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Sponsored in part by

Sullivan Renaissance

A special section of the SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT April 11, 2014 • Section Y • Callicoon, NY




APRIL, 2014

Where service with a smile makes dollars and sense STORY AND PHOTO BY KATHY DALEY


sk Stacey Kuhn about the joys of life in the banking world, and she lights up like a new gold coin. “Banking used to be a dollars-andcents-related industry,” says Stacey, who serves as branch manager and sales coordinator for the Jeff Bank’s main office in Jeffersonville. “Now it’s a service-related industry. It’s totally about people.” With the official title of assistant vice president — an honorific that recognizes quality work, dedication and going the extra mile, Stacey notes — her job consists of doing “everything.” Supervising staff, handling customers, working on loans are all in a day’s work, and “if it means running a teller drawer, I do it.”

At the same time, she sees the motivator for her energies as sheer service. “I’m here for my customers, I’m here for my staff,” said Stacey. “I see myself as working for them.” In addition, part of her job is connecting with customers beyond the Main Street bank building. “On a regular basis, branch managers make calls to business customers, to build new relationships and strengthen the loyal relationships we’re so fortunate to have,” explained Stacey. “It’s like a temperature check. It’s anticipating their needs.” Most of those calls link the bank with owners of small businesses – from therapists to car repair shop owners. Home-based businesses like small consulting firms and marketing companies are growing as a customer KATHY DALEY | DEMOCRAT

Stacey Kuhn

base, too. A 2001 graduate of Honesdale High School, Kuhn, whose maiden name was Conley, grew up in Narrowsburg and never considered banking as her future. She worked as a dental assistant, a cosmetologist and, at the Center for Discovery, as a patient liaison. But after she married Donald Kuhn and began raising their children Kyleigh and Donald Jr., Stacey began seeking a job close to their Eldred

home. She trained as a teller and worked at Jeff Bank’s Narrowsburg and Eldred branches. In 2010, the bank promoted her to Eldred branch manager. Then in January 2013, she accepted a promotion to the larger branch in Jeffersonville. “There’s so much room for opportunity here,” Stacey reflects. “I’m more than happy with what I’m doing now – but the world is my oyster in terms of being with Jeff Bank.”


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APRIL, 2014


Joshua Hughes knows he’s part of something special STORY AND PHOTO BY KAITLIN CARNEY


oshua Hughes is a man who does what he loves, and loves what he does. As brewmaster for Roscoe Beer Company, the Weedsport, NY native cultivates and shares his love of craft beer on a daily basis. “I grew up on craft beer and have always preferred a full-bodied, fullflavored craft beer,” Joshua says. “I sought out new craft brew specialists and visited breweries, and then became interested in making it myself. I knew I could craft the perfect beer for my palate.” That love, and hobby, turned into a full-fledged career for Hughes after attending SUNY Oswego and graduating from Empire State College. He joined forces with Roscoe Beer Co. shortly after they received

their brewer’s license, feeling that they could both benefit from the relationship. Joshua loved the mission of Roscoe Beer Co., and supported what they were doing: sourcing, creating, and distributing a hometown beer that Trout Town, USA could be proud of. The primary focus of the 25-yearold Hughes’ role of brewmaster is to create new recipes, produce beers to sell, and assist in the warehouse. “Brewing is a creative outlet, relatively unhindered. I test recipes, and I love to brew beer. When I first created a beer, it was something I truly enjoyed doing. I could really put myself into it, something I could put all of my enthusiasm into.” Hughes developed Roscoe Beer Co.’s Rainbow Red Ale, a take on an IPA (India Pale Ale) with a deep

amber color and IPA characteristics, and their Brown Ale. He is working on creating a special recipe for the Roscoe-Rockland Volunteer Fire Department, the heart of Roscoe. Joshua looks to the growth of the company, and to what it can contribute to the local community. “Our reach will continue to grow and Roscoe Beer will be in the hands of more people. We are going to reshape the local beer market.” Joshua speaks of stopping off at a grocery store, only to chat with a group of other shoppers about Roscoe Beer, their products, and what is on the horizon. Yet although he is completely immersed in the brewing culture (reading books, magazines, and attending conferences), he does make time for some hobbies, including fishing, gardening, hiking, snowboarding, and ice fishing – anything that gets him outdoors. But work is his first love. As part of the Roscoe Beer Co. family, he knows that he is part of something unique, what he calls “a truly local, town-based company.”




Joshua Hughes





APRIL, 2014

Nolan Levine is part of proud tradition at Fallsburg Lumber STORY AND PHOTO BY ELI RUIZ


epresenting the fifth generation of family ownership in one of the longest running businesses in the area, the 106-yearold Fallsburg Lumber, Nolan Levine relishes being part of a tradition. “More than anything else, I just love working alongside my family,” offered Levine. As Vice President at Fallsburg Lumber, Levine, 33, handles many tasks. “Most major purchases, estimates, delivery scheduling… I pretty much do it all,” he said. After graduating from Fallsburg

High School in 1998, Levine head off to Binghamton University, where he would earn a business degree with a focus on finance and marketing A member of the Fallsburg Fire Department, and active with various industry groups including the Mid-Hudson Lumber Dealers


Nolan Levine is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in Fallsburg Lumber, which was founded in 1908.













