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The Queens Courier and Queens Business Today will once again recognize the outstanding contributions made by women in the borough during the Sixth Annual Top Women in Business Networking Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 13.
During the event, which will be held at Terrace on the Park, there will be a silent auction to benefit Go Red for Women. Cocktails, the silent auction and networking will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the formal presentation and dinner at 7 p.m.
The event will also feature Borough President Helen Marshall and City Councilmember Melinda Katz singing “God Bless America.”
The sponsors of the Sixth Annual Top Women in Business are A&S Whitestone Flowers & Gifts, Astoria Federal Savings Bank, Bombardier, Chase Home Lending, Citibank, Commerce Bank, Con Edison, Daily News, Di Blasi Ford, Elmhurst Hospital, Farrell Fritz, P.C., Flushing Savings Bank, HIP, MetLife, New York Hospital Queens, New York Mets, North Shore LIJ Health System, Parker Jewish Institute, Parkway Hospital, Publimax Printing, Queens Courier, Queens Business Today, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens County Savings Bank/New York Community Bank, Queens Hospital Center, Queens Long Island Medical Group, Verizon, Landrum School of Dance and Precious Moments Daycare.
Terrace on the Park is located at 52-11 111th Street in Corona.
For more information, contact Paula at 516-222-0236 or by email at

2008 Honorees
Dr. Michelle J. Anderson
Dean CUNY School of Law

Michelle J. Anderson currently holds the position of Dean of the CUNY School of Law.
The CUNY School of Law has had several major accomplishments since Anderson has been there. They include having a record-breaking amount of their students pass the New York State Bar Exam. The school was also installed as a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
Also, the law school was “praised…as a model for the integration of theory, and practice and invited to join an elite group of law schools that will make recommendations to the academy on the future of law school curricula” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Sandra E. Bentley
VP of Business Banking Group Citibank

Currently the Area Business Banking Manager for Citibank’s Queens East Area, Sandra Bentley began her banking career in 1980. She started as management trainee for The Bank of New York.
In her current role with Citibank, Bentley manages the team made of up Business Banking Relationship Managers and a Business Developer Officer, which is responsible for Queens East Area business households totaling about 1,300. They also oversee business banking sales processes for 15 Queens Financial Centers. Bentley, as the manager of the team, “is dedicated to providing business owners with all of the resources and products necessary to help their businesses grow by customizing solutions to every day financial challenges that small businesses face.”
Along with her professional life, Bentley is an active member of the business community. She is a member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the JFK Chamber of Commerce.

Domenique Camacho Moran
Partner, Farrell Fritz, P.C.

As a partner in Farrell Fritz, P.C.’s Commercial Litigation Department, Domenique Camacho Moran “is a litigator whose practice focuses primarily on employment litigation, including matters arising under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as the New York Human Rights Law.”
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, Moran is a member of the Executive and Program Committees of the Nassau County Museum of Art’s Women’s Executive Network, Work/Life Corporate Committee of the National Association of Mothers’ Centers, and the 2008 Go Red Committee based in Queens, among others.
Moran was selected as a “40 under 40” award recipient in 2006 by Long Island Business News.
Bernadette Catanzano
Queens Branch ManAger
Chase Home Mortgage
After coming to Chase Home Lending in 1993 as a processor, Bernadette Catanzano is now its Queens Area Manager. Her other prior position with Chase include Queens Market Sales Manager and Producing Area Manager.
Catanzano, who has degrees from Hofstra University and Adelphi University, was appointed to her current position in January of 2008. In this role, she supports the “vision of market share growth” that Chase Home Lending has for 2008.
Among the awards that Catanzano has received during her career are Sales Manager of the Year in 2002, the Chase Leaders Club Award, and Number One Area Manager for the Northeast Division.

Carol Conslato
Director of Public Affairs
Con Edison

As Con Edison’s Director of Public Affairs, Carol Conslato oversees the company’s community relations and government relations.
A graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Conslato is also very active in the community. She is the First Vice President of the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, Vice President of Flushing Town Hall, and Secretary of the Queens Library Foundation. Conslato is a board member of the Queens Boy Scouts and the Unisphere Foundation. She is also a past chairperson of the Queensborough Community College Foundation.
Conslato has been recognized many times for her work. She is a recipient of the United States Small Business Administration’s Financial Advocate Award, Boy Scouts Presidential Award, NAACP’s Robert Garvin Award, and Queens Centers for Progress’s “Chef of the Year.”
Married to Michael, Conslato has two children, Marisa-Marie and Mikey.

