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 People in the News


People In The News - Maureen Dernbach Of Maureen's Kitchen

A Toast to Maureen of Maureen’s Kitchen

By Nancy Vallarella, What’s Cookin’? - Smithtown 

Maureen Dernbach serving up her daughter Christine’s homemade pie.Maureen’s Kitchen founder, Maureen Dernbach will be honored at the Smithtown Children’s Foundation 2018 COMMUNITY TABLE GRAND TASTING fundraiser.  The event will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at Flowerfield Celebrations in Saint James, NY. Proceeds will also benefit Stony Brook Children’s.

Decades before it became trendy to open a café serving breakfast and lunch, Maureen Dernbach took a leap of faith and opened Maureen’s Kitchen not where it stands today, but across the street on Terry Road., in a 20 x 30 shack next to a sand and gravel business. Her motivation was to quit working for someone else, continue to work in the hospitality field and be home in the evening for her three children.  Husband Henry (Hank) Dernbach, supported Maureen’s decision but his job on a tugboat took him away from their home, children, and the business for days at a time. It was a big risk, especially for a woman with a grade school education thirty-five years ago.

A self-proclaimed and proven “survivor”, Maureen Dernbach grew up as the youngest of ten foster children and began supporting herself at age sixteen. Six years after opening the original Maureen’s Kitchen, she purchased a property across the street where Maureen’s stands today. For seven years the property was rented as a residence. It was torn down, and the commercial structure that now houses Maureen’s Kitchen was built and designed by Maureen Dernbach. She recalls, “I designed it to look like a home, a bed and breakfast. It was important that people felt welcomed. Three weeks after it was done, we enclosed the wrap around porch to accommodate additional seating. That was twenty-one years ago, and we have been busy ever since.”

Today Maureen’s Kitchen seats 125 guests at tables and an additional 12 at the counter.  Maureen has soldAt the counter at Maureen’s Kitchen with Christine the business to her children Kevin, Christine, and Doreen.  The matriarch stated “My children began working with me across the street after high school. There they learned how to care for people. We want everyone to be pleased when they visit our establishment. We have succeeded because we love what we are doing. When you love what you are doing it comes across.” 

For the past ten years, Maureen’s Kitchen has worked alongside the Smithtown Children’s Foundation providing breakfast for SCF’s annual Holiday Breakfast event. The funds raised are used to provide relief to local families in crisis. 

Maureen Dernbach (2nd from right) with Jessica and Joe Ondrush, and Christine Fitzgerald at SCF’s annual Holiday Breakfast.When asked about Maureen’s contribution to the Smithtown community, Smithtown Children’s Foundation President and Co-founder, Christine Fitzgerald responded, “We value their friendship and are grateful they have lent their brand to attract donors and supporters. SCF values Maureen’s trust in us and our mission. They are good people helping us to do good things, making a difference in our community.”

Join Smithtown Children’s Foundation on Tuesday, November 13th at Flowerfield Celebrations, St. James as dozens of culinary businesses and hundreds of attendees gather to support the local Smithtown community, Stony Brook Children’s and pay tribute to Maureen Dernbach, the matriarch of Maureen’s Kitchen.

For Tickets, Sponsorship & Vendor application: www.smithtownchildrensfoundation.com/events


People In The News - Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron 

SCSSA presents Friend of the Association Award to Suffolk police chief


From left, SCSSA Executive Director Gary Bixhorn, SCSSA Friend of the Association Award recipient Chief Stuart Cameron Suffolk County Police Department, SCSSA Past President and Superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District Lars Clemensen, and SCSSA President and Superintendent of the Elwood School District Dr. Kenneth Bossert.On Sept. 13, during the first general membership meeting of the new school year, the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association presented its prestigious Friend of the Association Award to Chief Stuart Cameron of the Suffolk County Police Department.

“It is an honor to recognize someone who has made a tremendous contribution to our association and our school districts,” said SCSSA President and Superintendent of the Elwood School District Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “Chief Cameron goes above and beyond to provide information, training and support to our school district security staff and to build upon the collaboration that has been developed between the Suffolk County Police Department and Suffolk County public schools.”

