WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

Sacred Heart Academy to honor women at Annual Dinner Dance


Sacred Heart Academy’s 70th Anniversary celebration will continue with its Annual Dinner Dance honoring three alumnae who serve as models by taking the lead in their respective professions and communities. The Dinner Dance will take place at The Garden City Hotel on March 20.

This year’s honorees, Teresa Ferraro, Shannon McLay, and Shannon Riley, will be honored for their achievements and for demonstrating the strength that comes from an all-girls Catholic education at Sacred Heart Academy.

Ferraro, who graduated from Sacred Heart in 1980, is president of East/West Industries, a women-owned small business located in Ronkonkoma. Ferraro has a 35-year track record of success providing fiscal, strategic and operational leadership. She recently led the most significant business expansion in East/West history that includes moving to a new facility, which increased the company’s footprint by roughly 50 percent. She has used her skills to create successful business relationships with major aerospace and defense contractors, including The Boeing Company, Sikorsky Aircraft, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

McLay, who graduated from SHA in 1996, is the founder and CEO of The Financial Gym, a national personal financial services company that takes a fitness-inspired approach to their clients’ finances, which launched in 2015. Through her own personal journey, McLay realized that “accountability” was the key element missing in the personal financial services industry. Through her gym, she aims to provide professional, accessible and affordable personal finance service for all. McLay said her goal is to improve the financial health of millions of Americans by putting the “personal” back in personal finance. She has been featured in national media such as The Today Show, The New York Times, and Forbes. In addition, she is the author of a book, “Train Your Way to Financial Fitness.”

A Garden City native who graduated from SHA in 2000, Riley is the co-founder of the Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy, an all-girls public charter high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant founded to empower young women to be the best version of themselves. After Riley received her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, she has called New York City home for the past 12 years. She credits her experience at Sacred Heart Academy for her continued commitment and passion for girls’ education. Riley also serves as the dean of advancement as she works closely with prospective families and students and is the liaison between the school and their partners.

To purchase tickets, sponsorships or digital displays, go to SHA.givesmart.com. For more information, email SHA at alumnae@sacredheartacademyli.org.

Courtesy Sacred Heart Academy; compiled by Nakeem Grant