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 People in the News


People In The News - Michael Kinane Named President Of ACIT



Michael Kinane of Smithtown President of ACITThe Board of Directors of Advancement for Commerce, Industry & Technology, a business networking organization with a more than 50-year history of service to Long Island, has elected Michael Kinane of Smithtown to serve a two-year  term as the group’s president. 
Kinane, who is the vice president of communications for the State University of New York at Old Westbury, will work with the Board of Directors to develop informative, educational and entertaining events and programs to help create and build relationships among local business executives across a variety of industries. The current membership of ACIT includes companies operating in such industries as construction and development, finance, banking, commercial real estate, law, accounting, environmental engineering, higher education, hospitality, not-for-profit and health and human services organizations. 
Founded in 1963, ACIT continues today to be one of the leading networking organizations on Long Island, supporting the growth and development of the Long Island business community and the professionals who comprise it.  Through its informative, educational and entertaining events and programs, ACIT seeks to contribute to the going evolution of a thriving business community for all Long Islanders. 




People In The News- Jo-Anne Taormina Appointed Civil Service Personnel Officer



Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced the appointment of Jo-Anne Taormina as Personnel Officer for the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service.  In accordance with the specifications set forth in Suffolk County Civil Service classifications, Jo-Anne has been deemed qualified for the position with technical guidance provided by the New York State Department of Civil Service.  The appointment comes with the expiration of the sixth six-year-term of Suffolk County Personnel Officer Alan Schneider.  

The County Executive also announced that Barry Paul, Director of Performance Management for Suffolk County, will be temporarily reassigned to the Department of Civil Service to work with Jo-Anne on the transition.  Jo-Anne and Barry will lead a top to bottom review of the department over the next two months.  They will both work to develop a series of recommendations on its operations. The objective is to incorporate new ideas and innovations, utilizing best practices to create a 21st century civil service office that is efficient, effective, and transparent.  

Jo-Anne previously served as Chief of Staff in the Town of North Hempstead for ten years.  In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the actions of all town personnel while creating and maintaining a positive and unified working environment to inspire confidence in achieving initiatives of town policymakers. She served as the primary strategic liaison to a staff of more than 400 employees, managed personnel office functions in compliance with NYS Civil Service Laws and Rules and supervised the administration of employee medical benefits, certification of payroll, Workers Compensation and employee record keeping.  She also created the first Town of North Hempstead handbook and policy manual for exempt employees, respectively, along with training and workplace violence programs.  In addition, she was a Commissioner of Finance and Human Resources.

Prior to North Hempstead, Jo-Anne served as the Director of Public Affairs with the Nassau County Office of Economic Development where she served as liaison to elected officials and high-level civic and business leaders on Long Island.  She also served in a number of high-level positions in the private sector with KeySpan Energy and Long Island Lighting Company. Jo-Anne resides in Huntington and received a BS in Business Communications & Marketing from SUNY Empire State College.

Barry currently serves as the Suffolk County Director of Performance Management.  In this position, Barry is responsible for delivery of the Suffolk STAT Program and the County-wide Continuous Improvement Initiative to provide the common language, data, and tool sets necessary to create a self-sustaining high performance county government.  Barry previously led the Suffolk County Police Department Overtime Improvement Team, oversaw the County Parks team project that authored the Concessions Contracts Compliance Manual, and supported the implementation of the SuffolkShare initiative that is projected to save tens of millions of dollars among participating municipalities.

Prior to this, Barry served as Suffolk County Treasurer, which was the former head of the Department of Finance and Taxation. Under his leadership, Barry facilitated the merger of the offices of Suffolk County Treasurer and the Suffolk County Comptroller, which captured staff savings of over $1 million on an annual basis.  Among his many accomplishments in this role, Barry eliminated a nine month backlog in tax adjustment refunds securing $1 million in interest savings, implemented an automated call system to direct constituents to the appropriate office, strengthened the enforcement policies for the Hotel Motel Tax Program, and renegotiated the Tyler Munis contract that saved $20,000 while securing two annual onsite training days at no cost.

Barry has worked in both public and private sectors over the course of his career.  He served as Deputy Commissioner for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services before serving briefly as the Suffolk County Director of Performance Management.  Formerly, Barry was the Director of Business Management for Long Island offices with Covanta Energy Corporation.  Previous to that, he served in a number of important financial roles with Nassau County, including as Director of Projects and Performance Management, Chief Deputy Budget Director, and Deputy Budget Director/Chief Financial Officer with the General Services and Shared Services department at the County.  He began his career honing his budgetary skills with Grumman Aerospace Corporation. He holds a BA in Economics from SUNY Stony Brook.


