The event took place last Friday evening at Woodhaven Manor Caterers on Jamaica Avenue.
The “2013 Woman of the Year” award was given to Melva Miller, director of Economic Development for Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. Miller has worked with GWDC executive director Maria Thomson for years, and said the honor should actually go to organizations such as those.
“I would not be able to do what I do without them,” she said of local community groups.
The group honored Miller because of her consistent help working with the GWDC and the Woodhaven Business Improvement District. Working with both groups, she said that it is important to keep the needs of the organizations on the forefront.
In a recent column by Thompson in this newspaper, she wrote, “[Miller] has been so supportive of our Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and our Woodhaven Business Improvement District’s stores and businesses.”
John Patel, owner of Haven Card Shop at 863 Jamaica Avenue, was named the “Business Owner of the Year 2013.” by the group. The shop has been owned by Patel since the late 1970s, and he said he is proud of his “history of supporting the community.
“That is probably the reason I received the award,” he said.
Patel has watched the neighborhood change over time, but said the neighborhood maintains a feel of unity.
The GWDC also honored a business dedicated to serving Woodhaven's four-legged residents. The group presented Dr. Paul Fish, owner and veterinarian at Animal Clinic of Woodhaven at 79-23 Jamaica Avenue, with the “Special Recognition Award 2013.”
Fish has been working in the neighborhood for over 25 years and just signed a lease committing to another decade. He does volunteer work with the ASPCA and other animal groups.
He said that he believes neighborhoods need places that aren't just part of some large corporation.
“A bank is just a bank,” he said. “The teller won’t remember your name the next time you go in.”
GWDC president Stephen Esposito was also honored last Friday with the “Man of the Year 2013” award, while Scaturro's Food Market was named “Business of the Year 2013.”