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Three Village Historical Society Board of Trustees Welcomes Five New Members


From L to R: Front Row – Mari Irizarry, Director, Dotty Miller, Recording Secretary, Holly Brainard, Judi Wallace, Treasurer, Brian Bennett, David Prestia, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. Back Row – Vinny Menten, Patty Cain, Shamma Murphy, Corresponding Secretary, Ron LaVita, Jeff Schnee, President, David Tracy, Greg Philipps, Vice President. Not pictured: Ed Miller, Vice President, Christina Tortora, Orlando Maione and Michael O’Dwyer. Photo by: Rob Pellegrino

Setauket, NY – The Three Village Historical Society (TVHS) membership elected five new members last week, Judi Wallace, Shamma Murphy, Brian Bennett, Christina Tortora and David Tracy and the full board was sworn in by Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn at the Annual Meeting of the Membership and Lecture on Monday, January 23rd at The Setauket Neighborhood House.


“These new trustees bring a wealth of experience, leadership, and perspective that will greatly enhance the ability of our board to meet the significant challenges and opportunities facing the Three Village Historical Society,” says Mari Irizarry, Director. “We look forward to working with each of them to continue the board’s focused stewardship of TVHS’ financial and community affairs and to strengthen the Society’s reputation for excellence in education and community based programming.”


New Trustees

Judi Wallace, CPA, Treasurer, has owned a local accounting firm in the Three Village area for the past 19 years. Her practice includes accounting and bookkeeping services for small businesses, tax preparation and planning for individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations and she is admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service.


Judi has been a resident of the Three Village area since 2003 and is involved in a variety of local organizations including Treasurer of Stony Brook Rotary, Treasurer of Small Business Networking Alliance, Trustee of Three Village Community Trust, Treasurer of Three Village Historical Society, and Treasurer of SparkleFaith Inc. She is also very involved in St James RC Church in Setauket serving on the Finance Committee, Parish Council, and various other ministries.


Shamma Murphy, Corresponding Secretary has been a resident of Stony Brook for the past 10 years. She has two sons in the Three Village Central School District where she has volunteered regularly over the past seven years. Currently Shamma is the President of the Gelinas PTSA and the Treasurer of the Ward Melville High School PTSA, both in the second year of each two-year term. For the past four years she has been recruiting volunteers to help in the Gelinas School store, keeping the store stocked and manned, being the largest fundraiser for this PTSA. Prior, she ran the Scholastic Book Fairs at Setauket Elementary School for four years, implementing a process to fill each teacher’s classrooms with at least $250 worth of new books per fair, as well as a “buy one get one free” funded 100% by the Setauket PTA to keep students reading through the summer. For the past five years Shamma has been the President’s Volunteer Service Award’s Chairperson for Gelinas Jr. High School. She enjoys volunteering at the Three Village Historical Society very much, introduced to her by her son, Owen Murphy, regular volunteer.


Shamma works with farmers, community gardeners and homeowners as the education and marketing director for SOS for your Soil, a local compost company, for the past ten years, prior to that, she was a civil engineer on Long Island and in Charlotte, NC for 12 years.


Brian Bennett, Trustee is a life long resident of Long Island. He received his BA in Economics from SUNY Albany and 2 MA’s from SUNY Stony Brook, in Liberal Studies and History. Having grown up in Ronkonkoma, he had a History of Lake Ronkonkoma published in the old Long Island Forum.

Brian taught, mostly in the Sayville school district for over 30 years. He and his wife Donna have lived in Setauket for 30 years, and their 2 sons attended Three Village schools. Since retirement, he has continued to teach as an adjunct professor at both Suffolk Community College and St. Joseph’s University. He is a coordinator of Our Daily Bread, a soup kitchen at St. James RC church and enjoys being outdoors, and doing crossword puzzles with his wife.


Christina Tortora, Trustee is a Professor of Linguistics at The City University of New York, where she is currently Deputy Executive Officer in the Linguistics Program at The Graduate Center in Manhattan. She has over 25 years of experience in higher education and management of federally funded projects from agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the author and editor of several academic books, journal articles, and book chapters, and has a life-long passion for teaching advanced scientific findings to students in diverse professions and academic disciplines. She grew up in Setauket and currently lives in Stony Brook, is an alumna of the Three Village School District (Nassakeag; Murphy; Ward Melville), and an alumna of Stony Brook University, where she maintains strong professional and personal ties. She has an interest in vernacular culture and oral histories and wishes to bring her academic expertise in project management and oral history to the Three Village Historical Society.


David Tracy, Trustee has been a resident of the Three Village area since 2012. He has served and continues to serve as a Law Enforcement Officer with the Department of Homeland Security since 2010. Prior to beginning his Law Enforcement career, David served in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years, completing two tours to Iraq. After serving in the military, David attended John Jay of Criminal Justice graduating with honors with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice. David has been married to his wife Becky since 2007 and has a son, Sean, who was born in 2008.


In his spare time, David is the Founder and Chairman of a local charity called the Three Village Dads Foundation. His charity is responsible for donating over $200,000 to local causes such as the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, High School Scholarships, Veteran causes, Historical restoration projects and many other deserving recipients. David has also served as a Trustee on the Board of the Three Village Community Trust since 2020.

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ABOUT TVHS -- The Three Village Historical Society (TVHS), a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1964 by community members, exists to educate the public about our rich cultural heritage as well as foster and preserve local history. TVHS offers museum exhibits, events, programs, archives, and other outreach initiatives to inform and enrich the public’s interest in and understanding of the vibrant past of the Three Village area along the north shore in Suffolk County, Long Island.

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