New ‘class’ of Pioneers and Civic Honorees announced

July 7, 2015 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Each year, the Merchants of Third Avenue (MTA) salutes those who have gone above and beyond for the community, and this year is no different. The merchants group has pegged 10 local businesspeople, leaders and advocates as its 2015 Pioneers and Civic Leaders.

The group, to be recognized and awarded at the 22nd Annual Pioneer Cocktail Reception, includes five Pioneers and five Civic Honorees, all with their own ties to the Ridge.

This year’s Pioneers are Brian Chin, Northfield Bank branch manager and MTA co-treasurer; Donna Burg, doctor of dentistry; Leigh Holliday Brannan of Third Avenue’s The Art Room; Giacomo Santangelo, owner of Third Avenue’s Giacomo’s Trattoria; and Anton “Tony” Fallah, owner of Third Avenue’s Best Care Pharmacy.


This year’s Civic Honorees are Anne Strafaci of Saint Patrick’s Church; Annette Fisher, a leader in senior social causes; local activist Kathy Khatari; Phillipa Morrish, a columnist for The Home Reporter and community activist; and Lisa Becker, outgoing president of the Bay Ridge Lawyer’s Association and past Top Women in Business of Staten Island honoree.

“I think the Pioneer classes continue to reflect both a strong merchant base and the dedication to making business flourish along our commercial corridor,” said MTA President Bob Howe, “and our Civic Honorees of course reflect what we all know about Bay Ridge, that Bay Ridge wouldn’t be the great place that it is without the people who volunteer.

“We have an attitude on Third Avenue that we like to recognize the unsung heroes, if you will, who keep our Bay Ridge so vibrant and great,” Howe went on.

MTA Pioneer Committee member Lori Pedone agreed.

“What’s wonderful about this class of Pioneers is that many of them have been a part of the community for many, many years,” she said. “The staying power on Third Avenue speaks volumes for the community.”


In terms of the Civic Honorees, Pedone added, Howe couldn’t have said it better.

“The Civic Honorees truly are the unsung heroes,” she said. “What’s great about them is that, while they may not always be on Third Avenue, each and every one of them is a role model to those who are, and for all of Bay Ridge.”

All the honorees were selected by the committee, which includes Pedone, Ilene Sacco, Marc Hibsher and Chuck Otey.

The Pioneer Cocktail Reception will be held on Monday, October 26 at the Bay Ridge Manor, 476 76th Street.

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