Bay Ridge — The president of a nonprofit social services agency who has helped thousands of families over the past 40 years and a church pastor leading an effort to bring religious leaders together are the winners of the Bay Ridge Community Council Civic Award for 2012, the organization has announced.
Bill Guarinello, president and CEO of HeartShare Human Services of New York, and the Rev. Khader El-Yateem, pastor of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church and chairman of the Bay Ridge Unity Task Force, will share the coveted award.
The announcement was made at the council meeting on March 27.
Guarinello's association with HeartShare dates back to the 1970s, when he joined the agency as a social worker. Under his direction, HeartShare has grown into a multi-purpose agency that provides housing and education for the developmentally disabled, operates a foster care program, cares for HIV-AIDS patients and provides services for senior citizens.
Guarinello is also the chairman of Community Board 11 in Bensonhurst.
Pastor El-Yateem is a leader in Bay Ridge's growing Middle Eastern population. As chairman of the unity task force, he works in consultation with leaders of the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim religions to foster understanding in the community.
The honorees will receive their awards at the council's annual dinner-dance in June.