Tag Archives: Victoria Schneps

Queens Courier co-publisher honored at Kiwanis division meeting

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

Members of the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West gathered at Villa Erasmo in Middle Village on Monday night to honor several attendees during their monthly division meeting, including Queens Courier Co-Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis.

Schneps-Yunis received a certificate of appreciation from the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West for her and The Courier’s participation in the celebration of the Kiwanis International centennial.

“The Queens West Division acknowledges Victoria Schneps and The Queens Courier for their part in the celebration in the Kiwanis 100-year anniversary,” said J.P. DiTroia, lieutenant governor of Kiwanis Queens Wests.

Schneps-Yunis not only received an honor, but also presented the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West with a check worth $1,575 for their Lieutenant Governor Fund, which was raised through The Courier’s ad campaign for the Kiwanis centennial.

“We all remember The Courier had a wonderful ad and out of that came a wonderful exposure for our members,” DiTroia said. Schneps donated 20 percent of the ad funds, which accumulated to $1,575 and will be divided among the clubs, he said.


After the presentation of the check, Schneps was not done. She announced that DiTroia will be nominated as a King of Queens, an annual event which recognizes leaders in the borough from a variety of fields, to further strengthen the connection between the Kiwanis and the community. The Kings of Queens event is scheduled for September 17 at Terrace on the Park.


‘Top Women’ honored during award and networking event

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Allen Ngai

Terrace on the Park shined bright Thursday night as 50 talented women, who have each seen success in their careers, were honored at The Queens Courier’s 2015 Top Women In Business Networking Award Dinner.

The celebration, which saw close to 800 people attend, opened up with an expo and cocktail hour. During this time, honorees and guests were able to mingle, network and exchange business information with leaders from all different fields.

During this year’s event, six women, who were previously Top Women in Business honorees, were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their hard work and achievements.

“We are so grateful to be able to see that they are continuing to climb the ladder of success and be a role model for everyone in this room,” said Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier.

Hall of Fame inductees included Connie Delaige, affirmative action coordinator, JFK & LGA Airports; Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, president, York College; Pat Thompson, customer service/public relations manager, Bombardier; Mayra DiRico, senior vice president and director of retail banking, Astoria Bank; Georgiana Reese-Benatti, director of community relations, New York Community Bank; and Patricia Naylor Thomas, president, Thomas Coaching Company Inc.

“Most of my roots are in Queens and to me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is just thrilling, and I actually am very honored to be amongst all these very diverse women that have in each way made a difference in the borough and in New York,” said Hall of Fame inductee Mayra DiRico.

Fellow Hall of Famer Pat Thompson also said she was honored and surprised to have been selected to receive the distinguished award.

“I’m very honored. I have a lot of respect for Vicki and what she has done to give women this exposure,” Thompson said. “It’s just a very fulfilling experience to be among people of such diverse occupations, and the networking is so valuable.”

The night began with Natalia Segura singing the National Anthem and a moment of silence for Jack Friedman, the Queens Chamber of Commerce executive director who passed away in April at age 55.

All the honorees of the night received their awards from emcee Alison Morris, FOX 5 business reporter, and Miss New York 2014 Jillian Tapper.

This year, The Courier also bestowed a Special Award to Main Street Radiology — which has two locations in Bayside, one in Flushing and a newly opened office in Jackson Heights — as a top women’s imaging center of Queens.

Honoree Andrea Tsoukalas, attorney at Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana LLP, was honored for her 15 years in the field and for her concentration in zoning, land use, environmental and municipal law matters.

“I feel really privileged and humble to be among these women,” Tsoukalas said. “In my work, it’s really a man’s world so it’s wonderful to see the revolution. We’re breaking through the field.”

During the networking portion of the night, the expo also featured various vendors and businesses, which sold products and shared information on their services.

One of the vendors was Investors Bank, which along with spreading the word of their services was also present to support Honoree Maria Odysseos, market manager of the Astoria branch of Investors Bank.

“We’re very proud of her. She’s an extraordinary woman and it’s a well-deserved honor for her,” said Charoula Ioannou, branch manager for the Bayside Investors Bank location. “She’s our top woman in business.”

