2015 Honorees

Jane Rubinstein

Jane Rubinstein grew up in Hicksville, Long Island with her two brothers, and second generation Italian-American parents. Her Dad was her strongest influence in her life. He taught her to work hard to get what you want, and to never feel entitled.  His best advice was to always maintain the faith, determination and gratitude to achieve in life.

Jane has been a Merrick resident for the past 31 years, and has lived and worked in New York State all of her life. She attended the State University College at New Paltz, majoring in Art Education, and minoring in Music. She obtained her Master’s Degree at the State University at Albany, and earned a certification in Industrial Arts at the University of Maine. Her passionate working career consisted of teaching art and Industrial Arts in grades K-12. She retired from public school teaching in 2008, but went on to teach at private schools until 2011.She is now a full time artist, devoting her time and art skills to charity, volunteering to do, a variety of art work to help various organizations and causes in her community: some include local theater, schools, libraries, hospitals, and fund raisers for breast cancer, veterans, 911 fund, etc .,but she is most known for painting store windows at holiday time for the Jason Gruen Foundation, dedicated to helping children with sudden death heart disease. Jane was honored in 2002 by Nassau County with the “Pathfinder Award”, as Volunteer of the Year for her charity work, and also received the Town of Hempstead, “Making a Difference Award” in 2014 for her continuedcommunity charity work. In addition,  herlife size fiberglass horse which she submitted for the “Horse of a Different Color” campaign for the County Parks and Recreation Department, was displayed at the Mineola Courthouse, Merrick’s town square, and in Belmont Park . She has been recognized in the New York Times, Newsday, and local publications.

Jane’s interest includes Art, Dance competitive equestrian horse-back riding, travel, classical piano, and theater. Acting on her childhood dream of being a dancer,   Jane started to take ballroom dance lessons at the age 56, participates in competitions throughout the country, and has won many championships.

Jane is most proud and grateful for her wonderful family- her husband Jack of 31 years, and sons Aaron and Glenn. She is thrilled and honored to be Ms. New York Senior America 2014, and has spent this year proudly promoting a positive image of aging, and showing the value, grace, dignity, vitality, and talent of women over 60. Her mission is to continue to put focus on the senior community,  and continue to inspire.

Gratitude is the driving force behind all that she does. She is most proud and grateful for her wonderful family:  husband Jack, of 31 years, and sons Aaron, and Glenn.

She is thrilled, and honored to be Ms. New York Senior America2014, and looks forward to proudly promoting a positive image of aging, and show the value, grace, vitality, and talent of women over 60 years old throughout the New York.

Yvonne Grant


As President and CEO of Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Ms. Grant coordinates the agency’s services to more than 40,000 girls and 9,000 adult volunteers. The agency serves one out of every four girls in Suffolk County and is ranked first in membership share in the nation.

Ms. Grant began her journey in Girl Scouts in 1980 when she became her daughter’s Brownie troop leader. After 6 years as a troop leader, she was appointed as a Girl Scouts area coordinator. In 1988, Ms. Grant joined the staff of Girl Scouts of Suffolk County and rose steadily through the ranks until she was appointed President & CEO by the Board of Directors in 2006.

Under Ms. Grant’s leadership, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County received the prestigious and inaugural Not for Profit Business Achievement Award from the Hauppauge Industrial Association. She was recognized for her efforts on behalf of women and children with the annual Phoenix Award. Reflecting her leadership role within the community, Ms. Grant was named one of the 50 Most Influential Long Islanders. Additionally, she was named Woman of the Year by the Zonta Club of Suffolk County and one of the Top 50 Women on Long Island by Long Island Business News.

Ms. Grant was also honored as one of the most distinguished leaders of the community by the Hope Outreach Foundation. She was recognized as Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, honored by Dress for Success and received the Martin Luther King Jr. Meritorious Award. She spearheaded the development and opening of Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Discovery World STEM Center in 2014.

Ms. Grant attended Hofstra University majoring in History Education. She is married and has 3 grown children, one grandchild, and has been living in North Babylon for more than 30 years. She has volunteered in local PTAs, nursery school boards and Girl Scouts.

Ms. Grant has been featured in Newsday, LI Press, LI Business News, Hauppauge Reporter, Jet Magazine, FIOS, and News 12 Long Island.

