Some of the borough’s most influential women gathered in Flushing on Wednesday for a night of celebration and networking opportunities.
On June 13, hundreds of attendees descended on Terrace on the Park’s grand ballroom for Schneps Communications’ “Power Women of New York” Awards & Networking event. The event honored over 40 of Queens’ best and brightest women for the work that they do in business and their communities.
Honorees first gathered for a cocktail hour, followed by a business expo, dinner and an awards ceremony. The newest “Power Women” spoke with QNS about how it felt to be recognized at this year’s event.
“I am so floored,” said Yvette G. Dennis, executive program director at Crescent Consulting. “To even be considered for the title of ‘Power Woman’ is mind blowing. I hope to be an inspiration to other young women, especially young minority women, coming up and to let them know, ‘You can do this. You can step out of the box and feel comfortable with yourself and succeed.'”
“I feel very honored and blessed to be here today with so many incredible women,” said Patricia Balestras, CEO and founder of Bucket List Tours. “I look forward to making new relationships with more incredible women. I feel like my circle is getting smaller, and I feel very lucky to meet such amazing people.”
“I’m really surprised. It’s great to be recognized for the hard work that you do,” said Karla Nieves, art teacher and delegate at The Child’s School. “I would love to meet other women who work with children, especially those with special needs. It’s really my passion.”
Margaret McGowan, vice president and relationship manager at TD Bank, received the WOW Award. Dr. Diane B. Call, president at Queensborough Community College was inducted to the Hall Of Fame and awarded Excellence In Education. Eve C. Guillergan, Esq., president of Eve Guillergan PLLC, and Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College, were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Entrepreneur Of The Year was awarded to Lois Christie, CEO, founder and owner of Christie & Co. Salon and Spa. Trailblazer Of The Year was given to Lindsey Burik, managing director and head of electronic trading at Mizuho Securities USA LLC, and the Community Service Award to Madeline Johnson, community relations coordinator at Queens Public Television.
Additional “Power Women” included Dr. Christine Antoldi, president of Forest Hills Chiropractic & Wellness; Joann Ariola Shanks, director of intergovernmental relations at MediSys Health Network; Helen Arteaga, director at Plaza del Sol Family Health Center and Urban Health Plan, Inc.; Patricia Balestras, CEO & founder of Bucket List Tours; Dr. Nicole Bell, owner of Cosmetic & Laser Dental Studio; Karen Boorshtein, LCSW, president & CEO at Family Service League; Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, chef & owner at Manducatis Rustica; Anne Marie Chirichigno, corporate broker at Century 21 Amiable Realty Group II; Lauren Coffey, partner at the Coffatello Group and DGA Colonial Voluntary; Ebony Conely-Young, MSOL, executive director at the Long Island City YMCA; Antonia Constantinou, attorney at Coritsidis, Sotirakis and Saketos PLLC; Susan M. Damiani, director of gift planning, St. John’s University; Yvette G. Dennis, executive program director at Crescent Consulting; Louise A. Derevlany, Esq., associate executive director of risk management at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst; Karla Espinoza Nieves, school delegate & art teacher at The Child School Legacy High School and Lay Faculty Association Local 1261; Leslie Feifer, partner at Jaspan Schlesinger LLP; Linda Fostek, president & founder at The Crisis Planner; Yoselin Genao-Estrella, executive director at Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens CDC, Inc.; Ayo Haynes, licensed associate real estate broker, Halstead Realty; Niki Jones, CEO at Niki Jones Agency, Inc.; Dr. Virginia Jurgens, associate DVM at Central Veterinary Associates; Alison Kupillas-Scotto, corporate sales manager at Chateau Briand Caterers; Jen Lee, principal broker at BLU Realty Group; Maxinne Rhea Leighton, director of marketing and business development at Jaros, Baum & Bolles; Adeline Long, co-Founder & CEO at THOR Group; Michelle Miao, Ph.D., BTS program director at Department of Finance; Leslyn Mitchell, director of DDS at the Salvation Army; Samantha Mohan, branch manager-Bell Boulevard at Flushing Bank; Roslyn Nieves, community development manager at Queens Public Television; Wendy Phaff, director of development, Queens Center For Progress; Maria A. Pino, PH.D., assistant professor at NYIT; Jane E. Ryan, CPA, CFE, president at J.E. Ryan & Associates, Inc. and Compliance Solutions Network, Inc.; Dina C. Skeffrey, MBA, CEO at Renaissance Consultants LLC; Stella L. Spanakos, co-founder at Spectrum Designs; Sara BJ Sung, chair Emerita/principal at Korean American Family Service Center and Pinnacle Social Impact Consultancy; Joyce Takiguchi, president at ComStar International Inc.; Leslie H. Tayne, Esq., founder & managing director at Tayne Law Group, P.C.; Lina Telese, general counsel at Jaros, Baum & Bolles; Vivi Tsarouhas, administrative superintendent-buildings and grounds department, Queensborough Community College.
Each Power Woman was also awarded a citation from Councilman Paul Vallone, state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman David Weprin.
All proceeds from raffles sold throughout the event benfitted The Child School and Queens Centers for Progress.
Sponsors of the event included Flushing Bank, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, Christie & Co. Salon · Spa, LFA, The Salvation Army, QPTV, LFA, QPTV, NYC Health + Hospitals Elmhurst, Century 21 Amiable Realty Group II, Investors Bank, Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP, Jaros, Baum & Bolles, Coffatello Group, ComStar International Inc., JetBlue, Broadway Stages, The Haynes-Velasquez Team at Halstead, Godiva, and Medcast Plus.
Photos by Allen Ngai and Corazon Aguirre