PATRICK G. HALPIN, Chairman, term as member expires in March 2023. Currently a Managing Director in the New York office of Mercury Public Affairs, Mr. Halpin served for nearly two decades as Executive Vice President for External Affairs for the Institute for Student Achievement, beginning in 1994. Mr. Halpin also had an extensive career in local and state politics, which began in 1979 when he was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature. In 1982 he was elected to the New York State Assembly and served three terms in that office. In 1987, Mr. Halpin was elected to the office of Suffolk County Executive, and at age 34 became the youngest ever elected to that office. He served as County Executive from 1988 through 1991, managing a budget of more than $1.4 billion and supervising more than 12,000 employees. During his tenure, Mr. Halpin instituted a comprehensive anti-domestic violence program, a nationally recognized open space and environmental protection program and an extensive affordable housing initiative. He also persuaded Computer Associates International, Inc. to establish its worldwide headquarters in Suffolk, creating more than 10,000 jobs. Mr. Halpin, the host of Cablevision’s Meet the Leaders television program, serves as a director with the Long Island Housing Partnership, a director of Vision Long Island and on the advisory board of the Long Island Index. Mr. Halpin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from Old Dominion University. He is a member of the Long Island Hall of Fame.
JANE R. DEVINE, term as member expires in May 2022. Shortly after joining the Board in 2007, Ms. Devine co-authored a series of reform initiatives promoting efficiency, transparency and accountability and throughout her tenure has been a leader in cutting excess expenditures. Ms. Devine has held a variety of positions in public service on both the town and county level, most recently as a member of the Town of Huntington Planning Board, of which she served as Vice-Chair. From 1988 to 1991, she served as Commissioner of Consumer Affairs for Suffolk County. From 1978 to 1987, she represented the former 17th Legislative District as a Suffolk County Legislator and, for a portion of that tenure, was the first female leader of the minority caucus.
Ms. Devine’s professional career spans a wide range of posts dedicated to education and protection of consumers, including Director of Consumer Education and a member of the Consumer Protection Board for the Town of Huntington, and consultant to the New York State Consumer Protection Board. She was a founding partner of a small public relations company and served for a time as pastoral consultant to the Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC). In 2015, Ms. Devine became a founding member and President of the Board of New Hour for Women and Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and their children while the women are incarcerated and helping the women integrate back into their community once they are released. In addition to graduate work at the Fordham University School of Law, studies in sociology and a Certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education from the Nassau County Medical Center, Ms. Devine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of New Rochelle and a Master of Arts degree from the C.W. Post - Long Island University College of Management.
TIMOTHY H. BISHOP, term as member expires in May of 2025. Mr. Bishop is a Southampton resident and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 2003-2015 representing New York's 1st congressional district. As a congressman, Mr. Bishop served on the Education and Workforce Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, supported numerous pieces of landmark legislation and sponsored legislation that blocked a plan to dump twenty million cubic yards of contaminated dredge waste in the Long Island Sound. For the period 2011-2015 Mr. Bishop served as the Senior Democrat on the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House of Representatives. This Committee has oversight responsibilities for the EPA’s obligations under the Clean Water Act.
Prior to his service in the House, Mr. Bishop served as provost of Southampton College for 16 years. As provost, Mr. Bishop served as chief executive officer in charge of the campus' day-to-day management. During his tenure at the college, Mr. Bishop oversaw the addition of four graduate programs, construction of a new academic center and development of the award-winning Cooperative Education and Freshman Programs. Mr. Bishop is also a Principal with Envisioned Strategy, a Washington D.C. and Albany based government relations firm. He also serves as a distinguished visiting professor at the College of the Holy Cross.
Mr. Bishop received a bachelor's degree in History from The College of the Holy Cross and a master's degree in Public Administration from Long Island University.
ELIZABETH MERCADO, term as member expires in March of 2026. Ms. Mercado is a Brentwood resident and is currently employed as a customer care representative for Verizon, a position she’s held for more than 20 years. Ms. Mercado also served as Business Agent on the Executive Board Communications Workers of America Local 1105, where she represented members in offices between Brooklyn and Suffolk County. Ms. Mercado is currently a staff representative for CWA local 1101, and also serves on CWA’s National Women’s Committee.
As former president of the Brentwood Union Free School District Board of Education, Ms. Mercado collaborated with other trustees to establish the district’s vision and goals and oversaw an annual budget of approximately $400 million. She is a member of the Islip Town branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and the National Association for Latino Elected Officials (NALEO). Ms. Mercado received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from SUNY College at Old Westbury and an associate of applied science degree in Business Administration from Suffolk County Community College’s Grant Campus in Brentwood.
JACQUELINE A. GORDON, term as member expires in March 2024. Ms. Gordon is a Copiague resident, a 13-year former Babylon Town Board member, long-time school counselor and U.S. Army veteran. Even while serving as an elected town board member, Gordon also served her country in the U.S. Army Reserves as a military police officer from 1984 to 2014. She was deployed four times--serving in Germany during Operation Desert Storm; as an operations officer at Guantanamo Bay; as a battle captain in Baghdad during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq; and as commander of the 310th Military Police Battalion in Afghanistan in 2012.
Gordon also spent a quarter century as a school counselor for Western Suffolk BOCES in Farmingdale, where she helped students and provided crisis intervention when social or behavioral issues affected their educational and vocational aspirations. She graduated from CUNY Hunter College with a B.A.in health education in 1987, a M.S. degree in counselor education in 1997 and a professional diploma in educational leadership in 2006.
The appointment of Gordon is a historic one, as it creates the first female majority board in SCWA’s 70-year history.