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Best of New York Awards for Ten Outstanding Community Builders

More than 320 guests gathered to honor ten outstanding community builders at the 2012 Best of New York Award Dinner on Monday, May 14, in the Trianon Ballroom at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. First held in 1983, the annual event is hosted by the New York City College of Technology Foundation. Proceeds from the dinner support foundation-sponsored scholarships and other student financial assistance and professional development programs.

The evening began with a Guest of Honor Reception, followed by dinner and the awards presentation. Entertainment was provided by The Alvin Pall Quintet during the reception, which featured a display of ten architectural drawings of a new academic building that will soon replace the College’s Klitgord Center. The new building will contain much-needed classrooms, labs and faculty offices for degree programs in the healthcare and the sciences.

This year’s Honorary Dinner Chairs were Alan Aviles, president and CEO, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, and Peter M. Meyer, president, New York City Market, TD Bank. City Tech graduate Michael Lomonaco ’84, celebrity chef and managing partner, Porter House New York at Time Warner Center, again served as Master of Ceremonies. James Johnson, director of catering for the Hilton, brought greetings on behalf of the hotel.

Best of New York Award honorees were Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Carl Brown and Keith Perrin of FUBU/The Collection; Steve Hindy, co-founder, chairman and president, The Brooklyn Brewery; Joyce Randolph Charles, star of “The Honeymooners;” Yvonne Riley-Tepie ’92, vice president, U.S. field marketing, TD Bank; Terry Tang, founder and CEO, TMI Food Group. Also honored with Distinguished Alumnus Awards were Angela Hines, Esq. ’98, Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice and founder and executive director of "Project Window," and Jesus I. Coombs ’05, deputy director of construction services, New York Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

The theme of the dinner, “Building Community!” spoke volumes with respect to the contributions that 2012 honorees have made to strengthening the many communities their efforts have impacted. “It is this same commitment that New York City College of Technology has long endeavored to instill in its students,” Foundation Chair Martin Jaffe and City Tech President Russell Hotzler wrote in the event Journal, “many of whom have gone on to spearhead community-building endeavors vital to the wellbeing of our city, state and nation. ”

FUBU, The Collection, is the result of a collaborative effort on the part of four Queens, New York childhood friends that helped turn a neighborhood cottage industry into a manufacturing giant that has helped reshape the apparel industry worldwide. Honoree Steve Hindy, co-founder, chairman and president of The Brooklyn Brewery, brought the best elements of entrepreneurship and determination to reviving the brewing industry in Brooklyn and contributing to the Borough’s economic renaissance. Honoree Joyce Randolph Charles, the last surviving member of the cast of early television’s legendary sit-com “The Honeymooners” has devoted much of her time as a member of the board of the USO to helping the armed forces and veterans communities and through her work in a similar capacity on behalf of The Lambs and The Lambs Foundation to benefiting needy, sick or destitute members of the entertainment industry.

The community activism of honoree and TD Bank Vice President Yvonne Riley-Tepie ’92 has long inspired all who have worked with her at the bank, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and in other settings. Honoree Terry Tang, founder and CEO, TMI Food Group, turned a small noodle factory in Manhattan’s Chinatown into one of the largest noodle manufacturers in America, strengthening the economy of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn and enriching the lives of Asian-Americans citywide through a host of community-building events and related activities.   

City Tech alumni Jesus I. Coombs ’05 and Angela Hines, Esq. ’98 are making impressive contributions to the many communities impacted by their work. Currently serving as deputy director of construction services for the New York Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), Coombs has fashioned a collaboration between DCAS, the Society of Registered American Architects and City Tech to offer a series of preparation courses to assist other alumni, DCAS employees and members of the Society of American Registered Architects in preparing for the Architectural Licensing exams.

 Hines, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice, is part of a statewide effort to enact an initiative that would no longer place delinquent youth in state-run, non-secure or limited-secure upstate New York facilities, but closer to home in local community-based programs where they would receive services and be able to see family members on a regular basis. Hines is also founder of "Project Window," a non-profit organization that provides young women living in low-income housing projects in Far Rockaway with opportunities to reach their full potential and face life with confidence.

Acknowledged during the program were City Tech graphic designer Al Vargas and facilities director David Turkiew for their work on the evening’s video presentations. Special thanks also went to Hospitality Management Professor Louise Hoffman and her confectionery arts students for the decoratively boxed hand-made chocolates provided each of the evening’s 320 guests.

Photo gallery of the event:

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