2011 Top Women in Business Honorees


By Queens Courier Staff |

This year’s Top Women in Business event is honoring forty women and one “best man.” These are this year’s honorees. (Click here to see the photo gallery of the honorees.)

Alice Cardona

Board member

Voces Latina, Inc.

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

I am a networker and have over 20 years’ experience.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

To increase the participation of Latinos in business.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I answer the questions “Who do I know I can help?” and “What are the issues?”

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Continue to network; never throw a telephone number away

Bridget Quinn-Carey

Queens Library

Chief Operating Officer

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Unlike any other institution in our nation, libraries serve everyone – those who come through the doors, attend a program or visit online. And libraries are one of the only institutions that are still freely available to anyone. Libraries are the only places that simultaneously offer educational, cultural, civic and community building services for all ages. Libraries are a vital community resource; they are the cornerstone of our nation’s democracy and provide a level playing field for all.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

To ensure that Queens Library continues to offer outstanding programs and services for the people we serve; to be the leading public library in the nation for innovation, for creating community partnerships and for developing new service models.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I make sure to set aside time to have fun with my family, travel to see friends and read good books. I try to exercise and eat right to have enough energy to do it all!

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Have a positive outlook, embrace change, take advantage of opportunities, be flexible and have a good sense of humor.

Charlotte Jefferson

Human Services/Management Consultant

[Semi-retired]

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

My consultative services are unique in that in addition to addressing immediate institutional needs, I also provided my former clients with advice and guidance intended to help them develop strategies for long term success.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

On an as-needed basis, I will continue to provide assistance and counsel to organizations that seek my services.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I have focused on maintaining my health and overall well being. I realize that I can not help anyone else until I take care of myself. I also rely on my Christian faith to keep life in perspective.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

I would advise them to always strive to be both professional and passionate about the services that they are providing to their clientele.

Connie DeLaigle

Port Authority of NY & NJ

Affirmative Action Coordinator

What is unique about the service that you provide?

We provide assistance with establishing programs for inclusion of local minority- and women-owned businesses in the construction industry.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My business goals are to increase the number of minority and women businesses participation in community construction projects.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

To keep balance in my life, I visit with my grandkids and often get together with family and friends.

What three words best describe you?

Fighter, fair, firm!

Assistant Chief Diana L. Pizzuti

Commanding Officer, Patrol Borough Queens North

New York City Police Department

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

As your Patrol Borough Commander, my responsibility is to ensure that our police officers provide effective public service to the residential and business community of northern Queens.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My business goal is to work with our business owners, workers and community residents in cooperative crime prevention initiatives and community affairs (especially youth) programs.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Teaching provides me with the opportunity to maintain perspective and balance. Cultivating wisdom through experience and education enables me to grow both personally and professionally.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

BELIEVE you can

Believe you will

Embrace opportunity

hopes fulfill

Learn from success

from failures grow

Imagination determines

the limits you’ll know

Every wish you have

every dream come true

Venture forward

follow through

Enjoy the journey

ahead of you

- for my daughter Kirstyn

Donna Frasco

Community National Bank

Senior Vice President & Chief Retail Officer

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Simply put, we get to know our customers in order to provide them the best banking solutions customized to their needs.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

Over the next few years we plan on continuing to provide full service banking solutions to medium and small businesses and individuals throughout the metropolitan area. We are looking forward to providing Queens with our special brand and community based banking services.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

As busy as I am in my professional life, it seems that I am twice as busy in my personal life. Whether working out or spending time with family and friends, life is hectic but very satisfying and lots of fun.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Stay determined… stay focused. I am determined, aggressive and extremely focused.

Doria Escalante, MPA/CEO

JD Professional Consulting Services, Inc.

President

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

At JD Professional Consulting Services Inc., our training is designed for early childhood education providers and other childcare staff who want to learn the basic principles of early childhood education and obtain a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) through the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

Our goals for the next two years are to expand both the number and scope of the Early Childhood Professional Education Trainings and workshops our company offers in the NY, NJ and CT regions. We are also expanding into the states of PA, MA and FL.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance inyour busy life?

As a professional, I make sure that the mission and goals of my company are clear. I believe that an organized business with a clear mission will lead to successful outcomes.

As a mom/wife, I have discovered that the secret in raising our children lies in maintaining an open and effective communication with them.

Finally, I cannot forget how important it is to find time to slow down. I always find time to take care of my emotional and physical health. I read and meditate as a way to nurture my soul.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My advice to other women is: why choose when you really can have it all and thoroughly enjoy it? Just stay focused, know what is really important in your life, take some time for yourself when you need it and don’t let yourself get side-tracked.

