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SUNY New Paltz School of Business will offer free online MBA advising

NEW PALTZ (October 11) - The SUNY New Paltz School of Business will offer free information sessions this fall to provide students and community members with an overview of the master of business administration degree (MBA) program.

Full details on our Education Page



Orange Bank & Trust Company names new 1st Vice President  

MIDDLETOWN (October 2) - The Board of Directors and CEO Michael Gilfeather of Orange Bank & Trust Company announce the hiring of Anthony Pili as 1st Vice President, Director of Cash Management. Mr. Pili will assess, plan and manage the efficient utilization of cash management products and financial services to best serve the Bank’s commercial clients.   

Pili comes to Orange Bank & Trust with more than 15 years’ experience in the banking and finance industry.  He most recently served as a Senior Vice President at Greater Hudson Bank where he ran the Westchester County Market and served as the Bank’s Director of Strategic planning overseeing the Cash Management department as part of his duties. Prior to Greater Hudson, Mr. Pili worked with Hudson Valley based businesses, non-profits and Municipalities at both Union State Bank and Hudson Valley Bank.

"Anthony's extensive background working with commercial clients in Orange, Rockland and Westchester make him uniquely qualified for this role which is becoming increasingly vital as the Bank continues its growth trajectory," said Michael Gilfeather, President and CEO of Orange Bank & Trust Company. "He is a proven leader and we are glad to have him join our team.”

Pili, who is pursuing a Post Masters in marketing from Fordham University, graduated from Iona College with an MBA in Financial Management and holds a BBA in Finance and Economics from Pace University. An active participant in the community, Anthony is on the Board of Habitat for Humanity and the United Way.

“I’m excited to join a growing Bank with a wonderful reputation of putting their clients first for over a century," said Pili.



LEGOLAND New York names Susan Eisma as Human Resources Director

TOWN OF GOSHEN (October 1) – Susan Eisma, an HR professional with more than 25 years of experience, has been named Human Resources Director for LEGOLAND New York Resort, parent company Merlin Entertainments announced today.

Eisma, a native of the village of Florida, NY and a graduate of Goshen High School, will lead the HR strategy for LEGOLAND New York Resort as it prepares to recruit, hire and train 1,300 Model Citizens (employees) – many of them from Goshen and the surrounding area.

“I feel like a kid in a candy store,” Eisma said. “I’m a farmer’s daughter – my parents still live in the area – and LEGOLAND New York is the most exciting thing to happen to Orange County in a long time. I feel like my entire career has led me back here. It’s a ‘local girl makes good’ story.”

Eisma was previously Vice President of Human Resources at Patina Restaurant Group, where she was responsible for driving the HR strategy and operations for a $300 million, 6,600-employee based organization throughout 70 locations. Prior to this, Susan was Assistant Vice President of HR for Aramark Corporations.

“Susan is an excellent choice for this vital role,” said Divisional Director of LEGOLAND New York Resort Mark Germyn. “We’ll need to recruit and hire at a rapid pace from now until our opening in spring 2020, and ideally, we would like to hire as many people from the local area as possible. Susan’s extensive knowledge and close ties to the Hudson Valley will help us to do that.”

Eisma is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. She lives in New City, NY with her husband Peter and their son Ronan. “He’s seven years old,” Eisma says, “and he now thinks I have the coolest job ever.”

For more information visit



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.



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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