State Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) named Port Washington resident Mindy Germain a Senate Woman of Distinction last Tuesday.
Germain, the executive director of Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington, received the honor in Albany along with 61 other woman as part of the Senate’s annual ceremony.
“Mindy Germain is a very passionate, dedicated and talented woman who has worked tirelessly to give back to her community,” Phillips said. “From safeguarding our drinking water and teaching kids how they can protect the environment to enhancing downtown Port Washington, she is literally changing our area for the better. It’s my pleasure to award Mindy this well-deserved honor in recognition of all she has done to make our community a better place.”
A Port Washington resident since 2000, Germain joined Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington, a community group dedicated to improving the Port Washington community, in 2007.
“When I moved to Port Washington and saw Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington cleaning our parks, planning Bay Walk and involved with a Peninsula Wide visioning, I remember thinking ‘I want to be part of that,’” Germain said. “I had no idea in what way or capacity. Now as I celebrate my 10-year anniversary as executive director, this award solidifies my link on this incredible chain.”
Germain has been an advocate for clean water in Port and said she has studied reports and data on the sustainability of the community’s drinking water.
She is also a Port Washington Water District commissioner.
After joining the water district, Germain spearheaded several projects, which resulted in state-of-the art infrastructure “that is not only cost effective but also blends in with the fabric of Port Washington,” she said.
Since 2012, the water district replaced approximately three miles of water mains, Germain said, and “put an emphasis on education and intermunicipal collaboration.”
Germain said the award is an acknowledgement of the projects she has worked on over the past 10 years, from protecting the drinking water to cleaning up Main Street.
“I am very proud of the progress we are making,” she said.
As the executive director of Residents, Germain has organized initiatives to alleviate parking problems near the Port Washington Long Island Rail Road station by seeking community input and surveying thousands of residents.
Residents recently launched an anti-litter campaign, “Give a Litter Bit” to improve the quality of life in Port Washington and educate people on environmental health.
The group is also working with the Port Washington school district to promote environmental leadership with its “Get Your Green On” program, which has over 400 students involved in sustainability projects.
“Everything we do at Residents is a team effort, and I am just so grateful to help facilitate so many important projects,” Germain said.
When she was on her way to the Landmark on Main Street to be a panelist in an Earth Day showing of the movie “Planetary,” she said, she got a call from Phillips and was so overwhelmed she almost had to pull over her car.
“As weeks went by, I began to research the incredible women before me that received this award such as Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth, and I started to realize that this will be a moment to cherish for the rest of my life,” she said.
Germain said she’s involved in many community groups because of the pride she has in her community.
“I think it comes from my Grandma Sophie,” she said when running for re-election as a water district commissioner. “As a little girl I remember her giving speeches to her community and volunteering in many organizations.”
Germain was also named a Woman of Distinction by the Nassau County Legislature and is a member of the Town of North Hempstead’s Women’s Roll of Honor. She was recently honored by the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce for her service to the business community.
Germain lives in Port Washington with her husband, Victor, and their three children, Sophie, 17, Gabriel, 14, and Harry, 10.
She grew up in Greenlawn, attended Syracuse University, and often spent time in Northport, a nearby village, and its similarity to Port Washington drew her to the community.
According to a news release, the Senate’s Women of Distinction program “recognizes outstanding women living and working in New York State whose contributions have greatly enriched the quality of life in their communities and beyond.”