2014 Honorees

ColleenColleen West is the founder and president of Enright Court Reporting, Inc. After returning to school at the age of 28, the newly-single mother of an infant and two-year-old began her career as a court reporter in 1989 and established Enright Court Reporting, Inc. in 1991.

Through her vision and commitment, the agency has grown and has over thirty court reporters, staffing all types of legal proceedings for the most well-respected law firms in New York and Long Island. Due to its diverse service offerings, reliability and transcript accuracy, the agency is recognized as an industry leader.

In 1998, Colleen took a risk and expanded her business to include a franchise for a web-based transcription service. The franchise transitioned to an alliance program, which now consists of over 50 independently-owned transcription companies throughout the nation. Transcription services are provided to a broad range of professions; including legal, medical practices, hospital networks and insurance carriers. The Enright Sten-Tel company ranks in the top 3 out of the 50 Sten-Tel transcription companies nationwide.

As a recognized business leader, Colleen is a member of the Sayville and Patchogue Chamber of Commerce as well as other civic organizations. In addition, in January 2009, she was named Chair of the Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Suffolk County, after having been a member of that Board for two years, and was their Dinner Gala Honoree in October 2009. Colleen was named “Woman of the Year 2009” by Times Beacon Record Newspapers on Long Island, including the Port Times. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Rollstone Foundation and the Board of Directors for the Bob Venero Children’s Foundation. She serves on the committees for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon and Girl’s Inc. of Long Island. She has been featured on Cablevision’s “Women of the New Century,” and is a member of the Energeia Partnership — The Academy for Regional Stewardship at Molloy College, a 2-year program from which she graduated in January 2010.

Over the years, Colleen has been honored by many organizations, including the National Association of Women Business Owners and Girl’s Inc. of Long Island. Colleen was named one of Long Island’s 50 Most Influential Women by the Long Island Business News. She was also an honoree of the Victim Information Bureau of Suffolk (VIBS) and Splashes of Hope. She received an honorary degree in 2009 from the Children’s Center at UCP for her dedication to their Education Program.

Colleen is a graduate of the Long Island Business Institute and the Dale Carnegie Institute, where she served as a graduate assistant. She is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, the National Association of Female Executives, the New York State Court Reporters Association. She lives in Bayport with her husband and is the proud mother of two daughters, Shannon and Erin.

ErinErin King Sweeney is a partner at McBreen & Kopko with over a decade of experience in aviation, including serving as General Counsel, USA, for Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. and Director of Human Resources. Ms. King Sweeney is President of King Sweeney Strategies LLC, a strategic consulting business.

Ms. Sweeney has extensive knowledge of all aspects of federal and state rules and regulations impacting domestic and international aviation, as well as of day-to-day labor and employment issues. She has broad experience with the DOT, FAA, TSA, and CBP.

Ms. Sweeney received both her B.A., magna cum laude, and her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame. She is licensed to practice law in New York State, and is a member of the New York and Nassau County Bar Associations. Ms. Sweeney, a member of the International Association of Woman in Aviation and the Society for Human Resources Management, is a speaker at industry conferences.

Ms. Sweeney was honored by the FBI for her information-gathering work after 9/11, and was named 2013 Businessperson of the Year by the NYS Chiefs’ Benevolent Association and inducted as an honorary chief.

Active in her community, Ms. Sweeney serves on the Board of Trustees of Holy Child Academy, is a founding member of the Pops Culturalists of the New York Pops, is a member of the Circle of Red of the American Heart Association, and is a corporate member of the Nassau County Museum of Arts. She and her husband, John, reside on Long Island with their two children, Jack and KatieMae.

JosieBorn in Italy, Josie Callari is the epitome of a self-made American citizen. She emigrated from Italy with her parents at the age of 13. As one of seven children, even at an early age, Mrs. Callari understood the need to help her family and quickly dedicated herself to learning the English language and finding small jobs. And later, while working part time, Mrs. Callari received her education. A working mother, she and her husband raised two sons, always reminding them of their heritage while also inspiring them to build a foundation of strong ethics and family values and enduring traditions.

