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A Salute to the Business and Civic Community A Special Section of the Sullivan County Democrat • October 2020

Still Banking Strong!

Congratulations to all of the 2020 Pride Award Recipients:

Mr. Albee Bockman, Mr. Brian Facquet, Mr. Corey Gips, Ms. Diane Duffy,Ms. Saraid Gonzalez, Mr. Brendan Weiden, Ms. Kathy Weiden Operation Feed, & Garnet Health Medical Center - Catskills. 86652

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Businessperson of the Year:



By Isabel Braverman lbee Bockman has always had a passion for emergency medical services (EMS). A Hurleyville native, his passion began when he joined the United States Air Force, serving in the medical corps while stationed in Tucson, AZ at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for four years before returning home. “Being a lifelong resident of Sullivan County—this is my home. Although I served in the U.S. Air Force, back then it was always my intention to return home,” Bockman said. “My family is here, my life is here, and there was no doubt in my mind that my career was going to be here.” Bockman began working as an official court reporter for the county, meanwhile serving in the Hurleyville Ambulance Corps as captain and then president, and also joining the Monticello Volunteer Ambulance Corps. His passion for EMS continued to grow and



Albee Bockman is the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Businessperson of the Year.

he realized that there was no advanced life support (ALS) services in the county (only in surrounding counties). He did some research and presented before the Sullivan County Medical Board to develop an ALS system. So he returned to school at the age of 40 and graduated from the Nyack Hospital School of Paramedicine in 1989 and began to put together a business plan for advanced life support. Bockman answered the very first paramediclevel call in Sullivan County on July 1, 1991; and thus Mobilemedic was born. What started with one employee (Bockman) grew to now 70 employees. Mobilemedic EMS provides basic and ALS services to the county and surrounding areas. It is the primary agency for the more populous

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CONGRATULATIONS ALBEE On this most prestigious honor

BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR You are so deserving!

Our greatest esteem, Your friends, family and coworkers at


Hurleyville, NY 12747 • 845-436-9111 87183










ALBEE BOCKMAN areas of the county, the towns of Thompson, Fallsburg, Forestburgh and Liberty. “Our mission has always been to provide the best possible, pre-hospital emergency care to our residents and visitors of our county, to be professional and to give the utmost respect and dignity to all those that we treat, and finally, to continue to improve and advance the care that we provide each and every day,” Bockman said. The COVID-19 pandemic presented various challenges to the EMS community across the country, and Mobilemedic stepped up to the plate. They designed an ambulance made for potential COVID-19 patients to minimize their exposure to EMS personnel. The ambulance is covered with heavy plastic and is fumigated after each encounter. The stretcher has a portable tent to be placed over the patient. “The COVID-19 pandemic is obviously a challenge not only for all of us in America but definitely for EMS. We are on the ground level and frontline first responders of this pandemic,” Bockman said.

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Unfortunately, five Mobilemedic employees contracted the virus in the early stages of the pandemic as they battled a shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment), but fortunately they recovered nicely and could return to work. Bockman moved to Rock Hill last year with his wife Gina. They have been married for 32 years and have three children. His son, Justin, is now the CEO of Mobilemedic. Bockman is still an active paramedic as the founder and chairman of the board of Mobilemedic EMS. A 50-year member of local EMS, Bockman is also a Sullivan County Coroner (elected in 2015 and up for reelection this November), Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the Hudson Valley Regional EMS Council and Secretary of Sullivan County EMS Advisory Board. He says receiving the Businessperson of the Year Award from the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce is an honor. “I’m deeply thankful, appreciative and humbled by this recognition by the Chamber,” he said.

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Distinguished Achievement Award:



By Autumn Schanil


ntrigue and fascination overcome you approaching the towering brick building known as Prohibition Distillery, once home to the fire trucks and volunteer firemen of Roscoe. Their craft spirits have been recognized with various awards over the years, and the Tasting Room has become a destination for many travelers passing through the area –– rightfully so. Owner Brian Facquet believes in the power of connection, giving back, and doing good. The distillery and everyone who works there truly embodies that from the first welcome smile to the departing send off. From their consistent donations to the Third Option Foundation, to turning the distillery into a hand sanitizer producer during the pandemic, who better to be a recipient of a Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce 6 P R I D E AWA R D S

Brian Facquet is a 2020 recipient of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Achievment Award.

Distinguished Achievement Award than Facquet and his crew. “I feel that my team has done so much work to make such a difference, so I’m humbled on behalf of everyone that works here,” Facquet stated. “Our donations from the Tasting Room always go to Third Option Foundation, which is a foundation that seeks to honor the CIA’s Special Operations community and their families. Two of my good friends, Brian Hope and Doug Zenbeck, both died and are part of those who we honor,” explained Facquet. Most of what Facquet does each day is inspired by Hope, who passed away three years ago. “Before my friend Brian died, we had a class reunion at the Naval Academy and at the end of the night Brian made a toast to me,” Fac2020

quet said. “He looked me in the eyes and he said, ‘Do good.’ At the time I made fun of him because it didn’t sound like a great toast, but he continued, saying, ‘You do good everyday. You always try to make things better, you try to make a difference. That allows me to do what I do.’ So he raised his glass and said to me again, ‘Do good.’” About a month later Hope died and Facquet recalled feeling like his hero had passed away. It was the next day that Facquet walked into the distillery, and began the process of changing and rebranding Prohibition Distillery into Do Good Spirits. “I want to honor him,” Facquet explained. “That’s what we do here, we’re just trying to live up to what he thought I was.” Facquet and his original partner started Prohibition Distillery more than 10 years ago distilling in the Hudson Valley before moving their operation to Roscoe, and although the main focus was creating award winning craft spirits, Facquet felt the name never truly represented who he was. “I felt that it kept us stuck in a certain genre,” he said. “Do Good represents me, and so it made sense to make the shift to it. It’s a departure from what we started as to what we’re doing today, and for me, we’re much more than just a distillery, and this last year has really proven that.” As the first waves of Covid-19 began to hit the Northeast, entering the world into a pandemic, Facquet and his team quickly put their heads together on how to help their community. They made the decision to shut down the distillery and turn it into an essential product

production line, making crafted hand sanitizer. They distilled and produced over 70,000 gallons of their Beaverkill NY Craft Hand Sanitizer in a period of five months, donating much of what they made to essential workers and small businesses throughout Sullivan County, while also filling orders made by larger companies in a frantic search to protect themselves and their employees. “We didn’t do it for profit,” Facquet said. “We just wanted to do good.” Although the pandemic wasn’t the reason for Prohibition Distillery’s rebranding, it was in a way that last push to get it off the ground. “It took three years just to figure out what we were doing, how we would rebrand. We changed from Bootlegger 21 NY to Bootlegger NY Craft. We have Vodka coming out in January that is going to be called Beaverkill NY Craft,” Facquet explained. “We have the cleanest water in NY right here in these rivers running past us so why not honor the river, especially when you’re talking about a clean product like Vodka.” And their whiskey will be named after Brian. Which Brian? That’s for the consumer to decide. “The whiskey is an extension of me, an extension of my friend Brian - if Jim Beam can have one a hundred years ago, why can’t I have Brian’s Bourbon?” Facquet said with a laugh. “So we’ll be shifting to that in the new year.” Facquet’s knowledge, his passion for how the distillery operates, the meaning behind what he does, and the joy he brings to it are infectious, so if you’re in the Roscoe area be sure to visit Do Good Spirits.

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We are so proud of you. You deserve only the best because you work so hard for your business and community! Love Mom and Dad, Joey,Emma, Nikki, Kurleigh and Carly


Congatlations to my husband!! I am so proud of you for all you do for our family, your customers and most imporantly this count. You are the most desering person of this award. You have worked so hard to become the person you are today and I am so proud to be your wife and stand by your side. Your hard work and dedication is inspiring. You have made so many people happy and aďŹ&#x20AC;ected so many lives and I hope you remember to always stand tall and hold this pride in your hear.


Love always, your wife, your three loving dogs and your sweet daughter on the way. 2020

Distinguished Achievement Award:



By Patricio Robayo


uring the pandemic, Corey Nash-Gips of Prestige Productions had to adapt to the changing times to survive. Because Gips made those changes, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce awarded him with a Distinguished Achievement Award for 2020. Prestige Productions is a cutting edge event and production company in the Sullivan Catskills and beyond. They offer everything from wedding and event DJing to corporate and private party events. Coming off a busy 2019 and just getting married to his wife, Kara, in early 2020, Prestige Productions was bound to have an active 2020; however, plans changed when the pandemic hit earlier this year. “From March, April, May, and the beginning of June, I had zero income and work,” said Gips. Before the pandemic, Gips was calling Resorts World Catskills Casino, BMW, and Porsche as clients. As a result of the pandemic, Gips had to give thousands of dollars back in deposits 2020

