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Brooklyn Women of Distinction

Photo gallery

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Fierce females: Courier Life Publications’ and Community News Group’s 2016 Brooklyn Women of Distinction join forces for an heirloom-worthy snap outside Sirico’s Caterers in Dyker Heights.
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Pleasing plaudit: Forget the Presidential Medal — CNG’s Brooklyn Woman of Distinction award was the coveted laurel of the evening.
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Good evening, folks: Jennifer Goodstein, president and publisher of Community News Group, welcomes one and all to the 2016 Brooklyn Women of Distinction gala at Sirico’s Caterers in Dyker Heights.
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Class of her own: Empire State College Professor Dr, Sybil DeVeaux gives love to a pint-sized supporter — her grandson — before the event began.
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Regular riot: Comedian and emcee Ophira Eisenberg, who played herself on the season finale of HBO’s “Girls,” brought down the house with her gut-busting gags.
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Tickling the funnybone: Eisenberg, left, shares a moment with honoree Lynn Harris, the Breakthrough vice president who also uses humor to spotlight social issues.
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Golden and glowing: Shirley Young, left — a retired Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps emergency medical technician, writer, poet, choral singer, and soloist — receives her award from CNG’s Amanda Tarley.
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Youth activist: Evergreen Middle School social worker Michele Jerry encourages kids to march to their own beat.
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Food for thought: Web designer and spiritual artist Natalie Isikli brought her family’s Sahara restaurant into the modern age.
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Grassroots gladiator: Honoree Bazah Roohi, founder and president of the American Council of Minority Women, waves to family and friends from the podium.
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Blues beauty: Vocalist, actress, and Big Eyes Enterprises’ producer Beareather Reddy embodies the meaning of self-invention.
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Female powerhouses: New York Parenting Media publisher and editor Susan Weiss, right, presents an award to Senior Citizens League of Flatbush executive director Lenore Friedman.
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Mall mover-shaker: Macerich marketing manager Dawn Simon made Kings Plaza Shopping Center a mall for serious shoppers.
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Tireless fighter: Attorney, fund-raiser, and special events consultant Regina Andriolo, one of the first women to work in professional boxing, left, joins presenter Nicole Robinson-Etienne.
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Female force: Moroccan Association Council on Empowering Woman founder Hafida Torres told a touching story about her move to America.
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Renaissance woman: Awardee Carmen Gloria Rosario-Olmedo’s multiple humanitarian and civic hats include being a Fulbright scholar, actress, teacher, and animal activist.
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In the spotlight: There’s no business like show business for Kingsborough Performing Arts Center theater director Anne Becker.
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Amazing ladies: Honoree Pamela Esposito-Amery, founder of a national ovarian cancer walk (left), receives her award from Nicole Robinson-Etienne, New York Aquarium’s assistant director for city and state affairs.
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Sweet melody: Noel Pointer Foundation executive director Chinita Pointer introduces the next generation to the marvels of music.
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Congratulations: Amanda Tarley, CNG’s executive vice president of advertising, left, presents an award to honoree Nancy Colt, a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society.
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Inspiring youngsters: InspireCorps founder and executive director Stephanie Thompson is honored for giving public school students access to the arts.
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Women of Distinction: Honoree Dr. Amy Lipnicki, a Mill Basin veterinarian, left, receives her award from Edible Arrangements co-owner Limor Ziarno, who was a Brooklyn Women of Distinction last year.
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Smart siblings: Tiny Tots Express pre-K day care co-founders — and sisters — Diane Marino, left, and Nancy Falco, center, receive their awards from last year’s Brooklyn Woman of Distinction Limor Ziarno.
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Sweet deal: Boutique baker Maria Teresa Nitti, owner of Isabella’s Creations, left, makes homeless kids’ birthday wishes come true, courtesy of her Operation Birthday Party organization.
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Youth visionary: Medgar Evers College director Dr. Saundra Johnson strives to give at-risk youth options.
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Step it up: Bonnii and Cathy’s Dance Showcase owner Bonnii Gargano, center, has danced at Carnegie Hall — under the direction of legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.
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Sensational staffers: From left, Community News Group employees Stephanie Stellaciio, Carol Magluillo, Jeanne Eisenhardt, Pearl Beatrice, Lisa Malwitz, Jennifer Stern, and Cynthia Soto made sure the festivities progressed smoothly.
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Sweet!: Honoree Maria Teresa Nitti’s scrumptious, three-tier, red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla palate pleaser was the icing on the cake.

June, 2016

Dyker Heights ►Video

Oh, what a night! We honor Brooklyn’s best and brightest women

Woman, woman! We saluted Kings County’s most “distinctive” females at Sirico’s Caterers in Dyker Heights. Comments (1)
Borough-wide

Dr. Amy Lipnicki: Vet is an ailing animal’s best friend

When an abandoned Yorkshire terrier was found tied up in front of a Mill Basin cafe in the summer of 2014, it was brought directly across the street to veterinarian Dr. Amy Lipnicki at the Mill Basin Veterinary Clinic. The terrier, covered in dirt and urine, was suffering from a build-up of gallbladder stones, X-rays revealed. Comment
Borough-wide

Angela Pisakhova: Youth advocate helps kids connect with their culture

A “desire to help others and make this world a better place” is what drew Angelika Pisakhova to the community service sector four years ago. She now serves as general manager of the Tovushi Kavkazi Jewish Youth Center — a position that she has held for the past two years. Comment
Borough-wide