Ellen Kodadek

Executive and Artistic Director

Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts (aka Flushing Town Hall)

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

I work in the non-profit arts sector, so I get to make a difference every day for children, seniors, families, artists, multi-cultural audiences of all ages and other community organizations. The arts provide the chance to learn about yourself, to discover and embrace differences, enhance learning, self-esteem, and creativity.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

With significant, ongoing budget cuts, my business goals are to keep diversifying funding for our arts organization and arts education programs to continue to provide the highest quality programming, to support staff growth and development and to continue to deepen the understanding that Flushing Council/Flushing Town Hall doesn’t only serve Flushing, but provides services throughout Queens, and even into Manhattan.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

My children would say that I’m not very good at keeping balance, but spending time with my kids and my grandson is a joy (he’s 41/2 and we build sculptures and bake cookies). I have fabulous and creative friends, and I’m interested in just about everything, so I’m never bored. And, every now I then I plan a Bollywood Day just for me –I cook lots of Indian food and spend the day on the couch having a Bollywood movie marathon!

What is your best advice for other women in business?

The best advice I can give other women in business is to find mentors to advise and coach you, to develop a strong support system, and to listen. To not be afraid to ask questions and to admit you don’t know something. And, probably most importantly, to keep passing along any wisdom and knowledge you’ve gained by coaching and supporting the next generation.

Elena Solitario

Pilo Arts Day Spa & Salon

President

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Pilo Arts has been ranked as one of the top five color salons in the state of New York for the past four years (2007-2010). Twelve years ago I made a commitment to making Pilo Arts the nation’s premier color salon. When choosing a color line, I committed Pilo to use the highest quality color products (Schwarzkopf & Wella). Seeking to become a trend setter and leader in our industry, I committed Pilo Arts to join in the elite stylist organization, Intercoiffure Mondial. This exclusive membership allows me to interact with the leading colorists and stylists from all over the world. I always choose not only to be on the cutting edge, but I also commit to using the best professional products for hair, skin, waxing and nail care. Education is a very important commitment as well, and it’s ongoing on a weekly basis.

What are your business goals for the next two years?

I would like to expand to new locations, and bring the Pilo Arts experience to other neighborhoods, states, and even countries!

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

A healthy diet and daily exercise is a must, as well as spending quality time with family and friends. A vacation to Italy every year to relax, refresh and bring back new ideas. And always thanking God every day for the many blessings.

What three words best describe you?

Loving, Passionate and Committed

Gail Grimmett

Senior Vice President, New York

Delta Air Lines

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Delta is a global airline that can take customers from Bangkok, Thailand to Bangor, Maine. It’s exciting to be a part of a company that connects people -and the world- in meaningful ways each and every day.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

With my diverse background at Delta in Investor Relations and Marketing, I want to continue to broaden my experiences in the airline industry.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Discipline! Given the wide responsibilities of my job, my days are L-O-N-G. With meetings every day and events almost every night, I stay focused on blocking time that is just for me and I stick to that process. It keeps me energized and balanced in my life.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Your most effective self is just being yourself.

Georgiene L. Kenny, R.N., MPA

Associate Vice President for Quality Management & Regulatory Affairs

Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

It’s unique because it is so diverse. Quality oversight and guidance for all of Parker’s programs, and the regulatory agencies that we interact with is an ongoing challenge – no two days are the same.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

To better automate our processes to be more efficient in the delivery of care.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

A mix of family, friends, an adorable three-year-old Maltese-Poodle, Ruby, and an occasional game of golf.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Be yourself, and chose the area in your field that you enjoy most. Doing what you enjoy helps you bring positive energy and do your best.

Gianna Cerbone-Teoli

Manducatis Rustica

Chef and Owner

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Manducatis Rustica has allowed me to open up my restaurant to the community for town hall meetings, social gathering, and community events. It is my homegrown approach that allows me to help in the building of a community that matters most to me.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

To continue to help our community grow by offering people a safe haven within our community and of course, a home-cooked meal. A major goal is to promote other business women in starting businesses, not only in my community, but other neighborhoods as well.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

My balance comes from the great support system I have with my husband, children, friends and the community in which I do business. A great technique is understanding your priorities and never forgetting the details. Don’t sweat the crossing of your Ts or the dotting of the Is. Always remember the details of introducing positive business morals to your colleagues.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My advice is when balancing work and family, family always comes first, but work should not be pushed aside.

Gloria Kemper

Recon Construction Corp.

