Reflections on my first 50 years

three images with Joe Campolo at Holiday party, ad for New York Philharmonic, and Happy Holidays imageOn Turning 50 – Having now lived on this planet for 50 years, and having soaked in as many experiences as I possibly could, I’d like to share some personal reflections:

  • People mean a whole lot more than money. Trust me. They do. Period.
  • Social justice needs to be a priority. Continuing to ignore it will be the death knell of this country.
  • To remain safe and free, it is imperative that we are productive.
  • Less government is better. Always.
  • Everything is temporary.
  • We own nothing, but merely rent everything.
  • Without a healthy planet, we are all dead. Literally.
  • People need to talk more, not less. Especially about the uncomfortable things.
  • People go hungry in this world. Shame on us all.
  • We can learn much about ourselves by watching nature. Try it. It works.
  • Earth is merely “Whoville,” and Horton is watching us all…


Holiday Party – Despite Mother Nature’s valiant attempt, a little snow couldn’t stop CMM’s holiday party last Friday night. Our whole team and their significant others ate, danced, and gave the photo booth a workout as snow fell outside the beautiful Flowerfield in St. James and created the look of a perfect winter postcard. I enjoyed thanking everyone for all their hard work and celebrating the end of a challenging year. We also kicked off our 10-year anniversary celebration with a slide show and posters of CMM memories. Congratulations to Vinny Costa, who was named Attorney of the Year, and IT Manager Jennifer Albrecht, who was named Employee of the Year. I am very proud of both of them as well as the entire CMM team, and I am looking forward to a terrific 2018!

Half-Century Club – I spent this past weekend in NYC celebrating my 50th birthday with the people I love most. We had dinner at Porter House restaurant and then saw a beautiful production of Handel’s Messiah by the New York Philharmonic. I was happy to run into Meghan Dolan and her family in Penn Station, who were coming into the city while we were leaving.

Smithtown – I kicked off the week with a terrific breakfast meeting with Ed Wehrheim, Smithtown Supervisor-Elect, and Terri Alessi-Miceli, President of HIA-LI. We discussed the many ways that Smithtown can support the Hauppauge Industrial Park, in addition to other initiatives that the Town has in store.

HIA-LI – On the subject of HIA-LI, I’m excited to share that I have been elected Chairman of the HIA-LI Board of Directors, effective January 1. My goals as Chair will be to continue the incredible work the HIA-LI is doing in promoting the Industrial Park, as well as continuing to find ways to add value for our members and to attract younger folks to the organization.

Best of 2017 – It’s been quite an experience launching Off the Record this year as I share my innermost thoughts with all of you. I appreciate everyone who has engaged with me so far through this blog, especially those who have taken the time to share their thoughts with me on the issues discussed. Thank you for letting me into your world on Fridays over your morning coffee.

I’ll be taking next week off from blogging. Before returning in full force on January 5, I’d like to share some of the comments and feedback from this blog’s first few months that really made me think.

On Blogging

I absolutely love the weekly newsletter….. it’s perfect on every front. My favorite part is that you replicate my living mantra: Just be reasonable. It’s nearly impossible to argue with reasonable, PEOPLE!!!!!! It’s wonderful to hear about new people and places, too.

I admire your guts. Expressing an opinion these days is risky for friendships and business. [We] had our own friendship casualties this year because of what they perceived we think (not even for what we said). The world is nuts. Great blog!

Fantastic newsletter. My team would love to hear about the transportation improvements. They are stuck on trains repeatedly lately.

Love the concept and the frankness! Enjoy Newport, just an amazing town.

On the NFL

Good topics and couldn’t agree more on kneeling BS vs taking action and doing something. Been saying that the whole time. Go do something with all your earnings and influence!!

