Vera Best, Kim Boylan, Kathy Frommer and Kelly Williams to be Honored

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Four prominent women from the Newburgh area have been tapped as recipients of the SUNY Orange Foundation’s 2012 Leadership Awards, to be presented Sept. 27 in the Great Room of Kaplan Hall on the College’s Newburgh campus.

Awards will be presented to Kelly M. Williams (Leadership in Business), Kathy Frommer (Leadership in Community), and Vera M. Best (Leadership in Education). Additionally, Kim M. Boylan, Class of 1979, will receive the Alumni Leadership Award. This year’s event marks the seventh year in which the College and its Foundation have celebrated the achievements and contributions of local individuals, businesses and organizations.

Rich Rowley, chair of the SUNY Orange Foundation, and Derrik Wynkoop, chair of the Foundation's Leadership Awards committee, will host the event, which will begin with a 5 p.m. cocktail hour preceding the 7 p.m. awards presentation.

The SUNY Orange Foundation was established as a non-profit corporation in 1987. According to the Foundation by-laws, the objectives for which the foundation exists are to solicit, receive, hold, invest, administer and make expenditures of gifts to or for the benefit of Orange County Community College. In 2011-12 the Foundation awarded nearly $150,000 in scholarships that helped deserving students attend SUNY Orange.

Among the hallmarks of the foundation’s scholarship program is the President’s Scholarship for Academic Achievement, which is awarded to a select few incoming freshmen from Orange County high schools who are in the top 10 percent of their high school class, or hold a cumulative grade point average of 90 or better, and plan to enroll full-time at SUNY Orange. In all, more than 80 scholarships are funded through the efforts of the Foundation.

For information on this year’s awards program, contact Russell Hammond at (845) 341-4337.

Profiles of 2012 Award Winners

PHOTO: Kelly M. WilliamsKelly M. Williams
Leadership in Business

As managing director and global head of Credit Suisse’s Customized Fund Investment Group (CFIG), which oversees more than $27 billion of client commitments to private equity and venture capital funds, Kelly M. Williams specializes in designing tailored portfolios for investors. CFIG also provides portfolio management services for more than $110 billion of client commitments to private equity, including customized reporting and back office solutions.

Williams was previously an executive director with Prudential’s private equity group where she founded CFIG in 1999. At Prudential, Williams was responsible for the management of the fund investment group as well as investing in private equity funds on behalf of Prudential and its clients. She joined Prudential in 1993 as counsel for a Prudential unit that specialized in financing global infrastructure projects. Prior to joining Prudential, Williams was an associate with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, where she specialized in global project finance.

Born in Newburgh, N.Y. to Jim and Alisa Williams, Williams is a 1982 alumna of Newburgh Free Academy. She graduated magna cum laude from Union College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and mathematics, and she also attended Kansai Gaidai in Osaka, Japan in 1984. Williams received her Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law in 1989.

Williams is active with a wide variety of organizations. She has served as a mentor to fellows of the Robert Toigo Foundation since 2006, received the Toigo Foundation’s “Leading by Example” award in 2010 and was elected to the Board of the Toigo Foundation in 2011. In addition, Williams was elected to the YWCA Academy of Women Leaders in 2007.

She is a member of the Metro Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization and serves on the Board of Trustees for Union College, where she is on the executive and investment committees. Williams is the founding board chair of the Private Equity Women Investor Network. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Urban Professionals and the advisory board of the Association of Asian American Investment Managers. She is also the chair of the LP Advisory Board to the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. She is a member of the advisory board of The Export-Import Bank and was recognized in 2011 and 2012 by “American Banker” magazine as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance. She was also recognized by the National Organization for Women in 2012 as a Woman of Power and Influence.

Williams is married to Andrew Forsyth and the couple resides in New York City, Nantucket and Palm Beach. They are active supporters of a variety of charitable initiatives including the Nantucket Historical Association, the Artists Association of Nantucket, the Toigo Foundation, the RFK Institute for Social Justice, the Asia Society and the Stillspotting Initiative of the Guggenheim Museum.

PHOTO: Kathy FrommerKathy Frommer
Leadership in Community

Kathy Frommer is an advocate for her fellow community members and a recognized leader in helping improve the quality of life within the Hudson Valley.

Frommer was co-founder and chief executive officer of CRS Retail Systems headquartered in Newburgh, N.Y., from 1987 through 2008. CRS was one of the largest providers of in-store software for specialty store retailers in the nation, working with companies in the United States and internationally. CRS maintained offices in New York, Seattle, Wash., and Salt Lake City, Utah. Frommer successfully guided the company through extensive growth, acquisitions and major technology initiatives. Frommer led CRS through a successful partnership with Accel-KKR, a private equity company in 2003, and then through an acquisition by Epicor, a publicly traded software technology company, in 2005.

Since retiring in 2008, Frommer has served on the Board of Directors of McQuade Children’s Services, and is currently serving in an advisory capacity for McQuade and its Kaplan School. While at CRS, Frommer established an employee mentoring program with McQuade. The program was the first of its kind at the school and was considered one of the most successful volunteer programs in working with the children.

