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 People in the News


People In The News - Lauren Sklarin Recognized As A LI Power Woman 


For over 25 years, Smithtown’s Lauren Sklarin has been advocating for Long Island businesses and individuals, most currently as the director of community relations for Orchard Estate of Woodbury, a Benchmark assisted living and memory care community under construction in Woodbury, N.Y. Today, Orchard Estate is announcing that her advocacy work and achievements have earned her the Long Island Power Woman award. 

Yesterday at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, Sklarin was recognized as a change-maker, rainmaker, innovator and being a voice to impact change. Drawing on the experience of caring for both of her grandmothers, she is passionate about helping Long Island seniors and their families through the aging process. She frequently educates the public about dementia and enjoys helping people obtain the best quality care to meet their needs. 

“Lauren’s positivity and immense energy around helping seniors in our community is a rare quality and something that everyone is benefiting from,” says Doug Cormack, executive director of Orchard Estate. “She makes Orchard Estate and the communities we serve a much better place, and I can think of no one else, female or male, who is more worthy of this award.”

Sklarin is also passionate about helping children learn the skills they need to succeed in life. She has spent the last 15 years teaching presentation skills to children in South Huntington, N.Y. As a licensed soccer coach, she has spent 10 years coaching children in the HBC Soccer Club and Smithtown Kickers Soccer Club. She has also coached basketball to children through Half Hollow Hills FURY. With two children in the Smithtown School District, Sklarin spent three years as vice president and secretary of the PTA of Accompsett Middle School where she led many successful fundraisers.

Prior to joining Orchard Estate, Sklarin served as director of community relations for Home Instead Senior Care for Central Suffolk County. Before that, she served in account management roles for a number of public relations agencies, including Publicis and Edelman. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

The Long Island Power Woman awards recognize successful business, community, cultural, political, civic and religious female leaders. The idea is to bring women together to support and learn from one another so they can achieve their goals. The annual event gathers Long Island’s high-powered businesswomen together to celebrate their achievements and create powerful allies in the workplace and community.




People In The News - Women's History Month Nancy Pelosi

(reprint of congressional bio)

Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 116th Congress.  From 2007 to 2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history.  As the Speaker, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle class families.  In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.              

For 31 years, Leader Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th District, in Congress.  She has led House Democrats for more than 16 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip.

Under the leadership of Pelosi, the 111th Congress was heralded as “one of the most productive Congresses in history” by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. President Barack Obama called Speaker Pelosi “an extraordinary leader for the American people,” and the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “…make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American politics and the most powerful House Speaker since Sam Rayburn a half century ago.”

Working in partnership with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi led House passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in early 2009 to create and save millions of American jobs, provide relief for American families, and provide a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans. With the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi continues to focus on the need to create jobs in America and prevent them from being shipped overseas. 

Speaker Pelosi achieved passage of historic health insurance reform legislation in the House which establishes a Patients’ Bill of Rights and will provide insurance for tens of millions more Americans while lowering health care costs over the long term. The new law provides patients with affordable insurance choices, curbs abuses by the insurance industry, strengthens Medicare, and reduces the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years.  

In the 111th Congress, Speaker Pelosi also led the Congress in passing strong Wall Street reforms to rein in big banks and protect consumers as well as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which expands educational opportunities and reforms the financial aid system to save billions of taxpayers’ dollars. Additional key legislation passed into law included the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to restore the ability of women and all workers to access our judicial system to fight pay discrimination; legislation to provide health care for 11 million American children; national service legislation; and hate crimes legislation. In late 2010, Pelosi led the Congress in passing child nutrition and food safety legislation as well as repealing the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

Pelosi has made energy security her flagship issue, enacting comprehensive energy legislation in 2007 that raised vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and making an historic commitment to American home grown biofuels. In 2009, under her leadership, the House passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act – a comprehensive bill to create clean energy jobs, combat climate change, and transition America to a clean energy economy. The legislation was blocked by Republicans in the United States Senate, but sent a strong signal to the world about the United States’ commitment to fighting the climate crisis.

A leader on the environment at home and abroad, Pelosi secured passage of the “Pelosi amendment” in 1989, now a global tool to assess the potential environmental impacts of development. In San Francisco, Pelosi was the architect of legislation to create the Presidio Trust and transform the former military post into an urban national park.