Now in her fourth decade of empowering young women, Ms. Grant continues to lead one of the region’s largest not-for-profit service agencies, reaching out to girls and adults through comprehensive programs and social media, all the while maintaining a vision of a better tomorrow for young women and a commitment to serving the needs of families.

Natalie Karp and Rona Loshak


Natalie and Rona are highly accredited, award winning specialists in LTC Insurance and ranked by The American Association of Long Term Care Insurers as top professionals in New York State and the country since 2009. In 2014, they were selected as one of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.

Karp Loshak LTC Insurance Solutions is a trusted source of information on Long Term Care Insurance for individuals, business owners, and employer groups. Natalie and Rona’s expertise includes: Traditional Long Term Care Insurance policies, Hybrid Life/LTC plans, Life with LTC riders, Annuity contracts with LTC benefits, financing LTC Insurance, and providing LTC Insurance with tax and estate advantages.

As independent brokers, Karp Loshak LTC Insurance Solutions affiliates with all the leading LTC Insurance carriers to educate, analyze, and recommend suitable LTC Insurance options based on health, medications, age, marital status, budget, and lifestyle.

Karp Loshak LTC Insurance Solutions is an approved sponsor of Professional Continuing Education for CPE Credit in the following subject areas:

  • Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Advisory Services and Specialized Knowledge and Applications
  • Accredited by New York State CLE Board for Continuing Legal Education
  • Approved Continuing Education Provider for Social Workers, CEU

The firm is licensed in NY, NJ, CT, FL, CA, MA, DC, GA, NC,  OH, PA, MI, MO, and SD, and all State Partnership Plans.  Natalie and Rona are both adjunct professors at CW Post, Tax & Accounting Institute.

The duo is well regarded for their educational platform and consultative approach. Recognized as a resource by the Wall Street Journal and Newsday for their expertise on long term care insurance, Karp Loshak LTC Insurance Solutions provides valuable advice to consumers and professional advisors.

LTC is the largest unfunded risk to a client’s nest egg and retirement. The conversation therefore is about the importance of planning while healthy and insurable. Given that we are living longer lives, coupled with our desire maintain our independence and dignity, and honor legacy commitments; combined with marginalized government programs, private long term care insurance provides a cost effective and comprehensive solution to the devastating costs of care. Rona and Natalie help educate on concepts including: the LTC Insurance pool of money, the true cost of self-insuring, and why self-insuring costs you MORE, the new landscape, legislation and tax incentives. Protecting a family’s lifestyle, retirement, independence, family relationships (and your practice liability) is our sweet spot.

Lina Gottesman


Born near Naples, Italy, Lina Gottesman came to the U.S. at age three and was introduced to the construction business early on through a Long Island-based stone and masonry company run by her father and uncles. In 1989, Lina returned to her roots and founded Altus Metal & Marble Maintenance. Altus, the Greek symbol of excellence, demonstrates the company’s commitment to high quality workmanship.

For over 25 years, Altus, a certified WBE (woman-owned business enterprise) based in Smithtown, L.I., has performed restorations for numerous prominent commercial, residential and historic buildings in the metropolitan area: World Trade Buildings 1 and 2 following the terrorist bombing of 1993 – a project that established Altus’ reputation; Grand Central Terminal; The Port Authority Bus Terminal; Columbia University; Carnegie Hall; The Empire State Building; The New York City Public Library; and Macy’s Herald Square. Altus is certified with many major public agencies such as New York City Small Business Services; the Port Authority of NY & NJ (PANYNJ); the MTA; New York Empire State Development Corp.; and the NYC School Construction Authority.

This year, Lina is applying the business acumen she honed and developed through Altus to a new venture: RN Nurses Evolve PLLC (professional limited liability corporation). A Registered Nurse who attended St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, St. John’s University and NYU, Lina created the company to provide contract advanced practice registered nurses to the industry in response to the unprecedented demand for nurse practitioners and the growing challenges of today’s healthcare environment.

Lina and Altus are widely recognized throughout the New York and New Jersey area. She has been honored by such groups as the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors and the PANYNJ at the Competitive Edge Conference. Lina serves on the board of the NY Women’s Agenda; the NY Women’s Chamber of Commerce; St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, Treasurer; and is an active member of the Women’s Presidents’ Organization. Stony Brook, L.I., residents for over 30 years, Lina and her husband, Robert, vice president of Altus, have three grown children and three grandchildren.

