On April 4 my guest will be Ken Biberaj. Ken, the Chairman of the Board of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, was born in New York City, a first generation American after his parents emigrated from Albania in 1968. He received his Bachelor’s in political science at American University, his Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a JD from New York Law School.
Since 2005, he has served as an executive at his family’s real estate company. The firm is active in Manhattan and the Bronx and also owns and operates the iconic Russian Tea Room. His work in real estate includes investment sales and retail brokerage. On the brokerage side, Ken has carved out a niche advising restaurants and small businesses on their expansion around the City. At the Russian Tea Room, he oversaw the restoration and reopening of the restaurant in 2006 and continues to handle public relations and business development.
As part of his role with The Russian Tea Room, Ken has become an advocate for the hospitality industry. He sits on the Restaurant Committee for NYC & Company and also on the Local Leadership Council of Business Forward. This activism in support of small businesses and the hospitality sector motivated Ken to run for City Council on the Upper West Side in 2013.
His campaign focused on bringing new energy and a fresh perspective to the Council, with a particular commitment to advocate for the small and medium size businesses that make our City so unique. His presence on the political scene was quickly recognized. He was recognized by City & State Magazine as a “40 under 40” upcoming political leader. Moreover, he received endorsements from the Small Business Coalition, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Governor David Paterson, the League of Conservation Voters and the League of Independent Theaters.