Susan Deutsch
Financial Advisor,
Jamaica Development

Susan Deutsch, a Financial Advisor with the Jamaica Development Corporation, got her start in the financial industry in 1971 when she began working as a principal planner.
With the Jamaica Development Corporation, Deutsch “negotiates packages, structures and place financing for the Jamaica Development Corporation’s housing, retail, parking and office development projects. Some of the projects that she has developed were the Northeast Regional headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a parking program throughout the area, and conserving a city firehouse.
Deutsch, who has published articles about housing and financial issues, is a member of WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate, the York College Foundation Board and Women in Housing and Finance.

Bruna DiBiase, Esq.
President, Women’s Queens Bar Association, Office of Deputy Chief Administrative Judge

Bruna DiBiase is the Chief of Staff for Judge Harris Kluger, who is New York State’s Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Court Operations and Planning. Along with that role, “she also serves as counsel addressing legal, legislative, operational and training issues involving court reform, restructuring projects and specialized courts that are spearheaded by the office.”
From 2000 to 2003, DiBiase was the Chief Court Attorney of the Law Department of the New York City Criminal Court. She also was the Supervising Court Attorney for the Queens Criminal Court from 1998 to 2000.
The organizations that DiBiase is a member of include the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and the Queens County Bar Association, of which she currently serves as president.

Mary Ann Di Blasi
General Manager
Di Blasi Ford

Mary Ann Di Blasi, the General Manager of Di Blasi Ford, has worked in the automotive business for more than 40 years.
Upon entering the industry, Di Blasi first worked in the office until eventually working her way up to her current position of General Manager. Di Blasi Ford is “the oldest family owned and operated dealership in Queens.”
Di Blasi’s duties include overseeing day-to-day business transactions and the dealership’s various departments. She has also been certified by Ford Motors in sales, service, parts and finance.
On multiple occasions, Di Blasi has been a recipient of Ford’s accounting excellence award.

Pouran Eshghi
Owner and President,
Pouran Salon & Spa & Boutique

Pouran Eshghi, the owner, operator, manager and president of Pouran Salon & Spa & Boutique, has been in business at North Shore Towers in Floral Park for 32 years.
In 1963, Eshghi left her native Tehran, Iran and came to the United States. Upon moving here, she immediately began working as a colorist for Cover Girl.
Eshghi went on to open her own business several years later. She first opened the salon at North Shore Towers and later expanded to include a spa and boutique.
Eshghi is married to Kia and has three children. Her husband is an artist, and he is the one who designed her spa, beauty salon and boutique.

Phyllis Ettinger
President and Founder
Royal Health Care Services

For almost 20 years, Royal Health Care Services President and Founder Phyllis Ettinger has been providing home care throughout the five boroughs and on Long Island. Ettinger, a trained psychologist, started her business in June of 1989.
A graduate of the Graduate Facility of the New School for School Research and Teacher’s College at Columbia University, Ettinger formerly taught at Hunter College and the Helene Fuld School of Nursing.
With offices in Rego Park and Great Neck, Royal Health Care Services specializes in caring for those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ettinger is also on the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation’s Advisory Board, serving as its chairperson for the last five years. She was honored during the organization’s Remembrance Ball in 2006.

Jean Fleischman, MD
Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Queens Hospital Center

Dr. Jean Fleischman, the Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Queens Hospital Center, has been with the hospital for 20 years. She is also the on-site Director of the hospital’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Training Program. For the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Fleischman is an Associate Director of Medicine, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Associate Professor of Medicine.
Fleischman, a graduate of the New York University School of Medicine, is co-chairperson of the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation’s (HHC) Task Force on Community-Acquired Pneumonia.
In March of 2003, Fleischman was the recipient of Queens Hospital Center’s Doctors’ Day Award and was honored with the HHC President’s Day Award in March of 2004. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 she was recognized as a New York Metro Area Top Doctor.