President

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Fabrication and installation of reinforcing steel by a woman-owned and operated business.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

Over the next two years I place to continue to build a foundation for growth based on partnering with customers and excellence on the job site.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life? Gardening and playing golf with friend or other colleagues keep my life in balance.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

The best advice is listening to your inner voice. You probably know what’s best for you. After you listen, think carefully and take action. Do what is necessary to change what doesn’t work and preserve what does.

Gloria Marie Dixon

Key Women of America, Inc.

National President

What is unique about the service that you provide?

Key Women of America provides services that improve the quality of life of children, men and women. Through various projects and programs we give people opportunities that would help them succeed in life. We always encourage them to strive for the best. Some of our programs and projects are: awarding scholarships, health fairs, visiting nursing homes, hospitals, and women shelters, contributing monetarily and presenting seminars on various subjects.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My goal for the next two years for Key Women is to increase branch membership and to start new branches in new states. Presently, we have branches in the New York area, North Carolina and Georgia. We want to start branches in South Carolina, Washington D.C. and Virginia. There is a need for our services in these areas.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

To keep balance in my busy life, I try to always stay focused. It is important to know what your goals are and to work toward reaching them and completing them. I try to work on only one project at a time. This way, I can provide all of my energy in being successful. I also take time for myself by reading, doing crossword puzzles and traveling to fascinating countries, with my husband, at least twice a year.

What three words best describe you?

Three words that describe me are: Reserved, Conscientious, and Determined

Cynthia Pan, MD

Director, Palliative Care Program

New York Hospital Queens

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

I provide palliative care to patients who have serious illnesses, and their families. These illnesses may include cancer, dementia, stroke, organ failure, and severe infections. When people have a serious or life-threatening illness, they often feel scared, nervous, and uncertain. I can help them with these issues, so that our patients feel better physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and practically. I do this by working with an expert team of nurses, social workers, chaplains, and the patients’ doctors. I feel like I can really make a difference in someone’s life when they most need it.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

I want to continue to grow the Palliative Care program at New York Hospital Queens to provide excellent quality of care to patients who are seriously ill. The service is currently only available to a segment of patients who are hospitalized. I want to grow the program so that every hospitalized patient who needs the service can be helped. I also want to create an outpatient program for patients in the community, to help with pain management and good communication.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Balance is important, prioritizing even more. I try to spend time with my husband and boys. I go dancing with my husband and have date nights. Because of my boys, I’ve learned to play baseball, bowling and a little football. We choose to live in NY so we can be close to both our families, which is very fulfilling. I also think it’s important to have girls’ nights out, for some rest and relaxation.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

To persevere, have fun, do the best you can, and not take ourselves too seriously, because life is too short.

Kathy Huang

Gynecology Attending Physician, NYHQ

Assistant Professor, Weill – Cornell Medical Center

New York Hospital Queens

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

I perform robotic assisted laparoscopic procedures, such as hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and myomectomy (removal of fibroids) through small dime-size incisions. There are many benefits to using this type of minimally-invasive surgery over traditional surgery techniques.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

I want to keep building my practice so that I can become the busiest gynecologic robotic surgeon in the country! In conjunction with that, I also want to perform research on the risks, benefits and costs of minimally-invasive surgery so that the benefits of this type of surgery will become well-known and patients can experience surgery as pain-free as possible.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I make it a point to spend time with my family and friends on a regular basis. I also try my best to keep in shape, running three to four times a week, and I set aside time for my hobbies (e.g., Chinese art history).

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My best advice for anyone would be to choose a career that you love so it is easy to stay motivated and excel at what you do.

Helen Keit

Licensed Real Estate Associates Broker

Keller Williams Real Estate

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

As a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) and Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) I have a unique combination of experience and training, resources and programs to help individuals and families making a move at a sensitive time in their lives. My team and I work tirelessly to help ensure a smooth and profitable move for our buyers and sellers.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

To grow my personal team but also to help grow Keller Williams (#1 in Queens for closed sales 2009&2010) throughout Queens and New York City.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Through our Keller Williams culture, which places emphasis not only on business but family and community, I am constantly involved in projects and events which provide balance to what can be a very stressful business.

What three words best describe you?

Enthusiastic, energetic and passionate – whether promoting a home, Keller Williams or life here in Queens!

Jennifer L. Jarvis

Queens College Executive Director for Student Development & The Student Union

Queens College

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

The Queens College Student Union is the center of campus activity. The services provided by the professionals housed within the Student Union encourage student development outside the classroom setting. As professionals, we guide and provide students with the opportunity to broaden their "campus life" through experiential learning.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

To reinforce the role and significance of the Executive Director for Student Development by increasing the connection between the campus community and the borough of Queens.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I believe balance can be achieved by creating down time in your life. Allow your personal time to remain your personal time and work for work. Keep commitments and remain "present" at all times.