Motor Coaches • School Buses Locally Owned & Family Operated ROUTE 42 SOUTH FALLSBURG

on a Wonderful Accomplishment! We wish you continued success in all you do.

16605 15686


Congratulations Nolan



Love, Aunt Ellen & Uncle Dean


From all of your Co-Workers at


APRIL, 2014


Amanda Ward-Almonte brings revolutionary spirit back home


Association and the Mid-Hudson Builders Association, Levine believes there’s much to be learned from others in the business. Asked where he sees himself in 10 years, Levine responded, “Hopefully I’ll still be running our business and we’ll have continued to grow and succeed. We really want to see Sullivan County flourish and I think if we do get a casino or two for the area … it will go a long ways toward that end.” But ultimately, for this young professional, it’s all about family. Fallsburg Lumber was founded by great-great-grandfather Sam Levine. Third-generation owner Monroe Levine – Nolan’s grandfather – was actively involved until shortly before his recent passing. Family members still actively involved in the business are his father, and former Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Levine, uncle Richard Levine and mom Ellen Levine, who keeps the businesses books. “My family has operated this business for a very long time and the things I learned from my grandfather and then my father about this business have been invaluable to me,” Nolan reflected. “We’ve always focused on quality product and quality customer service and I truly love having the opportunity now to provide the people of Sullivan County with a quality product from a quality company… it’s just how we do business here.”




manda Ward-Almonte works as the Senior Director of Training and Workforce Development at the Center for Discovery, where’s she’s been already for seven years. She’s also an Adjunct Instructor at SUNY Sullivan, where she teaches several courses in law. Wearing many hats comes naturally to Amanda. Her duties at the Center for Discovery include recruiter, trainer, and workforce developer, and previously she worked as a journalist for Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine. She’s also worked as a sports agent, plus a substitute teacher at Fallsburg Central School District. “That’s where I fell in love with teaching and training,” she recollects with a smile. Thirty-three years old Amanda grew up in Fallsburg and loves reaching out to people. “I wanted to wake up happy going to work,” she says, “I wanted to love my career. I want to not just make a difference, but to be a part of something revolutionary.” Her whole career is communitycentered, and the favorite part of her job is, “The people! Every day I’m afforded the wonderful opportunity to work alongside the greatest talents in the field and serve individuals who have limitless abilities. Being a part of an organization that is revolutionary has given me a great sense of content-

Amanda Ward-Almonte

ment.” But there are other sides to Amanda’s personality, too. She’s quietly writing a self-help book, and used to be a competitive figure-skater. She says her five-year-old daughter Gabriella is her life’s treasure, and that she’s blessed to have a family that believes in her, giving her their unwavering support. She states she’s an advocate, and modestly, “I have been told I’ve got the ability to make genuine connections with people across all walks of life with varying cultural back-

grounds.” The community-oriented Amanda is a member of numerous civic organizations, among them the Sullivan County NAACP, Girl Scout Heart of the Hudson Board of Directors, and Sullivan County Economic Development Steering Committee. Her favorite quote summarizes her spirit: “The unforeseen crossroads are not failures, they are merely alternate routes toward your success. ... Success is not measured by your accolades, it is measured by how those accolades are achieved.”

We are all very proud of you on your well deserved recognition in this year’s Young Professionals.

Love from Mom, Dad, and All Your Family, Friends and Co-workers at Fallsburg Lumber 16468


We wish you continued success in all your future endeavors.




APRIL, 2014

Brad Rutledge: if you don’t know him yet, you will STORY AND PHOTO BY ELI RUIZ


Brad Rutledge

So in 2012, “I went back to Keats as an associate agent and have never been happier.” With an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Brad is only getting started in his chosen field. “I continuously seek opportunities to enhance my knowledge in the insurance field to better serve my clients,” he affirms. “I am currently looking to take the classes and exams to become a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC).” As a man who takes pride in working for Keats, which has been in business for 20 years, Brad says, “I truly enjoy creating ‘aha’ moments for my clients. In other words, those times where I find a need for coverage that a client didn't know they had and I am able to provide a competitive insurance solution to address it. “I love it when my clients truly understand their coverage. Insurance coverage should be customized to each person or business. It is not onesize-fits-all and is not a commodity. I rest easier knowing that I’ve done the CONTINUED ON PAGE 7Y

