Sue Serino

July 25, 2022

Senator Sue Serino pictured with (L-R) Alyssa Carrion, Program Manager of the HERO Program at Mental Health America of Dutchess County Veterans Programs, Jacqueline Salvatore, Undersheriff of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and Lori Cassia-Decker, Co-Founder of Angels of Light and 2022 NYS 41st Senate District’s Woman of Distinction Nominee.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – In an ongoing effort to bring local women together to help expand their personal and professional networks, Senator Sue Serino this week hosted another in her series of Annual Women’s Networking Events at Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie. Over 130 individuals attended the event in-person, with even more joining virtually, to hear from three dynamic speakers who spoke to the theme ‘Flipping the Script.’

“I am always incredibly inspired by the connections that are formed at this annual event, and this year was no different,” said Senator Sue Serino. “The trailblazing speakers all made an impact by sharing their own personal stories of how they refused to allow the challenges they faced throughout their lives to control their personal narratives. By sharing how they tackled those challenges head-on and ‘flipped the script’ to define their own futures, they inspired us all to be the people we want to be.”

Speakers for this year’s event included: 

  • Lori Cassia-Decker, Co-Founder of Angels of Light and the 2022 Woman of Distinction for the 41st Senate District, spoke about the events that led to the founding of her non-profit organization and the community support that has given her the opportunity to help over a thousand families; 
  • Alyssa Carrion, Program Manager of the HERO Program at Mental Health America of Dutchess County Veterans Programs bravely discussed how she is using her experience as a survivor of military sexual assault to help other veterans and survivors; and
  • Jacqueline Salvatore, Undersheriff of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, who discussed how the events in her life have given her the strength to believe that “you are exactly where you need to be at this moment in your life,” and how she uses that mantra to advance in her personal and professional life.


Lori Cassia-Decker said, As women we can definitely have it all, but life sends us all obstacles which often challenges our journey. Life may be hard and we may fall many times, each fall a different wound, each wound a different pain. The scars that remain serve as reminders of our past mistakes. But if we learn from the lessons taught from these experiences, this is how we will grow. All the women in our community, my family and my best girlfriends have always given me the strength and inspiration to believe in my life’s path. I am blessed.”

Alyssa Carrion said, “Thank you to Senator Serino for asking me to speak at this amazing event and to have the opportunity to share my experience with ‘Flipping the Script.’ Surviving my experience has given me the strength to be able to support other women who have similar stories. I am not a victim and I’m proud to share my voice.”

Jacqueline Salvatore said, “I was honored to be invited to speak at a women's networking event hosted by Senator Sue Serino. It was the most multicultural and diverse group I've attended and for that, I'm impressed. It confirmed for me that women are talented, powerful and equally prey which is why we need to be involved and supportive of each other.”

Senator Serino also honored and recognized the more than 30 women who were nominated for the NYS Senate’s Women of Distinction Award by members of the community. For a full list of nominees, click here

Thanks to the generosity of the Locust Grove Estate, this event was free for the public to attend. Susan Horton, franchise owner of Nothing Bundt Cakes in Poughkeepsie, donated over 100 dessert items for attendees. 

A full recording of the event can be viewed by clicking here. Individuals interested in participating in future events should call Senator Serino’s Hyde Park Office at 845-229-0106 or email