RUSSO’S MODERN TRADITIONS
THE LEGACY EDITION
Celebrating the Members of our Community Who Exemplify Character, Traditions, Values, and Charitable Endeavors Building a Better Future for the New York Area
Celebrating 25 Years at Russo’s The Family that Started a Queens Legacy
Get to Know the Family that Started the Legacy of Russo’s and the Third Generation who will Continue the Legacy into the Future
Celebrating Russo’s Brides
A Photo History of Russo’s Brides Throughout the Years
Cooking with Nonna’s Rossella Rago Talks Traditions, Food, and the Making Family First Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 1
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Magazine Publisher Frank Russo, Jr. Russo’s On The Bay Owner Magazine Director: Trisha Ahlman Assistant to Director: Kim Hundl Editor-in-Chief: LaCosta Lolly Assistant to Editor-in-Chief: Megan Jones Columnist/ Contributors LaCosta Lolly Brett Bachman Megan Jones Kim Hundl Trisha Ahlman Advertising Sales Johnny Dezago Kelly Greco Joe Vacca Joey Iaboni Staff & Administration Vinnie Vitucci, Executive Assistant Mark Sweeney, Banquet Sales Manager Design Team Trisha Ahlman, Sr. Creative Director LaCosta Lolly, Sr. Creative Director Mark Ahlman, Sr. Designer Megan Jones, Assistant Jr. Designer
Photos this Page: Featured Wedding (Stavva) by Silverfox Photography and Video; Next Page: Russo’s On The Bay and Frank Russo, Jr. by Infinity Photography, Inc. Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 8
Photography Team Riccardo Studios Infinity Photography SilverFox Photography and Video
Letter from the Publisher We are so excited to bring you another edition of Russo’s Modern Traditions. This magazine is designed to highlight the traditions that bring families together, the unsung heroes of our community, and the businesses that create jobs and fuel community development for decades. Back in 1987, when Russo’s On The Bay first opened its doors, it wasn’t about creating an empire; it was about bringing my father’s definition of service and hospitality to the community of Howard Beach. Throughout the last twenty-five years, we’ve experienced more success than any business owner could ask for. More than anything else, I attribute that to the legacy that my father passed on to me – the legacy of hard work, impeccable service, attention to detail, and a passion for the job you do. I’ve been fortunate to build a team with that same commitment and dedication. Russo’s On The Bay officially celebrates twenty-five years in business on September 6, 2012 and we couldn’t be more pleased with the successes of our twenty-fifth year. Most importantly, we will be celebrating this event with the dedicated staff members who have made this company what it is today and the loyal customers who have been with us for years. However, our work is not done and our business is not perfected. It is a process that I so proudly dedicate myself to every single day. We have spent the last year developing new service offerings, new products, and new ways to continue to serve our clients and the community for another twenty-five years. The beginning of a legacy is not built on a desire to be the richest or the most famous, but on a humble desire to build something that will benefit your community. Russo’s employs hundreds, gives back to the community, and supports the men and women of our armed forces, policemen, and firefighters. This legacy’s roots are founded in the desire to make the community better, to bring people together, to create something that my father would be proud of, and to create something that my children could continue to develop for many years to come. Today, I am fortunate to have all three of my children working in the business to learn each of the operational facets so that the next generation of Russo’s can one day take over and continue this venture I have been so passionate about. This issue highlights not just the legacy of Russo’s or my wonderful and talented children who will be more and more involved in the growth of Russo’s, but the employees who exemplify excellence every day, the local professionals and business owners who exemplify charity and good works, and the businesses who build our community one valiant effort at a time. Our community is filled with people from different walks of life and everyone has their own incredible story. We hope to continue highlighting the stories of some of our community’s best and brightest for many years to come.
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A Walk Down Memory Lane at Russoâ€™s - Our Featured Brides from the Past Twenty-Five Years
Welcome the Third Generation of the Russo Family and Learn About the Family that Created an Icon
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Modern Traditions Wedding Tips The Perfect Wedding Entertainment Building a Legacy Business Starts with Employees Not Your Average Joe The Secret to Success Inspiring Excellence One Person at a Time Building a Legacy Business on Better Health Passion Makes it Perfect Recipes from Cooking with Nonna The Best Wine Collection in Queens Building Healthy Traditions A Modern Renaissance Angel Everyday Hero, Joe Mure, Jr. Resource Guide
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Celebrating Boxing’s Best Featuring Former World Champion Jake LaMotta
Rossella Rago of ‘Cooking with Nonna’ Discusses How to Keep Family Traditions Alive
Celebrating Legacy Cavaliere Joseph Meccariello
Chef Rocco Sacramone
Christina McCabe A Legacy of Strength
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Special Feature: Weddings
Russo’s Brides A Legacy of Wedding Bliss
Since the day Russo’s On The Bay opened it’s doors in 1987, the establishment has hosted thousands of weddings each year. This year, we asked all of our brides to submit their favorite wedding photos from Russo’s On The Bay for a special walk down memory lane to commemorate the brides and grooms who have made our legacy memorable. Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 16
1997 Mary Riccardelli
Ralph & Dara Bounomassa
Mike and Maria Giovinazzo
James & Vincenza Kukon
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Patrick & Christina Cappetti
Brian & Jeanette Calabrese Russoâ€™s Modern Traditions - Page 20
Christina & Anthony Manero
Rich & Jaclyn Langlois
Anthony & Kathleen Ciofoletti
Anthony& Holly Lauretta
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2007 Steven & Jessica Polizzi
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Donald & Jaclyn Ceparano 2008
Pierre & Lilibeth Mena
2008 AJ & Nicole DiMichele
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Christopher & Amanda Traverso
Frank & Deanna Biondi
2010 Michael & Christa Codoluto
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Salvatore & Maria Ginestri
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Nick & Christine Caputi
2010 Joseph & Victoria Inzone Russoâ€™s Modern Traditions - Page 28
2011 Kevin & Jennifer Fabrizio
Stylianos & Danielle Savva
Submission: Silverfox Photography & Video
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2011 Harry & Bettina Meyer
Submission: Riccardo Studios
John & Megan 2012 Rotondi Lodato
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2012 Chris & Katherina Mancuso
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Special Feature: Weddings
Modern Traditions Wedding Tips The Modern Traditions’ Bride is someone who is very in with the trends, but loves to also be original. She loves traditional weddings, but she may also love the simplicity of satin, the romantic flair of tulle, or even a dress with a pop of color. Modern Brides today are willing to take risks to have a memorable wedding while still embracing traditional values. What’s just as unique is merging both traditional and modern for a truly eclectic experience. If your wedding vision is to be timeless and you love traditions like the veil, garter, cake and all the bows that come with them, try mixing it up and use just a few modern twists such as the invitations, the cake and the floral ideas listed here. You will have a wedding to remember that far exceeds the last one you were invited to. When envisioning a modern elegance for your special day, you want to start thinking of clean lines, unique sophistication, and avant-garde style. We have collected some of today’s hottest trends for Modern Brides that will truly get your creative juices flowing as you start painting the picture of your perfect wedding day.
Modern Color Pallets
Today, the biggest trend in modernizing your wedding is a touch of bold color. In fact, a popular look is black and white with a splash of color. To pull it off, you can keep the look formal with classic patterns like damask and stripes while adding a style boost with an ultra-contemporary color like hot pink or deep turquoise blue. Most importantly, have fun with it. Give your guests a reason to talk and create instant memories. Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 34
Invitations can be fun, whimsical and chic. This year, statement-making fonts are all the rage. You can get this look with flourished fonts and ornate calligraphy. Gold is a big winner this year such as gold envelopes, gold pocketfolds, gold foil edging, or gold foil stamping on the invitation. Metallics in general will be very popular in invitation suites (think mixing silver and gold; or two tone gold; or colored foils). More trending invitation looks include jeweltoned wedding colors, bright inks that pop, and neon color pallets. Get prepared for unexpected color combinations. Ask your invitation consultant to guide you. They will narrow your options and still capture your modern vision and style when designing your invitation.
Photos: Russo’s On The Bay Bridal Suite by Infinity Photography, Inc.
Look for a venue that allows you to paint your own picture. Like starting with a blank canvas, the right location will focus on customizing your wedding so that you can have a traditional, modern traditional or modern wedding of your dreams. An expert like a Bridal Consultant or Wedding Planner can help you select the right lighting and décor to create the look and mood you envision. It’s important to look for venues that are constantly updating their décor and style. As seen in the photo, Russo’s On The Bay’s recent renovation includes a brand-new, updated bridal suite with several modern touches and a hint of traditional elegance. While Russo’s has a beautiful, traditional back-drop for weddings, they are constantly delivering new, fresh ideas to keep their families coming back for all of their special occasions.
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From a vintage to simple look, modern brides are fashionforward and not afraid to be trendy. They are bold, they embrace color, and they reject the cookie-cutter wedding. They may embrace all the wedding traditions, but they do it in a way that’s contemporary, chic, and uniquely designed to their style and ideas. Modern dresses consist of artistinspired patterns, and clean lines. The attention to detail lends these dresses their sophisticated look and feel. Without sacrificing any of the glamour or elegance of more traditional dresses, modern gowns add a unique element of charm and fun. Whether long or short, black or white, embellished or simple, there’s something fresh and modern for the bride who dreams of a chic and romantic celebration. Dresses can be a great way to make a modern statement.
According to Martha Stewart Weddings, creating a contemporary look and feel for your cake can definitely add a touch of modern flair. She states that sometimes the simplest techniques produce the most striking effects. For example, a single-tier cake with ultra-smooth icing topped with cocoapowder stenciled initials (his, hers, and theirs). Modern cakes have unique elements like color, themes, floral and even beads for a touch of glamour. You can visit www.bklynbrideonline. com to see the most amazing Top 10 Modern Wedding Cake Designs to get ideas. As with any modern idea, the key is to be yourself and don’t be afraid to combine classic and modern ideas together.
Modern Flowers, Bouquets and Centerpieces
Whether you want to go modern all the way or you are a Modern Traditions’ Bride, floral arrangements, bouquets and center pieces can be the fastest way to bring a modern touch to your wedding. A modern look starts with designing a tablescape filled with shapes and color. Whether they’re elaborate focal points or more subtle – stylish accents, you want your reception centerpieces and flowers to be show stoppers. For a truly glamorous modern twist, try mixing a modern look with vintage touches. It’s an elegant, sophisticated combination that marries the past with the present. It’s all about expressing your style and personality. Leave your guests with memorable surprises and attention to detail. It sets a mood and tone for many years to come.
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The Perfect Wedding Entertainment As you begin your journey of planning, there are a lot of decisions to be made to create the perfect wedding day experience and entertainment may very well be one of the most important. In fact, after surveying hundreds of brides, we found that entertainment is in the top five most important priorities they make and one of the most stressful. Where to start: The Internet is a great place to start your search. You will find some of the largest directories for entertainers this way. Browse various websites for Bands and Singers. Another great resource is working with preferred vendors that have worked with your venue of choice. These vendors typically have had a long-term relationship with the venue. They are extremely reliable and know the venue’s floor plans and logistics the best. It’s in their best interest to maintain a high-level of satisfaction to remain in good standing with the catering hall for future business opportunities. If you have already chosen your venue, the venue will help you go through all of your options whether you are using a preferred vendor or an entertainer of your choice. Get references: Once you’ve found a provider you like, you’ll want to find as much information on this service as you can, even before the contact stage. For example if it’s a band, do they have online demos? Examples? Testimonials? You want to be confident about capabilities before you provide an email address. Narrow it down to your favorites before you start any contact. Get consulted: Make sure the company you choose consults with you so that you can make an educated decision. When you first contact the entertainer(s), begin by asking about the availability for the date in question, if they can provide a demonstration of their services, and how long they typically perform; to name a few. Next, make sure the pricing is easy to understand and that there are no hidden fees. Book and secure: Of course this is the most crucial part. Most Bands/ Singers will take a deposit/ booking fee (anything up to 50% is normal), so you must be completely sure of your choice at this point. It is always wise to obtain an invoice, receipt, and a contract or agreement. This way you can be 99% sure that they WILL turn up on your special day and if they don’t, you have the necessary means to be compensated in full. We feel the most stress when we are rushed and not well educated. Take your time. Researching your choices thoroughly and getting recommendations are the very first steps. Don’t forget to get help from your Bridal Consultant; they can make your planning easier and less stressful.
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Download Your Free Wedding Planner TODAY! www.VillaRussoWeddings.com 11816 101st Avenue Jamaica, NY 11419-1230
Ask the Experts:
Perfect Wedding Day Skin Esthetician, Michele Horan, gives Russoâ€™s Modern Traditions her best advice for healthy, glowing wedding day skin.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, what advice can you give our brides on keeping their skin glowing for the wedding day?
Planning a wedding can be very stressful, especially on the skin. It can affect the skin short term and long term if not addressed. Daily stress produces changes in hormones which can negatively affect the immune function; triggering skin aging and other skin disorders such as acne, eczema, etc. People with stress-related skin problems can find healthful ways to revive their skin by having skin treatments with an esthetician. Getting on a daily maintenance program is what creates successful results.
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What type of skin treatments and regimens would you recommend for a bride-to-be during the planning process?
For the bride to be, receiving skin treatments and following a daily regimen is the key to healthy skin. Whether the bride is 20 or 50, everyone is unique and has their own needs based upon their skin type and lifestyle. The bride should have a one-on-one consultation and skin analysis to determine specific skin care treatments and maintenance programs. Upon examining, the esthetician can determine daily and monthly skin care protocol for optimal results.
The final days of planning for a wedding can really take a toll on a bride’s skin. What do you recommend a bride do before the wedding to ensure flawless skin on her wedding day?
The final days of preparing for a wedding can take its toll on the bride’s skin. In order to ensure flawless skin on her wedding day, the bride should be sure to follow a daily maintenance regimen at least 3 months prior to the event in conjunction with monthly facial treatments from an esthetician. Ideally, every 4-6 weeks is recommended for optimal results. Having a facial one week prior to the event should put the final touches on beautiful, radiant skin. Any aggressive treatments should be done at least one month prior.
I’m sure our grooms would love to know if there is a treatment for men that can help them prepare their skin for the big day as well. What do you recommend for men?
The groom can also benefit from skin treatments to help prepare for the big day. Once again, skin care needs should be addressed individually. A Gentleman’s Conditioning Facial, which includes a thorough cleansing, exfoliation, steam, extractions (if necessary), and an application of topical agents will leave his skin with a clean, healthy glow.
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Nick “The Balloonatic” Nick “The Balloonatic” Rotondo, who is the son of a boxer and homemaker, has been a balloon twisting artist for over thirty years. It was his father who showed him how to create these fun and amazing balloon masterpieces. Balloon twisting; however, is not his only profession, although it is the profession he is most known for and most passionate about. Nick has worked for the New York Transit for 31 years and it’s because of these two professions that an article was written about him being a bus driver by day and balloon artist by night. After 31 years with the New York Transit, Nick is ready to retire and spend more time with his true passions, his business and his family.
autograph event, he has twisted his balloon creations for several celebrities, and for the past five years, he has been the balloon artist for the New York Islander’s. Nick is so well known for his craft that he has been mentioned in newspapers, books, blogs, and radio programs, such as WCBS FM 101.1 with Joe Causi and Sports Radio 660 WFAN with Boomer and Carton.