Congrats Brad! You deserve it! from

The Whole Team at

DR. WHIPPLE’S Jackie, Annabelle & Matthew


ochecton resident, musician and Keats Agency associate agent Brad Rutledge likes to say he “married into the area.” “I grew up in Cincinnati,” explains Brad. “I married a Sullivan County native, Jackie Weyer, who grew up in Sullivan County. The wedding was held at the Inn at Lake Joseph in 2001, and after several visits to Sullivan County, I found that I loved this area and thought it the perfect place to raise our children. We decided to call Cochecton home and have been here since 2005.” After graduating from Colerain High School (in Cincinnati) in 1993, and while attending the University of Cincinnati, Brad would discover his true calling. “It was around this time that I decided to pursue a career in sales," offers Brad, adding, "I started out selling new Toyotas, which lasted about four months. I sold a new 4 Runner to a gentleman who managed a mortgage company, and he recruited me to come on board as a loan officer. I spent many years in mortgages before deciding that I wanted to learn more about the insurance field. I obtained my insurance licenses and went to work for Allstate Insurance.” Later, after making the move to Sullivan County, he joined the Keats Agency as a Nationwide Insurance agent, and in 2006, as he recalls, "I had the opportunity to expand my insurance knowledge by working with a local wholesale insurance agency.” But soon after, he would realize that he missed his old job. “I found that working with the public was more suited to my approach,” he said.


APRIL, 2014

‘I really love it when my clients truly understand their coverage. Insurance coverage should be customized to each person or business.’



‘We’d like to congratulate the young professionals for being recognized as the leaders of tomorrow.’


very best I can for my clients and that the programs I've put in place for them fit their particular needs." A singer and rhythm guitarist for the popular local band “Far Beyond Gone,” Brad also gives back to his adopted community as co-chair of the Young Emerging Leaders (YEL, a Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce task force) and sits on not only the the Chamber Board of Directors, but the SullivanArc Foundation as well. And he has high hopes for his community. “I’m really looking forward to the future of Sullivan County and try to always look for the positives of the area,” affirms Brad. “I’ve set my family’s roots here and think that the sky is the limit for a revitalization here. I’m looking forward to the growth that the proposed casino resort destinations will bring to this area. This will provide opportunities for my insurance business, my band, and for all residents of the county. It’ll be the catalyst to great things.” Asked where he sees himself in ten years, Brad doesn’t stray too far from the present, offering, “I will still be running the Monticello branch of the Keats Agency as a CIC and will have a client base and book of business that represents my commitment to Sullivan County and protecting its businesses and people. “And I will still be actively involved with the community through volunteer efforts and involvement in the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce.” Oh, and a few other important things, too. “I will still be singing and playing guitar – my passion. I will also have a daughter in college, yikes, and a son, Matthew, in his junior year of high school . . . that’s a lot to look forward to!”


Continued from 6Y




APRIL, 2014

Dory Alport carries on the family tradition F allsburg native Dory Alport always knew one day she would take over the family’s plumbing and heating wholesale business, A. Alport and Son. Continuously in business for 78 years, it was founded by Dory’s greatgrandfather, Abraham. Dory began working full time for her parents Harris and Judy more than 20 years ago. Her parents are mainly retired now. “I actually grew up in and around the family business,” Dory affirmed. “I’ve done inside sales, showroom sales. I’d say I wear pretty much every hat here.” Alport graduated from Fallsburg High School in 1994, following up her University of Vermont undergrad degree with an MBA from the University of New Hampshire. As the fourth generation to run the family business, Alport has tried to keep the business model much the same: “Historically it’s been a husband and wife team here running the business, and with my husband [Jay Frischman] working here, we’re now the team running the business.” Asked where she expected Alport and Son to be in 10 years, Alport explained, “We’ve always been a mom and pop type business. I do have definite goals to grow the business but I will always remain true to

the mom and pop business model. Personalized sales and service. You just can’t get that at the massive big box stores and it’s something we’ll always stay true to.” Like most of our young professionals Alport is involved in the community and serves on the Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley Builders Association, is the acting chair for the Town of Fallsburg Architectural Review Board, and, perhaps most importantly, Alport is an active board member with the Sullivan County Workforce Development Task Force. “I think job creation and workforce development are some of the more pressing issues in this county today,” offered Alport. “We’re comprised of both public and private sector businesses and work directly with the One Stop Center (on North Street, Monticello), BOCES and various other non-profits in hopes of aiding in the development of a competent and qualified workforce and jobs for the area.” And regarding her loyal customers and employees, Alport is appreciative. “We have both customers and employees who’ve been with us more than 40 years now and I’d like to thank them all for their loyalty and hard work,” she said. “We want to grow, but within our comfort zone.

Young Professionals


Dory Alport represents the fourth generation of her family involvement in A. Alport & Son. She runs the business with husband Jay Frischman.

