Columbia Association New York City Fire Department Dinner Dance

Our 79th Annual Scholarship Dinner Dance will be held
June 19, 2014

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.

Craig Silvino
Dance Chairman

Contact Craig Silvino for more info

Hotel information available upon request.

2014 Person of the Year

James Esposito
Chief of Operations
Fire Department City of New York

Chief Jim Esposito is a 40 year member of the Fire Department of the City of New York. He was appointed on January 26, 1974. His first assignment upon graduation from the Bureau of Training was with Engine Company 256 in Brooklyn. Across the street from Brooklyn tech and formerly owned by Spike Lee, his was a classic old- time firehouse where many of the senior men were WW 11 veterans, coal heated the firehouse and units were dispatched by the telegraph (bell) system. However, his time in Engine 256 was short lived as NYC was facing a fiscal crisis of enormous proportions that witnessed the slashing of services throughout NYC including the closing of firehouses. Engines 256, along with the remaining firehouse 2nd sections throughout the city were closed in June, 1974. FF Jim Esposito was transferred to East New York’s Engine Company 236 in Brooklyn under then Fire Commissioner John T. O’Hagan and Mayor Abe Beame. Engine 236 was a rapid water company in 1974 and rode with 6 firefighters. For a year, FF Esposito rode on the back step responding to over 6,500 runs and virtually all being fire calls. NYC was facing a difficult time and crime and vacant building fires were rampant throughout many sections of the 5 Boroughs. On July 1, 1975 Jim was laid off along with 10 other FF’s from Engine 236 and more than 1,000 other firefighters citywide. At that time, he returned to Manhattan College and in December, 1975 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree.

December 25, 1976 was a great Christmas for Jim. He was re-hired to the New York City Fire Department. He was assigned to another Brooklyn firehouse, Engine Company 249 stationed with Ladder 113 on Rogers Avenue. During his time in Engine Company 249, he was able to gain valuable experience by working with some of the most seasoned members of the Department among those of which was a young Lieutenant Sal Cassano. This Midwood section of Brooklyn fared well up until the hot July summer blackout of 1977. This area, like so many other areas throughout the city exploded in fire and civil unrest.

Not wanting to ever be laid off again, Jim learned his craft, studied hard and was promoted to Lieutenant on April 2, 1983. He was sent across the East River to Manhattan and covered in Battalion 4 and was eventually assigned to Engine Company 10. Moving up the ladder fairly quickly, he was promoted to Captain, September 23, 1989 and found his way back to Brooklyn and assigned to the 10th Division where he became the Company Commander of Engine Company 239. Shortly thereafter, on August 1, 1992, Captain Jim Esposito was promoted to Battalion Chief and was assigned to Battalion 40 in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn.

Eight years later on July 1, 2000, 25 years after being laid off, Chief Jim Esposito was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief. After covering in the rank for a short period of time, Chief Esposito was assigned to work in Division 15. In the early post 911 era, Chief Esposito became the Division 15 Commander and on April 17, 2004 was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief and was appointed to the Bronx Borough Command as Executive Officer to the Bronx Borough Commander, Joe Callan. He was promoted to Assistant Chief, July 1, 2006 and was designated the Bronx Borough Commander, where he was responsible for all fire operations in the Borough of the Bronx. On December 19, 2009, Chief Esposito was designated the Manhattan Borough Commander, overseeing all operations in that Borough.

September 1, 2012, Jim replaced Bob Sweeney as Chief of Operations, managing daily fire operations and overseeing the Department’s 11,500 officers and firefighters.

Chief Esposito has two sons and resides in Howard Beach, Queens with his wife Margaret of 37 years, who is a New York City school teacher.

“Humanitarian award”

 presented to

Wounded Warriors Project

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.

To raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) began when several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, took action to help others in need. What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life. Thousands of injured warriors and caregivers receive support each year through WWP programs designed to nurture the mind and body and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.

Our “Presidents Award” will be presented to
Michael Marrone

Staten Island Borough Commander
Fire Department City of New York

Michael Marrone was born in Brooklyn to Vito and Marie. He would be the second of three children following Virginia by fifteen months and preceding another sister Marie by ten years.
Vito was a World War II Navy veteran and NYPD police officer. Marie was a homemaker. Vito, a first-generation Italian – American, was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and Marie, a second-generation, was born in Little Italy.

Michael grew up in Sheepshead Bay. He attended St. Mark’s grammar school, Brooklyn Prep High School, and St. Francis College.

He was appointed to the Fire Department in October of 1978 and assigned to Engine 22 on his birthday six weeks later. He moved across the floor to Ladder 13 in 1980. It was a great house to learn about the job. Michael was promoted to Lieutenant in 1986 and assigned to Battalion 1. After bouncing about a year he went to Ladder 10 covering UFO and eventually got the spot in August of 1987.

It was there that he met this year’s Columbian Man of the Year, then Lieutenant Jim Esposito who was assigned to Engine 10. Jim was always willing to pass on tips and share his knowledge and experience. There were many new members in Ladder 10, a company re-established in 1984. Their eagerness to learn made being a Lieutenant easy. He learned a lot there; it was another great house.
Michael made Captain in April of 1990 and was assigned to Division 15. He welcomed the increased fire duty and after a few long-term covering assignments, he transferred to Engine 254 in Gravesend in May of 1994.

Leaving Avenue U in September of 1996 upon his promotion to Battalion Chief, Michael was assigned covering in Division 15. Within a year he was UFO in Battalion 38 and was assigned there in October of 1998. Avenue U and St. John’s East: two more great places to work.
Mike said farewell to St. John’s East in August of 2002 when he was promoted to Deputy Chief and assigned to Division 11. He spent almost eight years as a member of Tillary Street, almost seven of them as Division Commander before joining the FDNY Staff as the Staten Island Borough Commander in 2010 where he remains today.

Michael credits the Firefighters, Company Officers, and Chiefs he has worked with over the years for preparing him for his assignment. It is their knowledge, experience, and dedication and that of the members working today that he has learned from.

Michael has lived on Staten Island since his marriage over thirty-three years ago to his wife Mary Pat. They have one daughter, Patty (a former Columbian Scholarship recipient), married to Adam. Patty and Adam will be making Michael and Mary Pat grandparents for the first time in July.