The ‘Rising Stars’ have been chosen – QNS.com

The ‘Rising Stars’ have been chosen

It is time for the stars to shine again in 2010.

The Queens Courier is recognizing 40 young professionals 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.

The first 10 honorees and their bios appear in this week’s (December 31) edition of The Queens Courier, and in ensuing editions, we will profile each of the remaining 30 young up-and-comers.

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.


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


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



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.

More from Around New York