One thing is for sure, we will always be a Sullivan County based business. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for this area, but we’re

Proud Member of

‘Featuring 18 up and comers in our business community’ Published by Catskill-Delaware Publications, Inc. Publishers of the

(845) 887-5200 Callicoon, NY 12723 April 11, 2014 • Vol. CXXIII, No. 85

Serving the weekly community newspapers of New York State since 1853

Publisher: Senior Editor: Editor: Sports Editor: Editorial Assistants: Advertising Director: Advertising Coordinator: Advertising Representatives: Marketing Director: Business Manager: Business Department: Telemarketing Coordinator: Classified Manager: Production Associates:


definitely not looking to go anywhere.”

Fred W. Stabbert III Dan Hust Frank Rizzo Ken Cohen Jeanne Sager, Kathy Daley, Eli Ruiz Kaitlin Carney, Anya Tikka Liz Tucker Sandy Schrader Katie Peake, Cecilia Lamy Laura Stabbert Susan Owens Patricia Biedinger, Joanna Blanchard Michelle Reynolds Janet Will Ruth Huggler, Rosalie Mycka, Tracy Swendsen, Elizabeth Finnegan, Petra Duffy, Kellee Thelman Richard Conroy


Congratulations Dory

On your selection as a Young Professional Up & Comer.


Congratulations Dory On being selected for the Young Professionals Up and Comers. We are proud of your contribution to the community and look forward to seeing your continued success! 15970

In the Business Community by the Sullivan County Democrat You and your fellow honorees represent the Best of Sullivan County

Beth, Roy & Alya



Love Jay


Congratulations Dory

Keep following your heart and always do your best! We are all so lucky to have you in our lives!


Congratulations Dory On your well-deserved recognition as an Up and Coming Young Emerging Professional In the Business Community by the Sullivan County Democrat. You and your fellow honorees represent the Best of Sullivan County. You are and will continue to be a source of Pride and Joy. Sylvia Rashkin


APRIL, 2014




Here’s to a Great Job, John!

APRIL, 2014

The latest generation aims to expand Gasko & Meyer STORY AND PHOTO BY KAITLIN CARNEY


We would like to raise our glass and congratulate you on all the hard work which has earned you so much success. All the best, Andrew, Katie & Laura 16628

t 27 years old, John Nober of Gasko & Meyer may be a young professional, but his experience at the family-owned business in Lake Huntington dates back nearly a quarter of a century. Gasko & Meyer was started by John’s great grandparents in 1939. John started coming down to the warehouse on weekends with his grandfather, unknowingly learning the business that would be his career path. His first role at the company would be working on the empties and returnables, a far distance from where he sits today. John now serves as the company’s

Operations Manager. He focuses on growing the business, ordering product, checking on deliveries, managing inventory, routing the fleet of delivery trucks and managing their drivers, and overseeing warehouse staff. The operations of Gasko & Meyer, once only a local beer distributor, now span a delivery area from Binghamton to Westchester to Glens Falls – a span of 22 counties. They’ve purchased County Fountain Supplies – a Monticellobased company supplying CocaCola products, syrups, and more – CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

We’re So Proud of All You’ve Accomplished. Keep up the hard Work!




The Nober and Tugender Families


From the Whole Team



APRIL, 2014


to expand their product line, and are working on purchasing a building in Kingston to serve as a delivery hub, enhancing their ability to reach northern territories. Gasko & Meyer has also increased the product line from their initial offerings of Schaefer and other domestics to imported and craft beers and a wine and spirits division. The Misericordia University graduate looks forward to aiding in the continued growth of his family’s 75year-old business. “My favorite thing is that no day here is the same,” says John. “There are different problems, a different challenge. ... The best part is getting those problems solved.” When he’s not working, John likes to go boating, relax, or watch sports. “I put in a lot of long hours here, but when I get the opportunity, I love to be out on the lake.”

John Nober puts a lot of hours into Gasko & Meyer, his family’s business.


Give the world the best you have, and the best will come to you!

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Congratulations Donna for being Recognized in the Young Professionals

APRIL, 2014

Donna Gulotta is about making a difference STORY AND PHOTO BY ELI RUIZ


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onticello native Donna Gulotta wants to affect change in Sullivan County. “I hope to help the misdirected youth of Sullivan County to better their lives,” says the single mom. “I want to help build a solid foundation for the future of Sullivan County." Donna is currently pursuing her certification as an alcohol and substance abuse counselor at SUNY Sullivan, but for the last six years she has worked at Monticello Home Garden and Farm – in business since 1987 – where she manages their Beta Pets and Supplies division, work she truly relishes. “I enjoy interacting and caring for

the animals, plus I also enjoy socializing and educating the community on how to care for and bond with them,” she said. Donna also remains active in the community, as she’s also involved in various animal rescue organizations and donates to the Federation for the Homeless on a weekly basis. “I think it’s important to give back to your community – it’s where I work and live,” she offers. As for her spare time, Donna spends much of it with her Monticello High School freshman daughter, Jordyn Lynn, and also enjoys the outdoors, reading and, of course, “there’s the animals!"

