Business, Community, Education and Alumni Leadership Honorees to be Feted in Orange Hall

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- The SUNY Orange Foundation will be “Recognizing Excellence in the Arts” when it hosts its 10th Leadership Awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 14 in Orange Hall on the College's Middletown campus.

Recipients will be: Focus Media (Leadership in Business), Storm King Art Center (Leadership in Community), Dorothy Dwyer Szefc ’81 (Leadership in Education), and Matthew Dorcas ’98 and Tony Meola ’74 (Edward A. Diana Alumni Leadership Award).PHOTO: Focus Media logo

The evening will begin with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail hour preceding the 7 p.m. awards presentation.

Focus Media, Inc., founded in 2002 by president and CEO Josh Sommers, is one of the largest public relations and advertising agencies in New York State, outside of New York City. With a staff of more than 20 professionals, Focus Media is a multi-faceted communications organization specializing in public relations, crisis communications, marketing, business and sales strategy, advertising, market research, design, search engine marketing and web development.

Focus Media represents many client-partners, including Empire Resorts, Suez, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Orange Regional Medical Center, Walden Savings Bank, Elant, Ulster County Tourism, Mt. Vernon City School District, MetroVac, Aurochemical, Villa Roma Resort, Orange County Tourism, Rockland Business Association, Construction Contractors Association, Orange County IDA, Catskill Regional Medical Center, and many other prominent organizations.

PHOTO: Storm King Art CenterWidely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center has welcomed visitors from across the globe for 50 years. Its pristine 500-acre landscape of fields, hills, and woodlands provides the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time, spanning the years from post-World War II to the present and including a number of specially commissioned site-specific works.

The nonprofit center was founded and opened to the public in 1960, thanks to the efforts of the late Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern, co-owners of the Mountainville-based Star Expansion Company. Although Storm King was originally envisioned as a museum devoted to the Hudson River School, by 1961 its founders had become committed to modern sculpture.

Under John Stern’s leadership as president over the past eight years, Storm King has tripled its attendance, expanded the board, created a strategic plan, recruited talented new senior staff, developed new sources of income, opened a cafe and bike rentals, expanded education and public programs, and organized its first off-site public art exhibition.

PHOTO: Dorothy SzefcAs cultural affairs coordinator at SUNY Orange for the past 16 years, Szefc has organized and grown the College’s robust program of lectures, concerts, master classes, poetry and writing readings, stage and children’s theatre performances, films, and exhibits for two campuses.

Szefc (right) has served on the boards of directors/trustees of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Orange Orchestral Society, and the Orange County Arts Council, chairing its Arts Awards Committee. Additionally, she was a member of the Executive Council of Music in the Mountains at SUNY New Paltz and the Contemporary Arts Alumni Advisory Board at Ramapo College, as well as the Orange County Citizens Foundation Exhibit Committee. She was the first female president of the Middletown Babe Ruth Baseball League.

She continues to help and encourage individuals and groups, particularly in the arts. Szefc has been a volunteer in many capacities, including chairing two balls benefitting the American Heart Association. She has curated and installed hundreds of fine and folk art and historical and timely exhibits, originated the Orange Classic Festival Art Show, and worked on many facets of community events such as the Star Spangled Spectacular and Orange County Day.

PHOTO: Matthew DorcasDorcas (below) is an award-winning entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in old and new media. He has been singular in his commitment to both quality and community, dedicating years of hard work to bring world-class marketing and media to New York State.

In his current role as executive vice-president and partner at Clutter Studios, Beacon, N.Y., Dorcas is an integral player in the sales and operations of the full-service marketing agency, the magazine and web publishing division, the monthly activities of the Clutter Gallery, toy production and the annual Designer Toy Awards.

From the 2003 Grand Prize in Creative Commercial Production for the Cable Advertising Awards to the several Telly awards over the years, Dorcas is known for excellence. He produced an award-winning short film with Maya Angelou and has won two silver Telly’s for his work with the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges.

Meola (below right) became interested in sound at an early age. His appreciation for music and the way it’s made was greatly impacted by the hours he spent practicing his clarinet and performing with school music ensembles.

Starting with Lincoln Center Theater’s acclaimed revival of Anything Goes, directed by Jerry Zaks, Tony’s list of Broadway smashes is dazzling: “Guys and Dolls,” “She Loves Me,” “Five Guys Named Moe,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Shogun, the Musical,” “A Grand Night for Singing,” “The Red Shoes,” “The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public,” “A Christmas Carol” (at Madison Square Garden), “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” “Company,” “Moon Over Buffalo,” “The King and I,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Juan Darien,” “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” “Steel Pier,” “The Lion King,” “The Sound of Music,” “High Society,” “Footloose,” “The Wild Party,” “Copenhagen,” “Kiss Me, Kate,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Laugh Whore,” “The Ritz,” “Pal Joey,” “Lysystrata Jones,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” and “Wicked.”

PHOTO: Tony MeolaHe received the Drama Desk Award for his work on “Lion King” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” and was nominated for the 1998 American Theatre Wing Design Award for “The Sound of Music.” While a student at Ithaca College, he secured an internship at the New York Shakespeare Festival, which was developing an unusual musical that would become “A Chorus Line.”

The SUNY Orange Foundation was established as a non-profit corporation in 1987. The mission of the Foundation is to generate funds and build resources to enhance learning opportunities for students and the community. During the 2015-16 academic year, the Foundation expects to award more than $320,000 in scholarships to help deserving SUNY Orange students.

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

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
2012: Kelly M. Williams, managing director and global head, Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group
2014: Hal Teitelbaum, founder, managing partner and chief executive officer, Crystal Run Healthcare
2015: Orange/Sullivan Chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers

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
2012: Kathy Frommer, co-founder and former chief executive officer, CRS Retail Systems
2014: Leo Kaytes Sr., owner, Leo Kaytes Ford
2015: Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc.

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
2012: Vera M. Best, founder, Best Resource Center, Inc.
2014: Stephen Winter, business professor, SUNY Orange
2015: Christopher W. Eachus, physics teacher, Newburgh Free Academy

Edward A. Diana 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
2012: Kim M. Boylan ’79, senior tax partner, White and Case LLP
2014: F. Edward Devitt ’66, owner and chief executive officer, Devitt Management Associates
2015: Dr. Samuel Bowser '77, senior research scientist, New York State Dept. of Health, Wadsworth Center


» Back to Headlines

Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940