United Way Kicks-Off 2016 Campaign with Breakfast on 9/15, honoring Sheila Appel & Michael Gilfeather

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region will be kicking off the 2016 Campaign for the Common Good on Thursday, September 15th. United Way President & CEO Jeannie Montano noted that, “We’ll be celebrating our community and its leaders and will learn how we can continue to make positive change through support of United Way and its initiatives.” She went on to state that with the continued support of the community, “United Way helps more than 101,000 individuals each year.”

A committee of community and civic leaders selected this year’s two Community Champion honorees, Sheila Appel of IBM and Michael Gilfeather of Orange Bank & Trust Company, for their service to the community and leadership of their respective United Way campaigns.

Sheila U. Appel is IBM's US Regional Director for Corporate Citizenship Initiatives, and is responsible for leading the US team and overseeing a range of programs helping to establish IBM as a leader in a new breed of corporate philanthropy -- an approach that promotes systemic social improvement largely through investments of pro bono services, employee skills and volunteerism. Ms. Appel was appointed by the New York State Commissioner of Education to serve on the NYS Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, appointed by SUNY Chancellor to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee for Higher Education in New York State and, recognized as one of the top 100 women leaders in the Hudson Valley region. She currently is Board Chair for United Way of New York State and serves on the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board.

Orange Bank & Trust Company President and CEO, Michael J. Gilfeather, brings nearly thirty-five years of banking experience to his leadership position. He also serves in the same positions with the bank’s holding company, Orange County Bancorp, Inc. Prior to joining Orange Bank & Trust, Mr. Gilfeather was the Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President of Hudson Valley Bank, where he was directly responsible for the branch network, training and development, human resources and the bank’s trust department. He serves on the board of the Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation, the Orange County Partnership and Hudson Valley Investment Advisors, Inc., an affiliate of Orange Bank & Trust Company.

In addition to presentations to the honorees by Dutchess & Orange County Executives, Marcus Molinaro and Steven Neuhaus, there will be discussions by three nonprofit partner leaders. Executive Officer of Family Services, Brian Doyle; Executive Director of Mental Health America Dutchess County, Andrew O’Grady, LCSW-R; and Executive Director of Safe Homes of Orange County Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier. Each will elucidate how the support by the community through United Way of their respective programs makes a daily and visible difference in peoples’ lives.

Last year, more than 270 Hudson Valley business people, nonprofit organization leaders, donors, and longtime United Way volunteers were in attendance at the breakfast program. This year, United Way has opened up reservations on a first-come basis with a maximum capacity of 350.

United Way recognizes the leadership and generosity of IBM Corporation, who is serving as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2016 Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast. The program will begin promptly at 7:30am at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. With the leadership of master of ceremonies, Denise Doring VanBuren, Vice President of Communications at Central Hudson, the event will end promptly at 9:00am.

For additional information, reservations, sponsorship and advertising opportunities, go to www.uwdor.org/sponsorship/kickoff2016