Quantcast

‘Rising Stars’ honored next week

It is time for the stars to shine again in 2010.
The Queens Courier is recognizing the 40 young professionals below who exemplify outstanding leadership skills, not only in their chosen fields, but also in their community, at the second annual “Rising Stars” Awards and networking event, to be held at Queens Theatre in the Park on February 4.
For more information on the second annual “Rising Stars” Awards and networking event, or to purchase tickets, contact Maria Romero at 718-224-5863, Ext. 226 or email mromero@queenscourier.com.
Allison Du Val
Event Planner
At an early age, the owner and manager of The Foundry, Allison Du Val, fell in love with entertaining. She credits her passion to her Australian grandmother’s flair for cooking and throwing parties; her experience in theatre and set design; producing club events and dance parties; and her enthusiasm for fashion and music.
Since opening the doors of The Foundry in 2001, she has brought her considerable talents and energy to throwing a wide range of events in the space.
Du Val has hosted product launches, non-profit gala events, fashion shows, corporate events, birthday parties and countless weddings.
The Foundry has gained acclaim from clients and vendors alike, and is currently voted as number one of the “Top 10 NYC Wedding Locations” on About.com. High-end studio clients frequently tap The Foundry as a location for photo and film shoots. Du Val has collaborated with production crews in such recent shows as “Gossip Girl,” “Sesame Street,” “Billboard Live,” The Food Network, “White Collar,” “The Sopranos” and “Sex and The City.”
Admired for her diverse skill set and creativity, Du Val is well versed in a wide range of responsibilities. With an appetite for attention to detail, she credits her business success to her desire to make every event an unforgettable experience. More importantly, her sensitive collaborative style uniquely brings out and expresses each client’s individual needs.
When not renting the space out to clients, Du Val continues to host her own annual events, including summer Slip and Slide parties, Halloween Costume Balls, New Year’s Eve Celebrations and Monthly Movie nights. Du Val currently sits as co-director of the Long Island City Merchants Association and Hunters Point Community Partners.
Chris Coffey
Director of External Affairs,
Mayor’s Film Office and NYC Media
Chris Coffey has served as a member of the Bloomberg administration since 2002. He is currently the Director of External Affairs for the mayor’s Film Office and New York City media. Prior to his current role, he was a senior communications strategist for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 election effort.
Coffey has served on all three of Bloomberg’s campaigns, beginning as an advance and scheduling aide. After Bloomberg won the election, Coffey served as director of advance at City Hall, planning the mayor’s events across the five boroughs, as well as any travel on behalf of the city.
In 2004, Coffey moved to the mayor’s Community Assistance Unit (CAU), eventually rising to the position of First Deputy Commissioner in 2006. In his capacity as a Deputy Commissioner, Coffey oversaw a unit of 25 people within the mayor’s office. He was tasked with maintaining strong relationships with people in every community of the five boroughs.
Coffey has also served as a principle advisor to the mayor on print publications across the city.
Coffey attended New York University as well as the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He spent two years as a White House aide in the Clinton administration before accepting an internship with Bloomberg LP in 2000. Coffey was born and raised in New York City, where his mother served as Chief of Staff to Mayor Edward I. Koch. He currently lives in Manhattan.
Captain Hany Noureddine
U.S. Army
Captain Hany Noureddine was born in Brazil and raised in Puerto Rico and Queens. He decided to enlist in the U.S. Army as a light wheel mechanic in 1996. He attended basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and was assigned to the maintenance platoon, 943rd AG Replacement Company until 1998.
Noureddine then applied and was accepted to the Army Green to Gold program in 1998 and received a full scholarship to attend Saint John’s University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army in the Air Defense Artillery Branch.
After attending the Air Defense Artillery Officer basic course, Noureddine was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas in October 2001 and served as the headquarters platoon leader. In June 2002 Noureddine was assigned as the Launcher/Fire Control platoon leader, and a year later, he became Executive Officer and Reconnaissance Team leader in An Nasyriah, An Numaniayh and Salman Pak, Iraq.
In 2004, Noureddine attended the Air Defense Officer advance course. Immediately following, he was assigned to HQ Garrison FT Bliss Texas as the assistant Department of Planning Training and Security as the Operations Officer/Battle Captain. In between his career obligations to the military at Fort Bliss, he completed his masters degree in business management.
Noureddine then joined the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Beckley, West Virginia as the Operations Officer. In 2007, he returned to Queens to serve as the Company Commander of the Queens Recruiting Company, which covers 269 square miles in Queens and Nassau County.
His main goal returning to Queens was to improve the Army’s image in the community while giving back time and resources. Noureddine has been involved with numerous high school programs and continues to volunteer his time as a volleyball coach.
Noureddine’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Army Achievement Medal (4nd Award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Service, Over-seas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Air Assault Badge, Airborne Badge and Combat Action Badge.
Jeannie Doherty-Benckwit, RN, QDCP
Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation
A former Medical-Surgical Nurse for the Long Island Jewish-North Shore Health System, and former Home Care Nurse Coordinator for the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, Jeannie Doherty-Benckwit reaches out to senior citizens, their families and health care providers to help link them with vital health care programs.
These programs and services help to keep older adults in good health, and help them avoid hospitalizations and institutionalization.
Her work and her personal philosophy, reflecting the highest levels of expertise and compassion, are a perfect match for the mission-driven community health programs of Parker. Among Parker’s programs are medical model adult day health care, social model Alzheimer’s day care, long term home health care and a hospice that serves terminally ill patients and their families in their homes or in nursing facilities.
Benckwit’s nursing background and thorough approach to needs assessment also give her great insight as to when a senior might benefit from post acute care and restorative therapy after surgical procedures, stroke, amputation, illness and injury.
She will also be assisting individuals and families who might want to take advantage of the new Queens-Long Island Renal Institute, a state-of-the-art chronic dialysis facility soon to be completed at Parker.
When she is not helping seniors in need of health care, or helping her husband construct their new home, Benckwit is likely to be working as a volunteer for a charitable cause that first motivated her to enter nursing, “The Irish and American Physically Challenged Youth Team,” an exchange program whereby physically challenged youngsters from Ireland and America get to spend a fun-filled and exciting two weeks abroad.
Jenna V. Pollack
Founder, JVP Consultants LLC
Very few college graduates break into their chosen industry right away, let alone end up running their own company a mere four years after earning a degree.
Jenna V. Pollack, 27, broke that mold after she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2005. After returning home to Long Island, she landed a position at Shawn Elliott Luxury Homes & Estates, utilizing her skills to become realtor and then office manager.
From there, Pollack joined Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial and real estate firm with a global reach. She was working at their Long Island branch when, in 2009, she decided that she wanted to pursue a different avenue in real estate.
