Kiwanettes of Oceanside to honor Joe Cibellis on April 11


The Kiwanettes of Oceanside are set to honor local heroes who have impacted the community. The organization will host an awards dinner at Lambrou’s Catering Hall, in Island Park, on April 11, and will present its Public Service Award to Towers Funeral Home, and its Leadership Award to Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Vice President Joe Cibellis.

Cibellis will be the first recipient of the Kiwanettes’ inagural Leadership Award. It will recognize his dedication to community service, exemplified by his longtime involvement in a variety of organizations and his family’s business legacy in the area.

“He’s a man of his word, and he’s a born leader, and he’s an asset to the community,” Kiwanettes member Maria Heller said. “I met Joe at a chamber meeting about six years, ago and I thought to myself, he’s pretty good. We got him to join the chamber, and then I realized what an asset he is to people. He leads people in such a nice way, and he always includes everybody. There should be a lot more people like him in Oceanside.”

Cibellis, 58, has deep roots in Oceanside. He was raised in East Rockaway before his family moved to Rockville Centre, and he attended Baldwin Elementary School and Baldwin Harbor Junior High. He spent a short time in Massachusetts before returning to Rockville Centre to attend South Side High School. His father, Nino, established Oceanville Mason Supply in 1975. Although he went to school in Baldwin and lived in Rockville Centre, Cibellis always felt connected to Oceanside, where he helped out in the family business.

“I always felt like I was a better fit for Oceanside,” he said. “I was probably 19 or so when I bought my first house in Ocean-side, and I’ve been here ever since. I married a girl from Oceanside, and her family’s been there for three generations, and I chose to raise my family here.”

Cibellis and his wife, Laura, have been married for 27 years, and they have 26-year-old twins, Joe and Alexa. Over the years, Oceanville Mason Supply has grown and changed, merging in 2003 with independent mason, Marty Bevilaqua, and being sold in 2022, when it became King’s Mason Supply. Cibellis’ involvement in the family business provided him not only with invaluable experience, but also insights into community engagement and leadership. He now operates Cibellis Contracting in Oceanside.

In addition to his work with the chamber, he is active with the Oceanside Community Warriors, which cleans up outdoor, public spaces around town and Oceanside Unified, which focuses on forging connections between local organizations and organizing community events.

“Coming from a family business — and when you’re the son or the boss, one way or the other, it’s an 80-hour-a-week job — I didn’t have much time until the kids were older, in their college years, when it was easy for me to get involved in some of the different organizations,” Cibellis said. “I felt like it was time to give back and just be a part of it all.”

His leadership style, he said, emphasizes inclusivity and bridging generational gaps. He recognizes the importance of creating welcoming environments, particularly for young people who are eager to contribute but may be hesitant due to perceived barriers.

“He’s a mentor, and someone I look up to,” Warriors President Brian Driscoll said. “He’s someone who dedicates his time to bettering the community. There’s no one that cares about this community more than him and it’s an honor working by his side, making this town a better place and setting an example for the children and young adults in town.”

Cibellis acknowledged the guidance and support of community memberss like Heller, whose inclusive and supportive style has inspired many. He said he appreciates those who nurture a positive and welcoming community environment, and encourage engagement and collaboration among residents.

“Joe met the qualifications that were instilled in what leadership is,” Heller said. “Somebody who steps up to the plate. He was very instrumental in helping with the fair, and we’re having a new fair on Sept. 28 of this year.”

Last September Oceanside held its first Fall Festival, which was organized by Oceanside Unified. Cibellis said he wants to expand those kinds of community events — for example, to improve on the town’s holiday decorations.

“If we could add 10 percent to the Fall Festival, it would be huge,” he said. That’s all I’d like to do, just keep building on it. I think we did a great job, and I’d like to make it better every year.”

The Kiwanettes’ Leadership Award is a testament to Cibellis’ dedication to community service.

“Everyone in this community has great intentions,” he said. “I think I’m lucky in the sense that everybody bridges the gap. We work with the Republicans, Democrats, independents, the Catholic community and the Jewish community. It doesn’t matter, if you care about Oceanside.”