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HVEDC Board of Directors welcomes Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. President and CEO

GOSHEN (September 17) – Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC) announces the appointment of Robert Sanchez, President and CEO of Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., to its Board of Directors. Sanchez is also a board member with the Rockland Economic Development Corporation.  

Sanchez acted as Senior Vice President of Corporate Shared Services at Con Edison, Inc. prior to joining Orange and Rockland, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Con Edison. He has also served as Vice President of Brooklyn and Queens Electric Operations, as well as its Vice President of System and Transmission Operations.

Additionally, Sanchez is a member of the Board of Directors of Orange and Rockland Utilities and Rockland Electric Company, as well as the New Jersey Utilities Association.

“Bob’s business skills and expertise with energy solutions will be a huge asset to our team,” said Mike Oates, President and CEO of HVEDC. “I am excited to that Bob has agreed to invest in our mission and help us diversity and grow the Hudson Valley economy.”

Under Sanchez’s leadership, Orange and Rockland currently provides energy utility solutions to nearly 1 million users in New York and New Jersey. Sanchez is a member of the 2017-2018 class of David Rockefeller Fellows, a program which promotes the active leadership of senior corporate executives in civic and public affairs in the New York metro area. He earned his MBA from Pace University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami.

“HVEDC is a great champion for Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester Counties’ economic development efforts, and I am honored to be appointed to its outstanding Board of Directors,” Sanchez said. “I welcome the opportunity to join its efforts on behalf of the people and businesses throughout the Mid-Hudson region, including all seven of the vibrant counties that HVEDC represents.”

HVEDC is the leading economic development agency for the seven-county region of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties.   


HVADC Accelerator application deadline extended to September 24

HUDSON (September 17) - The application deadline for Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation’s (HVADC) Farm and Food Funding Accelerator Program (FFFA) has been extended to September 24.  Due to a large number of inquiries and applications, the deadline has been extended to allow for all interested entrepreneurs to submit applications and appropriate paperwork.

The FFFA is an intensive training and mentoring program designed to help farm and food enterprise owners to develop the necessary skills and materials to build their businesses and approach financial sources. Instruction will begin in November. The curriculum includes expert instruction, one-on-one counseling and technical assistance, group interaction and industry networking events to help participants learn how to position their business models in anticipation of presenting to potential funders in spring 2019.

FFFA applicants must be a farm, food, fiber or agriculture-dependent business having their home office, farm or production facility in the Hudson Valley, and sourcing the majority of their product ingredients from the region, as well as the majority of their labor force. They must be able to make a commitment to the time and resources required of the training program and to commit the same to future FFFA participants as a peer or mentor.  There is no cost to participate in the program. 

Training sessions will be conducted by HVADC, its industry partners, industry professionals, and institutional and retail stakeholders in the Hudson Valley food system. Peers from HVADC’s 2016 FFFA class will also participate as mentors and counselors. The Valley Table magazine is the media sponsor of the FFFA program. Funding for FFFA was made possible by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency. 

Applications for the FFFA program will be accepted until September 24.  There is a nominal application fee of $15. Additional details and application materials may be found at Questions regarding the FFBA program may be directed to 518-432-5360 or



Rick Loewenstein joins Chazen as Chief Operating Officer

POUGHKEEPSIE (September 5) – The Chazen Companies announced that Richard Loewenstein, Jr., P.E., has joined the company as Chief Operating Officer.

Loewenstein earned his BS in Forest Engineering from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University. He is a licensed professional engineer in 10 states, has held a number of professional and civic leadership positions, and has over 30 years of experience.

Loewenstein has broad and lengthy experience in virtually every aspect of growing a professional services firm. As COO, he will be responsible for providing senior-level strategic and operational leadership for Chazen’s technical staff and services, including project delivery, client management, and staff management and development.

“Rick is a dynamic, results-driven, forward-thinking leader who sets high standards for himself and others,” said Mark Kastner, P.E., President, The Chazen Companies. “He has a strong understanding of the consulting business and is adept at problem-solving and managing change. I look forward to working with him and having him help lead Chazen to even greater heights.”

Founded over 70 years ago, The Chazen Companies is an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary firm providing civil engineering, land surveying, planning, and many other services to clients in the private and public sectors.


Current location in the Poughkeepsie Galleria

Jamaican food coming to Galleria at Crystal Run

TOWN OF WALLKILL (September 5) - This fall, as you’re sipping your pumpkin-spice whatever, another kind of spice will be coming to the Galleria at Crystal Run. The Galleria’s Peruvian, Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese offerings will be joined by Jamaican cuisine, when Scotch Bonnet opens in the Food Court this October.

