Seventh Annual ‘Top Women in Business’ honorees

The Queens Courier, Queens Business Today and more than 800 people will gather once again at the American Airlines 7th Annual Top Women in Business Networking Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 2 to honor New York Metro area women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within their business and local communities.

To purchase tickets online click here and to learn more about the event click here.

The following are this year’s honorees:

Rosanna Scotto

Co-host, “Good Day New York”

“Top Woman of the Year”

Rosanna Scotto is the co-host of “Good Day New York.” She has been a member of WNYW-FOX 5 News since 1986.

She began her career in television at WTBS in Atlanta, where she was a reporter for two local programs and an associate producer of the station’s evening newscast. She returned to her native New York in the early 1980s as a reporter for WABC’s "Good Morning New York," which eventually became "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee." After a year with "Good Morning New York" and "The Morning Show," Scotto joined WABC-TV’s "Eyewitness News" as a reporter, where she remained until she joined FOX 5.

Having covered many major stories in the tri-state area, her assignments have also taken her to Israel, Rome and across the United States.

She has won three Emmys for anchoring “FOX 5 News at 10” and “Good Day New York.” She also received the 1995 New York State Associated Press First Place Award for her report "New York Survival Guide” and three other Associated Press First Place Awards.

For her community service work, Scotto has received a host of honors and awards. She is a graduate of Catholic University and holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Scotto lives in the New York area with her husband and their two children.

Candida Romanelli

Show Director

New York International Automobile Show

Candida Romanelli has been the Show Director for the New York International Automobile Show (NYIAS) since 1992, is Vice President of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) and Vice President of the Center for Automotive Education & Training.

Under her guidance, NYIAS has grown substantially, gained international recognition and is listed as one of the premier events on the worldwide automotive calendar. Romanelli’s responsibilities include overall planning and strategy; floor planning; marketing the show to exhibitors, the industry and the public; planning and directing the show’s advertising and public relations campaigns; and developing cross-promotions, special events and sponsorships. Romanelli is the direct contact with automobile manufacturers and their various departments and has a full-time staff of five.

Since 1962, Romanelli has been a dedicated NYIAS visitor. Not only does she possess a hands–on knowledge of cars, but she has also developed her hobby into a keen understanding of the industry itself. Additionally, Romenelli’s position with the GNYADA places her among the highest ranking and most influential women in the auto show field.

Romanelli is also involved with philanthropies ranging from the South Bronx’s East Side House Settlement to the LeMay Classic Car Museum.

Debra Pagano Cohen

Director of Community and Government Affairs

New York Hospital Queens

Debra Pagano Cohen began volunteering when she was a teenager at Orange Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, where she was born and raised, and where she would eventually train to become a nurse.

After marriage, she moved to Queens, and obtained an associate degree in applied science at Queens Borough Community College. Cohen continued her studies at Adelphi University, earning a Master’s degree in Nursing.

During her career, Cohen worked in a variety of capacities, including critical care nurse in a coronary care unit, director of quality improvement and as a nursing professor at Queens Borough Community College. She is certified by the Healthcare Quality Certification Board. In 1996, she was promoted to director of community relations at St. John’s Queens Hospital in Elmhurst.

Cohen attended the Citizens’ Police Academy in 2001 and delivered the valedictory speech. While at St. John’s, she was President of the 110th Precinct Community Council from 2003 to 2008. She served on the boards of the New York Irish Center and the American Lung Association.

She has received awards from the NYPD, Borough President of Queens, the City Council and the Lions Club for her community and charitable work.

Cohen is currently the Director of Community and Government Affairs at New York Hospital Queens. She is active with Community Board #7 and the Queens Chamber of Commerce, where she is a member of the Communication and Public Affairs Committee.

She serves on the Queens Chapter for the Arthritis Foundation and is a member of Queens Borough President Helen Marshall’s Health Care Task Force.

Dolores M. Hofman

Program Manager

Queens Air Services Development Office (ASDO)

Dolores Hofman, better known as the “Airport Matchmaker,” became the Program Manager of the Queens Air Services Development Office (ASDO) in 1991. She matches the purchasing needs of the aviation industry at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports with the broad range of goods and services readily available from local businesses.

Hofman started her aviation career with Pan American World Airways and became the first female at JFK licensed to operate a forklift before rising through the ranks of the Cargo, Material and Personnel Departments. In 1989 she left Pan Am to run Evergreen Airlines’ Personnel Department at JFK.

