The Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator’s fifth annual King of Kings networking event was a royal celebration at the Grand Prospect Hall.
At the Thursday, October 29 event, some of Brooklyn’s top businessmen and community leaders were honored for their contributions to the community.
This year’s honorees were: Michael Allegretti, Senior Manager for Public Policy, UBER; Louis Barricelli, Owner, Cousin John’s Bakery; Barry Baum, EVP & Chief Communications Officer, Barclays Center; James Bouey, Retail District Executive, Brooklyn North, Santander Bank; John J. Ciafone, Esq., President, Law Offices of John J. Ciafone; Keith Christensen, VP, Regional Business Banker, New York Community Banker; Salvatore Cipriano, Secretary/Treasurer, Fiorentino Jewelers; John Demetriades, R. PH, Supervising Pharmacist/Owner, Farmacon Pharmacy; John Donofrio, Founder, Donofrio Inc.; Hon. John F. Gangemi, Esq., Law Offices of John F. Gangemi; David Gartenstein, Executive Vice President, Gartenstein Consultants; Paul Gelsobello, Owner/Commercial & Advertising Photographer, Paul Gelsobello Studio; Darin Germanton, Director of Professional Development, Dale Carnegie Training; Dr. Frank Kirkland, DDS, Family Dental; Vladimir Lik, Retail District Executive Brooklyn South, Santander Bank; Faro Locricchio, Owner, C&L Fine Gifts; Lorenzo Lugara, Partner, Lugara PLLC; David Marcus, Owner & CEO, Ultimate Logistics; Liam Ambrose McCabe, CEO/US Congressional Staffer, Steeplechase Strategies/District Leader: Conservative Party; Ralph Mercante, Owner/President, Bustabug Pest Control; Frank Naccarato, Financial Professional/Community Leader, Prudential Financial / Brooklyn Community; James Orlando, President/Owner, St. James Realty; Anthony S. Pennachio Sr., Owner/Manager, Floral Fantasy/Scarpaci Funeral Home; Louis Rizzo, Lead Program Manager, National Grid; Donald Ruan, Co-Owner/Chef, Ruan’s Chinese Restaurant; Joe Ruggiero, Lt. Governor, Kiwanis of Brooklyn; Dominick Sarta, Owner, Sarta Realty/Gino Iron Works & Contracting Service; William Smoltino, Co-Owner, Narrows Insurance Agency; Frank Sorci, Pharmacy/Store Manager, Walgreens; and Robert A. Zaloom, MD, Medical Director, Cardiac Cath, NYU Lutheran Medical Center.
Additionally, the following honorees ere inducted into the Hall of Fame: Monsignor David Cassato, Pastor of St. Athanasius Church; William R. Guarinello, President & CEO, Heartshare; Brian Leary, Managing Partner, CPEX Real Estate; Paul Mak, President/CEO, Brooklyn Chinese-American Association; and Frank Seddio, Kings County Democratic Chairman.
Judge and star of CBS hit “Hot Bench” Patricia DiMango was lauded as Woman of the Year while Emmy Award-winning actress, entrepreneur and spokesperson Linda Dano took home the award for Humanitarian Woman of the Year.
Colonel Joseph Davidson, Garrison Commander of Fort Hamilton Army Base was lauded as Man of Valor while civic leader and community activist Dino Lamia recieved the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Andre Sigourney, Associate Director Retail Sales for CPEX Real Estate and Stephen Safina, Associate Director Multi-Family for CPEX Real Estate, were also lauded for Excellence in Commercial Real Estate.
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The Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator’s fifth annual King of Kings Awards and Networking Event was a royal celebration at the Grand Prospect Hall.
At the Thursday, October 29 gala, some of Brooklyn’s top businessmen and activists—as well as two leading ladies—were honored for their contributions to the community.
Awardees were given the opportunity, before dinner, to network with participating exhibitors, such as Dale Carnegie Training, one of the evening’s sponsors.
“It’s been great to be here,” said Nick Fennell, managing director at Dale Carnegie, prior to the awards ceremony. “We really value being given the opportunity to carry on the tradition of giving back to the community.”
Other sponsors included Investors Bank, Santander, Flushing Bank, National Grid, Health First, Chase Bank, CPEX Real Estate, NYU Lutheran Medical Center, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Daily News.
The awardees themselves were equally elated to be there.
“It’s an honor to be here,” noted King Donald Ruan, co-owner and chef at Ruan’s Chinese Restaurant in Bensonhurst. “There are so many nice people here. It’s truly a beautiful event.”
Dominick Sarta, owner of Sarta Realty and Gino Iron Works & Contracting Service—who has been spearheading the efforts to create a 13th Avenue Business Improvement District, agreed.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here,” said Sarta, stressing how proud he was to be in “truly great” company. “It’s good to see a lot of old friends that are still in Brooklyn—many of them also being honored.”
“There’s great power in this room,” said Victoria Schneps, co-publisher of the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator, before introducing this year’s honorees, 41 in total, including six Hall of Fame inductees as well as two awardees for Excellence in Commercial Real Estate, two Women of the Year, one Man of Valor, one Entrepreneur of the Year and one Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
“If you’re going to be honored at anything as a woman, it might as well be among 40 or so good-looking, smart, successful men,” said this year’s Woman of the Year, Patricia DiMango.
DiMango, a former Supreme Court judge and current star of CBS hit show “Hot Bench,” told audience members how her latest role came to be, while also congratulating her fellow honorees.
Linda Dano, this year’s Humanitarian Woman of the Year, shared similar sentiments.
“It’s not every day that the phone rings and someone says to you, in the sweetest, nicest Brooklyn voice, ‘We would like to honor you as Woman of the Year,’” said the Emmy Award-winning actress, entrepreneur and spokesperson, known for roles in such shows as “Another World” and “One Life to Live,” and for her work with HeartShare Human Services.
Dano, who worked in Brooklyn for over 17 years, and whose late husband, Frank, was born and raised in Bensonhurst, was honored to accept the award.
“Tonight, my husband Frank, who passed away years ago, would be beside himself that I was amongst all of you,” she told the crowded room.
Proceeds from the evening’s raffles were split between HeartShare—an organization committed to serving the needs of those with developmental disabilities and their families—and Cancer Can’t Kill Love—an annual Bay Ridge-based benefit concert focused on funding and furthering cancer research.
A number of local elected officials were also on hand to congratulate this year’s roster of winners, including Councilmember Vincent Gentile, State Senator Jesse Hamilton and Borough President Eric Adams.
“We are called Kings County for a reason,” said Gentile. “Brooklyn is hot and there’s a reason for it – and that’s the good work of all of you.”