FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.couriersun.com february 5, 2015 • The Courier sun 47 More than 500 come out to honor 2015 Rising Stars BY ERI C JANKIE WICZ email@example.com/@ericjankiewicz The stars were shining at Terrace on the Park on the night of Jan. 29 as more than 40 top young professionals from around the borough were celebrated at The Queens Courier’s 2015 Rising Stars Awards & Networking Event. During the event, attendees networked with people in various fields, including Karlee Perez, a professional wrestler who used to perform in the WWE and now has a role in a Spanish wrestling show called “Lucha Underground.” The ceremony was attended by 550 people, a record high for the annual event. Rising Stars is held every year to honor individuals who exemplify outstanding leadership skills not only in their chosen fields, but also in their community. “This number shows that we continue to grow as a community,” said Josh Schneps, co-publisher of The Queens Courier, to a room of hundreds of people in Terrace on the Park’s dining room. “And I’m very happy to see you all here celebrating the strength of Queens.” With the help of Perez, Schneps presented awards for outstanding performance to the night’s honorees. Along with Queens Courier publisher and CEO Victoria Schneps, the trio emceed the glamorous event. “I flew in today just to come here to this exciting event,” Perez said, explaining that she was in the middle of shooting her new show in California. “I didn’t know what to expect. It’s great to be around such a diverse group.” During the night, the Courier publishers emphasized that, with so many people, the opportunity for networking strengthened the allure of the event. But the night was also about celebrating people’s desire to strengthen Queens neighborhoods. Honoree Jennifer Smith’s employer, Investor Bank, is looking to expand into Queens by helping nonprofit organizations who are trying to improve communities throughout the borough. “Queens is it,” Smith said, explaining that the New Jersey-based bank had exhausted all opportunities in their home state and now sees Queens as fertile ground for new business. She continued, “We look for local grassroots organizations and we want to work with organizations that directly benefit communities in Queens.” A raffle event was also held that night to raise money for two charities. Through the contribution of hundreds of participants, The Queens Courier managed to raise $3,500 to be split between Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities and A-T Children’s project. This year’s event sponsors were National Grid, TD Bank, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, Delta Airlines, Queens Library, Con Edison, Flushing Bank, Council for Airport Opportunity, Queens County Savings Bank, Time Warner Business Class, Samuel Field Y, Sandwire, Crystal Window & Door Systems, Investors Bank and Ehren Joseph Studios. The honorees included Marc Michalic, Kareem Savinon, Karlee Perez, Massiel Mordan, Carl Mattone, Jennifer L. Smith, Stefan Malliet, Jessie A. Molina, Dr Curcio, Dr. Benjamin Malkin, Steven Palladino, Dr. Megwalu, Jessica Akde-Elmazi, Kim Matthews, Sonia Mylonas, Tommy DiMisa, Sal Joseph Crifasi, Jason Hilliard, Sara Anne Fingerman, Monisha Singla, Nicole Castriota, John-Ross “J.R.” Rizzo, Jessica Garcia, Stephanie Belanich, Jan Michael Quibir, Brian Miller, Keller Williams, Martin Charles, Ryan Marzullo, Lissa M. Benton, Ryan Marzullo, Lyle Sclair, Natalie Serse, Ryan Marzullo, Daniel Hochler, James Galleshaw, Ken Holiday-Robinson and Sante Antonelli.
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