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PRIDE AWARDS 2013 Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Proudly Recognizing Sullivan County Pride for Twenty-two Years

A Special Section of the Sullivan County Democrat

Sullivan Pride Awards:

An idea which never gets old


or the 22nd consecutive year, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce will be recognizing the business community for its outstanding contributions to the area. We are proud to say we can remember the First Annual Pride Awards. What a grand occasion to attend the Villa Roma Clubhouse in Callicoon and see more than 300 Sullivan County residents celebrating the success and achievements of our business owners. The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce has done an exceptional job of keeping the tradition going, honoring someone from every township in the county as well as recognizing a businessperson of the year for giving of their time and energy to improve our quality. Through the years the list of award recipients has grown to include Distinguished

Service, Distinguished Achievement and Young Emerging Leader awards. This is another idea which celebrates success and gives everyone who has devoted time to making our county better a chance to share the spotlight. And in reality, we realize that those who are being honored this Sunday, May 5, never did it for our admiration or to win an award. However, we feel its vitally important to honor those who give so freely of their time to benefit so many organizations and help those who in our community who need our help. Please enjoy the write-up on this year’s 19 award winners and, if you get the chance, stop by their store some time and tell them “Thank You, we appreciate what you do.”


TAKE A BOW! Congratulations to all the Sullivan Pride award recipients including our partners: Jeff Bank, Distinguished Achievement WSUL/WVOS & Watermark Communications, Distinguished Service Award Your friends at

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Business of the Year

Mike & Walter Taylor

Combined Energy Services By Eli Ruiz


n 1968, Walter Taylor took a gamble, buying Johnson’s Fuel Oil in Monticello and striking out on his own in the volatile energy industry. He delivered to his customers while his wife Patricia manned the phones out of their Monticello home. Nearly 45 years later, it’s certainly paid off as Combined Energy Services (CES) has grown into one of the county’s largest energy firms with more than 100 full-time employees while serving in five different states. No wonder it garnered the Chamber’s top award. Taylor’s son Mike, who runs the firm now, relates how CES would come to absorb such competitors as Atlantic Ridgefield (ARCO) gas station on Broadway in Monticello, Rock Hill Fuel Oil, Bethel Oil, All Gas, Benton Brother’s Gas Service and others. “The Benton Brothers buy was big for us because it moved us into the Liberty market, and that’s when we started covering a lot more of the county,” explained Mike. “My father worked very hard for many years to grow this company… We’ve entered into several different sectors over the years but all of our moves were well thought out and sometimes one industry just naturally leads you into another… we do our research here.” With CES’s 1983 purchase of All Gas from the Alport family of Fallsburg it entered into the compressed gas (bulk carbon dioxide or CO2) business, supplying bars, restaurants, and breweries. The Taylors branched out into the swimming pool business with the 2000 purchase of Wechsler Pool Supply. “Through the compressed carbon dioxide business we started using CO2 in pools,” noted Taylor. CES recently expanded into the Goshen area and is negotiating with the Ulster County planning board for another planned expansion in that neighboring county. Two years ago, after 12 years as a science 2013

Walter Taylor and his son Mike hold a picture of CES trucks Mike drew as a kid. teacher in the Liberty School district, Taylor’s brother Gregg joined the family business to run the Wechsler division. Said Taylor, “I couldn’t be happier. Gregg has done an outstanding job for us.” As for his fondest memories in the business, Taylor offers, “I have to say that helping my father build a great company with great employees has been very gratifying. It’s not about us anymore because we’re bigger now. Now it’s all about our amazing employees… there’s no way we could have done any of this without the group we have here. We’ve got people who’ve been with us 20 and 30 years – that says something.” CES refuses to fall behind the times, hiring Monticello native and tech wizard Desmond Gonzales to handle all things IT, leveraging his expertise to help keep the company relevant in this internet age. “He’s very smart, progressive and an asset to CES. If you don’t evolve with the times you’re going to be extinct,” said Taylor. Regarding the Pride Award, Taylor is reflective: “We’re honored. My father worked very hard to get us to this point. I think this affirms my position that we have some of the very best people working here, I believe that this area is poised for some serious economic growth. I see a lot of great things on the horizon for Sullivan County and all of at CES thank the Chamber for the recognition.” P R I D E AWA R D S 3

Congratulations To All Pride Award Winners. You Deserve The Recognition.

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Distinguished Achievement

Jeff Bank 100 Years of Service By Kaitlin Carney



The original bank building in Jeffersonville.


businessmen that started the bank included a director to represent every town in the county. The Jeff Bank’s investment in the community and knowledge of its needs stems from that familiarity. “They had vision enough to include representation from every township. Even in 1913, we were dedicated to investing in the county and not just centered in Jeffersonville,” Zanetti said. Jeff Bank is the only survivor from the many community banks that dotted the county in the 20th century. The Jeff Bank plans to continue to be a staple of the Sullivan County community for many years to come, both as a community bank and as a supporter of the area and its residents. “We are a community bank. The smallest stockholder is as important as the largest stockholder and our smallest depositor is as important as our largest depositor,” Zanetti said. “We are going to continue to celebrate this community and everyone that has supported us…”

Congratulations To All Pride Award Recipients & Winners All The Best!