What three words best describe you?

I am patient, responsible and a role model

Jeri Mendelsohn

Samuel Field Y and the Central Queens Y

Associate Executive Director

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

The unique aspect of the services that I provide is their inclusive nature. I am so proud to help lead The Samuel Field Y with its goal to be “The Everybody Place.” Within each category of service, from early childhood, through school aged onto older adults, I actively seek to create programs that offer a continuum of care that includes a place for everybody, a place that is accepting, sustaining and that supports the development of each person’s full capacity.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

To develop innovative and effective strategies to sustain essential social service programs that currently are threatened in this challenging economy including: geriatric mental health; family violence prevention services; programs for people with disabilities; and early childhood education services.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Techniques that help me keep balance include: thoroughly enjoying uninterrupted, sustained time with family and friends; maintaining a sense of humor; and sleep!

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My best advice for other women in business is to choose a path to which you can wholeheartedly commit yourself. Engage your passion, your enthusiasm and your creativity so that your work is satisfying, meaningful and fulfilling.

June Jacobs

CEO of June Jacobs Spa Collection

June Jacobs Spa Collection

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

I am a spa visionary and have created three global skincare lines. With a commitment to innovation and quality I changed the landscape of skincare within the spa market through the creation of June Jacobs Spa Collection. To also maintain the highest levels of quality in manufacturing and the latest innovations in skincare technology I opened my own laboratory, June Jacobs Labs, which also produces formulas for other global prestige skincare brands.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My goal for June Jacobs Spa Collection is to increase sales by diversifying my channels of distribution via specialty retail, QVC and international. My goal for JJ Labs is to invest in research and development to make sure that we are on the fore front of the spa industry. “Spa” has always been about pampering and that will still continue but with more of a focus on prevention as growing science supports the spa experience.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

It is very important to keep balance in your life by being kind to yourself and to take time to relax and de-stress by treating yourself to spa services from time to time. It is amazing what a couple of hours at a spa can do for your body and mind. When you feel good about yourself, it shows!

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Always be open to different situations and keep an open mind and always be willing to take risks. Good things always come out of even the worst of situations.

Kristina Romanzi

PSCH, Inc.

Chairperson of the PSCH, Inc. Board of Directors

What is unique about the service that you provide?

PSCH is unique in that it provides services to both the developmentally disabled and those who are suffering from mental illness. Most of the other agencies who work with these populations exclusively serve one diagnosis or the other, but not both. In addition, PSCH provides services for over 8,000 individuals in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and New Jersey. Most agencies

provide services to a much smaller population in fewer areas. PSCH services encompass everything from day treatment, housing, medical care, mental health care, housing, support and pharmacy services. It is an all inclusive agency which aims to provide top quality care to its entire population.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

PSCH is continuing to look at opportunities for growth that will compliment and support our current business model.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I try to balance my busy work life by keeping physically fit. I enjoy music and travel and try to do so as frequently as possible.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

It is important for women to be willing to learn all aspects of their business. Women should be confident in their abilities and portray that confidence to others.

SSG LaToya Cherry-Lopez

Queens Recruiting Company

US Army Recruiter

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

What is so unique about the service that I provide is getting an opportunity to speak with and encourage the youth that help shape our communities by letting them know that they can accomplish anything that they set for themselves. I also provide mentorship to the students that go to Jamaica High School by going on field trips, helping them plant lilies in support of those that we lost during 9/11 as well as getting them ready for college/workforce.

What are your business goals over the next 2 years?

The business goals that I have set for myself for the next two years are to become a warrant officer, which is a highly specialized expert and trainer in a certain career field and is appointed by the Secretary of the Army. I want to share my expertise to the rest of the force and encourage others to make similar moves. I also plan on taking up my second degree in social work that way I can really help the youth by having more education background on certain matters.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

When it comes to techniques and/or strategies to help keep balance in my busy life, I can never forget about my family. They always come first because they are my number one support team and they keep my balance by helping me out especially being in the military. One of my best qualities for balance and order is taking initiative with orders and knowing when to delegate in order to get things done in a timely manner.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

The best advice that I would give other women in business is to always stay ahead of the power curve. By that I mean always stay educated, never take no as an answer, know how to market yourself so you can let a business know that you would be a great asset to one’s company, and finally, love what you do and do what you love.

Linda Gibbs

Honest Ballot Association & Linda Tours

President

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

My Business, “Honest Ballot Association,” was started by Theodore Roosevelt in 1909. He wanted to run “honest and fair elections.” I have been working with private elections for 32 years now.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

I have just opened within the Spanish market and am planning on expanding to Russian and Chinese.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I dance to keep balance in my life. I just love it! It is my passion

What three words best describe you?

