Tag Archives: rising stars

Son’s gift of life inspires advocacy for kidney disease


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by James Bland

One son returned the gift of life to his mother.

Anthony Brown, recently named one of The Queens Courier’s Rising Stars, donated his kidney in 2013 to his mother Zita Brown after she was diagnosed with kidney disease a year before.

“It was so emotional because she didn’t know she had it,” he said. “It’s a progressive disease. She gets to the hospital for one thing and finds out she has another. They gave her six to seven months to live.”

Brown convinced his mother to let him donate his kidney after telling her that his life would not be complete without her by his side. Zita, originally from Laurelton, is now healthy and living in Florida. 

“I said, ‘Mom, I need you in my life, I can’t imagine having my first kid or wedding without you there,’” he said. “There are life moments that I need her there for. She then buckled down, crying, and said yes.”

The now 25-year-old Long Island City resident then felt he had a moral obligation to be the “voice for a population of people who don’t have a voice.”

Brown, an associate and banker with J.P. Morgan’s Long Island Private Bank, became a volunteer advocate with the American Kidney Fund and now travels around the country speaking about kidney disease, encouraging ways to get more money for research. 

“The decision [to donate] is something you have to make on your own,” he said. “But what I do is talk about my situation. Part of my mission is to make sure that people have a chance to at least consider it.”

He also took part in Kidney Action Day, hosted by the American Kidney Fund in Washington D.C., in which advocates come together and meet with local congressmembers to discuss the issues surrounding kidney diseases. 

Said Brown, “I feel blessed that I can live for something bigger than myself.”

For more info on the American Kidney Fund visit here.

 

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“Stars” Will Shine at the 2014 Rising Stars Awards & Networking Event


| mromero@queenscourier.com

 

The Queens Courier will once again recognize the “Rising Stars,” a yearly networking event held to honor the borough’s top young professionals.

 

In years past, the event has boasted attendance of over 400 people and has raised thousands in charity funds. Honorees have included various elected officials and top business leaders.

 

This year’s event hopes to bring that and more, and will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at Terrace on the Park.

 

 Also in attendance, Master of Ceremonies, Greg Kelly, Co-Anchor of Fox 5 “Good Day New York“, “Mentor of the Year” Award Recipient, Eugene Lang, Founder of REFAC Technology Development, the “I Have a Dream” Foundation and the Founder of Project Pericles and Star of Stars Award recipient, Queens Borough president Melinda Katz.

 

Interested in attending or becoming a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Maria Romero at 718-224-5863 ext. 226 or mromero@queenscourier.com.

 

Tickets are $90 per person, or $850 for 10 people

 

Purchase your Ticket Today at www.queenscourier.com/events

 

Proceeds of this years raffle will benefit the Flushing Town Hall Educational Programs

 

Rising Stars Awards & Networking Event sponsored by City University of New York, Investors Bank, Con Edison, Delta Air Lines, TD Bank, Daily News and Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation.

 

Interested in attending or becoming a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Maria Romero at 718-224-5863 ext. 226 or mromero@queenscourier.com

2014 Rising Stars:

Steven Appel, Assistant Director/Co-Founder, CERRU at Queens College

Stacey Altman, Assistant Administrator, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation 

Christine Backel, Senior Advisor-Business Advisory Practice, Grassi & Co

Jacob Berelowitz, Director of Social Services, Queens Boulevard Extended Care Facility

Anthony Brown, Associate, J.P. Morgan Asset Management U.S. Private Bank

Mauricio A. Carrasco, Mortgage Loan Officer, Everbank

Michael Cassano, Financial Advisor, North Coast Financial Group, An Office of MetLife

Joseph Chang, Production Manager, Crystal Window & Door Systems

Denise DeSabato-Pisapia, Chief Operating Officer, Vallo Transportation Ltd

Elizabeth Dickinson, Hub Manager – Terminal 2 / John F. Kennedy International Airport

Ulysses Duenas , Performance Leader, John F. Kennedy Airport

Dana Frankel, Director of Economic Development, Planning & BID Services, Long Island City Partnership

Cesar Garcia, Real Estate Broker, Keller Williams Realty Landmark II

Anat Gerstein, Founder/President, Anat Gerstein, Inc

DJ Peter Gozzi, Owner/President, Live Sounds Entertainment

Efrain Guevara, Assistant Vice President, Branch Administration Manager, New York Community Bancorp,

