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January 24, 2013 / Dutchess Chamber

See Chamber News At Our New Website

See all the news from the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as our members on the newly redesigned

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January 9, 2013 / Dutchess Chamber

North To Deliver “State of the Chamber” at January Breakfast

Charlie_SpeechCloseUpFor the second consecutive year, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Charlie North will present the “State of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce” Address as the keynote speaker during the Chamber’s January Contact Breakfast.  The presentation, which also serves as the Chamber’s official annual meeting, is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center on Wednesday, January 16.

All members and their guests are encouraged to attend.  North will be unveiling several new areas of focus for the organization, including the launch of the completely redesigned Chamber website, which is expected to have a significant positive impact on members and their businesses.  Attendees will also be able to be introduced to the Chamber staff, sponsors and board members for 2013.

The Chazen Companies proudly sponsor the January Contact Breakfast.  Not-for-profit members The Community at Brookmeade and American Cancer Society will also be in attendance.  There is a cost of $20 per plate for members with advance registration, or $30 for non-members and guests.  For reservations, visit or call 845-454-1700 ext. 1000

January 3, 2013 / Dutchess Chamber

2013 Small Business Institute Coming January 26

SmallBusinessIf you’re an entrepreneur interested in starting a new business or learning how to develop and implement a business plan, apply for financing, effectively price your products, get placement in the media and use social media to grow the bottom line, you can’t afford to miss the 2013 Small Business Institute presented by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce on January 26 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Poughkeepsie Public Library District’s Auditorium located at 105 Market Street in Poughkeepsie.

This daylong seminar will include presentations from SCORE, SBDC, the Library District’s Public Computer Center, and accomplished business leaders in the community touching on all the pertinent topics any new business owner needs to know in order to prosper in the current business climate. Read more…

December 13, 2012 / Dutchess Chamber

December 15 will be Organ Donor Awareness Day in Dutchess County

POUGHKEEPSIE — Saturday, December 15, 2012 has been declared Organ Donor Awareness Day in Dutchess County, County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced today at a press conference held at Adams Fairacre Farms in Poughkeepsie.

adamsThe Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce presented the event where the announcement was made, with President and CEO Charles S. North presiding.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “We are pleased to partner with Adams Fairacre Farms and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce to get the word out about the importance of becoming an organ donor.    Each of us has the ability to offer the gift of life – truly the greatest gift one can ever give.    The process is simple and the impact is life-changing.”

This Saturday, Adams Fairacre Farms has invited representatives from the New York Organ Donor Network to be in each of their four stores from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be a total of 20 representatives conducting educational conversations and enrollment completions for any interested customers.

The Adams stores are located at:

  • 765 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
  • 160 Old Post Road, Wappinger, NY 12590
  • 1560 Ulster Avenue, Lake Katrine, NY 12449
  • 1240 Route 300, Newburgh, NY 12550

The New York Organ Donor Network is the nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) for the greater New York Metropolitan area. It works closely with transplant centers and hospitals to coordinate organ, tissue and eye donation for transplant in the New York region; educate the public and health care professionals about donation and transplantation; and promote the importance of signing up on the New York State Donate Life Registry.

The importance of organ, tissue and eye donation came to the forefront of awareness at Adams Fairacre Farms last year, when owner Pat Adams received a heart transplant. One year later, Adams is healthy and active as ever. He and his wife, Barb, as well as many others at Adams, are committed to helping spread the word about the need for donors. More details about Pat’s story will be available on the Adams Fairacre Farms blog soon.

Pat Adams feels that December 15 is a perfect date for the annual Organ Donor Awareness Day. “It epitomizes the spirit of giving.” And at Adams, honoring the day with informational resources presents another way to give back to the community, which is one of the company’s long-standing traditions.

In New York State alone, more than 10,000 residents are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.  There are 115,000 people waiting for a live saving transplant nationally. More statistics:

  • 20% of NY State residents are enrolled to be organ donors, compared with 44% statewide nationally.  New York State ranks near to the bottom of the list on number of total enrollments
  • Every 15 hours, a New Yorker dies waiting for a transplant.
  • Every 2½ hours, a person’s name is added to the national transplant waiting list.