She started her own commercial real estate advisory firm, JVP Consultants LLC, specializing in managing and analyzing cost consolidation and space maximization. She wanted to transfer her knowledge and experience of the corporate real estate arena into her own business, she said.
With her new venture, Pollack is forming relationships and earning the respect and trust of her clients on her own terms. She gives them options by showing real estate opportunities as they present themselves, while also listening to their concerns.
She believes that making clients more aware of their options will lead to more conscious decisions and, eventually, to a more efficient business.
It is this type of personalized approach that has garnered Pollack high praise throughout her post-college career, as well as in her numerous philanthropic endeavors. Her passion for helping others has earned her respect among her peers, colleagues and acquaintances.
Pollack believes that you can’t subscribe to stereotypes or preconceived notions, and that it is important to open your own doors with hard work, reputation and self image.
Jimmy Brooks
LaGuardia Ramp Services Manager,
American Airlines
All the visible activity at airport terminals – the baggage checking, ticketing and security – is merely the tip of the iceberg.
There’s a long list of tasks before arriving airplanes can take off again: unloading and loading bags; fuel, food and beverages; electricity and conditioned air supplied; thorough cleaning and sewage removed, before someone makes sure all the hatches are secure and backs the flight away from the terminal.
It’s called “ramp services.”
California native Jimmy Brooks came up through the ranks at American Airlines to the Ramp Services Manager position at LaGuardia Airport.
“I started in Los Angeles in 1985 as a baggage handler,” he recalled.
After serving as a customer service manager in his hometown, he moved up to General Manager with American Airlines in Oakland. Brooks relocated to New York in August of 2007 and took up residence in Bayside.
“I really like it here,” he said. “My mother was from Virginia, and she moved back when my dad passed away three years ago. My three sisters all live in Arlington, so my whole family is close.”
When the 46-year-old bachelor isn’t dealing with one of the busiest operations in the country, he enjoys dining out from Manhattan to Manhasset and his passion – “it’s almost a sickness” – is golf.
“I’ve played sports all my life, but golf shows you who’s boss,” Brooks said. He’s serious about meeting a nice woman, and if she could play a round – of golf that is – “That would be great.”
Michael Hyman
Dermot Company
Michael Hyman oversees luxury operations for the Queens division of the Dermot Company, one of New York City’s top private real estate development corporations.
He previously opened The Opal, a luxury residential complex in Kew Gardens Hills, successfully integrating the building with the surrounding residential neighborhood.
Currently he is working on Moda, a development in the heart of Jamaica, combining 346 residential units and 60,000-square-feet of retail space. Moda will be Jamaica’s first luxury rental complex.
Like the Opal, Moda will incorporate affordable housing to benefit the surrounding community.
Hyman grew up in Roslyn Harbor, Long Island and graduated from Lehigh University.
He formerly led the sales department of a family business, manufacturing and distributing photo albums.
After the sale of the company, Hyman led a successful career as an equities trader.
Looking for a career path with more human interaction, he obtained his real estate sales license and began his career with the Dermot Company in 2004.
Hyman is an avid traveler, and his most recent sojourns took him to Southeast Asia. He is also an enthusiastic tennis player and competes in various tournaments throughout the year.
Michelangelo Pinto,
VP, Ferrari Driving School
Michelangelo Pinto’s energy and determination can be seen in a variety of projects and business interests.
These range from managing the family business, Ferrari Driving School, which his father founded in 1968 and is the largest in the metropolitan area; to real estate development and interior design; designing and marketing his own clothing line; as well as being requested around the world for his DJ and music production work.
Pinto has big vision and the ability to transform it into reality. He is at the forefront of implementing the latest technology to common procedures and business practices in order to simplify and streamline what his employees do, yet maintain the same quality and traditional values of “white glove” customer service. His motto is “A question well stated is half solved,” and he is always looking for ways to create added value in his professional and personal relationships through better communication.
Rebecca JeeUn Moran
Vice President,
Hi-Fashion Beauty Supplies
Rebecca Moran serves as Vice President at Hi-Fashion Beauty Supplies, managing multiple business functions including purchasing, human resources and trade event coordination.
Hi-Fashion, a privately-held wholesale company headquartered in Long Island City, has been owned and operated by Moran and her family since her father took ownership nearly 20 years ago.
After joining Hi-Fashion full-time in 1998, Moran leveraged her natural business acumen and helped the company grow and succeed. Under her leadership, Hi-Fashion, which began in a humble 1,000-square-foot space, has emerged one of the largest most reputable manicure, pedicure, and spa distributors in the northeast. In 2005, looking to expand into untapped markets, the family opened a satellite location in Ridgefield, NJ.
Prior to joining Hi-Fashion, Moran worked as a trainer for Good Cause Marketing in non-profit fundraising. While there, she was named “Trainer of the Year” in 2007 and personally raised $30,000 in five months for The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children ®.
She also spent several years as a mentor working closely with at-risk youth in Flushing, and as an auxiliary New York City police officer.
A graduate of Forest Hills High School, Moran began her undergraduate studies in liberal arts at Hofstra University in Long Island and continued at Queens College before joining Hi-Fashion.
As an entrepreneur and Korean-American businessperson, Moran has been involved in several local trade associations. She remains active within the professional beauty industry where she works to establish and foster B2B relationships.
Robert Young
TD Bank
Robert Young joined TD Bank in 2007, to lead the team in the downtown Flushing location as store manager.
Young has over 15 years of banking experience, ranging from asset management, private banking, international banking and financial services.
Prior to joining the team at TD Bank, Young worked in the international banking sector, responsible for expansion in the East Coast Division of Private Client Service for his former employers.
Young holds a B.S. in Finance from Long Island University at C.W. Post Campus, and an M.A. in Statistics from Columbia University. His passion and knowledge in banking and finance helped him to win major client relationships as well as meet his clients’ needs over the years.
He was named one of the top Financial Associates in the nation by Charles Schwab & Co. in 2005 and has provided commentary on banking for local TV networks and publications including Sino TV and World Journal.
Young has also received the community achievement award from several non- profit organizations including 109th Precinct Community Council, Flushing Lion’s Club, as well as the local chapter of the American Cancer Society in Flushing for his passion in serving the community. He serves on the advisory board for the Queens Chapter of the American Red Cross, Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery and the local Chapter of the American Cancer Society in Flushing.
He lives in Rego Park, New York with his wife and two children.
Shanie Persaud
Executive Director,
Guyanese & American Business & Professional Council
As the Executive Director of the Guyanese & American Business & Professional Council (GABPC), Shanie Persaud works tirelessly to develop stronger ties between Guyana and the United States in an effort to forge a closer relationship between the business and professional communities of both nations.