During Hofman’s tenure, she has been involved with numerous public and civic-minded organizations. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Air Cargo Association, is a member of the JFK Catholic Guild, served on the Board for the Animal Protection Institute of America, was a member of the steering committee for the JFK Career Center and is Past President of Animal Lifeline.

In 1997, she received the Bishop Wright Air Industry Award naming her their “Woman of the Year,” and in 2003, was named “Woman of the Year” by Our Lady of the Skies Catholic Chapel, making her the first recipient of both prestigious airport awards. In addition, in 2004 she received the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts’ Leadership Award.



Parker Jewish Institute’s Comprehensive Hospice

Donna Brook is the Director of Parker Jewish Institute’s Comprehensive Community Hospice, a program dedicated to superior end-of-life care, serving Queens and Nassau. As the Director, Brook oversees operations of the hospice program and balances the delicate needs of the patients and families served by the hospice program. Brook provides comprehensive end-of-life training to clinical and non-clinical staff at Parker, and shares this knowledge with other facilities.

Brook is a registered nurse with extensive experience working with clients in crisis and transition. After working in healthcare in a variety of capacities, she returned to school to pursue an education in nursing. During her career as an oncology nurse, she realized her passion for working with terminally ill patients. It was at that time she began her career in hospice at Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, in August of 1997, as the hospice program was launched.

She is certified in hospice and palliative care nursing through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is an active member of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association, the American Holistic Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau.

In addition to her professional life, Brook spends time raising two beautiful daughters, both of whom are college students. She is a certified yoga instructor, and enjoys helping others to achieve balance in their lives.

Doris Mellina

Director of Public Relations/Business Development Officer

The Greater New York Development Company

Doris Mellina is the Director of Public Relations and the Business Development Officer of The Greater New York Development Company (GNYDC). Mellina has made it her duty to help small businesses and non-profits advance through the company’s diverse loan programs by developing and executing marketing plans and strategies. She serves as the ‘Right Hand’ to GNYDC’s President and CEO, overseeing the company’s daily operations.

Mellina is involved in community service, currently serving a second term as President of the Distinguished LaGuardia Kiwanis Club, through which she organizes fund-raisers and weekly meetings and presides over the Club’s board of directors, assigning committees, programs and goals. The club’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of children through various community outreach programs.

Mellina also sits on the Board of Directors for the Kiwanis Queens West Foundation and

is the recipient of The Father Billini Cultural Association Award, Queens Borough Outstanding Citizen Award, Kiwanis NY District Anton J. Kaiser Fellowship Award, and Kiwanis International Distinguished President Award. In addition, she is an active member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, JFK Chamber, Flushing Chamber and LI City Business Development Corp.

Mellina is the mother of four children and the proud grandmother of five. After raising her family, she returned to college to study marketing, business management, art and design.

Elizabeth Field-Hendrey

Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Economics

Queens College, CUNY

Elizabeth “Betsy” Hendrey has been the Dean of Social Sciences at Queens College since 2005. As dean, she oversees ten departments, including all of the college’s business programs.

Hendrey attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1977. She did her graduate and postgraduate work at Duke University, earning her Masters in 1981 and Doctorate in Economics in 1985.

She taught at Florida State and Hamilton College and served as Chief Economist for the Office of Planning and Research in the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, before returning north.

Hendrey joined the Queens College Economics Department in 1989, serving as chair from 2001-5. As chair, she inaugurated a selective business program leading to a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree, with majors in finance, international business and actuarial studies for business.

As dean, she oversees ten departments at the college, including all of the business programs, including both undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting; the BBA program; economics; the Business and Liberal Arts (BALA) honors minor and the most recent addition, the Schutzman Entrepreneurship Center.

She is currently developing a masters program in enterprise risk management, with concentrations in accounting, finance and dynamic financial analysis modeling.

Hendrey has built connections between the college and the Queens business community, inaugurating the Queens College Business Forum in 2005. The forum brings business and community leaders from around the borough to campus to discuss issues vital to the future of Queens.

She is married to Queens College Distinguished Professor George Hendrey; they have three children.

Hemel Meghani Cosme

Owner and Director

Alley Pond Tennis Center

Hemel Meghani Cosme is the Owner and Director of the Alley Pond Tennis Center, located in Queens Village.

She is the only female Indian woman operating one of the largest public facilities in the country.