He also teaches Balloon 101, as he likes to call it, to schools and has hilarious, educational tutorials and videos on Youtube. In 2007, he made his directorial debut with his first movie called, “Twisted: A Balloonamentary.” The movie transports you to one of the world’s premiere balloon twisting conventions and gives you an insight into the lives of eight balloon artists whose lives were Nick’s vast knowledge and experience in his field has forever changed by a small piece of latex. allowed him the freedom to be more than just a balloon artist for parties and weddings. He was featured as the The movie also features an animated segment which “World’s greatest balloon artist,” at a New York Yankees is hilariously narrated by Jon Stewart. Even though the
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movie was released in 2008, “Twisted: A Balloonamentary,” will be shown while Nick is teaching at the Florida Super Jam in Orlando, Florida in January 2013 and will be rereleased soon after.
is my high school sweetheart, my one true love.” Between the two of them they have three children; Jennifer (27), Kimberly (23), and Tom (20). He proudly spoke of how all of his children are in college and well on their way to promising careers. He jokes about how Tom does standNick gives balloon shows for children at the Memorial up comedy while he goes to school but, “he has no idea Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and he heartbreakingly where Tom got his sense of humor.” admits that the event in which he loves to work the most, is also the one he dreads the most because it pains him For those that know Nick, know that he is not just a to see anyone suffer; especially children. “I love bringing balloon artist, but is a person who genuinely loves making joy to people, especially children. Nothing can compare others laugh, who doesn’t always take life so seriously, to the feeling of bringing a moment of happiness to their and continuously has a smile on his face. If you see him lives.” It is thanks to his dear friend, Shoshanna Gruss, on the street, ask ‘The Balloonatic’ to make something Vice Chairman of the Associates Committee, that Nick for you. He always carries balloons in his pockets just in got his start at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. case he is recognized and is asked for a balloon creation. “I have the greatest job in the world.” When Nick isn’t performing at parties or corporate events, he likes to spend time with his family. Nick has been married to his second wife, Sally, for two years. “She
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It Starts with the Employees Building Your Own Legacy Business Through Effective Leadership and Stronger Rewards and Incentives Reward and incentive programs for businesses affect the bottom line more than most business owners know. In today’s modern world, your reputation with employees can matter more than ever before. The digital marketing era has created a culture in which everything and everyone is more connected through social and online media. The reality of your company’s culture, responsibility, and service level is vital to the way the public (and your potential clients) see your company and make purchasing decisions. Positive, happy, and appreciated employees are the best marketing and branding tool your company can ever have. In fact, companies that reward their employees and focus on a healthy, supportive culture generate ideas 250% more frequently and receive an average return of 84% on their reward programs (The Incentive Research Foundation, 2012). Motivating your staff starts with effective leadership and the small things that you do every day as a manager or executive. Sometimes the easiest (and most cost effective) ways to build morale and create a more productive team involve little to no investment. Leaders who practice the art of communication are greatly more effective than those who do not. Your management team should concentrate on how to get their point across in a positive and motivational way, while still holding their team accountable. Instead of complaining regularly, leaders can use phrases such as “I see the effort you put into this project. I see you are really working hard and I have a few suggestions to make it better.” The difference between the affirmative approach and the authoritarian approach of immediately criticizing is vast. Employees tend to respond more readily to coaching from leaders versus the more traditional methods of authoritative leadership such as threats, harsh commands, and criticism. In addition to the simple things that your business and leadership can do every day, the aspect of rewards, recognition, and face-to-face time with your key team members are important tactics for motivating your employees. One of the simplest and most effective ways to instill a reward program is to plan an annual corporate event to gather your employees and leadership for a reward luncheon or dinner. This provides the opportunity for your leadership to inform the team of upcoming changes, discuss the goals for the year and accomplishments for the past year, and reward the top performers who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty.
Source: The Incentive Research Foundation, 2012
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To begin a legacy event for your own company, start with planning what your outcome is for the event. Your management team may choose to reward the length of time team members have been with the company, the best achievements, attitude, and other creative rewards. You may also choose to include team building activities or let employees invite their families as well. Inviting families can be a great way for everyone in the company to get to know each other on a more personal level, creating more bonding and team-building opportunities. It should also be noted that allowing employees to bring family to work events helps your employees to have healthier, happier marriages - a factor proven in multiple studies to increase productivity and income. The next decision to make is whether to organize the event internally or to out-source the event to an event management company or catering hall. Organizing a corporate event internally is time consuming and costly, but it could be given as a development task to suitable staff. One of the pitfalls of organizing corporate events yourself, is using an inexperienced facilitator, as they may not be capable of keeping the event on track or preventing things from getting out of hand. Not only could an event management company provide an experienced facilitator or MC, there is also the advantage of having someone else worry about all the details. An experienced event planner can sort through the hundreds of details that have to be thought of to create a memorable experience. A catering hall with event expertise will offer creative ideas to suit your goals, leaving you to choose the most appropriate choice. They will also tailor events to your requirements and will have run these events many times before, helping you to be certain your event will have a seamless outcome. Most importantly, you should ensure that you are checking the temperature at your organization to see how effective the events are for your company. The best leaders will brainstorm ways to measure and track the morale, turnover, and productivity of their teams to see what really works the best for the company in question. Regardless of how your measurements turn out, know that your employees will appreciate the efforts. It may require additional leadership training, hiring support, or measurement tools, but your employees will see the organizationâ€™s attempt. This tells your employees that they matter to the management and that always makes a difference.
Men and Botox Special Editorial Contributor: Kelly O’Malley Mattone, M.D. The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Attention men, there is a new toy on the block. Botox. Botox? That’s right. Botox for men is such big business that it even has a nickname: Boytox. Last year in the U.S. alone, nearly 300,000 men used Botox. It’s even more popular among men in Europe. It’s estimated that somewhere between 10% - 30% of you men have already used Botox, and that number is quickly rising, and growing steadily. Sorry to say this men, but women have had the leg up on this fountain of youth for quite some time. You will be happy to know however, that Botox won’t break the bank, and that is good news for your toy box, guys!
Botox is a purified protein, which temporarily relaxes facial muscles underlying areas where lines, wrinkles and creases tend to appear, such as the forehead, between the brows and around the eyes. As the facial muscles relax, the lines and wrinkles fade and disappear and the skin takes on a smooth, youthful look. In 2002, the FDA approved the use of Botox (the only drug in its class at the time). In 2009, the FDA cleared the way for Dysport, a competitor drug that had gained a rock solid reputation, like Botox, in as much time, overseas and across Europe. I began using Dysport in my cosmetic practice early 2010 with very favorable results; patients now ask for it by name. Either way, the procedure is virtually painless with no downtime. It takes about 10 The social acceptance among every day males is fueled minutes or less to administer Botox or Dysport and in a by celebrities like Patrick Dempsey, Simon Cowell, Donny few days the signs of stress, anger and age have literally Osmond and R&B recording artist Norwood Young who all vanished right before your eyes. talk openly and on the record about their use of Botox. It’s not just Hollywood men who have discovered the benefits The goal in men, like women, is to smooth away the signs of Botox. About 15% of my cosmetic practice is men: FDNY of aging. As with any patient considering a new procedure, Fire Lieutenants, retired teachers, sanitation workers, police an in-depth, hands-on consultation which carefully explains officers, stock brokers, other doctors, pro athletes and the procedure, and its associated risks and benefits, is actors. crucial to obtain the best results for the patient. During a
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consultation, I also find myself addressing the patient’s arch. It’s important for the doctor to have extensive lifestyle, including social, career, family obligations and knowledge not just of anatomy but of muscle balance motivations for seeking Botox/Dysport. and interaction. Inadequate or misplaced injections can lead to overarching of the male brow, which is Individual motivation is always interesting, and sometimes feminizing, and generally not tolerated or acceptable in amusing. Competition for money and affection drives a male patient. Crow’s feet, the lines that form around our society to look their best. There is no doubt the the eyes when smiling, are a common concern for men, use of Botox/Dysport will make you look better. And though personally, I find them very attractive and sexy. let’s face it, good looking men get paid more and get If too much Botox/Dysport is injected around the eyes, it better looking girls. Some men view the use of a Botox/ may cause a wide eyed look, which female patients tend Dysport as a career investment. Erasing the angry, tired to aspire to, but will cause embarrassment in a male. lines gives a person a more approachable appearance; a necessary feature for the friendly salesman, or an Botox/Dysport is not strictly for anti-aging cosmetics. attorney who needs to make a favorable impression Excessive sweating of the face, palms and soles which in the courtroom. Other men use it to boost their can be debilitating, can be stopped for up to a year confidence on the singles scene, or simply to look good with a few simple injections, so can underarm sweating. for their mate. I have a few male celebrity patients who have their underarms injected with Botox before red carpet There may be a hidden agenda among some men who events and public appearances; so no one will ever see use Botox/Dysport; from the board room to the card them sweat. Anecdotally, some of my athletes report room, never lose a contract or a hand of cards again. much less facial sweating after having their horizontal With the younger generation nipping their heels and forehead lines injected with Botox. poised to take their place, seasoned executives feel the competitive pressure to look good. Many say not There are many medical indications for the use of Botox only does Botox/Dysport make them look younger by such as migraine headaches, TMJ, writer’s cramp, and erasing that angry, exhausted or annoyed look; it creates spasticity, just to name a few. The latest and biggest a stronger, more inscrutable image, which they hope to medical breakthrough for men only, however, is in the parlay into enhancing their authority in the boardroom. treatment of BPH or enlarged prostate gland, which affects 50% of men in their 60’s. Botox has been shown While the goal among those of us who inject Botox/ to shrink the prostate by as much as half. In most cases Dysport is to not make our patients look frozen; serious it alleviates the symptoms of painful, frequent urination, card players will pay the doc a little extra for a shot at a and patients do not experience any of the negative side poker face. They rely on overdoing it a bit, just enough effects (including impotence) of traditional prostate to erase one’s “tells”, those barely noticeable twitches treatment. that reveal when someone is bluffing. Yet another excellent reason why Botox is banned in kids! Although Botox/Dysport is generally considered to be safe, there exists, always, as with any medication, the There are some anatomical differences which make potential for allergic reaction. People with neurological the approach to injecting men slightly different than disorders, or who are taking certain medications, as well women. Men require 2-4 times more Botox/Dysport as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should to erase vertical frown lines because their facial muscles not use Botox/Dysport. The safest way to determine are much stronger and thicker. Men’s eyebrows sit if you are a good candidate for Botox or Dysport is to lower on the face than women’s. Doctors must use have a consultation with a qualified physician. caution when relaxing horizontal forehead lines so as not to drop the eyebrows and create a heavy lidded, brooding look, which is not appealing, to men or women. Male brows typically don’t have much of an Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 47
Kelly O’Malley Mattone, M.D. As a woman looking at 50 in the rearview mirror, cosmetic physician, Kelly O’Malley Mattone, M.D. is not only aware of your aesthetic needs, but sensitively attuned to them herself; she shares your same anti-aging concerns. The passion to look good without undergoing painful surgery, ablative lasers, and weeks of traumatic recovery inspired her to create the Aesthetic Medical Studio, a beauty sanctuary in a historic townhouse in the Village of Great Neck. Dr. O’Malley Mattone creates custom designs, and non-surgical, non-invasive cosmetic treatment plans for men and women to erase years from your face, neck and hands and sculpt inches off your body comfortably in her private, tranquil studio. The culmination of over 20 years of astute medical skills, expert anatomy training and teaching, and her inherent artistic ability has earned Dr. O’Malley Mattone respect and trust from patients and peers and led her to the top of the field in aesthetic medicine. She is sought out nationally and internationally for her expertise in state of the art, cutting edge cosmetic procedures which clearly produce visible and measurable results. One look at her un-retouched before and after photo albums will prove that you can look 10-15 years younger instantly and that aging in reverse is no myth. Dr. O’Malley Mattone is passionate about educating her patients in preventive aging through the use of sun blocks, skin friendly make-up and professional strength skin care products, of which her own line, OMD Physician Skincare, is now available. She has long been recognized as an innovator in the industry; in 2001 she was the first physician in New York to perform InvisiLift a non-surgical ultrasound face lift, and in 2008 introduced Hollywood’s red carpet beauty secret, MicroCurrent Facial Sculpting to Long Island, courtesy of Oprah, and has since won international awards for her work. As a Master Level Injector with exceptional artistic vision and sculpting skills, Dr. O’Malley Mattone is an expert in the use of Botox/Dysport and dermal fillers. Using a conservative approach, her results are as natural as nature intended. Once again Dr. O’Malley Mattone is on the leading edge in cosmetic medicine. She is one of a select group of New York physicians to be certified in Ultherapy and CoolSculpting; two truly ground breaking cosmetic procedures that have been making headlines around the world and commanding prime time media attention as seen on 20/20, the Doctors, The View and in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar Magazine. Dr. Kelly O’Malley Mattone is a mother of four and an over 50 model and spokeswoman. She has been featured in More Magazine and can be seen in an upcoming national infomercial as the medical expert for Kate Somerville, a Hollywood aesthetician to A list celebrities. She has also been the medical expert on infomercials for Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Make-up and ThermaClear anti-acne device and currently appears on John Basedow’s Fitness Made Simple national commercial. She has been a medical correspondent on a syndicated TV show and has appeared on the Today Show, and CW 11 PIX News. Dr. O’Malley Mattone mentors young women pursuing careers in medicine. She is an active board member of the children’s hospital charity, Angels on the Bay, and an advisory board member for the Center of the Women of New York and the Navel Health Expo. Dr. O’Malley Mattone is a frequent guest speaker at women’s organizations as well as community and corporate health and beauty events.
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Not Your Average Joe
Meet rising-star attorney, Joseph DiBenedetto, whose success is driven by his devotion to tradition and family values.
Joseph DiBenedetto is not your stereotypical criminal defense attorney. While he certainly dresses the part, his essence runs far deeper than that of the criminal lawyers you see on T.V. chasing money and fame; he is, at heart, a family man who is in this business for all the right reasons. At the young age of 35, Joseph has already been featured on just about every major media outlet, including Fox News, Time Magazine, NBC Nightly News, Fox Sports, Star Magazine, ESPN, E!, and CNN, amongst many others. Colleagues and associates have taken notice of Joseph’s remarkable ability to combine personal integrity Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 52
with the skillful handling of his cases. His name is already well respected by other criminal defense attorneys as well as by federal and state judges. So much so, he was recently selected by Super Lawyers Magazine to receive their prestigious “Rising Star” distinction, an honor which is largely based on peer recognition and which only 2.5% of lawyers statewide receive. But these honors and accolades are not what drive Joseph to success; he’s much more interested in his passion for helping people during their most difficult times. It’s this passion that has allowed him to treat all of his clients like family; which, in turn, has resulted in a great number of professional successes.
