This year The Queens Courier’s 12th Annual Top Women in Business Awards & Networking event at Terrace on the Park broke records as close to 1,000 people came out to celebrate the accomplishments of the leading women of the Queens business world.
The Tuesday night celebration opened up with an expo and cocktail hour. During this time guests were able to mingle, network and exchange business information with leaders from all different fields.
Although the night highlighted the work of over 30 women, one man stood out from the crowd. Greg Kelly, co-anchor of Fox 5 “Good Day New York,” was honored as “Man of the Year” for his countless years of success in journalism.
Honored with the award for “Woman of the Year,” Borough President Melinda Katz, who is the third woman to fill the borough president’s seat in Queens, congratulated the rest of the honorees for everything they do and accomplish.
Man of the Year and Fox TV host Greg Kelly with Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President (Photo by Mike DiBartolomeo)
“If you look around this room you see women who run hospitals, you see women who run colleges, you see women that help thousands of people every single day as part of their nonprofits,” Katz said. “To honor them today is only an extremely small thing that we can do for these great, outstanding women.”
All the honorees of the night received their awards from Kelly and Ms. New York United States 2013 Stephanie Jill Chernick.
Greg Kelly with Stephanie Jill Chernick, Ms.New York United States 2013 (Photo by Mike DiBartolomeo)
This year, The Courier bestowed other special honors, including “Lifetime Achievement” to Dr. Jasmin Moshirpur, Dean/Medical Director, Elmhurst Hospital; and “Leadership in Education” to Dr. Sharon DeVivo, President-Elect, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.
The 12th Annual Top Women in Business Awards also presented “Hall of Fame” awards to Domenique Camacho Moran, Partner, Farrel Fritz, P.C.; Annete Vallone-Rocchio, President, Landrum School of Performing Arts and Precious Moments Nursery School & Day Care Center; Stefanie F. Handsman, First Senior Vice President, Head of Treasure Services, Bank Leumi; Linda Spiegel, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing, Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center/CenterLight Health System; and Maureen Buglino, Vice President for Community and Emergency Medicine, New York Hospital Queens.
“I feel very honored to be recognized as a woman in business,” said “Hall of Fame” honoree Vallone-Rocchio, who started her business at 18 years old. “This event is a great opportunity to network and mingle with other like-minded women.”
Honoree Marsha Goldberg, principal of P.S. 46, was honored for her 12 years of dedication to the Bayside school and her overall 42 years of work in the public education system. Under her guidance, P.S. 46 has been recognized as one of New York City’s best schools as it consistently received an overall “A” rating on the Department of Education Progress Report.
“I am so honored to have been chosen,” Goldberg said. “I don’t think of myself as a business woman, I think of myself as an educator. I see it as a labor of love. I think it is great that women are being recognized as leaders.”
During the network portion of the night, the expo also featured various vendors and businesses which sold products and shared information on their services.
“It has been a great opportunity so far, we’re really excited to be here,” said Olivier Guerin, Manhasset Branch Manager for Charles Schwab, which provides full-service brokerage service for investing in various instruments, helping all clients reach a financial goal. Every May Schwab focuses the spotlight on Financial Life Planning for Women, with special workshops at different retail branches.