Linda J. Barriger


he First National Bank of Jeffersonville, rebranded as the Jeff Bank, is celebrating a milestone birthday this year, reaching 100 years of service to Sullivan County and its residents. The landmark financial institution is celebrating in the manner that it has conducted business over the past century: by giving back to the community. Employees have selected four local charities that donations can be made to, with the bank matching their funds. The four, the Sullivan SPCA, American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club of Sullivan County, and Hospice of Orange and Sullivan County, were selected with the idea that they will use the funds generated to help Sullivan County residents and the community at large. There will be small celebrations at each branch and historical information and photos are traveling around for employees and customers to enjoy. The bank is a longtime supporter of the Sullivan County Community College Foundation Golf Outing, the Hospice 5K, the SullivanArc Foundation Golf Outing, and a sponsor of the New Hope Golf outing. The bank encourages its employees and officers to be active and involved in the local community, whether it means coaching a Little League team or being a member of a Lions Club or other civic organization. President Wayne Zanetti said the bank is honored by the Chamber’s recognition.. “It is truly great. It really reflects on Sullivan County and the residents here. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of the people, businesses, and stockholders in the county,” he said. “There is not one person who kept the bank going for one hundred years… it’s really all of our customers. They have selected us as their bank, and we are proud of that. We strive to maintain that confidence.” The bank was first formed in 1913, opening the doors on January 4, 1914. The local


Congratulations to all the

Pride Award Winners & Honorees, Sullivan County’s Finest!

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Distinguished Service

WSUL/WVOS Annual Heart-a-Thon

Story and Photo By Eli Ruiz


aving marked its 35th anniversary this year, the WSUL/ WVOS Heart-a-Thon has forged a community effort toward battling the nation’s No. 1 killer: heart disease. The event has raised more than $400,000 over the last six years alone – this year pulling in $65,782.85. And for those last six years, 100 percent of the funds raised have gone directly to the Cardiopulmonary Unit at Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC). For the first 29 years, half of the event’s funds went to the American Heart Association (AHA), but after Robert Berman and Watermark Communications, Inc. bought the radio stations, it was decided to have just one benefactor. “We decided then to make a commitment to the community we operate in… so we thought, ‘Why not support the community hospital?’” said General Manager Helena Manzione, who’s been with WSUL/WVOS for 25 years, the last seven as GM. The Heart-a-Thon takes months to plan and a large part of the fundraising takes place in the months leading up to the event. “The day of the event is like our party, it’s when we all get together, but there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes before the event,” offered Manzione. “There’s a lot of pre-solicitation… it doesn’t all happen just that day.” Generally, two co-chairs are elected to oversee the event and handle the lion’s share of fundraising – a commitment they are tied to for two years. But as Manzione noted, “The interesting thing is that most people that become cochairs or have anything to do with it, it sort of becomes a lifetime thing… just about everyone stays on in some capacity.” Along with co-chairs Paul Carlucci of the Villa Roma, Roberta Byron-Lockwood of the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA), and past chair Alan Kesten of Yellow Cab helped out with the 2013 event. 2013

WSUL/WVOS General Manager Helena Manzione. Reinforcing her point, Manzione said, “Just look at Les [past chair Les Kristt of Kristt Co.], he’s stayed on as well and he’s just amazing at organizing meetings, even on very short notice. He just has this knack for getting people together on short notice. He’s… very detail oriented, so he’s generally the one who keeps things flowing and going smoothly.” On the day of the event prepared call lists, and even cold calls right out of the phone book, are utilized by volunteers manning an array of telephones to solicit even more donations. “Though the larger amounts are collected before the event, all those $25 and $50 donations that come in from our calls and listeners calling in from hearing the Heart-a-Thon on the stations are just as vital to our cause… every penny matters and the community participation is just extraordinary,” said Manzione. With all she’s done over the years to ensure that the Heart-a-Thon is a success, Manzione defers most of the credit to her “amazing” team, saying, “From our co-chairs, to the volunteers manning the phones, everyone involved in this is crucial to making the Heart-a-Thon what it has become… It’s just a wonderful team we have, everybody knows their part and does what their strengths allow.” P R I D E AWA R D S 7

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Young Emerging Leader

John Garigliano The Catskill Mountain Sugar House Story and Photo By Fred Stabbert III


ohn Garigliano, this year’s “Young Emerging Leader,” has spent a lot of time in the mountains and valleys of his hometown, Grahamsville. A Tri-Valley Central School alumnus, John graduated from Auburn University, earning a degree in Agriculture Economics. Today, he is back to his roots - sort of speaking - running The Catskill Mountain Sugar House on Sugarhouse Lane in Grahamsville. The state-of-the-art sugar house is relatively young, by maple sugaring standards, starting in 2009, but very technologically advanced. The operation extends throughout the Tri-Valley region, with taps in nearly 37,000 trees in nine sugarbush locations, making it one of the largest operations of its kind in New York State. “This year we concentrated on energy efficiency,” John said “It's important because fuel oil is expensive. We yield one gallon of maple syrup from each quart of fuel oil. Our totally redesigned LaPierre evaporator can reduce 60 gallons of sap to one gallon of syrup with just one quart of fuel oil.” That's a big deal - especially when you make 9,500 gallons of maple syrup in a season. In mid-March, The Catskill Mountain Sugar House was at 7,000 gallons, but John knew the late season run would be good, as colder nights and warmer days were on the horizon. “We are going on three months of boiling,” he said. “It's not a 6-week season any more.” In fact, John, who keeps meticulous records of each day’s production, said sap first ran on south slopes on January 7 this year. The last production was on April 9th. And with his investment in the latest technology, John is also very careful to use the best conservation techniques. “We use the extremely hot distilled water 2013

John Garigliano keeps a sample jar from every 40-gallon barrel he produces. which is a by-product of our evaporator to clean our floors each night,” he said. “The floors come out spotless. “We boil our sap almost as quickly as we collect it,” he said. “Usually our sap only sits a couple of hours before it reaches the evaporator. Getting raw sap from the tree to evaporator quickly produces the best tasting maple syrup. “Everything is done to the best of our ability,” he said. “No corners are cut. Even our sugarbushes are neat and tidy and our wood roads are kept open year round.” The Catskill Mountain Sugar House also doubled its RO - reverse osmosis - capacity this year, which reduces the water content of the sap before boiling. “We can handle 5,000 gallons of raw sap an hour with our three RO machines,” he said. And while this season has been very successful, John knows more work is on the horizon, pulling taps, fixing lines, trimming trees, grading roads and getting ready for next year.


of Sullivan County

Published by Catskill-Delaware Publications, Inc. publishers of the Sullivan County Democrat in cooperation with the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce. Publisher Fred Stabbert III Editor Frank Rizzo Design and Layout Rosalie Mycka Director of Marketing Laura Stabbert Display Advertising Director Liz Tucker Advertising Sales Katie Peake & Cecilia Lamy Advertising Design Sue Conklin Business Manager Sue Owens Production Tracy Swendsen Vol CXII No. 91 May 3, 2013



Dan and Nancy Brey Brey’s Egg farm Story and Photo By Dan Hust


hat does it say when you’re running the last egg farm in Sullivan County? Two things: that it’s a tough business, but that Daniel and Nancy Brey are even tougher. The husband and wife have been the team that’s kept Brey’s Egg Farm a Jeffersonville mainstay for the last three decades of its 81year existence. Dan learned the complex facets of the farm from his father William and uncle Roger starting in the ‘60s, eventually becoming president in 1996, when his father retired. Nancy married Dan in 1987 and joined Brey’s in 1992, transitioning the company from paper-and-pen bookkeeping to computerized accounting. She’s now the secretary/treasurer, responsible for a 20-employee payroll and vir-


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Daniel and Nancy Brey stand in front of the greatly expanded Farm. tually all aspects of accounting and finances. The two are very much the leadership at Brey’s but – as with many small business owners – have developed the skills necessary to handle every aspect of the 200-acre farm. “You have to know everything,” affirms Nancy, who finds the government’s ever-increasing rules and regulations the most challenging aspect. They’ve overseen Brey’s expansion, mechanization and diversification, enlarging operations from 50,000 chickens to a mind-boggling 360,000. Brey’s sends out 4,600 cases of eggs every week – and there are 30 dozen eggs in every case. In particular, Dan and Nancy credit two changes with helping them outlast every other local egg farm: raising chicks instead of buying adult hens, and producing their own feed. “We’ve become self-sufficient,” notes Dan. A fire in 1991 nearly wiped Brey’s off the map, but they soldiered on, and with Dan’s brother Kevin’s help, they added electrical and mechanical innovations that now more efficiently and quickly sort eggs, ensuring only the highest-quality product reaches consumers across the region. Nancy and Dan, who live just up the road from the farm, also somehow found time to raise a family. Their two girls, Jessica and Vanessa, are now grown, but mom and dad don’t plan on retiring anytime soon. In fact, they also run a beef operation next to the egg farm, with about 40 head of registered Hereford cattle. Brey’s Egg Farm has come a long way in eight decades, but one thing will never change, promise Nancy and Dan: Quality. 2013


Walter and Ela Ambrozewicz Hills Resort & Village Market Story and Photo By Kaitlin Carney



Walter and Ela Ambrozewicz are the owners and operators of Hills Resort and the Village Market and cafe in Callicoon Center. honored to have their dedication to the community recognized. “It’s nice to know that something that was empty has become so important to the area… and to know that many people noticed that hard work and effort. It’s a wonderful thing for our family, and for the community,” Ela expressed.


he Hills Resort and Village Market in Callicoon Center embodies the spirit of not only the local community, but Sullivan County as a whole. Once a Borscht Belt era resort destination and neighboring local watering hole, the property was repurposed in 1996 by Walter Ambrozewicz and his wife Anna. Walter saw the potential in the landmark building that was last used as the Tumble Inn and loomed empty on the town’s main road. He renovated the space where the market still stands, and created a separate space that the United States Post Office calls home. The Resort is now open on a seasonal basis, providing a bed and breakfast for visitors exploring the area and a monthly “farm to fork” dinner prepared by local chef Amy Miller of Early Bird Cookery for many to enjoy. “My parents emigrated from Poland, to New York City, then here. They were more quiet than social, but very committed to the community,” remarked their daughter Ela. “They showed this through their actions. Buying this building, renovating it, and starting the business, was very brave and risky. They dedicated themselves to Callicoon Center.” That dedication has created a base of customers that are all regulars, coming in for their morning coffee and egg sandwich, lunch special, or something from the deli or general store. The Village Market brought life back to the heart of Callicoon Center. This heart is what supported the decision to keep the store open after Anna’s death in 2007. “Our customers missed us, they don’t like when we are closed for one day… this is a place to sit and enjoy your coffee, see others in town, visit and chat,” explained Ela, who has taken a lead role in running the store. The Ambrozewiczs are very proud and

P R I D E AWA R D S 1 1

Congratulations on your award. Thanks for your great services. From all of us, Jay, Shirley, Jacob and Kaitie Rubin

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Robert & Dennis Nearing Cochecton Mills


Brothers Robert, left, and Dennis Nearing sit in the office of their plant.

ochecton Mills, Inc. is a family business that’s been in operation since 1956 when the present owners, brothers Robert and Dennis Nearing’s father bought an existing company with a partner. After serving in the military, Robert became a part of the family firm in 1965, and Dennis came onboard in 1967. The business has been expanding, increasing eightfold since 1970, according to the brothers. This success is partly due to having family always at the ready to help run it – both Robert and Dennis’s sons work in the business as well. “They can pretty much do everything in the business between them,” Dennis stated. The owners also praised their long term employees from the Swendsen family for their contributions. Elvin Swendsen worked as a bookkeeper for their dad, and now his children continue – Brad in sales, and Lori as a bookkeeper. The success hasn’t come easy. In 1974, Sullivan County had 154 dairy farms – in 2013 it has 23. In Wayne County, PA, where the brothers do a lot of business, the decline has also been large, although not as much as this side of the river, they noted. Cochecton Mills does business also in Orange, Delaware, and Ulster Counties in New York, in Susquehanna, Lackawanna, and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania, and in Sussex and some other counties in New Jersey. “We provide dairy and poultry feed, 2013

horse, pheasant, alpaca and swine feed as well as fertilizer, lime, seed corn, and grass seeds,” Dennis enumerated. Most sales are wholesale, but the farm store on the premises also sells farm tools and hardware, and a large selection of wildlife forage mixes. About being nominated, Robert who recently retired, commented, “We’re very honored we’ve been selected and we’re looking forward to the event. It’s the highlight of my retirement.” Dennis added, “We were hoping to be chosen after being here for 46 years.” The company has 24 full-time and two part-time employees from the surrounding area. “We’re the second largest employer in Cochecton,” Dennis concluded with pride.

We appreciate all of your contributions to the community

JOHN H. ESCHENBERG INC. Dennis, Raymond, Danny, Cathy

Sales and Service ESCH-126863

Story and Photo By Anya Tikka


3965 Rt. 17B, Callicoon, N.Y. 12723

845-887-5350 P R I D E AWA R D S 1 3


Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Lentini Peppino’s Restaurant By Frank Rizzo Story • Photo By Dan Hust


he distinction might be subtle, but crucial, for an old culinary hand like Giuseppe “Joe” Lentini. The move from 27 to 29 Lower Main St. in Callicoon, he noted, changed Peppino’s from a pizzeria to a restaurant. It also more than doubled the dining and kitchen space, and allowed the eatery to add a nine-stool bar offering draft beers and generous selection of wines and liquors. Though the menu has been enlarged, Peppino’s retains the old favorites from next door. It now offers, in Lentini’s words, “a more complete dining experience.” The Pride of Delaware distinction from the Chamber came as a surprise to Lentini, who sought the right words to express his gratitude.“I’ve been in this business for a long time… I never thought I’d get an award,” he

Congratulations Joe . . . .

My favorite pizza man!

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Joe Lentini stands at the bar of his Peppino’s Restaurant in Callicoon. Moving from next door has doubled the dining area. said. Though he spends most of his time in Callicoon, Lentini also owns a Peppino’s in Rosendale. He learned his trade at his parents’ Brother Bruno’s in Monticello. In 2008, he bought a Callicoon pizzeria/restaurant from Kevin McElroy and has since established a loyal clientele. Lentini had rarely ventured to Callicoon before opening “Peppino’s.” “My friends from Monticello ask me, ‘How did you find this place?’ They thought I’d go more towards the city.” he said. The Swan Lake resident and his wife Lyndsey have three children, Alessia, 7, Nicco, 4, and Aira, 10 months. During the restaurant’s hours (11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday) Lentini does most of the cooking with the help of an assistant. And who does the cooking at the Lentini household? His wife, of course.

Congratulations Joe! on this deserved recognition e

From everyone at the Callicoon Business Association CALL-126807





New Hope Community By Fran Rizzo


ew Hope Community is the Pride of Fallsburg for its many years of advocacy for and efforts to improve the lives of its clients, who are dealing with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Started in 1975 at a shuttered 44-acre resort in Loch Sheldrake, it is in the vanguard of organizations helping to realize the vision of independent living for people who once were left to lead lives of squalor and intellectual and physical poverty. Over the years, New Hope has upped the number of specialized and innovative programs “to create environments in which people can discover their strengths, gifts and personal direction.” The aim is to enable its clients to interact with and integrate into the wider community. New Hope has established living quarters throughout the county ranging from apartments to family-style homes in which its clients can experience normal lifestyles, as opposed to the institutional settings more common in the past. These living quarters are tailored to the wide variety of physical needs and requirements, and reflect the personalities of its residents. According to its website, “Each home is staffed with dedicated and highly trained Direct Care Professionals whose skills and sensibilities have been fine-tuned to meet the


The Living Arts Center at New Hope Community expands the artistic possibilities for its clients. needs of the individuals for whom they advocate. Training is a constant. Nurses, clinicians and service coordinators make up an integral part of each home’s team. One will always find compassion, care and advocacy stemming from home.” Everything New Hope does is designed to make the lives of its clients and their families easier. Its Medicaid Service Coordination helps to navigate the often complex, confusing and frustrating maze of regulations so as to access services to which clients are entitled. The Leisure Services program at New Hope Community is another way of cultivating individual talents and interests. It names as its “five pillars of leisure” the performing arts, the greenhouse, therapeutic horseback riding, athletics, and fine arts to “build a bridge to creative expression and personal development.” Earlier this fall the organization opened its new Living Arts Center to expand opportunities to experience the arts of music, painting and cooking. It is just one more way New Hope enables its clients to live lives of purpose and dignity.


Mike & Matt Jahn Quality Taping and Painting Story and Photo By Eli Ruiz


n business since 1989, Quality Taping and Painting’s slogan is “Quality You Can See.” With a huge customer base that includes such major accounts as Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Center for Discovery, Stewart’s 2013

Matt Jahn showing off the Chevy Camaro, a gift from his wife P R I D E AWA R D S 1 5


continued from page 15

Shops, Cumberland Farms and many more, it’s quite apparent that their slogan is more truth than marketing. Matt Jahn said he and brother Mike honed their skills working in their teens for their father and uncle in the family business, RJ Painting. After a few years working at RJ, Matt and Mike set out on their own, and at the start, business was very tough. One day, though, the brother’s luck took a serendipitous turn for the best. Jahn related, “It was early on, and one day we were driving through and saw some major work being done over where Stewart’s Shop is [Route 42 in Monticello], so we stopped and asked if they needed a taper… the guy says, ‘Looks like your lucky day, great timing; we just fired our taper yesterday.’ We’ve been doing work for them ever since, and it all kind of snowballed from there.” Since then, Quality Painting and Taping has

added younger brothers Arthur and Andrew Jahn. When asked what he loves most about his work, Jahn said, “Some people get really creative and imaginative with the ideas they come up with for us, but obviously they can’t quite picture what it’s going to look like, so that look on their faces, the sheer joy I see in their eyes when they see the final product… that’s what I enjoy the most, by far.” The brothers’ going off on their own caused a little rift with their father and uncle at first, but has long been resolved. “Two years after my father retired in 1998 he came to me one day and said he was tired of watching television and fishing. He asked if he could come work for us [part time]. I said of course. I told him he could just come and hang out, bring coffee or whatever he wants. The best part, though, is that while my dad worked Monday, Wednesday and Friday, my uncle came on and did Tuesdays and Fridays. I guess you could say it’s like we came full circle.”

It’s a Relationship.

“Congratulations to the whole staff at New Hope!”

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Kenneth Redard Redard Excavating Co. Story and Photo By Frank Rizzo Born and raised in Park Ridge, NJ, Ken Redard was introduced to Sullivan County as a youth by his dad. The Redards enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing near the Delaware River. After starting Redard Excavating in his hometown in 1969, Redard moved the company to Hankins in 1976 and it has been based there ever since. Among his company’s notable projects were the site work construction and excavating for Lander’s River Mart in Callicoon and the AT&T cell tower at the Manno residence in Mileses.

Kenneth Redard stands with some of his heavy equipment. He has done all of the new roadways at Delaware Ridge Estates, along with the new office building at the Callicoon development. Redard is still very active in the residential portion of the business, doing ponds, site work, land clearing, new septic systems and repairs and concrete pads and foundations. Ken is still enjoying the changing seasons and hunting when he gets a chance.


John Bouloukas Barryville Sports Bar Story and Photo By Anya Tikka


arryville Sports Bar and Restaurant – better known as B.V.H. – has been in the Bouloukos family since 1959. Present owner John’s grandfather started it as a bed and breakfast; from 1971 to 1991 John’s uncle ran it, and then John took over after moving back from Latham, where he’d been living since his father’s untimely death. “I spent my summers in Barryville with my grandmother, and I love the area, the lakes and the river, and all the nice people who live here,” John recounted about his decision to return to Barryville. He decided to drop the inn part of the establishment and to concentrate on food and creating a sports bar because that’s what he loves. The whole Bouloukos family is still involved in the running of the business. John’s brother Greg does most of the cooking, and Greg’s wife Dana and their mom Elyse Bouloukos also help. There’s also a year-round liquor store right on the premises. 2013

John Bouloukas holds up two recent awards that his eatery has won. “I’m very honored,” John said about being nominated for the Pride Award. “It’s an honor to be thought of as being worthy. We take pride in what we do, so to think people feel the same way about us is great.” B.V.H. has already received recognition this year; it won the Hudson Valley Wing Bowl contest recently out of 18 restaurants, and received the Greater Barryville Chamber of Commerce 2012 Business of the Year Award. “Business is pretty good,” beamed John. “It has doubled since we won the Wing contest.” He added they have a steady year-round clientele. Apart from the wings, the restaurant also offers a selection of specialty sandwiches, salads, burgers, barbecue, and Greek, Mediterranean, and Vegan cuisine. P R I D E AWA R D S 1 7


Bob Lavelle State Farm Insurance Story and Photo By Eli Ruiz


aised in Liberty from the age of 3, Town of Liberty award recipient Bob Lavelle chose his adopted hometown as the location to start, cultivate and grow his State Farm insurance agency for nearly 51 years. After graduatiing from Liberty HS, Lavelle served in the Air Force. In 1960 he married his wife of 53 years Judy, and in 1961 graduated from Orange County Community College and soon after found his calling, an opportunity to take over the insurance business of an outgoing local agent. Starting out in a tiny office in a home he and Judy were renting on Wierk Avenue, Lavelle would eventually buy the building at 315 North Main Street, making it the permanent office until last December 31, when he officially retired from the insurance business. Not only has he served generations of clients, but he’s also seen very little turnover among his employees. State Farm even ran a nationally televised commercial featuring Lavelle in the late 1980s into the early 1990s. Lavelle marveled at how much the industry has changed, saying, “It’s a far more compli-

Bob Lavelle, with wife Judy, passed away the day after this picture was taken. cated industry today. When I first started we had just auto and fire insurance. Now we sell more than 70 different products.” Lavelle lived a rich and full life, holding a pilot’s license till his final day. He was also a skydiver and scuba diver. A very active member of his community, he served as a volunteer firefighter, chairman of Parks & Rec, deputy mayor and justice of the peace. In the end, though, for Lavelle it was all about keeping his customers happy, and making them whole after a loss – catastrophic or otherwise. “My favorite part of the business was when you genuinely helped someone. A guy is literally burnt out of his home and has lost everything he’s ever owned. He’s in shock and he’s having a ton of problems, and to be able to sit across from him and look him in the eye and tell him that everything is going to be okay, to cut him a check that’ll get him and his family back on their feet… that’s what I truly enjoyed,” Lavelle said.


Alex Grech Grech’s Millbrook Inn Story and Photo By Anya Tikka


t’s wonderful, nice. I’m surprised, I didn’t expect it,” said Alexander Grech III, the owner of the Millbrook Inn in Pond Eddy about being nominated for the Sullivan County Pride Award. Grech has owned the restaurant since 1990, but its history goes much deeper. There’s been a restaurant on the site continuously since the 1830s, Grech explained. It was originally built in the heyday of the Delaware & Hudson Canal era. When Route 97 was built in 1935 (it was then Route 39) on 18


Alexander Grech III enjoys a cup of coffee in his restaurant. the old canal route, the restaurant was also moved to its present site. That building burned down in 1941, and the present, much larger building was built. After several owners and names, Grech renamed it Grech’s Millbrook Inn when he took over. “As everything, the business fluctuates with the economy. The destruction that hap2013


continued from page 18

pened in Long Island (Hurricane Sandy) has had an effect here too, with [second] homeowners,” Grech explained about the business climate. The Inn offers German American cuisine, something Grech learned from his grandmother. He grew up in Port Jervis, and attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park where he met his wife Phyllis, who also works in the restaurant. Millbrook Inn is the first restaurant the couple has owned.

“It’s beautiful, scenic here, the river is beautiful,” Grech explained about why he decided to open his restaurant in Pond Eddy. He also has family in the area. Many of his customers drive up on weekends from New Jersey or other places around the area. “It’s a nice day trip,” Grech concluded, “They have dinner here on the way.” Talking about his clientele, he commented, “We have a good spectrum of customers.” The restaurant is seasonal, and re-opens on April 26.


Vinny Rampe Danny’s Village Inn Story and Photo By Eli Ruiz



Vinny Rampe is the third generation owner of Danny’s Village Inn in Wurtsboro. faction from providing my customers a positive experience here at Danny’s.” Regarding his recent Sullivan County Pride award, Rampe says, “I’m extremely honored. I think it’s such a high honor to be recognized in the community; the same community I was born and raised in. I’ve never been the type to seek out recognition, but this was just special and I want to thank [Town of Mamakating] Supervisor [Harold] Baird for nominating me for the award… it means a lot to me.” As he points out the front window of his business, Rampe affirms the obvious, “I always wanted to do this from when I was a kid. To be recognized for doing what I love to do is just the cherry on top.”