“KEEP THE FAITH”

Lisa L. Banks

Bombardier Transportation

Operations Center Manager

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

The AirTrain JFK is a fully automated driverless system. It was designed to provide an additional option of affordable, environmentally sound, easy and effective access to JFK. As an employee of Bombardier Transportation, I have been privileged to be a part of this ground breaking technology from construction to implementation. Being the leader in the rail industry, Bombardier Transportation has afforded me the opportunity to grow in this venue.

What are your business goals over the next 2 years?

Continue my growth in the transportation industry. Share opportunities with other up and coming women to become leaders in the industry and surrounding communities. To better serve the individual consumer and community by providing a secure, efficient and eco-friendly way of travel by continuously learning.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I keep balance with spiritual connection and family support, drawing from my inner circle for guidance during challenging situations. Taking out personal time to strengthen and renew relationships and community initiatives that provide a sense of purpose and personal enrichment.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Being a woman in business, I have realized that there will be obstacles that you will face. I have adopted a motto from another great woman that says don’t brag, don’t explain, and don’t complain. This has helped me in my life and I share it to help others. Don’t brag when things are going well for you just walk in it, don’t explain when you are handling things in a way people just don’t understand and when the obstacles come don’t complain but look at them as a chance to succeed. In short there are many obstacles to overcome in this demanding world but with the grace of God, love and support from family and the mind to reach for excellence you will be able to achieve anything set before you.

Loretta Vanacore

Consolidated Edison

V.P., Central Field Services

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

My department provides all the logistical services for the Company.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My business goals are to continue to take on new challenges and learn new skills.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I stay connected with friends and family and try to get away for long weekends every few months.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

The best advice I can give women in business is to embrace change and take full advantage of opportunities that come your way.

Lynda Herndon

Queens Symphony Orchestra

Executive Director

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

QSO is the only professional orchestra and the oldest & largest professional arts institution in the borough of Queens, serving youth to seniors with world-class music and education programs. We have embarked upon a new artistic plan combining the various world art forms with the traditional symphonic style to create entirely new genres of music that speak to the heart of the ethnically diverse borough of Queens.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

The coming year is a transitional season for QSO, as April 2012 is the inauguration of our first annual QSO Music & Arts Festival. This festival will incorporate all of the other Queens cultural arts groups over several weeks with the goal for Queens to become a destination place culturally across the borough with numerous events to attend every year in April. The second annual April 2013 QSO Festival will feature the 100th anniversary of Queens composer Morton Gould and all other Queens composers past and present including Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. We intend to expand our outreach across the borough, especially in educating the youth, and to keep on forming strategic partnerships to serve the borough in a more effective way.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I try to balance my life by keeping the weekends for personal enjoyment, whenever possible. I enjoy spending time with friends, volunteering, sailing and boating, relaxing, reading a good book and watching comedy or suspense thriller movies. With more down time, I love to travel the globe, having been to South Africa, Japan, Egypt, Europe, etc., and to do activities like riding motorcycles, white water rafting, scuba diving and horseback riding on the beach.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My best advice for other women in business would be to always persevere. Never give up on your dreams and goals. There will always be challenges along your path, but it’s how you learn and grow in these struggles along the way that sets you apart and makes you the successful woman.

Marcia A. Beckford

Prudential Financial

Manager, Financial Services

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

As a Manager at Prudential , my primary role is to recruit and develop financial professionals. My passion is to provide financial empowerment through education to diverse communities. My team and I conduct educational financial workshops and seminars for various organizations throughout the tri-state.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My goal is to significantly increase the representation of women in the financial services industry.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

The motto for my business is to “Create An Impact, Not Just A Living.”

My daily activities are a manifestation of my passion to serve, so the smile on the face of a young mom, or just being there to answer questions at a workshop creates great joy. Time for worship and family time is not compromised.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

To live simply, love generously and care deeply.