Lisa Sicurelli


Lisa Sicurelli is managing partner at Ambassador Abstract LLC, a full service title company in Huntington, which she co-founded in 2005. Ambassador Abstract provides title insurance to residential and commercial properties, as well as for major lending institutions. Ms. Sicurelli started Ambassador Abstract with more than 10 years’ experience in the residential real estate and title industries.

She oversees all aspects of the company’s business and under her guidance, Ambassador Abstract has flourished during one of the industry’s more challenging periods. Ambassador Abstract has been recognized among the Best of Long Island by the Long Island Press in 2013 and 2014 and in 2013 was honored and received the prestigious Finest Agent Award by Underwriter, Fidelity National Title Group.

Lisa coordinates events and seminars throughout the year educating consumers and realtors on the importance of title insurance.  She is admired by many for her strong work ethic, her networking skills and her willingness to help others.

A licensed salesperson with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty since 1994, Ms. Sicurelli has been a top producer, earning Rookie of the Year recognition in her first year and going on to achieve the status ofthe company’s prestigious membership into its Gold Circle of Excellence.

In 2011, Ms. Sicurelli was the recipient of an award for having had the highest residential sale in Suffolk County west of the Hamptons when she sold a waterfront property for $12.3 million.  In addition to her listing and selling properties along the north shore of Long Island, Lisa provides ongoing training and mentoring to new agents joining Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty regarding title insurance.

A graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, Ms. Sicurelli was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.  A Psychology major, Lisa conducted and successfully published a study in the American Journal of Psychology.

After college, Lisa worked in New York City for Manpower Temporary Services, demonstrating her leadership abilities during her first year of employment with the firm.  She was quickly promoted to office manager, opening, staffing and managing a new branch office for the company on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

She credits her success to the influence of her parents, Italian immigrants who found success in their adopted country with a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit.  Her father, raised in Naples, was a real estate attorney who acted as a liaison in communicating between Italy and America and provided legal counsel to clients buying and selling property in Italy.  Her Motherwas a Ph.D. Professor, who taught Italian at Marymount Manhattan College for 30 years, and published a book, Letture Moderne.

Lisa is proficient in both Italian and English, having learned English as her second language through her classmates.

A single mom, Ms. Sicurelli, has raised two children she is so very proud of, Robert-James, a Princeton University graduate who works for Facebook in New York City, and Stefania, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Ms. Sicurelli is a member of LIBOR ( Long Island Board of Realtors) since 1994 and is an avid supporter of the National New York Kidney Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the North Shore Animal League.  She recently participated in a coat drive that provided over 3000 coats to those in need.

Lisa has two residences, in Huntington and East Hampton where in her spare time, she enjoys the beach, sunsets, a nice glass of Chianti, cycle classes and golf.

Filomena Lombardi


Born in Naples, Italy, Filomena, immigrated to the United States in 1968 with her parents and seven siblings.  In 1976, her family opened Mamma Lombardi’s, the original family pizzeria where Filomena began, at a very young age to acquire the experience needed to operate a business. She cooked along Mamma in the kitchen and at the age of 12 she was creating the famous Mamma Lombardi dishes.

Raised with a strong work ethic, in 1988 Filomena completed her four year degree in 2 years earning a B.B.A. in Accounting from Dowling College, the only one of her family members to accomplish this.  She went on to earn her CPA.  In 1994, she returned to the family business, acting as CFO.  Over the past 20 years she has been instrumental in growing the Lombardi Family Enterprises.

In 1997, Filomena had been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease, Multiple Sclerosis.  With the passion that she had running her business, she was determined that this was not going to stop her from doing what she loves to do.  She traveled the world to meet the people that have been treating MS successfully without the typical pharmaceuticals that were being proposed to her.  With the help of these Doctors, Filomena learned how to keep her mind, body and soul in perfect harmony so that this disease could be stopped and prevented from progressing.  Nearly 17 years later, Filomena is living a very healthy and active lifestyle and focuses on things that will promote this kind of living.  She lives by example and shares with others her acquired knowledge.

