Three Village’s Kinney is full of charitable endeavor
Hope Kinney is a familiar face in the Three Village area.
Whether at an event organized by the Rotary Club of Stony Brook, Three Village Community Trust, local chamber of commerce or working with students and businesses with the Three Village Industry Advisory Board, residents will see Kinney there with a smile on her face, scurrying around to help out.
For her dedication to her community, Kinney is one of TBR News Media’s People of the Year.
The admiration is mutual. Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) nominated Kinney for Suffolk County Woman of Distinction in the 5th Legislative District in 2020.
“Hope Kinney’s impact is ingrained within many of the layers that comprise our community,” the legislator wrote in an email. “From her highly visible leadership role with, and on behalf of, local business to her continual support of organizations committed to societal improvement, Hope is dedicated to serving neighbors and community with purpose. There is so much to honor Hope Kinney for, and I believe, this recognition translates our thankful community’s gratitude into celebration of her uplifting and selfless spirit.”
For years, Kinney has been involved with the now-defunct Three Village Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club of Stony Brook. She became the president of the latter in the summer of 2020 and took on the challenge of organizing club events while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. She scheduled Zoom meetings, and as more businesses were able to open up planned socially distanced lunches. She also put together a virtual online fundraiser for the Port Jefferson-based nonprofit Give Kids Hope, which provides food and clothing for local residents in need.
For the last three years, the rotary club has organized the Three Village Holiday Electric Parade. During the pandemic, due to COVID-19 restrictions, a drive-thru version of the event was held at Ward Melville High School.
Judi Wallace, treasurer of the rotary club, credits Kinney for keeping the organization going during the pandemic. She described Kinney as “a wonderful person” and “super community oriented.”
“Three Village means everything to her,” Wallace said.
Kinney is always looking for ways the rotary can assist individuals or groups who have a need in the area, Wallace said.
She added, “Hope is always thinking and always coming up with great ideas in order to do things in the community.”
Wallace said it was Kinney who brought back the 5K race organized by rotary and The Bench in Stony Brook.
“She just comes up with an idea and follows through, and that’s the most important thing in the world,” Wallace said.
The same year Kinney became president of the rotary club, she joined the Three Village Community Trust board and is currently its treasurer.
Herb Mones, president of TVCT, said it’s refreshing and a big help to a volunteer-based organization such as TVCT to have someone such as Kinney who is always ready to chip in when asked.
“She is always the first to say, ‘I can do that,’ and helps and takes on different responsibilities when the need is there,” he said. “She does it in an upbeat, happy way of feeling that she is contributing and helping the community.”
She was recently able to secure a $4,000 grant through her employer, Investors Bank, which will go toward the restoration of the immigrant factory houses in Setauket. Kinney has also spearheaded the trust’s gala in November, which Mones said is the most successful fundraiser for TVCT.
“She’s always got an ear to the community and understands things that are going on and that becomes very helpful in so many different ways,” Mones said.
Kinney juggles all her volunteer roles while working full-time as the branch manager at Investors Bank, formerly Gold Coast Bank, at its Setauket location on Route 25A.
Kinney started her banking career at Capital One in 2004. When the bank had layoffs in 2018, she was recruited by John Tsunis, Gold Coast’s founder, as branch manager.
In a 2020 interview with The Village Times Herald, Kinney talked about balancing her career and volunteerism with spending time with her husband, Joseph, and three children Justin, Michael and Rachel. To handle all her responsibilities, she said she tries to stay organized and not get overwhelmed.
“I take it day by day,” Kinney said. “I put it on the calendar, and I’m able to look at the calendar and then I go day by day … I guess that’s the secret — work with each day.”