This year’s honorees were: Sharon DeVivo President, Vaughn College; Dr. Jasmin Moshirpur, Dean/Medical Director, Elmhurst Hospital; Gina Battagliola, Project Manager, JFK International Air Terminal; Kimberly Benn, Advertising Account Executive, DeSales Media Group; Clara Berg, Service Specialist, YAI Services; Marizen Bernales, RN/CEO, Atlantic Dialysis; Dr. Sabra Brock, Interim Dean, Touro Grad School of Business; Tracy Capune, Vice President, Kaufman Astoria Studios; Laurie Dorf, Assistant Vice Principal& ED, Queens College; Rosa A. Figueroa, Director of Small Business Development, LaGuardia Community College; Marsha Goldberg, Principal, Public School 46; Eve Cho Guillergan, Attorney, Eve Guillergan PLLC; Pam Horowitz, Director of Home Care, Parker Jewish Institute; Kimberly Kuchera, CEO, KJR Aviation; Missy Lawrence, Vice President Marketing, Resorts World Casino; Nora Constance Marino, Esq.,Queens County Commission, NYC Taxi& Limousine Commission and TV Legal Commentator; MaryAnn McAleer, Director of Development, Queens Centers for Progress; Janine Michel, Executive Director, Christ the King Continuing Education; Carole Nussbaum, Principal, Public School 203, Erica Oleske, Development Officer, Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn & Queens; Luisa Otero, Life Coach/Author, No Nonsense Coaching; Stephanie Ovadia, Attorney/Radio Host; Heather Palmer, 2nd Vice President, Queens County Savings Bank; Michelle Rosa Patruno, Regional Sales Manager/Senior Loans Specialist, Vanguard Funding; Sarah BJ Song, Chairman of Korean, American Family Services; Donna Tucker, Chief of Staff, Regional Alliance; Tiki Vanderbilt, Partner, NY Life Insurance Company; Denise Ward, College Interim Vice President & Executive Director, Queensborough Community; Carrie White, Classified Sales Manager, Desales Media Group; Mary Zias, Store Manager, TD Bank; Maureen Buglino, R.N. Vice President for Community Medicine & Emergency Medicine, New York Presbyterian; Stefanie Handsman, Head of Treasury Services Division, Bank Leumi; Dominique Camacho Moran, Attorney Labor and Practice, Farrell and Fritz; Linda Spiegel, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing, Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Annette Vallone, Owner and Director, Landrum School of Performing Arts and Precious Moments Nursery School & Day Care Center.
This year’s sponsors included Atlantic Dialysis, Center For Wealth Preservation, Citibank, Cord Meyer Development/Bay Terrace Shopping Center, Dale Carnegie, Delta Air Lines, New York Daily News, DeSales Media Group/The Tablet, Elmhurst Hospital Center, Flushing Bank, Kaufman Astoria Studios, New York Life, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, Queens County Savings Bank, TD Bank, Terrace on the Park, Touro College, Vanguard Funding, and Vaughn College.
The evening’s celebration also raised $3,5000, with all proceeds going to charity.
This interactive event for girls, ages 11 to 18, will include a variety of activities, such as workshops, demonstrations and seminars.
There will also be displays covering a range of topics, including colleges, careers, developing a healthy body image, bullying, nutrition, self-defense, relationships, self-esteem and staying safe online.
Attendees will additionally hear success stories from creative female leaders from all walks of life, and listen to mentors and experts addressing topics relating to careers and college.
One of those speakers will be Miss New York. Renowned coach Monica Holmes will also be doing sports evaluations for athletes of all levels.
The event offers even more for attendees.
It will feature a runway fashion show with models of all sizes; a “Bright Ideas” middle school and high school science fair; a career and college fair; an art show with dancers and live music; and a vendor marketplace with booths of clothing, jewelry, books, art and salon items.
Evah Doheny, 7, from Binghamton, New York, whose first release is called, “Put Your Hands Up,” will be performing at the Expo. She also dances and acts, has three New York State karate titles.
A Girls of Merit Brunch will honor 15 local girls for their excellence and outstanding work in the community.
Terrace on the Park operators want to upgrade the facility and are looking to get a new lease on the popular and historic Flushing Meadows-Corona Park catering hall to do so.
Their contract with the city’s Parks Department expires next March, officials said.
The department has issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 52-11 111th Street site.
“While the current concessionaire has invested more than $8 million in capital improvements, exceeding the requirements of their license agreement, it is clear that additional infrastructure investments are needed,” a Parks spokesperson said.
George Makkos, co-owner of Terrace on the Park, said they have invested $12 million so far to better the catering hall.
But the 100,000-square-foot building needs “millions” of dollars more in capital improvements which cannot be done under the looming lease expiration date, Makkos said.
“Given the size and complexity of the building, the money that we will need to spend will never be recovered in the time, in the lease that we have left,” he said.
Makkos said he and co-owner Jimmy Kaloidis want to retain and upgrade the catering hall.
