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Own It! Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference

STONE RIDGE (April 2) - The Darlene L. Pfeiffer Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at SUNY Ulster and the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host Own It! Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference.

The one-day conference for female entrepreneurs and dream-to-be entrepreneurs will be held June 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the college’s Stone Ridge campus. Registration for the event is now open.

The purpose of the Own It! conference is to provide women entrepreneurs with actionable, useful information supplied by local experts that can be applied to their businesses to help them succeed. 

The conference will consist of keynote speakers, a series of workshops, networking, a continental breakfast, lunch and gifts.  The fee to attend the conference is $40 in advance and $60 at the door. Online conference registration can be found at

The conference keynote speaker is Diana Kander, an entrepreneur, Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and author of All in Startup, a NY Times and Wall St Journal bestseller.  Kander will speak in the morning; the first 100 conference registrants will receive a signed copy of her book.  The lunchtime keynote speaker will be Darlene L. Pfeiffer, a local KFC franchise owner.


Chamber Foundation accepting nominations for the 2015 ATHENA Award

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 31) - The Chamber Foundation, Inc., the not-for-profit educational organization of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, is accepting nominations for the 2015 ATHENA Award.  To submit a nominee that embodies the traits of strong, successful mentors and leaders of women in the community, visit  All nominations must be received by Mother’s Day - Sunday, May 10.  A strong ATHENA candidate – either a man or a woman - will demonstrate strength in career excellence and leadership, community volunteer involvement and willingness to serve as a mentor, especially to women in the business community.     

Bestowed by The Chamber Foundation, The ATHENA Award Program recognizes individuals for professional excellence, for providing valuable service to their community and for assisting women in their attainment of professional goals and leadership skills. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Award fulfills the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing and honoring women leaders and inspiring women to achieve their full potential.

Part of the ATHENA International Program, The ATHENA Award is presented to a member of the Hudson Valley community who best embodies the ATHENA Leadership Model. The model is unique in that it focuses on personal characteristics of strong, successful leaders. It captures the spirit and collaborative leadership style often exemplified in women leaders, while also recognizing the importance of traits such as courageous acts and fierce advocacy in the pursuit of excellence.

From all the nominations received, an elite group of honorees will be selected in early fall.  It is from this group that the ATHENA Award recipient will be chosen, with that person having the honor of representing the Hudson Valley region at an upcoming ATHENA conference.

The Chamber Foundation, Inc. was established in 2002 to promote education and training programs for area youth and professionals with the goal of enhancing the future of economic growth in the Hudson Valley region. The Foundation's mission is to provide educational opportunities for youth and the workforce, to build and strengthen personal and business capacity, develop leadership skills and foster a commitment to community service.  For more information, visit   


Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation has tools you can use in business

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 20) - If you're in business or thinking about starting a business, The Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation is your single source for all the resources available in Dutchess County and New York State.

"You’ve heard people say that it’s all about connections, and at Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, we are able to connect people to the organizations and information they need to get into business and stay in business," says DCEDC Director of Business Development, Sarah Lee.  “It's at the heart of what we do."

DCEDC first and foremost can help businesses with financing by connecting them with funding sources, such as banks and credit unions, including institutions such as the New York Business Development Corporation and Community Capital. 

The DCEDC provides access to the revolving loan fund (RLF), which lends money to projects that expand employment opportunities.  It lends up to 200,000 at prime over a 7-year term.  DCEDC also works with companies to access the benefits available through other entities. 

Through DCEDC, one can utilize The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency (DCIDA), a Not-For-Profit Corporation created by the Dutchess County government to promote economic development and job creation in Dutchess County.  The DCIDA helps companies invest capital in projects that create jobs and increase the county’s tax base.

It can offer tax or tax-exempt bond financing for eligible projects and a lower interest rate than conventional financing as well as the following:

  • exemption from New York State sales tax for qualified projects
  • exemption from mortgage taxes
  • real property tax abatements

For more information about resources available for businesses in Dutchess County, visit


Dutchess Chamber Foundation receives donation from KeyBank

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 20) - KeyBank has donated $3,500 to The Chamber Foundation, the nonprofit educational organization of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, to support the Chamber’s Workforce Development Center’s iTrain Employment Mentoring Program. 

