Catching up with Kiersten Decanio, district office manager for local assemblyman
If you’ve made any calls to Assemblyman Simpson’s office or attended any ribbon cuttings in the past year and half, chances are you’ve interacted with Kiersten Decanio.
Kiersten is the energetic, friendly District Office Manager for New York Assemblyman Matt Simpson, who represents the state’s Assembly District 114. She’s held the position since January 2021 and often represents the assemblyman at public events.
“I’m the first person that people speak to when they call the office. Whether it’s resources, or some assistance with unemployment, our office is able to connect them with the people that can help them solve any problems they might have,” Kiersten said. “I do scheduling for the assemblyman, as well as [act as] a community liaison, is the best way to describe it.”
Kiersten’s favorite part of her job? “It sounds a little cheesy, but just that I get to help people,” she said. “I love being able to talk to people over the phone. In a lot of situations, we’re kind of people’s last resort. When constituents are calling our office, whether it’s unemployment, or they’re looking for SNAP benefits, or anything with the state or even at the local level we can refer them to.”
Kiersten said having opportunities to help people through her job keeps her in a good mood. She added that she prioritizes positive interactions with constituents.
“I try to put myself in other people’s positions, really. And if I was in their seat, I wouldn’t wanna talk with anyone that’s in a bad mood. That pushes me to better myself to be able to serve other people,” Kiersten said.
Kiersten’s family relocated from northern New Jersey to Warren County six and a half years ago, when she was a junior in high school. She stayed local for college, earning an associate degree from SUNY Adirondack and her bachelor’s degree from the SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury program.
“My mom got married; she brought us up here and I’ve loved it ever since,” Kiersten said. “I actually used to vacation in Lake George growing up. We’d go to Water Slide World and we would stay up in Bolton or Glen Lake. Now I live here!”
Transitioning from visiting Warren County as a vacation spot to living in the area full-time has allowed Kiersten to take full advantage of all the area has to offer, she said.
“When you’re on vacation you just go to specific vacation spots and that’s really it, because you’re there for a week. But now that I live here, it’s cool cause I get to experience places like this [Kru Coffee] or going to the [Glens Falls] Farmer’s Market on a Saturday, stuff like that. You’re actually able to enjoy what the community has to offer.”
In her free time, you can find Kiersten at the Glens Falls Farmer’s Market, boating on Glen Lake, rollerblading in Lake George or hammocking around the lake. When her friends visit from New Jersey, she often brings them to walk around the Lake George Village. Gourmet Café in Glens Falls is one of her favorite local places to eat, along with various restaurants in Lake George Village.
After studying criminal justice in college, Kiersten learned about her current position through an interview opportunity. She interviewed and was offered the job the following day.
“The assemblyman is awesome to work for. It’s great because I feel heard in our office. He wants me to learn as much as possible, so having this job has kind of steered my future, in a sense,” Kiersten said. “I don’t really know what it’s gonna lead to, but I really do love where I’m at right now.
Kiersten offered some words of wisdom for anyone looking to relocate to Warren County.
“I would say just stay here for a week and see what there is to offer. Take advantage of any opportunity you can. Again, whether it’s farmer’s markets or going hiking or Americade…there’s so much this community has to offer,” Kiersten said. “Try to experience it and put yourself in the position of ‘could I live here?’ You can find a spot in this community.”
“Coming from a farm town in New Jersey, it’s great. You get the farms over in Washington County area, but you also get small city vibes over here [Glens Falls]. You can find something to do all throughout the year and the people here are so nice,” Kiersten said. “That’s one big thing about this area, the people are so nice. You feel very welcome.”