Benjamin Guttmann, Co-Founder, Digital Natives Group

Nick Hardie, Director of Training, Queens Economic Development Corporation

Delilah Rettagliata Houser, Marketing Manager, Qside Federal Credit Union

Anthony Ingrassia, Producer, Joseph Marc Sports Media

Tamiko Myrna Johnson,  TV HOST, BACKYARD TV

Matthew Katakis, Owner, Butcher Bar

Fenella Kim, President & CEO, Reliance Star Payment Services Inc.

Ron Kim, New York State Assemblyman, District 40

Jennifer Krinsky, NYC Press Secretary, State Department of Labor

Vladimir Lackovic, COO, Digital Natives Group

Maria Messados, Principal/Insurance Brokerage, Queens Medallion

Rich Nieto, Owner, Sweetleaf

Logan O’Connor, President/Chef, Logan’s Catering LLC/Logan’s Cafe

Tamar E. Ogburn, Event Planner, EmblemHealth

Francis Papadopoulos, AVP Branch Manager, Investors Bank

Craig Ratigan, Vice President/Relationship Manager, TD Bank

Kleber Silva, Franchise Owner of Jamaica Queens , Rapid Realty

Joseph Schiavone, Community Library Manager, Queens Library at Sunnyside

Sami Abu Shumays, Deputy Director, Flushing Town Hall

Rachel Thieme, Executive Director, Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District

Sheron Thompson, Department Manager, LaGuardia Airport

Eun Chong “EJ” Thorsen Esq.,  Associate, Vishnick McGovern Milizio, LLP

Matthew Wallace, Chief of Staff, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer

Dr. Jessica Widmer, Gastroenterologist, Forest Hills Hospital

Wycliffe Wilkinson, Associate Director of Development, Futures in Education

 

Rising Stars of Queens honored


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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The stars aligned last week when The Queens Courier honored 40 of the borough’s budding young professionals. “It’s awesome to be honored, and it’s humbling to be among these people,” said Eric Abrams, 26, digital media and membership associate for the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “I feel like I’m on my way up.”

Abrams — recognized for his work for the Chamber, including his part in securing a $100,000 grant to develop a mobile phone app for Queens tourism — shared the limelight with several other “Rising Stars” honored for exemplifying outstanding leadership skills in their chosen fields and communities.

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

Presented by Metropolitan Hospitality, the fifth annual “40 under 40” awards and networking event drew over 500 people and raised $2,500 in charity raffle funds collected to benefit the Hank Auffarth Family Center of The Child Center of NY and Morgan Center, a pre-school for kids with cancer.

“This makes me proud of my staff, the company and proud to work in Queens,” said Seth Taylor, 33, executive director at the 82nd Street Partnership. “It makes me think back to the work I’ve done and it reminds me of all the work to be done.”

On January 31, at the Caesars Club in Citi Field, event attendees networked with top professionals and mingled with representatives from leading businesses in the area, including this year’s event sponsors National Grid, TD Bank, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, Delta Airlines, Queens Library, Con Edison, Flushing Bank, Council for Airport Opportunity, Queens County Savings Bank, Time Warner Business Class, Samuel Field Y, Sandwire, Crystal Window & Door Systems, Investors Bank and Ehren Joseph Studios.

Danielle Monaro, a co-host on Z100’s Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, received the “Star of Stars” award and was the night’s honorary emcee.

“I went to St. John’s University, so I feel like I grew up in Queens,” she said. “It’s just really nice to see how diverse the crowd is, how everybody comes together and supports each other. It really does mean a lot that I was chosen to be here. “

VIDEO: MEET THE 2013 “RISING STARS”

Monaro, a New Jersey resident, said she started her gig as a radio personality at St. John’s, where she did theater and WSJU Radio before graduating in 1995.

She helped honor fellow award recipients, including “Mentor of the Year” Bud Harrelson, a 1969 New York Mets World Series champion.

