Long Island Power Women in Business Honored


Some of the most influential women in the Long Island business landscape brought their colleagues, families and friends together for a night of celebration at the ‘Power Women in Business’ awards and networking event in Great Neck.

Nearly 600 guests filled Leonard’s Palazzo to see Schneps Communications recognize Long Island’s most outstanding women in business, banking, real estate, law, not-for-profit and entrepreneurship. The honorees shared business cards, enjoyed cocktails and food and received a beautiful, iconic bronze award and certificate for the work they do in their businesses and communities. The women were also presented with swag from Godiva, Bottle Bargains and Demarche.

“We are thrilled because you are it, you are the stars of the east coast,” Victoria Schneps, co-publisher of Schneps Communications and Long Island Press, told the honorees. “You are the power of Long Island.”

The ceremony was highlighted by a number of awards of distinction: Antoinette Biordi, a reporter and anchor for News 12 Long Island, received the ‘Star of Stars’ award;

Ann Conroy, president of the Long Island division of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, received the ‘Realtor of the Year’ award.

Kim Gavin and Renee Wisinski, co-founders of Twin Tech, LLC received the ‘Innovators of the Year’ award; Amy Altman and Moriah Adamo, partners at Abrams Fensterman, received the ‘Dynamic Duo’ award; Pavneet Kaur Mehra, vice president of CitiCards branded cards, received the ‘Rising Star’ award.

The event concluded with a raffle portion in the which 100 percent of proceeds were raised to benefit the rock can roll organization.

The rest of the ‘Power Women’ honorees were as follows:

Dr. Neva Helena Alexander, Founder, Neva Global Alliance
Lorraine Aycock, SVP & Market Manager of Enterprise Business and Community Engagement, Bank of America
Grace Balucci-Doria, CEO, Grace’s Marketplace
Hon. Ruth Bogatyrow Kraft, Partner, Vigorito, Barker, Porter, & Patterson LLP
Annamarie Bondi-Stoddard, Managing Partner, Pegalis & Erickson, LLC
Susan Bortone, Director of Operations, GoHealth Urgent Care
Sandra N. Busell, Partner, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP
Jean Camilletti, Franchise Partner, Blo Blow Dry Bar
Jennifer Cantin, Director of Marketing & Development, Lessings Hospitality Group
Margo Cargill, CEO, Titanium Linx Consulting, Inc.
Marianela Casas, Assistant Commissioner for Community Engagement, Nassau County Police Department
Stephanie Castro, Associate Group Director Vice President, Signature Bank
Shalu Chopra, Community Advocate
Yvonne Cort, Partner, Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld, LLP
Cheryelle Cruickshank, CEO, Human First
Elizabeth Custodio, Vice President, Community Development & CRA Officer for NY People’s United Bank
Donna M. Douglas, Director of Operations, Academy Charter School
Wendy Dubner-Master, President, Heritage Farms & Garden
Allison Ehrlich, District Manager, ADP
Brigitte Ferrada, SVP & Relationship Manager, Capital One
Meredith Friedman, Partner, Van Horn & Friedman, P.C.
Amanda Field, Commissioner, Plainview Water District
Loretta Gastwirth, Partner, Meltzer Lippe
Kim Gates Goldstein, Attorney, Gates Goldstein, LLP
Cheri Giglia, Managing Director, CPA, Supporting Strategies, North Shore LI
Reena Gulati, Principal Attorney, Reena Gulati, PLLC
Daria Hoffman, Attorney & Associate Real Estate Broker
Kristen Jarnagin, President & CEO, Discover Long Island
Melissa Kaiser, Vice President- Business Development Officer, Flushing Bank
Deborah Kaminetzky, Owner, Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
Elena Karabatos, Partner, Schlissel Ostrow Karabatos, PLLC
Karen Keating, President, Tradition Title Agency, Inc.
Kelsey Knutsen, Chief Marketing Officer, Tully Rinckey PLLC
Robyn Kreiner, MD, Adult & Pediatric Allergist, Strauss Allergy & Asthma
Dr. Eve Lupenko, Greenberg Plastic Surgery and Dermatology
Joan Hope MacNaughton, Founder & Artistic Director, Leggz LTD
Runi Mukherji Ratnam, Ph.D., SUNY Old Westbury
Samantha Ray, Head of Operations, American Investment Properties
Gail Ritzert, Partner, Hawkins, Rosenfield, Ritzert & Varriale, LLP
Gyll Sbrocchi, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer, Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Judy L. Simoncic, Partner, Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP
Karen Tenenbaum, Managing Partner and Founder, Tenenbaum Law, P.C.
Davi Tserpelis, SVP Regional Business Banking Manager, City National Bank
Cristina Velez, General Manager, Hampton Inn & Suites at Rockville Centre 
Kathy Viard, Broker/Owner, Signature Premier Properties
Veena Vijayendra, Public Health Policy Advocate
Julie Watterson, Executive Director, Kids Clubhouse of Suffolk County
Amy Zaslansky, Founder, The Book Fairies
Merrill Zorn, President & CEO, Zorn’s of Bethpage

Antoinette Biordi, who was also the guest emcee for the event, took a moment to reflect on what being a ‘Power Woman’ meant to her when she addressed the crowd.

“I get to be a woman in charge and in power every day and I just hope that I can continue to inspire a new generation of power women,” Biordi said. “It’s important now more than ever, especially in this social climate, that we recognize, connect, support and empower each other.”

Lorraine Aycock, senior vice president and market manager of enterprise business and community engagement for Bank of America, said that the importance of such an event is the ability to bring so many influential women together to join forces.

“The idea of harnessing all of this power in one room, it really speaks to where Long Island is and how women have been part of the change and are working together to really touch so many areas of the community,” Aycock said.

For Joan Hope MacNaughton, who has owned her dance studio Leggz LTD since she was 19, the event was a reminder that women are capable of anything.

“Women are naturally powerful, they just have to realize it themselves and become very independent,” she said. “When you become independent you become powerful.”

Wisinksi added that the ‘Innovators of the Year’ award she and Gavin received is validation that they are making a difference.

“It’s inspirational to be recognized for something that we kind of feel comfortable doing in the everyday,” Wisinski said. “But I think if one person pays attention and is inspired by what Kim and I have done then we’ve done our job.”

The platinum sponsor of the event was London Jewelers, while other sponsors included: Investors Bank; Flushing Bank; Parker Jewish Institute for Rehabilitation and Health Care; Capital One; Vigorito, Barker, Porter and Patterson, LLP; Northwell Health Go Health Urgent Care; Lessing’s Hospitality Group; Signature Premier Properties; Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.; People’s United Bank; jetBlue; Rallye Auto Group; Capell, Barnett, Matalon and Schoenfeld, LLP; Raich, Ende and Malter Co., LLP; Zorn’s of Bethpage; Godiva; The Salon Project; and Sandwire.

Click here to view the photo gallery from the event. Photos by Allen Ngai