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HVOEC Honors Women in the Industry

“Women in Our Industry” were recognized at the 29th annual “Person of the Year” dinner dance held by the Hudson Valley Oil & Energy Council.

The event raised $1,500 for “Tools & Tiaras,” an organization based in New York City that encourages girls to pursue careers in the mechanical, industrial, technical, trades. Judaline Cassidy, a tradeswoman and the founder and director of Tools and Tiaras, received the donation on behalf of the organization.

“Is it, or would it be, a radical notion that when you require the services of an electrician, carpenter, plumber or even an auto mechanic, the right ‘man’ for the job would be a woman? Tools and Tiaras envisions a world where these occupations, and others like them, are accessible and approachable for girls,” read a note in the program for the Nov. 3 event at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor, N.Y.

“This year, the Hudson Valley Oil & Energy Council is pleased to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of the Women in Our Industry,” the program noted. “This recognition is long overdue, and well-earned.” The program further noted that the propane and heating oil markets “have been graced by the presence of women throughout history. They often ‘helped’ their husbands and fathers, or were one of ‘the girls in the office, who answered phones and handled bookkeeping. Today, women seem to be leading fuel retailers, distributors, wholesalers and associations in more ways than ever before.”

Chris Scaturro, who became president of the HVOEC last January, and other speakers, including Leann Panebianco of Panco Petroleum in Stony Point, N.Y., and Laurie Irish-Jones of Irish Propane in Buffalo, N.Y., described how their mothers or sisters, or both, had played and in some cases still play key roles in enterprises that started out as “kitchen table” businesses.

Scaturro presided over the event for the first time since he became president of the council. He is the operations manager of Porco Energy Corp., Marlboro, N.Y. He recalled his mother’s role in the family business.

“My mother was a Porco,” he said. Scaturro’s maternal grandfather, Anthony, and his wife, Lillian, established the business in 1954, and Chris’ maternal uncles, Dominick and Joe, later led the company

Young Chris worked in the family business through high school and when home from college (State University of New York at Delhi). “I started on the dock, scraping tanks,” he said. He became a full-timer in 2003.

As the president of the Council, Scaturro said, he hopes to recruit more local fuel marketers to join. Currently there are more than 20 dealer members, 45 associate members and four wholesalers that are Council members, he said.—Stephen Bennett

PICTURED: Judaline Cassidy speaking at the HVOEC dinner dance. Founder of the organization “Tools & Tiaras,” Cassidy was honored as one of the “Women in Our Industry.” Photo by Stephen Bennett/Fuel Oil News.

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