Also honored this year for their community work were Joseph Amodeo, development director for Quality Services for the Autism Community; Eric D. Abrams Digital Media & Membership Associate Queens Chamber of Commerce; Gerdie Rene Gordon, member, Cambria Heights Development Corporation; Seth Taylor, Executive Director, 82nd Street Partnership; Anahit Azatyan, manager of OKG Jewelry; Anokye Blissett, attorney at Law Firm of Russo & Blissett; Ricky Brava, senior partner at Apollo Financial Group; Ricardi Calixte, director of neighborhood economic development for the Queens Economic Development Corporation; Jennifer Colletti-Membreño, assistant director of development at Samuel Field Y; Elizabeth Culp, assistant vice president and branch manager at Roslyn Savings Bank; Paisley Demby, business services director at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College; Josh Fatoullah, president and founder of JR Wealth Advisors; Dr. Peter Feibish, orthodontist at Dynamic Dental; Christian Goode, CFO and SVP of Resorts World NY; Gerdie Rene Gordon, member of Cambria Heights Development Corporation; Tracie Hall, vice president of strategy and organizational development of library services at Queens Library; Matthew Jahrsdoerfer, audit principal at Grassi & Co; Isabella Leung, human resource manager at Crystal Window & Door Systems; Jennifer Matthews, NTC marketing and events for USTA National Tennis Center; Maria Messados, principal/insurance broker for Queens Medallion; Ann O’Connor, cultural collaborator at Zoescope Studio; Tony Rappaport, licensed sales associate at Greenthal Property Sales & Management; Michael Ratner, partner at Abrams, Fensterman; Jeffrey Reich-Hale, director of sales and marketing at Wyndham Garden LIC; June Reid, department manager at Delta Air Lines at JFK International Airport; Jeff Yanni, general manager at Delta Air Lines at LaGuardia Airport; Elias Roman, CEO and co-founder of Songza Media, Inc; Rick Rosa, executive vice president and managing director at Douglas Elliman; Frank T. Santoro, counsel at Farrell Fritz, P.C; Suzanne Shusteris, manager at TD Bank; Aravella Simotas, assemblymember of District 36; Kevin Skelly, assistant general manager at Clearview Golf Corp.; Silvia Tejeda, licensed real estate broker at Rapid Realty Astoria Inc.; Ebony Young, executive director of Long Island City YMCA; Jason Hilliard, executive director for Congressmember Gregory Meeks; Frank Russo III, manager of Russo’s on the Bay; Abbi Leman, communications director at CUNY School of Law; Andrew Barnes, manager at National Grid; Wafa Abboud, founder and CEO of Human First, Inc.; Chris Lynch, director of operations of Parker’s Medical Transportation Division for Lakeville Ambulette Transportation; and Jeffrey DeShields, mortgage development officer and team leader for Sovereign Bank. “I feel blessed. You can’t ask for anything better,” said DeShields, 39.

Creative Group, LLC and Delta Airlines provided the raffled-off Cancun trip, which included four nights and five days at the Ocean Spa Resort or the Laguna Suites and two round trip airfare tickets.
Broadway tickets, an HD TV, two Nets tickets to the TGI Suite at the Barclays Center and many gift certificates were also given away by exhibitors.

Guests also snapped pictures in a free photo booth sponsored by Investors Bank and snacked on free Nathan’s hotdogs and pretzels.

Danielle Monaro, co-host of the Z100 Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, talks about The Queens Courier Rising Stars event on her radio show. 

 

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Queens Courier in search of the borough’s next Rising Star


| editorial@queenscourier.com

The Queens Courier will once again recognize the “Rising Stars,” a yearly networking event held to honor the borough’s 40 top young professionals.

In years past, the event has boasted attendance of over 400 people and has raised thousands in charity funds. Guest appearances have been made by Borough President Helen Marshall, Former Mets baseball player Darryl Strawberry and just recently, Mike Woods, meteorologist for Fox 5’s Good Day New York. Honorees have included various elected officials and top business leaders. This year hopes to bring that and more, and will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Caesars Club at Citi Field on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

Along with recognizing notable Queens figures, the “Rising Stars” event also provides one of the top networking forums in the borough.

If you know someone you wish you nominate as a “Rising Star,” or are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Maria Romero at 718-224-5863 ext. 226 or mromero@queenscourier.com. Nominations can also be submitted online at www.queenscourier.com/nomination.

Tickets are $85 per person, or $800 for 10 people, and can be purchased at queenscourier.com/events.

