Monday, August 20, 2018

The News Conference: Real & Powerful Speakers

Harry Siegel is a senior editor at The Daily Beast, a columnist at the New York Daily News, and adjunct professor at Brooklyn College. 

Alex Martin, Wall Street Journal - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Alex Martin served as the Wall Street Journal’s Deputy Managing Editor of News and Deputy Managing Editor/Page One Editor before being named Writing Editor in 2017. 

Drew Scott - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Known as the “Dean of Long Island Television,” Drew Scott is the News 12 Long Island television news-anchor and reporter who helped pioneer Long Island television news as it exists today. He retired in 2017, after four decades of working in television news.

Jeffrey Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, a prime-time television show host on CSuite TV, and a radio host on CBS Radio’s and C-Suite Radio. From small businesses to international corporations, his creativity and extraordinary entrepreneurial skills have enabled him to lead ventures blending his leadership perspectives, insights into the c-suite and business strategy, mass marketing prowess and affinity for social media. He is a well-traveled public speaker, the author of the bestselling business books, The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet, and one of the most compelling figures in business today.

Ann Givens, The Trace - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Ann Givens is a multimedia journalist covering law enforcement for The Trace, a national news nonprofit focused on gun violence. Prior to joining The Trace in Nov. 2016, she spent three years as an investigative producer for NBC New York, where she won two Emmys for stories about housing discrimination and government corruption. She also worked at Newsday for more than a decade, covering law enforcement and criminal courts. She continues to tell stories both in print and video.

Rep. Tom Suozzi - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Tom Suozzi, a CPA and attorney, is the Congressman representing the Third Congressional District in New York. He serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, is Vice-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus and Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus. Congressman Suozzi previously served as mayor of his hometown, Glen Cove, NY from 1994-2001 and as Nassau County Executive from 2002-2009.

Pei-Sze Cheng, NBC - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Emmy Award-winning reporter Pei-Sze Cheng is a member of NBC 4 New York’s investigative unit, the I-Team. One of Cheng’s investigations was of Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County, where she found scores of “wrong way” signs missing from entrance and exit ramps. The investigation led to public outcries from elected officials, resulting in the installation of 229 new signs to further safeguard drivers and local residents.


WCBS Newsradio's Tim Scheld - Fair Media Council The News Conference Dec. 5 2017Tim Scheld is News & Programming Director for WCBS Newsradio 880. He has been managing the News product at WCBS since 2003. The station has won many awards over that time but none bigger than this year’s 2017 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award For Legendary Station Of the Year.  Prior to WCBS, Scheld was a national correspondent for ABC Radio News.

Patrick Halpin - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Patrick Halpin is currently a Managing Director of Mercury, a  high-stakes public strategy firm. He is a former Suffolk County Executive, and has served in federal, state and county governments. He has extensive communications and broadcasting experience, and hosts “Meet the Leaders,” a program airing on Altice.

Former New York State Senator and Deputy Secretary of Public Safety under two New York State Governors, Michael Balboni is the President and Managing Director of RedLand Strategies, Inc. Following the tragic days of Sept. 11, 2001, Balboni was appointed as the first Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. During his tenure, he wrote nearly all of the major laws relating to Homeland Security for New York State, many of which became models for national legislation.

Erica Marcus has covered food for Newsday since 1998. She has written features about the origins of Grandma pizza, the tragedy of flavored olive oil, the fallacy of the wild Atlantic salmon, the mystery of the soft-shell lobster and many many articles that attempt to justify the hundreds of dollars she spends every year on knives and knife-sharpening. In addition to reporting, she reviews restaurants and blogs about them at

Brian Halweil Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Brian Halweil is the editor-in-chief of Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End, Edible Long Island and Edible Manhattan magazines. His writing has focused on organic farming, biotechnology, hunger, rural communities and, most recently, foodtech. Before launching Edible magazines, Brian was the director of the food and agriculture program at the Worldwatch Institute. He is the author of Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket, as well as Nourishing the Planet, a meta-analysis of hunger-reducing innovations for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Brian received degrees in Earth Systems and Biology from Stanford University; as an undergrad, he founded the Stanford Student Farm. 

Matt Davies -Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Matt Davies is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, and children’s author. He is the staff cartoonist for Newsday and his cartoons are syndicated nationally by Universal Press Syndicate, UClick. His work has appeared regularly in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times & USA Today. His work has also been featured in Newsweek, Time Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, CNN, The Week and Mad Magazine. He was born in London.