But what is scotch bonnet? “It’s a hot but flavorful pepper that represents food from that part of the world,” said founder Richard Grey. “It’s in literally all of our food.”

That food is prepared according to the traditional Jamaican recipes of Grey’s mother and grandmother.




HVEDC Board of Directors welcomes advisory members 

GOSHEN (August 23) - Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC) announced the appointment of Angelo Ferrante, President of Hudson Valley Contracting & DKI, and Rick Alfandre, Founder and Owner of Alfandre Architecture as Advisory Members to its Board of Directors.

Ferrante, a Goshen High School and SUNY Delhi grad, has been serving the Hudson Valley as part of his family's business since 1988. Under his leadership, along with his brother Mike, the company has continued to grow into Hudson Valley Contracting & DKI. The multifaceted company is a leading restoration contractor in the Hudson Valley, well-known for handling a wide range of services effectively and efficiently, including emergency response and remediation projects, general contracting and construction, facilities maintenance and more. Ferrante is a member of several business organizations and is active with community programs, including Habitat for Humanity.

"My family and I take great pride in the work we do in support of regional businesses and in our neighboring communities," said Ferrante. "I am excited to join the HVEDC Board in an advisory capacity and am committed to continuing the rewarding work of promoting the Hudson Valley as a world-class destination for businesses and tourism."

Oates said, "Angelo and his family have established a reputation for delivering unwavering quality during difficult times for their clients. It is that dedication to people, coupled with his skill and experience, which make Angelo an exceptional addition to our Board as an Advisory member."

Alfandre has built more than 250 projects over the past 25 years. Along with his role as CEO of Alfandre Architecture, he is also a principal at Eco Builders, Inc., a full-service general contracting firm serving the Hudson Valley.

"It is an honor to take on this advisory role with HVEDC," said Alfandre. "This is a results-driven organization with an ambitious vision for the Hudson Valley, which aligns with my own personal vision and that of my company."

His builds cover a broad scope, including solar residences, churches, retail spaces and multi-million-dollar hotels and resorts. Alfandre is a member of the American Institute of Architects, a LEED Accredited Professional specializing in Building Design and Construction.

"We count on the expert insights of respected professionals to help steer the HVEDC and those who benefit from our efforts in the right direction," said Mike Oates, President and CEO of HVEDC. "Rick's experience and know-how will be a valuable asset to many, and I am glad to welcome him as an Advisory member to our Board."

HVEDC is the leading economic development agency for the seven-county region of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties.


Local Drone business among several honored at the 2018 Great New York State Fair Drone Film Festival competition

SYRACUSE (August 21) - Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the winners of the Great New York State Fair's 2018 Drone Film Festival competition. The festival, in its second year, attracted 74 entries from around the world. Entries came from Spain, Latvia, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and from around the United States. The Best in Show winner, Kingdom of the Wild by Michael Bishop of California, allowed viewers to run with herds of wild animals in Namibia.

"Upstate New York is quickly becoming a central hub for drone research by making significant investments in this rising, high tech industry," Governor Cuomo said. "The annual drone film competition highlights the incredible work being done with drones while supporting the Central NY Rising priority of promoting economic growth in the region."

"The winners of the State Fair Drone Film Festival Competition highlight the best the technology has to offer," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The high-tech industry is growing in the Central New York region with drone research and advancements. State investments are further helping to promote and encourage economic growth in the area and continue moving forward."

Among those winning honors was Roger Rosembaum's Brand-News-Team, getting two awards: one for aerial photography and the other for drone video news. Brand-News-Team drone videos are sometimes featured in MidHudsonNew.Com stories

Gold medal winners took viewers into the mountains of Alaska, around the isolated Faroe Islands and through the beautiful regions of Upstate New York. Drones helped show specialized training in the Colonie Police Department, toured an ancient castle in the Pyrenees, and documented a family farm's harvest in Kansas. The full list of gold, silver and bronze medal winners is available here.

The medal winning films will be screened at the Fair Sunday, August 26 in the Empire Theater of the Art & Home Center. Winning filmmakers will receive their medals at the event, and Best in Show winner Bishop will also receive $250 and a DJI Phantom Pro 4 drone, provided by DJI.