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APRIL, 2014




New Forestburgh producer excited about first year BY FRED STABBERT III

ranklin Trapp was born to be on stage. From his first role as a school-age kid in “The Sound of Music” Trapp was captured by the acting bug. “I started performing back when I was a little kid,” he said. “Being in the Sound of Music was very appropriate, especially with my last name.” The award-winning Broadway musical, set in Austria during the heat of World War II, centers around Captain von Trapp’s quest not to become a Nazi in the German Navy and how the Trapp Family singers escape Austria. The acting bug bit again for Trapp in both high school and college. “I took the most obvious route to becoming an actor, I studied to become a Spanish professor,” Trapp said with a laugh. “But the acting bug bit me again and I moved to New York to give it a shot. “Forestburgh Playhouse was one of my early jobs,” Trapp recalled.

But Trapp also had other irons in the fire and found a job “on tour with a show.” Following the tour, Trapp decided to return to Forestburgh but a call to owner Norman Duttweiler went something like this: “No, I don’t have anything, thanks.” A few months later Duttweiler called Trapp back to tell him he had a position and the talented actor earned his equity card and performed there for four years. He also did stints writing and directing children’s shows, directing cabarets and directing the Playhouse’s first production of “The Sound of Music.” “My favorite role was as the younger brother in ‘Ragtime,’ ” he said. “The role was very fiery and passionate and all about equality.” He added, “During the play I had a very heated discussion and the audience applauded.” In 2006, Trapp took a hiatus from the theater to attend Vanderbilt University Law School, earning his degree in 2009.

Franklin Trapp played Barrett, the coal stoker, in the 2003 Playhouse production of “Titantic.”

But the theater and beautiful enchantment of the mountains called his name again. “When you think about it, Sullivan County is such a beautiful part of the

country,” Trapp said. “It’s poised on the brink of exciting new changes and I’m looking forward to being a part of [those changes].” Trapp worked with Forestburgh Playhouse owner Norman Duttweiler to purchase the playhouse and the duo are getting very close to raising the curtain on the 2014 season. With such hits as “A Murder is Announced,” “My Fair Lady,” “Mame” (with Loretta Swit), “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Chosen” and “La Cage Aux Folles,” it is sure to be a great season. “I’m very excited about the resident [acting] company, too,” Trapp said. “And looking forward to them succeeding. I’m so happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see the audience.” And as Sullivan County raises its curtain on so many new developments, the oldest summer stock theater in New York State is poised to do the same for its 68th season with young professional Franklin Trapp as the new producer.





Congrats to Brandon

APRIL, 2014


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Congratulations to Brandon and Good Luck in All your Future Endeavors! Also, Thank You to All the employees at Wagner Masonry! 16623


APRIL, 2014



Building on his family’s solid foundation



wenty-one-year-old Brandon Wagner has been working alongside his dad as long as he can remember – or at least going around with him in his truck, he recollects with a smile. In the office where he’s filling the shoes as “young boss/laborer” hang photos of him and his brother doing just that. Wagner Masonry in Narrowsburg was started by his father Chris in 1987, and now he’s in the process of taking over the running of the company. Among his duties are building the business physically and mentally by figuring estimates and layouts, as well as working as a laborer. Brandon speaks highly of the workers: “Our company really works well because they work so well. We can go to a job site, give them a plan, and it

will be done in no time.” Brandon has learned all aspects of the business from his family. “My father has had the biggest impact on me, because he was a very good, hard worker, and he taught me many things throughout my life so far that I wouldn’t learn anywhere else. I learned everything about this job from my dad.” His mom Cindy also works in the office, and Brandon says, “They really pushed me to work hard and to achieve great things.” Starting as a laborer, and working his way up, Brandon still loves to create things with his hands. He says the favorite part of what he does is “to be able to build something with your hands, and to look back and think or say, ‘I did that’.”

Brandon Wagner

Wagner Masonry does all kinds of concrete projects, including all types of structural concrete, footings, walls, retaining walls, floors, and sidewalks and patios. Their clients include Granite Associates, Monticello Motor

Club, Villa Roma, and Frost Valley YMCA. “I like the physical work,” Brandon concludes. “I like to build all sorts of structures.”

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APRIL, 2014

Cara Kowalski brings joy to her work every day STORY AND PHOTO BY ANYA TIKKA


ara Kowalski, who works as the Volunteer Coordinator at Sullivan Renaissance, lists among her duties bringing back to life “Rennie the Rooster,” the Sullivan Renaissance mascot. Indeed, the lively 24year-old is keen to bring a new perspective to the program – she willingly dresses up in a rooster costume during events. “I just feel it could be a bit more fun,” she explained with a smile. Among her “real” duties are running the Volunteer Corps program, assisting beautification groups that receive Sullivan Renaissance funding, working with community outreach efforts, and taking care of social media. Cara feels strongly about community work. “I really like working with people – all of the energy and the challenges that it entails. It pushes you to be more understanding, more creative, and generally more self-aware,” she explained. “Being able to help someone, directly or indirectly, is very rewarding.”

