“As we enter a New Year, I’m excited to continue to build the amazing team we’ve assembled at Borough Hall,” noted BP Oddo. “I have asked Jennifer Sammartino to assume the role of Deputy Chief of Staff and I’m looking forward to what she will bring to the table in this new capacity. Alexey and Colleen are smart, enthusiastic women who have proven themselves to be dedicated, hard workers. I know they will succeed in their new roles. I’m thrilled to announce that Stephanie Slepian, a longtime Staten Island Advance staffer, has joined our team. Stephanie’s experience and wealth of knowledge will serve us well.”
Jennifer Sammartino has been with the Office of the Borough President since January, 2014. A graduate of the College of Staten Island, Ms. Sammartino earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and spent most of her career in communications – first as a reporter, then as a features editor with the Staten Island Advance; as Communications Director for Richmond University Medical Center; then as Public Affairs Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs. She joined the BP’s staff as Director of Communications and External Affairs, a post she held until the BP appointed her the first-ever Director of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in 2017. Jennifer has taken on the role of Deputy Chief of Staff, overseeing a division of the office and working on high level projects. She lives in New Brighton with her husband, Michael Mallen, and daughter, Laila.
“I’m ecstatic to take on this new role and am grateful to Borough President Oddo for the opportunity,” said Sammartino. “I’ve enjoyed working on Tourism and Cultural Affairs and will continue to oversee the department, as it’s so close to my heart. I am excited to broaden my scope and work on more issues that will benefit Staten Islanders.”
Colleen Siuzdak is a native Staten Islander who earned her bachelor’s degree in Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is now pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at CUNY Baruch College. She joined the Borough President’s team in August 2017 as the Coordinator of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. Colleen looks forward to growing the arts and culture community on Staten Island, by exposing the hidden treasures available to both visitors and residents alike. She lives in Westerleigh.
Alexey Chandler started her work with the Office of the Borough President in June of 2017. After graduating from Wagner College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, with a Marketing concentration, and a double minor in Economics and Art, she joined the Borough President’s staff as Communications Coordinator. Alexey is looking forward to her new role within the Communications Department as Assistant Manager of Communications and External Affairs, where she will have the opportunity to be involved in the many projects and initiatives shaping the Staten Island community. She lives in St. George.
Stephanie Slepian received both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in journalism from New York University. She began her career at the Staten Island Advance in 1997 as a general assignment reporter. She covered a range of topics, including transportation, education, politics, real estate, crime, and Veterans issues. During her time at the Advance, she also worked in several editorial capacities. In 2014, she transitioned to the digital operations team as a Homepage Producer. In that capacity, she managed the placement and promotion of stories on SILive.com. In 2017, she was named an Audience Development Specialist. In that position, she shared SILive.com stories and photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She lives in Great Kills with her husband and 9-year-old son.
These staff changes are effective immediately.