Charles J. Monica Senior Village has been offering housing for low-income seniors in Valley Stream since 1976 — and a sister senior housing facility, the Adler, will soon welcome a new group of seniors. Overseeing Monica Senior Village’s evolution over the years has been its executive director, Lucille Moran, who retired last week after 29 years.
Moran, 77, joined Senior Village as executive director in 1993 after working as an office manager and building manager of a law firm in Garden City. During her nearly three decades there, Monica Senior Village improved greatly for both the workers and the tenants.
“When I first started in 1993, they didn’t even have air conditioning in the hallways,” Moran recalled. “The elevator doors would open and you could pass out, so that’s the first thing I did.”
Moran said the facility also installed new thermal windows and a new roof as well as modernizing the elevators and the lobbies during her time there.
Every 10 years, tenants were provided with new refrigerators and new stoves for their apartments.
While executive director, Moran’s biggest concern was the well-being and quality of life of the tenants and making the facility a shining jewel in Valley Stream. Her main focus, from day one, was to provide a clean, healthy, and energetic atmosphere for each and every person. She wanted them to “always be proud to say they lived in Monica Village.”
“I couldn’t be over-friendly because I was still managing the building,” Moran said of her relationships with the tenants. “But they know I cared for them, and they know that you know if I saw something, I would bring it to their attention. So, I would bring whatever it was to the attention of the family so they can help them.”
Along with creating meaningful relationships with the tenants, Moran created relationships with people around the community, including Valley Stream Mayor Ed Fare, who said Moran made “every visit to Monica Village happy and engaging.”
“For as long as I can remember, (Moran) has been an important piece of the fabric of Valley Stream and the absolute heart of Monica Village,” Fare said. “Her energy and compassion helped to keep so many seniors in Valley Stream safe in a warm and welcoming environment. I speak for the entire Village Board of Trustees, our Village Justice and the many members of our village staff and community who have worked closely with Lucille, in bidding her a fond farewell. We wish her every happiness in her well-earned retirement.”
The new executive director is Pam Cappiello, who worked as Moran’s assistant for the past six years. Moran said Cappiello knows the routine and the shift has gone “beautifully” so far.
“I met a lot of wonderful people who had really vibrant, exciting lives,” Moran said. “And Pam, I worked here for six years. She’s going to do a wonderful job.”