Honorees gathered at Maestro’s Caterers for a VIP happy hour — drinking signature Vicki cocktails named after Schneps Media President Victoria Schneps — before joining guests in the banquet hall for the Schneps Media and Bronx Times inaugural 2021 Bronx PowerList awards ceremony.
Each honoree strutted into the hall to a song custom chosen for them.
Meisha Porter, NYC Department of Education Chancellor and soon the founding CEO and president of the Bronx Community Foundation told the room full of honorees: “This is our opportunity to re-tell the Bronx tale and recreate our narrative.”
Porter told the Bronx Times she was proud to be part of the Bronx celebration.
“I’m just excited to be honored and acknowledged by my community,” she said. “The Bronx is my home, where I raised my family, where I grew up as a leader.”
Patrick Jenkins, president of Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates, said the event brought people together who can work to build their strength collaboratively. “After years of hard work it’s always great to be recognized, and it’s also humbling to be surrounded by so many people who have made so many important contributions to the Bronx,” Jenkins told the Bronx Times.
Susan Burns, president of College of Mount Saint Vincent, said it was an honor to be among wonderful individuals from the Bronx community.
“The College of Mount Saint Vincent is a proud member of the community and we look forward to partnering with these wonderful people to support and develop the Bronx as it’s meant to be,” she said.
Gregory Perry, owner of Crown Trophy and author of “Running Between the Raindrops,” said he felt blessed to be part of the night.
“It wasn’t always like this,” he said, sharing trials and tribulations he overcame that inspired him to help others “unlock the greatness within them,” a lesson he said his book focuses on.
Carlos Naudon, president and CEO of Ponce Bank, told the Bronx Times that the honor is not about him, but about the work of his company.
Elizabeth Toledo, vice president of field operations for the YMCA of Greater New York told the Bronx Times the organization opened its second Bronx branch in September and is on its way to opening another — in the South Bronx — in early winter 2023, after the borough’s centers had been lagging in its services.
Guests overflowed with pride for their loved ones as they spoke to the Bronx Times.
Chastity Rivera, step-daughter of Beverly Raudales, senior vice president of Communilife, Inc., said Raudales is always working hard at home.
“Beverly is very passionate with her work and I really do admire that because it makes me motivated to be as supportive as she is,” the 21-year-old said. “… It’s just very inspiring how dedicated she is to just help the community of New York.”
Raudales said she was excited to be in the room with so many Bronx community leaders and agents of change.
“It’s a small community,” she told the Bronx Times. “But it’s evident that we’re all invested in the Bronx and that we care about responding to the Bronx community’s needs.”
Roberta Batts, mother of Kiora Johnson, the founder and executive director of God’s Blessings Plan, spoke about her daughter with admiration.
“She has brought God’s grace to various communities,” Batts said. “And that’s not something people can say they do on a regular basis. It’s scary to go out there and step out there like that.”
Kim Bucano said she is grateful her husband Rocky Bucano, the executive director and president of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, is being acknowledged for his work.
Sue Buccieri and Julia Buccieri, the wife and daughter, respectively, of Today Realty Corp., real estate broker Vincent Buccieri, both praised his work for the family business.
“He puts his heart and soul into everything that he does,” Sue Buccieri said. “He really does.”
Julia, 15, said her father inspires her and shows her not just what hard work is, but that it always pays off.
The 2021 Bronx PowerList honorees are:
Abdulurb Abbadi; Wilma Alonzo, Maria Alvarado; Irene Amato; Gary Axelbank; Rachel Batista; Swannie Batista; Larry Scott Blackmon; Rocky Bucano; Vincent Buccheri; Kenny Burgos; Dr. Susan R. Burns; Deborah Charlemagne; Sean Ebony Coleman; Josephy Cosentino; Johann DeJesus-Cortes; Anthony Domathoti; Robert Eustace; Nathalia Fernandez; Debbian Fletcher-Blake; Ethan Geto; Vanessa Gibson; Mark Gjonaj; Angelo Gonzalez; Cary Goodman, Ph.D.; Steve Greenstein; Carl Heastie; Patrick B. Jenkins; Kiora Johnson; Daniel Kane Jr.; Stephen Kaufman; Bharati Kemraj; Keith Kinch; Scott Kriger; Dr. Lawrence Landau; Derrick Lewis; Peter Madonia; James McCarthy; Shana McCormick; Mari Gabrielle Millet; Vera Mjeku; Dan J. Montas Tran; Shanequa Moore; Carlos Naudon; Rigaud Noel; Edison Ortega; Michael Partis; Gregory Perry; Dr. Meisha Porter; Paul Ramirez; Dr. Beverly Raudales; Daniel Reingold; Dr. Corrine Renne; Jennifer Rivera; Jose Antonio Rodriguez; Eliezer Rodriguez, Esq.; Rafael Roger; Shaun Ruskin; Davon Russell; Ninfa Segarra; Dr. Camelia Tepelis; Calvin Thomas; Sanjya Tidke; Elizabeth Toledo; Robert Velez, Esq.; Andre White; and Lourdes Zapata.
The Grand Corporate Sponsors are:
Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates; Carlos Naudon; Ponce Bank; Phipps Neighborhoods; Chase Bank; Acacia Network; Morris Heights Health Center; Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C.; FreshDirect; HGAR; and Universal Hip Hop Museum.