Chair of the Board
Barry Rothfeld retired in June 2015 after 11 years as president and publisher of the Poughkeepsie Journal and 42 years with the Gannett Co., Inc. and recently joined the team at Focus Media. He was honored as Gannett’s “Publisher of the Year” in 2009 and is a three-time President’s Ring winner for his work. He was at helm of the Poughkeepsie Journal Media Group during its time of greatest change, overseeing its transformation from a print-centric operation to one that embraced digital media. In other roles with the Gannett Co., he previously served as publisher of The Ithaca Journal, editor of the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, and executive editor of the Poughkeepsie Journal. He also spent 17 years in various reporting and editing roles at Gannett Westchester Rockland Newspapers, now the Journal News, where he started as a reporter and rose to the rank of senior managing editor. Barry believed that the publisher and the newspaper should be good corporate citizens and he practiced what he preached. In retirement, he has remained involved in the community. In addition to his chair position of the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, he serves as second vice chair of the Vassar Brothers Medical Center, is on the board of the Half Moon Theatre as well as the Council of Advisors for Pattern for Progress and the Bardavon Theater. He also teaches at Marist College for Lifetime Studies. He was awarded the John Peter Zenger Award in recognition of exemplary service to newspapers and freedom of the press, presented in July 2015 by the New York News Publishers Association. He holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and he recently completed two terms on the school’s alumni board. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Queens College where he graduated magna cum laude and was editor-in-chief of its award-winning student newspaper.
Vice-Chair of the Board
David Jolly is the Chief Operating Officer at Cornerstone Family Healthcare. Prior to that, he served as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services of Orange County for 8 years. Mr. Jolly began his professional career as a secondary education teacher for the New York City Public Schools. Following his teaching experience, he worked for Youth Advocate Programs as mentor for at-risk children in the community. Mr. Jolly holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Albany and is a graduate of Dominican College in Rockland County.
2nd Vice-Chair of the Board
Kevin Cleary has held key leadership positions at IBM in Engineering, Corporate Finance, Sales and General Management. He is currently IBM VP Sales Support leading IBM's business transformation activities across North America and Latin America. In addition Kevin is the IBM Senior Location Executive for Poughkeepsie, East Fishkill and Sterling Forest representing the thousands of IBMers who live and work in the Mid Hudson Valley. Kevin also serves on the Board of Central Hudson Gas and Electric, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and the Poughkeepsie Alliance.
Diane M. Passaro
Diane Passaro is a First Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer with Orange Bank & Trust Company. She began her career at Orange Bank & Trust Company in 1998 as a Trust Officer, joined the Loan Department of the Bank in 2005, was promoted to Vice President in 2012, and recently was promoted to First Vice President and Regional Sales Manager of the Newburgh, Montgomery and Fishkill areas. Her background in trusts, estates, and real estate management helped pave the way for a successful career as a Bank Trust Officer. She advanced her career through achieving the esteemed designation of “Certified Trust Financial Advisor.” Her duties in the Loan Department include managing a loan portfolio of over $100MM, business development, business lending and loan operations. In addition, she has extensive experience in assisting not-for-profits and manufacturers in the Hudson Valley. In addition to serving on United Way’s Executive Board as Secretary, she Co-Chairs the Resource Development Committee. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, was past President of the Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council, past Treasurer of the Executive Women’s Golf Association as well as serving on the Friendly Visitor Program Board of Jewish Family Services. Mrs. Passaro lives in the Town of Gardiner with her husband Albert. They have two grown children, Stacia and Derek. In her spare time she enjoys, golf, snowmobiling, cooking and spending time with her family.
Kenneth A. Kosior
Kenneth Kosior is the Director of Financial Services at Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. Throughout his more-than 30 year career at O&R, Mr. Kosior held various roles such as Director of Accounting and Manager of Budgets. He has served on the Board of Education for 16 years in Florida, NY. Mr. Kosior holds an MBA in Accounting and Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BBA in Accounting from Pace University.
