Staten Island’s most influential businesswomen were honored on Thursday, September 15 at Star Network’s “Staten Island Power Women in Business” event. Over 500 people gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn to acknowledge the work of these prominent businesswomen in their work and in their communities.
“Tonight is about us,” said Victoria Schneps-Yunis, owner of Schneps Communications. “You will be recognized for the work that you do day in and day out, juggling the balls of being a woman in business, in the community and giving back to your family, your friends, and your business.”
The night included a VIP Reception for honorees followed by a networking expo and dinner before the awards ceremony. The event was presented by Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health, which was more than happy to be a part of this spectacular event.
“It feels really good to sponsor this event,” said Chris Hollie, Associate Vice President of Staten Island University Hospital. “We’ve been a part of this event for the last few years and it gives me the opportunity to tell all of these fabulous women and their supporters about things that can make them healthy and happy. It’s been good for us being here tonight.”
Geraldo Rivera served as the special guest of the event and received the Man of the Year Award. Rivera was recognized for his work over the years with Victoria Schneps and Life’s WORC, an organization that supports people with developmental disabilities and autism.
Rivera presented the First Annual Florina Rusi Marke Community Leadership Award, which was awarded to Florina Rusi Marke posthumously. Named after Florina, who passed away from breast cancer several years ago, the award was accepted by her niece Eli Rusi and her son Athurim Marke.
“My aunt Florina was a woman who lost her battle with breast cancer when she was my age, 14 years ago. To me personally, she was my role model and just a really strong, vibrant woman,” said Rusi, as she accepted the award in Florina’s name. “She was just amazing and she was taken away from us way, way too young. We are so honored and amazed how far her name and her memory have affected so many people. It’s a true testament to the kind of woman she was.”
Thirty two women from many different backgrounds, many of whom are balancing the life as a businesswoman and as a mother, were honored at the event.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, not only as a mom but as a working mom,” said Nicole Picone, CPA, who is a partner at Maniscalco & Picone, CPAs, P.C.
The other honorees included Margaret Addivinola, Director of Catering of It’s Our Pleasure Hospitality Group, the Vanderbilt at South Beach, Grand Oaks Country Club, Grand Plaza, South Fin Grill & Arirang; Mary Andreano, President of the Dr. Vincent Andreano Memorial Foundation; Debbie Arrigo, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, SI Premiere Properties / Encore Real Estate NJ; Nicole Bloomfield, Vice President Geek of Tekie Geek, LLC; Jasmine Cardona, Director, Workforce Development & Administration, College of Staten Island; Anne Colangelo, Sales Manager for M&R Hotel Management; Michele Crupi, Co-Owner of Barry’s Auto; Carol T. Decina, Manager of Community & Customer Management for National Grid; Linda Dianto, Executive Director of the National Lighthouse Museum; Maureen Fairlie, President of Snappy Solutions; Dorothy Fadell Ferlanti, Owner and Chief Marketing Officer of Pinot’s Palette; Christine Fiorenza, Partner at Ivy Branding; Carol Frazzetta, Chef and Cooking Instructor at Carol’s Cafe and Carol’s Cuisine Cooking School; Mary Goodacre, AuD., CCC-A, Audiologist, Staten Island Audiological Services; Dr. Nicole Gullo, Chiropractor; Celia Iervasi, Licensed NYS Real Estate Broker for Cassandra Properties; Helene Irvine, First Lady, NY District of Kiwanis; Danielle Johnsen, Executive Director of Client Services and Compliance for Digital Edge; Crystal Lia, Vice President/Business Banker for Capital One Bank; JoAnn Puma Libretti, VP Business Relationship Manager for Empire State Bank; Dr. Regina M. Mistretta, Associate Dean and Professor at St. John’s University; MaryLee Montalvo, Owner/President of MLM Public Relations, Inc.; Lisa Motrechuk, Vice President and Branch Manager of JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA; Maria Palumbo, Vice President Small Business, Kearny Bank; Diana Petrone, Owner of Not Just Bagels; Ilene Rosen, Founder/President of Development & Event Services, Kathy Sansone, Human Resources Manager for Sansone Auto Mall; Emily Santangelo, Founder, President and Art Consultant for Emily Fine Art; Jackie Scaglione, Owner/Custom Cake Designer of Jackie’s Cake Boutique; and Robin Warren, General Manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island.
Raffles were available throughout the night, with all proceeds going to the Florina Rusi Marke Breast Cancer Center at Staten Island University Hospital.
The presenting sponsor for the event was Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health; the other sponsors were Empire State Bank, National Grid, Investors Bank, New York Community Family of Banks, Sansone Auto Mall, Chase Bank, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC).