United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region Welcomes New Board Members for 2013-2014

Effective July 1, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors, now comprised of 19 leaders. The organization also confirmed new members of the Board’s Executive Committee for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. United Way’s Board members are prominent community leaders who volunteer their time to further the mission and goals of the organization.


The following Board members began their term on July 1, 2013:


Janet Ready, President and COO | Vassar Brothers Medical Center
Janet Ready is President and Chief Operating Officer at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. Ms. Ready’s healthcare career spans twenty years in various hospital settings and multi-specialty group practices. She is a Registered Nurse and licensed nursing home administrator. She is the Vice Chair of the Board of the VNA of Hudson Valley and also serves on the Editorial Board of Healthcare Executive. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Columbia University’s School of Nursing and also holds masters degrees in Public Health and Business Administration from Columbia.

Joshua Sommers, Founder and CEO | Focus Media, Inc.
Joshua Sommers is the founder and CEO of Focus Media, Inc., the Hudson Valley’s largest advertising and public relations agency. Mr. Sommers consults world-renowned companies like Simon Property Group, KPMG and United Water. His firm also serves as the marketing partner to Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Sommers is the youngest person to ever serve as Chairman of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development and is the Immediate Past Board Chairman. He currently serves on the Board of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties.

Eben Yager, Senior Vice President and General Manager | Hudson Valley Renegades
Eben Yager is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Hudson Valley Renegades. Prior to joining the Renegades organization in 2008, Mr. Yager served as the Assistant General Manager for the St. Paul Saints. Mr. Yager has been actively involved in the community by serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross of the Mid‐Hudson Valley, Chairman of the Board of the Hudson Valley Boy Scout Dutchess District and the Chair of the New York Blood Center’s Little Doctor’s Program. Mr. Yager holds a B.A. in Sports Administration and Psychology from Central Michigan University.

New Board members were nominated for their leadership positions in business, government, or community organizations, their dedication to United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region’s mission, goals and objectives, and their expertise and experience. Selected by a nominating committee of current Board members, the new members are eligible to serve up to two three-year terms.

The board has also accepted a slate of officers for fiscal year 2013-2014. Steven Howell, Partner at Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell, assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Directors for a two-year term beginning on July 1, 2013. He replaces Sheila Appel, East Region manager for Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs with IBM, who completed a two-year term as Board Chair on June 30. “Howell is an extraordinary leader who has been an ambassador for United Way in our community for many years,” said Appel. Howell has served as the Vice Chair of the Board for the past two years and currently serves on the Board Development, Finance and Audit Committees. His volunteer commitment to UW spans sixteen years. “I leave my position confident that Steve will carry the momentum of success we’ve built over the past two years,” said Appel.

“I have been a part of United Way for many years,” said Howell. “The evolution of this organization over the past two years and how we’ve worked with the community to impact change makes me proud and hopeful as I take on this leadership position. We have a committed board of exceptional leaders who stand behind this work every day. I believe that no other organization is more capable of creating and fostering the positive change our community needs to see.”

Other newly elected members of the Executive Committee include:

Vice-Chair of the Board - Barry Rothfeld, President and Publisher | The Poughkeepsie Journal
2nd Vice-Chair of the Board – David Jolly, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services of Orange County
Secretary – Denise Gorski, Delivery Project Executive, IBM Global Service | IBM
Treasurer – Ken Kosior, Director of Financial Services | Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc.

For a full list of Board members, click here.