Photos by Mike Savitsky and Joseph Swift
The Queens Power Women honorees gather for a group shot at the May 18 event.

The most powerful women in Queens business gathered in Flushing on Thursday night to meet, greet, celebrate and network.

Organized by the Star Network, the Queens Power Women in Business Awards & Networking Event on May 18 at Terrace on the Park paid tribute to influential women in business whose major achievements and participation in the community have helped make a difference in the borough.

The dynamic group of honorees first gathered for a special VIP hour to get to know one another and network. Honorees then joined their guests for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and further networking with the standout business sponsors at the event.

Honorees spoke of how it felt to be recognized and the opportunities being a part of the Star Network afforded them.

“It’s amazing to be around so many amazing women,” said Michelle Pascal, Project Manager at Vista Skywall Systems. “I’m humbled by the entire experience so far.”

“I’m a lifelong resident of the borough of Queens, so it’s really nice to be among such phenomenal women that impact the community that we live in,” said Ling Xu, vice president and branch manager at the Flushing Bank branch on Springfield Boulevard.

“It’s wonderful to see a room full of so many women in leadership roles,” said Gráinne Vis, Director of Residential Services Innovative Resources for Independence. “It reinforces that the hard work is worth it.”

In the grand event, honorees and guests gathered in the grand ballroom to dine and accept their awards. Award presentations were emceed by Victoria Schneps, co-publisher of Schneps Communications, and Cheryl Wills, award-winning reporter and anchor on Spectrum News NY1, who was also honored as “Star of Stars.”

Matilda Cuomo, who is described as the most active First Lady in New York State’s history, was honored as Mentor of the Year. The influential public figure founded and continues to work with Mentoring USA — a nonprofit founded to foster and change the lives of young people. Cuomo explained that she has brought her experience as a teacher, mother and public figure to her role in the active organization. Today, her greatest focus is making sure that kids today get the education they need and deserve.

“We must get our children to stay in school,” Cuomo said. “The mentoring program has a training that is unique … And we’ve reached so many kids.”

Dr. Marcia Keizs, President of CUNY York College, was inducted into the Star Network Power Women Hall of Fame. Chetachi Nwoga-Ecton, President of the When in Need Foundation, was awarded the Global Giving Award.

Raffles to support two local nonprofit organizations, the Queens Centers for Progress and the When In Need Foundation, were also sold at the event. All proceeds went to these two outreach organizations.

The honorees were:

Dr. Shani Andre, MD, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer at The Floating Hospital; Sila Asa, Program Director at Turkish Cultural Center Queens; Stacey Baron, Director of Operations at Titan Motor Group; Celeste Beatty, Founder of Harlem Brewing Company; Therest Billouin-Roberts, Vice President & Regional Manager at Astoria Bank; Maggie Castro, Associate Director of Community Outreach at AARP New York; Melissa Checo, Controller at Eastman Cooke Construction; Suzanne Coletta-Knab, President of Suzanne Elizabeth Consulting, Inc.; Sophia Constantinou, Vice President of Sales at Lyons Mortgage Services, Inc.; Dr. Svetlana Danovich, President & CEO at SD Medical Arts; Barbara “Roxie” De Laleu, Radio Personality at 95.5 WPLJ; Reta Fields, Owner of McKenzie Associates LLC; Sabrina Flores, Director of Development at Queens Community House; Nancy Glass, Director of Children’s Services at Queens Centers for Progress; Dr. Marjorie J. Hill, CEO at The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Heath Center, Inc.; Lucy Hossain, Vice President & Branch Manager at New York Community Bank; April Intrabartola, Director of Administration & Finance at Eastman Cooke Construction; Linda Johnson, Program Property Rep. for Aviation-Properties & Commercial Development at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; Karen Kim, Associate Attorney at Menaker & Herrmann LLP; Dr. Liana Leung, Associate Director, Department of Ambulatory Care & Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency at Queens Hospital Center/Mount Sinai Services; Helen Mikedis, Branch Manager at Investors Bank; Sonia Mylonas, CEO at Cats Eye Marketing & Communications; Michelle Pascal, Project Manager at Vista Skywall Systems Ltd.; Kalpana Patel, COO/President at Unique Comp, Inc.; Lelia Quiroz, Director of Compliance at EIHAB Human Services; Teresa Robles, Contract Staff at Engineering/Resident Engineer Officeat Port Authority Consultant; Zenaida Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Business & Diversity Initiatives at the MTA Department of Diversity and Civil Rights; Susan Sanchez, Real Estate Broker/Owner at EXIT Homestart Realty; Dr. Marcy Albert, Director of Pediatrics at Queens Hospital Center; Anna-Marie Vallone, Vice President Business Development at Sussex Bank; Gráinne Vis, Director of Residential Services, Innovative Resources for Independence; Dr. Randi Wasserman, Director, Department of Pediatrics, Elmhurst Hospital Center & Regional Director of Pediatrics, Queens Health Network; Sandra Wilkin, Founder & President of Bradford Construction; Ling Xu, Branch Manager at Flushing Bank, Springfield.

Sponsors of the Queens Power Women in Business event included Flushing Bank, Investors Bank, Astoria Bank, Elmhurst Hospital, NYCB, National Grid, Harlem Brewing Company, Manhattan Beer Distributors, AARP, Eastman Cooke Construction, Sussex Bank, Bradford Construction, UCI, JetBlue, Godiva, SD Medical Arts, Titan Motor Group, Queens Hospital and T-Mobile. Media sponsors were The Queens Courier, QNS, Bethpage Best of the Boro and the New York Daily News.


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