Much of Joseph’s inspiration comes from his parents, who were born in Siano, Italy, and, like many, came to America in search of a better life. In the early days of their arrival, Joseph’s father was bullied for not being able to speak English, but he persevered with strength and determination to build a good life for his family. It was this perseverance that inspired Joseph, and he has worked tirelessly to fight for the rights of people from all walks of life. While his clients are a priority in his life, Joseph remains deeply committed to his family and to the values that he seeks to teach them; emphasizing trust, honesty and tradition. He has been married to his high-school sweetheart, Michelle, for the past eight years, and together they have three children: Gerardo (5), Ava (2) and Grace (1). Joseph is committed not only to his family, but to charitable endeavors and community efforts as well. He sits on the Board of Directors at Associazione Culturale Italiana di New York, an organization whose mission is to spread Italian Culture throughout New York City through music, the arts and charitable work. He represents teenagers in the community who are unable to afford private counsel. These endeavors bring Joseph more satisfaction than any professional successes can. The values of his upbringing, along with his determination, are what led Joseph to open up his own criminal defense firm in 2008; just seven years after graduating law school. Since its onset, his office has provided clients with effective legal counsel along with highly personal attention. Other lawyers, law enforcement personnel, medical professionals, union as everyday people have all turned to Joseph in their times officials, accountants, CEO’s of major corporations, as well of need. The strong bond that Joseph builds with them, together with consistently favorable results, leads many of them to recommend him to their friends and family as well. So while he may appear on the outside to be a hard-nosed criminal defense attorney, get to know him a bit and you’ll see that he’s much more than just that. The things that drive him each day are not the spotlights, interviews, and personal successes, but rather his devotion to his clients’ rights, his family, and the values that he grew up with.
Joseph DiBenedetto is a criminal defense attorney practicing primarily in the federal and state courts of New York. The Law Office of Joseph DiBenedetto, P.C. provides a full range of legal services addressing a broad scope of legal needs for their clients. The firm has the capacity to handle every aspect of criminal law ranging from pre-indictment investigations to the appellate process, at both the federal and state level. The Woolworth Building · 233 Broadway, Suite 2707 · New York, New York, 10279 Telephone: (212) 608 – 5858 · Facsimile: (212) 732 – 5431 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Secret to Success Michael Arteca discusses his career, work/life balance, and the secrets to leading a fulfilling and inspired life Michael Arteca’s success could certainly be measured in income, awards, and acclaim; however, Arteca isn’t in the financial services business for those reasons. His motivation is to help his community and do something to make a difference in the lives of his clients. Arteca’s career started in accounting, but for him, accounting wasn’t the career he had dreamed of. He was licensed in 2002 to become a financial advisor and quickly began to spread his name throughout the community, starting his own financial group consisting of lawyers, mortgage brokers, and accountants. Arteca joined the Queens Rotary and Holy Name Society and began working diligently to reach out to establish a presence in the community. Not just any presence was good enough for Arteca, though. He learned from blue collar workers who toiled day after day, doing whatever they could to get by. It was important to him to maintain the integrity his Union worker father instilled in him. To Michael, no one was just a client and it was never about the “sale.” The people he worked with were his neighbors, members of his organizations, and people just like him or his parents. He was born in Howard Beach and received his degree from Queens College in Flushing - this was his community. The difference in his attitude toward financial services such as health insurance, life insurance, annuities, and pension funds quickly catapulted his career. His expertise, tenacity, and motivation truly made him unstoppable in his field. In 2005, Arteca was ranked in the top 10 financial advisors out of 100. In 2007, he earned the prestigious “Top of the Table” award; achieved by only 1% of industry professionals. Arteca qualified for membership in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) seven times. In 2011 and 2012, he won MDRT “Top of the Table” honors.
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Arteca established Empire Financial in 2010. The company’s financial and insurance services encompass annuities, investments and financial planning, pensions, and other arrangements for retirement. Michael Arteca brings his background in insurance and annuities to the forefront, while other staff professionals counsel Empire Financial clients in the areas of retirement and financial planning. Arteca has licenses to sell life insurance in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine, Texas, Florida, and New Mexico. Arteca’s drive and desire to succeed is contagious. In addition to Empire Financial Services, Michael is the owner of Pantano’s, a local restaurant, raises funds for community issues, and remains an active member of his community through volunteer efforts, charitable donations, and leisure activities. He is an ardent supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Fredstream.org, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. What makes Arteca the happiest? He is driven by his balance. With all that he is involved in, he is still insistent on being home nights and weekends to spend time with his wife of eight years, Nicole, and their two children, Gianna (5) and Michael (2). Athletics are an important part of their daily lives with both children are involved in sports and Michael a member of aviator sports in Brooklyn. The family makes wellness and physical activities as much as a tradition for them as Sunday dinners with Grandma. It’s this balance that makes Arteca incredible at everything he does. Losing his father taught him that life is precious and fueled his desire to be involved in life insurance. To this day, Arteca supports his mother financially and takes care of her. “I feel from my heart, I wouldn’t be in this position if my father was alive. I succeed in this business because, when I speak to people, I’m being honest and sincere. This is what happens. You need to prepare yourself for family and for your children. That’s what led me to be very successful because of my father.”
LEGACY EDITION SPECIAL
The “Mecc” Legacy Cavaliere Joseph Meccariello is an inspiration to many and a pillar of the community both at home and abroad Joseph Meccariello’s legacy did not begin with dreams of being the best, the biggest, or even of building what many would deem an empire within the city of New York. In fact, his legacy actually began with a dedication to customer service, doing the right thing, and delivering quality work. In speaking to Joseph Meccariello, his humble nature and quiet confidence do not immediately bring to mind the accomplishments of his lifetime or his company; but to the generous and loyal nature of his personality and the dedication he still has to each client and employee, regardless of the success of his business. This dedication and generosity would be the foundation for a successful legacy spanning two continents and positively affecting the lives of many; from those in his birthplace in Italy to those in his new community in New York, and everyone in between.
Cavaliere Meccariello and his wife, Clementina
Cavaliere Joseph Meccariello, the son of Carlo and Allesandra Meccariello, was born in Airola, Benevento, Italy in 1946. He came from a business-oriented family of four brothers and two sisters. Meccariello was passionate about development, construction, and architecture. Meccariello’s legacy truly began in 1968 after he was discharged from the Italian Air Force where he had served three years as a Lieutenant. It was then that he knew that in order to truly pursue his dream, he would have to move away from his beloved home in Italy. At 22 years old, Joseph married his longtime sweetheart and boarded the transatlantic ship, the ‘Michel Angelo’, and in September of 1968, nine long days after boarding the ‘Michel Angelo’, the newlywed couple arrived in New York City, where they intended to make a fresh start and build their lives. It was here in New York that Joe’s talents would truly shine; where he immediately attained employment in the construction industry. Joseph quickly moved up through the ranks from laborer to foreman, then foreman to general super as his skills and potential became apparent to his employers. With his portfolio growing and skills developing, his reputation in the field became more prominent. In 1986, Joseph began Mecc Contracting, Inc. and created his dream business from the ground up; beginning with only an empty lot and a few pieces of used equipment. From this humble beginning, Joseph and his staff built a company that has survived 26 years in business, employs one hundred and fifty people, and holds contracts with all the major utilities and the City of New York.
a better business for the future. Without the support of Luigi, Vincent, and all of our management team, we would not be the company we are now.”
Bottom row seated are Cav. Meccariello’s parents , Carlo and Alessandra Meccariello; Top row standing from right to left are Cav Meccariello’s Brothers and sisters; Maria, Vincenzo, Lucia, Joseph, Michele and Giovanni Currently, Mecc Contracting is a consistent force in New York City’s construction industry. The company specializes in maintaining gas, electric, and telephone utilities. They manage several contracts with the City of New York to sustain services, handle blackouts, emergency situations, and ensure the people of all five boroughs have the services they need to support their homes and businesses. Mecc Contracting, in their work with the local government, is committed to environmental and social responsibility to ensure that all of their work is consistently up to the standards of one of the most forward-looking cities in the country, this alone is no small task considering the requirements and building codes of New York are dramatically more stringent than most other areas.
Cavaliere Joseph Meccariello is driven by his motto that nothing is impossible when you strive for perfection. Meccariello gives himself wholeheartedly to everything he takes on, from his abundant charitable endeavors to the way that he leads his company. Mecc Contracting may be the product of years of dedication to impeccable service and quality, but more importantly, it is a testament to how companies can grow and blossom under incredible leadership. One of the most impressive aspects of Mecc Contracting, and the reason Meccariello claims is the foundation of their success, is the dedication and satisfaction of the 150 people who call themselves part of the Mecc Contracting family.
As he built Mecc Contracting, Joseph gave back in every way possible both in his hometown province of Benevento, Italy and throughout New York City. On October 9th 2005, Joseph Meccariello was awarded the title of Cavaliere Della Republica Italiana from Minister Mirko Tremaglia in recognition of his work and charitable contributions to his home province of Benevento. These contributions were not small feats and included such incredible endeavors as the design, construction, and donation of a chapel to La Madonne delle Grazie and the design, construction, and donation of a monument to Padre Pio in his hometown of Airola. In continued recognition of his work, Carmine Nardone, the president of Benevento Onorevole, awarded Cavaliere Meccariello the Golden Gladiator award in 2006, a very prestigious award given to only one member of the Mecc Contracting’s management team, which includes province per year for the recognition of their endeavors. Vice President; Vincent Melisi, General Supervisor; Pasquale Melisi, Company Manager; Giovanni Melisi, Joseph Meccariello is currently a member of the Columbus and Safety Manager; Paul Quiggle, spent years with the Citizens Foundation; the Chairman of the San Pasquale company working their way through the ranks to prove, Society; a committee member of the Inter-Club Moratti; just as Meccariello did, their talent, dedication, and president of the Associazione Sanniti Nel Mondo (elected work ethic. Today, Cavaliere Meccariello has 18 people in 2010); and serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Italian supporting the day to day management of his operation, American Cultural Association, founded by Meccariello including his Godson, Luigi Moccia, who serves as Mecc and several friends in 2007. He has received proclamations Contracting’s President. Meccariello attributes much of from the New York City Council and New York State Senate; Mecc Contracting’s success to Luigi, Vincent, and the Businessman of the Year awards from the Inter-Club Moratti other key members of his team, whom he speaks fondly and SS Cosma & Damiano Society; Man of the Year honors of in regards to their personality, determination, and from the Associazione Castlevetranesi D’America and San knowledge. “Luigi has been instrumental in building the Pasquale Society; Grand Marshall Honors for parades company into what it is today. He’s shown such leadership in Howard Beach and Province of Benevento; as well as and drive in developing his knowledge every day to create many other honors.
Cavaliere Meccariello with the President of the Benevento Provence Aniello Cimitile ( center) and the Mayor of his home town of Airola Avv. Biaggio Supino, at the gala dinner held at Vetro by Russo’s On The Bay
Cavaliere Meccariello with President of Mecc Contracting, Luigi Moccia With his dreams and hopes of a greater life in the United States fulfilled and his countless charitable endeavors and community support efforts completed, Cavaliere Meccariello now concentrates on his most important endeavor of all; the legacy he has created for his family, employees, and citizens of his community both in the US and Italy. His legacy lives on in every employee at Mecc Contracting, every life he has touched, and everybuilding or statue donated. As a businessman and humanitarian, Cavaliere Joseph Meccariello is an inspiration to young men and women to not only fulfill their dreams, but to also create a legacy. Cavaliere Meccariello and Mr. Moccia at the San Paquale Society Gala dinner making a donation to JDRF and the Local Church, Nativity
Cavaliere Meccariello and the Mayor of Airola unveiling the statue of Padre Pio, donated and built by Cavaliere Meccariello
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Inspiring Excellence One Person at a Time Highlighting the Team Members That Have Made the Russo’s Legacy Possible and Their Personal Family Legacies
Maria Verilli has been a customer favorite at Giardino Ristorante since she started there eleven years ago. Her kind and patient demeanor coupled with her ability to attend to customers with her full focus and attention have proven her to be a true asset to the team at Giardino Ristorante by Russo’s On The Bay. Her passion for education, constant desire for growth, and personal development are defining attributes of her character. Maria Carmela Verilli was born an only child to Gaetano and Antoinette Verilli in Queens, New York. Her father had moved to the United States from Italy and ran a successful restaurant business. Her mother was an investment advisor who worked for a banking company. Her parents continually stressed good morals, strong character, and work ethic; encouraging Maria to never stop learning. Her parents’ skill in entrepreneurship and their passion for learning are key elements that Maria attributes to her drive and work ethic today. As an undergraduate, Maria studied abroad in Italy for a summer semester. She loved Italy’s culture and belief system. Her experience inspired her so much that she continued her studies there for another five months after her summer abroad had ended. “Everyone there is so focused on family and traditions. Things are slower, people appreciate more, and the overall quality of life is so much better,” she stated as she recalled her time in Italy.
Photo: Riccardo Studios
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Maria’s education didn’t stop with her BA in Political Science; her passion for learning led her to not only continue her education, but to work in education as well. Maria achieved a Masters of Science in Education with a professional diploma in literacy. She is now working toward completing her License in School Leadership and Administration with the goal of becoming a principal.
Maria’s days are spent working for the New York State Department of Education, while evenings and weekends are spent at Giardino. For Verilli; however, working seven days a week is just fine with her and giving up either position just isn’t on the agenda. “The positions overlap and the things that you learn in one translate to the other. My leadership training and school leadership experience helps me to identify systems and processes for more effective operations. It translates well to understanding how to balance the front of the house and back of the house or customers and team members.” Whenever she isn’t focusing on her education, Giardino is home for Maria and it’s a home she is very passionate about. She loves the atmosphere at Giardino, from the tight-knit management team to the staff that has been there for years, but most of all she loves the customers and the relationships with the customers that have become a part of her life throughout the years. Maria’s career has grown at Giardino in the last 11 years from working as a hostess to now booking private parties, training staff members, and helping to support management in ensuring the best in service for each customer. When Maria isn’t working for the State of New York, attaining additional certifications, working with the team at Giardino, or training staff at Giardino; she belongs to several educational affiliations, takes salsa classes, and loves to travel. One of her passions is going to food shows. “I just love to learn what’s out there, understand how to better serve our customers, and how we can be better at Giardino,” she stated. Her self-proclaimed passion for education, training, and hospitality are all fueled by the more quiet passion for continual learning and excellence in all that she does. Mark Sweeney, who is now the Banquet Sales Manager at Russo’s On The Bay and Marketing Coordinator for the Russo Group, started his career at Giardino and worked closely with Maria. In speaking with Mark, nothing but incredible compliments of her work ethic and personality could be said. “It’s rare to meet someone who is so driven to be incredible at everything she does. She is an asset to the company and to the team, but more than that – Maria is a genuinely good-hearted person whose love to serve others is deeply inspiring.”