Anna Becker: There’s no business like show business to this theater director

This Woman of Distinction lives and breathes theater. Comment
Borough-wide

Audrey Doorn: ‘Lion’ vollie is queen of community service

Audrey Doorn works in management, but it is her volunteer work that makes her a real standout. Comment
Borough-wide

Bazah Roohi: Humanitarian works to empower women and stop abuse

Bazah Roohi has an ambitious goal — to stop domestic violence against women and end human rights abuses. Comment
Borough-wide

Beareather Reddy: Actress and singer brings the blues to her community

Ocean Hill actress, blues singer, community leader, and former broadcast news director Beareather Reddy embodies the meaning of self-reinvention. Comments (1)
Borough-wide

Bonnii Gargano: Dance teacher steps up the fancy footwork for others

A peek into Bonnii Gargano’s dance studio on any given day might provide a snapshot into the legacy she has created in Brooklyn: “Sit still. Sit tall,” a mother might tell her daughter as she prepares for her first class. Many moms have already been students of Miss Bonnii themselves, and they know the drill. Comment
Borough-wide

Carmen Gloria Rosario-Olmedo: Renaissance woman promotes humanity for kids and animals

Carmen Gloria Rosario-Olmedo is a busy Park Sloper as a doctor of philosophy, an actress, a teacher, a principal, a family woman, a Fulbright scholar, and an animal activist. Comments (3)
Borough-wide

Chinita Pointer: Youth advocate taps talent through music

When Chinita Pointer lost her husband — famed musician Noel Pointer — in 1994, she and her family wanted to start a foundation to finish the many projects he left behind. Comments (2)
Borough-wide

Dawn Simon: Mall big is also a big heart

If you’re from Brooklyn, you know that Kings Plaza Shopping Center — on the border of Marine Park and Mill Basin — is the mall of record for serious shoppers. Comment
Borough-wide

Hafida Torres: Community advocate helps Morrocan-Americans adjust and succeed

Moroccan-born Hafida — née Balalioui — Torres came to New York City in 1999. After living in Queens for a short period, she moved to Brooklyn and here is where she has stayed. Comment
Borough-wide

Ingrid Lewis-Martin: Senior advisor to beep keeps Brooklyn on track

You might say that Ingrid Lewis-Martin’s life has always been all about Brooklyn. Born at St. John’s Hospital, currently known as Interfaith Hospital, she was raised and educated in the borough at various public schools. She then ventured across the river to attend college in Manhattan. Comment
Borough-wide

Laura Glazier-Smith: College alum is a class act as alumni boss

Little did Laura Glazier-Smith know as a student at Kingsborough Community College that she would return to her alma mater someday as director of the alumni department. Comment
Borough-wide

Lenore Friedman: Senior center exec makes their golden years sparkle

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lenore Friedman has worn many hats in her life. Daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, friend. Comment
Borough-wide

Lynn Harris: Public spirit uses humor to advance human rights

Humanity belongs to everyone, claims Lynn Harris, vice president of communications at Breakthrough, an organization focusing on global human rights and preventing violence against women. Comment
Borough-wide

Maria Teresa Nitti: Cake designer has a sweet success story

The sweet phrase, “made with love,” rings especially true for celebrated cake designer Maria Teresa Nitti. Comment
Borough-wide

Michele Jerry: Social worker wants kids to be individuals

When students at Evergreen Middle School see school social worker Michele Jerry, they witness everything she would want them to be. Comment
Borough-wide

Nancy Colt: Vollie gives self and time to fight cancer

When you work for the American Cancer Society, you’re basically a philanthropist 24-7. To prove it, let’s take a look at how Nancy Colt describes her job. Comment
Borough-wide

Nancy Falco and Diane Marino: Sister educators help tots reach their full potential

Sisters Nancy Falco and Diane Marino have been dedicated to providing the highest quality services for Brooklyn children and families for more than 30 years. Comment
Borough-wide

Natalie Isikli: Artist and restaurateur blends love and unity

Natalie Isikli has a deep affection for Sahara restaurant, and it’s not just because it’s a place where people from all over the world come together, or because, as she likes to say, “It is the mother of all Turkish restaurants in New York City.” It’s because she’s become a part of the Sahara family. Comment
Borough-wide

Pamela Esposito-Amery: Activist’s mission to eradicate ovarian cancer

Tell every amazing lady about ovarian cancer. Comment
Borough-wide

Regina Andriolo: Legal eagle is a case study in dedication

Attorney, public relations specialist, and community outreach expert Regina Andriolo is an expert in the medical, sports, and entertainment industries, and her charitable work has made a real impact on many people. Comment
Borough-wide

Dr. Saundra Johnson: Afterschool educator is in a class of her own

It’s no surprise that Dr. Saundra Johnson’s motto is, “dear child, I see the beauty in you.” Comment
Borough-wide

Shirley Young: Medical educator has helped save countless lives

When it comes to serving her community, Shirley Young has been around the block a few times — literally. Comment
Borough-wide

Stephanie Thompson: Youth leader ‘Inspires’ students to be art smart

Stephanie Thompson isn’t happy that some kids benefit from New York City’s wellspring of creativity, but others don’t. That’s why the freelance writer, who writes about the arts, advertising, health, and education, started InspireCorps, a group that brings creative professionals and curious students together. Comment
Borough-wide

Dr. Sybil DeVeaux: College professor is a living lesson in dedication

Jamaican-born college professor Dr. Sybil DeVeaux has called New York home for the past 45 years. The lecturer at Empire State College (State University of New York) has quite an impressive curriculum vitae, particularly in her educational achievements. Comment
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