Interesting People From Valley Stream

Angelo LaCalandra puts his creativity to good use


Have you noticed the wonderful new signs around Valley Stream? The new signs lead you to the Pagan-Fletcher Restoration on Hendrickson Avenue. The Pagan-Fletcher house is on the National Register of Historic Places. The signs were designed by Art Director Angelo LaCalandra, who is employed at the present time by Averett Free & Ginsberg, and is a trustee of the Valley Stream Historical Society.

Angelo graduated from the School of Visual Arts, majoring in advertising, photography and design. He started working for photo studios, packaging studios and eventually advertising agencies, starting in the studio, then went on to become a studio manager and later an art director. Back in those days, all advertising agencies were located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. There were so many ad agencies and people in the industry that it was a community of artists and writers — so much so, that you could go to lunch and come back with a new job. Today, ad agencies are spread throughout Manhattan.

Angelo worked at some of the top ad agencies of the day: Della Famina, Travisano & Partners, Doyle Dane & Berhbach, and Young & Rubican. He worked on accounts for companies such as Rolls Royce, Colgate, Palmolive, Beech Nut, New York University, R.J. Reynolds, and for some famous and original ad men or “mad men” of Madison Avenue. The list includes Jerry Della Famina, Ron Travisano, Bert Steinhauser and Helmet Crone. The ad game has changed drastically from those days when everything was done by hand (hand letterers, illustrators, etc.) to today where everything is done on the computer.

There are still lots of young, talented, creative people entering advertising today looking to make their mark. Angelo presently works as an associate creative director for an advertising agency called Averett Free & Ginsberg. Frank Ginsberg is the founding CEO and creative director of AFG and is one of the greats today in advertising. Another creative director at AFG is Joe Petruccio, who is the official artist for the Elvis Estate.

Angelo was on the original Pagan-Fletcher Museum Committee about 20 years ago. He worked with then-Valley Stream Mayor John De Grace. Others on that original committee committed to restoring the Pagan-Fletcher house as a museum for all of Valley Stream residents and neighboring towns to enjoy were Bert Keller and Jack Sharkey, to name a few.

Today the restoration of that 1840s farmhouse is complete, thanks to all the hard work of the Historical Society and the Restoration Committee. Angelo has re-joined the museum and Valley Stream Historical Society as a trustee, to lend his hand in anyway he can through the guidance of Mayor Ed Fare and myself, the president of the Historical Society.  He has enjoyed working with all the wonderful people he has met in the Historical Society and the executive board of the Pagan-Fletcher Restoration.