In continuing to push for accountability and transparency in government, under Speaker Pelosi, the House passed the toughest ethics reform legislation in the history of the Congress, including the creation of an independent ethics panel, and increased accountability and transparency in House operations, including earmark reforms. As Speaker, Pelosi led the fight to pass the DISCLOSE Act in the House, which fights a corporate takeover of U.S. elections and ensures additional disclosure; she continues to fight for this legislation today.

Additional key accomplishments signed into law under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi include: an increase in the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years; the largest college aid expansion since the GI bill; a new GI education bill for Post 9/11 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; and increased services and resources for veterans, spouses, survivors, caregivers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  

Pelosi comes from a strong family tradition of public service. Her late father, Thomas D’Alesaanddro Jr., served as Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years, after representing the city for five terms in Congress. Her brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III, also served as Mayor of Baltimore. She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, have five grown children and nine grandchildren. 


People In The News - Women's History Month Margaret Cochran Corbin

Reprint of National Women’s History Museum

A hero of the American Revolution, Margaret Cochran Corbin was the first woman to receive a military pension. 

The hardships of Corbin’s young life inspired the courage and resilience that would serve her well during the Revolution. Born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1751, she was orphaned at age five, when her father was killed during an Indian raid and her mother was taken captive, never to return. She and her brother were adopted and raised by an uncle. 

In 1772, at age twenty-one, she married John Corbin, who joined the Pennsylvania military three years later. Instead of staying home, Corbin left with her husband for war, becominglike many other womena camp follower who earned money cooking and doing laundry for soldiers. She also helped take care of the sick and wounded. 

On November 16, 1776, Corbin dressed as a man and joined her husband in the Battle of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island. There, she helped him load his cannon, and when he was killed, she quickly and heroically took over firing the cannon against the British. Other soldiers commented on “Captain Molly’s” steady aim and sure-shot. Eventually, however, she, too, was hit by enemy fire, which nearly severed her left arm and severely wounded her jaw and left breast. She was unable to use her left arm for the rest of her life. The British eventually won this battle, with Corbin numbered among the prisoners of war who were paroled and released back to the care of Revolutionary hospitals. 

Left to support herself alone, Corbin struggled financially. After she recovered, Corbin joined the Invalid Regiment at West Point, where she aided the wounded until she was formerly discharged in 1783. Then, on July 6, 1779, the Continental Congress, in recognition of her brave service, awarded her with a lifelong pension equivalent to half that of male combatants. Congress also gave her a suit of clothes to replace the ones ruined during the conflict.

In 1782, Corbin married a wounded soldier, but he died a year later. Gruff and unfeminine, Corbin made few friends among the women of her time, instead feeling more at home smoking and conversing with other soldiers. 

Corbin died near West Point before reaching her fiftieth birthday. In 1926, her remains were moved from an obscure grave along the Hudson River to West Point, where she was buried with full military honors. A plaque at Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan, hails her “as the first woman to take a soldier’s part in the War for Liberty.”


People In The News - Women's History Month Laura Curran

Laura Curran -Nassau County Executive 

Laura Curran was sworn into office as Nassau County Executive on Monday, January 1, 2018. She is the 9th County Executive in County history, and the first woman elected to the office. Immediately prior, she served as a member of the Nassau County Legislature from 2014-2017. 

County Executive Curran, who represents more than 1.3 million residents, has said her priorities are reestablishing faith and trust at the highest levels of government, working with local municipalities to foster economic development and regional projects that support and enhance the use of mass transit, and the restoration of order to a county budget process that historically yields deficits.

Government Reform
Within 30 days of taking office County Executive Curran issued an executive order barring any member of her staff, including department heads, commissioners, and deputies, from holding a position of authority in a political party or committee. Under the same order, all appointees are prohibited from contributing to the County Executive’s campaign committee.

The New York State Association of Counties calls the order as “the first of its kind among New York State county executives.”

A short time later, County Executive Curran issued a zero-tolerance executive order for gift-giving among vendors and county employees.

This order applies to county employees who participate in the contracting and procurement process and prohibits vendors, their representative, or representative association from giving gifts of any value, including meals, holiday gifts, holiday baskets, gift cards, tickets to golf

outings, tickets to sporting events, currency of any kind, or anything of value to either to a Nassau County employee, or a member of their family.