Corey Gips is a 2020 recipient of a Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Achievment Award.

once clients began canceling their events. Instead of wallowing, Gips adapted and opened up Prestige Delivery to help deliver food and goods to people throughout the county. “We literally pick up anything, from prescriptions, food, or if even you need something from Home Depot,” said Gips. Eventually, Gips said he had about three vans running during the day making deliveries. This new venture morphed into a steady business to keep him going for the remainder of the summer. “It was good for my heart that I’m helping people out,” said Gips. As the pandemic has slowed down in Sullivan County, the number of deliveries began to decrease. During their downtime, they started working with school districts to do special pop-up events, one of which was converting the company vans into an ice cream truck. Gips had another idea during the pandemic, why not call up those clients who canceled

continued on page 11 P R I D E AWA R D S 9

What can I say? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very proud that my co-worker, favorite emcee, most of all, best friend has received the Sullivan County Pride Award. Corey has built Prestige Productions from the ground up and made it what it is right now. Corey has climbed mountains, crawled before he could walk. Nothing has stopped him from becoming the business owner he is today. COVID-19 shut entertainment down and he decided to do deliveries. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask for a better influencer, or a better friend at that. This is only the beginning and the future definitely holds a lot for this amazing guy.


COREY 87118

and it only gets better from here. Love, Justice




Congratulations To All the Pride Award Recipients

10 P R I D E AWA R D S



continued from page 9

their events and work with them to adapt to for a COVID-19 world. For many of his clients, this would mean holding the events outdoors while practicing social distancing and abiding by New York State law. After calling, many clients agreed, and they went on with their events outdoors, with Prestige providing them with all of their party needs, including tables, chairs, linings, and sanitizing stations. Because Prestige went back to work, Gips said it helps other local event businesses who they rent from to fulfill their client’s wishes. Gips said that he is pleased that he was able to get back to work and fulfill his clients’ needs. Furthermore, he was happy that he has been able to give work to local vendors. Gips is no stranger to events and parties because, for many years, he worked side by side with Perry Gips, his stepfather, at Party Masters. He thanks Perry for all the years of mentorship that he provided to Gips during his time at Party Master. Moreover, he also credits his wife, Kara, “Without her, none of this would be possi-

ble,” said Gips. He also credits his friend, Justice Mazzotti, for helping make Prestige Productions what it is today. Gips recently opened yet another business, Prestige Technology Solutions (PTS), which provides technology installations for businesses and for people’s homes. He services and installs everything from speakers, routers, Wi-Fi and offers computer tech support. On winning the Distinguished Achievement Award, Gips said the award humbles him as he was not expecting it since his business was still so new. Gips said, “It never gets easier. It’s hard to produce something and get a good outcome and result, but at the end of the day, it is always worth it.” He also says that one should have patience when pursuing their dreams. “Sometimes, it’s, ‘oh, I want that car, or that kind of business.’” But Gips says, instead you should, “keep your head down and do right by people, good things will come back to you.”

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Distinguished Service Award:



By Joseph Abraham


ork, family and EMS. That’s life in a nutshell for Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award winner, Diana Duffy, an emergency room nurse at the Grover Hermann Division of the Garnet Health Medical Center - Catskills. She’s worked at the Callicoon hospital for a decade and a half, and has been with the health system for over 35 years. “I was always exposed to the medical 2020

Diana Duffy is a Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce 2020 winner of the Distinguished Service Award

field, throughout my childhood,” she said. “My Uncle Zip, who was an OB/GYN MD helped with guiding me towards nursing school. My grandparents and great Uncle were founding members of Mamakating First Aid Squad. It’s one of those things I was probably born and raised to be.” Duffy enjoys the ever-changing dynamics of the job. Nothing is the same in any call or with any patient. And the medical field is