Persaud, 35, came to this country in 1999 with the expressed purpose of networking the Guyanese population with the greater community. She helps to connect advancing Guyanese entrepreneurs to all of the networks they need to succeed in the business world. This includes investments, marketing and technology.
Persaud began her public service career while still living in Guyana. At 18, she started working with the Guyanese media as a reporter for the national newspaper. She went into television as a weekend news anchor and augmented her work within the community by involving herself with economic development and health education. By the time she left Guyana at the age of 23, she was the marketing manager for the state television network.
Her first stop in America was Texas, where she gave birth to her son, C.J. Persaud. Before joining GABPC, Persaud was the CEO for El Dorado Media and Marketing, which focuses on reaching the Hispanic American community with direct-to-consumer massaging services.
Aside from her work with GABPC, a registered independent, non-profit organization, Persaud has also been on the York College President’s Advisory Board since 2006.
While she lives in the U.S., her heart is still in Guyana. She tries to visit her family as often as possible, but when she cannot, she relies on technology to connect her with loved ones.
Catherine Lee
F&T Group
Senior Director
Catherine Lee joined F&T Group in 2009 as Senior Director and focuses on the firm’s development and marketing activities as well as its China operations. Currently, she is collaborating with fashion designer Zac Posen in 16 W 21, a luxury residential project located on 21st Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. In China, she is responsible for a 4 million square-foot mixed-use development, which will become the Nanjing World Trade Center.
Prior to joining F&T Group, Lee worked as part of the Acquisition and Development Group at Tishman Speyer Properties. In that capacity, Lee participated in transactions that amounted to more than $2 billion in value. Before joining Tishman Speyer, Lee was a Senior Manager at Cushman and Wakefield in the development consultancy where she focused on mixed-use and retail developments. Earlier, as a marketing manager at New York Life insurance, she won various industry awards for her innovative marketing campaigns.
Lee is also an avid art lover and founded Crossing Art in 2008. Crossing Art is a contemporary art gallery that aims to enable critical, social, cultural and aesthetic dialogue at an international level and in communities through exhibitions and public art events. Since its inception, Catherine has organized several public art events including the Flushing Cow Parade and Home for the Holidays.
Lee received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University and a Masters degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University where she was a William Kinne Scholarship recipient.
Doris Nowillo Suda
Executive
Good Stuff, LLC
Doris Nowillo Suda has a strong belief in the importance of community. Giving back to families and children is a passion that began when her oldest son began pre-school in 2002. Suda saw need in other children and in her son’s school, and it sparked her talent for raising money. Each year she set a goal and worked alongside the school’s administration and families to raise funds for various programs, equipment and scholarships.
Suda began to apply her fundraising talents to other community programs. Whenever she was called upon, she was there to help with both her time and skills. She was involved in many organizations including Queens Falcons – Run to Daylight Education, Long Island City YMCA and Our World Neighborhood Charter School among many others. Suda has received many awards and citations for her volunteer work. She recently graduated as United Chaplain State of New York in 2009 and is a clergy for the NYPD for PSA9.
Suda spends her days utilizing her other skills in business management, at the Long Island City-based privately owned The Good Stuff Company, where she has worked as an executive assistant since 1991.
Doris lives with husband Scott of 15 years, and their two sons Nicholas and Marc. She continues to work tirelessly to improve her community with a leadership approach. She has her two sons to thank for opening the door to this hectic, but much fulfilled life to dedicated public service.
Joe LaSpina
Maple Family Lane Centers
Vice President
Joe LaSpina is a Vice President of Maple Family Lane Centers – a family-owned chain of six bowling centers with locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. LaSpina is responsible for overseeing the operation of each location.
Maple Family Lanes’ business philosophy is pretty simple – it strives to make its bowling locations the community center for each area it serves.
The challenges of operating a small business in today’s economic climate have also created some opportunities. Maple Family Centers has to market locally to survive, and one of the best avenues is through community involvement. It has developed a very unique series of fundraising events under the heading Maple Family Centers Cares. Through this series of fundraisers it has helped local charities and organizations raise more than $100,000 by hosting bowling events. Maple Family Centers had events as small as 10 and as large as several hundred guests, all with the same goal: raising money locally while having some fun.
LaSpina is heavily involved in the bowling industry’s trade association – The Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America. He sits on the Board of Directors of the BPAA, as well as the Nominating Committee. He also chairs the Technology Committee and the “Young Guns” committee, a group of bowling operators from across the country aged 40 and younger. Locally, LaSpina is the Treasurer of the New York State Bowling Proprietor’s Association.
Jonathan Greenspun
Mercury Public Affairs
Managing Director
Jonathan Greenspun is a Managing Director at Mercury Public Affairs where he heads up the firm’s New York City government relations and strategic communications efforts.
Greenspun brings nearly 20 years of experience with political campaigns and government. In 2001, he was appointed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. He was the youngest Commissioner in the Bloomberg administration and among the youngest commissioners in New York City’s history.
The Community Affairs Unit (CAU) serves as the Mayor’s eyes and ears in New York City, and during his tenure with the administration, Greenspun worked closely with the city’s 59 community boards, as well as its tenant and civic groups, neighborhood associations and community-based nonprofits. The CAU responds to all city emergencies where communities are directly impacted. The unit also assists in the planning and implementation of the Mayor’s special events, which include official receptions, celebrations, commemorations and ceremonies.
Prior to working for the city of New York, Greenspun spent seven years working for Governor George E. Pataki where he served as his Executive Assistant.
Greenspun’s political work includes Bloomberg’s 2001 mayoral campaign; Rick Lazio’s 2000 Senate campaign; Al D’Amato’s 1998 Senate Campaign; and Governor Pataki’s 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial campaigns.
Born in Brooklyn, Greenspun and his wife Rosesara currently reside in Riverdale with their two sons Andrew and Matthew.
Kathleen Pettit
Crowne Plaza New York LaGuardia Airport Hotel
Director of Sales & Marketing
Kathleen Pettit is the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, for the Crowne Plaza New York LaGuardia Airport Hotel, the Brand New Hampton Inn New York – LaGuardia Airport and the Hampton Inn at JFK Airport.
Pettit has been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years. She has a passion for the hotel business and is a member of many organizations in Queens including the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Economic Development Corp., Long Island City Business Development Corporation and many others.
She has been recognized not only by her company but also by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). In addition, she has received numerous awards throughout the year including a 2008 award from the Queens Economic Development Corporation for her continuous commitment, support and promoting tourism in Queens.