“We’re trying to extend the lease for a new term so we can spend what’s needed and a lot more to bring the building to a state which is sufficient so it can compete in the wedding and corporate banquet business as it should,” he said.
The city must launch a procedural public bidding process.
“It’s a huge building. Everything becomes a big deal,” Makkos said. “A simple remodeling could cost a million dollars.”
The proposal process is competitive but open to any entities, including the current concessionaire, the Parks Department said.
Terrace on the Park was built for the 1964 World’s Fair and has been a catering hall for nearly 50 years.
The current contract was scheduled to expire in March 2020 but was amended to expire in March 2014, officials said.
A Parks Department spokesperson said the change is not related to any development proposals at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The Queens Courier’s fifth annual “Kings of Queens Awards & Networking Event” was celebrated at Terrace on the Park, honoring dozens of notable businessmen and special honoree Steve Lacy, Fox 5 news anchor.
“[This event] brings people and their businesses together. I’m honored to be honored,” said Mortimer A. Lawrence of the Lawrence Law Group, LLC New York, one of this year’s “Kings.”
The breakfast, held Thursday, November 15, was attended by 400 people and served as a networking opportunity.
“What’s great about this event is that we bring together the leaders of our community. We’re so proud of the unique people that we can recognize,” said Courier publisher Victoria Schneps.
Different vendors were able to set up tables in the Terrace on the Park expo room and share their information.
“We’re looking to expand,” said Roger Flores of RNC, a telecommunications business within Queens. “We’re a local business and we are here today to let people know what services we have to offer.”
Vendors from businesses such as RCN, to restaurants, to airlines all attended the networking event, hoping to mingle with other local companies and gain contacts.
“It’s the networking, the opportunity to meet other businesses,” said George McKirdy, a bake shop owner in Astoria. “We wanted to get in touch with some of the other businesses in Queens.”
Sponsors of the event included: TD Bank, Delta Airlines, Flushing Bank, CUNY, Con Edison, Sandwire, Melrose Credit Union, Queens Library, Daily News, Crystal Window & Door Systems and Queens County Savings Bank.
“The Courier does a number of events that link businesses and communities,” said Richard Mazda, an honoree. “I appreciate getting the word out about The Secret Theatre.”
Other honorees included John Antzoulis, TD Bank; Sal Bacarella, president, Garden Works; Gerard X BroganJr., MD, medical director, Forest Hills Hospital; John Careddu, New York Community Bank; Don Cato, Co-Director, Queens World Film Festival; Sam Chang, chair, McSam Hotel Group; Dr. Michel Cohen, founder, Tribeca Pediatrics; Brother Leonard Conway, principal, St. Francis Prep; Michael Davidov, attorney, Davidov Law Group, PC; Jack Friedman, executive director, Queens Chamber of Commerce; Carl Goodman, executive director, Museum of Moving Image; Paul Goodman, CEO, NY Waterway; Kirk Haltaufderhyde, 2012 National Science Foundation Graduate Research; Dr. Gerard McNeil, associate professor, York College; Alan Kaufman, CEO, Melrose Credit Union; Mortimer A. Lawrence, Esq, The Lawrence Law Group, LLC; Dr. Adam Lublin, co-owner, Dynamic Dental; Douglas MacLaury, Mattone Group; Hossam Abdel Maksoud, Founder & Chief Executive, Maksoud Pharm, Inc.; Eric S. Martinez, JD, CPA, audit partner, Grassi & Co; Richard Mazda, founding artistic director, The Secret Theatre; John A. Messer, VP/counsel, DC Solar Solutions; Vincent Riso, The Briarwood Organization; John E. Roe, Sr., chair of the board of Flushing Financial; Hal Rosenbluth, president, Kaufman Astoria Studios; Frank Russo, owner, Russo’s on the Bay; Edward Sadowsky, trustee, Queens Library; George Schmidt, president, Eastern American Data Voice; John Venaziano, General Manager, Douglaston Club; Mathew Xenakis, president, Woodhaven BID; Daniel Zausner, COO, National Tennis Center.