Frommer has served on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Partnership and Orange Regional Medical Center, and is currently on the board of the SUNY Orange Foundation and the Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts. Recently she acted as an independent assessor for SUNY Orange’s Applied Technology Program.

Frommer is a graduate of Newburgh Free Academy and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree George Washington University. She is married and has two children.

PHOTO: Vera M. BestVera Best
Leadership in Education

Vera Best is the founder of Best Resource Center, Inc., a diversified community-based not-for-profit organization with a dual focus on academic/professional skill development and community service. The Center’s programs include a blend of mentoring, customized instruction, motivation, job readiness skills, job placement assistance and supportive services to build skill, competence and confidence in the residents it serves.

Best founded Best Resource Center in 1999, launching the company in an attempt to provide the community with access to academic instruction, industry consultants, mentors and technology in a supportive and nurturing environment. The organization’s primary focus is on building individuals’ mastery in the core level skills while also enriching their lives by helping them develop basic to advanced skills, better work habits, marketable skills, and the self-confidence they will need to sustain gainful employment and successfully compete in the local and global marketplace.

In 2011, Best launched a call center that provides cross-industry call center/customer service skill development and training focusing on the high labor market demand employment opportunities.

Best understands that technology and professional development are critical components in the learning process. She promotes the entrepreneurial spirit by fostering a supportive and flexible business culture. Best is committed to the continued delivery of quality workforce and education programs that enhance Orange County’s talent pipeline, support lifelong learning, revitalize our urban centers and assist the various population segments with realizing their maximum potential.

Best was born in Newburgh, N.Y., and graduated with a degree in business administration from Mount Saint Mary College. She enjoyed a 16-year career as a system engineer with IBM before launching an independent technology consulting firm in 1996.

She has served as the vice president of the Newburgh Architectural Conservancy Board and was a board member for the Newburgh Housing Authority and City of Newburgh Planning Board. She also is a member of several not-for-profit organizations and boards within the region.


PHOTO: Kim Marie BoylanKim Boylan
Alumni Leadership Award

A 1979 graduate of SUNY Orange, Kim Marie (Kozaczek) Boylan is currently a senior tax partner at the global law firm of White & Case LLP, working in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.

Boylan is recognized as a leading practitioner in the tax controversy area and for more than two decades she has represented corporate taxpayers in resolving their tax disputes successfully by utilizing the Internal Revenue Service’s administrative appeals procedures, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution processes. In addition, she has represented numerous clients in judicial proceedings in the United States Tax Court, United States Court of Federal Claims, and in various district and appellate courts.

She is a frequent speaker on tax controversy, transfer pricing, and accounting policy issues and has written extensively on these issues. In addition to being a lawyer, Boylan is also a certified public accountant (CPA).

Following graduation from SUNY Orange, Boylan transferred to Georgetown University, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration (concentration in accounting). Following her graduation from Georgetown, Boylan worked as an auditor at Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) in Washington. She returned to school in 1983 to pursue a law degree, graduating cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 1986, where she was a member of the Law Review.

Following law school, Boylan clerked for the Honorable Robert J. Yock on the United States Court of Federal Claims before entering private practice as a tax attorney. She also earned a Master of Laws degree in tax with honors from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993.

She has been married to her husband, Scott, for 26 years. The couple has one child, Catherine (Catie), who is seven years old. The family resides in Washington.

Past Recipients of the SUNY Orange Foundation Leadership Awards

Leadership in Business
2006: John A. D’Ambrosio, president, Orange County Chamber of Commerce
2007: James W. Taylor Jr., chairman, Taylor Recycling
2008: Frontier Communications
2009: Advance Testing
2010: Orange Regional Medical Center
2011: Orange County Trust Company
2011: Orange County Partnership

Leadership in Community
2006: John J. “Jack” McMahon, former administrator, SUNY Orange
2007: Ralph Martucci Jr., director of corporate business operations, Ottaway Newspapers
2008: Roberta “Bobbie” Glinton ’64, agent, Hawks Nest Realty
2008: Rich and Marianne (’83) Rowley, community activists
2009: Kaplan Family Charitable Foundations
2009: Barbara Bedell, columnist, Times Herald-Record
2010: 105th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard
2011: Thomas P. Sullivan, president, Smith, Seaman & Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Home

Leadership in Education
2006: Joan I. Siegel, faculty emeritus, SUNY Orange
2007: Don Przytula, guidance counselor, Monroe-Woodbury High School
2008: Sister Ann Sakac, former president, Mount Saint Mary College
2009: Dr. John Cummins, faculty emeritus, SUNY Orange
2010: Christine Godwin, faculty emeritus, SUNY Orange
2011: Dr. William Richards, president, SUNY Orange

Alumni Leadership Award
2009: Manfred Altstadt ’70, chief operating officer, Mutual of America
2010: David S. MacFarland ’70, president, Riverside Bank
2011: Karen Miller ’71, manager of communications, southeast region, Frontier Communications


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Mike Albright
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