Col. Michael Canders - Fair Media Council, The News Conference: Real & Powerful, Dec. 5, 2017Michael F. Canders, Ph.D., ATP is the Director of the Aviation Center at Farmingdale State College. He served as a military and special operations rescue pilot for over 33 years and is the former Commander of the 106th Rescue Wing, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. Colonel Canders also served as the Commander of the main US Airbase and the 447th Air Expeditionary Group (AEG) in Baghdad, Iraq. He flew rescue and recovery missions in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in Houston, Texas in 2008.

Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D., CEAP, SAP is President and Chief Executive Officer of Family and Children’s Association, one of Long Island’s largest health and human organizations. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force and is chair of Suffolk County’s Sober Home Oversight Board.

Tino Posillico, Ph.D. - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & PowerfulAn executive officer of Protect New York, a think tank of police and security specialists focused on improving the protection of the public from terrorist and criminal operations in the physical and digital domains, Dr. Tino Posillico is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice/Security Systems & Law Enforcement Technology at Farmingdale State College. His expertise is in computer-based crimes, and his curricula cover areas of cybercrime techniques, cyberterror operations, the “dark” Web operations, digital countermeasures, digital surveillance and spying, digital intel capture, among others.

Donna Drake is an international award-winning creative artist, writer, producer, and actress. She created and hosts the weekly television show, “Live it Up!,” which shares positive messages of hope that inspire and empower those who need it most.

Terry Lynam has more than 30 years of experience as a communications professional in the nonprofit, private and public sectors. As senior vice president and chief public relations officer, he oversees all media relations, and internal and external communications for Northwell Health. Previously, he was an executive at Lockheed Martin IMS in Teaneck, N.J. and served in the administration of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, first as a press officer to the governor and then as press secretary to former Lt. Governor Stan Lundine.

David NorthDavid North is a Long Island-based, award-winning writer, broadcaster, and journalist. His experiences include work as a reporter, producer, web content provider, and news-anchor for WALK-FM; producer for News12 Long Island’s “Long Island Talks,” co-host of WLIW TV-21’s “Face Off,” Adjunct Professor of Journalism (Broadcasting) for LIU-C.W.Post, and author of editorials for Newsday. David is currently producer/host of “Health Story,” a presentation of Northwell Health.  He is a board-member of the Press Club of Long Island and is Coordinator of the Long Island Press High School Journalism Awards Program.

Carol D’Auria is an anchor and news reporter for 1010WINS, the oldest all-news radio station in the United States. She began her career as a writer for Cablevision’s News 12 Long Island, and went on to work at eight radio stations throughout the New York area.

Reg Gale - Fair Media CouncilReg Gale is a Deputy Managing Editor at Bloomberg News, responsible for coverage of energy & commodities in the Americas. Before joining Bloomberg, he was a longtime senior editor at Newsday, at various times leading the health, science and technology teams and the investigations team.

Jamie Herzlich, Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & PowerfulJamie Herzlich is a freelance writer who currently has a weekly column in Newsday. She has covered local business for more than two decades.

Gary Conte has worked as a Meteorologist for the National Weather Service (NWS) since 1979, for more than 38 years.  Since 1993, he has held the position of Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS New York, N.Y. Office in Upton, at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island.  Gary provides guidance for the local warning and service programs for more than 18 million people.  This includes advance notifications of potential high impact weather hazards to key customers, partners and the media for the protection of life and property and to enhance the national economy.  As the local NWS Customer Service Representative, Gary is the “main” contact for Outreach and Education of NWS services.  He also serves as a liaison to the local media and works forecast shifts.

Marla Diamond is an award-winning reporter and anchor for WCBS Newsradio 880. Among her most memorable stories: Spending a week on a UJA Mission to Israel; A New York to New Orleans convoy after Hurricane Katrina; 9/11, and covering and running in four New York City Marathons.

Meteorologist Craig Allen is the most authoritative weather source in the New York tri-state area. Heading WCBS 880’s weather team, Allen’s reports are accurate; his manner warm & friendly. He earned his meteorology degree from the Earth & Space Sciences Department at Stony Brook University in May of 1979 and became chief meteorologist for WCBS 880 the following Spring.

Jodi Goldberg joined the Fox 5 News team in December of 2014. Prior to that, she worked as a general assignment reporter for FiOS1 News on Long Island, where she shot, wrote and edited all of her stories. During her time at FiOS 1, Jodi covered some of the most important stories impacting Long Island, including Superstorm Sandy. She extensively covered the City of Long Beach, from the storm’s devastation to the heartfelt rebuilding of the city.

