They’re wonder women!
It was another success at Nicotra’s Ballroom for the second annual Staten Island Top Women in Business event on Thursday, September 10, presented by Schneps Communications and the Star Network. Dozens of the borough’s most powerful and respected women were treated like royalty as they received their awards for their exceptional work in their respective businesses and throughout the community.
The evening began at the venue’s Tea House Garden for a VIP reception, where Schneps Communications and Star Network Co-Publisher Victoria Schneps congratulated all of the honorees.
“This is our night of Hollywood. Each one of you is a star tonight because tonight you are going to be receiving what looks like an Oscar,” she said. “You will see it will be something to cherish and hold onto forever and tonight you are all officially members of our Star Network.”
After the festivities, attendees made their way to the Trevi Garden where exhibitor booths were stationed around the spacious room. Gold Sponsor Santander Bank was thrilled to be a part of the event.
“I think as a bank, it’s important that we represent what’s happening in the community and we support all local winners,” said Ted Nawrocki, branch manager for the bank’s Grasmere branch. “We also have an honoree, tonight, Josephine Moran, the executive vice president and regional president.”
Honorees were thrilled to be recognized for their hard work. “This is very exciting. I’m very humbled,” said Deirdre Deangelis-D’Alessio, principal of New Dorp High School. “My first reaction is that I’m not really a businesswoman, but I guess running a school of 3,000 students and 200 staff, and dealing with 6,000 parents and community members, and working with community and business partners so that students are prepared for the real world after high school, becomes a big business.”
Fellow honoree Adrienne Abbate, executive director of the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness, agreed. “I’m very humbled to be with this esteemed group of women,” she said. “I run a non-profit and we’re working on public health issues in the community and it’s all about partnerships. It’s nice to see everybody’s hard work recognized.”
“It’s an honor for me today because of all the women in the community,” said Lisa Ferrante, who works in administration for Regional Radiology and is a real estate agent with Neuhaus Realty. “It’s also an honor for me to be a role model for my two daughters. It’s a beautiful and amazing event.”
Market Manager and Assistant Vice President for People’s United Bank Syreeta Watkins was also grateful. “Words cannot express how much this means to me,” she said. “It’s such an honor and privilege to be around such distinguished women. I will forever remember this moment that’s from the heart.”
After mingling and visiting exhibitors, all attendees entered the ballroom for the main event. Each woman got her moment, with a DJ playing her personal song as she walked the red carpet to receive her award.
One of the evening’s highlights was the presentation of the Community Leadership Award to Co-Owner, Corporate Secretary/Treasurer of Mark Lauria and Associates, Laura Doerken Lauria.
Donna Proske, executive director of Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), presented Lauria with the award, calling Lauria, “a woman who represents dedication, commitment, generosity, compassion and selflessness.”
“I’ve been extremely blessed in my life. I find great pleasure in giving back to the community in which I live,” Lauria said to the crowd.
Anthony Pascale of NY1, the event’s master of ceremonies, applauded the women. “These businesses are what make Staten Island strong and without these strong women who had the idea to start these businesses and to run the businesses the way they do, we wouldn’t have this great community,” he said.
During the night, money was raised via raffle tickets for the Eden II Programs which provide people with autism with special community based programming, as well as Kids Against Cancer, which has a new building at SIUH.
This event’s presenting sponsor was North Shore LIJ/Staten Island University Hospital. Santander Bank was the Gold Sponsor. Other sponsors included Empire State Bank, Northfield Bank, Sansone Auto Mall, Avondale Care Group, Richmond County Savings Bank (a division of New York Community Bank), SIEDC, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Daily News.