Brad Bernard has over 20 years of banking and lending experience. Along with receiving his undergraduate degree in Business from Ithaca College he has also attended the National Institute on Consumer Credit Management from the American Financial Services Association in conjunction with Marquette University. Brad has been an active volunteer with local charities including Big Brother Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Health Care is a Human Right and the Shandaken Historical Society. When not at work, he enjoys attending concerts, spending time outdoors with his family and three dogs.
DR. SETH BLOCKERChiropractor
Dr. Seth J. Blocker has been living in the town of Meredith with his wife Linda and their two children Rachel and Benjamin for the past 15 years. He has operated a chiropractic office in Delaware County for approximately 20 years, currently practicing in Delhi, NY. He currently is a Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care board of directors’ member serving on the board of governance and the patient quality assurance committees. He had been a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce for approximately 15 years and served as a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2012-2018 where he served as chairman of the Board of Directors from 2014-2017.
KEVIN DEPODWINKSD Strategies
Kevin DePodwin cut his professional teeth on political campaigns in Massachusetts at the local level and as the Field Director for former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s gubernatorial campaign. After a stint at the Massachusetts State House and a national non-profit Kevin returned home to New York State and earned a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
KELSEY EARLMargaretville Telephone Company
Kelsey Earl is a Business Account Representative at Margaretville Telephone Company. She is a lifetime Margaretville native who graduated from SUNY Delhi with a degree in applied science. After graduating from college Kelsey began working with the community and developing relationships in line with her passion of helping others. In 2019, Kelsey began to raise her niece and nephew which encouraged her to become more involved in the local community and leading her so she joined the Chamber’s Leaderful Delaware program in 2020. Since then, she has been encouraging others of all ages to become more involved in local events and supporting local businesses.
MISTY FIELDSSUNY DELHI
Misty Fields, is the Director of Continuing Education and Professional Studies at SUNY Delhi. She has been with SUNY Delhi for 15 years and in Higher Education for over 20 years. Prior to coming to SUNY Delhi, she worked at SUNY Cobleskill and Utica School of Commerce in Oneonta. Misty serves on the Chenango, Delaware, and Otsego County’s Workforce Development Executive Committee and is the Secretary for the New York State Continuing Education Association. She received her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University. Misty has strong ties to Delaware County and the local area as a graduate of Sidney High School and resident of Sidney Center, NY.
JOHN GASSTROMDelaware County Electric Cooperative
A native New Yorker, Gasstrom was raised on a dairy farm in Herkimer County. He obtained his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA) and his M.B.A. in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix (AZ). John has worked in various roles for NYSEG in Binghamton & Ithaca, NY (1991-2002) and for Georgia System Operations Corporation in Tucker, GA (2002-2019). He was the CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives in Indianapolis (2019-2022) and has taken the reins as CEO & General Manager of Delaware County Electric Cooperative (DCEC) as of August 2022.
John has done project work for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and has served on national level committees and working groups representing rural electric cooperatives in the areas of cyber security and electric reliability. Gasstrom currently resides in Bovina Center and is passionate about rural life and helping create a “quality of place” for small communities. In his spare time, he enjoys making wine and sharing his creations with friends and family.
DAMIAN HILLShaver-Hill Maple Farm
From Harpersfield, NY, Damian Hill is a full-time owner at Shaver-Hill Maple. A third-generation maple producer who since college has returned home and expanded his family’s business to 10,000 maple taps. As a Cornell University Applied Economics & Management graduate and Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity alumni, Damian is connected all through NYS Agricultural and even in parts across the country. At Shaver-Hill Damian conjoins his unique business mindset to the table while working with his father and uncle. Damian has led his family’s business to new heights in a short period of time with many goals and aspirations to come. As a Board Member of the NYS Ag Society, Damian is now also working shoulder to shoulder with a wide range of agriculturalists on the NYS Ag Society Board of Directors.
JOANN KUDREWICZRavens View Genetics, LLC
Joann Kudrewicz is a serial entrepreneur with an expertise in developing aggressive growth models for corporate health care practices. She has functioned as VP of Operations and Business Growth and Development for several start-up groups and national corporate medical organizations, with highly successful outcomes. Six years ago, Joann left NYC to join her husband in Delhi, and to teach Business Marketing, Sales, and Healthcare Management classes at SUNY Delhi, while pursuing a lifelong dream of owning a Holistic Health Center focused on Body/Mind/Spirit wellness. As owner/CEO of Ravens View Genetics, LLC, a hemp cultivation company, and its subsidiary adult-use marijuana company, Keona Kind Cannabis, LLC, Joann enjoys building a unique and compliant business model with huge growth potential within this emerging industry. She has embraced a company vision focused on creating high-quality products, environmental stability, and a positive corporate culture that nurtures equal opportunity and intraorganizational health.
