his was. I was now faced with reclaiming or restructuring my life. ‘What will you do?’ many asked me. One day I blurted out, ‘I’m going to learn the Argentine tango!’ And then COVID befell the world.

“Early on, I was immersed in grieving, my part-time job on hold for the duration. Time passed, restrictions eased and my emotions were frazzled enough for me to realize it was time for me to take action. The tango idea had lingered in the back of my mind, and after some research, I called the Ballroom of Huntington, a local dance school, to see if they had reopened. And there begins my story of healing to thriving, sorrow to joy, existence to fulfillment. In the year since the first Argentine tango lesson, I’ve learned many other dances and participated in DanceSport competitions. I’ve even won blue ribbons!

I am firmly convinced that this is the best preventative health care.

“The mental and physical benefits of dancing are almost beyond measure. Aside from engaging in a beautiful community of people of all ages with similar purpose, the physical and mental challenges are remarkable, and the satisfaction of meeting them is exhilarating. I’ve lost weight, reshaped my body, sharpened my mind and inspired innumerable folks, so they tell me. The only possible drawback to this remarkable activity might be the cost, though group lessons are reasonable. I’m greedy and blessed to be able to take private lessons as well. Health insurance companies support gym memberships and physical therapy, SilverSneakers as well, but they don’t support dance classes, which is really a shame. In my opinion, the dancing far surpasses the benefits of those alternatives. My doctors are thrilled with me. I am a celebrity, an icon, and they cheer me on. The sport dance associations have been trying for many years to have it admitted as an Olympic sport. I am firmly convinced that this is the best preventative health care. And it’s fun! It’s like I found the fountain of youth!”