People In The News - Fortunata Durkin Celebrates 100th Birthday

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta Congratulates Fortunata Durkin on her 100th Birthday


Pictured at the birthday celebration are from left, Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta, Fortunata Durkin and NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick.(Smithtown, NY)…Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta joined Fortunata Durkin, a resident at the Smithtown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care, her family and other guests to celebrate her 100th birthday. She was born on February 6, 1919 in Brooklyn to Italian immigrants.Pictured at the birthday celebration are from left, Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta, Fortunata Durkin and NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick.


People In The News - Lauren Sklarin


Jeanne Schultz and Lauren Sklarin to Lead Local Sales and Marketing Efforts for New Benchmark Assisted Living Community

Lauren SklarinFeb. 5, 2019, Woodbury, N.Y. – Orchard Estate of Woodbury, a Benchmark assisted living and memory care community under construction in Woodbury, N.Y., today announced it has appointed Jeanne Schultz and Lauren Sklarin as directors of community relations. The pair will lead local sales and marketing efforts for the community, which is scheduled to open by early fall. Both hail from Long Island, share the experience of having cared for their own parents and/or grandparents, and are committed to keeping area seniors connected to what matters most.

A life-long resident of Long Island, Schultz returned to Benchmark in April 2018 and helped open the company’s first New York community, Whisper Woods of Smithtown, in Smithtown, N.Y. Prior to returning to Benchmark, she served as regional director of sales and as an area controller for Sunrise Senior Living. Schultz graduated from Adelphi University with a bachelor’s degree in business and an MBA. She lives in West Islip, N.Y., with her husband of 30 years and has two sons. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, playing the piano, doing puzzles and dancing. 

Sklarin brings 25 years of marketing and public relations experience to Orchard Estate. She previously served as director of community relations for Home Instead Senior Care for Central Suffolk County. Prior to joining Benchmark, she served in account management roles for a number of public relations agencies, including Publicis and Edelman. She lives in Smithtown, N.Y., with her son and daughter who are both attending Smithtown High School West. Sklarin is a licensed soccer coach and in her spare time she teaches acting classes to children. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

“Jeanne and Lauren are the perfect additions to the Orchard Estate leadership team because their values align with those of Benchmark,” says Doug Cormack, executive director of Orchard Estate. “Both are enthusiastic about elevating human connection, serving residents and families and creating a living environment where everyone thrives. The relationships they’ve already made in the area are outstanding, and we look forward to reaching more people as we get closer to opening our much-anticipated community.” 




People In The News - Hauppauge Junior Girl Scouts

Hauppauge Junior Girl Scouts Earn Bronze Award

HAUPPAUGE, NY—Girls in Girl Scout Troops 1687, 1738 and 1765 recently earned their Bronze Award. The Girl Scout Bronze Award recognizes girls who demonstrate—either individually or as a group—extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects that address community needs.  

The troops’ Bronze Award Project consisted of working together to update and beautify the Hauppauge Youth Organization’s sports complex. Through fundraising efforts and community donations, the girls painted picnic tables, parking spaces and doors, constructed planters, created rock gardens, beautified an existing memorial garden and much more.

The girls were recently presented with their Bronze Award at a ceremony held at the Hauppauge Youth Organization Complex. Local officials in attendance included Legislator Tom Cilmi and Salvatore Nicosia, representing Senator Tom Croci. 

“Girl Scouts take a pledge to serve others and help people at all times,” says Yvonne Grant, President & CEO for Girl Scouts of Suffolk County. “The inspiring accomplishments of these young women are a testament to this promise.”

The members of Troop 1687,1738 and 1765 used their strengths, talents, and skills to put their plan into action to earn the Bronze Award, while each taking a leadership role.  They wish to acknowledge the support of their sister scouts, family, friends and the Hauppauge community.

Girl Scouts of Suffolk County is the largest youth-serving agency on Long Island. It serves more than 30,000 girls between the ages of 5 and 17, with the dedicated support of more than 7,000 volunteers. For more information about Girl Scouts, please call 631.543.6622 or visit www.gssc.us.