Before coming to Sullivan Renaissance, she worked for a community action agency in Saratoga Springs, her hometown. But she started her community-oriented career before that, in Spokane, WA through Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, where she managed the food bank’s volunteer program, among other duties. “I really liked that,” she said. Cara’s favorite part of her job now is “knowing that I’m facilitating and strengthening opportunities for impactful community involvement. I’ve also had a lot of new and enriching experiences here. I’m continuously learning, and I get to work with great people, both in and out of the office.” Cara holds a degree in geography and sociology from SUNY Geneseo, and she belongs to the Liberty Lions Club and Monticello Interfaith Council. She says, “Sullivan Renaissance is all about places, people and the connection between the two – and I get to explore all of that on a daily basis!

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APRIL, 2014



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APRIL, 2014

Maldonado finds his niche in the kitchen Jerome Maldonado discovered a passion for cooking and hopes to become a master chef some day.


T The New Hope Community salutes you and the joy and dedication you bring to the job each and every day.



Congratulations JEROME MALDONADO

wenty-two-year-old Jerome Maldonado is the epitome of the overachiever. A resident at one of the many “supportive apartments” maintained by SullivanArc, Maldonado began working in the maintenance department at New Hope Community in Loch Sheldrake starting in August 2012. But soon Maldonado’s secret got out: he could cook. “We found out he had some experience with cooking,” said New Hope’s Director of Supportive

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Employment Carl Santos, adding, “As soon as we realized he could, we made the move” – Maldonado was transferred to New Hope’s “Community Bistro,” where employees can order fresh made meals for breakfast and lunch. As Santos tells it, it was New Hope Supportive Employment Coordinator Ronald Totten who first identified Maldonado’s strength. “He [Totten] came to me and said ‘I think we have a great employee here,’ ” he explained. “So we decided to bring him into our program.” In October of last year Maldonado started his new job at Community Bistro, and the move has certainly worked out for the best. As Santos put it, “He’s just been excellent and thrived in the kitchen. It turned out to be the perfect fit for Jerome and we have no regrets. He’s always there ready to do everything from prep work, cooking and running the register. He just has a very positive, great personality and has developed a wonderful rapport with everyone here at New Hope.” As for his influences in the kitchen, Maldonado quickly cites his mother: “She taught me how to cook,” he said “She taught me everything I know.” Maldonado admits that his favorite kitchen activity is baking, and rumor has it the young man makes a “mean cheesecake.” Having graduated from Sullivan County BOCES’s culinary program in June, 2013, Maldonado has even loftier goals: “I want to become a master chef,” he affirms. “That’s my goal… master chef.” “I love it [cooking],” exclaimed Maldonado. “I have a passion for cooking and the people and customers I work with are wonderful… they love me.”



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APRIL, 2014


Kim Porter has found a good life – and job – back home in Callicoon STORY AND PHOTO BY ANYA TIKKA


n the back of my head, I always wanted to be a nurse,” said Kim Porter, RN, at Dr. Paul Salzberg’s Family Practice Office in Callicoon. After working for years in insurance and moving away from Sullivan County, she finally listened to that feeling and went back to school, this time for nursing – instead of studying business, like she first did after high school. “I realized I like working with people rather than with figures,” 33-yearold Kim said. “I love helping people. ... I try to help my patients as much as I can.” Kim grew up in Callicoon and moved with her husband Neil to F U L L


North Carolina and then Tennessee when the company she worked for relocated. Eventually the family returned to the area. Kim said she was fortunate to stay home for several years after her kids were born while her husband worked. Her son Taylor is now 17, and daughter Mackenzie is 15. When it came time to return to the workforce, Kim decided to go back to school, studying nursing at SUNY Sullivan. “In 2006 I became a Registered Nurse,” she recollected. Kim is continuing her studies this year for a Bachelor’s Degree online, and plans to continue for her Master’s later. Her job duties include triage nurs-



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and she does the inventory and ordering of all medical supplies, plus transcribing doctors’ notes. She takes EKGs, and monitors compliance with federal regulations. The best part? “I enjoy interaction with people,” Kim affirmed.


