'Man of the Year'
Mr. Turso is the Sanitation Department's Deputy Commissioner of Public Information.
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Vito A. Turso is Deputy Commissioner for Public Information and Community Affairs for the New York City Department of Sanitation. He is the son of the late Vito A. Turso, Sr., and Helen Smanko, and the brother of the late Theresa Wassum.
His father was one of 13 children born to Mauro and Laura (Iacobellis) Turso, who immigrated to the United States in December 1907 from Ban, Italy.
A product of the New York City school system (elementary, Brooklyn Technical High School and Queens College, CUNY), Mr. Turso became a reporter for the Long Island Press in 1968.
His ‘beat’ included Community Boards 9, 10 and 14 in the Ozone Park, Howard Beach and Far Rockaway sections of the borough where he was known for calling local civic and elected officials ‘very late at night’ to get the ‘scoop’ on stories of concern to all of Southwest Queens residents. When the Press ceased publishing in 1977, he was appointed to the Sanitation Department as Director of Public Affairs, where he served throughout former Mayor Koch’s three terms in office.
When Mayor Dinkins was elected, Mr. Turso was promoted to Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs and Community Relations at the Department of Correction, where he served proudly into the administration of former Mayor Giuliani.
In 1995, he left government to become an Executive Vice President for corporate and government affairs at Dan Klores Communications, a major Manhattan public relations firm, where he represented scores of well-known entertainers, elected officials, labor organizations and not-for-profit groups. But his desire to serve the public could not be contained.
In 2002, with the election of Mayor Bloomberg, he rejoined the Sanitation Department as a Deputy Commissioner where he is in charge of communicating the Department’s important mission and message to the public through the media, community boards, and neighborhood organizations throughout the five boroughs.
He also oversees the department’s Division of Customer Service and Governmental Relations and is the editorial chief of the Department’s popular web page.
Mr. Turso has received many journalism and community service awards and is a long-time member and board member of the New York Press Club. He also served three terms as President of the former Public Relations Officers Society (PROS) of New York.
Mr. Turso and his wife, MaryAnn, live in Queens. They have three daughters, Lisa, Laura and Nicole.