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DIANA DUFFY always changing so there are more things to learn. In the early 90s, she heard the Upper Delaware Ambulance Corps Inc. needed help, so she got involved and has been an EMT ever since. She is presently a lieutenant, and was captain from 2007-2017. “As a nurse and an EMT, I see people at their most vulnerable,” said Duffy. “I do what I have been trained to do to make it the best for them and hopefully I have. The challenge is that in a small town, I can cross paths with people who I have helped and others who I will always be the constant reminder of the worst day of their lives. The latter is sometimes emotionally challenging. What makes me keep doing this, I genuinely like what I do, the good and the bad of it. The laughs with my coworkers who understand the humor we need to find to keep us sane, the tears we share when situations are emotionally draining, and knowing I am doing something for my community that I wish more

continued from page 13 would do but knowing this is not for everyone.” Duffy grew up in Bloomingburg, attending the Pine Bush High School before heading to the Albany Medical Center School of Nursing. Following graduation, she got a job at what was previously known as Community General Hospital in Harris. Shortly after she met her husband Steve and they relocated to Callicoon. They’ve been married for 35 years and have two kids, Kyle (34) and Connor (29). Duffy said she couldn’t do this without her family, as she often has to drop things at a moment’s notice to help someone else. “My husband makes sure I am dressed appropriately before leaving the house after a minimal amount of sleep, and I know they have sacrificed so much to assure I am at my best,” she said. While nursing and EMS work already presents challenges, COVID-19 has changed everything. From a nursing standpoint, she says the hardest thing to accept is hav-

Congratulations Diane!! Thank you for all you do Your friends at the

14 P R I D E AWA R D S

Supported in part by Callicoon Self Storage


The Officers and Members Upper Delaware Ambulance Corps Inc.


Congratulaons For Your Recognion Lieutenant & Past Captain Diana Duffy

Callicoon Volunteer Fire Department


“I honestly ing to tell family members they does is any more special than cannot or need to limit the believe that the countless individuals she time they can be with a pahad the honor and privilege everyone has has tient. And on the EMS side, she to work with and learn from. a path they said they have not stopped “I honestly believe that everytheir response but have had to one has a path they are given are given learn to stop and consider the from birth,” she said. “Mine is from birth,” situations they are walking into for EMS and Nursing. Many of and the risks of taking the disus will joke that we have a geshe said. ease home to their families. netic defect that allows us to do “Mine is for In both roles, she and her this, giving up dinners with EMS and peers have made every effort families, going without sleep, to remain current on the leaving functions at the tone of Nursing.” changing guidelines, week-tothe pager and heading towards week, day-to-day and minutesituations most would run from. to-minute, always educating both It is not a calling for everyone but those of co-workers and patients on what is best for us that are in the profession will agree everyone’s safety,” she said. none of us do this for praise or awards. Her work ethic and impact on the comThough it is a nice reminder that what we munity has not gone unnoticed by those do makes a difference in the lives of our she works with. patients. I appreciate that someone took the "In addition to being an excellent RN, time to think that what I do is special Diana is also an EMS provider who I have enough to receive this award, the truth is worked with for many years," said Rolland that there are hundreds of EMS providers "Boomer" Bojo, Vice President of Patient and nurses just as deserving.” Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer Garnet Health Medical Center- Catskills and AdCongratulations ministrator of the Grover Hermann Division, Callicoon. "She is highly respected in Diana Duffy RN, BSN, AEMT-P the community and exemplifies what a true We are so proud of you and all your healthcare professional is all about. She embodies the values we hold near and dear accomplishments. You were predestined at Garnet Health; always putting compasto follow this career path and we are so sionate patient care as the highest priority lucky to be a part of this journey. and striving for excellence in everything You amaze us with how you can juggle she does for our community." Mom, Wife, Nurse, EMT, Caregiver, Duffy notes that she’s honored to be recAdvocate, Cheerleader, Friend ognized by the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, but does not feel that what she and somehow fit it all into 24 hours a day, everyday.

I am so proud to call you my friend.

Thank you for everything that you do for all of us,


Tonya Dirie

We love you Steve, Kyle, Natalie, Connor, Kaitlin and Teagan


NO has never been a word in your vocabulary. You are so deserving of this award; you inspire us all to be better people, friends, neighbors, community members.