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APRIL, 2014

The local environment is Melinda Meddaugh’s life and work STORY AND PHOTO BY KAITLIN CARNEY


elinda Ketcham Meddaugh is a firm believer that if you want things to change, you have to participate in making them different. A graduate of Monticello High School, SUNY Sullivan, SUNY Purchase and Vermont Law (where she received her Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy), Melinda gives back to the community in both her professional and volunteer life. Her current career is a shared position: the Agriculture and Natural Resource Issue Leader at Cornell Cooperative Extension and Agriculture Planner for Sullivan County. Melinda’s primary projects center on agriculture and environmental & economic development. At Cornell Cooperative, she works closely on the greenhouse and high tunnel project: a kickoff to yearround vegetable production classes for farmers and non-farmers alike, and leads the educators who offer COME SEE US FOR ALL YOUR AUTO SERVICE NEEDS!

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livestock and master gardening. For Sullivan County, Melinda works on the Farmland Protection Plan, aimed at economic development and protection of the county’s farms. “Sullivan County is important to me – this is where I live, where I am from, and where my family is,” she says. “A lot of my generation moved away from Sullivan County because

they feel there is no opportunity here. But there are so many opportunities, and there’s so much to do (outdoors, arts, farming). I’ve chosen to get out and get involved. I believe that if you want to see change, you have to make it happen.” And that mantra is what leads Melinda on her career path, with volunteerism as her starting board.

Looking to enhance her Rock Hill community, Melinda, as president of the Rock Hill Business Association, worked with Sullivan Renaissance and the Rock Hill Volunteer Fire Department to create the area that is home to Rock Hill’s Farmers Market. That area was cleared, landscaped, a gazebo was added and events began, including live music. The market gave access to local foods, allowed local farmers to market their goods, and started Melinda on her path of agriculture enhancement and development. At 32 years old, she is a young professional who sees many years of bettering her community in front of her. Beyond her work with Sullivan Renaissance and the Farmer’s Market, Melinda is also a member of the Town of Thompson Planning Board. In her little free time, she loves accessing the outdoors (hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing) or spending time with her husband (and project partner) Josh, and their dog and cat.


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APRIL, 2014


Home is where Eric Goldstein’s heart – and business – is

ric Goldstein has been in the insurance business for quite some time. Though he spent his early years in South Fallsburg, he and his family would make the move to Neversink, where, in 1997, he graduated from TriValley High School. In 2001, Eric earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Delaware Valley College. Soon after graduating, Eric found work with Merrill Lynch as part of their annuities and insurance division. In 2003, he came home to the 85year-old Misner Agency. “I had worked in the business throughout high school and college, but when I came back full-time, it was a unique time in the insurance industry after the terrorist attacks of September 11th,” he recalled. Part of his duties now at the Misner Agency include seeking out new clients, retaining customers, and maintaining relationships with the

numerous insurance companies represented by the firm. “I enjoy working with our many clients as well as our agency staff. Insurance is not a onesize-fits-all solution. I enjoy working with a customer to understand their unique needs and then fit them with what I think is the best protection at the most competitive price. “The needs of many insureds have changed over the past couple of years as new threats and disasters have occurred. I like the challenge of seeking out new coverage types that we can offer to our customers. “I also enjoy working with our staff,”

Eric Goldstein

Eric affirms. “I think sometimes as business owners we tend to take our staff for granted. Through the trying

economic times that we have experienced over the past couple of years, we have been fortunate enough to have a staff that really focuses on the needs of the customer and has helped me grow professionally. “I don’t want to mention ages, but many of the staff have been in the insurance business longer than I have been alive, and I am fortunate to be able to tap into their knowledge!” Eric also remains active in the community, contributing to various area organizations, including the Federation for the Homeless and the NACL Theater. A true family man, when asked where he sees himself in 10 years, Eric quickly answered, “I have three young daughters. In 10 years, they will all be teenagers. I think that pretty much sums up what I will be doing in 10 years!”

Congratulations, Eric on your being selected as a young professional of the year. We are all very proud of you.

Melinda You do great work. Congratulations!

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APRIL, 2014

Carlucci finds home at Villa Roma STORY AND PHOTO BY ELI RUIZ


he hospitality industry has served young professional Anthony Carlucci well. The Bronx native (Carlucci’s family moved to Sullivan County when he was 8) got his start as a bellhop at the Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center soon after graduating from Monticello High School. Having done everything from security, transportation and maintenance for the venerable Callicoon hotel, Carlucci was named its convention services manager just before the Villa reopened after a devastating fire in 2006 that took down the property’s Anthony Carlucci has “done everything” at the Villa Roma Resort, and now manages the main hotel.