Mrs. Callari began her banking career as a teller more than 40 years ago, and in 1975 joined Astoria Federal Savings. Mrs. Callari was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Support Services Office in December of 2011. In this capacity, Mrs. Callari is the highest ranking female executive at Astoria Federal, a 16 billion dollar publicly-traded company headquartered in Lake Success.

As a member of the Executive Team, Mrs. Callari contributes to the development and execution of the company’s strategic plan. As Chief Support Services Officer, she is responsible for directing the Human Resources, Security, General Services and Facilities Departments.

Prior to her recent promotion to Executive Vice President, Mrs. Callari was Senior Vice President, Director of Banking Operations and had responsibility for many functional departments including, among others, Corporate Education, Retail Risk Management, Regulatory Compliance, Call Center and Electronic Services, including ATMs, Debit Cards and Internet Banking. Mrs. Callari is known for her friendliness and hands-on leadership style and her success is, in part, attributed to her strong work ethic and interpersonal skills.

As a business leader, Mrs. Callari recently participated in a “Women’s Empowerment Forum” where she was a speaker on a panel discussing “Women of Influence” with specific reference to the book “Lean In” by Cheryl Sandberg. Mrs. Callari was a member of America Bankers Association’s Electronic Banking and Payments Committee and its Banking Operations and Regulatory Compliance Committees and is past chairperson of these committees. She also served on the User Oversight Boards of the New York Check Exchange (NYCE), a Regional ATM Network and Master Card, a global card company.

Mrs. Callari has testified at the US House of Representatives in Washington DC as an expert witness for the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee. As Vice Chairman of ACB’s Electronic Banking and Payments Systems Committee, Mrs. Callari testified on behalf of America Community Bankers and in favor of the Financial Data Protection Act of 2005.

Mrs. Callari is an active member of the community, having served on the Glen Cove School Board and currently serving on the Corporate Committees of the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC) the Educational Assistance Corporation (EAC) and the School for Language and Communication Development (SLCD).

As a volunteer for “Habitat for Humanity” Mrs. Callari has helped build several new homes and she worked on the first ever “Women’s Blitz Built” helping to construct a home for a deserving single mom and her daughter. She also supports several other not for profit organizations including the Glen Cove Soccer League, the American Heart Association and the Variety Child Learning Center (VCLC.)

In recognition of her accomplishments and volunteerism, Mrs. Callari has received several awards, including the Cornerstone of the Business Community Award by the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO), the Humanitarian Award by the SLCD and she is a past honoree of the top 50 Most Influential Business Women on Long Island. In October 2006, Mrs. Callari received a Citation from then Nassau County Executive, Thomas Suozzi, in recognition of outstanding contributions for the betterment of our communities and residents.

Married for more than 40 years, Mrs. Callari and her husband Dominick live in Old Brookville.

LeslieLeslie H. Tayne, Esq. has more than a decade of experience in the practice area of consumer and business financial debt-related services. She launched her law firm, http://www.taynelaw.com/, Tayne Law Group, P.C., formerly Law Offices Of Leslie H. Tayne P.C., in 2001, which is one of the few New York State law practices concentrating in debt management, debt resolution and bankruptcy alternatives for consumers, small business owners and professionals who are in need of help with managing finances.

Leslie and her firm deliver comprehensive consulting and support services for clients in all areas of debt including credit cards, unsecured loans, lines of credit and consumer based loans as well as business and student loan matters. Leslie is highly accomplished in negotiation and settlements with large national banks, credit unions, collection agencies and multiple creditor legal representatives. Her mission is to reshape debt resolution alternatives by giving clients a supportive and reliable environment built on experience, trust and results that will not only relieve clients of the stress from debts but also the burden of the never-ending debt cycle. Leslie’s practice has grown since its establishment, with offices now in Manhattan, White Plains and Mount Kisco.