Danny Nanan Danny Nanan has been an invaluable team member at Russo’s On The Bay for the past five years, holding a number of different roles and responsibilities. From his role in the appetizer department and as a runner to ice sculpting and chauffeuring, Danny has worked through the ranks to his most recent role as Terrace Supervisor. During his time at Russo’s, Danny has proven his talents both in and out of the kitchen, as well as proving his value to the management as a team player with the ability to fill multiple roles. In his youth, Danny was deeply confused with what he wanted to do with his life. As a rebellious teenager, he began hanging out with the wrong crowds, skipping school, and eventually dropped out of school altogether. After school, he spent a year at the Culinary Academy of New York in Manhattan. Upon graduation, Danny was immediately employed at Carosello’s, the establishment once owned and operated by Frank Russo, Jr. Eventually, he moved on to working at Russo’s On The Bay.
Photo: Riccardo Studios
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At Russo’s On The Bay, being new to the company and having little experience, his main job was cutting fruit, preparing appetizers, and supporting the kitchen staff. Danny wanted to prove that he could be and do so much more. He knew that in order to be seen as invaluable to the company, he needed to prove not only to the management, but to himself that he was capable of working different positions, taking on new tasks and responsibilities, and improving his own skills within the company. “To be valued and appreciated is what motivated me to strive to be better.” Being valued and appreciated isn’t always something Danny felt in his previous jobs. He recalls how those previous employers made him feel, “I felt like they were always putting me down and didn’t like me. I felt thrown away like I was trash.” Danny has proven himself and because of his hard work and dedication; recognition and appreciation have been bestowed upon Danny in abundance. He currently serves as the Terrace Supervisor at Russo’s On The Bay; managing a team and ensuring that the Russo’s famous cocktail hours are always flawless. Danny proudly commented, “Mr. Russo knows who I am which gives me a sense of appreciation, a sense of people acknowledging that I’m doing something good. It feels nice to know that you’re appreciated and that’s something I really like about working at Russo’s.” Danny’s motivation is driven by his ability to make his parents proud and to have a family of his own one day. His humility, dependability, and character strength are enough to make any parent proud, but he is truly the type of person who will never settle for what the world thinks he should do; instead, he strives to continually be better. His parents, Jay and Sindy, have inspired him in more ways than one; showing him the true value of family, work ethic, and determination. “Everything they’ve ever done was to protect me or to make me a better person. You don’t see it growing up, but it’s something I don’t want to take for granted now. There are people that would love to have their parents so involved in their lives,” he stated while discussing their influence. “I realize how lucky I am to have such incredible parents.” While Danny has found his confidence at Russo’s On The Bay and has learned and grown with each day, his true passion is flying. “When I was five years old I went on an airplane and the cockpit door was open and all the gadgets were there. It looked so amazing to me. One day I got called into work at Russo’s while my mom was here. As I was leaving wearing my suit and chauffeur hat, she told me that I look like a pilot. She said, ‘If you would go to school and become a pilot, I would die happy.’ I still remember the day she smiled and told me that. It’s not something that I will ever forget. That’s why I’m going to do it for her and for me.” Danny will be attending college in the fall to pursue his pilot license while maintaining his responsibilities at Russo’s. “At a young age, to know who you are as a person and to be so driven by family, values, and character is an impressive trait. It’s hard not to know who Danny is or take notice of his excellent work here,” stated owner, Frank Russo, Jr. “When someone really just pushes themselves to excel in every little detail, it’s hard not to find them invaluable and appreciate all of their efforts. It is staff members like Danny that makes us successful.” When speaking with Danny, it’s hard not to notice how impressive his personality and dynamic energy are. He takes pleasure in his work, jumps at the chance to learn something new, and takes great pride in making things happen for himself. When asked about his family, you can hear the love and gratitude he has for them in his voice. One day, Danny hopes to have a family of his own but for now he is focused on being there for his family, making them proud, continuing to excel in anything he sets his mind to, and to not take anything for granted. Danny serves as an inspiration in his steadfast loyalty and determination to continually strive for excellence.
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Edwin Reynoso In 2011, Edwin Reynoso was awarded the prestigious honor of Employee of the Year at Russo’s On The Bay. Edwin has been a part of the Russo family for ten years and got his start because of his father, Simeon, who was also an employee at Russo’s. Sadly, a year after Edwin started at Russo’s, Simeon passed away. It was the influence of his father’s determination and work ethic that helped shape the man Edwin is today. When Edwin first came to Russo’s, he started out part time bussing tables; however, quickly moved on to waiting and bartending. Soon after, he was promoted to Supervisor and is now currently Head Supervisor for kitchen expediting. In the ten years that Edwin has worked at Russo’s, you could say that he has worked almost every job imaginable and has done so with the skills of a truly personable professional and it is because of those skills and dedication to hard work that has made him a success and the Employee of the Year. Photo: Riccardo Studios
Holding the title of Head Supervisor comes with many challenges and great responsibilities. Not only is Edwin the right-hand man to the management, but he is also be a master at multitasking, time management, and managing many different people. In managing his team, he hopes to instill the same traits taught to him by his father and to pass down the knowledge he has acquired through his ten years of employment at Russo’s On The Bay. He wants his team to look at him not only as a role model who inspires teamwork and respect for fellow colleagues, but also as someone they can depend on. Edwin, 24, is the youngest of three and was the first in his family to be born in the United States. Edwin’s parents, Simeon and Germania, immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1986. They came to the country having nothing and knowing no one, but with a steadfast perseverance, they created a better life for their family. “Growing up I watched and observed how hard my parents worked to provide and give us everything we needed. I definitely learned from them that if you work hard, anything is possible.” When Edwin isn’t supervising at Russo’s, he is spending time with this 5 year old daughter, Adrianna, his mother, and makes frequent trips to visit his family out of state. Being a family oriented man, Edwin tries to spend as much time with them as possible so that Adrianna can learn more about her heritage and never lose sight of where her family comes from. He also hopes to teach her the importance of hard work and pass down the same morals that were taught to him by his own parents. “Losing my dad at young age made me grow up quickly and become a man all on my own. In my opinion I think I did a pretty good job at it.” Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 65
It Begins With Faith and Determination Joe Vacca Speaks on Faith, Family Values, Community, and the Several Roles He Fills at Russo’s On The Bay and Abroad
Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Joe Vacca know his personality is larger than life. He has a way of commanding a room, speaking his mind, and making people pay attention without ever requesting the floor. Joe’s work with Russo’s On The Bay is something that he couldn’t be more proud of. Most recognize Joe from his long-time position as a Maître’ D. There is something about being in the dining room on the floor that truly sparks a passion in Joe. In addition to being a Maître’ D, Vacca, a natural talent in building relationships, works hard to promote Russo’s On The Bay, Vetro Restaurant and Lounge, Russo’s Modern Traditions Magazine, and Giardino Restaurant through his involvement in many local organizations including the JFK Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Columbus Citizen’s Foundation, and Columbia Firefighters Association among others. His natural ability to connect with people is second to none. Joe was born and raised in the city of Bitonto in the Italian province of Bari. His parents brought him to the United States in 1989, where he immediately went to school and took English classes. Within a short time, he was working for Russo’s On The Bay. From the time that Joe was a child, he has always had a natural interest in the hospitality business. While still working at Russo’s On The Bay, Joe studied business administration at Kingsborough Community College. Through a valiant effort in school, Joe’s English lessons paid off greatly and his natural drive for success pushed him forward. He quickly worked his way up at Russo’s On The Bay; moving from a busser position to Maitre’ D in under two years. In his 22 years with Russo’s, Joe has worked his way up, holding positions in nearly every department including waiter, captain, busser, marketing consultant, and public relations coordinator. His experience in every department has allowed him to become a well-rounded individual with a familiarity not only in the front of the house, but behind the scenes as well. Vacca met his wife, Maria, while working at Russo’s On The Bay. In 1997, they were married and now have three beautiful children. His entire family follows soccer together as a family and all three children play including his twins, Giancarlo and Brianna (12), and Joseph (11).To Joe, family is everything. He makes an effort to always be there for his children, teaching them the same values that he learned. He and Maria work hard to teach the children to always respect one another, and make a valiant effort to have consistent family time together. For Joe, the most important thing that he and Maria do as parents is keep an open line of communication. Amidst his soccer with the family and spending time with his parents, Joe Vacca is a very religious man who firmly grounds himself in his belief in God. He and his family attend St. James Parish in Massapequa and Joe prays daily. He attributes most of his successes in life to hard work and the grace of God. While he is not busy with family, church, and his multiple roles at Russo’s On The Bay, Joe Vacca also holds a license to sell insurance and works with Empire Financial Partners of New York. His passion for helping people drives him to be involved with great companies who serve the needs of the community at large. Regardless of what else he may do, Joe Vacca is dedicated to his role at Russo’s On The Bay. Fortunately for Joe, the schedules of a catering hall and financial services firm do not conflict; thus, he doesn’t have to sacrifice either of his passions. His heart truly lies with serving people, helping others, and continuing to push himself to new goals and heights.
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Photo: Riccardo Studios
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LEGACY EDITION SPECIAL
The Future of the Russoâ€™s Legacy and the People Who Made it Possible
The Beginning of a Legacy The values of honesty, hard work, and determination that Frank Russo, Sr. passed down to his three children (Frank, JoAnn, and George) are just the beginning of a continued legacy for the Russo’s. All three children began working with Frank and Joseph Russo at Villa Russo, and Il Palazzo Catering Hall from an early age; learning each position from the ground up and gaining the shared knowledge of both successful men.
Above: Commissioned Portrait of Frank Russo, Sr. (Photo: Infinity Photography, Inc.); Below: Frank Russo, Jr. with mother, Dolly, and brother, George Russo (Photo: Infinity Photography, Inc.)
The values and work ethic instilled in his children also helped the family to develop strong bonds. The Russo family has always been close, both at work and at home. As the three children grew into successful adults, it seemed clear that the entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic of their parents was alive and well in each of them. The children’s passion for working diligently toward their goals, contributing to the community, and being consistently focused on family are the three key elements of the Russo legacy.
George Russo George Russo began his law career working in the District Attorney’s office. However, as his passion for law quickly grew, George branched out and proudly opened his own practice in 2002. The Law Offices of George Russo & Associates, P.C. specializes in real estate law and represents both investors and lending institutions. In 2007, he expanded his concentration to become deeply involved in a variety of areas of negotiation on behalf of his clients; including handling legal needs for loan modifications, short sales and debt settlement. George does not strictly focus on his career as an attorney; however, in a commitment to his family and his father’s legacy, George took over Frank Russo, Sr.’s establishment, Villa Russo. With the help of his son, Paul, he not only owns Villa Russo, but runs the operations and manages the business. George and his brother, Frank Russo, Jr., began Angels On The Bay together many years ago in an effort to help children afflicted with disease and generally, to give back to the community that shaped them into the men they are. George displays an incredible passion for the organization and hosts fundraisers at Villa Russo each year to support local community hospitals. At his core, George is a passionate and kind man whose desire to help others and carry on his family legacy has greatly inspired his five children to keep the family legacy alive.
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Above: Russo Family from left to right: Frank Russo, Jr., Frank Russo, Sr., Dolly Russo, Joanne Russo-Connolly, George Russo
JoAnn Connolly JoAnn Russo married Gerard Connolly nearly twenty-five years ago. Early on in life, JoAnn assisted at Villa Russo and Russo’s On The Bay; filling a number of roles from bookkeeper to waitress. After graduating with two degrees in fashion, she spent nearly ten years in the fashion industry. Her entrepreneurial spirit shone through as she established and ran her own party décor and design business and opened a children’s clothing store. As Joann and Gerard began to have children, it became more difficult to keep up with her entrepreneurial endeavors and, after her fourth child, she put her business ventures on hold to focus solely on being a mother to her children. JoAnn and Gerard have six children today and they have passed down the values of hard work and commitment to their children. Her eldest son, Gerard Joseph II, is twenty-three and recently graduated from West Point. Joseph (21) is a history major with a strong sense of adventure who loves to travel. Rachel Francis (19) is a sophomore at Fordham, where her younger sister, JoAnna (17) will be attending school as a freshman. The youngest of her children, Shannon (16) and Jon Michael James (14) are in high school and display a true passion for extracurricular activities and the hard work that has made the family so successful. Her role as a mother is by far the most important in her life, but JoAnn, never one to waste an opportunity, chose to become very involved in the West Point Parent’s Club while her son was attending West Point. She has recently helped to develop an “Operation Date Night” effort to assist military families in crisis. “It’s so hard for military families to keep their relationship strong with all of the travel,” she states. Her organization works with local community organizations to arrange theater tickets, a dinner at Vetro Restaurant and Lounge (courtesy of brother, Frank Russo, Jr.), and limousine transportation for the evening (courtesy of All Star Limousine) for one military couple at a time. She started her endeavor with the Army, but is now expanding to the Marines in honor of her brother, George’s, eldest son, who is a Marine.
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Frank Russo, Jr. Frank and his wife, Jamie, have been married for twenty-nine years and have three children: Robert, Frank Russo, III, and Toni Ann. All three children are involved in the daily operations at Russo’s On The Bay and have been since they were old enough to work. Each has worked their way up from the simplest jobs to learn each and every facet of the business, just as Frank Russo, Jr. had to do. It’s not an easy task to live up to such an icon in the community, but they do it every day. Frank Russo, III and Toni Ann both work at Russo’s On The Bay. Toni Ann assists in sales, marketing, and operations and Frank has worked himself up to a management position in the dining room. Frank Russo, Jr.’s son, Robert, works at Giardino Restaurant and supports the restaurant in several positions. It is clear that all three children have learned their work ethic and a desire for excellence from their father. A desire for excellence is something Frank Russo, III does not take for granted. “Our father worked nonstop to build the business my grandfather created for us and our mother was always there when we were growing up. My siblings and I are lucky to have the greatest parents anyone could imagine,” stated Frank Russo, III. “They truly are the perfect team when it comes to raising a family and building a legacy. They have the perfect balance of hard work, devotion, and concern. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the equal influence and guidance of my parents. We are the luckiest children I know. I’m lucky to work side by side with the management team and my father; constantly learning and doing my part to move toward a future with no end in sight.” “My father’s passion and love for what he does is inspiring. It’s wonderful to work with him and be inspired by his dedication every day,” states daughter, Toni Ann. It’s this attitude that the family shares toward work (‘to love what you do so you never work a day in your life’) that has created the foundation for Russo’s On The Bay and its subsidiary restaurants. It’s not just contagious among the third generation of the family who will one day run the company, but to the team members who have chosen to stay with Russo’s since their teenage years.
