Island innovators mourn loss of LIFT leader Muscarella

In the middle of things: Diane Muscarella (center, with LIFT partner Julie Allegretti and SUNY Farmingdale Chief Development officer Henry Sikorski) made the rounds.

The light switches have been off at the Long Island Forum for Technology for years, but sadly, the brightest light of LIFT is gone out forever as Diane Muscarella passed suddenly on Dec. 27.

Muscarella montage: Diane (and Julie Allegretti) got around as LIFT ambassadors.

As a single mother, Diane earned degrees at Nassau Community College and Hofstra University while launching a career in marketing. She was a fixture at LIFT for years, and in her role as director of programs was integral to many of its successes.

Her joie de vivre style was her signature, while her steady hand and work ethic were evident in LIFT winning and executing a multiyear New York State Department of Labor workforce grant – during the Great Recession, we worked with regional colleges to train mid-career professionals in new, in-demand skills – and launching the Morrelly Homeland Security Center.

Diane was a loving mom to her daughter, Carolyn; stepmother to Cara and Anthony Jr.; and grandmother to three beautiful grandkids, whom she adored. She moved to Florida in 2017 after the passing of her husband and was just settling into retirement.

She was a liked by all and will be missed by many. Adieu, “Mom Amie.”

Former LIFT Deputy Executive Director Ray Donnelly is director of business development at aerospace manufacturer Betatronix. Former LIFT Social Media Coordinator Julie Allegretti is director of community relations at the Russo law Group.