The iTrain Employment Mentoring program was created in 2012 to address increasing economic challenges in Dutchess County. With competition for entry-level jobs high and employers reporting frustration at not being able to find skilled workers, development of the iTrain Employment Mentoring Program became a priority. 

The iTrain Employment Mentoring Program provides a platform for personal and professional advancement.  The mentee develops necessary hard skills while learning how to manage interpersonal relationships in the workplace.  This is done using partners both inside and outside of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and through internal workshops, trainings and one-to-one sessions.  In addition, a wage subsidy is offered to employers.

“Mentorship is a significant component of the mission of The Chamber Foundation and the Chamber’s Workforce Development Center,” said Nicholas Shannon, Executive Director of The Chamber Foundation.  “We’re thankful that a great community partner like KeyBank saw fit to support our mission.” 

“The mentoring work done by both The Chamber Foundation and the Workforce Development Center is an important component of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s economic development strategy,” said Frank Castella Jr., President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  “We’re doing everything we can to make sure Dutchess County has the deepest and most skilled workforce possible to support the businesses in our region.”

For more than 27 years, the Workforce Development Center has successfully linked businesses to the public workforce system.  The center’s staff members strive to increase business access to qualified workers and ensure that income eligible residents are prepared for the workplace environment, its responsibilities and job retention. Their programs are run in cooperation with the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services.

For more information, visit 




Michael’s Appliance Center expands team with two new associates

TOWN OF WALLKILL  (March 16) - Michael’s Appliance Center, a family-owned appliance business in Orange County, has added experienced associates, Bart Linder and Stella Seitz, to its team to better serve its customers.

Linder, of Warwick, NY, brings more than 25 years of experience in appliance installation, logistics, and transportation to his new role as Sales Associate. A former small business owner and long-time Orange County resident, he holds installation certifications from Miele, Wolf & Sub Zero, and Jenn Air.

“Bart’s experience as a general contractor installing appliances gives our sales staff an added level of expertise when dealing with built-in appliances,” says Andrew Guattery, General Manager at Michael’s Appliance Center. “With his first-hand knowledge of how these appliances get installed, we can help customers avoid issues a typical salesman may not be aware of.”

Seitz, of Middletown, NY, has been named Parts and Service Associate. She has an extensive 37-year background in the appliance parts and service business, including experience as a branch manager at the Sears Parts store in Middletown and Metro Factory Service in Dover, NJ.

“Stella’s arrival marks the beginning of a new era at Michael’s Appliance,” Guattery says. “Her experience will allow us to combine parts and service into a single, one-stop department for anything repair related. This means more timely and efficient support of our customers.”

Founded in 1945, Michael’s Appliance Center is a full-service new and used appliance center with a 15,000-square-foot showroom on East Main Street outside Middletown (near ORMC), in Orange County,.


Walkway seeking healthy food vendors for 2015

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 14) - Walkway Over the Hudson is looking to spice up the food being served on the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge.

The Walkway Over the Hudson nonprofit organization is seeking bids from Hudson Valley-based businesses to supply healthy food vending services for 2015 at Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. Qualified bidders are requested to respond to a recently-issued request for proposal (RFP) by March 31, 2015.  

"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with businesses to offer healthy and delicious food choices to our visitors making their visit to the Walkway even more enjoyable," said Patricia Lichtenberg, chairperson of the Walkway Over the Hudson Board of Directors.

The Walkway organization is seeking regionally-based food vendors to provide the nearly 500,000 annual visitors with a diverse selection of healthy meal and snack choices. The following types of food vendors will be considered:

  • Food trucks, and self‐contained mobile units (no larger than a school bus) to be located in the East (Poughkeepsie) parking lot to the Walkway
  • Self ‐contained mobile units, to be located on the East and West approach paths to the Walkway State Park. These units cannot exceed the maximum size of 8’ x 16’.
  • Small Mobile Food Carts

Locations will be determined by the size of the food vending unit.

Applicants must be experienced food vendors who have prior experience operating in an outdoor setting with limited water, electric, and facilities.  Staffing plans, days and hours of operation and proposed inventory items with prices are required. All vendors must possess current valid permits with the appropriate county health Departments.