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Adjacent Page: Russo Family from left to right: Robert, Frank Russo, III, Toni Ann, Frank Russo, Jr., and Jamie (Photo: Riccardo Studios); Above: Russo Family from left to right: Jamie, Toni Ann, Robert, Frank Russo, Jr., and Frank Russo, III (Photo: Riccardo Studios)
“My father’s passion and love for what he does is inspiring. It’s wonderful to work with him and be inspired by his dedication every day” - Toni Ann Russo
“I couldn’t do this without my management team. Their commitment, expertise and passion for what they do is unrivaled and it is their expertise that will help my children run the company one day as well,” says Frank Russo, Jr. “My management team is like my extended family. Working every day with them and my children really does make Russo’s a family environment. I’ve seen each and every one of them grow so much and exemplify the excellence that founded this company.” Frank Russo, III sees the similarities in the way he and his siblings were raised to the way that Russo’s On The Bay operates on a day to day basis. “It’s a family business,” he says. “Our management team is a family in itself. The undeniable loyalty we have to one another and to the business is what drives us. I’m blessed to be a part of the top team. The future just continues to get brighter as younger generations of our extended family begin to take on roles within the business.” His key management team members include PJ Connolly, Susie Serra, Michael Russo, Jeremy McMilleon, Chef Teodoro Lambiasi, and Chef Michael DeGeorgio. Frank Russo, Jr. firmly believes that without the knowledge and expertise of his team, Russo’s On The Bay would have never been as successful as it is today. PJ Connolly has been Russo’s right-hand man for years and runs Vetro Restaurant and Lounge. “What PJ has done with Vetro and what he does every day with the restaurant is impressive,” says Russo. He gives credit for much of Vetro’s success to PJ’s management and Executive Chef Michael DeGeorgio’s capability to create outstanding
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“I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the equal influence and guidance of my parents. We are the luckiest children I know. I’m lucky to work side by side with the management team and my father; constantly learning and doing my part to move toward a future with no end in sight.” Frank Russo III
Above: Russo Family from left to right: Frank Russo, III, Jamie, Frank Russo, Jr., Toni Ann, and Robert (Photo: Infinity Photography, Inc.) Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 74
dishes and keep the menu exciting and fresh. “The combination of people we have here, the team we have, makes these businesses work. Chef Michael (DeGeorgio) can create recipes and develop menus. Then, Chef Lambiasi and his team can flawlessly execute that menu every time. Susie and Jeremy will ensure the dining room and terrace run perfectly for the event. Michael Russo will consistently ensure that the building is perfect and keep us up to date. Without the expertise of the team, we couldn’t have grown to where we are today.” The Russo family has a close-knit bond from the bond of mother, Dolly, with her children and grandchildren to the bond that all of her children and grandchildren share. The family has consistently been very close and Frank Russo, Jr.’s relationship with his management team is no different. That bond between family and extended family have helped to start the next phase of the Russo Legacy. The managers that are regularly inspired by the same work ethic Frank Russo, Sr. shared with his children and the passing of a legacy to the third generation of Russo children to ensure that Russo’s On The Bay, Villa Russo, and all of the ventures owned by the family will continue well into the future. This security of knowing that the establishments will continue to be owned and operated by the family is most important to the patrons; who have relied on the family’s expertise, care, and service for some of their most important events. Their legacy extends beyond the family, children, and the management team; touching every loyal patron who has grown with the company throughout the past 25 years. Furthermore, for the Russo family, this is how it should be for many years to come.
A Special Thank You To Our Russo’s Family Members and their Families
You Have Helped Build Our Legacy and are the Future of Russo’s
General Manager at Vetro Restaurant and Lounge
Gina Connolly, wife, and children Patrick Connolly, Travis Connolly, and Lia Connolly
Photo: Riccardo Studios
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Photo: Riccardo Studios
General Manager, Russo’s on the Bay
Son, Michael Serra
Michael Russo Building Manager
Joanne Russo, wife, and twin sons, Jake & Max Russo Photo: Riccardo Studios
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General Manager, Russo’s on the Bay
Fiance, Jessica Aldana, and daughter, Juneau Rose McMilleon
Chef Teodoro Lambiasi Executive Chef, Russo’s on the Bay
Wife, Paola Lambiasi, and sons Anthony Lambiasi and Ralph Lambiasi
Chef Michael DeGeorgio
Executive Chef, Vetro Restaurant and Lounge
Sister, Cathy DeGeorgio
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â€œLaMotta was a clever boxer who executed the nuances of the game with fine precision. While he was able to absorb punches with little problem, he was also adept at rolling with punches to minimize the damage. He liked to play possum in the ring, lulling opponents into a false sense of confidence before unleashing his own attack. And, perhaps above all, he had a tremendous will to win.â€? -International Boxing Hall of Fame
This Page: LaMotta boxing photo shoot, 1952, Source: OfficialJakeLaMotta.com; Next Page, Top: Jake LaMotta with Fiance Denise Baker, 2012, Source: OfficialJakeLaMotta.com; Next Page, Bottom: Jake LaMotta with Sugar Ray Robinson, Source: OfficialJakeLaMotta.com
Celebrating Boxing’s Legacy with Jake Lamotta Jake LaMotta is one of the most well-known names in boxing. As a former American World Middleweight Champion boxer, his career is legendary. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and was ranked 52nd on Ring Magazine’s, 80 Greatest Fighters of The Past 80 Years. The magazine also ranked him as one of the 10 greatest middleweights of all time. Jake, born Giacobbe LaMotta, seemed destined to fight in one way or another. Born in 1922 to Italian parents, his father forced him in to fighting other neighborhood children. The adults from the neighborhood would throw change into the ring as the children fought; which would help Jake’s father with rent money. In 1941, at the age of 19, LaMotta started his career as a professional boxer. At Ring Magazine’s gala 75th Anniversary Dinner, Jake LaMotta was recognized as having the best chin in boxing over the last 75 years. His International Boxing Hall of Fame profile reads, “LaMotta was a clever boxer who executed the nuances of the game with fine precision. While he was able to absorb punches with little problem, he was also adept at rolling with punches to minimize the damage. He liked to play possum in the ring, lulling opponents into a false sense of confidence before unleashing his own attack. And, perhaps above all, he had a tremendous will to win.” It was this style of fighting that earned LaMotta his nicknames as “The Bronx Bull” or “The Raging Bull.” LaMotta’s record was impressive. He compiled 83 wins, 19 losses and four draws with 30 wins by way of knockout. Possibly one of the most famous bouts he ever had was against Sugar Ray Robinson, former Welterweight Champion. LaMotta first fought Robinson during Robinson’s middleweight debut at Madison Square Garden; knocking him down in the first round to become the first man to beat Sugar Ray Robinson. During their six-bout rivalry, During their six-bout rivalry, Robinson and LaMotta proved to be well-matched in skill and capabilities; thus, equally challenging. Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 81
“If you asked me, DeNiro is the greatest fighter who ever lived. How’d he play me? He sparred and shadowboxed 1000 rounds and when I was finished with him he could have turned pro.”” - Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta
In 1947, LaMotta lost in four rounds to Billy Fox. Suspecting the fight was fixed, the New York State Athletic Commission withheld purses for the fight and suspended LaMotta. He would later testify before a U.S. Senate sub-committee that he had thrown this bout so that the mob would arrange a title bout for him. The thrown fight and a payment of $20,000 to the mafia got LaMotta his title bout against Marcel Cerdan.
Above: Robert de Niro, Jake LaMotta and Martin Scorsese while filming Raging Bull, 1980, OfficialJakeLaMotta.com; Below: Robert DeNiro, Cathy Moriarty, Jake LaMota and Martin Scorsese pose at the 25th Anniversary screening of Raging Bull,' in New York, January 27, 2005. REUTERS/Chip East; Right: Jake LaMotta at the 25th Anniversary Screening of Raging Bull, 2005, REUTERS/Chip East
LaMotta won the world title in 1949 in Detroit against Frenchman, Marcel Cerdan, who was the world champion. Cerdan, called by many boxing critics the greatest champion ever from France gave up before the start of the 10th. A rematch was arranged, but while Cerdan was flying back to the United States for the bout, his Air France Lockheed Constellation crashed in the Azores, killing everyone on board. LaMotta met two challengers (Tiberio Mitri and Laurent Dauthuille) and defeated both. It was in 1951 that he was challenged by Robinson for their rivalry’s sixth fight to be held on February 14, 1951. The fight became known as boxing’s version of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Robinson won by a technical knockout in the 13th round; when the fight was stopped with LaMotta lying on the ropes. In the mid-1950’s, LaMotta suffered from a boxing injury and took time off to recover. He was always interested in baseball and decided to form the Jake LaMotta All-Star team. He also held professional fights at that field, and his brother Joey often fought there as well. After retirement, LaMotta owned and managed bars, became a stage actor, and tried his hand as a stand-up comedian. He appeared in more than 15 films, including The Hustler with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason; in which he had a cameo role as a bartender. After retirement, Hollywood executives approached LaMotta with the idea of a movie about his life, based on his 1970 memoir Raging Bull: My Story. The film, Raging Bull, was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta. While the film had minor box office success, it became a huge critical success. To portray the younger
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“I fought Sugar Ray Robinson so many times, it’s a wonder I don’t have diabetes” - Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta
LaMotta, De Niro trained with LaMotta. Jake pushed De Niro during training as he would a professional. At the NY Boxing Hall of Fame Dinner, LaMotta stated during his acceptance speech, “If you asked me, De Niro is the greatest fighter who ever lived. How’d he play me? He sparred and shadow-boxed 1000 rounds and when I was finished with him, he could have turned pro.” De Niro lived in Paris for three months, eating at the finest restaurants in order to gain the 60 pounds needed to portray LaMotta after retirement. De Niro won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance. On April 1, 2012, LaMotta was honored by the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (“NYSBHOF”) at an induction dinner held at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York. In front of a sold-out crowd of 500 at the gala sponsored by Ring 8, LaMotta was presented his award among other inductees including “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Mike Tyson, Carmen Basilio, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, and Mike McCallum. Jake LaMotta has been married six times and has 6 children, four daughters and two sons. He remains active on the speaking and autograph circuit, and has published several books about his career, his life, and his fights with Robinson. LaMotta currently lives in New York City, Florida and Arizona with his fiancé, Denise Baker. He recently concluded an Off Broadway show written by Bonnie Lee Sanders and Denise Baker titled, “Lady and the Champ.” The performance is described as “a detailed recount of his years as a boxer, and, later on, post-retirement, his many years owning bars, working as a stand-up, and racking up a long list of wives. He developed the show with Baker, to whom he affectionately refers to as his future seventh wife, ‘Lucky No. 7.’”
Sources: Jake LaMotta, International Boxing Hall of Fame, Ring8, New York Times, New York Post.
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Naomi Whittel, entrepreneur and natural productsâ€™ expert, discusses her passion for natural products and the business that will become her legacy
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Building a Legacy Business on Better Health Naomi Whittel was raised to ‘think natural,’ to eat only organic whole foods, consult homeopathic practitioners, and go without immunizations. Food was her family’s medicine and they were rarely sick. Naomi likes to tell the story of how her grandmother advised her to start her day with a piece of chocolate because she knew that chocolate was good for the body. Her grandmother also owned a health food store, and the family farm in Switzerland was committed to biodynamic farming.
Naomi’s own goals were growing with the awareness that she could create a powerful brand of her own, as well as mentor other female entrepreneurs. She planned to start an organization that would support women in the natural products’ industry.
She eventually sold the store but began a quest to learn about the healthiest cultures in the world. That’s how Naomi came to discuss The French Paradox with her cousin, a prominent French physician. The Harvard In Naomi’s experience, food and drink were treated with research by medical scientists, Baur and Sinclair, published more reverence in Europe than in the United States. The in 2006, found that resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red French, for example, have traditionally made red wine wine grapes, activated the “longevity gene.” as much a part of their diet as rich, high-fat food, yet they have a lower incidence of heart attacks, diabetes Naomi and her cousin decided to harness the power of red and other age-related conditions. The French Paradox, as wine’s bioactive trans-Resveratrol in unique formulations. it’s called, would become a brainstorm for Naomi’s first With just four products, she started Reserveage™ company. Organics to provide The World’s Finest Resveratrol™ to consumers. Reserveage™ achieved profitability after only When she moved to the States in her early 20s, Naomi’s three months of operation and became one of the fastest exposure to the American diet was a shock to her system. growing natural products’ companies. In its launch year, She got sick, really sick, for the first time in her life, Reserveage™ earned a 36 percent market share and sales gained 30 pounds, and recognized an opportunity. She grew more than 870 percent over the first 20 months. could create choices that would allow health-conscious people to make changes in their daily diets. Always the Naomi next learned of a 20-year study of the Kuna entrepreneurial spirit, even as a child, she now had a indigenous people of coastal Panama; who followed personal as well as a business mission. a sacred practice of drinking 30 ounces of cocoa daily. Harvard researcher, Dr. Norman Hollenberg found the Her first venture was a health food store in Boca Raton, Kuna were able to maintain normal blood pressure as Fla., where one of her customers was Brenda Watson; they aged and enjoyed exceptional cardiovascular health now a bestselling author of six books on digestive health. despite a high-salt diet. † Impressed by that research, Brenda pioneered natural health care clinics in Florida, Naomi created a sub-brand called CocoaWell®, which formulated her own herbal blends, and hosts The Road to combines whole-food organic cocoa with a flavanolPerfect Health, a series of specials about digestive health rich blend of green tea and Acacia catechu; delivering a for PBS. When Brenda walked in to Naomi’s store 15 years healthy way to incorporate cocoa in the diet to support ago, she became Naomi’s mentor. “She told me what her whole-body wellness.* goals were that day,” Naomi said, “and she has achieved every one of them. She’s the face of her brand.”
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Building a sustainable business model Naomi started her company with a mission to become a sustainable business model. The company is committed to eco-farming practices, sources organic, Fair Tradecertified ingredients whenever possible, bottles its products in recycled amber glass and packages them in recycled cartons with vegetable-based inks.
Her goal is to make Reserveage a democratic role model not only in the global community, but for her local community of Gainesville, Fla., as well as her staff and customers. The company earned a place on the 6th Annual WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces™ 2012.
Recently, Naomi entered into a sustainable business agreement with the Kuna people, whose healthy lifestyle inspired the CocoaWell® product line featuring wholefood organic cocoa. This marked the first time the Kuna ruling chiefs allowed a company to use images of the Kuna people to promote a product, spread awareness of the Kuna as a healthy culture, and work together for their mutual benefit. Naomi achieved it in large part because of her commitment to building a sustainable relationship with the Kuna.
Now one of the few female CEOs in the natural products’ industry, Naomi followed through with her plans to help her fellow women entrepreneurs succeed by creating DAWN—Developing and Advancing Women in Naturals. Her goal is to expand female leadership in the natural products industry from 1 to 2 percent over the next three years.
Building a Brand Naomi’s healthy upbringing strongly reinforced her belief in the importance and nutritional benefits of natural and organic products. Since launching Reserveage, Naomi has created three sister companies – the ResVitale™ line exclusively at GNC stores, Re-Body® and Fembody™— each featuring science-driven products that have earned national media attention and achieved major sales growth. ResVitale’s number one seller is Collagen Enhance Chews, skin-revitalizing fruit chews that deliver the age-defying properties of natural collagen and hyaluronic acid with red wine antioxidants to help boost skin elasticity and firmness.* Re-Body features three clinically researched supplements that can help reduce belly fat and curb appetite—SafSlim™, Hunger Chews™ and Hunger Caps™. Both Re-Body and Fembody advanced nutritional formulas for women have been featured on a popular
daytime TV show and QVC and are endorsed by television personalities: Montel Williams for Re-Body and Paula Abdul for Fembody. The Reserveage catalog has grown from four Resveratrol products to a Beauty from Within line featuring Keratin Booster, Collagen Booster and Ultra Collagen Booster, a dedicated line called Advanced Solutions, and coming soon, Grass-Fed Whey Protein and Wholeganic Greens. In all, the company has launched approximately 145 products. Naomi has become the face of her brand. She appears regularly as a guest host on QVC, often alongside Williams, who has endorsed SafSlim, a bestseller on QVC. Reserveage has won 20 industry awards for product excellence and earned recognition for Naomi, who won a 2012 Enterprising Women in Business award.