In response to the NFL article…You asked why the players and teams don’t actually take more action to do something to address inequalities in this country. The link below offers quite a few examples of their actions in communities, and still the list isn’t exhaustive…it doesn’t even mention Colin Kaepernick’s recent commitment and subsequent donations of $1 million to communities in need despite being left unemployed after galvanizing the kneeling protest. Players are jeopardizing their reputations and livelihoods to take a stand for equality. It’s only right that their efforts be fairly represented.

On Gun Violence

Bold of you to address the gun issue. I am a legal and licensed gun owner and sportsman. I wholeheartedly support the second amendment however, I went through much to get my license and feel there is no reason others shouldn’t have to do the same. There are many, I am sure that would support background checks but as you know it is the valid fear and overreach by the government that makes us fight so hard to oppose what is sensible. 

How about if we pass common sense laws starting with limiting the ability of mentally ill, convicted felons, etc. to purchase arms, and ban completely the sale of assault rifles, for which there is absolutely no need whatsoever in private society? I completely understand arms for hunting, target shooting, etc., but the fact remains that there are far too many arms of all types in the wrong hands (I think of this each time I see on the news our youth shooting and killing each other). Unfortunately I don’t see this happening anytime soon, but what we really need is to get the NRA’s hands out of the pockets of our politicians.

I do not understand why we do not learn from past atrocities and why the human condition often seems to have remained stagnant over the existence of Homo sapiens. Keep writing. It helps.

On Being Catholic

I struggle with the religion thing as well, suffer through Mass or Methodist service when possible. Neither is great but helps keep my humility. 

You’re absolutely right about the community aspect of belonging to a church community. My husband and I have consistently been churchgoers, somewhat involved in various ministries, but by no means holy rollers. But, a few years ago, we found as empty nesters, that many of our relatives were dying, friends were moving out of our local community and while we were very active and busy during the week with community organizations, Saturday nights were devoid of any excitement. We decided to reach out to people in our parish and become involved with some other groups to meet new people, to attend events we hadn’t considered attending before and to cultivate new friendships. It’s always difficult moving into established circles, but, eventually, we found that we were not the only ones looking for community and new friends. What we found, in addition to those new friendships, was a new understanding and appreciation of the universality of being Catholic.

On Roy Moore

There is the assumption of innocence until proven guilty in this country. Allegations without evidence are not enough to condemn and assume guilt…Let’s see where this story goes before we make judgment.

On White Privilege

I always appreciate your point of view. Here is the best illustration of White Privilege that I have seen.

I commend you for setting an example and carrying the torch down dark streets hoping to light a better path for all.

On Sexual Harassment

The work on sexual harassment is spot on… I was watching a Netflix special with Johnny Carson. It was simply a different time back then. I love the way you bridged the need for protecting women’s rights with the need for normal and healthy flirting. No easy answers.

I want to comment on your well written article about sex and the fallout we are seeing but also the false stories and ruined lives that will occur along the way. It made me reflect, as a female, having improper comments and unwanted touching directed at me, as well as having had a couple of workplace flings during the years when the HR policies were not clear and sexual harassment training had not become ‘a thing.’  I’d like to believe that most of us will own our behaviors but I do cringe at the cases of greed and revenge that are forthcoming. I appreciate you giving us pause to check our own behaviors and serving as a reminder to always do the right thing. I am hopeful your article and your reach give others pause as well.

Your thoughtful editorial about the recent tsunami of charges against many men was on target. This is difficult to speak about, but I’m afraid that we now have a lynch mob mentality about this subject, as well as several others. Thank you for your courage. I’d like to add that this is also damaging to women. When men are fearful of forming friendships with women in the workplace or promoting them to positions where close contact is innocent but inevitable, women miss opportunities for advancement. However, I don’t dismiss the very real incidents of harassment.

Sexual harassment and porn before my morning coffee…but it was worth the read. Thank you for sharing in an honest and candid way. I hope this national wake-up call reverberates and is a tipping point, if not for absolute change, for a heightened awareness that results in fewer people suffering in silence.