500 People Turn Out For Nicotra’s ‘Employee Appreciation BBQ

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Hoteliers Richard and Lois Nicotra hosted the Nicotra Group’s 9th Annual Employee Appreciation BBQ on Thursday, Aug. 18.

Richard shared, “Each day, our team works to provide tenants, clients, and guests with exceptional hospitality and service. Lois and I are grateful for our employees’ efforts — they are truly our company’s most valuable asset.”

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Staten Island revelers ring in the New Year in style at the Hilton

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.–Nearly 650 revelers welcomed 2017 at Nicotra’s Ballroom, packing the venue at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield on Saturday night. It was the hotel’s 16th year hosting a New Year’s Eve party.

The crowd was mostly made up of Staten Islanders, but there were some, like Jay and Phyllis Nunalee of North Carolina and Erica Sanders of Miami, Florida, who traveled far for the party.

Dan and Ann Rummo of Graniteville were among those traveling the shortest distance. They decided to cash in a package deal to party into the New Year, stay overnight and have breakfast in the morning.

The featured cocktail for the night was “The Two Thousand Seven-Tini” – rum chata and caramel vodka – which Mary Seckin O’Neil of great Kills said was like having dessert.
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Nicotras To Receive Albert V. Maniscalco Community Service Award

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Hoteliers and philanthropists Richard and Lois Nicotra will be awarded the annual Albert V. Maniscalco Community Service Award from Borough President James Oddo during a Nov. 16 ceremony in Borough Hall.

“Lois and I love Staten Island, and we are so proud of our borough. To know that our borough is proud of us is a recognition we treasure,” Nicotra said. “We are deeply grateful to Borough President Oddo for selecting us for the Maniscalco Award.”

“We have our names on our nine buildings on South Avenue, and we endeavor to do good things throughout the borough with the profits from our Commons Cafe, but to have our names listed permanently at Borough Hall is significant. This means our borough believes in us — and that’s beautiful, because we have always believed in Staten Island,” he said.

The Albert V. Maniscalco Community Service Award, established in 1986, was named in honor of Staten Island’s ninth borough president and celebrates the civic-mindedness and tireless energy of an individual or organization that helps make Staten Island a better place.

“Recently, Rich and Lois were voted the No. 1 most influential Staten Islanders. And while it is true that their economic efforts have positively impacted Staten Island, their value and importance is best measured by the positive influence they have had over the lives of so many individuals,” Oddo said. “When you measure them in such a manner, you can truly see how they embody the concept that our lives should be about something bigger than ourselves.”

“The presence of Rich and Lois Nicotra would be of enormous benefit to any community in America — and we are well and truly blessed that community, by the grace of God, turned out to be Staten Island,” the borough president continued. “Rich and Lois, we applaud you, we thank you, and we are honored to bestow upon you the Albert V. Maniscalco Community Service Award.”


Partners in both life and business, Lois and Richard Nicotra met as undergraduates at St. John’s University, Grymes Hill, before opening their first Everything Yogurt store in Manhattan in 1976. The franchise eventually expanded to 250 stores internationally before they sold it in 2003.

They currently own and manage more than 1 million square feet of commercial space and acres of manicured grounds, making them Staten Island’s largest private real estate developers. Nicotra Group properties include a Hilton Garden Inn, a Hampton Inn & Suites, Nicotra’s Ballroom, Above Weddings & Rooftop, several restaurants, performance spaces and office buildings — all located in a 415- acre natural woodland preserve in their Corporate Park of Staten Island, off South Avenue in Bloomfield.

In 2011, the Nicotras established the Commons Cafe, a quick-service eatery that donates 100 percent of its profits to charity. The café has awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to Staten Island nonprofits and scholarships for Nicotra employees’ children.

The philanthropic couple has also hosted benefits for victims of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan, raising over $600,000 for those in need. For 20 years, the Nicotras have hosted the Daughters of St. Paul Christmas concerts at which the nuns perform, raising more than $2 million for this small order of self-supporting nuns.

Their dedication to Staten Island continues with their next venture, Pienza Pizza, Pasta & Porchetta—a new eatery that will double the grants and scholarships awarded to their native borough.

The Nov. 16 Borough Hall ceremony will begin at 7 p.m., and be followed by a reception in the main hall with fare by the Port Richmond High School Culinary Arts Program.
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List of Top 50 most influential Staten Islanders released

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Ever wonder who the most powerful people are on Staten Island? Who wields the most influence on the political, cultural, business, non-profit and government landscapes on our borough?

Well, wonder no more. A list of the 50 most powerful people on Staten was released yesterday.

City & State, a media company focused on government and politics in New York, compiled the “Staten Island 50” most influential men and women.

