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Putnam EDC Welcomes New Chairman and Board Members

CARMEL (February 9) – With a change at the helm and five new members on its Board of Directors, the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation is ensuring that investors, business owners and entrepreneurs know that Putnam County is the place where opportunities are possible. Joseph D. Roberto, president and CEO of PCSB Bank (formerly Putnam County Savings Bank), was elected as the board’s new chairman. Also, James Bates, Cathy Cassidy, James Copeland, Alana Mikhalevsky and Richard Weiss have joined the board.

L-R: Patrick McIntyre, CPA, Richard Weiss, Kathleen Abels, Jeff Kellogg, Chairman Joseph Roberto, Jim Bates, Joseph Hart,
Angela Briante, Alana Mikhalevsky and Jerry Klein.  Missing : Tom Kelly Esq, James Copeland, Cathyrn Fadde, Catherine Cassidy.

“Joe Roberto has done an incredible job expanding the reach of PCSB Bank while strengthening the company’s core value, of being an accessible community bank,” said EDC President Jill Marie Varricchio. “His keen insight and strong leadership will help Putnam EDC move forward and support the business community in the county.”

Roberto has been the president, chairman and CEO of Putnam County Savings Bank since March 2012. In 2015, the bank acquired CMS Bancorp and now operates 15 banking centers, with eight branches in Westchester County and others located in Putnam, Dutchess, and Rockland counties. Following the expansion Putnam County Savings Bank changed its name to PCSB Bank.

“Putnam County has so much potential for business development,” Roberto said. “It is the perfect place for so many different types of industries to do business. The EDC is going to promote the resources we have for existing companies, incentives offered to relocating businesses and trainings available for new businesses.  I am proud to be the chairman of the EDC Board of Directors and I am excited about what the future holds for Putnam County.
Roberto has been on the EDC board since 2013. He succeeds Jeff Kellogg as the chairman. Kellogg, who has been on the board since 2011, was chairman for one year and will remain on the board.

“The role of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation is to drive the economic vitality of Putnam County by fostering an environment conducive to the creation and retention of business delivering an enhanced quality of life for its residents,” said Varricchio. “We welcomed five new board members who are stakeholders in the community and leaders in their fields of study. They will be able to assist the EDC with identifying the right opportunities for relocating or expanding businesses in Putnam County.”

James Bates is the managing director of Ecological Analysis, LLC. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the environmental and planning consulting firm.
Carmel resident, Cathy Cassidy, is managing director of International Matrix Management Institute. She has worked with matrixed organizations for over 10 years, and has helped leaders at all levels of the organization.

James Copeland of Garrison is the founder and principal architect of Hudson Design Architecture and Construction Management. He has 30 years of experience in architecture. 

Alana Mikhalevsky has been the project manager of business development and government affairs for Central Hudson since 2013.  She administers and manages the Central Hudson’s eight economic development fund programs.

Richard Weiss of Mahopac is the founder of Weiss Financial Group, where he currently works as a consultant. His extensive tax and financial expertise is an invaluable resource for the company and its clients.


RECAP’s Food Pantry receives ShopRite grant

MIDDLETOWN (February 8) - RECAP’s Nutrition Program is pleased to announce the program’s food pantry is the recent recipient of a $1,000 grant from ShopRite Partners in Caring.

Full details on our Community Page



BSR&B promotes attorney Austin DuBois to partner

GOSHEN (January 29) - Orange County attorney Austin F. DuBois has recently been named partner at Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP.

DuBois, who joined Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP in 2011, focuses his practice on estate planning, elder law, asset protection, business formation and structuring, business succession planning, and general business representation. DuBois is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Inspire Foundation, vice chairman of the City of Newburgh Industrial Development Agency, and chairman of the Government and Politics Session Committee of Leadership Orange, of which he is an alumnus and Hall of Fame inductee. He also serves on the Board of Directors for both the Orange County Partnership for Economic Development and Pattern for Progress.

“Austin has not only played a significant role in the growth and success of our Wealth Preservation department since he joined us, but he has also invested his time and talent in a variety of community-based organizations focused on making our region stronger,” said BSR&B Managing Partner Michael Blustein.“ He has consistently demonstrated the ambition, drive, and expertise that we know will ensure this firm’s future success.”

DuBois is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia and Rutgers-Camdeny Law School, and has a Masters in Tax Law from the Temple University Beasley School of Law.  He has twice been included on the Upstate New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in the field of elder law. He is also Lodge Counsel for the Mid-Hudson Fraternal Order of Police and Special Counsel for Orange County Shields. He is a member of WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, and the Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council.

“It’s a privilege to work with such a fine group of legal professionals who are so firmly dedicated to service to our clients and our community,” said DuBois, a seventh-generation resident of Orange County. “I am grateful for this opportunity to build upon this firm’s stellar reputation, and to contribute to its growth.”



Fresh Start Café starts the year with a new executive chef 

MIDDLETOWN (January 9) Fresh Start Café’s New Executive Chef Benito Vona started his morning in the kitchen showing a trainee how to make hard rolls.

Full details on our Community Page


Dutchess Chamber seeking nominations for 2016 Headliner Awards recognizing top businesses in Dutchess County

POUGHKEEPSIE (December 31) - The Headliner Awards Committee of The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its seventh annual Headliner Awards.  Recipients will be chosen in the following categories: Leadership in Business & Community, Outside-the-Box Innovator, and Customer Service.  Two new categories were announced for the seventh annual awards: Best Place to Work and Green & Lean.

