Officers, Trustees, and Other Positions

Past Presidents

1973-74   Anthony Fiero

 

1988-89  Edwin Fare

 

2004-05  Bertha Ballou

2022-present  William Florio

1974-75  James Boerckel

 

1989-90  Anthony Melillo

 

2005-06  Bertha Ballou

 

1975-76  James Boerckel

 

1990-91  Anthony Melillo

 

2006-07  Marjorie Chvatal

 

1976-77  Bertram Keller

 

1991-92  Marjorie Chvatal

 

2007-08  Marjorie Chvatal

 

1977-78  Emma Bitowski

 

1992-93  Marjorie Chvatel

 

2008-09  Marjorie Chvatal

 

1978-79  Emma Bitowski

 

1993-94  Kevin Egan

 

2009-10  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1979-80  Theodore Libath

 

1994-95  John J. McKenna

 

2010-11  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1980-81  Wilbur Fare

 

1995-96  John J. McKenna

 

2011-12  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1981-82  Claire McMahon

 

1996-97  Carol McKenna

 

2012-13  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1982-83  Claire McMahon

 

1997-98  Carol McKenna

 

2013-14  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1983-84  Anthony Fiero

 

1998-99  Karen Selah

 

2014-15  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1984-85  Claire McMahon

 

1999-00  Karen Selah

 

2015-16  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1985       Walter Savery

 

2000-01  Hank Selah

 

2016-17  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1985-86  Robert Presbrey

 

2001-02  Hank Selah

 

2017-18  Gaetano Ferrara

 

1986-87  Robert Presbrey

 

2002-03  Carol McKenna

 

2018-19  Gaetano Ferraro

 

1987-88  Edwin Fare

 

2003-04  Carol McKenna

 

2019-2022  David McKean

 

Officers, Trustees, and Other Positions 

Ed Fare, Chairman, is a native and third-generation Valley Streamer. Fare attended Clear Stream Avenue, Memorial Junior High and Central High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo and his Master's degree from Long Island University. Fare's affiliation with the historical society runs long and deep. As a young man of 19, he joined the Society, and since that time has held many positions: Treasurer, in his early 20s; President, 1987-1989; and Chairman, 1990-1991 and 2008-present. He was a member of the Pagan-Fletcher Restoration Committee, along with his father, Wilbur, who also served as President of the Society (1980-1981). Fare’s mother, Elsie, was also involved: she was both a Corresponding and Recording Secretary (at separate times). Fare joined the Valley Stream Fire Department at age 18, and in addition to being a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years, he was treasurer, warden, and captain of the department. Prior to being elected Mayor of Valley Stream in 2011, Fare was a seven-year trustee on the Village Board. For the past 30 plus years, Fare has been teaching industrial arts and technology in the VSCHSD. He was also, at one time, the theater manager and technical director of the Bert Keller Auditorium at Central High School. In 2023, Fare was re-elected as mayor; he is currently serving his fourth term. 

William ("Billy") Florio, President and Program Chair, is a native Valley Streamer who attended William L. Buck School and South High School. In 2019, he was elected Board Trustee; and later that year appointed Vice President, a position he held until 2022 when he was voted in as President. Florio received his B.A. in History and Political Science from Hofstra University. He currently works as Press Secretary, Nassau County Legislature Majority Caucus. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Nassau County Historic Properties Mapping Board. Florio is the author of two Arcadia Publishing books: Images of America: Valley Stream; Images of America: Around Elmont and Rosedale. In addition to serving as a Trustee, Nassau County Historical Society; Florio is also a Founding Member of the Museum of the American Revolution. He enjoys photographing old buildings and properties, and guest speaking at local venues on local history. Billy, Sophia (2024 newlyweds!), and his bonus daughter Ava, reside in Williston Park.