In the No. 1 spot on the list of power brokers and community leaders are hoteliers and philanthropists, Lois and Richard Nicotra, owners of the Hilton Garden in Bloomfield as well as the Commons Cafe, which donates back 100 percent of profits — close to $500,000 since 2011 — to Staten Island non-profits.

“We are thrilled that the prestigious City & State media powerhouse thinks we are worthy of this award and we congratulate all the fellow Staten Islanders on the list,” said Richard Nicotra of the recognition.

Lois Nicotra added, “Anytime a light shines on the great things that happen on Staten Island, especially to a national audience, it makes our hearts sing. We’ve always loved and believed in Staten Island – and we feel that affection reflected on us.”

Former Borough President James Molinaro, who still has tremendous influence over the Conservative Party, came in at No. 7. “I’m very grateful to the people of Staten Island who made this happen by giving me the opportunity to serve them,” he said during a phone interview.

David Sorkin, Executive Director of the Staten Island JCC, and former Councilman Alfred Cerullo III, the President and CEO of Grand Central Partnership, made the Top 10.

College of Staten Island President Dr. William Fritz, who has forged countless partnerships with businesses and non profits, also made the list.

“It is a real honor and a humbling experience to be named along with so many distinguished Staten Islanders who have given of themselves to make our borough a better place,” said Dr. Fritz. “I am also especially proud of the leadership role that the College of Staten Island is taking in the community.”

Lynn Kelly, President and CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, came in at No. 38. Lynn also leads NYC & Company’s mission to promote arts and tourism on Staten Island.

“I am humbled to be recognized amongst so many Staten Islanders who love this borough and work for its betterment every day,” she said. “I am particularly honored to be in the same company as several of Snug Harbor’s board members and eight other accomplished women.”

The Staten Island 50 most influential people, as compiled by City & State are:

1: Rich and Lois Nicotra, Owners, Nicotra Properties

2: Brian Laline, Executive Editor, Staten Island Advance
3: Vincent Ignizio, CEO, Catholic Charities of Staten Island
4: John Alexander, Chairman and CEO, Northfield Bank

5: David Sorkin, Executive Director, Staten Island JCC

6: Donna Proske, Executive Director, Staten Island University Hospital

7: James Molinaro, Chairman Emeritus, Richmond County Conservative Party and Senior Managing Director, Pitta, Bishop, Del Giorno & Giblin

8: Rev. Dr. Victor Brown, Senior Pastor, Mount Sinai United Christian Church

9: Linda Baran, President and CEO, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce

10: Alfred Cerullo, President and CEO, Grand Central Partnership
11: Vincent Pitta and Jon Del Giorno, Founding Partners, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin
12: John Gulino, Richmond County Democratic Committee Chairman

13: Ed Burke, Deputy Borough President
14: Jim Easley, General Manager, General Growth Properties
15: Allen Cappelli, Attorney, NYC Civil Service Commission

16: Terry Troia, Executive Director, Project Hospitality
17: William Fritz, President, College of Staten Island
18: Yaakov Lehrfield, Rabbi, Young Israel of Staten Island
19: Edward Delatorre, NYPD Borough Commander, Staten Island

20: Anthony Pascale, Anchor/Reporter, NY1
21: Steve Fiala, Richmond County Clerk
22: Anthony Ferreri, Executive Vice President and Chief Affiliation Officer, Northwell Health
23: Pat Caltabiano, Founder and Executive Director, World of Women

24: Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO, Tunnel to Towers Foundation
25: Deirdre DeAngelis, Principal, New Dorp High School
26: Sandy Krueger
27: Stu Brenker, Community Activist
28: James Prendamano, Managing Director, Casandra Properties
29: Farid Kader, CEO, Yellow Boots

30: Dennis Quirk, President, New York State Court Officers Association
31: Ray Masucci, President and Founder, Masucci Developers LLC
32: Kathryn Krause Rooney, Chairwoman, Richmond University Medical Center
33: Tom Cocola, Staten Island Borough Commissioner, NYC DOT
34: Dennis Mckeon, Executive Director, Where to Turn
35: Murray Berman, Real estate developer, community activist

36: Harold Wagner, Chairman, Richmond Country Conservative Party

37: Anthony Lodico, Superintendent, Staten Island Public Schools
38: Lynn Kelly, President and CEO, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
39: John Fusco, Staten Island Borough Hall Counsel
40: Leticia Remauro, President & CEO, The Von Agency
41: Daniel Cassella, President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726
42: Guy Molinari, Former Borough President
43: Al Curtis, Chairman, Staten Island Salvation Army
44: Grandmaster Jhong Uhk Kim, Businessman
45: Teddy Atlas, Founder and Chairman, Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation
46: Vito Fossella Jr., Managing Director, Park Strategies
47: Bill Smith, President, Staten Island Youth Soccer League
48: Joseph Delaney, Founder, Bread of Life Food Drive
49: Ralph Porzio, Attorney
50: John Hudson Dilgen, Activist

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Staten Island Advance – Watch: ‘Organized chaos’ as 600 served at Women of Achievement luncheon

STATEN ISLAND N.Y. – Serving over 600 guests at the 54th annual Staten Island Advance Women of Achievement Luncheon is no easy task.