About Reserveage™ Organics Inspired by the wisdom of nature and the healthiest cultures around the world, Reserveage aims to provide high-quality, sciencedriven products that deliver life-changing benefits. We know nature is a powerful and abundant source, so we travel the world in search of the finest natural ingredients. Research-driven formulations with clinically tested results is the philosophy that inspires us to enhance the relationship between science and nature. We strive to create the world’s most advanced and innovative nutritional supplements that deliver the promise of optimal wellness. We are devoted to providing natural ingredients in authentic formulas. For more information about the complete line of Resveratrol-based nutritional supplements, call 800.553.1896 or visit www.reserveage.com. †Norman K. Hollenberg; Gregorio Martinez; Marji McCullough; et al. Aging Acculturation, Salt Intake, and Hypertension in the Kuna of Panama. Hypertension. 1997. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Feature Story: Food and Wine
Passion Makes it Perfect
Meet Giuseppe Oppedisano, the Man Behind the Little Neck Icon, Il Bacco It only takes a few minutes to feel like you’ve known Giuseppe “Joseph” Oppedisano for years. His personality is warm and inviting, instantly making people comfortable. With his innate gift for making people feel comfortable, it’s no wonder than his restaurant, Il Bacco, has been so wildly successful over the past eighteen years. Joseph Oppedisano was born in the region of Italy called Reggio Calabria. He was the oldest of six siblings born to Salvator and Clementina Oppedisano. As the eldest child, Joseph was taught responsibility at an early age. In 1972, he and his father immigrated to New York City, leaving the rest of the family behind, to pursue the “American Dream.” When he arrived in New York, he worked multiple jobs in addition to keeping up with his studies. The hours would have been challenging for an adult, but Joseph was only thirteen. His hard work paid off when just two short years after their arrival, he and his father brought the rest of the family to America. In his late teens and early twenties, Joseph’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to explore his career options. He attended Aviation High School in Long Island City, started his own taxi cab business, and finally became inspired to open an Italian eatery in New York. He opened his first restaurant in 1981, naming it Firenze. Just five years later, Oppedisano sold Firenze (which is still operated today on 82nd Street and 2nd Avenue) to pursue other goals and dreams. After selling Firenze, Joseph married his wife, Teresa, and the couple began their family. It was in 1992, with the never-ending support of his loving wife, that Oppedisano opened Il Bacco Ristorante. The restaurant had a warm and comfortable atmosphere and the cuisine was authentic and prepared by chefs who knew their craft. Il Bacco quickly became a local success. Twenty years later, Joseph’s creation has expanded; recently relocating to a building designed and built with the hands-on attention of the owner himself. The new building’s “grandeur and sophistication” is coupled with the warm, welcoming atmosphere and impeccable cuisine that one would expect from a traditional Italian restaurant. Il Bacco’s menu features cuisine that spans the entire country of Italy. The new location features a rooftop for dining, catering capabilities, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Joseph and Teresa Oppedisano are heavily involved in the everday day operations of their business. Oppedisano is in the restaurant nearly every day managing service, operations, and quality while his wife, Teresa, manages the business and financial aspect of the restaurant. Joseph’s hands-on approach to everything from selecting food and supplies, to ensuring each guest is satisfied has taken Il Bacco to new heights. The couple’s three children; Tina Marie (21), Salvatore (17), and Franco (10); are involved in the business as well. “Tina Marie has a passion for the restaurant business. She helps me out a lot with just about everything from booking parties to working in the dining room.” For Oppedisano, Il Bacco has become his passion in life, but his ability to balance his passion for his restaurant, his family, and his free time is what keeps him grounded, happy, and at peace. His favorite downtime activity is flying. Joseph has been licensed as both an auto private pilot and sea plane pilot since the early 1990’s. With his license to fly sea planes, he built a hanger behind his house where keeps his own plane. This inspirational man has shown that you really can come from very little and still have it all. His passion for traditions, hard work, and family are truly inspiring. At Joseph’s young age, it’s entirely up to him where he goes from here as he has proven that the sky is the limit. Il Bacco is here to stay for the long haul with all four of Joseph’s children willing to support the continuing legacy of their family. Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 90
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Feature Story: Food and Wine
Meet the Hottest Chef in Queens Rocco Sacramone’s Famous Astoria Restaurant, Trattoria L’incontro, is More Than Just Dining - It’s an Exquisite Culinary Experience Chef Rocco Sacramone is easily one of Astoria’s most well-known and loved chefs and restaurateurs. His restaurant has been rated in the highest esteem by Zagat. Chef Sacramone has been featured in several local newspapers, on television, and community events. His fame, though, is far from being top of mind for Sacramone. In fact, at his famous Ditmars’ establishment, Trattoria L’incontro, Rocco’s focus is providing consistent, incredible service with a combination of both traditional recipes and creative new dishes. In an interview with Brindiamo! host, Ornella Fado, explained the basis of the restaurant’s name, “L’incontro” which, in Italian means ‘to meet’ and as soon as you walk in, you can meet a great staff and feel a warm atmosphere.” It’s this exuberant passion for people that truly makes his restaurant (and career) unique. A Queens Tribune article by Michael Schenkler portrays the truly unique nature of the restaurant. He details a recent visit in which Rocco Sacramone “came over to greet us as soon as our party arrived and promised to send out a sampling of what he was brewing up in the kitchen - rigatoni with veal ragout, pancetta and mascarpone cheese - his interpretation of some of the best of the Abruzzo region of Italy.” While the restaurant is a frequent stop for politicians and celebrities, the two most important aspects will never waiver for Rocco – the food and the service. To Rocco, success is simply not something you take for granted and these two elements are the foundation of Trattoria L’inctonro’s success. His story speaks to many Italian immigrants who have grown up with the passion for cooking, food, and family in the home. Rocco Sacramone came to the United States in 1970 from Orsonga, a small town in Abruzzo, Italy. His mother was an excellent cook with a passion for food and Italian cuisine; teaching young Rocco the art of cooking. Thus, from an early age, his passion for the culinary field grew and, like a sponge, he found ways to learn every aspect of the restaurant business. When Sacramone opened Trattoria L’incontro in 1999, it seemed an obvious choice that Rocco’s mother, Tina, should be part of this new restaurant as her passion for food had inspired Rocco’s career and the restaurant. Tina quickly agreed to help with the kitchen staff and prep work, giving Rocco the opportunity to spend more time creating new dishes while still maintaining the traditional recipes that he knew and loved.
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Sacramone expanded Trattoria L’incontro in 2007 to include Vino di Vino, an impressive wine bar with an even more impressive tapas menu. Local oenophiles were thrilled with the extensive list of vintages and varieties. With his partner, Jack Brucculeri, he opened an adjacent space next to Trattoria L’incontro as a place where local wine connoisseurs can savor their favorites and sample new ones. There is a collection of over 300 wines and, while 90% are from Italy, there is something for everyone in the collection. Vintage and variety as well as price are taken into account, with glasses and bottles available for every taste and budget. If his incredible success in business and his expertise in cuisine are not enough, Sacramone also stays heavily involved within his community. Sacramone is active in the Boys and Girls Club, donates to local churches, and makes an effort to help his community whenever he can. In 2010, he was honored at the United Community Civic Association (UCCA) holiday cocktail party and fundraiser. City Councilmember, Peter F. Vallone Jr., honored Rocco with a proclamation for his community activism. Sacramone was also honored with the UCCA’s Community Loyalist Award and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. In 2011, he supported the UCCA and Mount Sinai Queens in an educational heart health event; cooking for 183 people and teaching the audience about preparing hearty, heart-healthy dishes. Rocco’s passion for perfection in service and cuisine have catapulted his business to new heights. His endeavors and community efforts have strengthened the bonds of the community through ‘meeting’ at Trattoria L’incontro. Sacramone’s ventures have proven that food is still one of the greatest ways to bring people together.
All Photos Courtesy of Official Trattoria L’Incontro Website at www.TrattoriaLincontro.com
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About Trattoria L’incontro In 1999, under the direction of Chef Rocco Sacramone, Trattoria L’incontro opened its doors. Chef Sacramone’s goal was to provide his guests with the highest level of quality and service thus ensuring a unique dining experience. The restaurant features high ceilings, hand painted murals done by a local artist which reflect images of Rocco’s hometown, and an open, brick-oven in the dining room. The cuisine is a combination of traditional classics and state-of-the-art fare. All of the dishes are prepared with an emphasis on using on the freshest, prime ingredients; keeping the integrity of traditional dishes while incorporating a new style with the focus on taste. Private events and business meetings are accommodated in our private room for up to thirty-five people, our side room for up to sixty-five and next door at our wine bar, Vino di Vino, for up to one-hundred. At the wine bar, Vino di Vino, guests waiting to be seated can enjoy a glass of wine before dinner or can use the space to mingle after dinner. The wine bar welcomes both restaurant dining guests and guests who just want to relax with a glass of wine and dine on our tapas menu. Trattoria L’incontro 21-76 31 Street, Astoria, NY 11105 Phone: 718.721.3532 Email Inquiries: email@example.com Website: www.TrattoriaLincontro.com
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Feature Story: Food and Wine
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Celebrating the Legacy of Nonna Meet Rossella Rago, the Host of Cooking with Nonna, a Webshow Dedicated to Celebrating Nonna At first glance, Rossella Rago is beautiful, sweet, and enthusiastic. Those that have seen her Web show, Cooking with Nonna, see her passion for food and for life. It’s when you dive deeper into her personality, that you truly see and understand her passion for people. To Rossella, Italian women are the unsung heroes of the family - the matriarchs who take care of the family, maintain valuable family traditions, and pass down the recipes of their grandmothers. To her, food is about more than eating, it’s about traditions and a connection to your heritage. It seems only fitting that her calling in life would be to highlight these unsung heroes and the traditional recipes that have been passed down through generations from all around Italy. Rossella’s father, Vito, came to America at 14 years old in 1969 and her mother, Angela, came to America in 1978 when she was 19. Her parents both came from a small town on the Adriatic coast in Puglia – Mola di Bari, a small fishing village with approximately 26,000 inhabitants located south of Bari in the Southern Italian region of Apulia (Puglia). The traditions of Mola di Bari were a normal part of their family life; from teaching the children their native dialect to sending them to Italy for the summer to spend time with family.
grandmother, who she calls ‘Nonna’, also taught her about the different, regional food-styles of Italy. Her role was first that of a taster and then she was allowed to run errands and pick up ingredients. As with many traditional families, she had to grow into her role of working in the kitchen and participating in the cooking. As a child, when she was not in the kitchen with her family, Rossella entertained her passion for acting with influential encouragement from her mother. Her mother, Angela, was a theatre actress in her native village in Italy and started to write plays in her native dialect after moving to the United States. She produced seven plays and continued to act, not only in her own plays, but in other roles as well. When Rossella was 8, Angela landed a role in the movie, Sleepers, featuring Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Bacon. It was because of Angela’s experience and understanding of the business that helped her to put both Rossella and her brother into the Screen Actors Guild; leading to extra roles in movies and television for the children. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Rossella has also played roles in many films and television series, including Confessions
Rossella spent most of her childhood in the kitchen with her maternal Grandmother, Romana, learning the long legacy of recipes passed down throughout the generations. Her
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Above: Rossella Rago, host of Cooking with Nonna, with Nonna Anna Bounsante; Middle: Rossella Rago with Nonna Carolina Marino; Right: Rossella Rago with Nonna Yolanda Calligaro; All Images Courtesy of BaciTV, LLC
of a Shopaholic, 13 Going On 30, and The Sopranos. While the love of performance was a strong calling for her, education was even more important, and the budding actress put acting on hold to focus on her degree in Italian Literature. Her passion for food and entertaining remained strong throughout the years and her deep commitment to her traditional heritage continued to grow during the time she spent in Italy. It was through a conversation with her father during college that the idea for Cooking with Nonna came to her. “The greatest job in the world would be to have a cooking show.” It wasn’t just any cooking show; however, it was an idea inspired from years in the kitchen with her grandmother and her four great aunts who treated the craft of cooking as a sacred tradition. A cooking show to give homage to the true heroines of Italian cuisine, whose recipes have been passed down for generations throughout familial lines and have created traditions that honor the cultural heritage of their families. Vito Rago wasted little time buying the domain name and shortly thereafter, he helped Rossella get the show off the ground by building out a kitchen and island to film around. They began filming the first Cooking with Nonna episode in 2008 and officially launched Cooking with Nonna in 2009. The goal of Cooking with Nonna was to bring the public ‘another facet of the cooking Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 98
experience’ and to highlight the grandmothers of the world who have ‘painstakingly honed their craft day in and day out by preparing a small set of simple, but hearty recipes; which they have perfected and mastered by following the secrets passed on to them by their mothers using the most authentic ingredients particular to the region that they came from. The show blended the most traditional cooking with the most untraditional media format; creating several Webisodes and focusing on an online-only format. Since the show’s inception, that first episode has grown into a 50 episode online show with over 50,000 unique visitors per month and a social media following of over 38,000 people. In 2009, Rossella had her biggest opportunity yet. While spending time in the West Village shortly after the launch of the site, a psychic had told her that in one year she would be on Food Network and, at the time, she brushed it off. A few months later she went to a restaurant owned by another woman from Puglia. The woman took her cards and handed them out to patrons at the restaurant, one of whom sent her an email about a casting call for the 24 Hour Restaurant Battle shortly thereafter. The audition called for a team of two, but Rossella brought both her mother, Angela, and Grandmother, Romana, to the audition. The audition tape itself was so dynamic and entertaining that Food Network opted to make the episode a special threeperson team episode. After the most “stressful 24 hours of her life,” Rossella and her team won the contest with
traditional dishes from her family’s home region of Puglia. Rossella, her mother, and her grandmother had a bonding experience like no other. When the stakes were high and the pressure was on, it was a new experience for the group. The unyielding faith of her Nonna and mother kept her strong and determined throughout the process; fueling their win.
starting a new career giving cooking lessons, to a woman leaving a chef position where she felt unappreciated and after being on Cooking with Nonna, started her own sauce company. “What I like to say in Cooking with Nonna is what I’ve learned is, unlike the ingredients we cook with, women have no expiration date. It’s never too late to start anything new.”
That triumphant feeling is what Cooking with Nonna is all about and that is what Rossella’s mission with the show truly is. The desire to showcase these incredible women who are the caretakers, the cornerstone for their families, the chefs, the babysitters, and yet to these incredible women, no one says, “Thank You.” Rossella beautifully states, “In the end, Cooking with Nonna became about giving something back to these women who are these like silent heroes. Who never ask for anything really, they set the table, they server dinner, everybody eats, and they clean up after it. It’s not very glamorous and I wanted to lend an element of glamour to these women who are kind of these unsung heroes of our lives.”
