OUR 2018 PARADE HONOREES
Representing the United States Navy
Brig. Gen. William H. Seely III
Brigadier General William H. Seely was born in Saigon, Vietnam. He attended the Wooster School in Danbury, CT and graduated from American University in Washington DC, where he was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Program (NROTC).
After Basic Training and the Basic Communication Officer Course at Quantico, VA, Seely graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne School; U.S. Navy SCUBA School; Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. His advanced training includes Marine Air-Ground Task Force Intelligence Officer; Weapons and Tactics Instructor; Amphibious Warfare; Urban Reconnaissance; Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) courses. He went on to graduate from the Naval War College and the Post Graduate Intelligence Program of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
He rose from a platoon commander with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion to return and assume command of the Battalion during deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, where he was Awarded the Bronze Star for his service in combat. He carries the painful memories of the six marines under his command who made the ultimate sacrifice during that time.
As the Director of Marine Corps Intelligence, General Seely oversees plans and policies that influence over 7,000 marines spread across the world, and he's extraordinarily proud of the meaningful impact this has on our country's operating forces.
MAN OF THE YEAR
New York City Council Member
Paul A. Vallone
Paul A. Vallone represents District 19 in Northeast Queens, which includes Douglaston and Little Neck, as well as the areas of Auburndale, Bayside, College Point, Malba, North Flushing, and Whitestone. He currently serves as Chair of the Committee on Economic Development and sits on Council committees on Ageing; Public Safety, and Veterans, among others.
As a Council Member, Vallone has secured over $40 million in funding for Northeast Queens, nearly as much as it had gotten in the previous nine City budgets combined. He allocated over $7 million for local schools, almost $4 million for local libraries and over $12 million for local parks. He co-founded annual events such as the Children’s Holiday Parade in Bayside and Independence Day Fireworks in Fort Totten, which can be seen from parts of Douglason
Some of Paul's proudest accomplishments were re-establishing the City Council's CUNY Merit-Based Scholarship (originally named for its founder, his father, then Council President Peter F. Vallone); securing over $10 million in city funding for full service animal shelters in Queens and the Bronx;, advocating for seniors and creating the Support our Seniors initiative, as well as helping to create the first city agency for veterans, the Department of Veterans’ Services.
Prior to his election to the New York City Council, Vallone has served on numerous citywide boards and organizations dedicated to community service as a Member of Community Board 7 and Board Member to the New York City Board of Corrections. He is the Past President of the Clinton Democratic Club, a Founding Member and Past President of the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club. He is proud of establishing annual scholarships for High School Seniors throughout Northeast Queens through the his Lions Club, totaling over $25,000,
He also served as the managing partner for Vallone & Vallone, LLP and has been admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bar Associations since 1992.
Paul his wife, Anna-Marie, live in Flushing and are blessed with three amazing children, Catena, Lea and Charlie (Charles J. Vallone III). The love and support of family and his passion to serve the community are the cornerstones of his life and his community service.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Andrea Licari-LaGrassa, Ph.D.
Andrea “Andi” Licari-LaGrassa is actively involved in fundraising for the Community Church of Douglaston, which helps to support the church’s local and global missions. She has assisted the Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society with their education missions and she worked with the Douglaston Save Our Dock Fund after Superstorm Sandy. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Douglaston Club. Andi and her family have assisted in the DMA July 4th Games for many years.
Further from the immediate community, Andi was also on the Board of Trustees of Open Door, Child Parent Care Center of Great Neck. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Women to Women of Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, where she volunteers to see patients who have gynecological cancer; she also addresses medical students. In Washington D.C. she serves on the Congressional Directed Medical Research Program Committee (CDMRP) on cancer research as a patient advocate and advisor to medical teams of military professionals.
Dr. Licari is also a Professor of Marketing and Management at St. John’s University. She holds a triple concentrated doctorate in Management Science, Behavioral Psychology and International Business. She is a Fulbright and a United States Study Center Scholar. Her early research ewas in the use of game theory as a teaching method. She worked with the Behavioral Science Department at West Point Military Academy.
She became involved with ROTC, training and attended advanced camp proving-grounds across the country. Andi maintained a position on the ROTC military scholarship board and was an advisor for 14 years. Through Academic Service Learning Program, Dr. Licari’s students have worked on campaigns for homeless veterans, bringing awareness to the issue.
Her recent research is on Fair Trade, concentrated on, but not exclusively, within the Fashion Industry. Andi has researched Economic Stainable Development of the Garment District Alliance of NYC, as a model for global redevelopment. She is also Director of the Fashion Institute of St. John’s University and is both a university career coach and a mentor for student career decisions.