In 2011, Leslie was selected for the Long Island Business News Leadership in Law Awards, which recognizes individuals who are dedicated to excellence and leadership both in the legal profession and community. The awardees were selected by a committee of business leaders and were chosen based on their career and professional accomplishments. Leslie was also honored as TouroJacobD.FuchsbergLawCenter’s ‘Alumni of the Month’ in March 2012 and was chosen as one of Long Island Business News’ Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business in April 2012. In January 2013, Leslie and her firm were named among the Businesses of The Year for 2012 by the Melville Chamber of Commerce.

Eager to share her counsel and expertise, Leslie is frequently invited to participate in speaking engagements and is often a guest presenter at colleges, bar associations and not-for-profits. Continuing her commitment to public service, she serves as a board member and Vice President of the Work and Family Committee for Long Island Women’s Agenda, where she focuses on issues affecting working women who are faced with the difficulty of caring for children as well as those within today’s sandwich generation who are caring for aging parents.

Leslie is also a board member for the Jewish Lawyers Association of Nassau County and volunteers a substantial amount of time as a puppy raiser for the Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown, where she cares for and trains puppies that will eventually become service dogs for someone in need. Additionally, Leslie actively contributes her time to the Family Services League of Huntington’s Debt Counseling Division and is a regular volunteer with Nassau County Bar’s Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic, providing NassauCounty residents with free legal advice in regards to various mortgage issues and concerns.

Always ready to donate her time and services when and where needed, Leslie was responsible for launching a specialized Hurricane Sandy Hotline in the aftermath of the devastating storm where she and her staff responded to questions and concerns among the many inflicted by the storm free of charge while providing free financial and debt advice.

A highly respected consumer and business debt-related expert, Leslie is often called upon by the media to comment on vast related money and debt topics and issues. Among the various news outlets she has interviewed with are USA Weekend, The New York Daily News, Forbes, Newsday, Huffington Post, 914 Inc. Magazine, The Journal News, CreditCards.com, InvestingAnswers, Business News Daily, FiOs’ Money & Main$treet, and News 12 Long Island. She has also been a guest expert blog contributor for Anderson Cooper’s day-time talk show, Anderson Live, as well as New York Enterprise Report, and has participated in articles that have been featured by such noted news outlets as FoxBusinessNews.com.

MeredithMeredith H. Celentano has served as an executive in the not-for-profit industry for the past eighteen years. Currently, Ms. Celentano serves as Assistant Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs at Hofstra University where she’s worked since 2006. A seasoned and accomplished development professional, she has been involved in initiatives raising more than $100 million.

Ms. Celentano’s current role involves the management of twenty-two team members within a department that raised more than $30 million in the 2013 fiscal year. Ms. Celentano is involved in all strategic decision making for Hofstra’s Office for Development and Alumni Affairs. In addition, she is directly responsible for the management of all alumni affairs activities, prospect research, foundation relations, gift processing, data-management, special events, stewardship and annual giving. In addition to these operational responsibilities, she manages a portfolio of more than 250 major gift prospects and personally visits nearly 100 leaders annually. In 2009, Ms. Celentano conceptualized and launched the University’s first-ever female executive leadership group, Women in Leadership at Hofstra University.

Ms. Celentano began her development career in 1995 at Long Island University where she coordinated events on three campuses as well as for The Tilles Center. In 1996, Ms. Celentano was hired by the Consolidated Corporate Fund at Lincoln Center where her team raised more than $5.1 million in unrestricted funds for the Center’s 11 constituencies, including The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and so on.

In November 1997, Ms. Celentano accepted a position at the New York University School of Law as a Development Officer where she remained until July 2004. During those years, Ms. Celentano was promoted to Director for Development and the year she left the Law School, it raised more than $40 million. Ms. Celentano served as Director of Development at Molloy College from 2004 through December 2005.

