Our 83rd Annual
Scholarship Dinner Dance
will be held
June 15, 2017
Cocktails 7 pm
Presentations 9 pm
Dinner and Dancing to follow
Russo’s on the Bay,
162-45 Cross Bay Blvd.
Howard Beach section of Queens
As always, your support in making this special affair a success
is deeply appreciated.
Contact Enrico Boletti for more info
Hotel information available upon request.
2017 PERSON OF THE YEAR
Chief Paul Cresci
Chief Paul Cresci is a 31 year veteran of the FDNY but he did not initially start out on this path. After graduating college Chief Cresci began a career with the Social Security Administration. Chief Cresci worked for the Social Security Administration for 9 years and was promoted twice. The job was challenging and rewarding and the Chief made some lifelong friends but something was missing.
Chief Cresci’s father, John Cresci, retired from the FDNY as a Lieutenant after 32 years of service. John Cresci was a lifelong member of the Columbia Association and as a result Chief Cresci was exposed to the comradery and dedication to service of both the FDNY and the Columbia Association. Chief Cresci actually accompanied his parents on Columbia Association trips as a teenager and young adult. This helped the Chief make the difficult choice to leave his career in the federal government and join the FDNY. A choice that he has never regretted.
Chief Cresci’s career started in L 144 and carried him throughout the job. He was assigned the E 298 and L 127. As a Lieutenant he was assigned to E 43 and as a Captain he worked in the Bureau of Fire Prevention and covered in Division 13. As a Battalion Chief he helped Chief Meyers and Chief Galvin reestablish the Manhattan Borough Command. It was during this period, that Chief Cresci also had the opportunity to serve on the Board of the Columbia Association. As a Deputy Chief he had the honor of working in Division 1 and then later worked in the Bureau of Training. The Chief’s various assignments have exposed him to every aspect of the job. He has had the opportunity to learn from Fire, EMS and Civilian members of the FDNY and has a great respect for what every FDNY employee provides toward the achievement of the goals of this Department.
In November 2014, Chief Cresci was promoted and designated the Chief of Safety. The Safety Command is dedicated to protecting the members of the FDNY and is involved in all elements of the Department. The dedicated staff, of the Safety Command, is constantly monitoring operations to safeguard our members and spot trends or patterns that may lead to injuries.
Chief Paul Cresci credits his family with providing support during the good times and the difficult moments of his long career. Chief Cresci lives with his wife Maria and his two children, Paul and Anne in Floral Park.
2017 PRESIDENTS AWARD
James “Jake” A. Lemonda
James “Jake” A. Lemonda was born on July 16, 1957 in the Bronx and spent his early life in Brooklyn and Queens. He attended St. Francis Prep High School and then went on to obtain his degree from Queens College in 1980. In 1981, he was hired as a New York City Police Officer. From 1982 to 1986, he worked as a Suffolk County Police Officer before being appointed to the FDNY in March, 1986. From “proby” school James was assigned to Engine 92 in the Morisiana section of the Bronx. On his very first tour, a senior firefighter nicknamed him “Jake” in reference to boxer “Jake LaMotta.” The name instantly stuck and throughout the Department, James is still known as “Jake”.
In 1994, Lemonda was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to Division 11. He was later transferred to Engine 234 in Brooklyn. His promotion to Captain came seven years later after the events of September 11, 2001. Initially he was assigned to the WTC site and then onto the 14th Division, in Queens, until his permanent assignment as Captain of Engine 234 at the end of 2001. In May 2005, James was promoted to Battalion Chief and assigned to the 11th Battalion until his election to the Fire Officer’s Association Executive Board in September of 2009.
Before being elected as President in 2014, Chief Lemonda previously served the UFOA in the capacity of Financial Secretary and Chiefs’ Pension Representative during his five-year tenure on the Board. James has also been chair of the Special Events and Scholarships committee, serving as particularly instrumental in the inception of the Bravest Scholarship Raffle Fundraiser, a fundraiser which nets over $75,000 yearly toward the education of children that have lost a parent that was active on the FDNY.
James is married to his wife Ann; they just celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. Together they have two daughters: Kathryn and Elizabeth. Kathryn has a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy. She currently resides and works in Santa Monica, California and is pursuing her Doctoral Degree. Elizabeth is a Registered Nurse with New York Presbyterian Hospital working in Brooklyn and weighing her options for further studies.
2017 Humanitarian Award
Louis joined the FDNY in on May 21, 1960. In 1969, he became the UFA Staten Island Trustee and would go on to serve on the UFA Executive Board for the next 21 years. He became Chairman of the UFA Board of Trustees in 1973 and then, in 1976, he was appointed UFA Vice President. Lou served as UFA Vice President to four different UFA Presidents. In 1989, Louis became UFA President. In total, he has devoted over 43 years of service to the Uniformed Firefighters of New York City.
In 1991, after retiring from the FDNY after 31 years on the job, the UFA hired him as a pension consultant to assist firefighters going through the retirement process. In this position, which he’s been doing for the past 23 years, Lou gives seminars and individual consultations to firefighters.
Lou also attends all Pension Board meetings to assist the present UFA Trustees to ensure that if problems arise at the meetings, the UFA is properly represented. Lou also served on the 1B Pension Board as a trustee for 20 years, and for some of those years, was elected First Vice Chairman.
As UFA Vice President, he represented the UFA in Albany and was partly responsible for some major legislation being passed, most notably the Heart Bill, the Lung Bill, and the VSF law. He was also responsible for introducing the Voluntary Group Insurance program which has proven to be an enormous benefit, especially in the wake of 9-11 terrorist attacks. For a number of years, Lou also served as a District Vice President of the New York State Firefighters Association.
For all his many achievements, Louis is most proud of his 55-year marriage to his wife, Jeanette, who passed away in December 2012, and of his four children: Louis Jr., Kathleen, Lorraine, and Stephen. Lou has eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, one of whom, he proudly notes, is named Louis IV.
His devotion and work for the benefit of firefighters, both while on the UFA Executive Board and in his retirement, is unparalleled.