The event also raised $3,300 for the nonprofit organization Dress for Success.

This year’s honorees were Wafa Abboud, Human First, Inc.; Stephanie Barry, Rapid Realty; Dr. Mahdis A. Behzadi, Office of Dr. Behzadi; Rochelle S. Berliner, Law Of¬fice of Rochelle S. Berliner; Debra J. Brennessel, MD, Queens Hospital Center; Stella Castriota, Giorgio’s Salon & Spa; Laura Copersino, Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Valerie D’Amico, Valiance International Corp.; Ilana Davidov, Davidov Law Group, P.C.; Patricia Dunphy, Rockrose Development Corp.; Maria A. D’urso, RN, MSN, New York Hospital Queens; Janet Elias, Alley Pond School; Sharon Etwaroo, Edible Arrangements Fresh Meadows; Flo Federman, Nussbaum Yates Berg Klein & Wolpow, LLP; Luz Ford, New York Life Insurance Company; Tamara Gavrielof, Signature Bank; Victoria Grappone, Maspeth Federal Savings Bank; Heather Harrison, Farrell Fritz; Patricia Hull, RN, MSN, Parker Jewish Institute For Health Care & Rehabilitation; Vasundhara Kalasapudi, India Home; Malikka Karteron, B’Above Worldwide Institute; Penelope Kokkinides, Centerlight Healthcare; Margaret Leacock, People’s United Bank; Janice Li, Crystal Window & Door Systems; Rebecca Lipscomb, Hirani Group; Rev. Aqueelah Ligonde, First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica; Angelena Lucheux, Tailormade for You Skincare; Nora Martins, Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron LLP; Karen Mitchell, True Hair Company; Ef¬fie Neo¬fitidis, Flushing Bank; Maria A. Odysseos, Investors Bank; Andrea Ormeno, Queens Economic Development Corporation; Eileen Parenti, Renaissance Home Health Care; Alexandria Perotti, Holt Construction Corp.; Robyn Rosenblum, MD, New York Hospital Queens; Miriam Ruiz, The Federal Savings Bank; Dr. Kerry Rut, The Woman’s Health Pavilion; Chanelle Small, DDS, Midtown Endodontics; Dr. Renee Spiegel, Elmhurst Hospital Center; Star Young, Women to Women by Julia; Patricia Stein, Liberty National Title Agency; Avni Thakore, MD, MS, FACC, AdvantageCare Physicians; Andrea Tsoukalas, Esq., Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana, LLP; Margaret Ventimiglia, Insignia Renovations, Inc.; Dr. Lihong Wei, Queens Medical Associates; Connie Delaige, JFK & LGA Airports; Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, York College; Pat Thompson, Bombardier; Mayra DiRico, Astoria Bank; Georgiana Reese-Benatti, New York Community Bank; and Patricia Naylor Thomas, Thomas Coaching Company Inc.

Sponsors for the event were Investors Bank, Astoria Bank, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Dale Carnegie Training, Flushing Bank, AdvantageCare Physicians, New York Hospital Queens, India Home, AgeWell New York, The City University of New York, People’s United Bank, Daily News, Queens Medical Associates, Crystal Window & Door Systems, LTD., Rockrose Development Corp., Main Street Radiology, Elmhurst Hospital Center, National Grid, conEdison, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, and New York Community Bank.


Meeting held to strengthen relationship between western Queens NYCHA residents and NYPD

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Residents of NYCHA developments in western Queens came together Saturday afternoon to discuss strengthening relationships with the police officers assigned to protect them.

The community gathered during a meeting organized by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, with members of the NYPD to go over resident concerns and ways to build communication between community members and police.

“If we work together we’re going to be so much stronger,” Maloney said. “I think it’s important we come together and we try to figure out how we can make this city stronger because we’re only stronger when we’re together.”

During the meeting, residents voiced problems such as more lighting, more community engagement and communication by police officers who patrol the areas, and also support within the actual community between the older and younger generations.