She is a graduate of the University of California – Santa Barbara; a former world- ranked tennis player; and the former Director of the Central Park Tennis Center in Manhattan, the largest municipal tennis facility in the country.

She has served as Treasurer of the USTA Metro Management Committee and the recipient of many awards.

Cosme has been responsible for putting Alley Pond Tennis Center on the map by running affordable tennis programs for all levels and ages and by hosting national-level tennis tournaments.

Captain Jennifer L. Mondido

Operations Officer

The New York City Recruiting Battalion

Captain Jennifer L. Mondido a native of Staten Island, assumed position as the Operations Officer of the New York City Recruiting Battalion on December 17, 2007, with seven years of active and two years for reserve service as an enlisted soldier and commissioned officer.

Mondido first enlisted in March 1999 as an Automated Logistics Specialist and served with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion, Fort Dix, NJ. She then received an ROTC scholarship from the Scarlet Knight Battalion, Rutgers University.

Mondido holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Project Management from University of Maryland.

Commissioned an Aviation officer in July 2002 she successfully graduated flight school in Fort Rucker, AL and was rated in both the UH-60A/L and OH-58A/C aircraft.

She was assigned to 2-10th Aviation Regiment, Fort Drum, NY and served with the 10th Mountain Division as a Flight Platoon Leader, Headquarters Company Executive Officer and Training Officer.

She deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VII as a Flight Company Executive Officer, Task Force Centaur successfully flying over 200 combat hours in Air Support, Air Assault, VIP and HERO missions.

Kathleen Pettit

Director of Sales and Marketing

Crowne Plaza New York LaGuardia Airport Hotel

Kathleen Pettit is the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Crowne Plaza New York LaGuardia Airport Hotel and has been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years.

Pettit was recently promoted to Regional Director of Sales, now overseeing the brand new Hampton Inn New York LaGuardia Airport Hotel. This is the first Hilton hotel in the LaGuardia Airport Area.

Recently, Pettiit received special recognition from US Airways for setting up the Family Readiness Center for the family and passengers of those on the plane that landed in the Hudson River.

Last year, she received an honor for spearheading the campaign along with Congressmember Joseph Crowley for raising the government per diem rates for all hotels for the borough of Queens.

She has a passion for the hotel business and is a member of many organizations in the borough.

Some of these organizations include the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Economic Development Corporation, The LaGuardia Airport Airline Management Council, North Beach Club, Long Island City Business Development Corporation and a number of other organizations. She has been recognized not only by her company but by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), many times and by her clients.

Lillie Manjarrez

Community Relations Area

National Grid

Lillie Manjarrez joined National Grid’s Community Relations Area in 2002. She is responsible for taking a leadership role in the communities it serves by forming valuable partnerships in an effort to meet the needs of its growing diverse customer base where it operates, while playing the role of safeguarding the global environment for the future.

Manjarrez started at National Grid as a college intern and then joined as a full-time employee after completing her Associate degree from Staten Island College. While working full time, she completed her Bachelor degree at Herbert Lehman City College with a double major in Political Science & Philosophy. Lillie has attended the Long Island University Graduate Business Administration Program, and the Leadership Development Program at the Harvard Business School.

She has over 25 years experience in the energy industry, having held several roles in various areas of the company.

Manjarrez was a founding member of National Grid Hispanic Leadership Organization, an employee affinity and network group.

She was born in Ecuador and emigrated to New York City at the age of 15 with her parents. She lives with her daughter Sarah, who is currently a sophomore at Colby College in Maine.

Linda D. Rappaport

Licensed Real Estate Broker, Vice President

Greenthal Property Sales

Linda Rappaport is currently the on-site, licensed Real Estate Broker at North Shore Towers and Country Club for Charles H. Greenthal Property Sales, a position she has held for the last 15 years. Her personal experience as a 21-year Towers resident provides invaluable benefit to those looking for insight and information about the community.

Rappaport is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the New York State Association of Realtors and the Long Island Board of Realtors. She is a past President of the Women’s Council of Realtors and her chapter won a national award for recruitment and the “Women’s Council of Realtors Chapter Excellence Award” during her presidency in 2004. Rappaport continues to play an active role in the organization, recently being awarded the “2008 Member of the Year Award.”

Being concerned about our environment, she became certified as an Eco Broker. She graciously sponsors and is involved with many charities including the United Jewish Appeal, Babes Zaharias, and is an active member of Hadassah.