Additional details and a copy of the full RFP can be found at the Walkway Over the Hudson website:   


Rolling V Bus Corp. promotes Chris Reebe

SOUTH FALLSBURG (March 6) – Rolling V Bus Corp., a Sullivan County-based passenger transportation company, is proud to announce the promotion of Chris Reebe to the position of maintenance director.

A Rolling V employee for more than 12 years, Reebe will now oversee the day-to-day safety and maintenance operations for all Rolling V operations, headquartered in South Fallsburg.

“The oversight of the department is now in Chris’ hands and we are confident that he is the right person for the job,” said Rolling V Bus Corp. President Phil Vallone. “With a fleet of over 300 vehicles operating in three counties servicing over 8000 passengers per day, the safety and maintenance of the fleet is the cornerstone of the operation.”

Prior to joining Rolling V in 2002 as an area maintenance director, Reebe served in the United States Army.

“I look forward to the challenge of my new position!” said Reebe. “We are constantly developing and improving our maintenance program and it’s my goal to ensure that our vehicles are in their best condition.”

Rolling V Bus Corp. is a member of the New York School Bus Contractors Association and the American School Bus Council. The company is family-owned and operated by the Vallone and DeSabato families. The Vallone Family has been in the passenger transportation business for more than 50 years.


Look for the uniform and ID badge

Central Hudson field employees now in uniform

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 3) - Field employees of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation who have direct contact with customers now have a unified and recognizable presence with uniforms in order to provide increased reassurance to customers.

“The uniforms are intended to increase the safety and visual recognition of our field employees who may perform work on our customers’ property,” said Charles Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services. Employees in uniform include those who read, install and test meters, and who prepare work designs for electric line and natural gas crews.

The uniforms, with navy blue and khaki color themes, have Central Hudson and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 320 logos on the left breast, and Central Hudson’s name across the back in reflective material.

“Our intention is for employees to be more easily identified by the public and when interacting with customers at their homes and businesses,” said Freni. “This helps to prevent any misunderstandings and increases the safety of both our customers and employees.”

Central Hudson employees and authorized contractors also drive marked vehicles and carry photo identification, which will always be displayed upon request.




Rondout Savings Bank promotes Sewell, Hart  

KINGSTON (March 3) – Rondout Savings Bank recently announced of the promotion of Leslie Sewell to Ulster Branch Operations Supervisor and Heather Hart to West Hurley Branch Manager. Hart has filled the role formerly held by Sewell. The two collaborated during the transitional period.

“I worked with Heather for two weeks and was able to introduce her to our clients in West Hurley,” Sewell said. “The transition with customers went really well. Together we worked with branch employees and customers to further streamline the transition.”

Sewell said she is eager to start her new position as Operations Supervisor, adding that Hart is ideally suited to take over her former Branch Manager position.

Hart’s new duties will include taking on the responsibility for increasing deposits, referrals, and loan applications.  Hart’s qualifications include past customer service and assistant branch manager roles. The new Operations Supervisor said the transitional period was productive, and she can now move forward with Hart leading the team at the West Hurley Branch.

“I will continue with Leslie’s exemplary customer service focus,” Hart said. “As the West Hurley Branch Manager, I will continue to train and develop the tellers to recognize sales opportunities.  I am very impressed by the staff and their efforts, such as account openings and visiting potential businesses. I am looking forward to meeting more local business owners and the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce – showing them how a small community bank differs from its competitors.”

Rondout Savings Bank, established in 1868, is a state-chartered, mutual banking and financial services company headquartered in Kingston, New York.



Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP Welcomes Megan Conroy, Expands Estate Planning Department

GOSHEN (February 26) - The Hudson Valley law firm of Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP welcomes the arrival of associate attorney Megan Conroy.

Conroy, a Hudson Valley native and a graduate of Albany Law School, is concentrating her practice on estate planning and elder law under the direction of BSR&B Partner Richard J. Shapiro and associate attorney Austin F. DuBois.

“Our Estate Planning and Elder Law practice has experienced considerable growth over the last several years,” Shapiro said. “Adding Megan to our team will help ensure that we maintain the resources necessary to provide careful and considerate guidance to our clients, which is always our top priority.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining a law firm that is so well-regarded in the community,” Conroy said. “I look forward to working with a top-notch team of attorneys and support staff in providing exceptional legal services to residents of the Hudson Valley.”

