The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce’s 124th Annual Gala at Flagship Brewing Company invited Staten Island business professionals to Westeros, a medieval setting for “Chamber of Thrones.”
Inspired by the popular TV show, “Game of Thrones,” the bash featured food fit for kings and queens as diners devoured their opulent meals around a banquet-style feast. Castle banners lined inside the Tompkinsville brewery added to the transformation while trivia and various games were played by the merry crowd of almost 150 people.
Greeted by trumpeters upon entering the venue, many revelers donned medieval-inspired apparel to add to the festive atmosphere. Mike Assenza, the Chamber’s Chairman of the Board, transformed his appearance into a lavish King Joffrey costume staying in character throughout the night while mingling with the various Chamber members in attendance.
“It’s great to have support from so many of the business organizations on Staten Island that are our members. Our board of directors do a great job by supporting the Chamber and driving us in the direction we need to go to help our members and all the businesspeople on Staten Island,” he said.
Mike Bloomfield (Tekie Geek) was a Gala co-chair and demonstrated his enthusiasm for the affair by wearing a Jon Snow outfit.
“I’m a huge ‘Game of Thrones’ fan and a huge Chamber of Commerce fan, so why not put them together?” he asked. “It’s rewarding meeting people and giving back to an organization that gives back so much to us.”
“I have been a part of the Gala committee for the last five years, and I was more excited for this year’s Gala, and I don’t even watch ‘Game of Thrones,’” said another co-chair, Danielle V. Johnsen (Digital Edge). “There were so many people who reached out to me saying they were excited to come here tonight to have fun and show their support.”
The Annual Gala is the longest-running Chamber program and one of Staten Island’s premier business and social events. Each year, the guest list includes the Chamber’s Board of Directors and other leaders, business owners, executives, community leaders, and elected officials. This year, Congressman Max Rose, Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-South Shore), and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Mid-Island) attended the celebration.
“The Gala is one of our biggest events, and it’s great to see all our members and business leaders here tonight supporting the Chamber. We decided to do something different to stand out from our traditional Galas, and it seems like it was a huge success,” said SICC President and CEO Linda Baran.
“This is a wonderful event for the Chamber to show appreciation to their members. It also allows our members to get together to have a fun night and support all the wonderful things the Chamber of Commerce is doing,” said Corey Schifter (Casale Jewelers), the third Gala co-chair.
Many Staten Island businesses showed their continued support by serving as sponsors, highlighted by National Grid as the Commander of the Chambers Watch Premier Event Sponsor.
“National Grid is proud to sponsor the Annual Gala. We’re big partners and supporters of all the good work the Chamber does to help businesses grow on Staten Island and develop the communities we serve and live in,” said Carol Decina, National Grid’s Principal Account Manager for Customer & Community Relations.
Phil Guarnieri said Empire State Bank was pleased to be a Hand of the Chamber Entertainment Co-Sponsor recognizing the organization’s work assisting many small businesses.
“This is probably the best event I’ve been to in my career. We’re proud to support the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce because they bring together small businesses which I think are the backbone of our community,” said the Chief Executive Officer, who also won for Best Dressed (Male) for his Ned Stark outfit.
Additional sponsors for this year’s “Chamber of Thrones” were Atlantic Salt Inc. as Hand of the Chamber Entertainment Co-Sponsor, and Con Edison and Northfield Bank as Castle Banners co-sponsors. The Centerpiece Sponsor was Victory State Bank, the Game Sponsor was ThoughtMatter, and the Favor Sponsor was Staten Island University Hospital. The Cake Chef graciously donated cupcakes stenciled with “Game of Thrones” logos.
Some of the prizes included: a trip to Las Vegas by Casale Jewelers; a trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, by Liberty Travel; a spa basket ($1,000 value) by A.F. Bennett Salon & Wellness Spa; and gift cards by Killmeyer’s Old Bavaria Inn and Maizal Restaurant LLC.