Rappaport feels that the greatest of her many accomplishments to date has been being a mother to her son Tony and a wife to her husband Dennis. She is forever grateful to the wonderful childhood and the upbringing her parents Carole and Stanley Goldich provided to her.

Linda Spiegel

Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and

Beth Abraham Family of Health Services

Linda Spiegel serves a dual role as the Director of Public Affairs/Volunteer Services for the Margaret Tietz Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and as Queens Regional Marketing Manager for the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, Tietz Center’s parent organization.

Spiegel has an unwavering commitment to the quality and innovative care afforded to the senior population in Queens. As the provision of health care has grown, Spiegel has been responsible for the creative, strategic and effective marketing plan for Tietz. From making last wishes come true at the Tietz Center Hospice unit to creating innovative intergenerational programs, Spiegel’s innovative public relations style and close relationships with community leaders is credited with branding the Tietz name and opening its doors to varied ethnic communities.

A proponent of mentoring, she has created avenues for more than 300 volunteers at all levels, backgrounds and abilities.

Spiegel was recently honored by the Holocaust Resource Center and Archives. The Summit School, Queens School for Career Development and AABR also awarded her recognition for volunteer opportunities for individuals with special needs.

She sits on the board of the Queens Jewish Community Council, Hillcrest High School and has developed special relationships with The Holocaust Resource Center, Queens Theatre in the Park and QPTV.

Spiegel grew up in Bayside and currently resides in Bay Terrace with her husband Ted and daughter Sara.

Louise M. Malone

Chief Operating Officer

Queens-Long Island Medical Group

Louise M. Malone, RN, MBA, currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Queens-Long Island Medical Group (QLIMG), the largest physician-owned medical practice group in the region.

QLIMG is comprised of more than 300 primary and specialty-care physicians, 1,800 employees and 22 multi-specialty medical offices located throughout Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties. Malone’s responsibilities encompass oversight and improvement of medical office operations, facilities management, staff management, referral management, utilization management, medical records, risk management, Electronic Medical Records implementation, corporate compliance and provider credentialing.

Prior to her role as COO, Malone served as the Director of Quality Improvement and Risk Management for the Group. Preceding her posts at QLIMG, Malone served as Director of Quality and Risk Management for Long Beach Medical Center. She has served as Chief Executive Officer of NYSARC MSO; Site Administrator for the Damian Family Care Center in Jamaica; she held various administrative and management positions for the Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens as well as being a Health Care Management Consultant to many leading local and national health care organizations.

Malone has been married to her husband Jack for 24 years and has two sons Brendan and Daniel.

Lydia Sarfati,

President and Founder


The founder and CEO of the first company to bring seaweed-based skincare treatments and cosmetics to fruition in the U.S market, Lydia Sarfati is an international spa industry leader. Sarfati is the founding President of the Esthetics Manufacturer and Distributor Alliance, Director of the Skin Care Council of Intercoiffure America and Canada and is the honorary chair of EstheticsAmerica/CIDESCO USA.

Sarfati pioneered the field of esthetics in the U.S. and is the developer of the world-renowned Repêchage® Four Layer Facial®, offered in 30 countries. She presides over a 50,000 square foot manufacturing, research and development and training facility in Secaucus, NJ.

Sarfati opened the first day spa in Manhattan in 1977 and her Spa de Beauté Concept is now established at over 150 salons worldwide. Additinally, she is a spa consultant for top destinations, appearing nationally and internationally at esthetic trade shows, and her overseas conferences have taken place in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central America and South Africa.

Sarfati is a prolific writer, a contributing editor for Les Nouvelles Esthetique and Skin Inc. Magazine and author of “Success at Your Fingertips” published by Allured. Recently, she launched the Lydia Sarfati Signature Collection Spa Furnishings by Belvedere.

Maria A. Thomson

Executive Director

Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation

The Woodhaven Business Improvement District

Maria A. Thomson began her community activism over 30 years ago because of an arson fire at her local library. Since she lived close by, she was very concerned about the library’s renovation. This fire was the catalyst for her contacting the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA).

She has been involved for 20 years now, including six as President. During her time some of its accomplishments included keeping a bar from reopening that was the scene of two homicides; reporting over 1,000 illegal conversions in the community; gaining a Real Estate Non-Solicitation Order for Queens and, when this was struck down, gaining a Cease and Desist Order that is still in place; and founding the Woodhaven Residents’ Security Patrol.