In addition, Pettit is also extremely involved in the community. She has been a proud mentor for more than nine years to many Queens kids from the Summit School who have disabilities and the hearing impaired from the Lexington School. Further, she hires students from several intern programs from LaGuardia Community college, Wood Tobe School, York College, Richmond Hill High School and many others.
She is a mother of two girls, Macayla, age 7, and Shannon, age 6. Kathleen is grateful for her wonderful husband Kevin Pettit who is a Lieutenant at the 109 precinct in Flushing. She also expresses her love for her parents and her large family.
Kristie Foster
Owner
KrisTEES
Kristie Foster is the owner of KrisTEES Boutique – a boutique that is all about the spirit of contemporary design for today’s on-the-go woman that wants to wear her clothes easily from day into evening but still stand out.
After 13 years of working in the fashion industry and watching the evolution of the demographics in Astoria as more forward and established young professionals and families moved to the neighborhood, Foster felt it was time to open the boutique she had been saving for little by little. For Foster it was important to bring contemporary clothes to Astoria and give women a good reason to not have to go back to Manhattan to shop, especially on the weekends, so she opened KrisTEES three years ago.
Versatility is the key to many of KrisTEES pieces and as a consumer this is what she looks for as well. With a background in fabric development, Foster makes sure to work with designers that bring quality, not just through their unique and timeless designs, but through fabric and finishes.
In addition to having newer small designers, Foster also works with certain designers to produce items just for the store. Considered “cooperative design,” she feels the future of retail for boutiques is to search out designers who will work with you on this level, which helps both the designer and the store stand out while creating looks that are right for her store’s clients.
Matthew Ivler
Director of Operations
Lebanon Cemetery Ass’n. of Queens, Inc./Mount Lebanon Cemetery
Born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, Matthew Ivler has grown up in the cemetery business. His great-great grandfather, Louis Singer, founded several of the largest Jewish cemeteries that make up the Queens landscape. Today, Matthew is the fifth generation of the Singer/Ivler family involved in the management of Mount Lebanon Cemetery. Founded in 1914, Mount Lebanon Cemetery comprises approximately 80 acres on the south side of Myrtle Avenue in Glendale. Matthew’s father, Jay L. Ivler, currently serves as the Chairman and President of the Cemetery.
Matthew entered the cemetery profession in 2003 after graduating from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management with a dual degree in marketing management and entrepreneurship/emerging enterprise management. He is involved in all aspects of the business. His knowledge of the Internet and technology has been integral in the development of the custom cemetery management system, web site and various other projects. Matthew is an active member of both the Metropolitan and New York State Cemetery Associations.
Matthew considers it an honor to carry on the business that his family started almost 100 years ago. He believes that cemetery management is an often overlooked profession, yet one that is of the utmost importance not only to the families they serve but to the community as a whole.
Matthew resides in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan with his wife Shari, an interior designer, and their dog Parker.
Michael Newman
Standard Refrigerators Inc.
Vice President, Director of Operations
Michael Newman is the Director of Operations at Standard Refrigerators Inc., located in Long Island City. Newman takes Standard Refrigerators, a family business founded in 1945, into its third generation. Newman began to work for the company, which is celebrating 40 years of business in the greater New York area, full time in 2000.
During the past 10 years, Newman has overseen the entire operation of Standard Refrigerators Inc. Standard Refrigerators provides premier design, installation and service for air conditioning, commercial and laboratory refrigeration, heating, ice machines, wine coolers and ventilation systems throughout the New York region. The company provides 24/7 service to offices, commercial buildings, financial institutions, factories, hospitals, computer rooms, restaurants, retail businesses, residential buildings and high end residential homes.
Standard Refrigerators performs work for several nonprofit organizations at reduced or pro bono fees. The company has always promoted “green” solutions and energy efficient equipment for all types of comfort systems to make the environment a better place to live in.
Newman is currently on the executive board of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), New York Chapter. He serves as the President-Elect of ACCA and will take over the reins in 2011.
Standard Refrigerators participates actively in the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Long Island City Business Improvement District, Mechanical Contractors Association of New York, Mechanical Service Contractors Association and the Long Island Green Building Council.
Newman lives in Long Island with his wife and two daughters.
Nicholas P. Papamichael
St. Michael’s Cemetery
Memorial Counselor
Nicholas P. Papamichael is the essence of Queens. Born in 1969, he attended P.S. 85, Junior High School 141 and Bryant High School. Papamichael attended New York Tech College and married his Queens sweetheart, Vivian, in 1992.
For the past eight years, Papamichael has been working as a memorial counselor at St. Michael’s Cemetery. He has worked on behalf of hundreds of Queens families who are purchasing property in either at-need situations when someone has passed away or are pre-planning for the future. No matter what the situation is, Papamichael makes sure that each family’s needs are taken care of with the utmost service, respect and quality that they deserve. From a young age, Papamichael understood the importance of putting other people’s needs ahead of his own, something he still considers number one on his priority list.
Papamichael said that at St. Michael’s Cemetery, the staff strives to make it a peaceful place where families can come and remember their loved ones. For its part, St. Michael’s said they know how fortunate they are to have Nick as a representative.
Papamichael has been a parishioner of St. Irene’s and serves on the Board of The Nysirian Society. As a father of three sons, all named Peter (in Greek there are varying names for Peter), Papamichael remains committed to his family, the citizens of New York and to his faith.
Vincent C. Carey
Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home
Senior Funeral Director and Manager
Vincent C. Carey is a Senior Funeral Director and manager of the Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home, located at 36-46 Bell Boulevard in Bayside.
Carey was immediately hired out of college by a reputable firm in Queens where he completed his internship and became licensed by New York State in 1990. In 2001, he joined the Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home and has become an integral part of their operation.
Carey joined the Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home during its transition from the ownership of John Gleason to its current leadership – John A. Golden, Thomas A. Golden and Robert J. Gallagher, who had been stellar employees of John Gleason. Gleason sold his funeral business to these men because of their extensive knowledge and experience and their insistence on maintaining the excellent reputation he had fostered. Carey is a proud member of the team.
During his tenure, Carey is proud to say that he has worked and gained experience from some of the best funeral directors in the industry. He is also proud to report that by working in the greater Flushing/Queens area that he has been afforded significant exposure to many diverse religious faiths and cultures.
Carey is a third-degree member of the Joyce Kilmer Knights of Columbus located in Flushing and a notary public. He resides with his wife Barbara and his three children, Dave, Kevin and Nolan in East Meadow.
Adam Glick
President, scarlettgroupe LLC