The future of Cooking with Nonna is bright and Rossella Rago has nowhere to go but up as the series continues to build a fan base. “The show can go in so many directions,” she says, “and we will take it in every angle we can including books, television, and more.” Outside the kitchen, Rossella is a member of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), Italian American Youth Committee and is also a member of the Order of Sons of Italy and NOIAW. Regardless of how busy modern American lifestyle may be, she focuses diligently on maintaining traditions through her club memberships, the local dialect of her parents’ hometown, and spending time with her family; who continue to celebrate the traditions of Puglia.
Rossella understands that while these women may be uncomfortable in front of a camera, she believes they deserve to shine, to be heard, and to be glorified. In having some of these women on the show, she has learned that Cooking with Nonna has been an inspiration for those that are starting a new chapter in their lives and want to find a new passion. From a woman overcoming a divorce and
What’s her advice for trying to maintain traditions with the hustle and bustle of daily life? “Take time for as much as you can. It’s so busy here; it would take me two weeks to adjust to the lifestyle again after coming back from Italy. Maintain connections to your culture and heritage and always make time for a real family Sunday dinner.”
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Sunday Dinner Favorites from Rossella Rago Focaccia Barese INGREDIENTS • 2 Lbs - Flour • 1 Lb - Fresh tomatoes • 2 1/4 Cups - Warm water • 2 Oz - Yeast • EV olive oil • Oregano • Salt DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl add the flour and make a hole at the center. 2. In the hole add the warm water. Add the yeast to the water and let the yeast melt. 3. Add to the water 1 1/2 Tbs of salt and 3 Tbs of olive oil. 4. Mix the entire content until the dough is well mixed and of even consistency. If you have a pasta mixer, use it as it will speed up the process.
Now you are ready to assemble the focaccia. 5. Take a round baking pan 14” wide and add 1/2 cup of olive oil to the bottom. 6. Pour the dough into the pan and spread it evenly. 7. Cut the tomatoes in wedges and spread them over the top. 8. Pour 3/4 cup of olive oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle salt and oregano over the entire focaccia. 9. Put the pan in the oven heated at 100F and leave it there to raise for one hour. 10. Then raise the temperature to 475F and cook the focaccia for 35 minutes.
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Brasciole in Ragu` Sauce INGREDIENTS • 1/2 Lb - Beef cut in thin slices • 1/2 Lb - Veal cut in thin slices • 1/2 Lb - Pork cut in thin slices • Garlic cut in wedges • Pecorino Romano - cut in small wedges • 1/2 Cup - Dry white wine • Hot pepper • Fresh Parsley • Salt & Pepper • EV olive oil • 1 Qt. - Tomato sauce DIRECTIONS
Brasciole Preparation 1. Prepare the wedges of garlic, Pecorino Romano and parsley. Do not chop the parsley. 2. Lay out on a wooden board a slice of meat. At one edge of the meat place 2-3 wedges of pecorino cheese, 2-3 wedges of garlic and a generous sprinkle of fresh black pepper. 3. Add two, small branches of fresh parsley and roll the meat into a roll. Close the meat with three wooden toothpicks to ensure that only the aroma, and not the ingredients, escapes during cooking. 4. Put aside. Sauce Preparation 5. In a large pot, put 4 Tbs of EV olive oil and 4 cloves of minced garlic and let the garlic saute` for two minutes until it turns light golden. 6. Add the Brasciole to the pot and carefully saute` them in the hot oil for a few minutes. Add a sprinkle of hot pepper, as desired, and turn the Brasciole several times until they brown on all sides. 7. Add the tomato sauce and cover the pot. 8. Cook at low-medium heat for 45 mins. 9. Remove the Brasciole from the pot and gently remove all the toothpicks. 10. Separately boil some Rigatoni or other large pasta that you prefer and serve with the sauce from the Brasciole.
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Photos: Silverfox Photography & Video
Bring Home a Taste of Russo’s On The Bay www.RussosOnTheBay.com 718-843-5055
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Nonna’s Ricotta Cake INGREDIENTS
• • • • • •
3 Lbs fresh ricotta cheese 8 Eggs 1/2 Lb sugar Zest of one orange Zest of one lemon Butter for coating bottom and sides of pan
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
In a bowl mix together all the ingredients very well. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9” Springform pan with butter. Pour the mix in the Springform pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 425F then continue baking for an additional 40 minutes at 380F. Let it cool and serve.
About Rossella Rago The Cooking with Nonna website is an entity owned and operated by the BaciTV, LLC. The site was initially launched in 2008 with the aim of preserving the oldest Italian cuisine tradition held dearly by Italian Nonne from every region of Italy. The show’s host, Rossella Rago, is the recent winner of the Food Network - 24 Hour Restaurant Battle - Battle Italiano. With Cooking with Nonna, she brings the public yet another facet of the cooking experience. For more information on Rossella Rago or Cooking with Nonna, please visit www.CookingWithNonna.com. Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 105
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The Best Wine Collection in Queens Vetro Restaurant and Lounge Becomes The Only Queens’ Restaurant to Receive the Two Glass Award from Wine Spectator General Manager and Sommelier, PJ Connolly, has spent the years since the opening of Vetro Restaurant and Lounge toiling over creating a robust and variety-filled wine collection for the restaurant’s wine cellar. His passion for the perfect wine is undeniable. Connolly’s expertise in wine, coupled with his extensive wine collection, make it easy for the patrons of Vetro Restaurant and Lounge to select the perfect pairing for any meal and mood. The wait staff is trained diligently on the different wines in their collection and mirror Connolly’s descriptions of different regional and international wines in the collection. The culmination of all of his hard work is truly the delight and satisfaction of his repeat and new customers and the incredible passion he holds for the food, wine, and service at Vetro. In 2012, Vetro Restaurant and Lounge was awarded one of the most prestigious awards in the country for restaurants - the “2 Glass” Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Wine List Awards recognizes restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. Vetro Restaurant and Lounge joins the ranks of only 58 establishments in the five boroughs of New York City to have been awarded the two glass honor. In addition, Vetro became the only restaurant from the Borough of Queens to be awarded this level of prestige from Wine Spectator. Vetro Restaurant and Lounge opened its doors just a few short years ago and has been a staple in the Queens area ever since; whether for dancing and drinks on the Rooftop, Sunday brunch on the terrace, or fine dining anytime. The award-winning wine list features more than 475 wines from around the world. Vetro’s culinary and management team have worked to pair the best wines from multiple regions of the world to compliment their seasonal menus.
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Of the more than 3,000 restaurants nationwide who received honors from Wine Spectator, the majority receive the Award of Excellence or 1 Glass award; which recognizes wine lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers. The second tier award - Best of Award of Excellence or 2 Glass Award – was awarded to 878 winners this year. The award is much more difficult to achieve, requiring restaurants to go well above and beyond basic recognition requirements. Wine Spectator states that “These lists typically offer 400 or more selections, along with superior presentation, and display either vintage depth, with several vertical offerings of top wines, or excellent breadth across several wine regions.” The third tier category, or Grand Award (3 Glass), went to only 75 winners who offered over 1,500 selections, outstanding depth, and incredible commitment. To Connolly, this is just the beginning of Vetro’s achievements. “We’re incredibly excited about winning the 2 Glass award. It’s an extraordinary honor to be recognized for our wine collection. We look forward to growing it in the future and expanding the selection as we find the most complimentary wines for the collection,” states Connolly. His passion for creating an incredible dining experience and a wine collection to impress any oenophile is what drives him every day. From the impeccable service and warm atmosphere to the expansive array of traditional and modern dishes from Executive Chef, Michael DeGeorgio, Vetro Restaurant and Lounge is a superlative example of culinary excellence.
Source: Wine Spectator
Photo: Riccardo Studios
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Start at Home
As disease awareness becomes more prevalent and we learn as a society of the dangers of chemicals, pesticides, overeating, and consumption of sugary or fatty foods; it’s increasingly important that young couples in America create their own new traditions that focus on healthier lifestyles to start our children off with healthier and more fulfilling lives. According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, nearly 40% of families are now buying organic products and nearly half of the parents surveyed said the biggest motivator was the health of their children. Starting healthier traditions is obviously an important factor for any parent, but it’s about more than just organics and should take into account physical activity, the quality time spent together as a family, and the portions and quality of food served. It all starts with the approach and attitude we take towards mealtime. According to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, frequent family meals are associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using drugs; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades in 11 to 18 year olds. The average parent spends little time having meaningful conversation with children and mealtime is a great opportunity to discuss important topics with children such as school, nutrition, and friendships. The stereotypical “family dinner” tradition shouldn’t be ignored. Whether you opt for enjoying lunches out with the kids, eating at home, or weekend picnics; meals together provide much needed time to focus on each other and give the children your undivided attention. The food you prepare doesn’t always have to be organic, but you should make an effort to choose healthy, high-quality ingredients wherever possible. Locally grown food is a great choice and can often reduce the cost of a healthier lifestyle if you attend local farmer’s markets. This is a great opportunity to bring the kids along and open the dialogue about selecting great produce, choosing healthier foods, and having a healthier lifestyle. It’s surprising how having a conversation with children about healthy food choices can turn boring vegetables into their favorite item. Whatever you select for dinner, expose your children to a variety of foods early on and be a good role model! Don’t complain or fuss about everything on your plate or items that you don’t like either. Remember, the power of Mommy and Daddy loving broccoli and asparagus is hard to deny in small children. One of the most important things to remember when encouraging a more positive and healthy lifestyle for children is to spend time with children, talk to your children often, and be positive about the choices you make for you and your family. You are always your child’s most important role model so be positive about healthy eating, physical activity, and time together as a family. In the end, it doesn’t matter how YOU choose to incorporate healthier lifestyle habits into your traditions as long as you and your family improve your quality of life, connect more often, and enjoy each other’s company in the process. Sources: Organic Trade Association, “2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study,” 2011; Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
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Community and Family Brooklyn-born, Roxann Romano, doesn’t see herself as a hero or wear her accomplishments like a badge, though she has helped enough people to rightfully do so. She’s been a very charitable person since childhood and to her, it’s just something that needs to be done to help her community. Her demeanor and personality seem to say it all – that performing above and beyond the call of duty is just something she does – and does very well. As a Wealth Advisor and Portfolio Manager for UBS Financial Services, Roxann had been doing business with Russo’s On The Bay for a long time. Holding seminars and luncheons for clients at Russo’s led to an invitation to attend a luncheon for Angels On The Bay nearly seventeen years ago. As she watched the videos of the children that Angels On The Bay was working to help, she immediately felt a strong call to assist in the cause. “Back then, the goals of the organization were not as structured or organized,” Roxann stated as she recalled how she began working with the organization. “It was just a group of people helping children in the community, making people’s lives better.” She had decided to attend the gala that year and to reach out to clients, colleagues, and friends to support her in making a sizeable donation. In her first year, that donation came out to nearly $4,000.
A Modern Renaissance “Angel” Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 112 Photo: Riccardo Studios
This became an annual effort for Romano; who consistently raised more money each and every year. Finally, she was asked to join the Angels On The Bay Board of Directors in 1997. After joining, she helped to develop one of the organization’s most successful, annual benefits. “It was important to get the name out, to branch out farther into the community and reach out to different groups,” she said, remembering how the Angels On The Bay ‘Festival of Races’ fundraiser got started. Roxann, a marathon veteran, runs marathons for charities including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where she ran on behalf of her nephew, who is afflicted with juvenile diabetes. In 2006, Roxann headed Angels On The Bay’s First Annual “Festival of Races” and participated as one of the first 135 runners to take part in the event. Since that time, the participation and donations have grown, the races became more
structured, and the donation options increased. In just five short years, the race participation had grown from 135 runners to 400 runners and raised over $25,000 in 2011 alone for worthy charities. Festival of Races participants can choose to pay the entry fee or collect more through sponsorships in the community. In 2011, the Festival of Races was renamed in honor of fellow board member and friend, Mary Napolitano, after Mary lost her fight with cancer on June 2, 2011. In tribute of their fellow “Angel,” the event is now known as the Mary Napolitano Memorial Festival of Races. The 6th Annual Mary Napolitano Memorial Festival of Races taking place on September 9th, 2012 includes a 5K, 10K, and 1/4 mile kid’s run. Participation and donations are once again expected to exceed last year’s numbers. Since Roxann joined the Angels On The Bay Board of Directors, she has been involved in many endeavors with the organization as they continue to raise substantial money for children’s healthcare in the Greater New York Area. Some of the donations went toward the renovation and refurbishment of three pediatric units for the St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital, Schneider’s Children’s Hospital, and the Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens. Additional healthcare facilities, which have benefited from the charity, are the Long Island Jewish Hospital, Franklin General, Angels on the Bay Pediatric Unit of Peninsula Hospital, and the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Pediatric Unit. Also, the evaluation and education of children with special needs has been made possible with funds provided to HeartShare Human Services of New York and the Riverfund. In addition, research by the SIDS Alliance to battle sudden infant death syndrome has been made feasible due to the support offered by Angels On The Bay. Roxann doesn’t stop with Angels On The Bay, as she serves on the Financial Committee and Women’s Association at St. Paul the Apostle and the Scholarship Board of the Columbus Citizen’s Foundation, a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement through a range of philanthropic and cultural activities. The organization administers scholarship programs that help hundreds of students in elementary school, high school, college, and graduate programs in the arts. Roxann uses her financial expertise from her years at Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services to help her screen scholarship applications and ensure that the right families are receiving the scholarship funds set aside by the organization. It’s a job Romano doesn’t take lightly. “It’s important that families who need the help get the help and not everyone needs it as much as the next person.” Roxann is the type of person that excels in everything she does. Throughout her successful financial career and her time spent helping underprivileged families, ailing children, and participating in nonprofit endeavors; Roxann is also a dedicated wife and mother of three to her husband, Paul, and their three children, John (21), Frankki (19), and Ally (17). She embodies what most of us strive to be with her well-rounded balance of professional success, philanthropy, and family life.
Roxann shown at the Columbus Citizen’s Foundation Scholarship Award Ceremony Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 113
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Community and Family
A Legacy of Strength and Resilience
Highlighting Valued Russo’s Team Member, Christina McCabe There is no doubt that Christina McCabe is one of the most iconic members of the Russo’s on the Bay team. Her loyalty, humility, and inner strength are just a few of Christina’s defining qualities that are rooted at the core of her personal and career successes. Not only is she great at her job, she continually sets the standard with her incredible attitude, work ethic, team dedication, and eternal optimism. Christina is the last person to panic or argue about changes, policies, or managerial decisions; however, she always rises to the occasion to try new things and work with the management and her team members to create an incredible experience for each guest. It’s easy to quickly grow fond of Christina McCabe. Her demeanor is soft and sweet, and her energy is positive and dynamic. Christina, ever humble, spoke about her time with Russo’s On The Bay, “Twenty-two years ago, I walked into Russo’s On The Bay as a shy, timid woman; and because of what Mr. Russo and the management staff have instilled in me, because of their leadership and attention to detail and their ability to make every person in the company matter, I can command a room and do things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of on the day I started.”