Thomson then became involved with the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation (GWDC), which evolved from the WRBA and works for stores and businesses throughout Woodhaven. She became the Executive Director of the GWDC 20 years ago. The Woodhaven Business Improvement District (WBID), which she was a founding member, was formed 13 years ago.

Thomson has been involved with Jamaica Hospital for the last 21 years and with Forest park for the last 20 years.

She is also now serving as President of the 102nd Precinct Community Council. She has been a member of Community Board #9 for 24 years.

Mary K. Hughes

Vice President of Leasing

Cord Meyer Development LLC

A native of Queens, Mary K. Hughes attended the Wood Business School, where she received her Degree in Business in 1978. She worked for the Hertz Corporation, Bankers Trust, and the Earl Harris HIP Medical Center before joining Cord Meyer.

Hughes joined Cord Meyer as an administrative Assistant in March 1987, and earned her real estate brokers license. She became the second woman officer in Cord Meyer’s history in 2000.

The chief responsibility of Mary K. Hughes, vice president of leasing for Cord Meyer Development LLC goes to the core of the firm’s business – leasing. It is her job to find the best possible tenants for Cord Meyer and its affiliated companies. In addition, to ensure that all of their properties are occupied under leases that benefit and protect both her company and its tenants. Hughes is responsible for approximately 700,000 square feet of commercial retail/office space throughout Queens, including, The Bay Terrace, Cord Meyer’s lifestyle shopping center and crown jewel, which maintains a high occupancy rate with many of the nation’s most prominent retailers.

She and her husband Tom live in Centereach, Long Island, NY. They have two daughters, Kerri, who attends St. Johns University and Tara Tomeo, who just celebrated her wedding in October 2008, welcoming Nick as her new son-in-law.

Mary Maisano

Director of Finance and Operations

Garden School

Mary Maisano, the Director of Finance and Operations at Jackson Heights’ Garden School, came to the world of education after twenty-plus years in the world of business. Having gotten her start in retail, Maisano went on to real estate and then spent a few years in the frenetic and competitive fashion world.

Maisano’s time in the garment industry taught her about business survival, contracts, pricing, competition, negotiation and toughness — qualities necessary for a successful business career as well as for the competitive world of independent schools. What added to her profile as a businesswoman was that Maisano established her own business once she left her career in fashion; from this she learned about balancing the strength she had already developed with a more face to face understanding of the individual client.

With a degree from Hunter College, Maisano has held her position at Garden School for 16 years, having guided the school’s finances through many economic environments. Her work in human resources has added greatly to the faculty and staff benefits package; her skill with developing after-school programs has enlarged the educational scope of the school’s offerings; and her business savvy has allowed her to run Garden School’s food service program as well as its bus company.

Maisano represents the perfect blend of business skill, toughness, compassion and realism that all organizations need to be successful.

Maureen O’Connor

Chief Operating Officer

Queens Library System

Maureen O’Connor is the Chief Operating Officer for the Queens Library System in New York City. In that senior management role she oversees the day-to-day operations of the Central Library, the library’s 62 local community libraries, seven adult learning centers and the 28,000 programs and service sessions conducted annually.

In a professional library career spanning nearly 30 years, O’Connor has held a number of senior management positions. She joined the Queens Library as Director of Programs and Services in February 2000 and was responsible for providing educational, cultural and outreach programs to the Library’s 63 locations.

In July 2004, O’Connor was also named Interim Director of Branch Operations, where she was responsible for the operations, budgeting and staffing of all community libraries supervising more than 500 employees. In June 2005, she was promoted to Directory of Library Services.

Prior to coming to Queens Library, O’Connor worked at the New York State Education Department’s Division of Library Development as Program Officer for State and Federal library literacy grant programs. She also spent 10 years as the Deputy Director of the Albany, New York Public Library.

Myra Baird Herce


Flushing Chamber of Commerce

When you think Flushing, you think Myra Baird Herce.

Baird Herce is the Co-President of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce, and she has been involved in the area serving the community in many different capacities with the same goal in mind – bettering the Flushing Community.

As Co-President of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce, Baird Herce works hard to promote quality development inside the area, and she has recently advocated for a number of projects that would improve the area including Willets Point, Flushing Commons and Sky View Parc. In addition, she promotes the cultural and historical sites in the neighborhood hoping to attract more tourists to Flushing.