For more information about Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, visit


Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber visitors kiosk open seven days a week

PEEKSKILL (February 9) - The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Visitor and Tourist Information Kiosk, located at 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, is now open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12noon – 4pm.  The chamber provides services and benefits to the Croton-on-Hudson, Buchanan, Cortlandt, and Peekskill area.

“Our new electronic access system will allow visitors and tourists access to information on places to dine and shop, things to do, special events and attractions,” said Deb Milone, Executive Director.  “The opening of the kiosk expands the chamber's hours of operation and enhances our ability to promote our community and all it has to offer.”

The chamber's kiosk is filled with information about restaurants, businesses, and upcoming events.  In addition, printed tourist and information guides, as well as local newspapers are available, all free of charge.

“By being located in the center of Downtown, the chamber is often the first place people turn to for information and assistance,” Milone said.  “As foot traffic continues to increase in the spring, it is important that we fulfill our role as the place to go to find information.”  

Additional information is available including business listings and a calendar of events at


KeyBank one of GOBankingRates’ “Best Banks of 2015” 

ALBANY (February 9) - Leading personal finance website GOBankingRates has ranked KeyBank among the top 10 banks in the country in two categories in the website's "Best Banks of 2015". KeyBank is ranked in the top 10 for Best Bank and Best Checking Account. 

GOBankingRates, which tracks and rates consumer financial services, each year evaluates accounts and services offered by the top 90 US banks, based on asset size, and 30 online banks. 

"We're honored by the recognition. This reflects KeyBank's commitment to our clients, who count on us to provide the best banking solutions to help them make confident financial decisions," said Dennis Devine, co-president of KeyBank's Community Bank and head of KeyBank's Consumer and Business Banking segment. 

KeyBank's Best Bank ranking is based on factors including financial strength – KeyBank has "Superior" financial strength rating from Bauer Financial - and specific products such as checking, savings and certificate of deposit accounts. 

KeyBank also received top 10 ranking in the Best Checking Account category for its innovative KeyBank Hassle-Free Account®. KeyBank launched the new account in 2014 for banking clients who want simple and clear banking with no surprises. Clients make deposits, track money, obtain cash and make payments without worrying about potential overdraft fees or other unexpected fees.

"This innovative account and Key's focus on clients is why the bank is ranked in the top 10 for best checking account and best bank overall," said Casey Bond, GOBankingRates' managing editor. 


Verizon garage

Benninger Landscaping purchases former Verizon building in Newburgh

NEWBURGH (January 21) - Cornwall based Benninger Landscaping, Ltd. purchased a 10,724 sq. ft. commercial garage on 3.4 acres at 79-105 Pierces Road in the City of Newburgh from Real Estate Holding Company, Inc. of Fort Plain, NY for a price of $530,000. The property had been used by Verizon as a garage work center to support its telephone operations since the building was constructed in 1961 until it vacated in July 2013.

The purchaser intends to use the facility to support its growing residential and commercial landscaping business.

The transaction was brokered by Robert Scherreik and Brian Coleman of Cushman & Wakefield / Pyramid Brokerage Company’s Hudson Valley office in Newburgh, NY.


Walden Savings Bank’s staff and customers donate to Food Bank

MONTGOMERY (January 21) - Walden Savings Bank collected and donated 684 lbs. of non-perishables to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley as part of their “Fill the WSB Van” campaign.

More deteails on our Education Page


Irwin Siegel Agency Makes Federation holidays brighter

MONTICELLO (January 21) - Once again this year, the Irwin Siegel Agency filled the gap for many children of families in need who might otherwise have gone without. 

More details on our Community Page


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 Economic Development Corporation:

Dutchess County Government:

Empire State Development:

Greene County:

Hudson Valley International
Trade Association, Inc.: 

Hudson Valley Materials Exchange Community Warehouse

Hudson Valley World Trade Center
at Stewart New York International Airport:

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

Poughkeepsie Area
Chamber of Commerce

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:

Ulster County Workforce Development System

Westchester County Government:


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