Rather than point his Ford Focus in the direction of the Wyandanch LIRR station in 2006, Adam Glick drove in the opposite direction to the Long Island Expressway, headed west for New York City, and began his journey from corporate cube-dweller to start-up entrepreneurship.
The product of a loving family and excellent teachers, Glick grew up in Fresh Meadows. He received an accounting degree from Binghamton University’s School of Management.
The creation of scarlettgroupe LLC, a real estate development company, has allowed Glick “room to run, reliving the summers of teenage years, when I hustled dresses on the streets of Manhattan’s garment district. I’ve integrated a 16-year career as a Certified Public Accountant with my love for the crowd.”
On September 10, 2007, the City Council adopted The Jamaica Plan, a proposal by the Department of City Planning to establish a special Downtown Jamaica District and rezone 368 blocks in Community Boards 8 and 12.
Upon the heels of this updated zoning, scarlettgroupe plans to build a sustainable village in Downtown Jamaica, an economic center characterized by restaurants, retail, theater and affordable housing. Scarlettgroupe will play to Jamaica’s strengths as a transportation hub, with special attention given to the AirTrain people-mover system, which connects JFK airport to Jamaica Station and the LIRR.
Brandon Elias
ROOKIE RISING STAR

Brandon Elias is a 17-year-old high school senior from Muttontown, Long Island. With community service goals always in mind, he strives to make a lasting impact, both within his community and on a global scale.
Elias’ Quaker high school, Friends Academy, was his initial source of inspiration for serving those in need. At school, he lives the community philosophy and hopes to influence others to do the same. For that reason, in 2008, Elias founded the Amnesty International group at the school in the hopes of encouraging the betterment of society by counteracting human rights violations.
Elias is also an ardent supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a result of his cousin’s diagnosis. He has participated in annual walk-a-thons and organizing a multitude of fundraisers.
Most recently, Elias has developed two new community service projects, one in Buenos Aires and another in New York City. In December 2009, he planned a philanthropic voyage to Argentina to support the underprivileged children of Buenos Aires by organizing a food drive at the Parroquia Nuestra Senora del Pilar Church and raising money for five vital causes (Anglican Church Action Group, El Alba Homes, the Boca Mission, the Salvation Army, and the VITRA Foundation).
Here in New York, Elias is spearheading a fundraiser at P.S. 46, The Alley Pond School, to raise much-needed funds to purchase laptops for self-contained special education students. The charity will ensure that a child with special needs has access to technology in order to improve the student’s language arts skills.
Elias also succeeds academically. In 2008, he received the Academic Achievement Award, which was given to the two most distinguished students of the class. In 2009, he was inducted to the Cum Laude Society and also received Le Grand Concours Certificat d’honneur. Elias created a web site (www.MyKindness4Kids.com) in hopes of inspiring others while spreading awareness. Although it is uncertain where Elias will attend college as he eagerly awaits the decisions, it is certain that he will continue his community service mission into his college years.
José Peralta
Assemblymember, 39th District

Assemblymember José Peralta’s life and work have been dominated by a deep commitment to the community and to the hard-working families of Queens.
For Peralta, that commitment stems from his own life’s story. A first-generation Dominican-American, his parents came to the United States in search of the American Dream and a better life for their children. His parents worked hard to sustain their family on the wages of entry-level positions: his father a bank teller and his mother a seamstress at a sweatshop. They struggled to ensure that their children received a quality education that would provide them with opportunities and would instill in them the value of public service.
A proud graduate of Queens public schools, including P.S. 14, I.S. 61 and Flushing High School, Peralta was the first Latino Student Body President of Queens College.
After graduating, Peralta began a career giving back to the community he loves through public service. As a community liaison in the New York State Assembly, he worked to make government more accessible to the families of Queens, solving problems and helping people in need.
Since being elected in 2002, he has been diligently and tirelessly serving the community as a New York State Assemblymember.
Leeann Tannuzzo
SVP, Director of Retail Banking & Investment Sales, Flushing Bank

