NIA honors community leaders during annual Community Recognition Awards Dinner

NIA Community Services Network presented its 19th Annual Community Recognition Awards on Thursday, September 28.

Held at Gargiulo’s Restaurant, 2911 West 15th Street, the event honored several individuals who have worked to better the community and who have shown support for NIA.

Over 500 people attended the awards ceremony, including members of the community, school leaders, NIA staff, law enforcement, sanitation workers, elected officials and their families.

“There’s a palpable sense of community and collegiality here tonight,” said NIA CEO Mary Anne Cino. “It’s an honor for us to recognize the important work that our honorees are doing, but it’s also gratifying to see the respect and admiration all of the different members of our community have for one another.”

This year’s honorees included Councilmember Vincent Gentile; New York City Department of Sanitation Deputy Commissioner of Support Services Rocco DiRico; President and CEO of HeartShare Human Services of New York William Guarinello; NYPD Lieutenant Special Assignment Brooklyn South Counterterrorism Unit John DiMarco; Grimaldi & Yeung LLP Partners Judith D. Grimaldi, Esq. and Joanne Seminara, Esq.; I.S. 239 Mark Twain Principal Karen Ditolla; United Federation of Teachers, District 20, Brooklyn Borough Office Representative Ellen Driesen; Brooklyn Asian Civilian Observation Patrol Chair Louie Liu; and Floral Fantasy of Bay Ridge owner Joseph Pennachio, Sr.

The dinner’s Honorary Dinner Chair was Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association President Harry Nespoli. Cino hosted the event along with NIA President Michael Bové, NIA Executive Director Rosa Casella and NIA Director of Program Operations Annette Scaduto.

Several elected officials including State Senator Marty Golden, Assemblymember Peter Abbate and  Councilmember Mark Treyger acknowledged the night’s honorees.

“It’s amazing to see how far the NIA has come,” said Bové. “We started out as a small community outreach initiative, and have now grown into an impactful organization. We’re so proud to be able to continue to do the work that we’re doing, and to have the ability to honor the great members of our community for all of their hard work and dedication to changing things for the better.”

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