Margaret Honey

New York Hall of Science

President and CEO

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is nationally recognized as a top science and technology center with a reputation for excellence in visitor experience and innovative hands-on exhibitions and programs. Annually, NYSCI serves an audience of 500,000 visitors that reflect the immense diversity of the greater New York metropolitan region. We are recognized as one of the Top Ten Science Centers by Parents Magazine and as the New York City metro area’s Best Museums for Big Kids by Nickelodeon.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

In 2014, NYSCI will celebrate its 50th anniversary. To strengthen our ability to engage a broader public, excite and teach many more children, and connect educators to an institution that puts scientific creativity and inquiry at its core, NYSCI is embarking a set of new programmatic and exhibit initiatives. These initiatives will allow us to increase our capacity to inspire learning, develop knowledgeable, creative teachers, create unique, imaginative, participatory experiences for visitors, and empower generations of students to pursue professional opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We are also completing the restoration of NYSCI’s iconic Great Hall, built for the 1964 World’s Fair to capture the public’s imagination about the possibilities and wonder of science.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I run

I go to Mets games

I garden

I read

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Best advice… listen, connect, and never be defensive

Missy Ioanna

JCPenney

Store Manager

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

JCPenney Company, Inc. is one of America’s leading retailers, operates department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as on the Internet, jcp.com. Serving more than half of America’s families each year, the JCPenney brand offers a wide array of private, exclusive and national brands which reflect the company’s vision to be America’s shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices. JCPenney is transforming its organization to support its Long Range Plan strategies to build a sustainable, profitable enterprise that serves its customers, engages it associates and rewards its shareholders. Built on the legacy of founder James Cash Penney, who believed in doing what is “right and just,” JCPenney is committed to being a good corporate citizen through the support of environmental, social and ethical initiatives

What are your business goals over the next 2 years?

I want to continue my 17 year career with JCPenney so that I can continue to learn. I want to inspire and develop talent within the organization and the community.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I always focus on building a great team. When you build a solid team and empower them to make decisions it is easy to keep balance of a busy life.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

“The best minute you can spend is the one you invest in someone else.” I am extremely fortunate to have had strong intelligent women mentor me throughout my career. Each of these women played a crucial role in helping to develop me into the confident and successful leader I am today. These women were inspiring leaders that took the time out of their busy schedules to guide and counsel me. They provided candid feedback and were truly supportive of my career and my goals. It is so important that we share our knowledge, our successes and our failures so that other women within your company can learn and grow.

Patricia A. Thomas

Thomas Coaching Company, Inc.

Executive Coach and Management Consultant

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

As an Executive Coach/Consultant, I have the honor of working with corporate and nonprofit executives and their teams to improve business, personal and organizational effectiveness. My firm is a catalyst for the success of leaders who are intent on achieving major goals for their enterprises and the clients they serve.

For the past six years, I have chaired a chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and lead a monthly roundtable of women entrepreneurs who own large, second-stage companies and support each other in increasing their business results.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

As organizations recover from the recession, my company’s goal is to introduce firms of all sizes to proven transformational technologies for engineering success on their own terms. By doing so, we help companies achieve their short and long term objectives.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Balance is a challenge for everyone these days with the proliferation of electronic tools that keep us in touch 24/7. My life goal and the one that I recommend to my clients is integration – making it all work together by inserting personal needs into the work day.

I also practice and recommend periods of release from business commitments for several days at a time, several times a year. Getting away periodically helps me to clear my mind and get refreshed for the challenges to come. Nothing beats personal time off alone, and with family and friends.

What three words best describe you?

Committed

Caring

Calm

Renee Dorsa

Brooklyn Real Estate Board/Coldwell Banker Reliable

President/Broker Associate

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

My commitment is that I care about every customer/client I come in contact with. To me, buying or selling a home isn’t just a business transaction. There is a lot of emotion involved when it comes to real estate. I don’t look at my work as a job. I love what I do. I work with my heart. I connect with my clients and enjoy building long-lasting relationships with them.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

In the next couple of years, I hope that I can train and educate my team in order for them to be able to handle the business well enough to stand alone. I would like to able to spend the winter months in Miami Beach, Florida where I also hold a Broker’s license. I hope to eventually be able to establish myself in Miami Beach such as I have done in Brooklyn.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I believe time management is a challenge that I have not yet mastered. I am constantly utilizing different strategies to see what works best to keep balance in my life. Starting each day with prayer and meditation first thing in the morning to me is the secret and key to have the right attitude and mood in order to achieve great results for the remainder of the day.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My advice is to love yourself, believe in yourself and know that each of us have the power to achieve whatever we set our minds to. We are powerful beings and we can achieve greatness but we first need to believe we can do it. I strongly believe in having a “written business plan.” Write your goals and aspirations and watch them unfold in time.