Leeann Tannuzzo is SVP, Director of Retail Banking and Investment Sales at Flushing Bank, where she is responsible for managing the bank’s retail branches as well as growing its Investment & Insurance Program.
Tannuzzo joined Flushing Bank in May of 2006. Since that time, she has made the Investment & Insurance Program part of the fabric of the company and has tripled the program’s net income contribution. In 2009, the program had its best year ever with over $1 million in net revenue and $400 million in net income. In March of 2009, the program received the “2008 Annual Award of Excellence for a Community Based Institution Program” from the Bank Insurance & Securities Association (BISA). Three months later, Tannuzzo herself was named one of Bank Investment Consultant’s 2009 Top Program Managers nationwide.
In addition to the Investment Program, Tannuzzo was in charge of spearheading the bank’s overall sales efforts, as well as overseeing the bank’s Retirement (IRA) Services and Education, and Development Departments from May of 2006 until November of 2009.
At that time, based on her successful track record and extensive background in the financial services industry, the bank asked her to manage its retail branches and to continue to lead the Investment Program.
Prior to joining Flushing Bank, Tannuzzo was a Regional Manager & Vice President at the Bank of New York, where she managed 21 retail branches in western Suffolk. She held a similar position at the Bank of Smithtown as Vice President of Branch Administration, where she managed retail branches, branch operations and training. Earlier in her career, Tannuzzo managed the platform sales program at Astoria Federal Savings Bank from its inception in 1990 until 1997.
Matt Ketschke
Director, Con Edison Learning Center

Matt Ketschke is the Director of the Con Edison Learning Center in Long Island City.
In this position, he is responsible for the 125 instructors and support personnel who provide the technical skills training and proficiency testing for all of Con Edison’s management and union personnel.
Prior to this, Ketschke was Brooklyn/Queens Electric Operations General Manager, where he directed 625 personnel responsible for the safe, reliable, and economic construction, operation and maintenance of the electric distribution systems in Brooklyn and Queens.
During his 15 years with Con Edison, Ketschke has held various management roles with increasing responsibility in Electric Operations. He spearheaded the development and implementation of a program to test all of Con Edison’s 291,000 structures and 240,000 municipality-owned streetlights for stray voltage.
Ketschke also served as the project engineer in the reconstruction of Con Edison’s infrastructure after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
He received both his mechanical engineering and engineering management degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology and recently completed his MBA at Columbia University. He resides with his wife Jennifer, in Cranford, New Jersey with their two sons Josh, 2 and Evan 9 months.
Meri Triades, Esq.
Partner, Triades & Triades

Meri Triades began her legal career at Seward & Kissel, LLP, a Manhattan law firm. As an associate of Seward & Kissel’s commercial real estate group, Triades represented real estate owners, developers, lenders and institutional investors in connection with commercial and residential facilities and mixed-use projects throughout the United States.
Triades joined her father’s legal practice, formerly known as the Law Offices of Terry S. Triades, Esq., in March 2007.
Now known as Triades & Triades, the practice includes residential and commercial mortgage transactions, sales, purchases, refinances, leasing and tax-free exchanges of commercial and residential real estate properties. The firm also renders services with regard to wills, trusts and estates, and sales and purchases of business interests. In addition to practicing as an attorney, Triades also manages her family’s real estate holdings, which include multiple rent stabilized apartment buildings throughout Queens.
She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the Queens County Bar Association, the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce and the Hellenic Lawyers’ Association. She is currently serving as the Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District.
Triades received her legal degree and graduated cum laude from Washington & Lee University School of Law in 2002. She earned her bachelor’s degree and graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, she majored in art history and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Dartmouth Sports Weekly.
While a law student, an article by Triades entitled Finding a Hostile Work Environment:The Search for a Reasonable Reasonableness Standard was published in the Washington and Lee Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Journal.
Triades is married to Michael Pasztor. They are expecting their first child in June.
Nayelli DiSpaltro
Associate Director, Queens Theatre in the Park

Nayelli DiSpaltro serves as Queens Theatre in the Park’s Associate Director.
She volunteered at the 2006 Celebrate Mexico Now! Festival under the curatorial direction of Claudia Norman and continued her relationship with this renowned curator by serving as the coordinator for the 2007 and 2008 Latino Cultural Festival at Queens Theatre in the Park.
A native of Mexico, DiSpaltro holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Valle De Mexico in Mexico City. Prior to these positions, she was employed as a corporate attorney for one of Mexico’s largest national steel companies, AHMSA.
DiSpaltro’s contributions to the theatre represent her return to the Arts. A classically-trained ballerina, she danced with the National Company of Dance of Mexico for five years prior to beginning her career as an attorney.
In addition to Audience Development, DiSpaltro is spearheading the theatre’s efforts to re-brand its marketing materials and web site. She has made numerous contributions to the theatre, including building linkages among numerous consulates, as well as developing a national presence for the theatre through innovative concepts such as TCG’s/NPR’s "Free Night" of Theatre.
Dispaltro is charged with leading multi-tiered campaigns in putting a diverse 25-40 demographic into the seats at Queens Theatre and its newest underground arts venue, 109 Square. It serves both food and drink to an adventurous clientele who choose intimate and edgy arts experiences as a way of feeling alive.
Paul Schmidt
Executive Vice President, Eastern American Data / Voice, Inc.

Paul Schmidt is the Executive Vice President of Eastern American Data / Voice, Inc. (EADV), a telecommunications company where he has been an employee for over eight years.
Eastern American is a family business established in 1972 by Gunter Schmidt. Paul recently purchased 50 percent of the company to become equal partners with his brother George, who is now the President.
Schmidt’s assiduous and steadfast work ethic, along with his goals for the future and leadership ability, have helped bring his company to new levels servicing the tri-state area. With meticulous attention to his clients’ needs, Schmidt creates a personal relationship with each, bringing humanness and reliability into the telecomm industry.
An active participant in many community service activities, Schmidt is the current Director of Communications for the “Kids in the Kaatskills.” As such, he helps provide opportunities to economically-disadvantaged children in the Catskill Region of New York to give them a better life. Schmidt also participates in a myriad of sporting and social events that raise money for a variety of local charitable organizations such as the Peter John O’Neill Foundation (PJO), the Fleisher Foundation and The Oahl Foundation, assisting in improving education about heart disease.
Working in Long Island City and residing in Whitestone with his girlfriend, Schmidt is a member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, where he is on the IT and Small Business Committee. Eastern American Data / Voice, Inc is also a member of the Long Island City Business Development Corporation.
Salvatore Bacarella
Founder/President, Garden Works