An award-winning journalist, Sharon Crowley covers breaking news, general assignment and investigative stories for Fox5 New York. She has reported on many local and national news stories including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the Boston Marathon bombings, the 9-11 Terrorist Attacks, the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing and the disappearance of D.C. intern Chandra Levy. She anchored Fox 5’s breaking news when President Obama announced Osama bin Laden was killed. Previously, Crowley worked as a reporter for Fox 5 in Atlanta and the Fox affiliate in Raleigh. She has appeared on The Fox News Channel, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, The O’Reilly Factor and America’s Most Wanted.


Dan Shelley is Executive Director of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation (RTDNA/RTDNF), the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to broadcast and digital journalism. Previously, Dan was Senior Vice President of Digital Content Strategy for iHeartMedia, and Interactive One, part of the Radio One (now Urban One) family of companies.

Mike Dawidziak embodies more than 25 years of political strategic planning expertise. - The Interview: Fair Media CouncilMichael D. Dawidziak (more popularly known as Mike D.) is the founder and president of Strategic Planning Systems, Inc. He is a nationally known pollster, general consultant and political strategist and has worked on races for all levels of government in every state in the country, including four presidential campaigns. He was a recognized pioneer and innovator of what we call “micro-targeting” today.

Mary Murphy was born in Queens, New York and has spent her entire broadcasting career in her hometown. She is known for both her aggressive and compassionate style of reporting. She has broken big stories for PIX11 in 2017, most recently during the Halloween truck attack on bicyclists in lower Manhattan. Mary was the first to report it was an act of terror, talking to her extensive law enforcement contacts while PIX11 reporters and photographers were first at the scene.

Terry Sheridan is a veteran New York City radio journalist. He is currently Managing Editor of WSHU Public Radio, where as part of his duties he oversees the WSHU-Stony Brook internship program. He is also an adjunct Professor at Stony Brook, teaching News Literacy and Audio Journalism. He was a longtime reporter for 1010 WINS Radio in New York City, covering everything from 9/11 and its aftermath to Occupy Wall Street. He has also worked for NBC News Radio and its flagship station WOR, and WBGO-FM. His reports have aired on NPR, the BBC, ABC, and the CBC in Canada.

Celeste Katz, Newsweek - Fair Media CouncilCeleste Katz reports on the White House and national affairs for Newsweek and is a host on Sirius XM radio. During the 2016 presidential campaign, she co-hosted “Special Relationship,” a podcast from Mic and The Economist which Poynter Institute readers rated as among the best political journalism of the cycle. She previously worked as a reporter and columnist for the New York Daily News and The Providence Journal.

Neal Shapiro President and Chief Executive Officer WNET - - -Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Neal Shapiro is the President and CEO of WNET. He worked previously as the President of NBC News and the executive producer for Dateline NBC. Prior to this Shapiro spent 13 years as a news producer at ABC News.

Pat Milton, CBS - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Pat Milton, an award-winning journalist, is a senior producer of the CBS News Investigative Unit, specializing in national security, terrorism, and federal law enforcement.

Walt Handelsman- - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017One of the most widely reprinted cartoonists in America, Walt Handelsman’s work has been seen in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune. He has been a featured guest on CNN, The NewsHour and ABC’s “Nightline.” He has won every major journalism award for cartooning excellence including two Pulitzers, one of which made him the first person to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for animation. In addition to appearing in The New Orleans Advocate, Handelsman’s work is nationally syndicated by Tribune Content Agency in Chicago to over 200 newspapers around the country and internationally.

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Charles J. Glasser, Jr., Esq. spent 12 years as Global Media Counsel for Bloomberg News, where he was responsible for pre-publication review, ethics issues, and training more than 2,200 reporters in more than 120 bureaus around the world on legal issues and journalistic fundamentals, particularly focusing on investigative and business news. He also managed media litigation globally, and is acknowledged as an expert in international media law.

Ben Mevorach, 1010WINS - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017

Ben Mevorach is the Director of News & Programming at CBS-owned 1010 WINS radio, the nation’s leading all-news station. His career in print and broadcast spans more than 25 years. Ben’s work has been recognized with more than 30 awards for excellence in reporting, including the Associated Press and the broadcast industry’s highest honor – the national Edward R. Murrow. He has been honored with a Murrow three times in his career: for his coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800, the 9/11 terror attacks, and for his coverage of the 2003 US-Iraq war. He began his career in Boston as a magazine writer and editor, and moved to New York to help launch Long Island’s first local network news/talk show, Good Morning Long Island. Two years later, Ben joined 1010 WINS.