James “Boz” BorzamatoVice President, attended Central High School and has lived in Valley Stream for most of his life. A soon-to-be graduate of Nassau Community College, where he majors in Commercial Art and Digital Enterprise, Borzamato works for the Village Highway Department, is a local firefighter, and an up-and-coming Pop Artist – several of his pieces have been showcased at the local coffee house “Sip This.” Borzamato’s drone photography showcases Valley Stream in a rarely seen way – his bird’s eye view photos are designed to illustrate the modern world’s lack of privacy. Boz lives in the Village with his wife Jennifer and their two children.  

David Sabatino, Treasurer, also served as a Board Trustee from 2017-2019. David is a native Valley Streamer who works for the Village of Valley Stream. He also co-owns the popular coffeehouse, Sip This, on Rockaway Avenue. In addition to his membership in the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Stream Community Fest, and the Valley Stream Civilian Patrol, David has participated in numerous Long Island urban planning projects for the Regional Plan Association.  

Karen (Vitale) Selah, Secretary and Events Co-Chair, moved to Valley Stream in 1956. Selah attended Central High School and the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University (now known as LIU Post). Other positions that Selah has held within the society include president, vice president, and trustee (currently serving her fourth term). Selah started the annual Halloween costume contest at the Restoration and she and Co-chair Esposito originated the annual Pagan-Fletcher Candlelight Tour. Selah has been involved in many national and local governmental campaigns – presidential, congressional, senatorial, school board, mayoral and village trustee elections. Other affiliations and memberships that Selah enjoys include the Nassau County Democratic Committee and the Holy Name of Mary Religious Education program. History, reading, and spending time with her husband, Hank (past historical society president), are her other pastimes and favorite things to do.   

Elizabeth Bailey, Board Trustee and Membership Chair, grew up in Valley Stream and Garden City. Ms. Bailey attended Wheeler Avenue School, Memorial Junior High School, and Garden City High School. She received two undergraduate degrees: University of Rochester (BS, Chemistry) and University of North Alabama (BS, Music). She also holds three Master’s Degrees: University of Maryland (MS, Chemistry), University of Alabama (MS, Computer Science), and Spring Hill College (Masters, Theology). Before retiring, Liz worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in air quality research. Ms. Bailey is Dean, Nassau Chapter, American Guild of Organists; Board Member, National Association of Pastoral Musicians, Rockville Centre Chapter; Member, Water for Long Island, a group whose mission is to advocate for effective groundwater management for Long Island’s aquifer. Liz enjoys reading, music and playing with her Siamese cat, China.  Bailey is a descendant of the Reiserts, an early Valley Stream family that operated a truck farm on what is now the Green Acres Mall. Her grandfather, William Reisert, was one of the founders of the Valley Stream National Bank.

Amy (Kassak) Bentley, Board Trustee, Webmaster, and Researcher, is a native Valley Streamer who grew up in the Mill Brook (Green Acres) section of South Valley Stream. Bentley attended Forest Road School and South High School and attended SUNY Cobleskill. An avid genealogist for the past 20 years, she has researched her family's Jewish Ashkenazi roots and was the project coordinator for the chapter translation of her family's shtetl (hometown) Soly, Belarus in the "Pinkas Hakehillot Polin," published by Yad Vashem. After going back in time as far as she could, she shifted her energies to the genealogies and history of Valley Stream. In 2014, Bentley created an 11-minute retrospective of Valley Stream, "The Evolution of a Hometown" (the YouTube of the video can be found on "The Arts" link). Bentley, a senior executive assistant at Photronics, Inc., a publicly-traded international semiconductor business, resides in Kent, Connecticut.  

Barbara Abrams Buscemi, Administrator, “Valley Stream of Yesteryear” Facebook page.  