Salvatore Bacarella came to this country as an infant. His Italian immigrant family was determined to take the few dollars they had saved to start a new life and build a business in America. Years later this business would help to move the community toward becoming a greener and healthier environment.
As a teenager Bacarella began landscaping neighborhood homes with his father Joe. Ambitious and motivated, he purchased a used van, lawn equipment and Garden Works business cards to start his legacy in the community. He soon branched out from his father’s business and expanded his own residential landscaping business to include high-end commercial and municipal properties.
In only nine years, Garden Works, a start-up business, beat the odds to employ a team of 20 associates that specialize in landscape design, construction, management and irrigation with sustainability and environmental impact in ind.
Garden Works, now certified and accredited in "green" landscaping, gave Bacarella time to focus on green technologies and environmental preservation. His projects have been featured in Dwell Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vogue Australia as well as numerous trade publications. In 2009 he formed LandServ Environmental Group, a company of partners with the same values and goals for preserving communities.
Bacarella strives to promote and preserve the beauty of the community he loves through local events to benefit, among others, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, the Make A Wish Foundation and the NYC Parks Department. He also provides arrangements for local schools.
Politically active, Bacarella works with groups that focus and mirror his own ideology of making the community a greener, better place for everyone.
Shih Lee
President/Partner, Shi Restaurant

At only 39, Shih Lee has made a name for himself in the restaurant industry.
Having emigrated from Taiwan at the age of six, Lee said both he and his brother and partner, also named Shih, grew up in the business.
“[We learned the business] at a very young age through the family,” said Lee.
In 1990, his parents opened Shih Lee Chinese Restaurant in Manhattan.
“I was helping out a lot and going to college,” he said.
The business grew – they serve the United Nations – and the menu expanded to include Filipino and Caribbean-inspired dishes, so when their parents retired in 2000, Lee and his brother were ready to take over.
At that point, they had developed a very good rapport with their landlords, Rockrose Development.
“They ate our food, got to know us, got to know what kind of people we were,” said Lee, so that when the company came to Queens, they offered Lee a prime site in the bourgeoning Long Island City.
“Only because of our pre-existing relationship were we able to have an opportunity in Queens,” Lee said.
In September, 2008, Lee, his brother and another partner, Noburu Takashima – all 40 and under – opened Shi.
The people-friendly restaurant, right on the water overlooking Manhattan, offers a Pan-Asian cuisine.
It also has outdoor seating, a bar and lounge and rooms for meetings, showers, engagement parties and even weddings.
Lee, who holds a Bachelors of Business Administration, said that his approach to business is very hands-on, as he runs the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.
But the best part, he said, is the interaction.
“We really enjoy meeting people every day. We are really involved in our patrons’ lives, it’s something we enjoy.”
He continued, “People tell me they love coming. We take the time to greet them and remember their names.”
David M. Curry
Associate, Farrell Fritz

David M. Curry is an associate at the law firm of Farrell Fritz, P.C., concentrating in real estate.
He was selected by the Queens Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and 2009 to serve as a judge in the Queens Building Awards competitions. In 2009, Long Island Business News featured him in “Ones to Watch in Construction.” He served last year on the Queens Arthritis Foundation’s Queens Leaders’ Awards Reception committee, and is an associate member of the Queens Bronx Building Association.
Curry represents large and small developers in sales and acquisitions of hotel, retail, office, industrial, and other real estate, and in air rights transactions. He represents landlords and tenants in commercial leasing transactions for industrial, retail, warehouse and office space, as well as lending institutions and borrowers in real estate acquisition and construction financing, both mortgage and mezzanine. In addition, Curry represents owners in construction contract negotiations and borrowers and purchasers in industrial development agency transactions. He also represents buyers and sellers in residential real estate transactions, including cooperatives and condominiums.
Prior to joining Farrell Fritz in 2005, Curry was a real estate attorney at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP in New York City. He received his law degree in 2003 from St. John’s University School of Law, his M.A. in Teaching from Towson University in 1997 and his B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and the Law from Binghamton University in 1995.
?When not practicing law, Curry, who is married with one son, Rohan, is also the lead singer of a classic rock cover band.
Eric Benaim
CEO and Co-Founder of Modern Spaces

Eric Benaim is the CEO and co-founder of Modern Spaces, a boutique real estate brokerage and marketing firm that strives to deliver service on a more intimate level.
A second-generation real estate professional, Benaim has over eight years’ experience as a broker and over 14 years experience in marketing and branding. Prior to real estate he worked in marketing and events for the entertainment industry and has worked with such celebrities as Christina Aguilera, Wyclef Jean and Moby, just to name a few.
A passion for New York City and its architecture is what first drew Benaim to the real estate industry. In April of 2006, when Arris Lofts – the first truly luxury building in Long Island City ¬¬– started selling, Benaim sold 11 units in the first two days.
Falling in love with the building, he purchased one himself and now calls it home; less than a year later, he spearheaded the opening of the Nest Seekers office, and 18 months later, he decided to go on his own and founded Modern Spaces, with a beautiful gallery office located in the heart of Long Island City.
With over $100 million dollars in sales, Benaim’s success is credited to his personal relationships with communities and clientele. Modern Spaces has quickly grown to be Long Island City’s leading real estate brokerage. This past summer Modern Spaces released the first ever Long Island City Residential Market Report.
The Modern Spaces web site www.modernspacesnyc.com was also awarded this past fall with The Silver Davey Award from the International Academy of the Arts for best Real Estate web site, beating out 4,000 entries throughout the world.
Benaim plans to continue his success in 2010 by opening up a second Modern Spaces office in Manhattan.
Jordan Schneider
Founder and Owner, Sage Exclusive Fitness

