The Mayor of the City of New York, Eric L. Adams, congratulated an overflowing room with elegantly dressed nationals who were honored with the Caribbean Life Impact Awards, on July 13, noting, “you cannot go through life and not in some way make an impact, or impression,” he said, in the grand ballroom at the exquisite Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach, Queens.
“The honorees have traveled through their journey of life and have made an impact wherever they have gone. We are better as a city, and better as a country because of the impacts that they have made. And when Josh and Vicki Schneps and family pause each year to do these honors, particularly for those in the Caribbean diaspora, it is a way of acknowledging your contribution to the country that you have adopted as your home, as well as your homeland.”
“Thank you for what you have done, what you are doing and what you will do,” Mayor Adams told a room of over 460 at the gala, promising to live up to their expectations.
Punctuated by the elegant words of emcee Shola K. Roberts, who recalls Caribbean Life being a staple in her Caribbean household, while growing up, and is still covering the heroes of NYC, acknowledged that Schneps Media, and AMNY were thrilled to celebrate Caribbean American heritage to shine a spotlight once again on those who have made New York and the world a better place through their efforts and actions.
The thirty-five honors included a Lifetime Achievement Award that was bestowed on Jamaican heritage, Emmy Award winning Anchor of Spectrum News NY1, Ruschell Boone, (Rodney Capel, VP of Government Affairs, Spectrum accepted the honor on her behalf), the Creating Change Award, presented to Guyanese American Michelle A. Nicholas, Senior Vice President, Chief diversity Officer and Director of Community Develop for PCSB Bank, the Community Award to Rachel Batista and Swannie Batista, Dominican Republic-American, Paralegals For The Community, and Juan Carlos Polanco, former Bronx Commissioner and President of the NYC Board of Education, who traces his roots to the Dominican Republic.
The honorees who hailed from almost every island in the Caribbean, showed their pride, excitedly, danced down the red carpet to infectious music to accept their crystal awards.
They are: Kathleen Ambrosino, RN BSN, Ideal School of Allied Health Care; Melissa Atwell, Activist & You Are Not Alone (YANA) Foundation; Karline Barthe and Fontaine Joseph BSN RN, IP, NYC Health Care Professionals Association; Natanya Buddy, Ponce Bank; Marie Lourdes Charles, Pace University – Lienhard School of Nursing; Clinton Clovis and Don Sinkfield, The New Hope Mental Health Counseling Services; Rickard Jean-Noel, The Real Word Ministries Inc.; Rose Guerrier, La V en Rose Productions; Marcus Gonzales, TD Bank; Edward-Richard Hinds, 67th Precinct Clergy Council Inc, and “The GodSquad”; Linda Kirk, Destined for Success; Krista Martins, Wukkout!; Harold C. Miller Jr., Racial Justice Commission; Mari Gabrielle Millet, Morris Heights Health Center, Inc.; Kamla Karina Millwood, Palatial Publishing LLC; Karen Mitchell, True Indian Hair; Ingrid Murray, Prospect Cleaning Services; Zazel-Chavah O’Garra, ZCO/Dance Project; Sagine Pierre, Sage & Angie Boutique; Renae A. Reynolds, Tri-State Transportation Campaign; Monica Sanchez PhD, Miss Caricom & Caricom Corp, Marsha Sinanan MSN, MBA, RN NEA- BC, CPXP, Mount Sinai Morningside; Adrian Sutherland, Minority Voices Prosper; Anita Taylor, Office of Congress Member Yvette D. Clarke; Seny Taveras, ASA College; Ms. Jennifer Trotman, NYC Health + Hospitals, Kings County; Ms. Charmaine Valentine, NYC Health + Hospitals, Gotham Health; and Tunisha Walker-Miller, The Source Consulting Group, LLC, were also honored.
State Senator James Sanders Jr. congratulated the honorees by saying. “I commend the Caribbean for lending us such incredible talent that we are recognizing today,” before thanking Schneps Media, and the Caribbean Life team for honoring the professionals.
Victoria Schneps-Yunis, CEO/Founder, Schneps Media in a written statement, said, “We are pleased to acknowledge the many extraordinary achievements of the Caribbean Americans we are honoring tonight who continue to make a significant impact on life in the United States and particularly New York.”
“These hard working and dedicated individuals have been so successful because they have a passion for what they do. They have positioned themselves as major players who have positively influenced our city every day. It is my privilege to honor them tonight. A special thank you to our sponsors who have made it possible to present this evening’s gala,” she noted.
The evening of excellence, was a sold-out event that opened with a prayer by Dr. Nelson King, who also shared introduction of honorees duties with TD Bank’s Tanya LaMelle. The honorees also received Citation from Queens Borough President, Donovan Richards, Deputy Borough President Diana Richardson and NYS Senator Roxanne Persaud and Consul General of Jamaica to New York, Alsion Roach Wilson were present at the gala
Including delicious cuisine, and exciting entertainment, provided by African Master Drummer Menes de Groit’s Shanto Rhythms — featuring, (Mama Nyah, Olivia K. Dan Man, and Ama Jaba), the return of the annual Impact Awards after a virtual programing due to the coronavirus pandemic gave nationals an opportunity to shine, and showcase their astounding achievements, to loud applause from the audience of friends, and families. The event also raised $1000 from the evenings raffle. Founder and Board President of Caribbean American Society of New York, Horace Davis, pulled the numbers to reveal the winners of the raffle.
Caribbean Life will donate 100% of the proceeds raised from the raffle to the not for profit CASONY.
Mistress of Ceremonies, Grenadian American Shola K. Roberts, an international performing professional dance artists, educator, choreographer, and fitness instructor, based in Brooklyn, and who was recently accepted to the faculty of Arizona State University, in closing, thanked Event Director Amanda Tarley for the amazing presentation and Caribbean Life for curating the event.
“I hope the stories of this year’s honorees have inspired you, and we look forward to seeing you all next year.”
Thank you to proud sponsors, TD Bank, Spectrum, The New Hope Mental Health Counseling Services, PCSB Bank, Ponce Bank, True Indian Hair, Dynasty Financial Services, The Source Consulting Group, LLC, Racial Justice Commission, Morris Heights Health Center Destined For Success, and Prospect Cleaning Service.
To learn more about Caribbean Impact Awards or to nominate someone for 2023 contact Amanda Tarley – 718 249 9640 [email protected]