Congratulations Diana On your well-deserved honor

P R I D E AWA R D S 1 5

Thank you & Congratulations to all the honorees! from the Operation Feed Partners

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Distinguished Service Award:



By Matt Shortall


he American Chef James Beard once said, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” That couldn’t have been more true over the past several months of the Covid-19 pandemic as a partnership of local clubs and organizations launched Operation Feed –– a volunteer effort dedicated to delivering meals to essential workers and families in need while supporting local restaurants. Operation Feed, including all of its volunteers and partnership agencies, are one of the recipients of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award. In total, Operation Feed raised over


Operation Feed is a recipient of Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Distinguished Service Award

$51,000 through grants and donations to serve over 7,000 meals between March 31 and September 4, 2020. A two-phased effort, Phase I started as a way to support essential workers at CRMC and other local facilities by delivering meals prepared by restaurants and volunteers throughout Sullivan County. Led by Rotary Clubs in Liberty and Monticello, Phase I helped to show essential workers that their service was appreciated at the same time as it supported local restaurants who were struggling to keep the lights on during New York’s restrictive lockdown

continued on page 18 P R I D E AWA R D S 1 7

OPERATION FEED guidelines. Phase I delivered 2,645 meals, 1,150 bagels, 1,145 baked goods and 60 chocolate Easter Bunnies. This effort supported 25 local restaurants while providing meals to over 700 CRMC essential workers, 25 Mobilemedic EMS personnel, 20 essential workers within Sullivan County Public Health Services, 40 essential workers within the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and 26 essential workers within the Village of Liberty and Monticello Police Departments. The Operation Feed control team included Jodi Goodman - Director of Community Services/Patient Experiences, Charles Lee Miller - Clinical Manager of Emergency Services/OE COO & LRC Member, Shannon Lynn Barry - OE Secretary and CD Trips Operations Manager, Gary Siegel - Liberty Rotary Club President Elect/Mission Coordinator, Gary Silver - Liberty Rotary Club Past President, Barbi Neumann Marty - Liberty Rotary Club Member and Kathryn Grodin - Rotary Club of Monticello NY Coordinator.

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Phase II of Operation Feed shifted its focus to provide dinners twice a week to 127 families with children in the Liberty, Monticello and Fallsburg areas who are food insecure or otherwise unable to provide for themselves. “This has always been an issue in Sullivan County, but [Covid-19] exposed it to the point that people started to pay attention to it and started to help in a sustainable way,”said Rotarian and Phase I Mission Coordinator Gary Siegel. Coordinator Gary Silver of Liberty Rotary, Phase II represented a partnership between Rotary clubs in Liberty, Monticello and Livingston Manor as well as Lions clubs in Fallsburg, Tri-Valley and Liberty. Other partnerships included the Liberty, Monticello, Fallsburg, Tri-Valley and Livingston Manor School Districts, The Boys & Girls Club of Sullivan County and A Single Bite. Founded by Sims Foster who co-founded Foster Supply Hospitality along with his wife and partner Kirsten Harlow Foster, A Single

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Bite works to educate schools and communities about healthier eating habits. Back in June, Operation Feed gave a $17,000 donation to continue its mission. Between May and September, Operation Feed Phase II served 4,598 family meals equaling 22,990 servings. While Operation Feed may have ended on September 4, more than 80 volunteers who participated have continued to work A Rotarians Gary Siegel and Single Bite and many Irving Kaplan receive a of the more than 80 donation of Popcorners volunteers are continfrom Pepsi Co’s uing to sustain the Ideal Snacks plant program and provide in Liberty. weekly food to families in need. “It was absolutely incredible at a time when people are not working and there’s unemployment in double digits,” said Siegel. “It’s just another example of how people in Sullivan County step up when others are in need.”


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You ur Safffe etyy. et Your He H alth. h Ourr Priori r t y. Nothing is more importtant than your health and safe ety during these challenging times. Pleasse do not delay the healthcare e you need.

How we’re we re keepiing you safe: • Masks required for everyone • Employees practtice extensive hand-washing g • Continuous enha anced cleaning at every fa a c ili t y • Separate rooms for COVID-19 and non n- COVID -1 19 patient s or COVID-19 sympto o m s i n a d v a n ce o f • Pre-screening fo patient appointm ments • Temperature che ecks • Social-distanced d waiting ar areas and regis tration b id check-i h k iin for • C Curbside f Urgent U t Care C • Appropriately sp paced appointments allow forr social distancing g and cleaning after each patie ent able from Garnet Health Docttors • Telehealth availa • Sanitizing facilities with UV light and decontam mination spray/misting un nits ergency? Visit our Urgent Care in Monticello, Urgent concern or Eme go to the ER in Harris, or o call 911 in an emergency!