“Organ donation truly saves lives,” said Dutchess County Commissioner of Health Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH.   “One person who donates organs can save up to eight lives while a tissue donor can improve 50 more lives by restoring eyesight, helping fight infection in burn patients, and preventing the loss of arms or legs.   Anyone can become a donor.  A person’s medical history or age does not automatically exclude him or her from becoming a donor.”

“Enrolling as an organ donor is simple and easy,” said Dutchess County Clerk Bradford Kendall.    “When you are getting your license renewed or applying for a new license at the Dutchess County Department of Motor Vehicles, you can give your consent to be an organ donor and it will be right on the front of your license.   Such an easy step can change a life for the better.”

“By enrolling more organ donors, we can save the lives of New Yorkers in need of life saving transplants,” said James Pardes, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the New York Organ Donor Network.  “We thank Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and his Administration for declaring a countywide Organ Donor Awareness Day and for placing the important issue of organ donation and transplantation in the spotlight.  We also appreciate the extraordinary work that Adams Fairacre Farms is doing to raise awareness about organ donation.”

“The success of organ transplant is due to continuing progress in the field of cardiovascular disease science and research and through the selfless act of becoming an organ donor. At the holiday season or any time of the year, giving life really is the greatest gift of all,” said Steven Kelley, American Heart Association Chairman and President and CEO of Ellenville Regional Hospital. “Though we can do more than ever to treat severe heart disease, it is vitally important for people to understand that heart disease can be prevented in many cases by a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet enough physical activity, avoidance of tobacco smoke and control of factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and overweight.”

“The Chamber is proud to connect the local business community with our public officials and the Organ Donor Network to make this special day happen,” said Charles S. North, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We like to say Think Local First, but in this case it’s Give Local First, and what better way to help one another than pledging to be a organ donor.”

Established in 1978, the New York Organ Donor Network is the second largest OPO in the United States, serving a culturally and ethnically diverse population of 13 million people. It works closely with 10 transplant centers, more than 90 hospitals, and various tissue and eye banks. The Donor Network is accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and a member of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which oversees the organ transplant waiting list in the U.S. For more information on organ donation, or to register to be a donor in New York State, visit

December 7, 2012 / Dutchess Chamber

Join Us Monday, Dec. 10 for Village of Wappingers Falls Grand Re-Opening

WappingersFallsThe Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is cutting a ribbon rain or shine to officially re-open Main Street in the Village of Wappingers Falls on Monday, December 10 at 12:30 p.m.  This special event, to be held at Mesier Park, is open to local business owners, government officials and the public at large.  It is being held in recognition of the recent unfortunate circumstances that have created a hardship for the small businesses populating the area.  Parking is available in the Zion Episcopal Church directly across from the park.

“I want everyone to know that the Village of Wappingers Falls is open for business!” said Charles North, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  “Hopefully people will re-arrange their schedules to come to this ribbon cutting and show that in their time of need, the Hudson Valley community supports the Village of Wappingers Falls.”

In addition to the traditional ceremony, several dignitaries will deliver remarks including: Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Village of Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander, Wappingers Falls Business and Professional Association President Kathy Rutledge, Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation President Cathy Maloney and more.  At the conclusion of the event, all attendees are urged to walk through Main Street and the surrounding area and stay for lunch, take care of some holiday shopping and network with the business owners.  Many businesses are planning to offer special promotions for those that attend and show their support.

“The heart of the Village of Wappingers Falls is again open for all to enjoy and patronize,” said Molinaro.  “Join us to enjoy some great local dining, unique shopping and support the Village of Wappingers Falls community.”

Founded in 1907, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is committed to the growth and development of local businesses and the economy.  For more information about Chamber happenings, the complete events calendar, or to find out how they might best serve as an advocate for you and your business, please visit

December 5, 2012 / Dutchess Chamber

2013 Foundation Scholarship Applications Open


To help fulfill their mission of creating educational opportunities for those attending local schools, The Chamber Foundation, Inc., the not-for-profit educational organization of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, is again offering a host of scholarships to Hudson Valley students.  Last year, the Foundation awarded over $48,000 to deserving scholars in the area, and applications are now open for all 2013 scholarships.  All interested parties should visit to view the complete list of available scholarships and download any applications.  All materials must be postmarked by March 15, 2013.