Contracting & Procurement
As part of a broader contracting reform package, Curran also introduced several administrative measures to establish ethical standards and transparency within the contracting process itself.

The program, Ethical Standards in Contracting, is overseen by the Deputy County Executive for Compliance and includes annual mandated compliance training to be required of all contracting officers. The reforms end a prior policy of having only one person at the executive level approve contracts going through the system.

These measures, taken together, serve as another level of checks and balances on a county contracting and procurement process that oversees more than $1.3 billion in annual contracts.

Additionally, Curran initiated reform at the Nassau University Medical Center that, to date, has resulted in more than $2.34 million in savings. The reforms included the elimination of several discretionary contracts and appointed positions reported as “positions held by people with…connections.”

The eliminated expenditures include but are not limited to: a $250,000 marketing contract; five attorney positions with salaries totaling more than $869,000; and the elimination of a Vice President position with a salary of $300,000.

The resultant savings are expected to be used toward the hiring of 37 clinical positions necessary for healthcare operations.

Economic Development
On January 29, 2018, County Executive Curran joined Governor Andrew Cuomo in announcing the return of hockey to the Nassau Coliseum, coupled with a New York State funded $6 million investment in the Coliseum’s ice and media and broadcast infrastructure.

As a result, the Islanders agreed to play 12 games at the Coliseum during the regular season, and 48 games over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons.

Meanwhile, construction on the transformational redevelopment of Belmont Park, including an NHL-ready sports and entertainment arena, is anticipated to commence in 2019, and New York State has already announced public hearings. The New York Islanders are expected to play their first regular season game at Belmont Park during the 2021-2022 season.

Property Assessment
County Executive Curran began a comprehensive programming offensive to review and correct the broken assessment system. Immediately upon taking office, County Executive Curran’s appointed a Tax Assessment Task Force that is working hard to add key data points that were previously left out and then to use the results for a re-assessment for the tentative tax roll to be issued in January 2019.

This will result in updated fair market values for the 2019 tentative tax roll based on what the market shows. Curran is also acting to create a more customer service-oriented assessment model – and has proposed restoring much needed funding in 2019 to the assessment department.

In doing so, her administration will make available employees who can explain fair market values and show residents how to find comparable sales in their neighborhoods.

County Executive Curran began her career as a reporter at the NY Daily News and the NY Post. She specialized in in-depth features, often writing about Long Island. She was an adjunct professor of journalism at SUNY Purchase. 

She started in public service as a Trustee on the Baldwin Board of Education from 2011-2014, serving as president in her final year. 

She earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Baldwin with her husband and their three daughters, Claire, Julie, and Molly.


People In The News - Women's History Month Madeline Singas

Madeline Singas - Elected in 2015, District Attorney Singas serves as the chief law enforcement official serving Nassau County’s 1.3 million residents. She manages a staff of more than 350 attorneys, investigators, and support staff prosecuting and investigating approximately 30,000 criminal cases annually. Singas became the first Greek-American and the second woman to become the top law enforcement official of Nassau County. She was elected in November of that year and took office for a four-year term in January 2016.

On March 27, 2018, Singas announced the establishment of the Nassau County School & Community Safety Task Force to enhance the security of schools, colleges, places of worship, and public buildings. The Task Force is chaired by Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Community Relations, Joyce Smith. Among the Task Force’s goals is to “prepare a training curriculum for educators and mental health practitioners regarding the health and safety exceptions to … privacy laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), [which] are frequently cited by medical professionals and school officials as obstacles to information-sharing regarding potential threats.”.

As District Attorney, Madeline has focused efforts on combating drug and gun trafficking, violent gangs and sexual assaults. Using innovative investigative strategies, collaborative partnerships and intelligence based prosecution models, she has effectively dismantled narcotics and gang enterprises within Nassau County and beyond its borders. She has dedicated unprecedented resources to battle the epidemic of heroin and opiate abuse plaguing Nassau County, prioritizing education to prevent addiction and treatment for those abusing drugs. In addition, she is committed to aggressively investigating and combating government corruption to protect taxpayers from those who abuse the public trust.

The daughter of Greek immigrants, Madeline grew up in Astoria. She is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Barnard College, Columbia University, and Fordham University Law School. She lives in Manhasset with her husband and teenage twins.