A ‘WOW’ week

| vschneps@queenscourier.com |


I had a wonderful time at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, where I celebrated with my Brooklyn “WOW” friends Annmarie Mitchell, Renee Dorsa, Mary Anne Cino, Bayan Cadotte, Maria Roca, Lori Galagarza, Toni Yuille, Zenobia E. McNally, Kimberly Benson, Suzanne Schwimmer, Nicole Kneessy, Michelle Feibusch, Paulette Proverbs, Irene Bognar, Angela McNerney, Sylvia Hinds Radix, Lisa A. Bins, Denise Arbesu and Renee McClure.

My Queens WOW (Women of Wonder) friends met without me last week because of scheduling conflicts but they sent me a photo of the group with a surprise diner at the next table, former mayor Rudy Giuliani. He’s been more frequently in the press lately because his former deputy mayor, Joe Lhota, has announced he will enter the race for mayor on the Republican ticket.

Although the former head of the MTA has a brilliant reputation, I wonder, will the public forgive his having just raised transit fares? I’m sure his opponents will play the card over and over again. So the race is heating up and even more candidates are lining up. This week I will meet John Catsimatidis, a businessman who is a self-made billionaire. Will he or anyone spend the money Mayor Michael Bloomberg did to build his visibility and team?

As a weekly newspaper we will be bringing the hopefuls to you and revealing their platforms and priorities. Stay tuned.

Speaking of my WOW friends, since we purchased weekly newspapers in Brooklyn, the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator I have found a world of wonderful women in that borough. Last week we were hosted by the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge to a cocktail party. More than 20 of the women I have met since I’ve come to Brooklyn gathered for a night of networking and bonding. I was in awe of the amazing women who sat around the extended table, many of whom we honored at my first Brooklyn Top Women in Business event last year. We enjoyed each other so much we continue to meet and the women have introduced me to their extraordinary colleagues — what woman power!

One of the women sitting at the table made history.

For the first time since its founding in 1918, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has elected a woman to lead it, and the first Latino woman too. Cuban born Denise Arbesu, who I am proud to call her a dear friend, will put her stamp of great intelligence, beauty and vision on the group. The Brooklyn chamber has also hired a new executive director, Carlo Scissura, former chief of staff to Borough President Marty Markowitz.

What a team Denise and Carlo will make to keep Brooklyn in its leadership position.

Also sitting at the table was the former administrative judge, the Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix. She has taken on an even more powerful position on the appellate division, having just been appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. In her spare time she also heads the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association. A real WOW.

State Senator Eric Adams came by to say hello because he is running for Brooklyn borough president. He is an impressive, charismatic candidate. We hope to meet his opponent, City Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia, at our next gathering. They have big shoes to fill considering the ultimate Brooklyn booster, Marty Markowitz, will be a tough act to follow.