Residents Forward is celebrating the return of its live, in-person Gala and invites the entire community to join them on Friday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. The rain date is Friday, June 10th.
This Gala marks an exciting change of scenery for Residents Forward. In their search for an outdoor venue, the organization has returned the Gala to its hometown and found a beautiful spot that evokes its history of grassroots advocacy for Port’s precious waterfront while looking to the future—the North Hempstead Beach Park Pavilion. The park is about to undergo a revitalization project and lends itself as a perfect backdrop for a night under the stars.
The Gala will celebrate two exceptional honorees, Mindy Germain and Melissa Vissicchio, for whom there is no dream too big, no job too small. Through their dedication to creating a vision for change and their hands-on approach to making it happen, their work has enhanced the lives of generations of Port residents.
Mindy Germain is the Vice President of Residents Forward’s Board of Directors, its former Executive Director, a Port Washington Water District Commissioner, and founder and president of Eco-Leap LLC.
For many years, Germain has brought her dream of a sustainable future to Residents Forward, along with a talent for advocacy and a capacity for hard work. During her 13 years as Executive Director, Residents Forward made tremendous progress in every area of its work. To make our community cleaner, Residents introduced Clean Green Main Street and brought Port the first cigarette butt recycling program on Long Island. To make it greener, Residents created the Green Team Environmental Leader educational program, Long Island’s first Youth Climate Summit, and the Trash Talkin’ and Every Drop Counts educational exhibits at Bay Walk. To make it more sustainable, Residents brought a NICE commuter shuttle to Port Washington and kicked off a new era of walking with Let’s Walk PW. To make it more beautiful, Residents launched the Port Washington Mural Project and revamped the gardens in front of the post office, train station and Blumenfeld Park. Throughout her tenure, Germain maintained Residents’ tradition of environmental advocacy, for example, fighting the reactivation of the Queens Wells that threatened Port’s drinking water.
In 2020, Germain launched Eco-Leap LLC, a consulting firm that helps communities and companies identify steps that create leaps in climate resiliency. She has served as a Port Washington Water District Commissioner since 2013 and has led the Western Nassau County Aquifer Committee since 2015. Recently, she launched the PWWD’s “Do It for Port” education and action series and started a newspaper column, “Germain on Water.”
Germain and her husband, Victor, reside in Port Washington and are the proud parents of three children, Sophie, Gabriel and Harry.
Melissa Vissicchio is the Co-President of Residents Forward’s Board of Directors as well as a long-term board member of the Property Owners’ Association of Harbor Acres. To each of these roles, Vissicchio brings a talent for community-building along with an eye for detail cultivated by her years as an auditor with Deloitte & Touche LLP and as a controller in the private equity industry.
Since moving to Port Washington in 2008, Vissicchio has dreamed of creating a strong, beautiful, environmentally conscious community to raise her family. When her children were younger, she took active executive roles within the Home School Associations at Daly and Weber, rising to the role of Co-President. As a board member of the Property Owners’ Association of Harbor Acres, she runs social events, organizes the annual beach clean-up, and personally maintains the beach garden.
It was Vissicchio’s love of Port Washington’s beautiful waterfront, and the charm of our Main Street, that brought her to Residents Forward in 2018—and it continues to inspire her work. As chair of the Beautification Committee, Vissicchio can often be found working in the Residents Forward gardens, ensuring that they flourish. She has been instrumental in launching Residents’ annual Backyard Garden Tour and has been a guiding force in the Port Washington Mural Project, helping to develop five murals that capture unique aspects of the vibrancy, diversity, and pulse of Port Washington. Recently, Vissicchio led a collaboration between Residents Forward and local photographer Roy Schneider to hang copies of his photographs in the windows of empty storefronts on Main Street.
When Vissicchio is not volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Jack, and daughters, Brianna and Emily. She loves gardening, walking her dog, Leo, cooking and spending time with the amazing friends she has made here in Port Washington.
Residents Forward’s night under the stars includes a tasting menu accompanied by Long Island wine and beer, a DJ and dancing, raffles, and tablescapes by former Residents Board President, Betsy Liegey. Gala tickets, journal ads and sponsorship information are all available online at https://residentsforward.org/event/gala2022/. For Gala updates, like Residents Forward on Facebook and follow @ResidentsForward on Instagram.
Residents Forward would like to thank the sponsors of Gala ’22, without whom the event would not be possible. Residents thanks Waterfront Preservation Sponsor, The Vissicchio Family; Beautification & Pride Sponsors, The Peter & Jeri Dejana Foundation, Annette Oestreich of Precision Work Inc., and the Johnson Family; Drinking Water Protection Sponsors, Mindy & Victor Germain of Eco-Leap LLC, Jen & David Rimmer, Gennaro Sbarro, and Ellen Zimmerman; and Education & Action Sponsors, Dr. & Mrs. David Adler, Community Chest of Port Washington, D&B Engineers and Architects, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty—Port Washington, Dawn Serignese, Associate Real Estate Broker of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s, Stephen & Sara Edelson of Smusht, Mrs. Paula Germain, Cynthia Litman of MomTime Events, Jeff Schor & Alex Trinkoff, Michelle Shain, and Well Read Ladies. Residents would also like to thank graphic artist Michelle Shain for the inspiration and creativity she has brought to Gala ’22.
Residents Forward was established in 1971 as Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington. A 501c3 non-profit, Residents Forward’s mission is to inspire and unify the residents of Port Washington to protect and advance the vibrancy, resiliency, sustainability and beauty of our peninsula.
—Submitted by Residents Forward