For more information on all of the categories and to download the nomination form, visit Members of the community including employees, customers, friends, neighbors or the organizations’ leaders are encouraged to make nominations. Nominations will be accepted through February 22. Winners will be chosen by a committee of Chamber members and are saluted at the April Contact Breakfast.

The Best Place to Work award-winning organization should demonstrate how they value their employees through their daily relationships and not by a statement in their employee handbook or benefits outline. This relationship is built on key criteria including: trusting the employees; treating them with respect; rewarding them with fair wages; communicating with them on a regular and consistent basis; building pride in the workplace, the employee and their job; and making the organization a credible and enjoyable place to work. All of these actions will show how the organization values its employees thus making it the Best Place to Work and a model for other organizations. An employee of the nominee must make this nomination.

Nominees for the revamped Green & Lean category will be judged on their accomplishments made during 2015 in areas such as solid waste reduction, recycling, energy conservation or renewable energy usage, as well as process improvement, social consciousness and utilizing resources efficiently and effectively. The nomination must include specific details on how these actions have resulted in the nominee not only becoming a vibrant, sustainable organization, but also having produced positive results for its bottom line that will continue and grow.

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 they might best serve as an advocate for you and your business, please visit    


Local Enterprise Rent-a-Car partners with Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to sort and pack five tons of food for community

HUDSON VALLEY (December 31) - The Hudson Valley operations team of Enterprise Rent-A-Car recently worked alongside the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to help provide food to less fortunate community members during this holiday season.

Full details on our Community Page


Benedictine Health Foundation announces new board members

KINGSTON (December 14) - The Benedictine Health Foundation announce the appointment of three new board members. 

Full details on our Health Page



Thrivent Financial representative Steve Jones receives National Quality Award from NAIFA

POUGHKEEPSIE (November 24) - Steve Jones, FIC, a Financial Associate with Thrivent Financial in Lagrange, N.Y., has received the 2015 National Quality Award in recognition of his quality service to clients and successful sales achievements. The award is conferred by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), Falls Church, Va., and the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA), Hartford, Conn. This is the first time that Jones has received the award. 

“Only those professionals having a proven record of providing financial products and services appropriate to their clients’ needs qualify for this prestigious honor,” said Tim Campbell, managing partner for Thrivent Financial Northeast Regional Financial Office in Montvale, N.J.  “Steve Jones embodies professionalism and caring in his financial services practice and is very deserving of this award.”

“The best part of my role as a financial professional is helping members meet their life’s goals and dreams,” said Jones. “I am honored to receive the National Quality Award and it validates my commitment to my members’ financial success.” 

Jones is a member of the NAIFA - New York State. It is one of 700 state and local associations that comprise the NAIFA federation.

Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously.


Hudson Valley Young Professionals hosting gift drive  

POUGHKEEPSIE (November 24) - For the seventh year, the Hudson Valley Young Professionals, a committee of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, is hosting a holiday toy drive with donations this year benefiting the children and teens receiving services through House of Hope and Mental Health America. 

Full details on our Community Page


Garry, center, and Vrba, right, with Lydia Higginson, Deputy Director
of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.;

NYSTIA selects BBG&G Advertising for the “Excellence in Marketing” award

CAMPBELL HALL (November 16) - BBG&G is proud to have received the 2015 ‘Excellence in Marketing’ award from the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA). NYSTIA has recognized BBG&G’s drive to succeed, marketing leadership and achievement in the tourism sector for their work with Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DT).

As a tourism industry leader, NYSTIA strives to raise consumer awareness and appreciation of travel and vacation opportunities in New York State.

NYSTIA’s “Excellence in Marketing” award recognizes an organization’s planning and implementation of overall marketing strategy for an attraction, destination or region that is creative and innovative. The award-winning “Distinctly Dutchess” campaign includes print and digital ads, e-marketing, a digital tablet site, social media, TV spots, and YouTube videos.

“The ‘Distinctly Dutchess’ program is singular in its ability to capture and hone in on Dutchess’ unique essence,” observes Deborah Garry, Partner, BBG&G Advertising. “Our work has succeeded in positioning Dutchess as the exemplary Hudson Valley destination within a region that is only gaining in popularity worldwide.”

Mary Kay Vrba, President & CEO of Dutchess Tourism, Inc., said, “BBG&G Advertising & Public Relations has been a terrific marketing partner. Together we’ve kept our eye on the goal of increasing visitation to Dutchess County, and have created an effective plan for doing so. They continue to envision countless ideas, turning the best ones into detailed marketing solutions that have helped us achieve success.”


Dutchess County business raises “Hope”

AMENIA (November 16) - Jack's Auto Service in Amenia has once again raised funds in October Breast Cancer Awareness month for the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation.  Linda Gregory, owner with her husband Jack, runs the fundraiser at their shop on Dutchess County's eastern border.

Full details on our Community Page


Collaborative project with SUNY Sullivan and The Roscoe NY Beer Company  

ROSCOE (November 16) - Students in SUNY Sullivan’s Principles of Advertising class in collaboration with students from the Graphic Design Workshop were recently given the opportunity to create some unique marketing materials for the Roscoe NY Beer Company, one of Sullivan County’s local craft breweries.

Full details on our Education Page


Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley receives donation from HGAR

WHITE PLAINS (November 8) - This year, the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors® has raised a total of $8,010 for Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley, the Tarrytown-based non-profit organization that grants the wishes of Hudson Valley children suffering with life-threatening medical conditions.

Full 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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