Katie Mueller

Funeral Director / Memorial Counselor

St. Michael’s Cemetery

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

The services that I provide are unique in the very nature of the job. The funeral service industry is very challenging and rewarding at the same time because of the unique circumstances it presents. While most of the day involves handling the sales of graves, mausoleum spaces and headstones, I usually end up providing services that go well beyond day-to-day sales. Sometimes families come to me when they want to start planning for their future. Other times, the need is more immediate and families are faced with the daunting task of making a loved one’s final arrangements while the grief is fresh and weighing heavily on their minds. It is my job to make handling these affairs as easy and stress free as possible for the families.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My business goals are to continue providing top-quality customer service to families. I would like to keep providing families the ease to make life’s most difficult decisions while lending a compassionate ear when needed. I can see myself taking some classes on grief counseling so that I can better assist the families I come in contact with.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Certainly dealing with death on a daily basis has an effect on my day-to-day personal life. I had to learn how to separate the two early on in my career. It is all about scheduling, organization, and prioritizing! While my work is extremely important to me, it is definitely a top priority of mine to make time for my family and friends. Being in this business offers me daily reminders of how important they are to a happy life.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My best advice for other women in business is to work to the best of their abilities. Know that the impact you make on people is rewarding and appreciated. For women in the funeral service industry, it is a difficult business but I urge woman to stick with it because it is work that is good for the soul. It is the type of career that requires thick skin yet a soft heart which I think many women can relate to.

Kourtney M. Mueller

Funeral Director

Joseph Farenga & Sons Funeral Home

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Funeral service is quite a unique profession. Funeral directors have the ability to communicate compassionately to comfort people at their time of sorrow. Funeral directors must always be readily available for a family in their time of need, no matter the day or hour, to provide emotional and professional support for the loss of their loved one.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My business goals over the next two years are to become more involved in the Astoria community. Being a well-respected funeral professional in the community, I feel I can provide service in many different organizations in the community.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Techniques and strategies I use to keep balance in my busy life include organization and time management. I believe that both are keys to be productive and efficient in the busy life we live. Most importantly, while you are time managing you must make time for your family and friends. Life is too short to let quality time pass you by. for each day is a gift and are unaware of what tomorrow brings.

What three words best describe you?

1. Determined 2. Loyal 3. Responsible

Rosalie Latoche

Council for Airport Opportunity, Inc. (CAO) – Corporate Office

Director of Administration/Chief Financial Officer

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Through my organization, CAO, I have the opportunity to be involved with and support a host of community efforts including local schools, colleges, churches, elected officials and other groups, such as the CUNY Aviation Institute at York College, Boy Scouts of America and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning/Jamaica Performing Arts Center, to name a few.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My business goal in the short term is to participate in the 21st century expansion of programs at CAO, as it relates to aviation industry workforce development in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. Specifically, we are in the process of introducing high tech mechanisms to accomplish CAO business and program goals more efficiently.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Strategies to keep balance in my life are: I like to walk and one of my favorite places is the East River promenade. I am also an avid reader and enjoy losing myself in my latest novel. Spending time with my family and friends is critical, and something I build into my schedule as often as possible. I have always been concerned with regard to the abuse and mistreatment of animals and one of my future goals is to contribute some of my time to the work of animal rescue groups, such as the Humane Society or ASPCA.

What three words describe you?

Three words that I think describe me: Conscientious. Committed. Honest/Trustworthy. These words embody the qualities inherent in the position to which I am entrusted.

Ruth Filiberto

Flushing Bank

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

My role is unique in that I act as an advocate for both employees and management on challenging issues involving benefits administration and compensation.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

I am currently in the process of developing a mentoring program for the leaders and top performers throughout the organization and structuring a summer internship program with the intent of creating an ongoing pipeline of talent.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

Maintaining a healthy work life balance is critical in ensuring that I not only meet the multitude of demands of my family, but to also meet the demands that are expected of me in my corporate life. The primary strategy that I have found helpful in maintaining this balance is to foster a positive outlook throughout the day. I have also found that having a support system of friends, family and co-workers…is crucial.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

The best advice I would give to other women in business is to be true to yourself and always be the best you can be.

Shahin Samouhi Yousefzadeh

Shahin Design LTD

Founder/Owner/President

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

For over 20 years I have created custom designed and custom made Couture fashion for professional, stylish and spirited women in New York and across the globe. Each and every item we make is unique, and created completely in the workshop/Atelier on Madison Avenue. In my workshop, we create new pieces, repair or duplicate a precious antique piece, or remodel a favorite classic. We enjoy accommodating a wide range of needs, from creating gorgeous Renaissance period pieces from the paintings of the Old Masters, to making “emergency” wedding dresses, to creating the wardrobe of busy professional women.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

My plan is to meet the fashion needs and demands of the new generation of professional women, who are cost conscious, environmentally conscious, globally connected and aware and just love beautiful clothes.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I meditate, pray and spend time with my large extended and wonderful family.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Be hopeful, pursue what you love, make the best of the situation, always.

