The El Caribe Country Club was filled with the borough’s biggest power players for the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator’s second annual King of Kings Networking Event and Champion’s Breakfast on Thursday, September 27.
The Man of the Year was John Noel, an award-winning reporter from WNBC and Woman of the Year was “Real Housewife of New York City” Jill Zarin.
The breakfast began with an invocation by Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello. Teen Idol winner Taylor Leigh Cannon gave a heartfelt rendition of “God Bless America.” Borough President Marty Markowitz also congratulated the honorees on their contributions to their work and community.
Michael Halkias, owner of the Grand Prospect Hall, was “so excited” to be honored. He added that his secret to success is “to be awake while everyone is asleep.”
Honoree Buddy Scotto, founder of the Carroll Gardens Association and the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation, said that he “enjoy[s] the opportunity to meet so many people who make a difference in Brooklyn. I still can’t understand how a little Italian guy from Brooklyn is here!”
David Hernandez, an attorney and member of the Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, agreed, saying that events like this one give Brooklynites an opportunity to meet people they otherwise wouldn’t, such as Frank Seddio, the new leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and Carlo Scissura, the new president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
“We learn about each other’s accomplishments and cultures,” Hernandez said. “Brooklyn is the center of the universe!”
Gladys Lolli was at the breakfast to support her son, Anthony Lolli, president and CEO of Rapid Realty, who was honored. “I am so happy; very excited but not surprised,” she said. “He deserves all this attention. He is a very hard worker. His whole life he was always energetic. He keeps me busy all the time.”
Bay Ridge attorney and honoree Bob Howe said “It’s very humbling, but exciting to be recognized. If you contribute a little, you get an awful lot back in return.”