Patricia Flores
President, Publimax Printing

Publimax Printing President Patricia Flores will be expanding her services and her clients after a recent purchase of a 27,000-square-foot facility. It will be a “full-service print house that includes updated equipment as well as a knowledgeable team of print professionals.” The company is located in Ridgewood.
Flores offers her clients competitive prices while also giving them the best finished product. She accomplishes this through understanding the needs and challenges of each individual.
Born in Lima, Peru, Flores was 17-years-old when she first moved to the United States.

Joann B. Gull
Deputy Executive Director
Elmhurst Hospital Center

Joann B. Gull is the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Nursing Officer at Elmhurst Hospital Center, which is part of New York City’s Health and Hospital Corporation, and has been with the hospital for more than 35 years.
In 1971, Gull began working at the hospital as a staff nurse. In her current position as Chief Nursing Officer, Gull’s responsibilities include overseeing “the operations, administration, clinical training and practice of 1,300 nurses of various titles.” She has also been a mentor to many other nurses.
Gull is a member of the American Nurses Association, American Academy of Medical/Surgical Nurses and New York Organization of Nurse Executives. Among other honors, she received the Outstanding Employee Award from Queens Health Network in 2000 and the End Stage Renal Disease Network Employer Recognition Award in 2005.

Charlesetta Horton
Executive Vice President
CWA Local 1182

Beginning as a union representative with CWA Local 1182 in 1985, Charlesetta Horton was appointed Executive Vice President on January 1, 2006. From 1996 until she was appointed to her current position, she was the Vice President as 2,100 civilians working as enforcement personnel within the New York City Department of Traffic were being transferred to the New York Police Department Traffic Control Division.
Horton initially joined the Department of Traffic in 1983.
As part of her responsibilities as Executive Vice President, Horton attends meeting with city and state officials to work towards the goals getting “higher pay for her membership [and] the passing of a bill which would make civilians who assault NYC Traffic & Sanitation Enforcement Agents subject to felony charges.”

Karen S. Karsif, MD
Director, The Breast Center New York Hospital Queens

Eight years ago, Dr. Karen S. Karsif established The Breast Center at New York Hospital Queens, and currently serves as its director.
Karsif specializes in breast disease medicine. She was recognized through the Gary Clark Stoddard Memorial Award by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for the care that she provides.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Karsif is also an assistant professor of surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
Karsif, who is married with one daughter, is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, and American Society of Breast Disease, among others.

Theresa Kelly
Senior Vice President
Flushing Savings Bank

Since May of 2006, Kelly has been the Senior Vice President of Business Banking at Flushing Savings Bank, where she is “responsible for managing and growing the Business Banking division for the bank.”
Before coming to Flushing Savings Bank, Kelly, who has worked in commercial banking for 22 years, was the Senior Vice President in Commercial Banking for Bank of America and worked for Citibank for 13 years.
Among the many organizations that Kelly is involved in are the American Heart Association, American Cancer Association, Long Island Forum for Technology, New York Development Corp., Long Island Development Corp., National Association of Women Business Owners, and the Long Island Center for Business & Professional Women. She is also a board member of the Long Island chapters of The Risk Management Association and Arthritis Foundation.
Kelly, her husband and their two children live in Smithtown.

Benedetta LeoGrande
Regional Executive
Sovereign Bank

After starting her career in banking in 1985, Benedetta LeoGrande is currently the District Executive of Sovereign Bank’s Queens region. When she first started in the banking industry, LeoGrande worked for CrossLand Savings Bank as a part-time teller.
As the Queens region’s District Executive, LeoGrande is “responsible for overseeing the sales and operational activities of 10 community banking offices throughout the borough.”
LeoGrande has a Bachelor’s degree in computer science that she obtained from New York University.

Mary Anne
Pessolano-Mattone, RN/MPH
President, Queens Borough Library Trustees

Mary Anne Pessolano Mattone is the President of the Queens Borough Library Trustees. Also within the library, she is a member of the Administrative, Finance and Investment, Security, Standards and Building and Grounds Committees.
She joined the family real estate business in 1984. Mattone’s career has included working as a psychiatric nurse, an English teacher for the Iranian Air Force, a research coordinator, the Acting Director of Nursing at NYSPE, and the Co-Director of the Child Depression Clinic and has co-written many scientific articles. She also formerly worked on Wall Street.
Mattone has also dedicated much of her time to being active in various organizations. She has been a Vice President, Treasurer and President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Columbus Citizens Foundation. Along with being involved in numerous other ways, Mattone has also been honored many times for her work.