In addition to advocating for a stronger business community in Flushing, Baird Herce is a member of many local organizations. She is a member of the New York Hospital Queens Advisory Board, Flushing Hospital Community Advisory Board, Flushing Town Hall, Bowne House, Bayside Historical Society and Queens Botanical Garden.

Previously, Baird Herce served as the Chair of Queens Community Board 7 and the Executive Director of the Downtown Flushing Development Corporation.

Nancy Shannon

Director of Environment, Health and Safety Programs

Con Edison Company of New York, Inc.

Nancy Shannon is the Director of Environment, Health, and Safety (EH&S) Programs at Con Edison. She joined the company in 1989, and she has held a variety of positions in her 20-year career.

Currently, Shannon is responsible for managing the company’s EH&S programs, which includes developing and maintaining the company’s EH&S procedures, training and communication in order to keep the workforce safe and environmentally excellent. She is also responsible for managing the company’s EH&S risk management program as well as EH&S information management systems.

Shannon is an advocate for women in the company and serves as a mentor and coach to many. She was born and raised in Queens. A graduate of The Mary Louis Academy and St John’s University, she currently resides in Bayside with her two sons.

Patricia Bolanos

Assistant Vice President, Store Manager

TD Bank, Forest Hills, Metropolitan Avenue

Bolanos joined TD Bank in 2006 to help expand the TD brand into the Queens region and has played a key role in the bank’s success in the borough. As the Store Manager of the Forest Hills, Metropolitan Avenue location, Bolanos is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of her store and oversees a staff of twenty-two.

Having spent twelve years in the banking industry, Bolanos’ greatest attribute is her ability to develop new relationships, while expanding and retaining existing ones.

Prior to joining TD Bank, she worked as a teller, an assistant manager, and branch manager. In all of her roles, she has maintained positive relationships with her clients and has made an impact within her community. She worked her way through the banking industry and has a sound understanding of what it takes to be successful as a banker and a businesswoman.

Over her long tenure working and living in Queens, Bolanos has supported numerous civic, community and non-profit organizations including the Queens Economic Development Corporation, KidzCare, Forest Hills Civic Association, Our Lady of Mercy School and Forest Hills Community House. She is currently working on starting a Forest Hills Kiwanis Club and also has served as a sponsor for Queens Restaurant Week and Forest Hills Community House’s Wine Tasting Event.

Bolanos resides in Queens with her two daughters.

Patricia Mezeul

Senior Vice President and Director of Government Banking

Flushing Commercial Bank

Patricia Mezeul has been in banking for over 30 years. Her banking career started with NatWest/Fleet Bank in Melville, where she began as a merchant sales representative implementing their credit card program.

In 1986, Mezeul was promoted to Assistant Vice President, Professional Banking, specializing in serving the Doctor, Dentist, CPA and Attorney segments. In 1989 she was promoted to Vice President and was responsible for developing financial relationships with various governmental entities.

She was recruited by Commerce Bank and served as their Vice President and Government Banking Team Leader for Long Island. For the next five years she grew the banking relationships with over 150 governmental entities from $80 million to well over $1 billion in deposits.

In 2008, Mezeul joined Flushing Commercial Bank in Lake Success as a Senior Vice President and Director of Government Banking.

Outside of her banking career, Mezeul has been active in the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor’s Committee Against Family Violence and has served as its Secretary for over a decade.

She remains an active member of many organizations, including the New York Bankers Association on its Municipal Finance Committee, the Nassau Association of School Business Officials, Suffolk Association of School Business Officials, Long Island Village Clerk and Treasurers Association and the NYS Government Finance Officers’ Association.

Pat Thompson

Customer Service/Public Relations Manager


Patricia (Pat) Thompson-Shepard is the Customer Service/Public Relations Manager at Bombardier at JFK Airport. She oversees the customer service team for AirTrain JFK and is a public relations liaison with the Port Authority of NYNJ.

Thompson is responsible for the customer service that is provided to an average of 52,000 passengers that use the AirTrain service 24/7, 365 days each year. This customer service includes the staff helping customers navigate their way to, from and around the AirTrain system and assisting with trouble shooting that keeps the system safe, available and accessible.

Prior to joining the Bombardier team at JFK Airport in 2003, Thompson had a very successful career at AT&T, Lucent and Avaya in telecommunication. She started her business career after college in customer service, advancing in this area.

