The Suffolk County Water Authority Board at a meeting Tuesday unanimously appointed Elizabeth K. Vassallo as chief financial officer, marking the first time in the utility’s nearly 70 years of operation it will have a woman serving in that capacity.
Vassallo, who had been serving as acting chief financial officer since the retirement of then Chief Financial Officer Douglas Celiberti six months ago, will oversee SCWA’s financial operations. The utility serves approximately 1.2 million customers; has an operating budget of $133.3 million and a capital budget of $73.8 million; maintains a staff of approximately 550; and is one of a small number of large public water suppliers nationwide with two AAA bond ratings from the major agencies.
Vassallo, an SCWA employee since 1994, has held a wide variety of positions within SCWA’s Finance Department, including accountant, budget analyst, budget manager and director of finance. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting degree from Dowling College.
"Beth has for years been a key staff member in helping SCWA maintain high bond ratings and a sterling reputation for fiscal stability in the water supply industry," said SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo.
Elizabeth K. Vassallo
"Though Beth’s appointment is based solely on her 24 years of financial management experience at the Water Authority, the fact that she is the first woman to hold the position of chief financial officer makes her appointment a bit sweeter for me as the only woman on the SCWA Board," said SCWA Board Member Jane Devine.
"Having been born and raised in Suffolk County, I am particularly honored to be selected chief financial officer of an organization that is the leader in the water industry," Vassallo said. "I will work with the executive team and Board to implement our long term financial sustainability plans."
The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.