Pattern for Progress seeks applicants for 2018-2019 "Pattern fellows" Regional leadership Program

NEWBURGH (August 21) - Now in its 12th year, the Pattern Fellows Program is the region's premier leadership program, giving participants a unique perspective on trends in the Hudson Valley and teaching them new strategies to solve problems and become leaders in their communities. Since the program's creation, over 250 fellows have graduated, including leaders from the fields of finance, government, economic development, land conservation, law, human services, healthcare, academia, and more. For people who want to join the 2018-2019 class of leaders, the application deadline is October 1.

The Pattern Fellows Program is designed to expand the horizons of those already active in their communities and careers. Classes are led by Pattern's President & CEO Jonathan Drapkin, who brings decades of experience in non-profit leadership and government management. Prominent guest speakers from government, business, education, and the non-profit sector provide insights and share their experiences with program participants, who then spend several months working on a research project to be presented at a graduation luncheon each June.

Classes gather every other week from October through June at the Pattern office at 3 Washington Center on the campus of SUNY Orange in Newburgh. Classes meet in the late afternoon, from 4 pm to 6 pm, with refreshments served at each meeting.

"The Fellows program was a wonderful experience that challenged my views of regional development and trends," said Allison Cappella, a member of the 2017-2018 Fellows class, and an attorney with Jacobowitz and Gubits LLP in Walden. "I learned a tremendous amount about the Hudson Valley region and enjoyed hearing my classmates' various points of views. The program truly taught us to think critically about many issues facing our region."

“Every trip from Sullivan County was worth it," said Nicole Slevin, the Communications & Diversity Manager for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, and another 2017-2018 Pattern Fellow. "This program provides professional development, new connections, and a regional perspective on both issues and solutions in the Hudson Valley that are relevant to every profession. I’m proud to be an alumna.”

To learn more about the program or how to apply, contact Evan Menist at or 845-565-4900 or visit:


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Vescovi and Upright

Chazen welcomes new staff

POUGHKEEPSIE (August 7) – The Chazen Companies announces the addition of two new employees to its Poughkeepsie office.

Amanda Vescovi has joined Chazen’s Natural Resources group as an Assistant Environmental Scientist. She provides wetland delineation, permitting and threatened and endangered species services.

Doug Upright has joined Chazen as an Assistant Project Engineer. Upright was an intern back in 2013, and we are welcoming him back to the Poughkeepsie Municipal Team.

Founded over 70 years ago, The Chazen Companies is an employee-owned, multidisciplinary firm providing civil engineering, land surveying, planning, environmental and safety consulting, code services, landscape architecture, construction services, transportation planning and traffic engineering to clients in the private and public sectors.


Marshall & Sterling promotes five new vice presidents

POUGHKEEPSIE (August 7) - Marshall & Sterling Insurance recently announced the promotion of five employees to the position of Vice President within the agency. The new Vice Presidents are: Chris Harris, Branch Manager of the Kingston, NY office; Yvonne McCrea, Director of Personal Lines; Katy Pagano, Director of Loss Control; Dan Round, Sr. Sales Executive in the Scotia, NY office, and; Tim Tarpey, Branch Manager of the Poughkeepsie offices.

Chris Harris has served in leadership roles for a number of industry leading insurance companies including Travelers, Aetna, Nationwide, Preferred Mutual, Merchants and others.

Yvonne McCrea is a 15-year veteran of the insurance industry and has also held several client support and management positions for other insurance agencies over the years.

Katy Pagano is responsible for the introduction, oversight and coordination of all risk management and loss control services offered to current and prospective clients.

Dan Round has served as President of the Capital Region Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association (IIABA), and a member of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) Association Capital Region Advisory Council.

Tim Tarpey’s diverse background includes in-depth sales and account management experience with a Fortune 500 company, where he served as District Manager.

Founded in 1864, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, a 100% employee-owned company, is currently ranked 33rd among more than 40,000 privately-held insurance agencies in the United States, with total annual written premiums in excess of $900 million.


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Orange Bank & Trust Company appoints first Vice President and Senior Credit Officer

MIDDLETOWN (August 3) - The Board of Directors and CEO Michael Gilfeather of Orange Bank & Trust Company announce the hiring of Michael Listner as 1st Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Listner comes to the Bank with more than 15 years in banking, credit, finance and relationship management. He joined the Bank most recently from Sun National Bank as Senior Vice President. There his responsibilities were both on the credit and relationship sourcing side. In addition, he has many years of experience in credit ratings and structured finance with Standard & Poor’s.

“We are very fortunate to bring Michael to our senior team as we continue to grow our loan portfolio,” said Michael Gilfeather, President & CEO of Orange Bank & Trust. “His wide-ranging background and deep experience in credit analysis will help the Bank execute its strategy of working with regional businesses to accommodate their credit needs.”

