Richard Guardino serves as the Executive Director of the Long Island Regional Planning Council. Prior to becoming Executive Director, he was Vice President for Business Development at Hofstra University. As Vice President, he directed Hofstra’s Scott Skodnek Business Development Center, Hoftra’s Continuing Education Program, and was Executive Dean of Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies.
Rich previously served twenty-one years on the Hempstead Town Board, including five years as Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead, America’s largest township. As Supervisor, he raised the town’s general obligation bond rating twice during his tenure and produced budget surpluses for four consecutive years. As the result of several environmental initiatives, he received endorsements from the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.
Rich has a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and J.D. from William and Mary Law School. Rich practiced law specializing in commercial transactions and real estate and is admitted to practice in both New York and Florida. He served as counsel to State Senator John R. Dunne, and was investigative counsel to the NYS Senate Judiciary Committee. Rich served on the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, as a Regional Member and as a member of the Study Group for the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness.
He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Long Island Real Estate Group and currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island. Rich is the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Living a Dream Award” and the American Committee on Italian Migration Award. He served for many years as Honorary Chairman and Grand Marshall of the March of Dimes WalkAmerica and Honorary Chairman of the Long Island Walk to D’Feet ALS. Rich has also served as Honorary Chairman of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Golf Outings and Honorary Vice Chairman for the U.S. Marine Corp Toys for Tots drive.
As Deputy Executive Director of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, Elizabeth Cole has worked closely with key stakeholders and coalitions to support long-range regional planning goals and policies. In her role, Elizabeth collaborates with a team of professionals from government, business, academic, and non-governmental organizations to develop and implement the New York State-funded Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan; a multi-year initiative to reduce nitrogen in Long Island’s surface and groundwater. She manages state grants and contracts, has authored several reports and publications and has delivered presentations in public forums and at media events related to Council activities including television interviews and promotional videos. Before joining the LIRPC, Elizabeth worked for several years as a Legislative Analyst for the New York State Assembly.
Prior to her work in public policy, Elizabeth had a successful career in the field of Social Work specializing in psychiatry. She was the Founding Director of a state-licensed and accredited outpatient psychiatric clinic at the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Brooklyn, NY. Elizabeth hired, trained, and supervised a multi-disciplinary staff of professionals and was instrumental in program development, budget management and maintaining and improving clinical staff competency and compliance with practice, policy and procedures. During her tenure as Director, Elizabeth completed FEMA training and initiated a program to provide outreach and support services to the survivors of the 9/11. Elizabeth was also the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award for her work at LICH.
Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Art degree from Hofstra University, a Master of Social Work from Hunter College and a Master of Public Administration from New York University where she earned the Robert F. Wagner merit scholarship. She resides in Nassau County with her two sons and husband. She enjoys traveling, snowboarding, cooking, music, theater and above all else being with her family.
Missy Leder was hired in October of 2018 as Executive Assistant at the Long Island Regional Planning Council. In her role, Ms. Leder provides support to the Executive Director and Deputy Director. Her duties include bookkeeping, generating reports, preparing documents, transcribing and distributing minutes of meetings, disseminating information and coordinating meetings with Council Members.
Prior to her role at the Long Island Regional Planning Council, Ms. Leder had a successful career in Finance as an Equity Research Salesperson at Lehman Brothers and an Equity Research Associate at Morgan Stanley. Ms. Leder earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from The College of the Holy Cross. She resides in Nassau County with her husband and three children