The Friend of the Association Award is conferred periodically to recognize individuals who are not members of the association, but have gone to extraordinary measures to support the mission-driven efforts of the association. Leaders of the educational community depend upon the support of others to ensure that the students in all Suffolk County public schools have access to outstanding programs and services in a safe, secure, orderly environment conducive to their learning and social-emotional development. The Friend of the Association Award is conferred upon those who have demonstrated that kind of support for those serving as superintendent of schools and the school districts that they lead.

  “This is not an annual award,” added SCSSA Past President and Superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District Lars Clemensen. “Chief Cameron has dedicated his life work to making our schools and students safer. He brings calmness, maturity and professional experience to the task of making decisions that impact the safety of our students.” 

During his career in law enforcement spanning more than 33 years, Chief Cameron has personally delivered training to hundreds of school administrators and security staff. He has also personally trained county, fire and EMS personnel on how to coordinate their responses to an active shooter incident at a school facility. Chief Cameron developed and delivered, on numerous occasions, a comprehensive tabletop exercise to better coordinate and improve school safety in Suffolk County. This exercise program was recognized by the National Association of Counties, earning Chief Cameron its Achievement Award in 2008. 

“The Suffolk County Police Department has partnered with our schools for many years, with the primary goal being the prevention of an act of mass violence in a school. While prevention is our main objective, we also have a long history of preparing our officers to respond to an event of this nature. This preparation has been multifaceted and comprehensive, leveraging partnerships with other public safety agencies and school administrators,” Chief Cameron said. “I value the working relationships that our department has developed with school administrators, and I thank the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association for this prestigious recognition.”

Chief Cameron has extensively researched and developed a level of expertise in mass shooting incidents, including attacks at school facilities. He has leveraged this research to develop evidence-based practices to assist school administrators with practical security measures at their facilities and has been the keynote speaker at school safety conferences. 

Chief Cameron has authored numerous professional journal articles, including several on the topic of active shooter response and school safety. His work has appeared in the National Tactical Officers Association’s The Tactical Edge magazine, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s The Police Chief magazine and the FBI National Academy Associate’s The National Academy Associate magazine.

“Chief Cameron has been a leader in the area of school safety for more than two decades and is a tremendous resource in developing and presenting innovative, evidence-based approaches to school safety issues,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart. “His dedication to keeping children safe and being prepared for the unthinkable is evident to members within the police department, and it is an honor to have him recognized by the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association.”


Photo caption: From left, SCSSA Executive Director Gary Bixhorn, SCSSA Friend of the Association Award recipient Chief Stuart Cameron Suffolk County Police Department, SCSSA Past President and Superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District Lars Clemensen, and SCSSA President and Superintendent of the Elwood School District Dr. Kenneth Bossert.


Photo courtesy of Suffolk County School Superintendents Association


People In The News - Michael Kinane Named VP At SUNY Old Westbury


Smithtown resident named vice president at SUNY Old Westbury

Michael Kinane of Smithtown, N.Y., has been promoted to the position of vice president of communications and chief communications officer at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.Michael Kinane of Smithtown, N.Y., has been promoted to the position of vice president of communications and chief communications officer at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.

In this role, he leads all communications and marketing activities of the College. A member of SUNY Old Westbury’s senior management team since 2000, he has developed and implementing proactive marketing and public relations programs contributing to enrollment growth of 57 percent through Fall 2018. From 2005-2017, he held additional responsibility for fund raising activities and took on a concurrent role as Executive Director of the Old Westbury College Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501c(3) corporation established to generate support for the institution. During that appointment, he and the advancement team achieved consistent growth in annual receipts and raised the six largest annual fund raising totals in College history.
Prior to joining SUNY Old Westbury, Kinane had been a vice president/senior account manager with Epoch 5 Public Relations, among the leading public relations firms on Long Island. Kinane’s career also includes serving as Press Information Coordinator for The Culinary Institute of America, the nation’s leading food service education institution, and as a news reporter and anchor for three radio stations serving New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley.
Having earned an M.A. in Integrated Marketing and a B.A. in Communication Arts, both from Marist College, Kinane maintains an active role in leading professional and business organizations. His efforts include serving as first vice president for the Advancement for Commerce, Industry and Technology (ACIT) and as an active member of Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and Society of Professional Journalists.



