So many extraordinary women are woven into the fabric of the East End’s history and present that it would require an encyclopedia to document all of those forgotten and then remembered.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Dan’s Papers is celebrating some of these heroines — a web of women whose efforts helped build, expand, and save the Hamptons, North Fork, and beyond.
“I commend all of these women for their dedication to their communities, their extraordinary leadership, and their unending generosity when it comes to giving their time and attention to worthy causes,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), who recently joined in honoring two East End residents — Karen Rivara and Marit Molin — as women of distinction.
Here are some of the notable women from the Twin Forks who’ve made the world a better place in their time here.
Jacqueline Kennedy, who partly grew up in the Hamptons, was influential in her time as first lady — and not just for her trend-setting sense of fashion and interior design. She also made waves for being outspoken about society’s tendency to overanalyze women’s looks, normalized cesarean section births at a time when the surgery was discouraged, and showed midlife career changes can result in success — in her case, as a book editor.
Desiderio was a mid-island physical education teacher and amateur athlete when she decided to change her life and try real estate. She found her calling, getting her broker’s license, becoming her agency’s top producer; leaving after a buy-out; then founding her own agency, Town and Country Real Estate. Her firm now has eight offices and about 170 employees and contractors.
Dr. Amy Loeb
Dr. Loeb is the executive director of Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. She was appointed to the post, beginning in February after a two-year stint as deputy executive director. She is among the most well-respected voices in hospital administration on Long Island. Her experience, though, is not solely in administrative roles, as she began her storied career in the Long Island healthcare industry as a nurse at Huntington Hospital.
Molin is the founder and executive director of Hampton Community Outreach. A licensed social worker and practicing therapist, she saw the need for therapy among underserved individuals. She raised funds that were used to provide therapy for these individuals at no charge. She also started a tutoring program to help children in desperate need of academic support, among many other charitable efforts. She was named Suffolk’s Woman of Distinction for the South Fork.
Rivara is president of Aeros Cultured Oyster Company based in Southold. She is a founding member of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative, East End Marine Farmers Association, the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and former president of the Long Island Farm Bureau. She was named Suffolk’s Woman of Distinction for the North Fork.
and Maria Moore
Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar is the first Latina to be elected to lead one of the 13 towns on Long Island. Sag Harbor Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy ran for office in 2019 with the intention of helping the village balance its historic character with its status as a world-class tourist destination. Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore is leading the village through transformations that include a sewer project, creation of new parks, and renovating the Main Street downtown area.
-With Long Island Press and amNew York Metro