Names Calcaterra, Martinez Co-Transition Directors; Announces Meetings on Economy and Diversity
Hauppauge - Suffolk County Executive-elect Steve Bellone today invited all Suffolk County residents to serve on his transition team as he announced his process to ensure he can hit the ground running when he takes office on January 1. All Suffolk County residents can share their ideas and get updates through Bellone’s new transition website, www.suffolkcountyworksforyou.com.
“Travelling our county, I understand that most good ideas come from outside government,” Bellone said. “That is why I want each and every Suffolk County resident to serve on my transition team. I welcome your ideas to help me do more with less and make our county an economic powerhouse.”
Bellone named Babylon Town Councilman Antonio Martinez and Southold attorney Regina Calcaterra as the co-directors of his transition. Martinez and Calcaterra will be seeking leaders who fit the Bellone model of people who value the integral role that an efficiently run government plays in our lives, but who are also committed to doing more with less. They will also be working with all Suffolk residents who share their ideas on improving Suffolk County via the transition website. Bios follow.
“Tony and Regina are two self-made individuals from different backgrounds, who have not only overcome adversity, but have dedicated themselves to creating opportunities for others,” Bellone said. “I know and trust them both and they will help me put together an administration that all Suffolk residents can be proud of.”
As part of his transition process, Bellone will hold meetings throughout Suffolk County to get feedback from residents. He will begin next week by holding meetings on two of his priorities. He will discuss the economy in a meeting organized by the Long Island Association and other business groups and he will hold a forum on diversity in Brentwood to discuss how we can create an inclusive Suffolk County where everyone feels safe. Information on these and subsequent meetings will be available on the website.
Bellone also thanked County Executive Steve Levy for meeting with him earlier this week and pledging to work together for a smooth transition. Levy has offered assistance with setting up a transition office within the County, which will be staffed by existing personnel.
“County Executive Levy understands the importance of a seamless transition to Suffolk County taxpayers and I thank him for his cooperation,” Bellone said.
Biographies of Co-Transition Directors
Regina M. Calcaterra
Regina M. Calcaterra brings to County Executive-Elect Steve Bellone’s Transition Team over two decades of experience in the private and public sector and non-profit industry. She has represented defrauded public and labor pension funds by recouping billions of dollars from those who committed corporate fraud on Wall Street, secured the passage of laws that generated revenue for the New York state and city pension and treasury funds in addition to serving as an advocate for disabled veterans.
Ms. Calcaterra is the founding and managing partner of the New York office of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, where for the past eight years she has represented public pension funds and labor funds when they lose money due to corporate fraud. She has served on the litigation teams representing the New York State Common Retirement Fund in its successful effort to recoup more $6 billion from WorldCom and over $1 billion in McKesson. More recently she was on the litigation team securing over $500 million from Merrill Lynch for their role in mortgage crisis. Ms. Calcaterra is presently serving on the litigation teams of other high profile global corporate fraud actions that are presently pending on behalf of wronged investors worldwide.
Prior to her work at Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, Ms. Calcaterra served as Deputy General Counsel at New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS) (2001-03) where she counseled the executive leadership and members on all matters of public pension law and served as Director of Intergovernmental Relations to the former New York City Comptroller (1994-98) where she secured the passage of ten state laws that saved taxpayers millions of dollars, generated revenue, streamlined government operations and protected fair wages for working men and
women. Ms. Calcaterra began her career working towards the passage and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act while serving as an advocate for disabled veterans and all Americans with disabilities at the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (1988-91) and later at NJ Transit (1991-93).
Raised in foster care in Suffolk County, Regina has served since 2006 as a Board Member of You Gotta Believe, a not-for-profit organization that works to get older foster children adopted rather than face homelessness when they age out of care and is a frequent commentator on politics and public policy for national and local media outlets. She is a graduate of Centereach High School (1984), SUNY New Paltz (1988) and Seton Hall Law School (1996). Born and raised in foster care in Suffolk County, N.Y., she is a resident of New Suffolk.
Councilman Antonio Martinez was born in El Salvador, Central America and emigrated to the United States in 1982 at the age of 13. Antonio and his family fled their native land due to a bloody civil war that ravaged the country in the 1980’s, but fortunately they settled in the Village of Lynbrook in the Township of Hempstead to begin their American dream.
Councilman Martinez is a proud product of New York State’s public education system; he attended and graduated the State University of New York College at Oneonta. Councilman Martinez majored in Political Science and History, and completed a public policy internship with the New York State Department of Labor.
Upon graduating college, Tony Martinez began his career helping and empowering people. His first job with Catholic Charities introduced him to community organizing which led to a career in helping others help themselves. Tony worked for affiliates of the Industrial Areas Foundation– Long Island Congregations Association and Neighborhoods (LICAN), and East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC) – helping homeowners battle unscrupulous contractors, predatory lenders and absentee landlords, building homeowners associations, assisting parents in addressing educational issues in their public schools, and supporting residents addressing quality of life issues. As a community organizer, Tony’s role was to build the organizations and empower their members to act for social change. Through his training and employment he learned the art of one-to-one, relationship building and provided the tools to people to be effective advocates for themselves.
After working as a community organizer, Tony Martinez was hired by the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters as a union organizer. Tony used what he learned as a community organizer and helped carpenters and other workers recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages and assisted in leveling the playing field for contractors that played by the rules. With the carpenters union, Councilman Martinez represented the interests of union and non-union carpenters with the fundamental purpose to raise their standard of living. As a union organizer, Tony worked closely with law enforcement at the federal, state and county levels to protect and enforce labor laws, particularly in the area of prevailing wage and payroll tax laws.
Tony has been involved in numerous commissions and boards including: Suffolk County Workforce Housing Commission, Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board, Town of Babylon Planning Board, Pronto of Long Island, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Gerald Ryan Outreach Center, and The Boys Scouts of America Sagtikos District Nominations Committee Chairman.
Currently, Tony Martinez is a partner at Pan American Communications and a proud resident of the Town of Babylon where he serves as an elected Town Board Councilman. Tony was appointed Councilman by Supervisor Steve Bellone and the Town Board on July 15, 2008. On November 4th, 2008 he was elected to serve the remainder of an unexpired term, and was re-elected on November 3rd, 2009 to a full four year term. As Councilman, Tony chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee, and works diligently to serve the interests of all residents in the Town of Babylon
Tony is married to Marisol, and they both are the proud parents of Zachary, Tomas and Nicholas. They live in the hamlet of Wheatley Heights.