“Your community is not just where you live — it’s who you surround yourself with,” Vitelli said for young women who want to get involved in their communities. “When someone needs something, be the person who goes to do it.”
Vitelli — who received a master’s degree from Adelphi University in 1974 — worked as a Home Economics teacher in the Levittown and Lynbrook school districts before being appointed to the Educational Policies Committee for the Lynbrook Teachers’ Association and elected president of the Nassau County Home Economics Association. She has also managed a hotel in the Northern Catskills and a tennis camp for many summers.
In the last seven years, Vitelli has served as the Political Action Chair for the 9th Senatorial District, for which she has established working relationships with Nassau County legislators and embarked on several trips to Washington. She is also actively involved in Malverne Women’s Club and “Making Strides for Breast Cancer,” which is a series of events sponsored by the American Cancer Society that raises awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer.
Before she became the first woman to be appointed fire chief in Nassau County three years ago, Senti, 29, had followed in her father and grandfather’s footsteps by serving as a firefighter in the Lakeview Fire Department.
“We respond to multiple types of incidents, meeting people in the worst case scenarios,” Senti said of her service with the Lakeview Fire Department. “So your actions could mean the world to someone else.”
Senti also serves as the Fire Prevention Officer for the Massapequa Fire District and the Recovery Officer with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, which organizes large-scale events such as the 2012 Presidential Debate and the countywide emergency response for Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
Senti — whom Supervisor Kate Murray, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, had recognized as “a true role model and trailblazer”— thanked her forefathers for creating a 30-year legacy that she could carry on through her dedicated service as fire chief.