DR. MICHAEL MACDONALDWalton Central School
Michael MacDonald is Superintendent of Walton Central School. He holds a doctorate of education degree in educational leadership and management and is a New York certified school district administrator and school administrator/supervisor. His educational administration career spans more than 20 years including positions at DCMO BOCES and Hancock Central School. His published work includes “Invisible Disorder, Visible Effect.” Principal Leadership Jan. 2010 and “Making the Case for Minimum Expectations” .
VALERIE NICHOLSDelhi Telephone Company
Valerie Nichols is the Customer Service Manager at Delhi Telephone Company and has been with the company for seven years. A native of the Margaretville area, Valerie resides in Andes with her husband and their two children. She brings experience in marketing, sales and event planning to her work with community groups and is active as a director with Greater Delhi Area Chamber, co-leader of Delhi Girl Scout Troop #30206, a member of the Delhi Women’s and Men’s Club, Delaware County Youth Soccer coordinator for Andes, Andes Elementary Ski Club, and as a community liaison for Kappa Sigma Epsilon fraternity at SUNY Delhi.
DREW PROCHAZKABeaver Mountain Log & Cedar Homes
Every day, as our Business Manager, Drew leverages his more than 15 years of experience in manufacturing and business management. As well as being responsible for accounting and human resources, he acts as our IT Coordinator, Database Programmer, and oversees Beaver Mountain’s website, blog, and social media presence. Drew spends countless hours researching the best insurance companies, employee benefits packages, and energy-saving programs that will ensure our company is running as efficiently as possible.
Having been with Beaver Mountain for more than 18 years, he’s had many opportunities to bring his education, an Associate’s Degree in Architecture, into play and get involved with design and production aspects of the business. He enjoys maintaining and managing the kiln-drying of our cant stock (a sawmilling term that refers to a partially sawn log edged on one or more sides). This activity requires numerous trips to the kilns to measure the moisture level in the cants during the drying process.
In addition to wearing all these hats, Drew is a licensed helicopter pilot, a goal he pursued since childhood. An active, involved father, he enjoys camping, skiing, fishing, and boating with his wife and their eight children.
JACOB SACKETT, ESQ.Attorney
Jacob Sackett graduated from Delaware Academy in 2011, going on to study Sustainable Agriculture at Cornell University. He later attended Boston College Law School where he received his Juris Doctorate. Jacob returned to Delaware County where he now practices law, with an emphasis on real estate, estate planning, and matrimonials. In addition to his legal practice, Jacob and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Starks, are co-owners of Bovina Farm and Fermentory, a small permaculture farm and market.
TARA VITTIWalton Chamber of Commerce
Tara grew up in Walton, attended culinary school in Rhode Island, and pursued a restaurant career in Seattle. Upon moving back to her hometown she opened a successful restaurant and dove headfirst into the community. Tara was recently elected to her second term as president of the Walton Chamber of Commerce. She prides herself as a champion for shopping local (especially for food), being as green as economically possible and being a supporter of the arts both in the community and in her restaurant.
AMY WARNERA. Lindsay & Olive B. O'Connor Foundation, Inc.
Amy Warner is the Executive Director of the A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation. Originally from DeLancey, Amy spent much of her life throughout the Northeast and abroad. She and her husband (a Delhi native) returned to Delhi in 2013. They now reside in Meredith with their three children. With a degree in Non-Profit Business Management from Boston University, Amy’s career has focused on fundraising development for nonprofits and grantmaking through philanthropic organizations. Additionally, Amy sits on the board of the Delhi Campus Child Care Center (DC4).
SETH WILDENSTEINUHS Delaware Valley Hospital
Seth Wildenstein is a lifelong resident of Walton. Currently he is a level 3 Certified Hospital Emergency Coordinator and is the Director of Support Services at UHS Delaware Valley Hospital overseeing Bio Medical, Dietary, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Emergency Preparedness, Safety and Security. In addition he is also a member of the Sr. Management Council. Seth spent 25 years in the family retail/wholesale florist and greenhouse small business. Following in his parent’s footsteps, civic activities have included 22 years of service with the Walton Fire Department and Emergency Squad where he has served in several support and leadership roles and as a member of the Central New York Firemen’s Association Audit Committee. As a parent of two sons, Seth was a Board Member of the Walton Nursery School, Den Leader and Committee Member of Cub Scout Pack 45 and Committee Member of Boy Scout Troop 45, as well as PTA and Building Level Team Member of Townsend Elementary and Walton Middle School.
Ray Pucci is optimistic about the future of the Catskill Mountains. Throughout his over thirty-year career working with regional nonprofit, education, government, and business groups, Ray has demonstrated a straight-forward approach coupled with strategic thinking that has contributed to his reputation as an honest partner and advocate. During his two tenures as president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce–in the late-1990s and today–Ray has initiated successful efforts to re-brand the Catskill Mountains to new audiences of visitors. Understanding that environmental stewardship, agriculture, natural resources, and main street retail development contribute to regional promotion, Ray continues to facilitate connections among business owners, government, advocacy groups, and residents to create a shared future for the Catskills.