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Distinguished Service Award:



By Carol Montana


onathan Schiller, CEO of Garnet Health Medical Center –– Catskills (GHMC-C), formerly Catskill Regional Medical Center, first found out about COVID-19 in January through national media and industry publications. “We knew we couldn’t escape it; we just didn’t know when and how intense. We didn’t know if we were going to have one patient or hundreds.” Schiller explained that after the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, most hospitals, GHMC2020

Garnet Health Medical Center - Catskills is a recipient of Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Distinguished Service Award

C included, designed a pandemic plan “designed with the intention of another type of influenza … but the of the plan in terms of isolation and personal protection remain the same.” Activating their plan in mid-February, implementing extra cleaning procedures, then initiating their Hospital Incident Command System in March, the hospital hit their “emergency mode” just as the first cases hit

continued on page 18 P R I D E AWA R D S 2 1


Congratulations to all the honorees You are truly the PRIDE OF SULLIVAN COUNTY

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continued on page 24


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it was probably not the memory they would want to have.” The Skilled Nursing Unit had no visitation for several months. But the nurses taught the residents to use Facetime. “It’s hard to keep people’s spirits up when they’re feeling isolated,” Schiller reported. “The nurses did a great job.” Clergy members gave last rites over the phone or from the doorway for a nonCOVID patient. “It was really just challenging,” sighed Schiller. In maternity, expectant mothers were allowed support persons – a doula or midwife – and one other person, usually the father. “It was tough,” Schiller shared, “… we had to say no to grandparents and that’s not easy.” On March 22, elective surgeries were discontinued per a directive from NYS, and because nurses from procedural areas were needed in other departments. Elective surgeries were resumed on May 13. Visitations are still limited at present, Schiller reports “to try and keep as many people out of the building to reduce risk.” Schiller stated that GHMC-C is ready for a second wave of the virus. “We’re hopeful that it won’t happen. … it’s not easy for people to stay isolated and stay home and have the discipline and the willingness to wear the mask every time they leave the house and are in public or congregate

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Orange County, and Sullivan County declared a state of emergency. GHMC-C received daily advice and guidance from the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services, the NYS Department of Health, the Sullivan County Public Health Agency and the county’s Office of Emergency Management. Additionally, information was coming to and from other hospitals and GHMC’s own epidemiologists, infectious disease physicians and infection prevention clinicians. Hospital staff was kept apprised and educated through twice weekly conference calls and daily bulletins. “We shared every piece of credible information that came to us with our staff,” said Schiller, explaining that, at one point, there were 700 to 800 people on a conference call. For the people who were not at work on any given day, the information was archived on the hospital’s internal website. “We tried to get the message out as many ways as possible,” added Schiller, including an internal Q & A site. At the end of March, GHMC-C restricted visitations: no visitors for COVID-19 patients and restricted visitation for other patients unless their passing from something other than COVID was imminent. “It was the worst thing for the staff, for the providers, for the families,” noted Schiller, his voice breaking. “We did Zoom and Facetime calls with family, but oftentimes the nurses say to the family, ‘You don’t want to see your loved one right now.’ …

continued from page 21



Jonathan Schiller is the CEO of Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills, and has been with the hospital system since 2004.

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spaces. … This is just so pronity.” longed that it has the potential Schiller also gives a great deal “Extremely to wear people down. …” of credit and thanks to “the proud of his Extremely proud of his staff, support the hospital received Schiller believes receiving the staff, Schiller from the community.” It was Chamber’s Distinguished Servhumbling, he said. “… Over believes ice Award means “service 4,000 meals were delivered receiving the here for our staff, so they could above self … and it’s one employee, one patient, one doc[have] one less thing to worry Chamber’s tor, one patient at a time, it’s about. There must have been 40 Distinguished or 50 businesses in some way developing an expectation and a pattern of excellence through who helped us out.” Service each one of those individual Plus schools dropped off Award means encounters, not only between masks from their science labs. ‘service above “It all added up to really powerpatients and providers, but also between employees and each ful support from the commuself...’” other. … If we were at all sucnity. That made a difference in cessful [in handling the panthe lives of our staff members demic], and I think we were, who were just exhausted, and it’s because of the staff that we have here, to know that someone was thinking about who just care so deeply about this commuthem I think made a big difference.”

Congratulations Operation Feed,

Joseph N. Garlick

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(845) 647-7747 186 Canal St., Ellenville

To learn how your charitable giving can make a lasting impact on your community, visit www.cfosny.org


A display in the hospital lobby holds thank you notes from Girl Scout Troop 674.

