By: Gloria Smith, Associate Editor for World Liberty TV
We are excited for the event’s much anticipated return to the Queens community for its 26th year! Evening of Fine Food is a well-attended business networking event that attracts the top restaurants and chefs in our neighborhoods and benefits the more than 1,200 individuals we serve,in-person and remotely, at our Adult and Children Centers in Jamaica and Bellerose, Queens.
For more than 25 years, QCP’s Evening of Fine Food event has provided an informal networking setting for people from the Queens Business community to socialize as they sampled gourmet delicacies provided by dozens of Queens’ restaurants and chefs. Each year, this annual event benefits the individuals QCP supports, in-person and remotely, at our Adult and Children Centers and enables us to continue to do what we do best – promote independence and provide our participants with the resources they need to live their best lives!
As we continue to navigate and adapt through these ever-changing times, QCP continues to make the safety and health of our guests and supporters a priority. This year’s event will be hybrid with enjoyable programming both online and in-person! We plan to continue providing our guests with an exciting, enjoyable, and interactive experience that they have grown to love over the last two decades.
Queens Centers for Progress has provided programs and services to people with developmental disabilities for over seventy years. From providing educational and therapeutic services to a small group of children, QCP has grown to become a major provider of services for people with developmental disabilities in Queens.
2022 Evening of Fine Food Honorees were: Ms. Binda is an award winning, globally sought out expert for the development of smart and connected communities and emerging industries. She Co-Founded Venture Smarter and in 2018 successfully led the “Smart Regions Infrastructure Challenge” gathering interest from over 250 state and local governments, and helped stand up the bi-partisan U.S. Congressional Smart Cities Caucus Co-Chaired by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.
Binda currently leads the social impact and environmental strategy for Madison Square Garden Entertainment and most recently served as the Queens Deputy Borough President.She previously served in the U.S. Department of State as a diplomat and in the West Wing of the White House in the Obama and Clinton Administrations respectively.
In between government tours she practiced financial services and technology law at Alston and Bird LLP. When Binda first returned to her hometown after Washington, D.C., she was named Executive Director of the Jamaica, Queens Business Improvement District (BID), the largest in Queens. 2022 Chef of the Year Rhonda Binda VP Government Affairs & Social Impact Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.
2022 Chef of the Year Thomas K. Rudzewick President and Chief Executive Officer Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan Association. Thomas K. Rudzewick is the president and chief executive officer of Maspeth FederalSavings and Loan Association, a $2 billion, mutual-savings association based in Maspeth,(Queens) NY, with six retail locations, including one on Long Island.
He joined Maspeth Federal Savings as vice president and chief lending officer in 2000 and became the president and CEO in 2016.Mr. Rudzewick was appointed to the prestigious U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee (MSAAC) in January 2021.
He chairs the American Bankers Association (ABA) Membership Council, participates in the ABA’s Government Relations and Membership Committees, and is a past chair of the ABA’s Professional Development Group. He is active in other banking-industry associations, including the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) and the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA).
Mr. Rudzewick holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Iona College and graduated with high honors from the ABA’s National School of Banking in 2006, now known as the ABA’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania.
He has achieved the Certified State Appraiser Generalist (CSAG) designation from the Columbia Society of Real Estate Appraisers and is a New York State-licensed real-estate appraiser.
Involved in many community organizations, he is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth, served as a board member of the Queens Museum, and has volunteered as the general manager of the St. Anthony High School Hockey Club in South Huntington, NY, for the past eight years. Jamaica Hospital in Queens honored him for his humanitarian contributions at its Annual Gala in 2017.
Claire Shulman “Spirit of Community” Award Recipient was: Drew Kerr Creative Director Queens Chef Project. Drew Kerr is a communications consultant who grew up in both the Flushing and Howard Beach areas of Queens. He later lived in Kew Gardens for 10 years.
Before opening his consultancy, Drew worked for CBS Magazines (remember those?) and then Radio City Music Hall Productions, where he hung out with Santa Claus from the Christmas show, rehearsed with the Rockettes at Super Bowl XXII, and arranged for a Russian brown bear from the Moscow Circus to throw out the first pitch at a Mets game.
His street photography project, Faces Of The 7 Train, was shot over a period of six years.In October 2018, Drew was lucky enough to be chosen to tell a story in front of a live audience for The Moth.
He shot, edited, composed and played the music for a short video about the isolation of the Coronavirus pandemic called Distance in April 2020.
A Great Place To Live, Drew’s photographic exploration of a little-known section of Howard Beach, will go live online in the first half of 2022. Drew lives in Manhattan, NY.
Other Dignitaries in attendance were : Donovan Richards, Queens Borough President, James F. Gennaro, Council member for 24th District, Shekar Krishnan Council Member for 25th District, Vickie Paladino – New York City Council for District 19, Assembly Member David Weprin and many more politicians in attendance.
Live entertainment was done by Jim Altamore “The Frank Sinatra Songbook, Comedians, Suzzanne Windland and Sandeep Sen, Magician was Apollo Riego. Close to 300 people were in attendance, it was great food, wine, guests and a great cause to support.
We want to give a shout out to our dear friend Wendy Phaff Gennaro, Director of Development for Queens Centers of Progress for organizing alongside her Volunteers and doing a wonderful job.
See more about Queens Centers of Progress (QCP) in our World Liberty TV Humanitarian Channels and blogs by clicking here.