She is married to Edward LaGrassa, who is also heavily involved in the community. They have two children, Alex and Hunter, who are both in college studying computer science and computer engineering. Both children were involved in the junior sailing program and have assisted in fundraising and have participated with their father as Parks Department Shore-Keepers both in clean-ups and planting spartina along the shoreline for environmental preservation purposes.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Linda Lee has dedicated her career to improving the lives of marginalized New Yorkers as the Executive Director of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (KCS), which serves over 1,300 community members daily, and through her previous work at the NYS Health Foundation.
Linda’s leadership enabled KCS to be named a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014 for its work around the Affordable Care Act and in 2015, KCS opened a New York State licensed Article 31 Mental Health Clinic to serve the Korean-American community with mental health services.
She has increased KCS’ profile by creating dynamic partnerships with policy-makers, other organizations, coalitions, and city/state wide government agencies while strengthening KCS’ internal structure and operations. She currently serves on Community Board 11, is a Board Member of NAMI NYC-Metro, received her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College and her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University.
PARADE MARSHAL (posthumous)
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)
Frederick Peter Crosby
LCDR Frederick Peter Crosby was just 31 years old when he shipped out to servedwith Light Photographic Squadron 63 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard during the the Vietnam war.
On June 1, 1965, while flying an unarmed RF-8A reconnaissance plane over Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam, he was shot down. Listed as Missing in Action and presumed dead, LCDR Crosby was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
His daughter, Deborah never gave up the search for her father’s remains.
In October 2015, a local villager who recalled seeing the crash directed investigators to a pond where human remains were found, along with Crosby’s wedding ring and lighter. After his sister Sharon Crosby donated DNA, positive identification was made.
On Memorial Day weekend last year, LCDR Crosby was buried with full military honors at Fort Rosencrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California. His four children: Deborah, Douglas, Steven and John were there to see their father finally laid to rest. His tombstone also bears the name of his wife, Mary, who passed away in 2002, having never remarried.
106th Rescue Wing, NY Air National Guard
Col. Michael W. Bank Jr., Commander
The 106th Rescue Wing (106 RQW) is a unit of the New York Air National Guard, stationed at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, Westhampton Beach, New York. The unit provides worldwide Personnel Recovery, Combat Search and Rescue Capability, Expeditionary Combat Support, and Civil Search and Rescue Support to Federal and State authorities. It also provides Personnel Recovery to the state of New York and deployed operations that they are tasked to support.
On September 11, 2001, the first ANG personnel on scene at World Trade Center were those of the 106th Rescue Wing. In the summer of 2017, after Hurricanes Maria and Harvey, the 106 RQW assisted residents and municipalities in Texas and Puerto Rico. Hundreds of lives were saved by these courageous airmen by helicopter and boat rescues. They have provided a helicopter flyover for many of our Parades.
On March 16 2018, just a few weeks after the wing was chosen to be a Parade Marshal, four of its members; Staff Sgt. Dashan Briggs, Master Sgt. Christopher Raguso, Capt. Andreas O'Keeffe, all of Long Island, and Capt. Christopher Zanetis of Long Island City, Queens perished in a helicopter crash in Iraq, along with three other servicemen. Capt Zanetis and Master Sgt. Raguso were also members of the New York City Fire Department.
Family members of the four will be presented with honorary parade marshal sashes during our ceremonies, as a gesture of our shared grief and deepest respect for their service and sacrifice. More on Col. Bank
Vietnam-era Veteran, Former ROK Navy LTJG
Ted Han was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1949 during a "difficult time." Still ravaged from 35 years of Japanese occupation World War II, his home was overrun by the invasion from the north in 1950 that led to the Korean War. As he describes it, "It was a difficult time."
While attending Korea University from 1969 to 1972 as a business management major, Ted enrolled in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps and was commissioned an Ensign upon graduation. He served honorably as a supply officer and was promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade before he left the service to work for Korea Bank.
His banking career took him to Germany for five years and he is now fluent in German, Greek, Spanish and English. Ted immigrated to the U.S, lived in Great Neck for 10 years and moved to Bayside in 2000. He owns and operates Bridge Enterprises, a supplier of custom advertising products .
Ted is active in the Korean community and is a published journalist, writing a column, "Teddy's New York News," for the monthly version of the Chosun Ibo, one of the largest and most respected newspapers in Korea, which is published in Korean, Japanese and English.