Go Sullivan Pride! Congrats to all and a special shout out to Vinny at Danny ¶s from


ouring the upper levels of Danny’s Village Inn in Wurtsboro, one word comes to mind: history. It was erected in 1814 as the Gumar House – after one of Wurtsboro’s original founding families. Third generation owner Vinny Rampe, who has been running the eatery since the early 1980s, recalls a much simpler time: “I remember when I was just a little kid and I’d work outside picking up papers and trash for my uncle… all for just an ice cream cone at the custard stand next door.” The inn gained its current name in the late ’50s, when Rampe’s uncle, Danny Halloran, took it over after a distinguished military career and a stint with the FBI in NYC. “He just got tired of the city. He didn’t like it, so he came back up here and took the business over from my grandfather [Jack],” Rampe said. Rampe’s now preparing for what’s undoubtedly his busiest season, with his staff at its peak of about 15. “This is the time of year where the population around here nearly quadruples. I’m very lucky to have the great people I have here working for me… without them I don’t think I could do this.” Asked why he enjoys being involved in the restaurant business so much, Rampe immediately responds, “People. It’s a lot of work, and it’s not all fun, but the good certainly outweighs the bad and I do this for the people who come in here. I get by-far the most satis-

Wurtsboro, NY

888-0200 P R I D E AWA R D S 1 9


Betty Shaver Woods & Weeds Story and Photo By Eli Ruiz


eversink Township Award recipient Betty Shaver of Grahamsville has delighted her customers with her original floral arrangements from her home-based Woods and Weeds shop since 1993. Born and raised on the family’s Rocky Hill Road farm – where she still lives to this day – Shaver was exposed to hard work and the wonders and beauty of nature from a very early age. “I just remember how as a child I just loved going out with my mother to pick wild flowers,” offered Shaver. “She would always take the time to give me pointers about what flowers dried the best and were thus the best to pick. All these years later I realize she was my teacher.” The idea of making a living from flowers took a little longer to sink in for Shaver, who once worked as a certified nursing assistant. “In the late 1980s I was working at the New Age Health Spa, managing the garden there for the original owners. There were 16 tables in the dining room and one day they asked me if I’d create some centerpieces for the tables. This would turn into a weekly thing.” Still another encounter, again involving flowers, would seal the deal for Shaver. “One day I met a very sweet lady named Donna, who lived on [Route] 42 here in Grahamsville. She would roll up her garage door on the weekends and sell pots of different varieties of flowers, so I started buying my flowers from her.” Several months later, Shaver noticed a FOR

Betty Shaver shows off some of her creations and her affinity for antiques. sign pitched in Donna’s lawn. “She was moving away… I asked her, ’Where am I going to get my flowers now?’ and she said to me: ‘Betty, why don’t you just do it yourself? I’ll give you my wholesaler and you can just do this yourself.’” After much cajoling, Shaver was convinced, and in 1993 Woods and Weeds became a reality. From that point on it was like second nature for Shaver. Shaver retired from her business in December noting, “I’ll be 75 in October and I made the decision that I wanted to do things for myself and live carefree, and not watching the clock… I wanted to just enjoy life. I love going on hikes and I keep several hobbies which include fishing, photography and my journal… I’m also very much into meditation and I do an hour of yoga every evening.” Regarding her Sullivan Pride award, Shaver says, “I think it’s fantastic and it just shows exactly how much people really appreciated my work and my business. It’s an honor. I just feel blessed to be 74 and still feel that I can do absolutely anything I want. I’ve had a very good, full life… I just enjoy the art of living.” SALE

SHAVER ENTERPRISES, INC. Investment Advisors Creating and Preserving Wealth P.O. Box 333, 6872 Route 209 Wawarsing, NY 12489 Phone (845) 647-4800 Email: Website: P R I D E AWA R D S


(845) 985-2904




Philip Coombe III, CFP ® Catherine Bender, CFP ®

• All Types of Interior and Exterior Work Done • Custom Homes Built • Decks, Roofs and Siding



Kirk & Sarah Madison Registration System, Inc. & Madison’s Main St. Story and Photo By Ed Townsend


irk Madison describes his Registration Systems Inc. (RSI) firm as “a quiet business” and one that he and his wife Sarah have owned and operated for the past 25years. But a slumping economy and traveling on the road for some 40 weeks out of the year has taken its toll. Kirk noted that the business will close in June and “we are in the process of selling it. The stress and travel just got to be too much.” At its height the firm employed five people and built for the convention and conference industry customized registration platforms that simplified the complex job of producing their event. Kirk added that “we provided an efficient process that became transparent to exhibitors, convention attendees and event managers while enhancing the event experience for everyone.” When asked how he learned the complex computer programming part of this business Kirk said, “I self-taught myself and never had any professional training.” At the time the Madisons got into this business “there were four or five national companies doing this type of work.” The travel took Kirk to every major city in the United States and even Europe, with their largest client being International Pizza. Kirk showed us computer and other business related equipment used in the RSI business that is valued in the neighborhood of