In 2011, along with her husband Filomena acquired the Long Island development rights to a popular California franchise, Jamba Juice.  Filomena experienced Jamba Juice for the first time when trying to find a healthy alternative to fast food. Their plans are to develop several stores on Long Island. Jamba’s mission is to provide healthy, wholesome food choices and Filomena wanted to bring that option to her friends and family in Long Island. The first Jamba Juice opened in Stony Brook in 2012 and in 2014 one opened in Syosset.

In 2012, Cure Multiple Sclerosis Foundation of New York was created, with her intuitiveness on how to grow businesses, Filomena created this Foundation to help raise awareness and funds for research that will introduce healthier and harmless medical treatments. Since then she has raised in excess of $450,000 in it’s early infancy.  In addition, Filomena has been instrumental in the creation of the first research study on the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.  Also in 2012, she opened an adjunct to the Foundation, MS CUREiosity’s Closet, a high end consignment boutique in St James whose proceeds go to the foundation.  In 2013, a second location opened in Port Jefferson Village.  The Boutique has proven to be a community asset, where locals come to shop and learn what MS is and how they can help get closer to a cure.

In April 2014, Filomena open Farm to Table Catering by Filomena, offering a full menuof fresh local produce that can cater to all tastes and diets. With all of her knowledge and experiences, she is able to give her clients the absolute best in all areas of catering and educate consumers about what they are eating and where their food is comes from.  Farm to Table Catering by Filomena caters off premises weddings and other events at a destination location.  Barn and vineyard weddings are some examples of what they do in addition to corporate catering.

Filomena has served as a council member of the Stony Brook Development Council from 2009 to 2013.  In 2012, she served on the search committee for the newly appointed Stony Brook Medicine’s CEO. She serves as trustee on The Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages in Stony Brook.  Additionally, she is a board member of the AHRC Suffolk Foundation and serves on the advisory board for the Center for Cost Effective Government. In recognition of her achievements and her dedication to community, she was named Woman of the Year in Business by the Village Times Herald in 2013.

Filomena has been a Suffolk County resident for 47 years and resides in the Village of Head of the Harbor with her husband, Scott Borland and her two daughters Victoria and Christina.

Anne Nikas-Brigis


When Anne volunteered as a young teenager at the Flushing YMCA, her local home town Y, she never imagined it would be the beginning of her life’s work. Upon graduation she embarked on a successful career on Madison Avenue, but Anne’s love and passion of helping others brought her back to the Flushing YMCA.

After seven years of dedicated service at the Flushing Y, she accepted a position as Associate Executive Director of the newly built Great South Bay Branch. It was clear Anne had a great vision for her YMCA and was appointed Executive Director. Excitement, accomplishment and change characterized those first few years

Shortly after, Anne was then promoted to Vice President of South Shore Operations and her responsibilities grew to include the Brookhaven Roe and East Hampton Branches. In 2003 Anne continued her rise becoming the Senior Vice President, Branch Operations supervising all Branch operations. In 2010, she was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and on July 1, 2012 she achieved her dream of becoming President & CEO of The YMCA of Long Island.

Throughout Anne’s career in the YMCA, her commitment to excellence and her strategic vision played a significant role in the expansion and succession of the YMCA of Long Island. Beginning with the Great South Bay YMCA, she brought the Branch from a one-million dollar operating budget in 1994 to ten-million in 2012. The Great South Bay facility became the largest of the YMCA LI Branch locations with a membership of over 15,000 including 500 children a day enrolled in some form of Child Care.

Anne has been recognized several times for her exemplary leadership. She is most proud of the awards received from the Association of YMCA Directors for Outstanding Service and Leadership Achievement in 1998 and again in 2004. Additionally, Anne was awarded the “Save a Child” award from the Rotary Gift of Life in 1993 and Long Island Business News’ “Top Women of 2007”. In 2010, she was unanimously selected for the Great South Bay Boulton Center for the Performing Arts “Ambassador of the Arts”.

Anne serves as Associate Board Member for Bethpage Federal Credit Union; a member of YNAN Steering Committee; a member of the New York State Alliance and YMCA Employee Benefits Board.

Anne lives happily with her husband Anthony, in Sea Cliff and children Joy Kathryn, a graduate from the University of Maryland Honors College and Business School and Nicholas Anthony, a senior at the University of Connecticut.