Meet our ‘Kings of Queens’

Check out photos from the event HERE 

Queens business royalty descended upon Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for one of the biggest networking events in the borough on Thursday, October 7.

The 3rd Annual Kings of Queens Awards & Networking Event honored the top men in business and one very special woman, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who received the “Top Woman of the Year” award at the gala luncheon.

“New York, and Queens in particular, is not only weathering the recession, but will come out from it stronger than before,” said Quinn, who praised the business leaders in the audience and urged them to dig deeper to ensure that Queens stays on top in commerce.

Borough President Helen Marshall was on hand to honor the kings, but wanted to emphasize that both men and women are needed to continue to spearhead commercial growth.

“We’re here to honor our men and give them crowns, but we can’t forget the support of our sisters,” she said. “You put men and women together and we can do anything in this world.”

Quinn was deeply honored to receive the recognition, and proudly wore her crown and robe – as did all of the Kings of Queens, who entered to a trumpet flourish straight out of King Arthur’s Court.

In their stately robes and crowns, provided by Rubie’s Costume Company, the kings were awarded by Queens Courier publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis as a video played of each honoree revealing his three keys to success.

One of the honorees, Mark Najarian from American Airlines, said that one of his three keys is to recognize that employees play an integral role in any successful business.

“You want your employees to know that they are more than just employees,” he said. “You want them to have a stake in the business.”

Judging by hundreds of businesspeople that turned out for the event, networking is also a vital component of any company’s success. Businesses big and small, for profit and not-for-profit, set up shop and passed out businesses cards – all believing events like this are step one to industry success.

Ivan Urgiles, an investment counselor with David Lerner Associates, Inc., said that these events are perfect for meeting like-minded business people.

“The people here make up our clientele,” said Urgiles. “One thing they don’t do is plan for retirement. That is why we are here – to meet as many people as possible and spread our message.”

During the event, a raffle was held with proceeds going to the Child Center of New York, which works to help at risk children and youth succeed in life. Susan Wyant, Chief External Affairs Officer, said that the center was thrilled to be a part of this event and was grateful to The Queens Courier for making it possible.

“We are grateful for any community support,” said Wyant. “More than 1,000 children are on our waiting list for our services and we need the community to help us ensure that they will receive the help they need.”

Raffle winners included Rise Shamansky of the Central Queens Y and Jennifer Dudley of the Child Center of New York, who both won Cirque de Soleil tickets; Denise Ward of Queensborough Community College, who won Queens Zoo tickets; and Peter Florey, Principle of D & F Development Group, who won two American Airlines tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S.

Kings of Queens was sponsored by American Airlines, TD Bank, City University of New York, Sandwire, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, HSBC Bank, Flushing Bank, Bombardier, Con Edison, Queens County Savings Bank, New York Daily News, Big City Graphics Printing and the Central Queens Y/Samuel Field Y.