Joseph Coen, Board Trustee and Archive Consultant, was born and raised in Queens Village. After obtaining an M.S. degree in special and elementary education from Adelphi University, he enrolled in the Division of Library and Information Science at St. John’s University, where he received his M.L.S., with a concentration in archives in 1988. He moved to Valley Stream in 1994. He is currently Chair of the Archivists of Religious Institutions (ARI), and President of the Long Island Chapter of the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM). He is a member of the Association for State and Local History (AASLH), the Society of American Archivists (SAA), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), the Archivists Roundtable of Metro New York (ART), and the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA). Since 1993, he has held the position of archivist for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Prior to this position, Coen was a records manager for the Western Suffolk BOCES and an archivist for the Municipal Archives at the NYC Department of Records. Coen's pastimes include genealogy, Civil War and World War II history, writing poetry, nature walking and bird-watching.  

Joan Diamond, Archivist, “Valley Stream of Yesteryear” Facebook page.  

Valerie Esposito, Board Trustee, Public Relations Director, and Events Co-Chair, was instrumental in the dedication of Central High School’s Korean and Vietnam War memorials that were established in 1998. Every year, Ms. Esposito leads the Memorial Day ceremony at the school honoring those that gave their lives protecting our country. Valerie can be found most Sundays at the Pagan-Fletcher Restoration, making sure that the house is well-maintained and open to the public.  

Guy Ferrara, Board Trustee, also served as past President of the Society from 2009-2019. He moved to Valley Stream in 1963. Ferrara earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from CCNY, where he played on the championship-winning varsity tennis team. He was a technology teacher at Hewlett-Woodmere Junior High School for 46 years. An area of specific interest to Ferrara and one he has researched extensively is Valley Stream's aeronautical past, specifically Curtiss Field. His other affiliations and leadership positions include Valley Stream Civilian Patrol (past president), Blessed Sacrament Church (pastoral council), Holy Name of Jesus & Mary Society (marshal) and the Nassau Senior Citizen Softball League (champion player). Ferrara also enjoys playing in a Latin orchestra, giving mambo lessons, and performing stand-up comedy. 

Florence (Wuerfel) Gunther, Board Trustee, also served as Treasurer from 2000-2019. Florence was born, raised, and continues to live in Valley Stream with her husband, Joe. Mrs. Gunther was also a seven-year Trustee. A 1944 Central High School graduate, she played the flute in the orchestra, and after that in a small church band. Mrs. Gunther worked at Columbia Aircraft (originally Curtiss Field, located at the present-day Green Acres Mall) and in the J.C. Penney advertising department in Manhattan. An avid bowler for many years, she helped found a CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) bowling league in 1961. Mrs. Gunther is a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Church and a past president of the Rosary Society.  

Jaclyn Kunz, Board Trustee, and Archivist, also serves as Editor of WriteOn—Valley Stream Stories, the Society’s literary project created in 2017. Jaclyn is a native Valley Streamer who attended Wheeler Avenue School, Memorial Junior High, and Central High School. Kunz earned her B.A. degree in Social Work from Fordham University and in 2008 she received her M.L.S from CUNY Queens College. Working with children and families became her passion during her stint as a librarian trainee at the Hempstead Public Library. Since 2007, she has been employed at the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library, first as a trainee and then assuming the Children's Librarian position. Kunz is also president of the Children's Services Division of the Nassau County Library Association.  

Susan McKean, Board Trustee since 2016, moved to Valley Stream in 1949. She attended Wheeler Avenue School, Memorial Junior High, and Central High School, and graduated from SUNY Farmingdale. Since 1984, McKean has worked as an insurance broker in Franklin Square; enjoys playing tennis, is involved in organizing several tennis teams, and is affiliated with the U.S. Tennis Association. Ms. McKean and her husband, David McKean, President of the historical society, are both active in their seven grandchildren's lives, all who live in Nassau County. 

David McKean, Board Trustee, also served as President (2019-2022) and Vice President (2014-2019). Before that he was a three-year Trustee. A 1969 graduate of St. John's University, he received his B.S. in Marketing. McKean moved to Valley Stream in 1978. McKean's career included general contractor positions in New York City and Nassau County. He also worked as a sales manager in both electronic and auto parts sales. He is affiliated with Habitat for Humanity, Momma's House (a safe house for at-risk women), The Society of St. Vincent DePaul (servicing men and women in need) and the U.S. Tennis Association. McKean enjoys golf, skiing, tennis and keeping track of his seven grandchildren.

