Leaders in Community, Business, Education and Alumni Feted

PHOTO: 2011 Leadership Award winnersMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The SUNY Orange Foundation issued its sixth annual Leadership Awards in Orange Hall Theatre on Tuesday evening (Sept. 20). Profiles of the award winners are below.

Orange County Trust Company
Leadership in Business

For more than a century since it opened its doors in 1892 as the Orange County Trust and Safe Deposit Company, Orange County Trust has operated as a true community bank. Throughout its existence, Orange County Trust has established, and cemented, its reputation for service to its clients and continues to operate under the notion that a community bank is best equipped to make local decisions for local businesses.

Orange County Trust remains the sole resident trust company in Orange County, employing approximately 120 people in nine branches (eight in Orange County and one in Dutchess County). And because the company is run by proven bankers who are also active contributors to the communities in which they live and work, Orange County Trust truly believes it has a “feel” for the needs of local businesses that allow it to operate in synch with the needs of its customers.

In lockstep with the remarkable population and business growth in the Hudson Valley, Orange County Trust Company continues to grow and seek new opportunities in Orange County and the region. In addition to its solid business customer base, the bank has a robust municipal book, helping fire districts, towns, villages and other municipalities satisfy the needs of their constituents.

The bank is at the forefront of changes occurring in the county and region with respect to ethnic shifts, economic development trends and technology advances–and its product and service mix reflects these patterns. The bank also provides financial support to dozens of local charities, civic groups and causes in Orange County. Additionally, its employees volunteer with, or lead, a wide spectrum of local civic, charitable, religious and community organizations.

During the tumult of the region’s recent economic challenges, Orange County Trust has never strayed from its uncompromising devotion to sound banking principles and an unwavering confidence in the business community of Orange County. The bank will be presented with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Large Business of the Year Award in recognition of Orange County Trust’s longtime contributions to the local business community.

Terry Saturno is the bank’s president and chief executive officer. Members of the Morrison family, perennial benefactors of the City of Middletown and SUNY Orange, since the turn of the century, have been affiliated with Orange County Trust Company for all but the first 17 years of the bank’s existence. John Morrison III currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors, as did his father John Morrison Jr. before him. William D. Morrison is presently a director of the bank as well.

From an institution that began as the dream of 14 community-minded founders, Orange County Trust Company, through conservative business practices and commitment to its customers and neighbors for 118 years, has grown to become an independent community bank with assets in excess of $600 million.

Orange County Partnership
Leadership in Business

A quarter of a century ago, then-Orange County Executive Lou Heimbach created the Orange County Partnership to market Orange County as “the” place to do business while enjoying a bucolic way of life. Twenty-five years later, the Partnership stands as one of the premier economic development agencies in the state, having attracted scores of industry, created thousands of jobs, realized unprecedented capital investment in our communities and provided the necessary supports to retain and expand local businesses; all this while remaining sensitive to the quality of life in the county.

Prior to the Partnership’s creation, there was no cohesive county-wide effort for economic development. The Partnership was formed to create one specific office dedicated entirely to the marketing of Orange County and the coordination of all economic development incentives programs. The Partnership has been used as a model for other economic development agencies that based their public/private organization on Orange County’s success.

In essence, the Partnership is an amalgam of public and private interests, working on behalf of Orange County, the County’s Industrial Development Agency, and its powerful private sector membership. In fact, much of its funding comes from the private investor network which has input into the kinds of decisions that affect the whole county.

For 25 years, the Partnership has worked with its strategic partners to attract international businesses like Konica Minolta and Blaser Swisslube, international distribution facilities for the likes of Home Depot and Pep Boys, and manufacturing plants such as President Container, Amscan and Takasago.

Bringing new businesses and jobs here has a trickle-down effect that’s healthy for all of Orange County.

As important as attracting new business to the County is, the Partnership always has its eye trained on the retention and expansion of existing operations. Its Business Retention and Expansion Department exists to aid businesses who are expanding their operations in Orange County or who may be faced with challenges that would otherwise render them extinct.

This year, the Partnership celebrates 25 years of success. Alan Seidman, chairman of the Board of Directors, oversees a Board that includes the most prominent business professionals and leaders in the county. These community leaders clearly understand the value of commercial business growth. The Partnership staff, led by President and CEO Maureen Halahan, is a talented team of professionals who work tirelessly to attract, retain, and grow businesses, provide those businesses with significant support services and educate the community at large on the values and benefits that accrue from the sustained economic development of Orange County.

PHOTO: Tom SullivanThomas P. Sullivan
Leadership in Community

Thomas P. Sullivan has been active throughout Orange County for the past 38 years, carving a legacy of public service, community leadership and civic volunteerism that is virtually unmatched. His imprint can be found on local organizations ranging from not-for-profit groups to business boards to churches and activities in his home community of Monroe.

A longtime funeral director, Sullivan is president and owner of Smith, Seaman & Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Homes in Monroe and Highland Mills. He also owns the William F. Hogan Funeral Home of Highland Falls. He graduated from SUNY Canton with an associate’s degree in applied sciences.

Sullivan holds memberships in the New York State Funeral Directors’ Association, National Funeral Directors’ Association and the Orange, Rockland & Sullivan Funeral Directors’ Association. He is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, and still serves on that Board.

He also holds positions on the boards of directors for the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties and the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, and serves as a board member and treasurer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Hudson Valley.

For 35 years, Sullivan has been a member of the Mombasha Fire Company in Monroe. He is a former chaplain, past president, past chief and life member of Mombasha Fire Company. In addition, Sullivan is chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for the Monroe Fire District, a member and past chairman of the Orange County Fire Advisory Board, and a member and vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Firefighters Museum.

