By Phil Corso
The Samuel Field Y meant business Tuesday morning when elected officials and business leaders were honored at the group’s second annual breakfast.
A hearty meal was accompanied by various awards, which recognized the work of Queens business leaders and their contributions to two of the borough’s most active Y’s.
Samuel Field Y and Central Queens Y Executive Vice President Dr. Steven Goodman, who is also the chief executive officer, spoke fondly of the group’s ability to bridge the gap between local businesses and residents.
“We create great consumer connections,” Goodman said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”
The breakfast, sponsored by both the Samuel Field and the Forest Hill-based Central Queens Y’s at the Douglaston Manor, at 63-20 Marathon Pkwy., was held in conjunction with the Community Business Partnership Council of Queens and included presentations from City Council members.
Richard Tanenbaum works on Bell Boulevard in Bayside with Tanenbaum Law Offices and said the agency has built a reputation for collaboration in Queens. The former Y president said the annual breakfast was also organized for fund-raising.
Members of the Samuel Field Y presented awards to recognize business leadership as well as media excellence and also applauded political support from four City Council members.
Awards of recognition were doled out to Council members James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), who was the only representative present at the breakfast.
“We have an incredibly dedicated group of elected officials,” Goodman said. “It’s only proper to honor our City Council representatives along with the business leaders. We couldn’t do this without them.”
Of the celebrated leaders, husband-and-wife team Dave and Carrie Kerpen received media excellence awards for their work in running Likeable Media, a social media marketing firm. Business Council Co-chairman Jack Friedman said the couple’s innovative approach to running their business kept them steps ahead of the competition.
“These guys are unbelievable,” Friedman said. “They’ve always been way ahead of the curve.”
Carrie Kerpen spoke of her upbringing through the Central Queens Y and credited some of the happiest days of her childhood to the facility. The Y became an invaluable asset to her personal and professional life, she said.
“They really helped us brainstorm and network,” Carrie Kerpen said.
Her husband Dave Kerpen also thanked the service agency, adding that much of his family’s success, both personally and professionally, came from the Y’s support.
“Samuel Field Y — you rule,” Dave Kerpen said.
Samuel Field Y Associate Executive Director Rick Lewis presented the Business Leadership Award to SJS Construction head Deniz Gurcan, citing his work as a cornerstone of the Y’s ongoing success.
“Deniz’s heart is in the Y,” Lewis said. “He exemplifies what a business partner really is.”
A humbled Gurcan steered the praise back onto the Y, adding that he hoped to see the agency remain active for years to come.
“I find it humbling, and it feels like I should be honoring you,” Gurcan said before a standing ovation.
And much to Gurcan’s liking, the focus throughout the event still remained heavily on the Samuel Field Y.
“You never know when you’re going to need a place like the Y,” Carrie Kerpen said. “But in truth, you’ll always need them.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.