Jimmy Margulies - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Jimmy Margulies is the Editorial Cartoonist for amNEW YORK. His cartoons are nationally syndicated by King Features. Among his national awards are The Berryman Award, National Press Foundation; The National Headliner Award, The Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition, and four Clarion Awards from the Association for Women in Communications. His cartoons have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek and Business Week, among many others. He has been featured on CNN, ABC Nightline, PBS and C-Span. He holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and is proud to be on the National Rifle Association blacklist.

Over his 30-year career, WABC-TV’s NJ Burkett has reported on everything from war and diplomacy to crime and politics; from aviation disasters to natural disasters, race relations and police misconduct. He is a two-time winner of the coveted Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and a four-time Emmy Award winner, including the Emmy for Outstanding On-Camera Achievement in 2003 and 2007.  He shared the George Foster Peabody Award and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award with his colleagues at ABC News for his reporting on the September 11th terrorist attacks. In 2008, he was presented with the Allen B. DuMont Broadcaster of the Year Award by Montclair State University for his “significant contributions to the field of broadcasting.” 


Carolyn Schurr Levin -Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Carolyn Schurr Levin, an attorney specializing in Media Law and the First Amendment, is an assistant professor and the faculty adviser for the student newspaper at Long Island University, LIU Post. She is also a lecturer and the media law adviser for the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. She has practiced law for over 25 years, including as the Vice President and General Counsel of Newsday and the Vice President and General Counsel of Ziff Davis Media. She is a contributing writer for the Student Press Law Center and the College Media Review.

Jerry Barmash 77WABC - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Jerry Barmash is a full-time street reporter at 77 WABC Radio. With more than 25 years in broadcasting, Barmash has worked for numerous media outlets, including 1010WINS and WBBR (Bloomberg). He also covers New York media for MediaBistro and his own blog, TunedIn.

Chef Marc Anthony Bynum -Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Of all his accolades, Chef Marc Anthony Bynum is best known for his appearance on Food Network’s television series Chopped in 2010. He was named champion twice before coming up short in the season finale of Chopped Champions. As chef/owner of the new HUSH Bistro in Huntington, Chef Marc is making his dream a reality. Chef Marc is also currently expanding his own personal venture, MBynum Creations, a company that specialized in hospitality consulting and private events.

Sal Ferro, Alure Home Improvements - Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Salvatore Ferro, President & CEO of Alure Home Improvements, is one of the most respected leaders in the home improvement industry and one of Long Island’s foremost business leaders. He has been inducted into the Farmingdale Business Hall of Fame, and is the recipient of many awards, including The Fred Case Remodeling Entrepreneur of the Year Award, LIBN Outstanding CEO award, LIA Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for Community Service, Owens Corning Panther Award for outstanding service, leadership and development of the Owens Corning Basement Franchise, the Home Improvement Management Summit Industry Legend Award and has been named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential People on Long Island.”

Gary Lewi is Managing Director of Rubenstein, where he has created public relations and community affairs strategies for clients involved in issues that include energy, the environment, public policy, health, land use, transportation and crisis management. He has an extensive background in communications, including work as a broadcast journalist and as a government press secretary on municipal and federal levels. He was Director of Communications for Hempstead Town on Long Island, the nation’s largest township, and served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato during the Senator’s first term.

Bruce Lambert covered local politics and government for The New York Times, and was the paper’s first full-time AIDS reporter. He retired after serving 22 years at the Times and 17 years at Newsday, New York Newsday and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Steve Haweeli -Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Steve Haweeli, founder and president of WordHampton Public Relations, is one of Long Island’s most successful and recognizable agency principals. Besides bringing Long Islanders East End and Long Island Restaurant Weeks, Haweeli leads the team that is acknowledged for campaigns that build brand reputations, and for its foray into social media nabbing several Fair Media Council Folio Awards over the years. Haweeli is the current president of the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy, and the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island. Long Island Business News acknowledged him in the Fifty or so Around 50 Class business leaders; and at the Long Island Hospitality Ball, where he was recognized for his industry contributions as an honoree.

Ralph Ortega- -Fair Media Council The News Conference: Real & Powerful Dec. 5 2017Ralph R. Ortega is an adjunct professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. A seasoned reporter and editor with more than 25 years of experience, Ortega has worked for the New York Daily News, The Star-Ledger, Hedge Fund Alert and most recently, OnWallStreet, where he served as editor in chief. He is a lifetime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Stacey Sweet is the Executive Producer and Host of the award-winning online news, entertainment and lifestyle network Life is Sweet TV. She is also a host and on-air personality for Public Television Stations in New York. As a freelance correspondent for TV Guide Network, Sweet was a go-to reporter for the Network on breaking news, features, celebrity one-on-ones, red carpet and entertainment stories in New York. Prior to that, she was a Senior Correspondent and Weekend Co-Anchor for Inside Edition.