“We are thrilled to be able to participate in bringing people in the community together,” Schneps said. “That’s what we are about, that’s what community journalism is about. Making sure we are talking to each other, many times through the pages of our papers, but also in person.”

Those present at the meeting at the Jacob Riis Settlement House, located at 10-25 41st Ave., within the Queensbridge Houses, included leaders from the Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria and Woodside NYCHA houses.

NYPD representatives included Captain Mark A. Simmons, the commanding officer of Police Service Area (PSA) 9, which patrols the Queensbridge Houses, and members of the 114th Precinct.

“One of the things we have to do is when you see a police officer, thank them for their job, thank them for putting their lives on the line, thank them for going out on the streets to protect them,” Maloney said. “We have to show them that they are respected by people.

One resident of the Queensbridge Houses for 28 years, who goes by the name Sugaray, asked the officers available to show residents that they are more than just officers by coming by the neighborhood without uniforms.

“Come out and just be part of the community, show that you are human,” he said. “When we can see that the people in uniform are human and we can connect on a human-to-human level, that’s what builds relationships, that’s how you can build unity in the community.”

Simmons thanked the community for their support and said that by working together they will be able to get crime down.

“The greatest thing for you guys to know is that we support you and you support us and that’s the bond that we have here in PSA9,” Simmons added. “I am very proud to be here and I am very grateful that we are working together in the manner in which we are.”


Geraldo Rivera makes Life’s WORC his cause on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Victoria Schneps

As NBC’s latest installment of “Celebrity Apprentice” kicked off on Sunday, Jan. 4, the stars appeared to be lining up in favor of local nonprofit Life’s WORC.

Established 44 years ago by The Queens Courier newspaper publisher Victoria Schneps with help from broadcast journalist icon Geraldo Rivera, Life’s WORC provides services to some 1,400 people with developmental disabilities in eastern Queens, Nassau County and western Suffolk. The agency is based in Garden City.

Geraldo Rivera, known for his advocacy of the developmentally disabled community from the time when he worked as an investigative reporter at WABC-TV Channel 7, has demonstrated loyal, steadfast support for Life’s WORC throughout his career.

“Geraldo attends many of the organization’s fundraisers including an annual golf tournament he personally spearheads. He never fails to talk up the agency and impress upon many of the movers and shakers he encounters the importance of Life’s WORC,” said Janet Koch, the agency’s executive director. “We were so gratified when we discovered that Geraldo had designated Life’s WORC as his beneficiary in host Donald Trump’s famous challenge. Everyone associated with Life’s WORC is excited by the prospects here because this show is known for providing millions of dollars in contributions to a number of nonprofit organizations.”

Each celebrity contestant has the opportunity to compete for the charitable organization they choose. Geraldo’s passion for Life’s WORC was on full display as he led all of the celebrities by generating more contributions through his pie store enterprise. Vortex, the entrepreneur project created by the male team, raised $185,322 on the first night of the show. Therefore, Geraldo has earned $280,000 for Life’s WORC so far, and who knows how much more Geraldo will raise in the upcoming episodes!

Life’s WORC founder and board member Victoria Schneps urges everyone in the developmentally disabled and autistic communities to watch future installments of “Celebrity Apprentice.”

“Since Geraldo is here for us once again, we need to rally our spirit for our hero by posting expressions of gratitude and comments to encourage him through the show’s website,” Schneps said.

This $280,000 windfall based on Geraldo’s leadership comes at a key period for the agency, according to Janet Koch. “This enables Life’s WORC to gain some breathing room in its budgeting and finances since New York State has been economizing, reducing funds available in the developmental disabilities field.”


Community welcomes new officers coming into Patrol Borough Queens North

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

A group of 56 new members of New York’s Finest, who will be patrolling the streets of Queens, received a warm welcome Monday afternoon by the communities they will work to keep safe.

The incoming officers, who were part of the graduating NYPD class on Dec. 29 and were assigned to Patrol Borough Queens North, were greeted on Jan. 5 by local leaders and NYPD officials during a ceremony at the Langston Hughes Community Library in Corona.

