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Photo by Benno Klandt
Photo by Benno Klandt

Leading business professionals in Nassau and Suffolk counties were given the Hollywood treatment during the Star Network’s first “Long Island Power Women of Business” gala on Thursday night at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck.

The event marked the Star Network’s first venture in Long Island, and with more than 700 in attendance Thursday night, it figures that many more events east of Queens County are in the network’s future.

The Queens Courier co-sponsored the Power Women in Business event, and Co-Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis was on hand to greet the 45 women recognized at the gala for their business experience and contributions to their communities.

“You are here tonight because of the differences you have made in your business fields and the world we’re in,” she said, noting that the Star Network and The Queens Courier previously held networking events honoring businesswomen in Queens for the last 15 years. “We are so thrilled to bring our Power Women of Long Island event to you.”

The honorees included a number of women who built their businesses almost from the ground up such as Joni Migliaccio, president of AMG Demolition, which she founded after losing her husband. The company now holds active demolition contracts with several New York City agencies.

Others included those active in charity after suffering personal loss. Jacquelyn Hance, co-president of the Hance Family Foundation, started the organization with her husband after losing their three children in a car accident several years ago. Susan Helsinger, a broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, launched The Jason F. Gruen Research Foundation after losing her teenage son to heart disease. The charity raises funds for pediatric heart disease research.

The additional honorees included Dr. Nada Marie Assaf Anid of the New York Institute of Technology; Virginia Belling of New York Community Bank; Dr. Vivien Boniuk of Queens Hospital Center; Lois Christie, president of Christie & Co. Salon-Spa, Dr. Kimberly Cline, president of Long Island University; Dr. Svetlana Danovich of SD Surgical Arts; Sharon Davis-Edwards of SJ Edwards Inc.; Rachael Doukas of Doukas Media Inc.; Pouran Eshghi, president of Pouran Salon & Spa; Denise Savino-Erichsen, president of Automatic Industries; Michelle Farrell of Grassi & Co.; Elizabeth Forspan of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates; Esther Fortunoff, CEO of Fortunoff Fine Jewelry; Diane Giordano of Marcum LLP; Carlita Griffith of NYS Office of Mental Health; Maria Grasso of Flushing Bank; Julie A. Harnisher of Population Health Long Island FQHC; Mary Hauptman, CEO of Hauptman Realty; Patty Hoffman of People’s United Bank; Rhonda Klch, CEO of Equity First; Janet Koch, CEO of Life’s WORC; Ashley Linker, owner of Prime Title; Anita Marco, president of The Print Cafe Inc.; Linda Marra, president of Ladmar Associates LLC; Desiree Merrell of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children; Kathy Munsch of the American Heart Association; Hillary Needle, president of Hillary Needle Events Inc.; Edith O’Donnell, CEO of Lyons Mortgage Services Inc.; Dr. Leah Ottenbreit of Central Vet Associates; Kathy Pappas of National Income; Jodi Bloom-Piccione of Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP; Linda D. Rappaport of Charles H. Greenthal Property Sales; Jennifer Reilly, founder of the Reilly Law Group PC; Dr. Corrine E. Renee of New York Foot and Ankle Co.; Linda Ressa of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Margueritta Steele of New York Life Securities LLC; Marilyn Tolchin, president/CEO of Hampton House Properties; Dr. Elizabeth Venuti of the Hofstra University Frank G. Zarb School of Business; Laura Weinberg, president of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition; Tanya Whittmore of Healthfirst; Ping Zhang of Nefeli Corp.; and Daphne Zhou Chan, president and COO of Harvest International.

Each of the honorees got to walk a ceremonial red carpet in picking up their awards. They also enjoyed a cocktail hour, dinner and a “flash makeup” table hosted by Christie & Co. Salon and Spa representatives.

Guests also purchased raffle tickets for prizes, with all proceeds donated to three local charities: the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition, the Hance Family Foundation and Life’s WORC.

Tai Hernandez of ABC News served as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

The event’s co-sponsors included Hofstra University, Flushing Bank, New York Community Bank, Elmhurst Hospital Center, People’s United Bank, Raich, Ende & Malter Co. LLP, Christie Co. Salon and Spa, Long Island University, Grassi and Co., Lyons Mortgage Services, Healthfirst, Godiva Chocolatier, Loreal, Broadway Stages, Life’s WORC, Sandwire, St. Mary’s Healthcare for Children, Fortunoff Fine Jewelry, LI K98.3 FM radio, WALK 97.5 FM Radio, New York Daily News, Medcast Plus and National Income.

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