Steven E. Howell
Immediate Past Chair of the Board
Steven E. Howell is responsible for the Manufacturing, Wholesale, Retail Distribution Industry Practice at RBT Accounting and Consulting Services CPAs, LLP (formerly known as Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell). In addition to serving as Immediate Past Chair of the Board for United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, Mr. Howell is a Chapter Representative for the New York State Society of CPA’s and Chairman of the Board for Hometown Bank of the Hudson Valley. Mr. Howell graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Pace University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is a Diplomate for the American Board of Forensic Accounting.
Ava Bynum is a passionate systems thinker and nonprofit executive with experience in start-ups, development, nonprofit management, education, food systems, and community organizing. She is the Executive Director of Hudson Valley Seed. Hudson Valley Seed educates children in school gardens through curriculum-integrated lessons focused on healthy eating, food literacy, outdoor learning and academic success. Hudson Valley Seed’s work combines Ava's love of food and education and follows her personal values of making both of these human rights accessible to all children.
Christina Daniele is the Director of Human Resources at Marist College where she provides leadership and guidance in the day-to-day administration of Human Resources, including ethics compliance, strategic recruitment, benefits, and employee relations. She began her career working in the child welfare industry, and served as Director of Human Resources and Risk Management for Family Services, Inc. (FSI) in Poughkeepsie, NY, and Lincoln Hall, a non-profit residential treatment center for court-mandated male adolescents prior to joining Marist in 2011. Ms. Daniele holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Education from Fordham University. In addition, she holds her Professional Certification in Human Resources, and serves as an active member of SHRM, the Society of Human Resources.
Arthur DeDominicis is a Licensed Certified Public Accountant in New York and an active member of the business community. In 1988 he founded his own accounting firm, Arthur DeDominicis CPA, Accountant & Consultants. He sits on several Boards including the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board and the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation. Mr. DeDominicis graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and received his license in Public Accounting from The University of the State of New York.
Maureen Halahan has served as the President & CEO of the Orange County Partnership, a private, not-for-profit office of economic development, since 2002. Ms. Halahan serves on the Boards of the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Council, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Citizens Advisory Panel at Stewart International Airport. She was born and raised in Orange County and has lived in the Hudson Valley her entire life.
Steven V. Lant
Hudson Valley executive and community leader Steven V. Lant retired in the fall of 2014 as CEO of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. He is the first recipient of United Way's Distinguished Leadership Award (2015). Lant began his career with Central Hudson in 1980 and completed a graduate degree in economics from the University at Albany in 1984. In 2003, he was named President and CEO of CH Energy Group and CEO of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., a position he held until his retirement in October 2014. From November 2014 through March 2015, Lant served in the volunteer role of Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. In 2004, Lant led the United Way of Dutchess County on an interim basis while also serving as the organization’s board chairman. He was a member of the Dutchess County board from 1997-2008 and served as its chair from 2003-2005. Lant served as a director of The Edison Electric Institute and the Business Council of NY, and was Chair of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and Health Quest. Among many other community recognitions, Lant was named the Poughkeepsie Journal Business Person of the Year in 2012. Lant resides in the Town of Poughkeepsie with his wife Linda. Together they have two grown children, Elliott and Sally.
Richard Mayfield began his government service as a college intern in the Office of Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman. Mr. Gilman eventually offered Richard a job as his District Assistant. Over the years Richard advanced through the ranks of the office, ultimately serving as the District Director. When Mr. Gilman retired, Richard went to work in the New York State Assembly for four years returning home as Press Secretary and Assistant County Executive to Edward A. Diana. During his years at Orange County, he has held numerous positions, currently serving as the Director of the County’s Office of Community Development with the Steve Neuhaus administration. Mr. Mayfield, a lifelong Orange County resident, currently resides in the Town of Newburgh with his wife, Deborah.