Following an hour-and-a-half of networking, this years’ “Kings” proceeded into the ballroom, donning red robes and crowns, and were greeted by rounds of applause. Videos of each honoree sharing their “keys to success” played while breakfast was served.
Hearing community leaders speak about their business tactics in the past and plans for the future was inspiring, said Steve Lacy, Fox 5 news anchor and also the MC and honoree at the event.
“It’s the people and the sense of community that I’m really impressed with,” he added.
At each Courier event, all proceeds from raffle ticket sales go to charity. This year, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the roughly $3,000 raised will go to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance and St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.
Sweet Sixteen came early for a teen transplant patient, who got the gift of a “Sweet Fifteen” party from one of Queens’ most recognizable event venues, Terrace on the Park.
Linda Shohatee, who is living at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, got a break from doctors and nurses as she partied down on Friday, September 21 with friends and family.
“I’ve never seen her dance like that. I’ve never seen her smile so much,” said Linda’s father, Gamal Shohatee.
Shohatee was one of the first children to have the rare and difficult transplant of her small intestines nearly 12 years ago. However, for the past two years, she has suffered numerous potentially fatal complications.
Terrace on the Park first got wind of Shohatee’s condition from a letter submitted by Kathleen Capitulo, registered nurse and the pro bono advocate for Shohatee.
“[Linda’s] dream has been to have a big ‘Sweet Fifteen’ birthday party,” wrote Capitulo.
Terrace on the Park jumped on the opportunity, and Shohatee celebrated her 15th birthday at a “Bollywood to Hollywood” themed celebration.
“There is no way we could pay them back,” said Shohatee’s father of Terrace on the Park. “Linda is very happy.”
Over 450 guests gathered at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to mingle at one of the largest networking events in the borough and honor this year’s “Kings of Queens.”
The fourth annual Queens Courier event, held on Thursday, November 3, honored “Man of the Year” Comptroller John Liu and “Woman of the Year” Matilda Cuomo, founder of Mentoring USA, among dozens of other top businessmen from throughout the borough.
Prizes were also raffled at the event, with the proceeds benefiting Life’s WORC and The Rotary Club. Fred Morante of Minuteman Press in Bellerose and Lily Anastasiadis of eboxed won the door prizes from Skyline Cruises and TD Bank, respectively. Linda DeSabato of Vallo Transportation was the winner of the Cancun vacation courtesy of JetBlue.
The event’s sponsors included: Joseph P Addabbo Family Health Center, NY Community Bank/Queens County Savings Bank, TD Bank, Flushing Bank, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, City University of New York, Con Edison, First Central Savings Bank, St. John’s University, Council For Airport Opportunity of NY & NJ, City Employees Union Local 237 International Brotherhood of Teamsters, HSBC, Print Early, Advantage Payroll Services and The Daily News. A & S Whitestone Nursery Flowers & Gifts provided a boutineer for each of the honorees.
Honored this year, along with Cuomo and Liu, were Eric Barrios, Vice President & Woodside Branch Manager, HSBC; Dominick Ciampa, Chairman of the Board, New York Community Bank; Salvatore DiMartino, Vice President Senior Enterprise Risk Officer, First Central Savings Bank; Gregory Floyd, President, City Employees Union Local 237, IBT; Bill Gianakos, Executive Vice President-Area Director, NYC Region DeNovo Expansion, Citi; Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Vicar Development for the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens; Bill Huisman, Executive Director, Aviation Development Council; Anthony Izzo, Chief of Organized Crime Control Bureau, NYPD; Gabor Karsai, Rotary International, District 7250, Brooklyn, Queens & Nassau Counties; John Khani, Assistant Director of Public Affairs, CSA; Giorgio Kolaj, Proprietor, Valentino’s on the Green; Franck Korzekwinski, EVP Chief of Real Estate Lending, Flushing Bank; John Koufakis Sr., CEO/President, Star Auto group; Anthony Lolli, Founder/CEO, Rapid Realty NYC; Serphin Maltese, Attorney & Counselor at law; Stephen Martin, Vice President, Commercial Lending, Queens, TD Bank; Michael X. Mattone, CFO, Mattone Group LLC; Dr. Peter Nelson, CEO, Joseph P Addabbo, Family Health Center; Jay Parker, President, The Original Bens Best; Tony Raouf, President, Riverview Restaurant; Robert Ricken, President Board of Directors, North Shore Towers; Cruz Russell, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Port Authority of NY & NJ; George Russo Esq. President of the Board, South Queens Boys & Girls Club; Joseph Sciame, Vice President for Community Relations, St. John’s University; Peter Smergut, CEO, Life’s WORC; Jerry Spampanato, General Manager, JFK International Airport; Michael H. Strawberry Sr., Manager, Strawberry’s Sports Grill; Carlisle Towery, President, Greater Jamaica Development Corp.; Robert M. Werner, Vice President of Finance and CFO Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation; Steve Wei, Partner, Wei, Wei & LLP; Bhavik Patel and Sergey Shpiller, Vice Presidents of Operations, Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Group, Milo Blair,Vice President Brooklyn/Queens Electric Operations, Con Edison, William E. Fischer, Partner, Grassi & Co., Jeffrey Halperin, Professor of Psychology Queens College & The Graduate Center.
