The top men of Queens were honored at a grand gala event on Thursday night.
Hundreds of attendees gathered at Terrace on the Park on Oct. 12 to celebrate and recognize the borough’s top businessmen during Schneps Communications’ Kings of Queens awards and networking event.
The night began with a VIP Hour just for all of the honorees, giving them a chance to get to know one another and network. The Kings then moved into the Networking Hour to meet and mingle with family, friends and colleagues.
The party later shifted to the grand ballroom, where Kings and guests gathered for the dinner and awards ceremony. The event was emceed by Victoria Schneps-Yunis, co-owner of Schneps Communications, and NY1 News anchor Ruschell Boone, who was also honored as “Star of Stars.”
“It’s fantastic to be here with you,” Boone said to the crowd. “It is really truly an honor, and it’s fantastic to see what so many of our Kings are doing in their communities … We know Queens very well, and we know Queens has always been on the map.”
Two extraordinary men were inducted into the Kings of Queens Hall of Fame. Joseph Pistilli, founder of Pistilli Realty Group and Chairman of the Board at First Central Saving Bank; and Danny Zausner, Chief Operating Officer of the National Tennis Center, received the honor. Pistilli was also awarded the Philanthropist of the Year Award.
The Halvatzis family received the honor of the Family Business Award for their outstanding work at Amorelli Realty and Halvatzis Realty and in the community.
The Leader in Education Award was given to Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, President of Queens College; Dennis Walcott, CEO of Queens Library; and Faustino Quintanilla, Executive Director and Curator of the Art Gallery at Queensborough Community College.
Some of the honorees spoke with QNS about the personal and professional significance of being honored as Kings of Queens.
“I’m extremely humbled and thankful,” said Andre Fowles, owner of Everything Food and Hospitality. “I’m amongst some of the best business men in New York … and as businessmen, we can do well from each other.”
“I’m an attorney, so I go to so many legal functions,” said Gary Park, Principal at the Law Office of Gary S. Park. “It’s refreshing to be at a function where you meet a lot of non-lawyers. Tonight, I met all kinds of wonderful, successful men from all walks of life … people who can give you a different outlook on what’s happening in Queens.”
“It’s very overwhelming,” said Jason Pierre, Chief Operations Officer at Peninsula Prep Academy Charter. “I’m honored to be in a room with these people who have the resumes they have.”
This year’s honorees also included Frank Arcabascio, Owner at Redken Saloon Salon; Chaplain Kenneth Brewster, Owner, 3rd Generation at Crowe’s Funeral Home; K.Y. Chow, President at GM Printing; Francesco Ciccone, Vice President of Marketing at New York RX Card; Leon Eastmond, CEO at Easco Boiler Corp; Hamdy Elgindy, CFO at EIHAB Human Services; Richard Flores, Director of Finance at General Human Outreach in the Community, Inc.; Andre Fowles, Owner of Everything Food; Steven Gaebler, Co-Chair of Banking & Finance and Member of the Real Estate Department at Forchelli Law; George Guillaume, Deputy Program Director at the LGA Airfield Reconfiguration Program; Rohit Hasija, MD, Orthopedic Attending at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Orthopedic Surgeon at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst; Eric Hung, Branch Manager at Flushing Bank; Gieto Nicaj, Co-Founder/Co-Owner of Masterpiece Caterers/Vivo Bayside; Paul Nicaj, Co-Founder/Co-Owner of Masterpiece Caterers/Vivo Bayside; Nelson Nigel, CEO of Kidmoto Technologies and Innovative Technology Award; Gary Park, Principal at Law Office of Gary S. Park PC; Adrian Peters, Vice President and Branch Manager at New York Community Bank; Jason Pierre, Chief Operating Officer at Peninsula Prep Academy Charter School; Jim Quent, Partner at Statewide Public Affairs; Issac Sachmechi, MD FACP, Professor of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of Diabetes Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens; Brian Sidiski, PT, MBA, Director of Rehabilitation at Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation; Richard Smyth, Project Executive at Aviation Department, LaGuardia Airport; Nicos Tziazas, President at Lyons Mortgage; and Vasilis Zikopoulos, Assistant Vice President & Branch Manager at Whitestone Investors Bank.
The Kings of Queens event was presented by the Schneps Communications Events Network and co-sponsored by Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, Investors Bank, EIHAB Human Services, New York Community Bank, National Grid, Flushing Bank, Vivo!, Queensborough Community College, the City University of New York, Queens College, EASCO, New York-Presbyterian Queens, REDKEN Saloon Salon, the USTA, NYC Health + Hospitals Queens and Elmhurst, First Central Savings Bank, New York RX Card, Jacobs, the Law Offices of Gary S. Park, Pistilli Realty Group and Godiva.
Raffles were sold throughout the event, with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation and Queens Services for the Autism Community.