Queens Courier honors Rising Stars


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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ATTEND THE 2013 RISING STARS AWARDS & NETWORKING EVENT

Devon O’Connor had never been to an awards ceremony — much less been honored at one.

So when the 20 year old was named one of The Queens Courier’s “Rising Stars,” he made sure to bask in the moment before it was gone.

“When I was called up to the stage and given the award, it was such a great feeling. It was amazing. Now I can imagine what it feels like to be honored at the Oscars,” O’Connor said. “It was really cool to be honored for doing something in the community. It makes it feel like everything I’m doing is definitely worth it.”

O’Connor — who was recognized for his work as president and founder of Welcome to Whitestone Commercial & Residential Civic Association — shared the limelight with other young professionals, all who were honored for exemplifying outstanding leadership skills in their chosen fields and communities.

Presented by Metropolitan Hospitality, the fourth annual “40 under 40” awards and networking event drew close to 400 people and raised $1,500 in charity raffle funds collected to benefit Futures in Education and Queens Centers for Progress (QCP).

The January 26 event, which took place at the Caesars Club in Citi Field, saw guest appearances by Borough President Helen Marshall, while event attendees networked with top professionals and mingled with representatives from leading businesses in the area, including this year’s event sponsors Con Edison, Flushing Bank, New York Daily News, Parker Jewish Institute for HealthCare & Rehabilitation, PSCH Inc., TD Bank, CUNY, Queens County Savings Bank, Joseph Addabbo Family Health Center, Print Early, Council for Airport Opportunity and NY1.

The “Star of Stars” Mike Woods — meteorologist for Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” — helped honor fellow award recipients, including “Mentor of the Year” Ed Charles, member of the 1969 World Champion New York Mets, and “Rookie of the Year” Justin Lieu, a senior in Francis Lewis High School who recently initiated a project to clean up the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground.

“It was a great feeling to be honored at the event,” said Lieu. “I’m surprised that my project attracted this much positive attention from The Queens Courier and the Queens community.”

Also honored this year for their community work were Akua Anokye, fund development associate at Jamaica YMCA; Dino Antzoulis, manager and vice president of TD Bank; Sara Banda, public affairs manager at Con Edison; Assemblymember Edward Braunstein of District 26; Marisa Breglio, tournament and fundraising manager at American Golf Corporation; Chaday Brown, consultant at Community Wellness & Benefits Consulting; Adrian Cardona, franchisee and broker at Rapid Realty; John Choe, founding director of One Flushing Community Economic Development; Judy Dular, vice president of Flushing Bank; Mohamad Faroqui, president and CEO of Malak Designs; John J. Glynn, crime prevention officer of the NYPD; Michel Hodge, assistant vice president for enrollment at York College; Jacqueline Herrera, acting director of clinics at PSCH Inc.; Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens; Laura E. Imperiale, director of government affairs at Tully Construction Co., Inc.; Irfan Iqbal, president and CEO of Astoria Medical, Dental & Lasik Center; Jorge LaCourt, vice president and branch manager of Sterling National Bank; Greg Lavine, chief of staff for Councilmember Karen Koslowitz; Teresa Lisson, partner at Renaissance Event Hall; Ian Magerkurth, associate at The Driscoll Group; Assemblymember Grace Meng of District 22; Jonathan Morris, president of Quantech Corporation; Assemblymember Francisco P. Moya of District 39; Reena Panchal, consulting manager at Grassi & Co.; Tommy Petridis, owner of Maria’s Greek Fusion Restaurant; Vincent Renda, chair of Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club; Rafael Reyes, senior mortgage banker at Advisors Mortgage Group; Nick Roberts, project manager of Flushing-Willets Point Corona LDC; Jennifer N. Santaniello, partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger, LLP; Michael Serao, vice president of Quontic Bank; Dmitriy Shpuntov, private mortgage banker at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Matthew Silverstein, democratic state committee person and project analyst of District 26 and America Works of NY Inc.; Michelle Kawka, photographer; Kafui Kouakou, chair of the University Student Senate Trustee CUNY Board of Trustees; Erin Liberti, director of operations at LakeVille Ambulette, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation; Ross Wallenstein, political consultant and blogger; Tanya Whittmore, Medicare site developer at Healthfirst; Angelica Huynh, chief human resources officer at Queens Library; Jinpin Ying, CIO of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center; and Robert Fliegel, CFO of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center.

