The Montauk Chamber of Commerce at its annual End of the Season Gala honored the Person of the Year, community leader and Chamber President, Paul Monte, Special Advisor to Gurney’s Resort and Seawater Spa.
Monte, who also was honored as the 2014 Grand Marshal of Montauk’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, is a consummate hospitality-tourism professional, a leader in the community and is the current chamber president for 11 years. Starting at the age of 12 as a dishwasher at Gurney’s, where his father was the general manager, he has operated several restaurants on the East End, eventually taking over for his father at Gurney’s in 1990. He is the voice of tourism for Montauk and the East End, the communities’ main industry. He’s been a sports coach, Boy Scout chaperone, served on various local, Town, Regional, County and NYS committees, and taught religious education at his church, and much more.
Having lived here for the past 46 years of my life, Montauk is my home. Even though I was not born here it is the place that I hold nearest and dearest. My family is here, my friends are here, my home is here and my heart is here.
I have always believed in a sense of community and in Montauk that is especially true. Living here and raising my children in such a close-knit community has been such a blessing. I have always tried to participate in the community and school activities and to volunteer my time when I could. Whether I was coaching kids sports teams, teaching religious ed, chaperoning school trips and boy scout camping trips, helping out at the Church, serving on the Finance Committee, participating in various Town committees, serving on the Chamber Board or just flipping burgers at the Fall Festival, I’ve always felt a strong desire to give back to my community.
I have seen Montauk evolve and watched many changes take place over the years. It has always been my desire to help in whatever ways I could to help shape that evolution for the benefit of the community and the people of Montauk. I’ve always advocated for preserving our environment, sustaining our economy, growing jobs for our local residents and allowing affordable and adequate housing options to become available for our families.
Being a hospitality professional who believes that Tourism is the cornerstone of our community, I have worked hard to become a voice in the Tourism industry to ensure that the East End continues to be an attractive and popular tourism destination. My Board positions and efforts on the local, Town, Regional, County and State levels guarantee that we have a voice in all tourism decisions that get made at all those levels. I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “If you aren’t at the table you may end up on the menu!”