Sharon McGinnis is the Vice President of Human Resources & Safety, and the Chief Compliance, Ethics & Privacy Officer at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. In this role, her responsibilities include recruitment, labor and employee relations, compensation and benefits, payroll, employee and organizational development, safety and compliance, and security. Prior to joining Central Hudson, She was at Dow Jones Local Media Groupas Vice President of Human Resources. Ms. McGinnis serves on the Board of Directors for Hudson Valley Hospice. She lives in the village of Montgomery with her husband, Pierson, and her 3 children, Hailey, Cassidy, and Pierson III.
Michelle S. O’Reilly
Michelle O’Reilly is a senior manager at PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP with eighteen years of public accounting experience. Ms. O’Reilly specializes in auditing not-for-profit organizations, as well as, for-profit organizations in the biopharmaceutical, construction and manufacturing industries, employee benefit plans, and personal and business income taxation. Ms. O’Reilly graduated Summa Cum Laude from Marist College where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and its Non-Profit Committee and a board member of the Mid-Hudson Chapter of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Michelle is also a graduate of the 2014 Leadership Dutchess program.
James Rollins, Sr.
James A. Rollins, Sr. is the President & CEO of Covenant Urban Enterprises. Previously, he served as Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations at Taylor Biomass Energy. He has over 18 years experience in the waste recycling industry. Mr. Rollins is the President of the Middletown Chapter of the NAACP, Board member of the Orange County Trust Company and he is a member of New York Biomass Energy Alliance, Inc. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Jacksonville Theological Seminary and a Global Business Degree from Regent University. He received a Master’s Degree in International Business from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Michael S. Rosenberg, Ph.D
Michael S. Rosenberg is Dean of the School of Education and a Professor of Special Education at the State University of New York at New Paltz with more than 25 years of experience in his field. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Dr. Rosenberg was a Professor in the Department of Special Education and Associate Dean for Research in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Rosenberg is the co-editor of Teacher Education and Special Education and co-authored five textbooks on various topics in special education. Dr. Rosenberg received his doctoral degree from Pennsylvania State University and was a 2008 Fulbright Fellow at Saint Patrick’s College in Dublin, Ireland.
Allan J. Ross
Allan J. Ross is the Chairman and CEO of A.J. Ross Creative Media. His career began as a session and touring musician; playing saxophone, flute and clarinet for corporate jingles, film and TV scores and Broadway Shows. He has over 35 years experience in the Advertising field. Throughout his career, Allan has worked with clients such as Gallo Wine, NBC Sports, CNN, Crystal Light, Friehofer’s and Turner Classic Movies. He has also been an active member in the community by serving on the Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee and Retention Board, serving as a member of the Marketing Committee for The Westchester County Association, Inc., and the International Trade Board.
Scott Sweeney is a Sales Executive with the Specialty Risks Division of Marshall & Sterling Insurance. In this position, he provides a broad range of insurance coverages for uncommon risks, serving the financial services industry including pawnbroking, check cashing and other money handling industries. As Sales Executive, Scott has been instrumental in helping Marshall & Sterling’s Specialty Risks Division to grow to where it is today, most notably, helping to create their Pawnbroker Insurance program which today is recognized as one of the largest programs of its kind in the US. With 10 years of experience in insurance and financial services, Scott has written many articles and spoken on various risk management topics for the pawnbroking and check cashing industries. Active in the community, Scott volunteers his time with many local not-for-profit organizations. These include: Past President and member of the Poughkeepsie/Arlington Rotary Club, Foundation Trustee for Vassar Brothers Medical Centers, Current Board Member of Walkway Over the Hudson, Former Board Member of the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce, Past Chair of The Hudson Valley Young Professionals, (a young professional’s organization that he helped establish that serves the Hudson Valley). In addition Scott is also a member of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce where he is a past recipient of their 40 under forty award. He is also a member or the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, The National Pawnbrokers Association and FISCA (Financial Service Centers of America). Scott is a lifelong resident of Poughkeepise. He holds a Bachelors Degree from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. In his spare time he enjoys golf, skiing, traveling and good food.