Monday’s event, which celebrated six remarkable women for their commitment to the Staten Island community, took place at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield. So just how does the staff serve hundreds of people in a timely manner?

Frank Lombardi, executive chef of Nicotra’s Ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn, says it’s all about practice when it comes to getting everyone fed in a short amount of time.

“We always like to say this is organized chaos. …,” said Lombardi, adding, “We’re lucky enough that we get to do this every day.”

This year’s menu featured spring-like fare – even if it didn’t quite feel like spring outside.

Bibb lettuce and watercress with strawberries made up the salad course. The entree consisted of boneless breast of chicken served with spring vegetables and potatoes. And key lime pie was featured for dessert.

Watch the video above to see the well-oiled machine that is the wait and kitchen staff at Nicotra’s Ballroom.

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At the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island, Your Wedding Day Lasts All Weekend!

At Nicotra’s Ballroom located within the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island, we cater to all of your needs in a New York weekend wedding venue. Minutes away from Newark Liberty International Airport and NYC, our grand hotel offers free shuttle service to and from Newark Airport and the Staten Island Ferry, valet parking, and 198 rooms and suites to comfortably accommodate both you and your guests.

We offer room blocks with group rates for your guests traveling to Staten Island as well as a complimentary wedding website. This one-stop, central site will keep all of your guests informed of dates, room rates, and directions for your weekend wedding.

A complimentary bridal suite within the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island for the bride and groom on their wedding night will ensure the start of an unforgettable honeymoon. We provide a complimentary suite equipped with a three person hair/ make-up station, full length mirror, wet bar, bridal gown mannequin, tuxedo valet, marble shower for two, and more.

Your rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. Plan to hold it in our Zagat rated Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar and Cabaret. Floor-to-ceiling windows highlight the private party rooms at Lorenzo’s, allowing views of the beautiful sculptures and landscape art surrounding our restaurant. Special lunch and dinner packages are tailored by our award winning chefs to fit your specific tastes and budget.

Before the big day, relax in our indoor heated pool and fitness area at the Hilton. And when the wedding’s over, the party doesn’t end. Our brides and grooms can enjoy the hottest after-hours in town at our chic Above Rooftop, which brings the best of Vegas, Miami and NYC to Staten Island. Bottle service, cabanas, small plate menus complemented by handcrafted cocktails and the industry’s most sought after DJs spinning make our rooftop lounge an after-party hotspot.

The day after your celebration can still be special! Reconnect with your family and friends with a full breakfast buffet or Sunday Jazz Brunch.

Your lavish weekend wedding and your dream celebration, all within one convenient location: Nicotra’s Ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island.

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Say “I Do” To Nicotra’s Ballroom – Your Grand Staten Island Wedding Venue

Nestled in 415 acres of protected woodlands, our elegant Nicotra’s Ballroom is a stunning location for your wedding day or weekend.

Guests will experience the upscale service, style and setting offered by wedding venues in NYC in our spacious and elegant location, featuring luxurious wall coverings and beautiful gilded seating. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to enjoy the striking views of the surrounding woodland setting. The warm vivid color palettes create an intimate feel within each unique banquet space.

To help with the planning of your magical day at Nicotra’s Ballroom, we host a Preferred Professionals program. Our planning team works closely with the vendors and event professionals in our program to serve our brides and grooms with the highest level of service and personal attention. Owners and hoteliers, Lois and Richard Nicotra, are present at each event here at Nicotra’s Ballroom, guiding our team and overseeing each occasion.

Our beautiful Staten Island wedding venue is conveniently located within the Hilton Garden Inn. Minutes away from Newark Liberty International Airport and Manhattan, your guests can be escorted via our free shuttle service to our hotel, or utilize our on-site parking. With 198 spacious rooms and suites complete with a full range of amenities, we have the necessary accommodations for both you and your guests. Family and friends can also take advantage of relaxing in our indoor heated pool and enjoying our fitness center.

Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar and Cabaret, our Zagat rated restaurant, serves as the ideal location to host your rehearsal dinner. The Private Party Rooms at Lorenzo’s are accented by floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing guests to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding gardens. Enjoy the morning after with your family and friends reminiscing about your magical wedding over breakfast or Jazz brunch.

Consider us the whole package! From group room rates and honeymoon suites to rehearsal dinners, from the planning steps to the big “I Do,” our beautiful Nicotra’s Ballroom offers you the services and accommodations you won’t find in other Staten Island wedding venues. We look forward to creating your dream wedding.

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