Joseph Milone may have been a master of the universe, but Tony Signorile will tell you he’s pretty much down to earth.
“He’s always there to help,” said Signorile, lead organizer of the Bronx Columbus Day Parade.
As part of the pre-parade celebrations, Signorile picked Milone as this year’s recipient of the Citizen Award, recognizing the Morris Park Realtor and former Wall Street broker’s philanthropic and community-minded efforts.
“I’m truly honored they would even consider me,” said Milone. “Now I see the things I might’ve done that made a difference.”
It’s a lifetime achievement award of sorts for Milone, an energetic 53-year-old who’s balanced a Wall Street career with helping the Morris Park nabe.
And while he earned a handsome salary at the New York Stock Exchange, Milone had no intention of turning his back on the heavily Italian-American working/middle class neighborhood that’s given him plenty of satisfaction.
“I can live anywhere I want,” said Milone. “But I chose to stay here because it’s a great community.”
“Soon as I moved here in 1980, I was really magnetized to this community,” said Milone. “I got involved.”
For years he served Community Board 11 alongside Dom Castore, hearing neighborhood concerns throughout the district. But he also patrolled the residential streets for the Morris Park Civic Association, working alongside Castore, Louie Aloise, and Richard Bisogno.
“I was a soldier helping to maintain this community,” said Milone. “Everyone did their part.”
He’s since retired from Wall Street, focusing entirely on his longtime real estate firm, Joseph Milone Realty, a one-man operation that keeps his calendar filled.
“People who are not accustomed to the Bronx find how treasured it is when they come here,” said Milone when showing folks portions of the east Bronx.
But even in his spare time Milone is still able to help folks.
“My devotion never stops,” said Milone. “Even if it’s as little as sweeping the front of my store or telling that old lady ‘watch out for somebody knocking on doors.’”
The community has gotten to know Milone well through the years. He recently donated to the National Child ID Kit, producers of identification cards for children.
In his role as a realtor, he’s also assited folks in their home modification process and keeping senior citizens, or what Milone calls “good stock,” from posting for sale signs in their home.
Milone will be formally honored at the Bronx Columbus Day Dinner-Dance Sept. 22nd at 3 pm at Maestro’s Caterers. Tickets can be purchased in advance or bought at the door.
He’ll then join grand marshal Chazz Palminteri and honorary grand marshal, educator Lisa Maffei-Fuentes, when the parade steps off Sunday, Oct. 13th.
Reach out to David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.