“I was there until the end. I came early, and I stayed late,” said event attendee Jon Landers of Creative Group, LLC — a graphic design and marketing organization. “It was a good crowd of people and a good venue.”

Delta gave two round trip tickets and Creative Group provided the raffled-off Cancun trip, which went to lucky recipient Sal Bacarella.

Meanwhile, raffle winner Dan James of Tully Construction took home the TD Bank gift certificate, while Erin Liberti won “Broadway Rox at Queens Theatre” tickets and Henry Negron received JetBlue airline tickets.

Reserve now for ‘Rising Stars’!


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The Queens Courier will host its fourth annual “Rising Stars” awards and networking event on Thursday, January 26.

Presented by Metropolitan Hospitality, the evening will honor young professionals who exemplify outstanding leadership skills — not only in their chosen fields, but also in their community.

The “40 under 40” event will feature networking with top professionals and an expo with leading businesses in the area. There will also be a charity raffle to benefit Futures in Education and the Cerebral Palsy Organization.

So far, this year’s honorees include Akua Anokye, fund development associate at Jamaica YMCA; Dino Antzoulis, manager and vice president of TD Bank; Sara Banda, public affairs manager at Con Edison; Assemblymember Edward Braunstein of District 26; Marisa Breglio, tournament and fundraising manager at American Golf Corporation; Chaday Brown, consultant at Community Wellness & Benefits Consulting; Adrian Cardona, franchisee and broker at Rapid Realty; John Choe, founding director of One Flushing Community Economic Development; Judy Dular, vice president of Flushing Bank; Mohamad Faroqui, president and CEO of Malak Designs; John J. Glynn, crime prevention officer of the NYPD; Michel Hodge, assistant vice president for enrollment at York College; Jacqueline Herrera, acting director of clinics at PSCH Inc.; Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens; Laura E. Imperiale, director of government affairs at Tully Construction Co., Inc.; Irfan Iqbal, president and CEO of Astoria Medical, Dental & Lasik Center; Jorge LaCourt, vice president and branch manager of Sterling National Bank; Greg Lavine, chief of staff for Councilmember Karen Koslowitz; Teresa Lisson, partner at Renaissance Event Hall; Ian Magerkurth, associate at The Driscoll Group; Assemblymember Grace Meng of District 22; Jonathan Morris, president of Quantech Corporation; Assemblymember Francisco P. Moya of District 39; Devon O’Connor, president and founder of Welcome to Whitestone Commercial & Residential Civic Association; Reena Panchal, consulting manager at Grassi & Co.; Tommy Petridis, owner of Maria’s Greek Fusion Restaurant; Vincent Renda, chair of Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club; Rafael Reyes, senior mortgage banker at Advisors Mortgage Group; Nick Roberts, project manager of Flushing-Willets Point Corona LDC; Jennifer N. Santaniello, partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger, LLP; Michael Serao, vice president of Quontic Bank; Dmitriy Shpuntov, private mortgage banker at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Matthew Silverstein, democratic state committee person and project analyst of District 26 and America Works of NY Inc.; Michelle Kawka, photographer; Kafui Kouakou, chair of the University Student Senate Trustee CUNY Board of Trustees; Erin Liberti, director of operations at LakeVille Ambulette, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation; Ross Wallenstein, political consultant and blogger; Tanya Whittmore, Medicare site developer at Healthfirst; Angelica Huynh, chief human resources officer at Queens Library; Jinpin Ying, CIO of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center; and Robert Fliegel, CFO of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center.

Sponsoring the event this year are Con Edison, Flushing Bank, New York Daily News, Parker Jewish Institute for HealthCare & Rehabilitation, PSCH Inc., TD Bank, CUNY and Queens County Savings Bank.

The “Star of Stars Award” will be presented to Mike Woods — meteorologist for Fox 5’s Good Day New York — while the “Rookie of the Year” award will go to Justin Lieu, a senior in Francis Lewis High School.

The event will take place at Citi Field in Flushing — at the Caesars Club — from 5 to 8 p.m.

To reserve your ticket, go to www.queenscourier.com/events.