It’s good to be king!
For the second consecutive year, the Kings of Staten Island Awards and Networking Event, hosted by Schneps Communications and Star Network, was another hit.
Held on Tuesday, May 3 at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Avenue, the event saw dozens of the borough’s most powerful and respected men treated like royalty as they received their awards for their exceptional work in their respective businesses and throughout the community. The event included an interactive business expo, dinner and awards ceremony.
The evening began at the venue’s Tea House Garden with a VIP reception, where Schneps Communications and Star Network Co-Publisher Victoria Schneps congratulated all of the honorees. Each king then introduced himself to the others.
“Tonight we are thrilled to be in the most beautiful place in Staten Island, the Hilton Garden Inn, to honor each and every one of you,” said Schneps. “You’re all here to get to know each other better and hopefully do business with each other.”
After the introductions, honorees and guests made their way to the Trevi Garden where the Kings mingled with each other.
Principal of BFC Partners Joseph Ferrara, who received the Excellent in Real Estate Award, was thrilled to be at the second annual event. “It’s a big honor to be able to be singled out as accomplishing pretty substantial things on Staten Island, where I live. It’s really humbling,” said the real estate land developer. “The most important project for Staten Island would be Empire Outlets, a 1.1 million square foot retail development in St. George. The biggest giveback with that particular project is that it’s going to offer 1,000 jobs for the community so that’s the significant economic benefit for Staten Island as a whole.”
Honoree Richard Luthmann, founder of the Luthmann Law Firm, donned a king’s outfit with a fake sword in hand. “They said they’ve been doing this a long time and that I was the first one that dressed like a king for the event,” he said. “I’m having a great time. I brought over 45 guests with me that are here to support me. We’re all having a great time and I was happy that I was here with Star Network and promote my business.”
Vice Chair of Primary Care of Northwell Health, Associate Chair of Medicine and Vice President of Staten Island University Hospital South Site, Dr. Theodore Strange, was given the Community Health Leadership Award.
“It’s a special day. Honestly, I don’t deserve to be honored. I think the honorees are the people that I serve and work with,” he said. “This is not done without Staten Island University Hospital being part of my life, without my family and dear friends being part of my life.”
Other honorees were equally excited about the award. “It’s definitely an honor to be a part of it among this huge and great list of Kings who are all big parts of the community,” said Mike Bloomfield, president of Tekie Geek, who had a booth set up at the venue. “It’s great to branch out and get our name out there to the Kings being honored and let them see that we’re here on Staten Island and we’re here to keep their businesses up and running.”
Alex Slootskiy, branch manager of People’s United Bank, who was also an exhibitor, was also happy to be a part of the evening. “It definitely means a lot and it’s a big honor to be here,” he said. “I enjoy networking, meeting new people, helping anybody I could with their financial needs.”
After mingling and visiting the exhibitors, all attendees entered the ballroom for the main event to receive their awards.
Anthony Pascale of NY1, the event’s emcee, introduced each honoree. “I see firsthand the difference that so many people can make,” he said. “It just takes one person, one business and a vision. It’s really great. I’m proud to be here.”
Jamie Lynn Macchia, Miss New York 2015, walked each honoree down the red carpet to receive his trophy. “I’m from Staten Island. I grew up here, so a lot of the honorees I know personally so it’s really exciting for me,” she said.
There were plenty of raffles, with all proceeds going to the Kids Against Cancer and Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund. “Imagine a place where children with cancer can be treated close to home and far removed from their disease, and the atmosphere is cheerful and uplifting. This is mission of Kids Against Cancer Recreation and Treatment Center,” said Pascale.
“(Bini) was an 18 year veteran New York City firefighter assigned to Rescue Company 5 Staten Island. He lost his life on September 11, 2001. The memorial fund was created in his memory to honor him and to continue his lifelong belief in helping others. It supports the community through scholarships, emergency grants and special needs assistance,” Pascale explained.
This event’s presenting sponsor was Staten Island University Hospital Northwell Health. Other sponsors included People’s United Bank, BFC Partners, The Luthmann Law Firm, SIEDC and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.