His parents came from Italy and settled in Bensonhurst, where they opened up a restaurant. Scissura said he remembers working at the luncheonette.
“The last thing they wanted for their son is to be running a restaurant,” he said. “Their point was, ‘you’re going to law school and you’re not going to be behind the kitchen.’”
That’s exactly what he did, graduating from Pace University and Pace Law School. Afterward, he opened a law firm in Dyker Heights, where he lives now.
He worked for several elected officials, including serving as chief of staff for former Borough President Marty Markowitz. Now, Scissura leads the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to help out small businesses like the one his family owned.
“I’ve done pretty well in my life, and I want [to help] everybody who’s been through what I’ve been through,” he said. “We should all have the same opportunities. That fuels my passion, seeing all of us collectively growing and doing well.”
What Scissura loves the most about his job is that he gets to meet people from all over the borough and different types of businesses, big and small. He said Brooklyn is not a “one-size-fits-all” borough.
Scissura said what makes Brooklynites so special is that whether they got to the borough a year ago or 100 years ago, they all want to shop at local businesses.
“Brooklynites love the local coffee shop, the local dry cleaner, the local butcher,” he said. “We don’t want a one-stop shop. It’s why many times the big supermarket model, where you do everything in one place, doesn’t work in Brooklyn.
“Brooklynites are different,” he added. “We are definitely a breed unto our own.”