2017 Kings of Kings Networking event crowned community leaders

It was a night fit for a king.

Schneps Communications Events, formerly Star Network, hosted its annual Kings of Kings County Awards and Networking Event on Thursday, November 9, a night dedicated to honoring esteemed Brooklynites for their work in the business community and the community at large.

Held at the famous Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Avenue, it was an event that attendees were thrilled to partake in.

“I want to thank Josh and Vicki Schneps and everyone else that put this together,” said Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul.  “What a fun opportunity to showcase the Kings of Kings and honor them for their contributions in making this the most spectacular borough. I traveled all over the state of New York, but it’s such a pleasure to come to a place that has really redefined itself to never lose its soul. That’s what I love about Brooklyn. The people I’ve met here have been just incredible and they’re optimists. All of you make contributions in various ways.”

“You are all rock stars,” NY1 News Anchor and the night’s emcee Ruschell Boone told the honorees. “It is fantastic to be here to help honor you tonight. It’s fantastic to see all you’ve done.”

“We are so proud to greet all of you,” said Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator Co-Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis. “We are thrilled to recognize the special men who have made a difference in our world. What’s a good woman without a good man? And tonight we are really going to make them feel like the kings they are.”

The night began with a networking cocktail hour during which attendees and exhibitors mingled.

“I think anytime we can support the business community, it’s great to be there,” said Regional Director for Dime Community Bank Benedetta LeoGrande. “We want to be a part of everything that’s going on. This is just another way to give back. Any time we have this opportunity to meet other people, it’s a good thing. It allows us the chance to tell them what we do and hear what they do.”

We are here to support our Chief Operating Officer Domenick Cama, one the honorees, so we are happy to be here,” said Jennifer Smith, community development officer for Investors Bank. “We always love working with Schneps Communications. It’s a great opportunity to network and talk with other business owners.”

Honorees were thrilled be recognized for their work.

“It’s an honor and I believe a privilege and we truly appreciate the work of Schneps Communications. To be a part of the Brooklyn community, means you get to help other people, help the economy, help people get jobs and grow their business,” said President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Andrew Hoan. “Today is about celebrating all the people that do that. It’s really something special to be part of a group like the Kings of Kings.”

Hoan also stressed the importance of events such as these.

“It’s important to have these because they recognize the contributions that people make and lets people know that when you do good work, you can be recognized for it, so it encourages other people to do the same,” he said.

“It’s an incredibly special honor,” said Albert Corhan, the director of operations at Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, who was named a Hall of Fame member. “Adelphi has a fantastic relationship with Schneps Communications, the Home Reporter and the Brooklyn Spectator but specifically I have a close relationship with Vicki [Schneps], Josh [Schneps] and Lori [Pedone] which makes the award all the more special. We were really touched to be thought of and considered to be a part of it. Any Schneps event is a fantastic event so we’re very excited about it. It’s an incredible concept with the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and network.”

Honoree Chuck Otey also discussed the evening. “I’m honored for many reasons,” he said. “One was because I was involved with the Home Reporter starting in 1962 and worked for them for four decades. I’m a tremendous admirer of what Josh and Vicki have done at a time when newspapers are closing. They’ve found a very valid way to energize the paper and use their influence in a number of media. Events like this help people find out about the paper so it’s great.”

Musician and community activist Frankie Marra was thrilled to be named a member of the Hall of Fame. “To be a member of the Hall of Fame of anything is really great. It’s not the Baseball Hall of Fame I thought I’d be in but it really is an honor and nice. It’s great to be recognized by your peers and be among them.”

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the raffles were donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Project Succeed Program.

The evening was sponsored by Investors Bank, Dime Community Bank, D’Elia Financial Group, Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, the Avondale Care Group, Flushing Bank, Chase Business Banking, National Grid, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, JetBlue and Medcast Plus.

The 2017 Kings of Kings honorees are: Domenick Cama, Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Investors Bank, Hall of Fame inductee; Albert C. Corhan, Director of Academy Operations, Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, Hall of Fame inductee; Frankie Marra, legendary musician, community activist, Hall of Fame inductee; Edward J. O’Donnell, Esq., Senior Vice President & Marketing Manager, Chase Business Banking, Hall of Fame inductee; Vincent Colandrea, Co-Owner, New Corner Restaurant, recipient of the Family Business Legacy Award; Steven Colandrea, Co-Owner, New Corner Restaurant, recipient of the Family Business Legacy Award; Mike Baglivo, Owner/Operator, A Federal Exterminating; Joseph A. Cavalcante, CPA, Cavalcante & Company, LLC, Certified Public Accountants; Jose Cordero, Co-Owner, Bad Ass Academy & FDNY member; Daniel Costantino, Board of Director, DSNY Columbia Association; Dr. Rudolph F. “Rudy” Crew, President, Medgar Evers College; Thomas D’ Elia, Agency Managing Director, Registered Principal, D’Elia Financial Group, LLC; Charles Fabbella, Licensed Associate Broker/Member, Ben Bay Realty; Aurelio Giordano, Owner; Ace World Travel; Daniel Gutzmore, President; Highbrid Media; Julian Hagmann, Director of Operations & Business Development, the Avondale Care Group; Andrew Hoan, President & CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Peter Matheos, Senior Vice President, Investment Sales, TerraCRG; Chuck Otey, Esq., Columnist/Lawyer, Brooklyn Eagle Newspaper; and Zach Weiner, Owner, Barano Restaurant.

In addition, Dime Community Bank received the Business Legacy Award, marking its more than 150 years in business. The award was accepted by Michael A. Perez, SVP, Director of Retail Banking, Dime Community Bank.

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta and Corazon Aguirre

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