Photo: Riccardo Studios Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 116
Christina was born and raised in Rockaway, New York. After losing her father at a young age, she and her two sisters were raised by their mother, whose exemplary work ethic and determination in raising her three daughters on her own instilled in Christina the same determination and dedication for her own
career and family. She grew up with a strong desire to be a great mother, and to be able to give her the family time and attention they deserved. There are many aspects of Christina’s career she couldn’t be prouder of, but one in particular is that Russo’s On The Bay has given her and her husband, Tim, the ability truly share the responsibility of raising a well-rounded family together. “I get to be a mom during the day and work at night. We can work together to ensure we don’t need babysitters and can be there with our children.” Christina married Tim, the love of her life, fifteen years ago after meeting him at Russo’s and it was at Russo’s On The Bay that they held their wedding. Four years after they were married, Christina gave birth to the couple’s son, Timmy. The couple is close and supportive, sticking together through the challenges and struggles of Tim’s illness that brought on several autoimmune diseases. She knew it wouldn’t be an easy road, but her unwavering love for her husband gave her the strength she needed to stay positive and to work through the many challenges she and her family faced. Tim was afflicted with Goodpasture Syndrome, a condition that causes immune cells to produce antibodies against a specific region of collagen. These antibodies then attack the collagen in the lungs and kidneys. It was one of the many auto-immune diseases he had dealt with, but this one caused him to lose his kidney. There was no doubt in Christina’s mind that she would stop at nothing to help her husband, “When I found out we had the same blood type, I just knew that we would be a match,” she stated as she recalled the events. Although it was a difficult decision for Christina to make as she wanted another child and worried about what would happen to her ability to have children; however, her love for her husband and positive attitude reassured her of her choice. Eight years ago, she gave her husband a kidney. “It was scary at first (to donate an organ), but what a feeling to help someone like that,” Christina stated in her positive and optimistic tone. It wasn’t an easy road after that to have another child, but after 5 years of recovery, she and Tim had Ryan, their second son. Their family was now complete. Shortly after Ryan’s birth, the kidney Christina donated to Tim failed. Her strong, athletic, and family-oriented husband is once again on dialysis and is now on the waiting list for another kidney. Susie Serra, General Manager at Russo’s On The Bay, has been working with Christina since she started at Russo’s. “The thing that makes Christina stand out more than the average person is that no matter what gets put in front of her, she is optimistic and she never gives up. She has the strength of a bear and no matter what happens - she looks at how she will get through it without letting it get her down.” It’s hard not to commend Christina’s strength and her positive attitude through everything. “Both personally and at work, Christina is just exceptional. She’s an incredible person, an incredible asset to Russo’s, and one of the strongest women I know.” Christina is still as committed to her husband, her children, and her career at Russo’s On The Bay as she was the day she began there. Her passion for excellence and incredible attitude toward every one of life’s challenges is an inspiration to whomever she comes in contact with. Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 117
An Everyday Hero Joseph Mure, Jr. Spends His Days as an Attorney with a Private Practice …But It’s his Many Charitable Contributions which make him much more than the Average Attorney Joseph Mure, Jr. has been a leading criminal defense attorney for over 25 years. He has been published in numerous articles, spoken to many professional groups, and appeared on television as a legal consultant. His firm has been retained for many high profile cases and his name has become synonymous with being an attorney who is dedicated to each and every one of his clients. When you first meet Joseph, it seems that his distinguished legal career might be the most impressive of his accomplishments, but Joseph Mure, Jr. has accomplished more for worthy charitable organizations in the past 17 years than most people ever could. He is heavily involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Wounded Warriors, and Rett Syndrome Awareness. Joseph sits on the board for the New York Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Peninsula Hospital Center, Neponsit Property Owner Association, Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation, and New York Families for Autistic Children. He’s also serves as Chairman of the Rockaway Children’s Fund and a coach for the Rockaway Baseball League. His memberships include Grey Beards, Wounded Warriors Project, Tri-State Italian American League Congress, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, and Tiro a Segno. For Mure, his involvement in these organizations is a family affair. Charitable contributions have become a tradition that all three of his children are now involved in as well. This legacy of charity and kindness to others has helped to shape the lives of his children; Christina (19), Joey (16), and Michael (13). His most well-known fundraiser each year is “The Little North Pole” holiday event to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. When his daughter, Christina, was forced to miss Christmas with Joseph because he was away for a case in Florida, the thought came to him. It was such an important holiday for so many children and as much as he wanted to be home with his daughter, he also wanted to help more children throughout the community. For the past 16 years, Mure has transformed his house into a winter wonderland to “ bring a smile onto every child’s face, giving them a memory of Christmas that will last a lifetime while helping a special group of children that need our help.” On December 1st, Joe transports special needs children and children from the Juvenile Diabetes Center to the festivities which include Christmas decorations, free food, music, and toys handed out by Santa Clause himself, who arrives on a fire truck. Every year, this event raises over $100,000.00. In 2011, a total of$196,000.00 was given out to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Children’s Diabetes Center at Peninsula Hospital, Research Project at the Maimonides Diabetes Center, and Research Project at the Columbia Hospital Diabetes Center. The Christmas extravaganza takes almost a month to decorate. Inspired by the passing of his friend, Don Hart, Joe Mure became heavily involved in Wounded Warriors. He has hosted numerous members of the armed forces who have lost an arm or leg and are still being treated at Walter Reed Hospital. The men and women can stay in his home and learn new activities. Eight years ago, Joseph took the idea of activities to a new level. The new endeavor provides wounded veterans a long weekend of planned Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 118
activities. Approximately 50 wounded veterans are picked up in Staten Island and driven down the Belt Parkway. People line the streets waving American flags and holding signs thanking the wounded soldiers for their service. The veterans are then treated to a three day weekend of fun activities such as water skiing, fishing, spa days, and scuba diving. During the three day festivities, a block party is held in their honor and the Veterans take part in a parade with kids from the Special Olympics. The spectacular weekend is finally ended by attending mass on Sunday. Joe wanted these American heroes to feel like there is still a life to live and activities they can do. Joseph wanted to show these brave men and women how celebrated they are for their bravery and how grateful we are, as a country, for their dedication and service. Most recently, he has begun fundraising to shed light on Rett syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system that leads to developmental reversals in the areas of expressive language and hand use. One year ago, Josephâ€™s notoriety for his charitable endeavors led him to receive a call from a mother whose daughter had just been diagnosed with Rettâ€™s Syndrome. She wanted help to raise money for research and to bring awareness to the syndrome, which occurs primarily in female children. Ever eager to help someone anyway he can, Joseph held an event called the Halloween Spooktacular Fundraiser for Rett Syndrome Awareness. Over $10,000 was raised and more than 300 people attended, including the little girl who was the inspiration for the fundraiser. The Halloween Spookatcular Fundraiser is set to kick off again this year on October 27th, 2012, and is open to the public.
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RUSSO’S ON THE BAY
Resource Guide and Directory
The one black book every family should own Home . Health . Love . Family . Wellness ...And more Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 121
Automotive BAM's Auto Body
86-11 Liberty Avenue Ozone Park, NY 11417 Phone: 718-738-8314 www.BamsAutobody.com
4116 Sunrise Highway Massapequa, NY 11758 Phone: 516-795-4400 www.IslandPowersports.com
650 Sunrise Hwy Rockville Centre, NY 11570 Phone: 516-766-6900 www.MBRVC.com
Satisfaction Guaranteed DJ Entertainment 478 Jericho Turnpike Mineola, NY 11501 Phone: 516-747-2747 www.SGEDJ.com
Favors, Accessories, and Invitations Artemix
150-55 B 14th Avenue Lower Level Whitestone, NY 11357 Phone: 718-886-2253 www.Artemix.com
Fairy Tale Affairs
Sal & Son Auto Body
4851 Merrick Road Massapequa Park, NY 11762 Phone: 516-541-1000 www.FairyTaleAffairs.com
Tony's Auto Body Inc
97-21 101st Street Ozone Park, NY 11416 Phone: 718-845-8546 www.SalandSon.com
136 Richardson St. Brooklyn, NY 11211 Phone: 718-388-1532
Al Perna Premium Cigars
Flowers by Brian
162-42 Cross Bay Boulevard Howard Beach, NY 11414 Phone: 718-843-6400 www.FlowersbyBrian.com
46-20 104th St. Corona, NY 11368 Phone: 347-992-4545
Entertainment Kings Brass
Phone: 516-485-4717 www.KingsBrass.com
Nick the Balloonatic
Phone: 718-441-2440 www.NickTheBalloonatic.com
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Fashion and Apparel Giliberto Designs Inc, Men's Suits 142 West 36th St. 8th Floor New York, NY 10018 Phone: 212-695-4925 www.GilibertoDesigns.com
The Tuxedo Shop
43-29 Bell Blvd. Bayside, NY 11361 Phone: 718-423-5541 www.TheTuxedoShopofNewYork.com
Home Improvement 21st. Century Security, Inc.
100-02 Atlantic Avenue Ozone Park, NY 11416 Phone: 718-322-9093 www.JBGeneralContracting.com
2150 Jericho Turnpike Garden City Park, NY 11040 Phone: 516-877-7032 www.RAIMarble.com
United Building Supply 354 Frankling Avenue Franklin Square, NY 11010 Phone: 516-358-5061 www.FranklinStucco.com www.UnitedBuildingSupply.net
P.O. Box 277 Baldwin, NY 11510 Phone: 800-649-4827 www.21stCenturySecurity.com
Food and Fine Dining
All Boro Masons
388 Willis Avenue Roslyn, NY 11577 Phone: 516-621-3888 www.388Restaurant.com
101-42 99th St. Ozone Park , NY 11416 Phone: 718-805-2100 www.AllBoroMasons.com
63-60 Woodhaven Blvd. Forrest Hills, NY 11374 Phone: 718-458-7208 www.BensonTile.com
Cross Bay Bagel Café, LLC Howard Beach Bagel Café 162-54 Cross Bay Blvd. Howard Beach, NY 11414 Phone: 718-843-5700 www.LiBagelCafe.com
Clearwater Pools Inc.
Fazio Traina Lawn Sprinklers
162-01 Crossbay Blvd. Howard Beach, NY 11414 Phone: 800-947-7665 www.Clearwater-Pools.com
3305 Ave N. Brooklyn, NY 11234 Phone: 718-951-8181 www.FazioTraina.com
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44-37 Douglaston Parkway Douglaston, NY 11363 Phone: 718-428-1090 www.Giardinos.com
253-24 Northern Boulevard Little Neck, NY 11362 Phone: 718-224-7657 www.IlBaccoristorante.com
Matteo's of Bellmore
Dr. Kelly O’Malley Mattone, M.D.
416 Bedford Avenue Bellmore, NY 11710 Phone: 516-409-1779 www.MatteosRistorante.com
2757 Long Beach Road Oceanside, NY 11572 Phone: 516-208-8030 www.mioposto-ny.com
Russo’s On The Bay
162-45 Cross Bay Blvd. Howard Beach, New York 11414 Phone: 718-843-5055 www.RussosOnTheBay.com
21-76 31 Street Astoria, NY 11105 Phone: 718.721.3532 www.TrattoriaLincontro.com
Valentino Food Market
66-64 Fresh Pond Rd. Ridgewood, NY 11385 Phone: 718-386-2907 www.ValentinoFoodMarket.com
Vetro Restaurant & Lounge 164-49 Cross Bay Blvd. Howard Beach, NY 11414 Phone: 718-843-8387 www.VetroNYC.com
8 Bond Street, Suite 200 Great Neck, NY 11021 Phone: 516-482-2424 www.Aesthetic-Associates.com
107-06 Crossbay Blvd. Ozone Park, NY 11417 Phone: 866-726-9986 www.NaturalBodyINC.com
Revite Skin Care Spa 327 Jackson Avenue Syosset, NY 11791 Phone: 516-457-9982 www.ReviteSkincare.com
Jewelry Raineri Jewelers
Paramount Diamond Center 82 Bowery New York, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 925-6128 www.RaineriJewelers.com
Limousines All Star Limo
380 New Highway Lindenhurst, NY 11757 Phone: 631-753-1234 www.AllStarLimo.com
Health, Beauty, Fitness, and Wellness
Legal, Financial and Real Estate
Ascend Day Spa
82-86 Austin St. Kew Gardens, NY 11415 Phone: 718-846-4601 www.AscendSpa.com
113-01 Liberty Avenue Richmond Hill, NY 11419 Phone: 718-738-2626 www.AJRealtyNY.com
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8 Questions Your Pool Contractor Should Ask A great pool company will ask the right questions during a thorough consultation with their client. In the meantime, there are many factors to consider when installing a swimming pool: 1. How assessable is the site for the pool? 2. How big do you want the pool and what style & depth do you require? 3. What extras do you want for the pool and where will they be positioned? 4. What will you be excavating and how do you intend to dispose of this material? 5. Is there a high water table? 6. If you are heating the pool, then will it be by electricity, gas or oil? 7. Will the pool be used for exercise, fun, hydrotherapy, public use, diving, etc? 8. Is there access to electricity, water, gas, oil, etc?
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134-02 Cross Bay Blvd., Suite A Ozone Park, NY 11417 Phone: 718-738-0800
82-17 153rd Ave. Suite 202 Howard Beach, NY 11414 Phone:718-835-4700 www.C21Amiable2.com
Continental Home Loans - Angelo Gionis 175 Pinelawn Rd. Suite 400 Melville, NY 11747 Phone: 800-965-0437 www.ContinentalHomeLoans.com
Empire Financial Partners of New York
Photography and Portraiture
Joseph Mure Jr. and Associates
26 Court St. Suite 2601 Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: 718-852-9100 www.JoeMureJr.com
1665 Bath Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11214 Phone: 718-256-2637 www.InfinityPhotographyInc.com
The Law Office of Joseph DiBenedetto, P.C.
1400 Old Country Rd. Suite 206 Westbury, NY 11590 Phone: 516-3074-1830 www.EmpireFinancialNY.com
The Woolworth Building 233 Broadway, Suite 2707 New York, NY 10279 Phone: 212-608–5858 www.DiBenedettoLaw.com
Non- Profits Angels On The Bay
162-45 Cross Bay Boulevard Howard Beach, NY 11414 Phone: 718-843-5055 www.AngelsOnTheBay.org
New York Families for Autistic Children Inc.
162-38 Cross Bay Boulevard Howard Beach, NY 11417 Phone: 347-825-3460 www.RiccardoStudios.com
Silver Fox Photography & Video 380 New Highway Lindenhurst, NY 11757 Phone: 631-393-6966 www.SilverFoxVideo.com
Spotlite Event and Commercial Cinematography 478 Jericho Turnpike Mineola, NY 11501 Phone: 516-428-8696 www.SpotliteDigitalVideo.com
95-16 Pitkin Avenue Ozone Park, NY 11417 Phone: 718-641-3441 www.NYFAC.org
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AdvertiseWith Us Russo’s Modern Traditions Call 718-843-5055
www.RussosOnTheBay.com Learn about all our NEW announcements
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Where Forever Begins…. www.RussosOnTheBay.com Russo’s Modern Traditions - Page 136
Photo: Infinity Photography, Inc.