Carol McKenna, Village Historian (since 1996), Panorama Editor, and Honoree Trustee, moved to Valley Stream in 1984. McKenna is also the editor of the monthly newsletter, Panorama, and served two terms as president. McKenna was the Chairperson for the Absolute Charter Committee in 1998 (the society received official recognition in 2000) and is currently a member of the Association of Public Historians of New York State (President 2004-2011), a member of the Commissioner's Advisory Council on State and Local History, and a Long Island History Day judge. “Valley Stream at 75,” an anniversary book that was published in 2000, was compiled by McKenna and Bert Keller. Four of the articles published in the anniversary book were written by McKenna. A paralegal who studied at Hofstra University, Ms. McKenna recently retired from a Manhattan law firm. Her husband, John ("Jay") McKenna (1946-1996) was a two-term president of the historical society and the Village Historian. At a ceremony held in June of 1997, the garden on the grounds of the Restoration was dedicated in his memory, the "John J. McKenna Memorial Garden."  

Cathryn (“Cat”) Natoli, Board Trustee since 2024, received her Bachelor’s in Communications from St. John’s University, and her Master’s in Psychology from Adelphi University. A graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), where she teaches, as well as a member of the American Society of Jewelry Historians (ASJH), Cat keeps herself informed by attending art exhibits and lectures. A Streamer since 2014, Natoli and her native-born husband, Anthony, are affiliated with the Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro (Long Island). First a volunteer, then an employee, Cat worked with families staying at the house. Anthony did the same, before becoming a videographer for the non-profit, a position he still holds today. Cat wears many hats! She also co-chairs the Valley Stream Beautification Committee. When time permits, the couple enjoys visiting national and state parks.  

Ross Thomas Rava, Board Trustee, Exhibit Director, and Archaeological Consultant, has been a resident of Valley Stream since 1987. After graduating from Fairfield University in 1981 with a BA in Anthropology and Sociology, he decided to work in the family's real estate business. When the business was sold in 2001, Ross pursued his passion for archaeology. He completed his archaeological field school training at Suffolk County Community College in 2002 and began working with many prominent archaeologists at historical sites throughout Long Island. Since 2005, he has concentrated his research at Rock Hall Museum, in Lawrence, and has just completed redesigning the Museum's permanent archaeological exhibits. His archaeological research at Rock Hall, co-authored with Professor Christopher Matthews, has been published in the New York Archaeology Council Newsletter (2012), the Long Island Historical Journal (2013), and the New York Times (2013), and is currently being edited for inclusion in a book on mid-Atlantic archaeological sites by the University of Alabama Press. He is now a consultant and enjoys traveling with his wife, visiting his two children, and going to Long Island's beautiful beaches.  

Christina ScaliArchivist, and Content Creator for social media, is a native Valley Streamer who lives in Merrick, Christina attended Howell Road Elementary, Memorial Junior High and Central High School. Scali received her B.A. in Anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook and her M.L.S. from CUNY Queens College in 2011; she also holds a certificate in Archives, Records Management, and Preservation. A strong passion and pride for Valley Stream has led Christina to become a deltiologist (postcard collector) and to amass a small historical collection of her much-loved hometown. Since 2006, Scali has been employed by Leslie Digital Imaging, located in Jericho, first as a digital archivist and in records management, and more recently as their purchasing agent.  

John Urgo, Board Trustee and Exhibit Director, has lived in Valley Stream since he was two years old. An administrator for the Baby Boomers Growing up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s in Valley Stream Facebook page, Urgo has owned and operated video stores in both Valley Stream and Malverne. A sculptor whose work has been exhibited at the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library, Urgo enjoys golf, collecting memorabilia, gardening, and watching old movies.