What does it mean to be one of the 40 men honored on Schneps Media’s Bronx A List?
The answer for some honorees at Thursday’s event held in at the spacious Maestro’s Caterers in the Van Nest section of the Bronx varied from humility to pride, but each honoree expressed a devout service to the borough and its residents.
For Timothy Tapia, regional director of AT&T who also helped with recovery efforts in the aftermath of the devastating Jan. 9 Twin Parks fire, placement on the A List is another chapter in the story of a Bronx kid who transformed his path in life through educational attainment.
“I’m just proud of the story as someone who grew up in a broken home and found that path to education that just helped unlock so many doors for me,” Tapia said. “And so I’m just grateful (to be on the A List) as not only a representative of a company like AT&T, but a company that is and wants to do the work to help our communities here in the Bronx.”
After “The Super” Luis Torres was honored at an April street renaming ceremony at the intersection of Elder and Watson avenues in the Soundview section, it was a special moment for his son, A List honoree Luis Torres, to also be honored in the borough for his 18-year service as a principal at P.S. 55 Benjamin Franklin in Claremont Village.
“To be on the A List? I mean what’s better than that,” said the younger Torres. “This honor is also great for me, because (last) month my father was also honored for the work he did for his community and his tenants. To share that and know that my work is also making an impact, it’s truly special.”
With 200-plus in attendance on April 28, it was a lively scene as key Bronx figures such as state Sen. Jamaal Bailey sauntered and grooved down the red carpet inside the venue’s grand ballroom. But Thursday’s event was also a philanthropic endeavor with 100% of the night’s proceeds — $2,000 raised in total — going toward Acacia Network’s efforts to help 400 homeless New Yorkers.
In a year of change for the Acacia Network, A List honoree Raul Russi, who serves as the organization’s president, told the Bronx Times that when he abdicated his CEO position to allow Lymaris Albors to take over, he said it was a lesson in “letting go” and allowing new leadership to take course. The work for Acacia Network in addressing the dual crisis of housing and homelessness in the city has moved forward with new voices and perspectives, and an understanding of the communities they serve, Russi told the Bronx Times.
“The ability for our communities to able to transition out of (power positions) is especially difficult because we sometimes don’t know how to let go,” said Russi. “For me, letting go and allowing new leadership to look toward the future — and how we’re going to help our communities — that’s the thing I’m proudest of.”
Schneps Media publishes the Bronx Times in addition to 33 award-winning newspapers, 28 magazines and specialty publications. To learn about those named to the A List go to BronxALIST.com
Below are the list of Bronx A List Honorees:
Kevin Alicea – Havana Cafe
David A. Aviles – Equus Workforce Solutions
Sen. Jamaal Bailey – New York’s 36th State Senate District
Rafael Ocasio Barreto – Founder of ACER-K-T, Inc.
Courtney Bennett – One Hundred Black Men of New York
Larry Scott Blackmon – FreshDirect
Michael Brady – Third Avenue Business Improvement District & Bruckner Blvd Commercial District
Samuel Brooks – Mott Haven Historic Districts Association
Rocky Bucano – Universal Hip Hop Museum
Vincent Buccieri – Today Realty Corp.
Lenny Caro – Royal Waste Services, Inc.
Sean Coleman – Destination Tomorrow
Justin Cortes – Office of the Bronx Borough President
David Coulibaly – NYC Health + Hospitals/Bronx Director of the NYC Test and Trace Corps Outreach Campaign
Marco Damiani – AHRC New York City
Rep. Adriano Espaillat – New York’s 13th Congressional District
Barry Fitzgerald – F&F Insurance Services
Fernando Michael Garcia – The Fox & King, Inc.
Angelo Gonzalez – CORE Realty
Angel Hernandez – Huntington Free Library
Stephen B. Kaufman – Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C.
Ioannis Kouzilos – Ponce Bank
Jason Laidley – Londonhouse LLC
Dan Leventhal – Bronx Lacrosse
Derrick Lovett – MBD Community Housing Corp.
Ululy Rafael Martinez – Law Office of Ululy Rafael Martinez
Jose Matos – Brown-Forman
John O’Connor & Christopher O’Hara – Flushing Bank
Edison Ortega – Spring Bank
Antirson Ortiz – NYC Office of the Comptroller
Marques Payne – Mercy College
Daniel Reingold -RiverSpring Living
Eliezer Rodriguez -Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR)
Jose Rodriguez – Office of NYC Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala
Raul Russi – Acacia Network
Ronald Schutté – All Hallows High School
Abdul Sulaiman, Jr. – Project Pawn LLC
Timothy Tapia – AT&T
Luis Torres – P.S. 55
Dan J. Montas Tran – Mott Haven Community Partnership