Investment Advisors Creating and Preserving Wealth Philip Coombe III, CFP® Catherine Bender, CFP® Lynn McDonald

Congratuulations to alll the P rride of Sulliv ivan County Award Winners W

Office locations: Main Office: P.O. Box 333 / 6872 Rte 209, Wawarsing, NY 12489

548 Broadway, Monticello, NY 12701 Call for appointment




Phone (845) 647-4800 (800) 4 COOMBE www.coombebender.com Email: pcoombe@coombefinancial.com

(877) CHBNY Y 15 www.CHBNY Y..com P R I D E AWA R D S 2 5

Congratulations Congratulati tions to our ver y own

Saraid Gonzalezz

Program Director, Sullivan a 180


We applaud you! Your F Yo Frriends at:

Granite Associatees

to all of thiis year arsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Priddee Awwar Pr ardees ard ees! 162 E Broadw way Monticello, NY 12701 ArcSullivanO Orange.org 845.796.1350


To all of the deser ving recipien nts of the S lli an County Sulliv C P id A Pride Aw w d ward your dedication to our comm munity is inspirational!

Building a heallthier communityy,, one degre ee at a time

Saraid Your o dedication, enthuusiasm andd profeessionalism are inspiring we are so proud of you and wish you many congratulatiions on thiis deserving honor!

Learrn More about Sullivan1 180


Yoour friends at a Sullivan 180 0

visit:: Sullivan180.org | call:: 845-295-2680 | email: inffo o@sullivan180.org 26 P R I D E AWA R D S


Young Emerging Leader:



By Patricio Robayo


araid Gonzalez is no stranger to hard work and being passionate about what she does and helping others; she learned that trait from her parents, “It’s in my blood,” she said. The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce has named Gonzalez as the recipient of their 2020 Young Emerging Leader award. Gonzalez was shocked and surprised when she learned that she had been recognized for her county’s accomplishments and efforts. “I am so honored,” said Gonzalez. “I don’t do it for the accolades; I do it because I want to make a difference and give back to my community.” Gonzalez is the Program Director for Sulli2020

Saraid Gonzalez is the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Young Emerging Leader.

van 180. She is charged with community outreach and also manages special projects, programs and assists in planning and implementing various health initiatives that influence the multicultural community. Previously, she was the program and events coordinator for the Sullivan Renaissance. She is also currently the Census Coordinator for Sullivan County, where she coordinates the outreach and marketing campaign for the 2020 census. A lifelong Sullivan County native, Gonzalez graduated from Liberty High School and attended Sullivan County Community College.

continued on page 28 P R I D E AWA R D S 2 7

SARAID GONZALEZ She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from SUNY Empire and will also pursue her Master’s Degree in Public Administration soon after. Moreover, when she is not working, she serves on several committees, such as the SALT (Sullivan Allies Leading Together) Steering Committee, the Women of Color Health Coalition, the Common Ground Health Equity Committee, the Latino Service Providers Committee, and the Long Term Care Council. She is a Leadership Sullivan Alumni of 2015, and a member of the Liberty NY Rotary Club. For Gonzalez, the Liberty NY Rotary Club has helped her cope with the pandemic, stating, “During this time, I felt helpless, and I just didn’t know how to help.” So she began volunteering with the Liberty NY Rotary Club and A Single Bite, distributing meals to families in need in Liberty during the pandemic. “I love this group; they really inspire me to contribute to humanitarian causes,” added Gonzalez.

continued from page 27

She also helped with food distribution at the Catskills Food Hub in Liberty. Saraid has three wonderful children, Victoria (29), Mia (24), and Rafael (10), and a grandson, Elliot (3). She has a devoted husband, Rafael, who supports her in all her endeavors. Gonzalez reflected on the life her parents had as an inspiration for her own life. Her parents, Andres and Nelida Baez, came to Sullivan County from Puerto Rico and established themselves through hard work and dedication. Her parents started working in the Borscht Belt hotels and eventually began working for Loomis Hospital before a new hospital was built in Harris, Catskill Regional Medical Center (now known as Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills). Her mom was a nurse’s aide at the hospital and at Walnut Mountain Nursing Home. She also worked as a Home Healthcare Aide for Hospice. All the Baez’s children went on to accomplish great things in their own right. Her brother, Marc Baez, is President and CEO of

