Community Champion: John P. O'Shea


Attended elementary and high school in Poughkeepsie and received a B.S. degree from

Fordham University in 1951


Following graduation from Fordham enlisted in U.S. Navy and attended Officers Candidate School. Upon completion was assigned to the destroyer USS Ingraham where he served for 35 months including service with the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and the Seventh Fleet in Korea. Upon release from active duty in 1955 joined the active reserve program serving in various capacities including Commanding Officer assignments with two reserve divisions. Retired in 1974 with the rank of Commander. He was awarded the following medals during his service: Combat Action Ribbon. World War II Occupation Medal (Europe), National Defense Service Medal Korean Service Medal, Armed Forces reserve Medal, United Nations Medal (Korean Service), ROK Korean War Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation.


After completing active military service, John accepted a position with the insurance firm of Marshall & Sterling, lnc. as an Account Executive. He was named Vice President in 1970, President in 1980 and Chairman of the Board in 1999. John led the growth of the company that now has 24 branches in New York, California, Florida, Michigan, Virginia  and the. U.S. Virgin Islands and is ranked among the 50 largest independent insurance agencies in the nation. He has also served on advisory boards and committees of several insurance companies both regionally and nationally.

First National Bank of Highland - Director 1986-1987

Riverside Bank - founder and Board member since 1988. Chairman of the Board 1993 - 2005. Director Emeritus 2005 - 2014

Crabapple Insurance Co. (Bermuda) Director and Vice-Chairman of the Board 1990 – 2000

VBH Insurance Co. (Barbados) - Director and Chairman of the Board - 1988-2007

Poughkeepsie Rotary Club - member since 1966 - served as President in 1968-1969

United Way - originally volunteered with the Community Chest in 1957 and has been continuously active since then. Served on the Board of Governors 1970 - 1973 and 1997 - 2000. With wife Nancy, were the first chairs of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society founded in 1996 a position they held until 2002.

Vassar Brothers Medical Center - served as director of the Vassar Brothers Hospital

Association from 1972 - 1978 and was President in 1971 - 1978. Joined the hospital's

Board of Trustees in 1980 and served as Chairman of the Board in 1987 - 1989. John resigned in 2000 to become a trustee of Health Quest, Inc. that was formed when VBH and Northern Dutchess Hospital merged. Putnam Community Hospital became part of Health Quest in 2002. Elected vice-chairman of HealthQuest in 2003. Returned to the VBMC Board as Life Trustee - 2005

Mid-Hudson Health - was instrumental in forming MHH in \990. This was a collaboration between Vassar Brothers Hospital and St. Francis Hospital to reduce health costs in the community by avoiding duplication of services and implementing other efficiencies. MHH was dissolved in 1999.

Marist College - Board of Trustees 1994 - present

External Marketing Council - was a founding member of the EMC founded in 1993 following the work force reductions at IBM. EMC raised funds from the private sector to cover the costs of attracting jobs in Dutchess County. Served as Chairman in 2001.

Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce - a member since 1956. Served on its Board of Directors from 1977 – 1985 and as its Chairman from 1982 – 1984.

Health Quest Systems, Inc . - founding trustee of this health care system formed in 2000,

Served as Vice-Chairman - 2004-2005.

University Club of Poughkeepsie - President

Community Foundation of Dutchess County - served on its Board of Trustees from 1982-1989 and 1997-2000.

Bardavon 1869 Opera House - Board of Trustees 1991 - 1995

Poughkeepsie Partnership - Board of Director 1992 – 1997

Served on fund raising committees for numerous organizations including Dutchess Arts Council, Mid-Hudson Children's Museum, St. Francis Hospital, Mid-Hudson Civic Center, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Vassar Brothers Hospital and others.


Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce, Community Service Award 1989 & 1998

St. Cabrini Home Humanitarian Award - 1991

St Francis Hospital – Franciscan Award - 1994

Dutchess County Boy Scouts - Distinguished Citizen Award - 1995

Community Foundation of Dutchess County – Community Service Award - 1998

Poughkeepsie Rotary Club – Service Above Self Award - 1999

Jointly with wife Nancy – Family Service of Dutchess County – Family of the Year - 1994

Jointly with wife Nancy - United Way of Dutchess County - Alexis de Tocqueville Community Service Award - 1999

Vassar Brothers Medical Center- 1999 Diamond Gala Award

American Heart Association -2004 Community Service Award

Marist College - 2004 President's Award

Poughkeepsie Journal - 2005 Businessman of the Year

Southern Dutchess Exchange Club - 2005 Meritorious Service Award

Professional Insurance Agents of New York - 2006 Distinguished Service A ward

Maplebrook School - 2010 Presidents Award for Community Service

Boy Scouts of America - Hudson Valley Council - 2012 Distinguished Citizen’s Award


American Legion

Association of the United States Navy

Naval Reserve Association

Military Officers Association of America

Reserve Officers Association of the U.S.


Married January 19, 1952 to Nancy Shaw

4 children, - Michael, Patricia, Stephen, Sandra

7 Grandchildren and 1 Great Grandson

Marshall & Sterling, Inc.

Founded in Poughkeepsie in 1864 and still headquartered here, Marshall & Sterling is one of the oldest business firms in the country. With over 450 employees staffing 24 branches in 5 states and the US Virgin Islands it is currently ranked among the 50 largest independent insurance agencies in the country. Through its Employee Stock Ownership Plan the firm is currently 100% owned by its employees.