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Orange Bank & Trust Company promotes Passaro

MIDDLETOWN (January 31) - Orange Bank & Trust Company announced the promotion of Diane Passaro to 1st Vice President and Market Manager covering Newburgh and nearby markets, including Montgomery and Vails Gate. Passaro will also be responsible for the Bank’s business in Southern Dutchess County.

The addition of this senior level management post reflects the Bank’s strong commitment to being the leading regional business bank and positions us to better align our expertise with the needs of local clients.  The greater Newburgh area has a very diverse business composition, with companies in the manufacturing, health care, and transportation industries, along with a range of contracting trades.

"Diane grew up in Newburgh and, after an initial career as a Trust and Estate professional, transitioned successfully into commercial lending,” said President & CEO Michael Gilfeather.   “We believe her extensive experience as a banking professional, with specific expertise in business development and lending, will contribute meaningfully to her success in the new position.”

Passaro currently serves on the Executive Board of the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, Co-Chairs the Resource Development Committee, and previously served on the Board of Directors of Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties. 


Adult, youth leadership programming applications open

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 22) - The Chamber Foundation, Inc.- the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce - is now accepting applications for its adult and youth leadership and mentorship programming as part of its ongoing mission to build and strengthen personal and business capacity, develop leadership skills, and foster a commitment to community service.

To apply for any of the programs available or for more information, visit    

The Career Achievement Mentorship Program is a yearlong program designed to provide a fulfilling mentor relationship, connecting experienced professionals with aspiring talent at any stage of his or her career development for a supportive, one-on-one relationship. Each pair must be able to meet at least once a month, plus dedicate time throughout the month to focus on achieving goals. The deadline to apply for either mentees or mentors is March 1, 2017.

Do you want to have a more powerful, positive and lasting impact within your organization and/or community? Are you ready to uncover, deepen and build upon your natural strengths as a leader, but need support in exploring the challenges of effective leadership? If you answered yes to any of these questions, submit an application for The Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Dutchess program. The program has been dedicated to educating and motivating citizens to serve in leadership roles within the community. This program was designed to foster the development of a group of professionals who grow and learn together over a nine-month period. The deadline to apply is June 2, 2017.

Lastly, incoming high school sophomores and juniors are encouraged to apply for the Youth Leadership program, an innovative, leadership development program designed to grow the academic, social and life skills of area youth. Students will have opportunities for substantive interaction with his or her peers, community based service organizations, institutions of higher education, and professionals from local industries. For the first year, sophomores participate in Junior Achievement working on the formation of a student-run company including stock sales, product selection, and sales and marketing techniques. During the second year, juniors participate in college/real world preparation sessions about résumé writing, interview skills, college applications, and finance education including a 20-hour business internship. The deadline to apply is June 2, 2017.


Dutchess Chamber “Forty Under 40” nomination deadline extended

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 22) - The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce has extended the nomination deadline for the 2017 Forty Under 40 Shaker Awards to Monday, January 30th. Complete details and an online nomination form are available at Winners will be notified in late winter.

An honor presented to laudable people under the age of 40, the 12th annual Shaker Awards will identify and honor the next generation of leaders in our area who have shown a strong commitment to the Hudson Valley.

Self-nominations as well as nominations for more than one person are accepted. Nominees must be between 18 and 39 years of age before April 25, 2017. Prior years’ Forty Under 40 nominations can be re-submitted for consideration. A panel of judges comprised of previous Forty Under 40 Award recipients will determine the 2017 honorees.

The Forty Under 40 Shaker Awards celebration is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Visit for more details.

Founded in 1907, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is committed to the growth and development of local businesses and the economy.  For more information about Chamber happenings, the complete events calendar, or to find out how we might best serve as an advocate for you and your business, please visit


Dutchess Chamber, affiliated programs welcome new staffers

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 17) - The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and several of its programs announce changes to its dynamic full-time staff.

Chelsea Schwarze will move to a new role as Member Relations Director, working closely with the Membership and Events Departments. Schwarze will coordinate of the Chamber’s database of more than 1,500 member organizations and tens of thousands of individuals. She will also assist the Director of Events in the fulfilment of event logistics. The former Community Relations Specialist, Schwarze has extensive experience with both data management and event planning.

The Chamber welcomes Jeanine Mosher as the new Community Relations Specialist. Mosher will act as a receptionist and clerk for the Chamber’s front office. Mosher previously held several positions at the Poughkeepsie Journal, most recently as Executive Administrative Assistant. She has a background in customer service as well as significant bookkeeping and sales experience.

The Chamber also welcomes Susan Newhouse as Finance Manager. Newhouse will work closely with the Chief Financial Officer to maintain the day-to-day bookkeeping and annual audits of the Chamber and The Chamber Foundation as well as preparing contract claims for the Youth One Stop program. After a long career as a business systems analyst for banks, Newhouse transitioned to the nonprofit field, working with the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board as a one-person accounting department, ensuring Youth One Stop contract claims complied with all regulations.

The Career Action Center at Poughkeepsie High School, a partnership program between the Chamber and the Poughkeepsie City School District, welcomes Meredith Madden as a Career Action Center Mentor. Madden will work with high school students to find and complete internship and job-shadow opportunities as well as acting as a mentor, encouraging and helping students to search and apply for jobs, colleges, and scholarships. Madden brings years of counseling experience to the program and has held long-term substituting positions as a school counselor throughout high schools in Dutchess County.