Sher Sparano

Benefits Advisory Service, Inc.

President

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

Two factors make BAS unique: first, we have a strategic approach that accurately assesses a client’s needs prior to making any specific benefits decisions; second, we provide the highest level of service to our clients and their employees day in, day out.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

We plan to double the size of our business by helping organizations navigate through the myriad of change and confusing mandates of the healthcare reform legislation.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I enjoy my involvement in a variety of charities and service organizations. Not only can I give back to the community this way but working with youth in particular stimulates my imagination and provides a fresh vision of life. I also am involved with a loving family, great friends and a lively interest in art, music, baseball, theatre and literature.

What three words best describe you?

Dedicated, trusted, advisor.

Tara Brooks-Smith

New York State Department of Labor, Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions

Community Service Center Manager 2

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

The Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions (DEWS) is the source for workforce information and system-building support in New York State. DEWS provides policy leadership, program direction and administrative oversight for the integrated workforce investment system.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

Our goal is to support and strengthen the state’s One-Stop Career System and to provide quality employment services and resources to meet the needs of our state’s job seekers and businesses.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

It is important to schedule time for yourself to rest and for revival. I believe that operating transparently and keeping lines of communication open allows you the best advantage in being able to rely on your team, knowing that each can be relied upon for their part in program delivery and customer satisfaction.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

My best advice for women in business is to take every opportunity to network and create opportunities to showcase the service you offer.

Verdia M. Noel

Council for Airport Opportunity New York Program

Area Director

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

The Council for Airport Opportunity is a not-for-profit trade organization funded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and its airline partners. CAO provides hundreds of job seekers, youth and adults, access to awareness and employment opportunities in the aviation industry annually, and continues to serve our business partners within the industry with prescreened, qualified and skilled candidates. We are educating prospective employees about the realities of employer’s expectations. These job placements, collectively, have made a difference to many families within the community, both economically and otherwise, since 1972.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

Increase growth/expansion of service in all phases of business opportunities. Develop a new programmatic approach to workforce job counsel/training.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I try to set priorities on a daily basis; review calendar of meetings and other activities weekly; delegate when needed and schedule “me” time as much as possible.

What is your best advice for other women in business?

Always encourage and motivate others! lways be loyal, honest, reliable and respectful!

Yvonne Riley-Tepie

TD Bank

Vice President, U.S. Field Marketing

What’s unique about the service that you provide?

I maintain strong relationships with local non-profit organizations and businesses that provide valued services in the community – making NYC a better place to live and work. I advocate for organizations that support the NYC community and have helped raise the profile of many of these groups by sharing my experience and talents with them.

What are your business goals over the next two years?

Keep working to make TD Bank the bank of choice for consumers and businesses by differentiating TD Bank’s brand across the U.S. footprint.

What techniques or strategies do you use to help keep balance in your busy life?

I can only be effective when I am well organized. As a single mother – separated from my husband – it is critical that I strike a good balance between work and home so I can continue to be successful at both. I work for an organization that supports this balance and for this I am grateful. I have family, colleagues and senior staff that are extremely supportive of my career objectives and my need to be balanced and sane.

What three words best describe you?

Effervescent, tenacious and ambitious/driven.

‘BEST MAN OF THE YEAR’ AWARD

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly

Raymond W. Kelly was appointed Police Commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, making him the first person to hold the post for a second, separate tenure.

Kelly spent 31 years in the New York City Police Department, serving in 25 different commands and as Police Commissioner from 1992-1994.

Kelly was formerly Senior Managing Director, Global Corporate Security, at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. Before that, he served as Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service, where he managed the agency’s 20,000 employees and $20 billion in annual revenue. For his accomplishments at Customs, Kelly was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Exceptional Service.

From 1996-98, Kelly was Under Secretary for Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department. There he supervised the Department’s enforcement bureaus, including the U.S.

Customs Service, the U.S. Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. In addition, Kelly served on the executive committee and was elected Vice President for the Americas of Interpol, the international police organization, from 1996-2000.

He served previously as Director of the International Police Monitors in Haiti, a U.S. led force responsible for ending human rights abuses and establishing an interim police force there. For this service, Kelly was awarded the Exceptionally Meritorious Service Commendation by the

President of the United States and the Commander’s Medal for Public Service by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A combat veteran of the Vietnam War, Kelly retired as a Colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves after 30 years of service. He holds a BBA from Manhattan College, a JD from St. John’s University School of Law, an LLM from New York University Graduate School of Law and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has received honorary degrees from Marist College, Manhattan College, the College of St. Rose, St. John’s University and the State University of New York.

Click here to see the photo gallery of the honorees.