Listner has a Master of Business Administration from NYU Stern School of Business and a BS in Finance and Economics from Villanova University.


Rolling V offers convenient training, competitive initatives for school bus drivers

SOUTH FALLSBURG (July 26) – Rolling V Bus Corp., a Catskill Region-based school bus transportation company, recently launched an expanded recruitment effort for school bus drivers in preparation for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Since 2016, school bus operators nationwide have been experiencing a shortage of drivers, leading to decreased bus routes in a school district and increased frustrations among resident parents. Rolling V Bus Corporation has taken a proactive approach to meet the demand for drivers in Orange and Sullivan counties.

“In order to continue our commitment to the region and accommodate the company’s projected growth, we have introduced convenient training options and services for interested candidates,” said Rolling V President Phil Vallone. “Our programs help to not only provide assistance to our employees, but ensure the area’s students have a safe, dependable mode of transportation.”

In addition to providing fair pay, holiday pay, benefits and retirement programs, Rolling V recently expanded its employee initiatives to include:

  • English language training program
  • Entry-level job training: For those retired, looking for supplemental income or just new to the industry
  • CDL training program
  • Day care offering: Rolling V has a working partnership with Best Friends in Monticello
  • Employee shuttle service

Those interested in learning more about current openings, or to discuss further details on any of the above programs, are encouraged to call 845-434-4102.  More information can also be found at


Splashdown Beach named among the top water parks worldwide

FISHKILL (July 26) - SplashDown Beach, “America’s Biggest Little Water Park,” has been named the #8 Best Water Park in the United States, and #22 Worldwide, according to TripAdvisor.

This recognition comes following the addition of a brand new attraction, The Megalodon, which made its debut this season. 

“We focus on delivering the best experience for our guests here at SplashDown Beach, and it means a lot to be recognized among the best in the world” said Steve Turk, the park’s owner. 

The Turk family purchased the underperforming water park in 2004 and has since invested nearly $25 million into the now ranked #1 water park in the state of New York.

Operating seasonally from Memorial Day to Labor Day, SplashDown Beach features attractions for all ages. 


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Orange Bank & Trust hires new Chief Financial Officer

MIDDLETOWN (July 25) – Orange Bank & Trust Company announced Robert Peacock has joined the Bank as Chief Financial Officer. Peacock reports to Michael Gilfeather, President and Chief Executive Officer. He will be responsible for finance, accounting and IT.

“We conducted an extensive search to find the right leader to compliment the bank’s senior team as we effectively implement the bank’s strategy to be the premier business bank and private bank service provider in the Hudson Valley,“ said Gilfeather. “Robert has the right combination of experience, talent and enthusiasm for the job and we are delighted to have found him.”

Peacock is joining the Bank with an extensive background in financial management and strategic planning. He has previously worked as an Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Spencer Savings Bank, headquartered in Elmwood Park, NJ with $2.7 billion in assets and 21 branches.

Peacock has a Master of Business Administration and a BS in Finance and Statistics both from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


New Windsor welcomes D.A. Collins Companies

NEW WINDSOR (July 25) – The Town of New Windsor helped welcome D.A. Collins Companies by partaking in an official ribbon cutting of their new regional office located on Executive Drive.

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Town Chief of Staff Colin Schmitt cut the ceremonial ribbon along with Assemblyman James Skoufis and other local officials, business leaders and members of the D.A. Collins Companies. “We welcome D.A. Collins Companies and their regional office to New Windsor. This is yet another example of how New Windsor is open for business,” Schmitt said. 

“New Windsor is proud to have D.A. Collins Companies make New Windsor home of their regional office,” said Supervisor George Green. “This is yet another example of New Windsor leading the way for business development and expansion opportunities in the region.”

If any business is interested in expanded or re-locating to New Windsor they should feel free to contact Colin Schmitt (email) or (phone) 845-563-4620 to discuss exciting opportunities available in New Windsor.

For more information visit:



Regional Economic Development Links


Council of Industry

Dutchess County Local Development Corporation:

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce

Empire State Development:

Mid-Hudson Pattern for Progress:

Mid-Hudson Regional Information Center:

NYS Small Business Development Centers

Orange County Business Accelerator

Orange County Partnership:

Orange County Citizens' Foundation

Putnam Economic Development Corporation:

Rockland Business Association

Rockland Economic Development Corporation

Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce

Sullivan County Partnership

Ulster County Development Corporation:


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