BY DEAN MOSES
On Thursday, Sept. 24, newly installed NYPD Captain of the 114th Precinct Ray Jenkins and his fellow officers presented Amorelli Realty with Bethpage Best of the Boro 2020 Official Winners Plaque. The Astoria-based firm has won the accolade for four consecutive years.
Amorelli Realty first opened its doors back in 1978 when it was founded by Anita Halvatzis, a single mother who aimed to serve the community she loved whilst also providing for her children. The passion still burns bright in Havatizis’ eyes when she speaks of her multi-award-winning business, but the process leading to this moment wasn’t an easy feat.
Juggling a divorce, raising children and becoming a female business owner during a time when few women ran the household speaks to this Queens trailblazer’s determination. Even now, as those aforementioned children take the reins of the business and her grandchildren steadily climb the ranks of the now third-generation company, Halvatzis maintains a hands-on approach thanks to her passion for Astoria and the people who live within it.
“We tell her to stay home and rest, but she comes in every day,” Anita’s son Paul Halvatzis said with a proud smile.
As the preparations for the award presentation got underway, Anita Halvatzis showed little signs of resting. Darting around the office she greeted attendees with warm tidings, excited that her business was to receive another honor. Yet despite all the fanfare, Halvatzis made a point to reiterate that the event was not just a celebration of the company’s hard work or her family’s dedication, this day was a culmination of the principles she established Amorelli Realty on over four decades prior: the devotion to Queens residents.
“I love real estate. We try to help the people. When they come in to buy a house, we help them. This is something that the industry needs. When people take a personal interest in others, that is what we are interested in. That’s what we try to do. It has always been my idea that you help people, you don’t sell them, you help them,” said Halvatzis.
These ideals were echoed by grandson Nicholas Halvatzis. “Not only do we work in this community, we believe in this community, we live in this community. I live here, my uncle lives here, my dad — we love it,” Nicholas said.
Bethpage Best of the Boro is a prestigious award granted to businesses by Schneps Media, QNS’ publisher, and voted on by the public in categories including food, education, arts & entertainment, and many more.
In previous years, Amorelli Realty has had the distinction of having the Bethpage Best of the Boro award presented to them by such dignitaries as former Queens Borough President and current District Attorney Melinda Katz.
This year, Commanding Officer Jenkins, who despite only holding the highly regarded position of captain for 72 hours, arrived at the realty office to commend the team as one of his first acts.
Just below Amorelli Realty’s blue awning, on 36–01 30th Ave., staff and officers lined up for the official plaque presentation. The agency not only won Best Realty; Joseph Vaccaro also earned Best Real Estate agent.
Jenkins bestowed the awards with great pride, and although he is new to his current position, he is not new to Astoria, holding the neighborhood in high esteem while also looking forward to the impact he can make moving forward.
“It is important to reach out to the community. The only way to be successful as a police department is to have the support of the community, and the only way the community can feel comfortable with the police department is to feel supported. It is a mutual arrangement,” Jenkins said. “I have been at the 114th Precinct for quite some time, however, my role has changed. I am blessed to have my role change. I can have more control to affect everything: crime, quality of life, community concern, youth — all of the above.”