Lastly, the Youth One Stop, a partnership between the County and The Chamber Foundation, Inc., welcomes Danica Pierre-Louis as a Case Manager. Pierre-Louise will act as mentor, guiding at-risk youth towards obtaining a High School Equivalency or applying to technical school or college. Previously a phlebotomist, Pierre-Louise also has extensive mentoring experience from her role as Assistant Director of the Read and Write Program in Kingston, which worked with youth to meet set goals.

“We’re thrilled to continue our culture of promoting from within as well as welcoming new, talented additions to our team. I am confident each will play an important role in our ongoing efforts to serve our local business community,” said the Chamber’s President and CEO Frank Castella, Jr.

For more information, visit


Ulster Realtors, Hudson Valley Catskill MLS installs new officers for 2017

KINGSTON (January 17) - The Ulster County Board of REALTORS® (UCBR) and Hudson Valley Catskill Region MLS organizations installed their 2017 Leadership Teams yesterday at their annual banquet at the Kingston Best Western.  In front of a packed room of real estate professionals and sponsors, the new officers were sworn in. 

According to the new Ulster County Board of REALTORS® president, Harris Safier, “We expect a really good year for Ulster County”.  Safier also said he “looked forward to exploring new partnerships and collaboration within the community to be even more effective”.  Leadership teams terms are for one year.  The new officers  & directors of Ulster County Board of REALTORS® (UCBR) and Hudson Valley Catskill Region MLS and include:



President - Harris Safier, Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty
President Elect - Dominick Martorana, C21 Alliance Realty
Secretary/Treasurer - Alfred Peavy, Ruth Gale Realty
Immediate Past President - Tom Jackson, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Director 2 Year Term - Barbara Carter, C21 Alliance Realty
Director 2 Year Term - Joan Lonergan, Coldwell Banker Village Green
Director Continuing Term - Faye Storm, Ruth Gale Realty


President - Tim Sweeney, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
President Elect - Randy Spiesman, Weichert REALTORS
Treasurer - John Murphy, Murphy Realty Group
Secretary - Francine Heinlein, Hilltop Realty
Director 2 Year Term - Lisa Halter - Halter Associates Realty
Director 2 Year Term - Helen Coyle Bergstein, Nest Realty Co.
Director Continuing Term - Terri Colucci Shand, Colucci Shand Realty
Director Continuing Term - Marty Reilingh, Maarten Reilingh Realty
Immediate Past President - Patty Conti, Patty Conti Realty


Dutchess Chamber accepting Headliner Award nominations

POUGHKEEPSIE (December 14) - The Headliner Awards Committee of The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its 2017 Headliner Awards. Recipients will be chosen in the following categories:

  • Best Place to Work
  • Customer Service
  • Green & Lean
  • Leadership in Business & Community
  • Outside-the-box Innovator

For more information on all of the categories, criteria, and to download the nomination form, visit Members of the community including employees, customers, friends, neighbors, or the organizations’ leaders are encouraged to submit nominations. Nominations will be accepted through February 24th.

Winners of a Headliner Award will be recognized at an awards ceremony held during the April Contact Breakfast and will receive a customized commemorative plaque. Winners will be announced in April prior to the breakfast.

Past winners are encouraged to submit a testimonial about your experience as an honoree to

Founded in 1907, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is committed to the growth and development of local businesses and the economy.  For more information about Chamber happenings, the complete events calendar, or to find out how we might best serve as an advocate for you and your business, please visit   


Yonkers law firm marks new year with grand re-opening

YONKERS (December 6) - James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C. is ringing in the New Year with a grand re-opening of its offices at 570 Yonkers Avenue. The re-opening will showcase the firm’s expanded and renovated office space, while offering members of the community the opportunity to meet with the firm’s staff and enjoy refreshments.

After 18 years, the law practice has expanded from a small, solo operation to a firm with eight attorneys and four legal assistants, all the while serving Yonkers, Westchester County and the greater New York area. The Grand Re-Opening is open to the public, and seeks to highlight the firm’s growth and success over recent years. The firm’s offices have been newly renovated and expanded to accommodate the expanding practice.

“We are very proud to serve the citizens of Westchester and New York City as we invest and support the continued development of our community,” said James Dibbini, the firm’s principal. “I am very fortunate to have an amazing team, and without them, we would not be able to grow and provide the exceptional legal services we strive to provide every day.”

The firm was recently awarded the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce’s Business Growth Award and was inducted into its Business Hall of Fame. The Yonkers Chamber of Commerce’s Business Hall of Fame recognizes businesses that have successfully contributed to economic development and community enrichment of Yonkers.

The grand re-opening at 570 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, will begin at 11:00 A.M. on December 12, 2016. Breakfast will be provided.




Regional Economic Development and Government Links


The Chamber of Commerce of Orange County, Inc.:

City of Beacon:

City of Newburgh:

City of Port Jervis:

Council of Industry

Dutchess County Local Development Corporation:

Dutchess County Government:

Dutchess County Regional
Chamber of Commerce

Empire State Development:

Greene County:

Hudson Valley Materials Exchange

Mid-Hudson Pattern for Progress:

Mid-Hudson Regional Information Center:

NYS Small Business Development Centers

Orange County Business Accelerator

Orange County Government:

Orange County Partnership:

Orange County Citizens' Foundation

Putnam Economic Development Corporation:

Putnam County Government: 

Rockland Business Association

Rockland Economic Development Corporation

Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce

Sullivan County Government:

Sullivan County Partnership

Ulster County Development Corporation:

Ulster County Government:

Westchester County Government:


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