A past chairman of the Village of Monroe Architectural Review Board, Sullivan is also an active member of the Michael J. Finnegan Scholarship committee in Monroe. He is a parishioner and member of the finance committee of Sacred Heart Church in Monroe.

He has been a trustee of the Monroe Senior Center and is a past recipient of the Goodwill Ambassador Award sponsored by the Pallottine Sisters in Harriman, N.Y. He received the Bob Bonney Volunteer of the Year Award in 2000, as well as the FASNY Firemen’s Community Service Award in 2008.

In 2006, he received both the United Way Marion S. Murphy “Neighbors helping Neighbors” Award and the Hudson Valley Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen Award. He received the 2004 Commitment to Community Award from the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and was the recipient of the Cornell Award in 2008 presented by Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties.

Dr. William Richards
Leadership in Education

A visionary leader who understands that community colleges are catalysts for economic stability and expansion, as well as creators of educational growth for residents of the areas those colleges serve, Dr. William Richards is now in his ninth year as president of SUNY Orange.

Richards arrived at SUNY Orange on Aug. 1, 2003, and immediately brought all factions of the College together in a successful collaborative effort to redevelop more tightly focused mission, vision and values statements. He shepherded the College through an exhaustive and thorough self-assessment that resulted in the development of SUNY Orange’s first-ever five-year Strategic Plan. That plan has recently been updated to guide the College’s development through the 2013-14 academic year.

Richards encourages innovative collaborations and is often fond of saying, “We can do things better together than we can separately.” He has advocated for and formed creative partnerships throughout his career. In nearly all of those instances in which he has facilitated collaborations, he has sought to meet one or more of the following goals: improve the educational program, provide critical experiential learning opportunities to enhance classroom education, facilitate more effective institutional operations to allow the College to “provide more with less,” or contribute to the expansion of educational access and opportunity for local residents.

Richards has empowered his staff to work closely with the school districts of Orange County to develop programs that help students enjoy smoother transitions to college. Faculty at SUNY Orange meet regularly with local high school faculty members in a Faculty Collaborative Partnership that helps the educators understand the needs and expectations at both the high school and college levels. SUNY Orange is also working on ways to better prepare high school students for college-level work in order to help reduce the number of students who are required to enroll in developmental classes.

He’s brought a style of leadership that focuses on three major goals: to enrich lives through learning, enhance economic opportunities in the area the College serves, and to participate in and lead community development. To achieve these goals, Richards believes that the most important resources available are the people he leads. He considers himself the chief cheerleader and supporter of innovation, creativity and risk-taking among all employees.

He helped SUNY Orange become a founding member of a four-community college consortium (the Hudson Valley Educational Consortium) designed to expand access to first responder and innovative technology programs (credit and non-credit) for residents of a four-county area of the Hudson Valley in New York State. It is the first such Consortium in the State University of New York to bring programming offered at one of the schools to students at the other schools through a combination of video teleconferencing technology, online study and classroom coursework at the student’s “home” campus.

The College is also a member of Franklin University’s Community College Alliance which allows SUNY Orange graduates to pursue a bachelor’s degree in selected programs through a combination of classroom learning at the College and online study with professors from Franklin, all while the student can remain “at home” in Orange County.

Richards has also spearheaded significant construction and renovation projects that have doubled the size of the Newburgh campus and will soon provide a significant influx of new instructional space and technology to the Middletown campus.

PHOTO: Karen MillerKaren Miller ’71
Alumni Leadership

Even among those active and dedicated SUNY Orange alumni who find ways to continually contribute to the advancement of their alma mater, Karen Miller stands apart from the crowd.

A 1971 graduate of the College, Miller earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Oneonta in 1973. She also completed some graduate courses at SUNY New Paltz. Despite her time at those schools, Miller has always held a special place in her heart for SUNY Orange.

She served on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association for 14 years, acting as board president from 1993 to 1995. Under her leadership, the board developed a mission statement, set policies regarding release of its alumni database and initiated the development of the College’s first alumni directory.

She also has represented the College on numerous occasions at the annual SUNY Day in Albany, lobbying state legislators for vital funding to help SUNY Orange continue delivering vibrant and relevant academic programs to its students. She was president of the Board of the Directors for the Confederation of Alumni Associations for SUNY from November 1997 to September 1998. In 1994, she was the alumni speaker at the College’s Commencement exercise. Recently, she helped organize a scholarship for healthcare students in memory of her friend Roberta Glinton, a SUNY Orange graduate and former College Trustee.

Miller is also a long-time board member of the SUNY Orange Foundation, and held the role of president from January 2007 to January 2009. During her presidency, she helped facilitate the Foundation’s involvement in the College’s current Defining Moments Capital Campaign. To date, the campaign has raised nearly $23 million toward its stated goal of $25 million. Miller is an active volunteer in the community and remains one of the College’s staunched ambassadors.

Since 2000, Miller has been a communications manager for Frontier Communications, overseeing employee communications and media relations for 14 states. She joined the company in 1973 when it was known as General Telephone and has forged a sterling 38-year career in which she has steadily risen through the company’s ranks.

Miller currently is vice president of the Board of Directors of Leadership Orange. She holds membership on the boards of directors of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Middletown Rotary Club, having served as that body’s president in 2004-05. Her affiliation with the Salvation Army dates to 1985. She was on the Orange County United Way board from 2001 to 2007.

Miller’s list of community and professional awards is extensive, and includes the inaugural Community Organizations Against Drug Abuse (CODA) Award by the Middletown Elks in 1991, Volunteer of the Year Award in 1995 by the Junior League of Orange County, Spirit of Humanitarianism Award from the American Red Cross in 1998, Frontier’s MVP Award in 2009 and the Marion S. Murphy “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” Award from the Orange County United Way in 2010.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940