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main building. Two years later Carlucci would be managing the entire hotel. “I truly enjoy the interaction with the many guests that come through our doors,” said Carlucci. “This is a vacation for people, and you generally get to see them at their best, and being able to tell some of our international exchange guests that come to the Villa Roma exactly what Sullivan County has to offer is always fun. Sometimes, they are just blown away by what there is to do right here.” As for where he sees himself in 10 years, Carlucci remains focused on growth: “Throughout the course of working here I’ve enrolled in various online degree programs through the University of Phoenix and Cornell,” he explains. “Right now I’m working towards my CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator) Certification and my ultimate goal is to become a general manager at the property and go from there. I am looking forward to the future and really hope to be able to help lead the hotel to the next level.” Carlucci has also taken a very active role in helping his friend and business partner, Darrin Eddleglass,

reopen the long-closed Skater’s World roller skating rink in Ferndale. “I’ve helped promote and assist in the reopening of Skater’s World to ensure there is another thing for our community to do locally,” Carlucci said of the facility, which officially reopened the weekend of April 5. Though it seems as if the sky’s the limit for Carlucci in his chosen field, he remains humble and remembers those who’ve helped along the way. “I’ve met so many different people through my work at the Villa Roma, some of whom have become like family,” he said. “This includes the Passante family, who have treated me like their own since day one, and of course [President] Paul Carlucci (no relation) who has become a mentor and had always been there to help me further my career.” “Although I was not born here, this is certainly my home now and I’m proud of that,” affirmed Carlucci. Carlucci concluded, “There are a lot of really wonderful people in Sullivan County and I am very much looking forward to seeing the future of Sullivan County and the growth that is right on the horizon.”

Lauren Mastandrea: she came back to give back

We are so happy for you on this well-deserved recognition and very proud to be your mom and dad. Your hard work, ethics and dedication is an inspiration to all of us. We wish you continued success and happiness in all your endeavors.


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Lauren Mastandrea

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She wants people to be more informed – and the information to be easily accessible. Lauren said she doesn’t know any other young lawyers in the county, but she’s stayed to give Sullivan new ideas, new energy, and methods. “What we’re now taught in law school is different from 20-30 years ago. We’re taught a more accessible approach to law, a practical approach.” What motivates her? “It’s being able to give a voice to people who can’t advocate for themselves. Basically, you have to be a navigator for people through many important life decisions which they may make. “This community has given me a lot, has contributed to me being who I am, so I feel like I want to give back. I don’t know what the future is going to hold, but I’m optimistic.”

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he sense of wanting to give back to the community is very strong in Lauren Mastandrea, 27, an attorney who works for Frances Clemente Law Practice in Callicoon. “I want to help this area, this community, and county to grow, especially in Family Law,” she said. “I don’t think there are enough people to make the whole process more accessible to people.” Lauren specializes both in Small Business Formation and Family Law. “They are very different,” she explained. “In law school I specialized in business transactions, but when I graduated, I immediately began handling a lot of Family Law cases here at Clemente.” A Roscoe resident, Lauren went to law school in Michigan, then returned to Sullivan County. “I was very fortunate to find local work,” she said. She interned with the firm while still in college. She deals with divorce, custody, and child support, and would like to see one Family Law Center where people can come in and sit down to talk – not necessarily to an attorney, but to someone who gives parenting skills, referrals and so on, instead of being bounced between different agencies. Lauren stated, “It would help rather than going to court. It’s one of the biggest, most dramatic decisions in a person’s, a family’s, life, and it affects everyone around.”







APRIL, 2014




APRIL, 2014

Jen Cronk has a front-row seat to the dazzling world of tech



iberty native Jen Cronk can truly appreciate the speed with which technology changes. After all, her father opened the family business, Cronk's Electronics, just three days before her birth. She’s literally watched the industry firsthand for her whole life. “You can never become bored when working with electronics,” says Jen. “There are constantly new advances in the field that keep you on your toes, and I really enjoy working with my dad and being part of an industry that is ever-changing.” Twenty-seven years on, Jen is the office manager at the North Main Street business, where she handles everything from sales and advertising to team management, bookkeeping and customer service. Cronk's is changing itself, and along with electronics, the store will soon feature a line of brand new bedding and appliances. “We are expanding in big ways and

are very excited,” she affirmed. Jen graduated from Liberty High and attended SUNY Oneonta, after which she moved to Arizona. “I liked Arizona but missed my family and the small-town community,

so I moved home and here I am,” she explained. She is now living in Mongaup Valley. Asked where she hopes to be in 10 years, Jen offered, “I hope by that time to be running Cronk’s Electronics. I would like to see the business continue to grow, and who knows, maybe even have a second location at some point! “Running a business can sometimes be tiring, but at the end of the day, it always gives you that feeling


that you accomplished something,” she added. “I love going home knowing that I helped make someone happy by providing them with satellite Internet, DirecTV, or a brand new HDTV. “And I look forward to the days where I know someone will sleep more comfortably or have an easier time doing laundry because I sold them a great quality bed or washer/dryer, with a smile and at an affordable price.”

Congrats on this achievement! You deserve it!!



Jen Cronk 16588



Sullivan County Young Professionals 2014  

They're all under 40, yet they've all already done so much in their lives and for our communities. Catch some inspiration in our profiles of...

Sullivan County Young Professionals 2014  

They're all under 40, yet they've all already done so much in their lives and for our communities. Catch some inspiration in our profiles of...