Hundreds of supporters celebrated the Long Island Press’ annual Power Women of Long Island honorees Nov. 14 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Power Women of Long Island, sponsored by the Long Island Press and Long Island Press Business, honors a wide range of women for their work and contributions to the community, making a difference and an impact in their organization and on Long Island. Honorees ranged from entrepreneurs and top executives to leaders of nonprofits and government, in fields such as healthcare, law, business, banking, credit unions and many other aspects of the region’s economy and life in general.
“The Power Women of Long Island identifies women who have great success,” said Victoria Schneps, president of Schneps Media, publisher of Long Island Press, Dan’s Papers and a range of publications. “Success is overcoming adversity and loving what you do. People love what they do. That’s why they’re so successful. We heard women talking passionately about what they do.”
The evening included a diverse group of over 60 honorees ranging from profession to backgrounds as women spoke about their successes, challenges, stories and passions, celebrated and networked.
“One of the things we look to is the diversity of the women we honor,” Schneps continued, “showing the diversity of the women working on Long Island.”
Lucie Kwon, assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, is the first Asian-American bureau chief in that office and among honorees still breaking new ground and shattering “glass ceilings.”
“I continue to follow in the footsteps of those who came before me, being trailblazers,” Kwon told honorees. “We’re putting women in the forefront of many situations. We’re not an afterthought anymore.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney at the event said Kwon, chief of the financial crimes bureau, was “a deserving honoree” as were others that night.
“I’m happy to be here to wish all the honorees well,” he said, before a pause, “but especially Lucy.”
BREAKING NEW GROUND
Honorees talked about how their organizations were expanding, breaking new ground that way. Jenna Amato, head of marketing for Bethpage Federal Credit Union, talked about the collective effect honorees have.
“What struck me was how many amazing women were in the room together and the impact they’re having on the community on Long Island and organizations they’re working for,” Amato said. “I read the bios of the women. To be in the room and hear everybody speak was truly inspiring.”
Bethpage Federal Credit Union is now led by Linda Armyn, its first female CEO, who Amato called “an inspiring leader.” She noted the credit union is continuing to grow, expanding into Queens and Cherry Hill, NJ.
“We have expanded into Queens,” Amato said. “We opened our first branch in Sunnyside and soon to be Ozone Park and New Jersey. There are a lot of exciting things happening at Bethpage.”
Lucy Ianucci, group director and senior vice president of Flagstar Bank, noted Flagstar is part of New York Community Bank, “one of the largest regional banks in the country.”
“We offer very personalized service,” she said, noting she is a personal financial advisor to many businesses and nonprofits.
Lisa Mulligan, CEO of the Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency, has been a key person in government and business on Long Island.
She said she has been helping “businesses grow” so they can “hire people and invest in our community.” And she offered to put people in touch with the right person, in and out of Brookhaven.
Elynne Arleo, senior corporate, educational and social sales manager for The Inn at New Hyde Park, noted a lot of her clients were in the room. She said the Inn at New Hyde Park serves groups from 25 up to roughly 800.
“This is just a wonderful group of women,” Arleo said of the class of 2023. “I just want to congratulate everybody.”
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
While many honorees work with adults, others talked about the importance of investing and working with youth to everybody’s future.
Randell Bynum, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, said her group seeks to “build leaders of tomorrow, change makers of tomorrow, solution makers of tomorrow.”
“Now I’ll add to that, the power women of tomorrow,” she said. “We know how important the work we do is. When we get honors like this, we know that you also know how important the work is that the Girl Scouts do.”
Libby Imperio, of the Belmont Child Care Association, said her group provides care to backstretch workers at Belmont, educating children and providing after school services.
“We expanded our program to school age children,” she said after finding the need was there.
Elva Guerra, office manager and licensed associate real estate broker at SERHANT in Watermill, was happy to see the amount of women engaged in humanitarian work, often helping children and women.
“It’s meaningful to me, because it shows the importance of people working toward making the community better,” she said.
The event itself raised money through a raffle with all proceeds going to Life’s WORC, a nonprofit providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Healthcare is a huge industry on Long Island, and a wide range of women in healthcare were honored.
Robyn Frisch, founder and CEO of Rochem international, a supplier of ingredients to pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements, talked about her own voyage.
She traveled from China, where she grew up, to the United States 33 years ago and started a company in her basement in Bayside.
“Today, we have offices all over the country and international offices,” she said. “We bring health to humankind. When you think of many of the products you buy, the ingredients are supplied by us.”
Dr. Avni Thakore, president of Catholic Health Physician Partners, said in addition to being honored as individuals and members of organizations, it is important “to get together and get to know each other.”
And she talked about the changing face of healthcare. Dr. Thakore graduated from Harvard Medical School in 2001, when the majority of graduates were male, although she said the majority are now female.
“One of my priorities and goals as a physician leader is to help young women physicians who come out of school and start practicing,” she said.
Dr. Thakore added it is possible to have a family and a career in medicine, despite the demands of both.
“It’s a huge task. It’s not an easy one. We want to make it feasible,” she said. “There’s no reason women have to give up working to have a family.”
