More than 250 top movers and shakers with their friends and families descended upon Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury on April 19 to celebrate the yearly recognition of the 50 “most influential” Long Islanders as determined by the writers and editors of the Long Island Press.
Now in its 14th year, the annual Long Island Press Power List and its accompanying awards gala recognizes outstanding leaders within business, the arts, politics, academia, entertainment, and the Long Island community throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.
As in previous incarnations, the Long Island Press Power List’s Class of 2016 represents a wide range of professions, organizations and causes. Included this year were the CEOs of top companies, elected officials, the heads of law enforcement agencies, renowned academics and scientists, activists and advocates, as well as community leaders and those of several nonprofits.
“The list itself tells a particular story about Long Island,” Long Island Press Publisher Jed Morey explains in an introductory letter within the list’s print edition. “Each year has its own character and nuance, like chapters in a book. But the larger narrative is one that truly reflects our journey as Long Islanders.”
Distinguishing Wednesday night’s reception ceremony from those previously was a special opening announcement by Morey that he’d be transferring ownership of the media outlet to Schneps Communications, a regional publishing company owning and operating more than 50 publications, media websites, and events throughout New York City and Long Island.
Following Morey’s heartfelt remarks chronicling the Long Island Press’ genesis from an alternative newsweekly upstart in 2003 to a monthly journal, and ultimately its present “strictly digital” format, were keynote addresses from Power List honorees New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Canon U.S.A. Executive VP, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Seymour Liebman, who stressed the need for a free and independent press.
Next was the annual Power List Hall of Fame induction ceremony, celebrating those who’ve appeared on the list at least five times. This year’s inductees were Liebman, Huntington Town Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, public relations guru Katherine Heaviside, and civil rights attorney and activist Frederick Brewington.
Power List honorees participated in an annual “Roll Call” of lighthearted and jovial introductions, followed by the final two accolades of the evening: the Long Island Press Community Champion Award, which Morey presented to Isma Chaudhry, president of the Islamic Center of Long Island, and the Long Island Press Enterprise Business Award, presented to Linda Armyn of Bethpage Federal Credit Union by Josh Schneps, who along with his mother Victoria, will be the Press’ new co-publisher.
Schneps Communications currently operates the Bethpage Best of Long Island program and hosts the annual Kings of Long Island and Long Island Power Women in Business events.
The extraordinary evening also included a spectacular dinner for honorees and guests, and featured a complimentary deck of playing cards showcasing each Power Lister’s headshot and title.
Closing out the program, Schneps spoke about his mother’s long history of advocacy, explaining how an independent press remains at the family business’ foundation and core. He also stressed his commitment to honoring the Long Island Press’ legacy of journalistic integrity.
“My mother Victoria and I are humbled and excited about the opportunity to expand our reach on Long Island and take the helm of such a venerable news media brand that has meant so much to the Island,” he told the crowd.
Featured Photo: The 2016 Long Island Press Power List honorees stand together for recognition at the annual Power List Party held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Westbury on April 19. (Photos by by Michael P. Damm Jr.)