Wednesday, July 14, 2021 was a banner day for Long Island’s women of business. The Herald Premier Business Women of Long Island Awards, originally planned for 2020 and delayed over a year due to the pandemic, were held at The Heritage Club at Bethpage and recognized women for their excellence in various fields.
The awards kicked off with a lovely cocktail hour where guests and honorees met and networked with each other. The mood was bursting with positivity, with honorees excited and grateful to be able to meet in person for the first time in over a year.
Honorees were thrilled to be among their peers and acknowledged how much harder it is, even in this day and age, for women to succeed and advance in their careers compared to their male counterparts. “I think it’s harder for women to reach the same business goals as men,” said honoree Lisa Rispoli, partner at Grassi Advisors & Accountants. “There’s still a difference.”
“I really appreciate this honor and I’m thankful to the Herald and Richner for recognizing women in business. I think it’s very important for younger women to have women in business as mentors and to look up to,” said honoree Dr. Eva Lupenko-Ferrante, Glen Cove City Council.
“I am a humble businesswoman, so when I was asked to be an honoree it meant a lot to me,” said Lisa E. Boglione. Founder, President and CEO Accu-Serve Process Service, LTD & Publications Elite Company, Inc. “I come from the generation of change, when women were coming out of the home and into the business world. Starting a business from scratch was very tough. Everyone should be recognized for what they do, but moms that are business owners or in the workforce juggle something men couldn’t understand. I give kudos to all women.”
Another honoree, Director of Nursing at Mount Sinai South Nassau, Eileen Mahler, said it was important to be able to gather together after the rough year that was 2020. “Being in healthcare, we’ve had such a rough year,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to get together, and to recognize the things they’ve done is great.”
Guests gathered for the awards ceremony and sit-down dinner. Opening remarks by Richner Communications CEO Stuart Richner expressed great joy in hosting the Premier Business Women of Long Island Awards and recalled the founding of Richner Communications by his parents, Edith and Robert Richner, expressing the profound impact his mother had on the business and its success. Richner added, “It is my deep belief that women must be represented equally in every profession, that they should have access to every rung on the career ladder, to every seat in the corporate boardroom and to every opportunity to earn equal pay. The honorees before you this evening represent the progress we have made as a society on this front; but, there is much more work to do.”
Director of New Business Development Eric Feil gave brief remarks, as well, and introduced the upcoming Long Island Choice Awards, a reader’s choice program that launches on July 21.
Special guest speaker Nassau County Executive Laura Curran — the first woman to hold the position — spoke of the importance of honoring and recognizing women for their significant and important contributions to business. “It was an honor to attend the 2nd Annual Premier Businesswomen Awards Gala,” said Curran. “We celebrated high-level women business leaders making a difference both professionally and in their respective communities. Their contributions are notable and worthy of praise, and as they take on more substantial roles, I’m confident that their impact will continue to grow. I thank the Long Island Herald for hosting such a beneficial event.”
Amy Amato, Executive Director, Corporate Relations and Events at Richner Communications, said, “We were originally supposed to have this celebration in March of 2020, and I'm so glad we were finally able to meet in person to honor these fabulous and powerful women.”
The awards were announced by News 12 anchor and Emmy winner Antoinette Biordi. Awards were given in categories such as healthcare, real estate, education, government, legal, finance and more. Suffolk Federal Credit Union CEO Michele Dean, who won Trailblazer of the Year, said, “To be in the class of all these accomplished women...it’s such an honor. In the banking industry there are not many female CEOs, especially on Long Island.” Dean, who started her job during the pandemic, said, “it’s been such a rewarding experience.”
Thanks to sponsors Mount Sinai South Nassau, Glen Cover Hospital, Touro College, Suffolk Federal Credit Union, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Prager Metis, PSEG Long Island, Cameron Engineering, Adelphi University, Accu-Serve Process Service, Ltd, Real Estate Homes and Publications Elite Company, Inc.