Marci McCall
Manager of Commercial Sales HIP

Marci McCall joined HIP Health Plan of New York in 2004 and now serves as its Manager of New Business Development. In that role, McCall coordinates community outreach initiatives. She also travels in the community to meet with area business. During such meetings, she informs them about making “educated decisions when purchasing and managing health care plans.”
Previously, McCall ran her own business consulting company, called McCall Enterprises. It provided services specifically for start-up companies and non-profit organizations.
McCall also formerly was the head of a young professional advisory board that had been created in the 1990s by the President of the United States.

Grace Meng
Partner, Law Firm of Yoon & Kim LLP

Along with being a partner in the law firm of Yoon & Kim, LLP, Meng is active within the community. She is the President and Founder of Friends of the Community United & Serve (F.O.C.U.S.) and the President of the Queens Chinese Women’s Association.
Meng’s other involvement includes being a board member of Flushing Hospital Medical Center, American Red Cross, Flushing Savings Bank, and Flushing YMCA.
Previously, Meng was the District Office Administrative and Counsel for New York State Assemblymember Jimmy Meng. Other political campaigns that she was involved with were for Eliot Spitzer, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Fernando Ferrer.
A resident of Flushing, Meng and her husband Wayne have a son, Tyler, and a dog named Bounce.

Melva M. Miller, MSW
Director, Business & Work Force Development, Office of the Queens Borough President

Southeast Queens resident Melva M. Miller has been serving as the Director of Business and Workforce Development as part of the office of Queens Borough President Helen Marshall since July of 2007.
Prior to working in Marshall’s office, Miller was the Executive Director of the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District. In that role, “she created and administered programs that served as catalysts for economic revitalization along Sutphin Boulevard in downtown Jamaica.” At the same time, she was the Project Director of the Downtown Jamaica Cultural District.
Other ways in which Miller has contributed to the community in the past are as the Community Development Coordinator of the Laurelton Local Development Corporation and the Community Organizer of the National Center for Creative Aging.

Dorothy Ogundu, MD
Aki Life Center/AngelDocs

Dr. Ogundu formed the non-profit organization AngelDocs in 1999 and incorporated it in 2003. AngelDocs is a center that provides gynecological care and holistic health care.
A graduate of Loyola (Chicago) University and Chicago Medical School, Ogundu has a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology. She currently has two medical practices in Queens, the Aki Life Health Centers I & II.
Ogundu is also a health advocate who does public speaking, consultant work, organizes health workshops and hosts television and radio programs. She is the chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Southern Queens Park Association-New York and is a member of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and on the Advisory Board for the York College President.

Donna Maggio Reardon
Branch Manager, Prudential Douglas Elliman

Donna Maggio Reardon, who has more than 20 years of experience in the real estate business, is the Branch Manager for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s Bayside office. The Bayside branch, which has a staff of more than 100 licensed salespersons, “constantly ranks in the top 2 percent of the company’s sales success and commands the top market-share position above all Queens realtors.”
Reardon also recruits agents and works as an instructor. She is a member of the Long Island Board of Realtors.
A mother of two and grandmother of three, Reardon is also active in the community, she has coordinated efforts to raise funds for The Sunshine Kids and St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital.

Ada Rodriguez
Chief Marketing Officer Health Plus

After starting to work for Health Plus in 1995, Ada Rodriguez is now its Chief Marketing Officer. Health Plus is “one of the largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance plans in New York City and State.”
When she first joined the company, Rodriguez, who was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in New York City, was a Member Services Representative. In 1997, she was appointed the Marketing Manager for Staten Island and eventually also started to represent South Brooklyn. She became the Director of Marketing in 2000.
In her current position, she “supervises all marketing communications, special events, community relations, and recertification departments, as well as the company’s incoming call center.”
Rodriguez is a member of the Latino Civic Association steering committee, a board member of the Chinatown YMCA and member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Arts Council and Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

Neeta M. Shah, MD, FACP
Vice President of
Women’s Health Services
North Shore-LIJ Health System

Dr. Neeta M. Shah is the Vice President of Women’s Health Services for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. In that role, she is responsible for the coordination and expansion of women’s health services throughout the health system.
Dr. Shah formerly worked at one of the health system’s community hospitals, Forest Hills Hospital, serving as the Vice Chair of Medicine and the Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. She was there from 2000 to 2007.
Among the honors that Dr. Shah, who is board certified in Internal Medicine, has received during her career are an award for outstanding community leadership from Emigrant Savings Bank and a Physician Mentor Recognition Award from the American Medical Association.