Jordan Schneider has always had a strong interest in science and mathematics, leading him to the head of his Intellectually Gifted Children (IGC) class and towards winning an award in mathematical achievement at his elementary school graduation.
He was also one of a few children chosen to test for the specialized Hunter school. He then went on to be awarded entry to the Bronx High School of Science, where he furthered his love of the sciences.
It was there that Schneider found his calling of fitness and nutrition. As senior year ended, he saw his beloved hobby turn into a serious way of life.
With college on the horizon, Schneider looked forward to taking up biology as a major at Stony Brook University. After two years of generalized studies, he was ready to take the next step and fully enlist in a nutrition and exercise physiology program at Queens College.
During these years, Schneider began his personal training career at a local fitness center. It was there that he found he not only loved the fitness lifestyle, but also had a niche for bestowing his knowledge and motivation upon others.
After developing a strong following and graduating with his exercise physiology degree, Schneider was able to begin work on his dream project, opening up his own personal training center.
On September 14 of this year, his vision came to fruition with the opening of Sage Exclusive Fitness in Whitestone. Schneider is now able to share his love for fitness with others and change their lives, one workout at a time.
His vast knowledge, education and unique training style have provided a strong base with which to propel his business, as well as achieve results for all his clients.
Justin K. Rodgers
Director of Economic Development, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

Justin K. Rodgers’ professional experiences encompass the corporate and not-for-profit sector. In high school, he was a member of INROADS, a program that provides academically gifted minority students with internships to prepare them for the corporate sector.
During his junior and senior years of college he served as an intern at J.P. Morgan Chase. After graduating, Rodgers was recruited by the company for a Sales and Trading Program. He studied equities markets and reported to the Vice President, Global Markets.
He has worked as Program Director, National Pro-AM City Leagues, Inc. He also worked closely with the CEO to manage and direct the Sports and Arts School Foundation activities and sports programs at 20 New York City sites with over 2,000 participants.
Since 2007, Rodgers has held the position of Director of Economic Development at Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. He is responsible for promoting economic growth and development in Downtown Jamaica, including developing strategies and initiatives to expand and enhance Jamaica’s retail, industrial and economic base. Prior to receiving a promotion in 2007, he was Manager of Business Services.
Presently, he is working with three local Business Improvement Districts to attract new/national retailers to downtown Jamaica; working with local sub-contractors on the $100 million (IMAX) infrastructure project; securing funding for Signature Park adjacent to the AirTrain terminal; assisting the Downtown Jamaica Open Space Coalition to advocate for additional open space and plazas in downtown Jamaica; and working with developers building mixed-use hotel/retail/office in the “Airport Village” (including Marriott Courtyard, Sheraton, Four Points and Wyndham Garden Inn).
Rodgers is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jamaica NAACP Day Care, Inc. and Financial Secretary, United Black Men of Queens County, Inc.
Kostas A. Kantlis
Restauranteur

Kostas A. Kantlis lives in Bayside Hills with his wife Maria and their three children Evangelos (2), Christina, (1) and Christos (3 months). He was raised in Bayside, where he attended William Spyropoulos elementary school and Holy Cross High School. He then continued his education at Temple University, where he earned his B.S. in Kinesiology, Pre-PT.
In return for his hard work, he received a full five-year scholarship at Temple University and had the honor to work as a team manager and travel coordinator for Hall of Fame coach John Chaney. He also held a one-year position as a team manager for the Philadelphia 76ers under head coach Larry Brown.
After college, Kantlis returned to his true passion, the restaurant business. He worked for his father’s business, the Fame Diner in Maspeth, for five years before venturing off on his own in September of 2005.
It was then that he opened Plum Restaurant and lounge, located at 47-39 Bell Boulevard in Bayside. In 2007 Plum Restaurant and lounge was awarded the very prestigious “Best Interior Design of the year in Queens” by the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
In December of 2008, Kantlis took on yet another challenge, this time in Long Island City, to re-open the Island Restaurant and nightclub, where he is a co-owner and operator. He has a deep love for the hospitality industry and seeing people happy makes him happy.
Despite his busy schedule, Kantlis holds a position on the executive board of the Bayside Hills Civic Association. He is a strong supporter of his community and tries to give back as much as he can. He hosts a Plum Anniversary party and holiday party yearly and invites community members and his devoted patrons.
Rachel Amar
Community Relations Manager, Waste Management of NY

Rachel Amar currently serves as the Community Relations Manager for Waste Management of NY. Her position includes working on environmental and sustainability programs with the community and elected officials in western Queens as well as the South Bronx and North Brooklyn.
Most recently, Amar has worked with her colleagues at Waste Management on raising funds for a new roof at the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society’s Vander Ende-Onderdonk House by co-sponsoring the Raise the Roof fundraiser on October 23, 2009.
She also worked with her colleagues on organizing a cleanup in the Maspeth Industrial area with, among others, Keep America Beautiful, Community Boards 2 and 5 and the Maspeth Kiwanis, Maspeth Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club.
Prior to her current position at Waste Management of NY, she was the Director of Government Affairs at the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn. She worked with the President of the Alliance, Tupper Thomas, in obtaining millions of dollar in funding from the city, state and federal government to support Brooklyn’s flagship park. Because of her community involvement and ambition, former State Senator Carl Andrews presented her a “Women on the Move” award.
Amar also worked for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio when he was a councilmember. One of her proudest moments was when the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance honored her for helping to establish the “Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance” at KeySpan Park. At the time, it was the only 9/11 monument in NYC dedicated to the firefighters and police who sacrificed their lives on that tragic day.
Ravi Patel,
Owner, Ravel/Ravel Rooftop

At the age of 23 Ravi Patel and his late father, Upendra, purchased a piece of land outside of Newark Airport and decided to build a 100-unit hotel there.
After completing construction in January 2001, Patel, at the age 25, left corporate America forever and entered his new role as the General Manager/Owner of the Best Western Newark Airport.
In early 2003, Patel decided that he wanted to increase his real-estate portfolio by acquiring a 23-room motel that sat underneath the Queensborough Bridge. He decided that he would manage and finance the construction himself.
On March 15, 2008, Patel proudly opened “Ravel,” Long Island City’s first luxury boutique hotel, which soon received a design award from Hospitality Design Magazine.
After being open just a few short months, Patel decided he was going to go one-step further in realizing his vision by transforming his 6,000-square-foot rooftop into a lavishly designed rooftop garden with food and drinks. That vision was realized in May 2009 with the unveiling of the Ravel Rooftop.
The space has won numerou

More from Around New York