Ms. Celentano serves as Chair of the Board for the Nassau County Chapter of Girls on the Run and is President-Elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Long Island. Ms. Celentano is immediate past-chair of the 2013 Philanthropy Day, a comprehensive, full-day, conference serving all not-for-profits on Long Island with more than 500 attendees.

Ms. Celentano has served on the Corporate Development Committee for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Walk-A-Thon and served as a Co-Leader for a local Girl Scouts of Nassau County Brownie Troop for three years. Ms. Celentano is a former board member for the National Association of Mother’s Centers (NAMC) as well as a former member of the NAMC Corporate Committee for the Annual Work/Life Conference.

In 2011, Ms. Celentano was honored with a Long Island Business News 40 Under 40 Award. Meredith authors Meredith’s Food For Life – an online food blog loaded with original recipes and food musings. Ms. Celentano is most proud of her family – her husband, Paul, and their three children Nina, William and Charli.

MaureenMaureen O’Connell is the County Clerk of Nassau County, New York.

Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell began her professional career as a Registered Nurse at North Shore University Hospital upon graduating from Flushing Hospital and Medical Center School of Nursing. During her service there she designed and implemented the H.O.M.E. pilot program for the home-based management of cancer patients of the hospital. She also co-authored numerous articles regarding hospice care.

Ms. O’Connell holds a B.S. in Health Care Administration from St. Joseph’s College and earned her Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law, receiving the American Jurisprudence Award in Insurance Law. She combined her knowledge of law and health administration by practicing in the areas of civil litigation, elder law and health regulatory compliance in the second largest law firm in Nassau County at the time.

Ms. O’Connell served as Trustee and Deputy Mayor of the Incorporated Village of East Williston from 1991 through 1998. Ms. O’Connell is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association having served onthe Medical-Legal and Elder Law-Social Services-Health Advocacy Committees, and is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society. She has served the community as a member of the Mercy League of Roslyn and the Willistons, and the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Detection team. She serves on the Board of Directors of the St. John’s University School of Law Alumni Association and the Maternity & Early Childhood Foundation. In addition, she is a member of the School of Nursing Advisory Boards of Nassau Community College, Molloy College, and State University of New York at Farmingdale, as well as an adjunct faculty member of the Adelphi University School of Nursing. Ms. O’Connell has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Business by Long Island Business News.

In February 1998, Ms. O’Connell was the first woman elected to the New York State Assembly to represent the 17th District, which included parts of the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead in Nassau County, New York. During her tenure as State Legislator, Ms. O’Connell served as the Ranking Member of the Assembly’s Health Committee and in 2001, chaired the statewide taskforce on the critical shortage of nurses. She also served on the Assembly Judiciary, Insurance and Ethics Committees. She was a member of the Sexual Assault and Violence Education (S.A.V.E.) taskforce on sex crimes and violence against women and children. Ms. O’Connell developed a distinguished record of constituent service and promoted numerous community based programs. Further, she worked on numerous measures that were enacted into law.

In November 2005, Ms. O’Connell was elected countywide to the Office of Nassau County Clerk and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2009 and 2013. As County Clerk, an office created by the New York State Constitution, Ms. O’Connell serves as Clerk of the Supreme and County Courts and is also responsible for maintaining the official index of documents relating to real property ownership in Nassau County. Upon taking office, she processed over a million backlogged records. With the assistance of state grants awarded to the office, Ms. O’Connell implemented a conversion of paper land records to an electronic platform. Utilizing enhanced technology to further modernize the office, Ms. O’Connell is continually developing new initiatives including the electronic filing of documents for State Supreme Court actions, electronic filing of land records and interfaces with New York State creating paperless filings. Ms. O’Connell remains committed to always enhancing the level of service provided by the County Clerk’s Office to the public in an efficient and secure manner.

A lifelong resident of Nassau County, Ms. O’Connell resides in East Williston with her husband Don where they raised their son.