Jody Fisher is an award-winning publicist with 20-plus years of experience in the New York City and national media markets. Currently, a Vice President at Austin & Williams, Inc., Jody is a former NYC radio reporter and brings a newsroom assignment desk savvy to his work that makes stories immediately interesting and actionable to reporters and editors, leveraging his strong relationships across print, broadcast and digital outlets. He has worked for a variety of clients, from News Corp., New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Silverstein Properties at the World Trade Center, BMW, AT&T, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Friends of the High Line. He has managed events including celebrity red carpets, the visit of a Pope to an American synagogue and the journey of a NASA space shuttle from Washington, D.C. to New York.

Frank Eltman is in his 30th year working as a reporter for The Associated Press. He was named Long Island Correspondent in 2006. He has covered a variety of national interest stories for The AP including Superstorm Sandy, high-profile criminal cases in both Nassau and Suffolk County, two presidential debates, issues on immigration, gang violence, as well as many human interest stories. In 2016, he was inducted into the Press Club of Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame.

A well-respected and award-winning journalist, David Winzelberg currently works at the Long Island Business News writing exclusive stories about commercial real estate, development, retail, franchising and white-collar crime. Winzelberg consistently scoops other outlets and few have as many sources among influential stakeholders, policy makers, and industry leaders. He’s written hundreds of stories as a 20-year contributor to The New York Times. Winzelberg has also been featured nationally on CNBC’s American Greed and his work has appeared in other publications including Forbes and The Atlantic. A former adjunct professor of journalism, Winzelberg has hosted local news programs on WLIW21 and is a frequent guest speaker, panelist and moderator at industry events with elected officials and Long Island’s business leaders.

Photo by Zack Lane

Sandra Garren, Ph.D. is the Director of Sustainability and an Assistant Professor at Hofstra University. Sandra has more than 25 years of experience in both academic and environmental sustainability fields which includes principal investigator, project management and technical expertise on scientific research related to sustainability, greenhouse gas accounting, climate change policy, water management, renewable energy, and, environmental regulation. Her projects are interdisciplinary and specifically focus on applied science and policy that finds integrated solutions to the negative impacts of climate change and other environmental challenges. She is currently co-editing two case study books on sustainable practices.


Jim Lennon Photographer

Paule T. Pachter is Chief Executive Officer of Long Island Cares, Inc., The Harry Chapin Food Bank.  He is also on the faculty of St.Joseph’s College where he teaches a second-year graduate course on executive leadership and models of innovation.
Paule has held several positions within Long Island’s human services community including Deputy Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. He is credited with influencing the passage of New York State’s social work parity legislation.


Diane Masciale
General Manager, WLIW

Diane Masciale is Vice President & General Manager of WLIW21 and Executive Producer of local productions at WNET. Masciale oversees the Emmy Award-winning series, Treasures of New YorkMetroFocusWLIW Arts Beat and SciTech Now, among numerous other local programs. A veteran news executive and three-time National Emmy Award-winner, Masciale previously served in leadership roles at both ABC and NBC including at ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Showand Dateline NBC.


George Gorman Jr. is Deputy Regional Director of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Long Island Region. He is responsible for day-to-day administration and management of more than 2,000 employees, 32 state parks and historic sites and nearly 35,000 acres of parkland attracting 20 million visitors annually. He served as Interim Regional Director during the rebuilding of damaged Long Island State Parks from Super Storm Sandy.


Robert De Sena was born and raised in Brooklyn. During his youth, he was involved with several street gangs experiences that proved invaluable in his later work with at-risk teenagers. Despite these obstacles, he was able to obtain a Bachelor of Arts from St.
John’s University and two Master of Arts, one from New York University and one from Queens College.
In 1965, he became a high school English teacher. His skill in bringing contending ethnic and racial groups together led to the formation of the Council for Unity, which he founded at John Dewey High School in 1975. The Council’s customized curriculum and program ideology created by Mr. De Sena has given the program a national reputation for its success in promoting unity, safety and achievement in schools and communities.

Cecilia Dowd is a reporter for FiOS1 News. A former assignment editor at News12 Long Island, she is also co-producer of a documentary currently being filmed in Santo, Haiti. It is an independent film centered at a home where one woman has taken in 97 children.