$500,000. The Madisons, knowing that it was time to get out of this business, have not looked for the easy life and a rocking chair. Instead, they have built Madison’s Main Street Stand specializing in pizza, subs and soft serve ice cream. This popular Main Street eatery has now been in business for five years and new expansion plans include the addition of an eat-in restaurant at this same location, opening this spring for lunch and dinner. Additional employees will be hired when the eat-in restaurant opens and Kirk noted that he will be the head chef. A popular part of Madison’s Main Street Stand is their handmade artisan bread made from the finest wheat, oat and rye flours and baked daily. The Madisons have traded the stress and excessive traveling for working 12 to 14 hours a day in the restaurant business.





Congratulations To All. Job Well Done! 5211 Main Street So. Fallsburg, NY 12779


Sarah and Kirk Madison stand next to containers filled with equipment used in their Registration Systems Inc. business.





PO Box 624 27 Maple Ave., Jeffersonville, New York 12748 (845) 482-3405

P R I D E AWA R D S 2 1


Randy, Butch and Billy Resnick Bernie’s & The Sullivan Story By Dan Hust


ew families have had a more profound effect on modern Sullivan County than the Resnicks. Brothers Butch and Randy, and their father Billy, together own and/or operate more than half a dozen businesses locally. “They are betting long on Sullivan County,� affirms Steve Vegliante, a close friend and the general counsel and chief operating officer of The Resnick Group. Billy Resnick first moved from Asbury Park, NJ to the area in the ’60s, raising his sons with wife Patsy in Mountaindale. He founded the Resnick Supermarket Equipment Corporation there in 1978, which has clients in multiple states and a depot/warehouse in the Bronx. Though retired, he remains involved in all the various projects, often handling ex-

terior design and landscaping. Butch, meanwhile, has taken over day-today operations of the supermarket corporation and plans to bring a grocery to the former Apollo Plaza in Monticello. He also owns BHR (the new name of Bernie’s Holiday Restaurant), Crust (a next-door pizzeria and eatery), the Coffee Factory (a local roaster of fine coffee) and The Sullivan. Randy owns Global Oil and is the executive chef/general manager of Crust and BHR. And he handles catering at The Sullivan. Soon the family will be converting the former Rock Hill Pharmacy building across from the Sullivan into Brew, offering roasted coffees, tap and bottled craft beers, and baked goods. “They are a study in what hard work, determination and commitment to a community can do,� says Vegliante.

We Raise Our Hands in

PRIDE. Congratulations to all the Sullivan Pride award recipients and to our good friends,

Billy, Randy and Butch Resnick for investing in Sullivan County’s well being.












Gerard Manzi Gerard’s River Grill Story and Photo By Anyas Tikka


erard Manzi, the owner of Gerard’s River Grill in Narrowsburg opened his restaurant only two years ago and the business is doing well. He said about being nominated for the Pride Award, “It’s wonderful, I’m very proud. I’ve been in business in Sullivan County for many many years. It came as a surprise to be chosen.” As a child Manzi split time between the city and Sullivan County, and he considers himself to be a lifelong county resident. The last 18 years he and his wife Joanne have been living in Narrowsburg. The couple has four children. Two are out of college and onto their own careers, one is in her last college year, and the youngest still goes to Sullivan West High School. Manzi explained he worked in restaurants while in high school in Monticello, and opened his first restaurant in South Fallsburg years later after a stint working as a computer programmer in New York City. He opened Gerard’s River Grill with his wife after their Real Estate Appraisal and Sales Company that was also located in Narrowsburg was caught in the general real estate market collapse. Manzi explained about his cuisine, “This is sort of upscale New American Cuisine. We do everything fresh, from farm to table. Fresh poultry, meat, fish, vegetables by local producers, fine organic produce.” The restaurant has been provided with produce by Big Eddy Farmstand in Narrowsburg from its beginning. Seafood comes from Hunt’s Point Market in the city. It also has a tavern menu with fried fish sandwiches and burgers, music on Friday and Saturday night, and in the summer patrons can sit on the flower-filled porch overlooking the river. 2013

The offerings at Gerard Manzi’s River Grill are “fresh” from the farm or market. “We maintain a good clientele,” Manzi remarked with a smile, and added many people are repeat customers. About Narrowsburg he said, “It’s a friendly town. We have many wonderful shops, we have everything, and we’re going ahead to make our town as good as it can be.” Gerard’s River Grill is open for dinner five days a week, six days off season, and a Saturday and Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Congratulations to All the PRIDE Winners... From your Friends at the

Call 887-5200 to advertise or subscribe today!

P R I D E AWA R D S 2 3


(845) 482-4000 •


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Pride of Sullivan County 2013  

The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce annually recognizes some of the top companies and businesspeople in the county. See who's the "Pride...

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