RDRC Presenting Awards At Annual Dinner
By Gary G. Toms
Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation's 16th Annual Tribute at Russo's on the Bay, on Wednesday, May 15, 2002, will present the "Rockaway Means Business Award" to Joel A. Miele Sr., Ralph Richardson, Marco Minuto, and Linda S. Plummer. Howard Schwach and Gary G. Toms, editors of The Wave newspaper, will receive the Joseph W. Stehn Community Service Award. NY1's award-winning anchor/reporter Gary Anthony Ramsay will host this year's gala.
Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection, his public service involvement in 1990. Commissioner Miele was appointed by the Borough President of Queens to serve as Commissioner on the City Planning Commission. He was re-appointed in 1994 and served until he became Buildings Commissioner in February 1994. Since his appointment, Commissioner Miele, has been instrumental in improving the quality of life of the Rockaways and Queens. Under his tutelage, we have witnessed: increased fining of businesses doing illegal dumping in the Wetlands area, protection of the Piping Plover population, development of a new sewer drainage system for Southeastern Queens to alleviate the flooding problems in that area.
Miele's involvement in the Rockaways and Queens isn't limited to his role as commissioner. He is involved with a number of boards. Commissioner Miele has served as Chairman of the Board of Peninsula Hospital Center from 1990 to the present, and has been a Trustee of the Queens Borough Public Library from 1979 to the present, having served as its President 1995-1997.
Ralph Richardson, is the President and founder of R&J Construction Corp. A MBE, Minority Business Enterprise, a company specializing in drywall, rough and finished carpentry, and acoustical work.
Boasting a staff of over four hundred employees, with over two hundred full-time including twenty-three general foremen, R&J Construction Corp is now one of the top four largest minority companies in New York in its field. In the construction industry, he is respected as a person with very high standards and integrity.
A long time resident of Far Rockaway for over twenty-five years, many can attest to Richardson's commitment generosity and support to civic organizations, such as the Deerfield Area Association, and the community as a whole. He's co-sponsored the Rockaway Music Festival.
Marco Minuto, President of Red Castle Bakeries will be honored in the area of economic development. Presently, Red Castle Bakeries is manufacturing Jamaican style beef patties, coco bread and has plans in the near future to also manufacture hamburgers.
Red Castle Bakeries, a family business, started in 1995 as a small company at 80 Willis Avenue in Mineola, Long Island. Sales grew and the company outgrew the Long Island location.
With the need to expand and the encouragement of Curtis Archer and Ivor Quashie, of RDRC, Minuto decided to move his company to Beach 64 St. Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Far Rockaway, in February of 2001. Being new to the area, Minuto has utilized the services of RDRC's Workforce Development Division in order to screen and hire perspective employees. Since relocating to Far Rockaway, Red Castle has hired twenty-five Rockaway residents.
Linda S. Plummer, the broker/owner of RE/MAX Peninsula Properties, a real estate franchise located in Rockaway Park, has made a major impact on the Rockaway peninsula. The headquarters over looking Jamaica Bay is centrally located within the peninsula. Plummer's franchise grid includes Far Rockaway, Edgemere, Arverne, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor, Neponsit, Breezy Point and Broad Channel.
Plummer, recognized for her outstanding sales performance and achievements in the real estate profession with the "RE/MAX" organization, is a member of the "100% Club." She is also very concerned about the people and businesses of the peninsula and tries to contribute to the improvement of its quality of life. Plummer is a member of the board of directors for "Rockaway Chamber of Commerce", and a member of the board of directors for "Rockaway Development Revitalization Corp."
Howard Schwach, Managing Editor, and Gary "The G-man" Toms, Associate Editor, of The WAVE, will be presented with the Joseph W. Stehn Community Service Award.
Howard Schwach has written for The WAVE since the mid-1980's. After writing two successful columns as well as an occasional news story for The WAVE, he became the Managing Editor for the paper, in 2001. Born, raised, and still residing in Rockaway Beach, Schwach knows the interests of the peninsula very well, and can confidently discern what information needs to be disseminated.
Gary Toms is the first African-American editor in The WAVE's 109-years of publication. His first year as Associate Editor has been busy with some noteworthy assignments, including The World Trade Center attacks and the crash of Flight 587.
Schwach and Toms hold the community together every week by providing the peninsula with an invaluable service -- a collective voice for the community.