Patrol Borough Queens North is made up of eight precincts ranging from locations in Bayside to Ridgewood. The officers who filled the library’s second floor on Monday have been assigned to the 104th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 114th and 115th precincts. 

Assistant Chief Diana Pizzuti, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, welcomed the new cops to their posts and called them “ambassadors” for the borough, which was named the top tourist destination for 2015. 

“You are our youth, and it means a lot to me to make sure you get the best training,” Pizzuti told  the officers. “Queens is a very supportive community.”

Pizzuti also went over what she called the “Five Cs in Policing”: Community, Communication, Crime Prevention, Counter terrorism, and Character.

Pizzuti also spoke of the two slain officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and reminded the new cops to stay safe while patrolling the streets.

“You have to stay vigilant. You wear the blue, you’re the target,” Pizzuti said. “Be mindful of your surroundings, not just at work but at home. Not everyone is our friend.”

Among the community leaders that spoke was Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, who congratulated and welcomed the new faces to the NYPD.

“You are the future sitting here, and I want you to know how much we respect you,” Schneps said. “We love our neighborhoods and we love the police that protect our neighborhoods.”

Seven of the eight precincts will receive six new officers. The 114th Precinct, which patrols Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside and Jackson Heights, will get 12 cops because they have more reported crimes, according to the NYPD.

“Keep an open mind and keep a positive attitude while you’re out there,” Pizzuti said. “Good luck and we’re here to help. We are one family.”


Watch: Queens Courier publisher completes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Christie & Co. Salon & Spa, at 23-64 Bell Blvd, in Bayside’s Bay Terrace Shopping Center on Friday afternoon.



Courier publisher to take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Help fund scientific research into the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The Queens Courier and Christie Salon are sponsoring the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Friday, Sept. 12 at 3 p.m.

The challenge will take place at Christie & Co. Salon & Spa, at  23-64 Bell Blvd, in Bayside, and all Bay Terrace Shopping Center employees are invited. Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, will also participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge, and she challenges her readers to come and join in. Donations are welcome and Lois Christie has offered a free blowout at her salon to anyone who participates in the new ritual of pouring freezing water over one’s head in the name of fighting a progressive neurodegenerative disease.

Call The Queens Courier at 718-224-5863 in order to participate.




Courier publisher to appear on Geraldo’s radio show

| brennison@queenscourier.com

The publisher of The Queens Courier, Victoria Schneps-Yunis, will join Geraldo Rivera’s radio program on January 6 to discuss the 40th anniversary of his reports on the deplorable conditions for the children at the Willowbrook State School.

It was in 1971 that Schneps, along with members of WORC, the Working Organization for Retarded Children, picketed the school to fight for the rights of Schneps’ daughter Lara and the 5,400 residents at Willowbrook, a Staten Island school for mentally disabled children.

The story took off when Rivera, then a reporter for ABC television, reported on the neglect the children at Willowbrook faced.

Tune in to WABC 770 Friday between 10 a.m. and noon to hear Schneps and Rivera recount the horrors at the school and the work they did to create a better life for the children.

Courier Publisher Victoria Schneps to be honored at Queens Hospital Center gala

| tcimino@queenscourier.com

The auxiliary of Queens Hospital Center (QHC) will be honoring Queens Courier publisher Victoria Schneps among five others at its 75th anniversary gala on Thursday, October 13.

The night will be hosted by Bill McCreary and will feature a special performance by Deborah Cox

The gala at Russo’s on the Bay will also honor Lindella Artman, RN, nursing supervisor at QHC, Gregory Floyd, president of Local 237 Teamsters, Premprakash Rao, pharmacy supervisor of QHC, Ada Deberry, president of QHC Auxiliary and Jasmin Moshirpur, MD, dean/medical director at QHC.

The QHC Auxiliary is a volunteer non-profit organization whose primary mission is to raise funds for direct patient care. All proceeds from the Gala will go directly toward patient care initiatives.

For more information, call 718-883-GALA (4252) or email QHCGala@nychhc.org.