Don’t delay. Get your tickets for the 4th Annual Kings of Queens Awards & Networking Event.
The event — which recognizes Queens’ most influential men in business — will take place Thursday, November 3 at 8:30 a.m. at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It will feature a morning of networking with top professionals and an expo with the area’s leading businesses.
Honored this year are Man of the Year John Liu, New York City Comptroller; Woman of the Year Matilda Cuomo, Founder of Mentoring USA; Eric Barrios, Sales Leader-Woodside Branch, HSBC; Dominick Ciampa, Chairman of the Board, New York Community Bank; Salvatore DiMartino, Vice President Senior Enterprise Risk Officer, First Central Savings Bank; Gregory Floyd, President, City Employees Union Local 237, IBT; Bill Gianakos, Executive Vice President-Area Director, NYC Region DeNovo Expansion, Citi; Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Vicar Development for the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens, Bill Huisman, Executive Director, Aviation Development Council; Anthony Izzo, Chief of Organized Crime Control Bureau, NYPD; Gabor Karsai, Rotary International, District 7250, Brooklyn, Queens & Nassau Counties; John Khani, Assistant Director of Public Affairs, CSA; Giorgio Kolaj, Proprietor, Valentino’s on the Green; Francis Korzekwinski, EVP Chief of Real Estate Lending, Flushing Bank; John Koufakis Sr., CEO/President, Star Auto group; Anthony Lolli, Founder/CEO, Rapid Realty NYC; Serphin Maltese, Attorney & Counselor at law; Stephen Martin, Vice President, Commercial Lending, Queens, TD Bank; Michael X. Mattone, CFO, Mattone Group LLC; Dr. Peter Nelson, CEO, Joseph P Addabbo Family Health Center; Jay Parker, President, The Original Bens Best; Ole Pedersen, Vice President of Emergency Medicine & Public Affairs for Medysis Health Network Jamaica Hospital; Tony Raouf, President, Riverview Restaurant; Robert Ricken, President Board of Directors, North Shore Towers; Cruz Russell, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Port Authority of NY & NJ; George Russo Esq., President, The Law Office of George Russo & Associates; Joseph Sciame, Vice President for Community Relations, St. John’s University; Peter Smergut, CEO, Life’s WORC; Jerry Spampanato, General Manager, JFK International Airport; Michael H. Strawberry Sr., Manager, Strawberry’s Sports Grill; Carlisle Towery, President, Greater Jamaica Development Corp.; Robert M. Werner, Vice President of Finance and CFO Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation; Steve Wei, Partner, Wei, Wei & LLP; Bhavik Patel and Sergey Shpiller, Vice Presidents of Operations, Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Group.
Ticket prices are $65 each and include networking, refreshments, breakfast, an awards ceremony and a raffle with proceeds benefiting a nonprofit organization.
To purchase tickets, expo tables, or inquire about sponsorship and participation opportunities, call 718-224-5863, Ext. 226 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.