People In The News - Mrs. Elite NY Hauppauge's Holly Glick 

Mrs. Holly Glick, of HauppaugeMrs. Holly Glick, of Hauppauge, New York was selected to represent New York State at the 2018 Miss. American Women of Service Pageant. During her reign as Mrs. Elite New York, Holly volunteered over 365 hours in various areas, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and other local organizations such as American VetDogs, Give Kids the World, Care Packages for Adopt a Battalion. Her favorite appearance was at a Girl Scout Bridging Event where she was able to speak about the positive experiences she had as a Girl Scout, and what competing in pageants has given her- more poise, self-confidence, friends and a network of people to reach out to. 

As Mrs. Elite New York, American Woman of Service, Holly attended the National Pageant for her age group in Massachusetts in August 2018. She competed for the National Pageant title of Miss American Woman of Service, with a prize package that included a 7 Day Cruise Vacation to the Bahamas, PIA Consulting Package, Personal Branding Coaching and various sponsor gifts and awards. Each Delegate competed in 4 areas of competition for the divisional titles which include: 

  •  Personal Interview - 40% of the overall score.
  •  Out on the Town Fashion -20% of the overall score.
  •  Evening Gown - 30% of the overall score.
  •  Optional Competitions - Delegates are asked to enter at least one optional competition that will
    account for 10% of the overall score.
    Mrs. Glick was honored to place First Runner Up, and was also awarded Miss. Congeniality, Volunteer of the Year, and The Eric Medeiros Memorial Foundation Award.
    The American Women of Service is a community service based pageant, and brings a unique pageant experience as it is part of a 501c-3 non-profit organization, Crossroads Youth Center. Through Crossroads Youth Center we work to promote bullying awareness through UNITE Against Bullying, The Crown CARES (Creating A Respectful Environment in Schools) and youth enrichment. The pageant was founded with a few goals in mind:
  •  To empower women across the country to become the best version of themselves possible.
  •  To encourage women who serve in their communities to share that love with others around them and
    inspire others to do the same.
  •  To create a positive, encouraging, empowering sisterhood of beautiful women who are interested in
    motivating others through community involvement and community service.
  •  Lastly, to promote anti-bullying at all ages and in all areas of life.
    Mrs. Glick has chosen to represent New York at Nationals next year as Mrs. Elite New York 2019, and will have her daughter by her side at, participating in the Young American Women of Service Mentoring Program. 

People In The News - The Scanni Family Of St. James

The Scanni siblings, from left, Antonio, Marco, Giuliana and Giordana.

Bard Athletic Post

Sundays in the Scanni household have always been traditionally Italian. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins of all ages, coming together around a big table. The raucous laughter of children, often seated at a separate table, filling the room with laughter and light. Weekly, the generations gathered to enjoy delicious food and the embrace of family.

For the past few weeks, Sundays have been quite different in their Long Island home. Carlo and Sandra Scanni have become empty nesters now that their four children are student-athletes at Bard College.

“For the first time in 20 years, I can hear the clock ticking,” Sandra says. “I’m more organized than I’ve been in 20 years and the house is spotless for the first time in 20 years.”

But this isn’t a family that is ever really far apart. Ever since their eldest child, Antonio, arrived at Bard in 2014, the Scannis have made the three-hour drive to Bard with their three other children just about every weekend in the fall to watch him play soccer. Those three – Giuliana and fraternal twins Giordana and Marco – would help Antonio move into his dorm every fall, attend home games, and occasionally do an overnight so they could spend more time with their brother.

Antonio is now a fifth-year senior in Bard’s 3+2 Program in Economic Theory and Policy. He will graduate with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in 2019. Giuliana is a junior midfielder on the women’s soccer team. The twins are freshmen.

