Peconic Landing, Manhattan Film Institute receive Innovation of the Year Award

Peconic Landing received two awards from LeadingAge New York on Friday afternoon.

The retirement community, along with the Manhattan Film Institute, won the 2018 Innovation of the Year Award for their collaborative film project Seniors in Film.

LeadingAge NY represents over 600 retirement communities, with an estimated 150,000 professionals that serve over 500,000 New Yorkers each year. The award-winning intergenerational project featured six Peconic Landing members who participated in a six-week course on the Fundamentals of Film taught by MFI co-founder Tony Spiridakis. Three of those members were then invited to participate in a summer course where they starred in a four-minute short titled “Life after Death.”

“Thank you so much for this,” Mr. Spiridakis said. “These students changed my life. It’s hard for me to imagine ever having a more rewarding experience in 30 years as a filmmaker, writer and actor. I’ve done a few things with some pretty amazing people, and nothing comes to close to the lives that I have shared with these residents.”

The film was written by Sam Levy, 20, who wrote the script while he was a teenager in high school.

“Our partnership and journey with MFI has been remarkable,” Peconic Landing’s cultural arts coordinator Dominic Antignano said. “They have done so much to enrich the lives of all of us in our community and the program that we’re here to celebrate today really takes our relationship to a whole other place.”

Additionally, Peconic Landing employee Joseph Hughes was the recipient of the 2018 Employee of Distinction from the LeadingAge NY, not-for-profit advocacy group.

Kristen Myers of LeadingAge NY presented Mr. Hughes with his award, noting that there are only 18 recipients annually.

Mr. Hughes began working as facilities supervisor at Peconic Landing since 2005. He was described as the go-to guy by director of environmental services Darryl Volinski, who praised Mr. Hughes for his desire to keep the community safe, the operations running smoothly and his dedication to his job — oftentimes coming in on days off to assist residents.

Mr. Hughes, who was joined by his wife and children, also received a legislative resolution from Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, recognizing him and the other recipients of the 2018 Employee of Distinction award across the state.

“All of us that know Joe and love Joe know he’s the guy for this recognition,” said Bob Syron, CEO and president of Peconic Landing. “Joe’s dedication and commitment everyday to all our members and to his colleagues is always visible. We’re lucky to have Joe on our team, truly lucky to have him.”

Photo caption: Tony Spiridakis, right, pictured alongside Peconic Landing CEO Bob Syron. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

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