The Chamber Foundation, Inc. strongly believes that scholarships are a powerful tool in contributing to the overall development of a person’s future.  There is a wide range of awards available, including ones in the areas of: culinary arts, nursing, music, athletics, engineering, manufacturing and trade, journalism and communications and more.  The Foundation scholarships are extended annually to individuals who are in need of financial aid and/or quality based on merit.  A complete list of the scholarships and a brief description of each can be found below. Read more…

December 2, 2012 / Dutchess Chamber

Cecilia Dinio Durkin named 2012 ATHENA Award recipient

DSC_0883Cecilia Dinio Durkin, the Founder, Owner and President of Women’s Work, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2012 ATHENA Award by The Chamber Foundation, Inc., and was presented the honor at the annual ATHENA Award Brunch on Sunday, December 2 at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie.  As the 2012 ATHENA Award winner, Dinio Durkin will travel to the 2012 ATHENA International Conference in Chicago, Illinois and represent the Hudson Valley region.

After living in Botswana, Africa for three years, Cecilia Dinio Durkin and her family returned to the Hudson Valley to open Women’s Work, a fair trade store in the Poughkeepsie Plaza whose mission is to enable women to live their chosen, desired way of life.  Women’s Work sells jewelry, art, crafts and homegoods created by women all over the world.

In addition to operating Women’s Work, Dinio Durkin is an in-demand consultant for the United States government and others on issues of fair trade.  She has recently assisted on projects involving artisans in South Africa, Pakistan, Guatemala and more.

“Cecilia is someone who doesn’t just make the Hudson River Valley better, but the whole world,” said Charles North, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber Foundation.  “I am honored to present her with the 2012 ATHENA Award.”

Dinio Durkin not only helps women outside of America, her store benefits women and youth locally as well. At Women’s Work, Cecilia hires staff that both sells the beautiful handicrafts and also brings awareness of ethical consumerism to the store’s customers.  She is involved with many community organizations, serving as International Chair on the board of the American Association of University, as Chairperson for the Live Your Dream Girls Conference and as Co-Chair of the My Sister’s Keeper initiative.

Bestowed annually, the ATHENA Award is given to a member of the community who best embodies the ATHENA Leadership Model. The Model is unique in that it focuses on personal traits of strong, successful leaders. It captures the spirit and collaborative leadership style often exemplified in women leaders, while also recognizing the importance of traits such as courageous acts and fierce advocacy in the pursuit of excellence.

The 2012 ATHENA honorees, all chosen because of their strengths in career excellence and leadership, community volunteer involvement and willingness to serve as a mentor, especially to women in the business community, include:


  • Joan Crawford, LCSW – Deputy Executive Director, Family Services, Inc.
  • Geeta Desai – Management Consultant, Global Business Advantage, Corp.
  • Cecilia Dinio Durkin – Founder/Owner/President, Women’s Work
  • Jacqueline Goffe-McNish – Professor, Dutchess Community College
  • Maureen Kangas – General Manager, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center
  • Dr. Kathleen Mantaro – Medical Director, Vassar Brothers Medical Center
  • Sharon Matyas – Special Events & Community Relations Manager, The Culinary Institute of America
  • Sister Rose Marie Mullen, osf – Historian, Saint Francis Hospital & Health Centers
  • Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega – Owner, Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega and Associates

The 2012 ATHENA Award Brunch was presented by Health Quest and sponsored by: KeyBank, DCH Wappingers Falls Toyota, de Ramon Crush, PC, Ulster Savings Bank, DRA Imaging, COBESO, Inc, Saint Francis Hospital and Health Centers, Design Intervention Studio, Beacon Dental, Hudson Valley Fresh, Women’s Work, Mid-Hudson Subaru, Bonura Hospitality, The Culinary Institute of America, and 92.1 Lite-FM

The Chamber Foundation, Inc. was established in 2002 to promote education and training programs for area youth and professionals with the goal of enhancing the future of economic growth in the Hudson Valley region. The Foundation’s mission is to provide educational opportunities for youth and the workforce, to build and strengthen personal and business capacity, develop leadership skills and foster a commitment to community service.  For more information, visit