Annette Vallone
President, Landrum School of Dance and Precious Moments Nursery School and
Day Care Center

Annette Vallone is the owner of the Landrum School of Dance and the Precious Moments Nursery School and Day Care Center.
A dancer since she was three years old, Vallone, who majored in dance and minored in early childhood education, briefly danced with the Radio City Rockettes. When she was 18 years old, she took over the dance school one day from a sick boss. Vallone’s career in dance has also included choreographing.
Seeing a community need for a day care center, Vallone open the Precious Moments Nursery School and Day Care Center 15 years ago.
Vallone said that it has been an honor for her to be a role model for children.

Lata Singh-Vasconcellos
Chief Marketing &
Development Officer
Queens-Long Island
Medical Group

Lata Singh-Vasconcellos is the Chief Marketing and Development Officer of the Queens-Long Island Medical Group (QLIMG). Singh-Vasconcellos is responsible for “creating the marketing, outreach and development strategies for QLIMG,” which is “the largest physician-owned, multi-specialty medical group in the tri-state area.”
Previously, Singh-Vasconcellos was the Senior Associate Director of External Affairs for Elmhurst Hospital Center and Queens Hospital Center. She also was a member of the press office for formerly New York City Comptrollers Alan Hevesi and Elizabeth Holtzman.
Originally from Guyana, Singh-Vasconcellos came to the United States in 1972 and grew up in East Elmhurst. She has degrees from Bernard Baruch College and John Jay College.

Martha Wolf
Director, Granat Alzheimer Center at Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation

Martha Wolf, a native of North Carolina, has been the Director of the Granat Alzheimer Center at the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation for more than nine years. Her responsibilities include managing the center, facilitating support groups, giving lectures, and assisting with providing community outreach opportunities for geriatric fellows.
Past positions that Wolf has held are the Behavior Modification Facilitator at the Walter E. Fernald State School, Adjustment Coordinator and Evaluator at Durham Exchange Club Industries, Inc., and Director of the Day Treatment Program with Professional Services for the Handicapped, among others.
Wolf’s involvement includes being a member of the Queens County Geriatric Mental Health Committee and Vice President of the Northern Queens Health Coalition Board of Directors.

Commerce Bank WOW Award
Margaret Zarzana-Vitale
Assistant Vice President
Commerce Bank

First joining Commerce Bank in 2005, Margaret Zarzana-Vitale is the Assistant Vice President and Manager of Commerce Bank in Bayside, which opened in December of 2005. Zarzana-Vitale’s responsibilities include new business development, consumer lending, managing personnel and day-to-day store operations.
In 1988, she began her career as a teller.
Zarzana-Vitale’s community involvement includes being the President and board member of Flushing Rotary, a committee member of Queens Theatre in the Park, committee member of Flushing Town Hall, and member of Gift of Life. She also supports the Ronald McDonald House and Bayside Historical Society.

The Claire Shulman Award
Susan Baer
General Manager
JFK International Airport, Port Authority of NY & NJ

Susan M. Baer is the General Manager of John F. Kennedy International Airport, Port Authority of NY & NJ, and is the first woman to manage one of the airports.
Baer’s career with Port Authority began 32 years ago when she was a management analyst. Other past positions she held were manager of the Public Services Division of the Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Department, manager of the Lincoln Tunnel, manager of the midtown Manhattan Port Authority Bus Terminal, and General Manager of Aviation Customer and Marketing Services. She has managed airports such as LaGuardia, Newark and Teterboro.
As General Manager of JFK, Baer’s duties including overseeing the 700-member staff and managing the international and domestic airport, which on an annual basis handles 42 million passengers, 1.8 million tons of cargo and 320,000 aircrafts.


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