Congratulations to all the

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

South Fallsburg, NY • 1-800-999-6593



28 P R I D E AWA R D S



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the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development. Her sister, Lillian Rubio, works as the Court Clerk for the Town of Liberty and is also a translator for the Sullivan County Court System. Her other sister, Andrea Baez, works for Hudson Valley Community Services. Her brother Armando Baez is CEO of Wakefern Food Corporation in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and her brother, Andrew Baez, is a Lieutenant in the Otisville Correctional Facility. Gonzalez said for those who are looking to make a difference in their communities, they should look for local civic organizations like the Liberty Rotary and volunteer. “Volunteering has been so important to me during this pandemic. It has helped reduce stress, combat depression, keeps me mentally stimulated, and provides a sense of purpose. There are so many benefits to volunteering. It can also open doors for you,” she added. She also added a quote by Jennifer Lee, “Don’t ever give up; be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

845-292-1494 Proud to be located in

Ferndale, NY

Congr o gratulaations t To All Th The

Award Recipie ents! F From Yo Y our Friends At

w w w. h u r l e y v i l l e a r t s c e n t re . o rg 2020



Township Award:



By Isabel Braverman


rendan and Kathy Weiden have always had strong ties to the community. Brendan’s great-great-grandparents came to the area and bought a farm outside of Narrowsburg 120 years ago. They had an upholstery shop in New York City and bought excelsior, a wood product used in furniture, from a mill on the land that they would come to own. Brendan has been coming up to the farm his entire life, and when he and Kathy met in college she fell in love with the area too. Their roots are now firmly planted, and although they still both work and live in the city, they come up to the property that their family has owned for generations. They had known for a while that the old Narrowsburg School (which shut down in 2005) was for sale, but didn’t have any intentions of buying it. But when the opportunity presented itself, they knew their backgrounds in developing and managing real estate would be an asset. “Maybe we were the ones to bring new life back into this building,” Brendan said. In 2013 they started to look at the school 30 P R I D E AWA R D S

The Weidens are shy people and would rather show the labor of their love–the Narrowsburg Union.

and in 2014 made an offer. They closed on the building in 2015 and their goal remains the same—to convert the building into a mixeduse commercial entity. Their tagline is “commerce, education, and community,” and some of the current tenants include an insurance agency, a therapist, food producers and SUNY Sullivan. The Weidens also created some of their own businesses, which include the Union Works Print, Pack and Ship, U-Haul rentals, order fulfillment and more. There are also conference rooms, event space, office space and a commercial kitchen available for renting out. These all came about because the Weidens saw a need in the community so that people didn’t have to travel far and so their tenants could have these services on site. “We’re trying to be smart about it and try to make it so that every one of these small businesses can be successful, that the economics make sense for them,” Kathy remarked. They also like to support regional artists and makers and created the Galleries at the Union where artists can exhibit their work, and the Narrowsburg Farmers Market is held there outside on Saturdays. 2020


“I  Find What  You’re Looking For!”

Congratulations Kathy & Brendan, Thank You for Your Unending Support of the Community of Narrowsburg!


Kathy said, “We’re trying to help build community, in the sense that people can live, work and play here.” In all of their endeavors, they like to be conscious of the environment. They recently installed electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot of the Union, and use excelsior for packing materials instead of Styrofoam peanuts. “We feel strongly about the environmental stewardship of the region for future generations,” Brendan said. “We try to do the right thing environmentally.” The Upper Delaware Welcome Center recently opened inside the Union, which serves as a resource to visitors and provides information on nearby attractions, and Catskills Curated, which offers hand-picked items from local makers. “We’re about the whole Delaware River Valley,” Brendan said. “The river is not the river that separates us, it’s the river that pulls us together. It’s a region that works together.”


Congrats to Kathy & Brendan at Narrowsburg Union!

Congrats to Kathy & Brendan

Don’t get stuck out in the cold!

on the Township Award for the Town of Narrowsburg.

Congats to the Honorees

Plan Now for Fall and Winter

We are happy to be part of this town and community.


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P R I D E AWA R D S 3 1

Alw ways lea ading.


Congratu ulations to all our memberr recipients and, thank you for your leade ership.

S ullivan Ca tskills.c om o $_bvbmvঞ|†ঞombv-m;t†-Ѵorrou|†mb|‹ruoˆb7;u-m7;lrѴo‹;uĺ ® I LOVE NEW YORK logo is a registered trademark/service mark of the NYS Dept. of Economic Development, used with permission.

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Pride Journal 2020  

Each year the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce recognizes individuals and organizations that make our county what it is. Learn about this...

Pride Journal 2020  

Each year the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce recognizes individuals and organizations that make our county what it is. Learn about this...