Chartrisse Adlam, Senior Partner, Law Offices of David M. Sperling
Annette Alicanti, The Annette Alicanti Team at Douglas Elliman
Jenna Amato, AVP of Marketing, Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Elynne Arleo, Senior Corporate, Educational & Social Sales Manager, The Inn at New Hyde Park
Alexis Barbieri, Director of Marketing, Mount Sinai South Nassau
Jennifer Barsamian, Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Long Island Studio of Music
Amanda Belz, Director of Development & Marketing, RISE Life Services
Kathy Bindert, Chief Financial Officer, Suffolk Y JCC
Jennifer Bisram, CBS New York
Sharon Boyd, Executive Director, Dress for Success
Dee Dee Brix, Principal For the Dee Dee Brix Team, Compass
Randell Bynum, CEO, Girls Scouts of Nassau County
Diane M. Camelo
Gina Coletti, Owner/Broker, GC Advisory Group, Inc.
Rachel Dalton, Assistant Vice President of Development, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation
Eileen Egan, Executive Director, Community Mainstreaming Associates Inc.
Lynne Faye, WBE Products
Heidi Felix, Vice President of Sales, LifeVac LLC
Josephine Fitzpatrick, Owner, Innovation Weight Loss & Healthy Market
Robyn Frisch, Founder/CEO, Rochem International, Inc.
Dr. Carmen Fuentealba, Founding Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Long Island University
Dr. Stephanie A. Cooper, Office of Dr. Stephen Greenberg
Dr. Inna Gellerman, Owner, Gellerman Orthodontics
Jennifer Grimaldi Toohey, Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Long Island Studio of Music
Alyssa Guidice, Founder, Dine-LI
Carol Gomes, CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital
Melissa Gonzalez, CPA, AEP, Grassi
Elva Guerra, Office Manager/Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Serhant
Alyssa Guidice, Founder, Dine-LI
Sabrina Guo, Founder and CEO, Girl Pride International
Jennifer Hayen, Director of Communications, Long Island Power Authority
Connie Henrique-Kimmel, Founder, Author & Life Coach, Start Loving Life
Jodi S. Hoffman, Partner/Co-Chair, Certilman Balin Alder & Hyman, LLP
Kelly Jones Howell, Title Industry Leader, Harris Beach PPLC
Libby Imperio, President, Belmont Child Care Association
Lucy Iannucci, Group Director-Senior Vice President, Flagstar Bank
Dr. Eve Lupenko, Office of Dr. Stephen Greenberg
Felicia Kasow, Director of Marketing & Operations, Pure Mammography
Rochelle Kelly-Apson, Senior Vice President, McBride Consulting Group
Connie Henriquez Kimmel, Start Loving Life
Donna-Marie Korth, Partner, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman LLP
Jennifer Koo, Attorney and Partner, Sales Tax Defense LLC
Frances Kweller, Founder/Owner, Kweller Prep Tutoring
Lucie Kwon, Assistant District Attorney, Suffolk County Jade Society
Sandy Lafazan, Psychotherapist & Radio Co-Host, Office of Sandy Lafazan L.C.S.W.
Dr. Mary A. Martinez Lagnado, Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs, Uniondale School District
Sandra Lindsay, Vice President of Public Health Advocacy, Northwell Health
Sabrina G. Lombardi, J.D., Vice President, Corporate Compliance & Chief Privacy Officer, Spectrum Vision Partners
Smitha Lukose-Khan, Flushing Bank, New Hyde Park
Christina Maher, Recording Secretary, Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees
Melissa McGrath, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Serhant
Tina Moreno, Vice President of Development and Public Affairs, Life’s WORC
Lisa Mulligan, CEO, Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency
Olivia Phillips, Ambassador Girl Scout and Next Generation Award Winner, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County
Donna Raab, Chief Talent Officer and Executive Vice President, SterlingRisk
Dr. Christine Riordan, President of Adelphi University
Lisa Rispoli, CPA, AEP, Grassi
Alice Marie Rorke, Executive Director, Townwide Fund of Huntington
Megan C. Ryan, Esq., NuHealth/NUMC and A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility
Dana Sanneman, Vice President of Public Affairs & Development, Mount Sinai South Nassau
Susan Samaroo, Executive Director, Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education
Tammy Severino, President and CEO, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County
Stacey Sikes, Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications, Long Island Association
Lauren Summa, Manager for the Training, Events, and Operations Team in the Office of the President and CEO, Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
Leslie H. Tayne, Esq., Founder and Head Attorney focusing on Consumer and Business Debt matters, Tayne Law Group, P.C.
Dr. Avni Thakore, President, Catholic Health Physician Partners
Jennifer Grimaldi Toohey, Co-Founder/Co-Owner, Long Island Studio of Music
Dr. Evelyn Tuero-Llanos, CEO, Piragua Consulting
Dr. Nicole Wadsworth, Dean, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Angela Wambugu Cobb, Institutional Advancement Vice President, SUNY Old Westbury/Executive Director, Old Westbury College Foundation
Alexandra Zendrian, Vice President, StreetCred Communications