The Carnation’s candidate Q&A series continues with Susan Amato, one of three candidates running for two seats on the Tewksbury Board of Health. See other profiles as well as letters from and about candidates here.
All candidates running in Tewksbury were invited to respond, and we appreciate those who took the time to help the Carnation inform voters.
Name: Susan Amato Seat sought: Board of Health
1. Why do you want to serve on the Board of Health?
My reason for running is to ensure that the proper processes and procedures are laid out clearly for our residents, homeowners, businesses and our schools. I want to see a flawless process in obtaining permits that’s inviting for new businesses coming into this town, existing businesses as well as our residents. This town has come a long way from when I first moved here 28 years ago, but we still have a lot more to work on.
2. Give us a brief bio: Where you grew up, family, interests.
I grew up in Malden, Mass. Most of our time was spent with family and friends. I am blessed to have been brought up with so much support and love from my Mom, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, my amazing sisters and 56 years later I am still very close to my many childhood friends. Our interest was our family, friends and work which I began at a very young age.
3. What is your education?
I graduated from Malden High, attended Leslie College for business administration, received certificates from Dale Carnegie and I am a level II reiki practitioner. Over the past ten years I have traveled to various cities in Italy to participate in Culinary schools to expand my knowledge in Italian cuisine.
4. What is your “day job,” and how do your past or current professional experiences prepare you for service on the BoH?
Currently, I am the owner of Angelina’s Italian Restaurant in Tewksbury. However, 45 years ago at the age of 20, I started my first successful business which was a full service salon. During that time, I met and married my husband, Vinnie. We sold the business after 5 years and were fortunate enough to obtain positions together working for a tour operator, and I had the great pleasure of traveling throughout the world for the next 10 years until we decided to start our family. Vinnie opened up his restaurant in Boston, and I continued to work for TNT Travel where I worked my way up to the Assistant Vice President of Customer and Business Relations. As Vinnie’s businesses grew more successful, he asked me to join him and manage his 100 seat restaurant in North Attleboro. After two years of learning the business I decided that I was ready to open up my own restaurant. The restaurant business, my full service salon as well as our travel throughout the world are all subject to Board of Health regulations and oversight, and my deep experience with such will bring a clear sense about what works and what doesn’t to ensure public health and safety is protected. I am confident that my contribution will not add unnecessary burden or cost to home owners, business owners and their staff.
5. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish in the next three years? What is your platform? (feel free to include a link to your website or Facebook page)
I envision an expeditious and streamlined process to obtain permits that’s inviting for new businesses, both big and small, existing businesses and for our residents who must pull permits to improve their property. I want to see more businesses such as restaurants, bakeries and clothing stores want to open in our town. I envision Tewksbury as a destination town where people from other cities and towns come to enjoy the many dining options, gift shops, fine clothing shops and bakeries, such as Burlington and Andover. We need to focus on the empty stores and vacant lots and fill the space with inviting businesses.
6. We know that Covid will be an ongoing challenge. What are three additional. non-Covid-related issues you see in town, and how will you address them?
I would like to see people being nicer to each other. It’s been a tough two years for all of us and should have made everyone see how important it is to help each other, agree to disagree and let it go. Listen to others and work things out without so much anger. We have a lot of work to do in this town for our seniors and children and we will not succeed unless we are all working together. This is a very important issue and I feel it’s the only one I need to address at this time.
7. Describe an activity, group or committee you’ve been involved with in town and what you accomplished as part of that team.
I am very proud to be a Trustee for our Tewksbury Hospital. It’s very dear to me and I hope to be able to assist in educating our town on how special the hospital is and how honored I am to have this great history in our town.
8. What would you say to residents to encourage them to vote for you?
I have the drive, compassion, knowledge, and most importantly, I have the Common Sense needed to take action. I hope you will consider voting for me on April 2.
Residents can learn more about Amato and many other candidates at the Crier Forum Series on March 15 & 16.