A season-ending injury in 2017 cost Antonio what would have been his last year of soccer, but the NCAA allows student-athletes four years of eligibility over the course of five years. So Antonio and Marco will play together on the same team for the first time in their lives this fall.

“It was just pure excitement when I called Marco to tell him,” Antonio says. “He’s my best friend.”

“I was ecstatic,” Marco says. “I was already going to Bard, but this was the best added bonus ever.”

“I think it was fate, it was meant for them to be able to play together,” Giordana says.

It may seem surprising that all four ended up in Annandale, but it was never a far-fetched notion to the Scannis.Carlo and Sandra worked on Wall Street before they had children and still work in the finance industry. Bard’s unique campus, the strong Economics program, and Div. III athletics created a perfect landing spot for all four of the children, who are all Economics majors.

Antonio was the product of one of the last recruiting classes produced by late Bard coach Andy McCabe. Carlo remembers the impact that meeting had on his eldest son.
“Soccer has always been an important part of our lives; we’re an athletic family,” Carlo says. “But we weren’t going to make the mistake of going to an ‘athletic’ school. Coach McCabe impressed us right away, and he made Antonio feel comfortable immediately.”

“Academics have always come first,” Sandra said. “If the kids’ grades weren’t there in high school, I would tell them they’re not going to soccer practice. The coaches thought I was a lunatic. And Andy McCabe came and talked to our team, and it was like a gift from heaven. Academics comes first, great Economics program, beautiful campus … it was music to my ears.”
“Coach McCabe was such an original character,” Antonio says. “I had experienced many coaches in my life by that point, and he just stood out. He was one of the most interesting, charismatic coaches I’d ever met, and I felt like I could ask him for advice about anything right away. He also had a sarcastic, dry sense of humor that I really connected with. I knew about the strength and reputation of the Economics program at Bard, and I was hooked.”

When Giuliana was being recruited by Bard women’s soccer coach Bill Kelly, Antonio did his best to give his sister an unvarnished opinion of the Bard experience.

“I really liked how close-knit the Bard community was,” Giuliana says. “I had been to Bard so many times before; it was a place we visited as a family all the time.”

“Giuliana had other soccer opportunities, but she suffered a knee injury in high school and had surgery,” Sandra says. “(Coach Kelly) had been recruiting her the whole time, and he told her that he’d seen players return from ACL injuries before, and it didn’t change how much Bard wanted her. We were sold.”

Giuliana then played a role in helping her younger siblings decide about their own college plans.

“I told them about the incredible courses I’d taken, and the amazing professors I was working with,” Giuliana said. “Ever since we were young, we’ve always been so close. We’re always looking out for each other. And now we’re all together here.”

Giordana and Marco have been at Bard with the other first years for three weeks for the Language & Thinking Program. The rest of the student body arrives on Sept. 1.

“I’ve learned so much already,” Giordana says. “I’m loving this experience. They say that when you play a college sport your teammates are like your second family. Well I’ve got actual family and my second family all in the same place.”

“I love this environment,” Marco says. “It was great to leave my hometown, yet still be here with family. I love the diverse culture. It’s a whole new world and a fresh start.”

Sandra humbly admits that people do frequently ask her about the unusually tight bond her children share.

“They’re so close in age – at one point they were all in diapers and I couldn’t even go grocery shopping,” Sandra says. “I counted on them right away to help each other. I needed the help.

“”I think it’s a combination of good/strict parenting,” Antonio says. “We were always together, usually always under the same roof. We’re really just different versions of each other. We see the mistakes that we each make, and everyone learns from them at the same time.”

Antonio and Marco will suit up together for the first time in the Raptors’ opener on Aug. 31. For Giuliana and Giordana, the season starts the next day. Carlo, Sandra and the family dog, Duke, will be there.

So perhaps the Scannis aren’t empty nesters after all. It’s simply that the nest has relocated to Annandale for the soccer season.
To read the Bard Athletic posting click here