Thompson attributes her success to her faith and is proud of her work at her church, Canaan Baptist Church of Christ. She works with the Social Action Commission ministry and has served in various leadership roles of this ministry for more than 25 years. She is married to retired NYC police officer William Shepard and they have two adult daughters, Ingrid and Nicole, and one teenage granddaughter, Bria. Thompson gives a special thank you to her husband for his patience, support and strength.

Pilar Michaelides

Vice President and Senior Lending Officer

First Central Savings Bank

Pilar Michaelides is the Vice President and Senior Lending Officer for First Central Savings Bank (FCSB).

When FCSB first opened itsdoors in 1999 Michaelides started as a teller. She quickly grew with the company and is a woman who regards her job with the highest of standards and with the utmost importance.

Serving as Senior Lending Officer for the Lending Department has allowed her to be an asset not only to the Loan Administration Department, but to all other departments within the organization as well.

Michaelides also serves as the Administrative Assistant to Joseph Pistilli, First Central Savings Bank’s CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board.

Known within the community for her close ties to Astoria as well as Glen Cove, Long Island she is also an avid fundraiser for several community-based organizations.

Not only does Michaelides dedicate her time to all of this, but she is a mentor to all her staff and is a staple for newcomers to this organization.

Born and raised in Queens, Michaelides earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Queens College and resides with her husband, Michael, in Elmhurst.

Roslyn D. Goldmacher


Greater New York Development Co.

Roslyn D. Goldmacher is Founder/President/CEO of the 30-year-old Greater New York Development Co. (GNYDC) family of 501C3 non-profit economic development organizations.

GNYDC has made over $1 billion in direct loans to small businesses and nonprofits, leveraged an additional $3 billion in other capital, obtained over $1.8 billion in contracts for entrepreneurs and created/retained over 50,000 jobs for the community. GNYDC provides low-cost financing and free technical assistance to small businesses and not-for-profits in the Metropolitan area. Major programs include Small Business Association (SBA) 504 low down payment second mortgage loans to acquire and renovate capital projects, new market loans for acquisition and refinancing of real estate and free counseling to obtain government and private sector contracts.

Goldmacher sits on a number of national, regional and local boards of directors including those of the national fiscal agent for the SBA 504 loan program overseeing some $500 million of bond sales each month, the NY Governor’s Incubator Task Force & Regional Economic Development Parnership and the Long Island Business Development Council.

Goldmacher has received numerous honors for her work. She is a regular columnist for the NY Real Estate Journal, Networking Magazine, and The Queens Courier and is often quoted for her knowledge of economic development, business issues and philanthropy.

Stefanie F. Handsman

Managing Director & Senior Vice President

Herald National Bank

Stefanie Handsman is a Managing Director and Senior Vice President for Herald National Bank. As such, she is responsible for managing and maintaining the client relationships that drive Herald National Bank’s business model.

A native of Queens, Handsman has been serving business and personal banking clients in the New York metro area for more than 20 years.

Prior to joining Herald National Bank in October 2008, she oversaw the business banking activities of many of Bank of America’s clients as Senior Vice President. As team leader for Bank of New York’s Business Banking Group, she played an integral role in transitioning and integrating her division within JPMorganChase following the acquisition of the bank in 2006.

Handsman began her career in banking as a teller at Citibank while still in college. She would later join Citibank’s management training program, ultimately advancing to the role of Assistant Vice President before departing the bank in 1999.

She received a B.S. in Accounting from Brooklyn College. She remains very active in community affairs, and most recently served as the Board Chair of the Queens Botanical Garden.

Tina Lee

Vice President

Cooper Investors

As Vice President of Cooper Investors, Tina Lee oversees real estate investments in North America and Asia and the operations of the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing.

She is also Executive Director of World Journal, the largest Chinese language daily newspaper in North America. Prior to becoming Executive Director in 2009, Lee served as World Journal’s Executive Vice President responsible for overseeing all aspects of operations, corporate policy, marketing and community relations.

She is on the board of trustees of the American Red Cross in Greater NY and chair of its Queens Advisory Board. Lee is a member of the board of trustees of Scholarship America and chair of its Dollars for Scholars committee. She is also president of the Greater NY Chinese Community Dollars for Scholars chapter.

In 2008, Lee was selected as a New York State Women of Excellence honoree — the first Asian honoree.

Lee is a graduate of Stanford Law School and a member of the New York Bar Association. She earned her undergraduate degree in Finance and International Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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