Speakers

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Marybeth Bannon '81
Major:Theatre Arts

Mary Elizabeth (Marybeth) Bannon is a retired FDIC consumer affairs specialist who currently resides in New Paltz, N.Y. Originally, she was working while attending Marymount College. Once her friends talked about SUNY New Paltz, Marybeth decided to transfer. After graduating with a degree in theatre arts, she worked in various areas of costuming and as a dresser at different theatres in New York City. She then decided to go back to school to study banking and business.

Marybeth’s 25-year career began when she accepted an entry level job at the FDIC. With motivation to continue moving up the ladder, she worked in various regional offices before relocating to headquarters. She was part of the inaugural member of the Workplace Excellence Council (WEC) which was a partnership between the FDIC and the NTEU to maintain a positive workplace culture. These council contributions resulted in the FDIC remaining one of the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.” Additionally, Marybeth received the FDIC Chairman’s Award for work on the FDIC Chairman’s Diversity Advisory Council. After retirement, she pursued her lifelong dream to become a master gardener. This was achieved in January 2018 upon graduating from the Cornell University Cooperative Program. Marybeth enjoys volunteer work. She volunteers at the Elting Library, which includes many activities, but shares master gardening skills by maintaining the Elting Library’s gardens. She loves to be engaged with the students, and she serves on the SUNY New Paltz Business Advisory Council, Alumni Council and the 100 Days to Commencement Council. A longtime toastmaster, she is a member of the SUNY Toastmasters Club. Marybeth enjoys traveling and has even learned to speak some Italian and French
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Katherine Beinkafner '65
Major: Geology

Dr. Katherine Beinkafner’s career of more than 50 years has evolved in several phases. Katherine worked at the New York State Geological Survey maintaining a database of oil and gas wells, mapping strata elevations and characteristics, and identifying potential oil and gas traps along the Southern Tier. She was able to identify petroleum traps in maps and cross sections which were presented in her Ph.D. dissertation and subsequently used by independent companies to produce petroleum over the years. Beinkafner worked in the oil industry from 1978 to 1986. This work involved interpretation of geophysical wireline logs to identify productive horizons and three-dimensional oil and gas traps formed by stratigraphic variation and structural traps formed by faults and folds.

When the price of oil plummeted in 1986, Kathie returned to the Hudson Valley and worked for Chazen Engineering in Poughkeepsie, developing a complex Geographic Information System for IBM East Fishkill. Hundreds of monitoring wells were drilled and tested to develop water supplies for industrial usage at the site and to track contamination and plan remediation. Beinkafner was fascinated by the mathematical relationship between well characteristics and methods to evaluate the water production of wells. She has become an expert in the use of such methods to evaluate long term water production from properly designed pumping well tests. As an independent consulting hydrogeologist doing business as Mid-Hudson Geosciences, she works on groundwater cleanup for NYS DEC regulated sites such as dry cleaners, gas stations and industrial facilities.

Beinkafner studied physics and geology at SUNY New Paltz, earning both a Bachelor of Science, and a Master of Arts. She received a Master of Science in physics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in geomathematics at Syracuse University.

She continues to work and serve on the local planning board, the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency Board, and volunteers with the League of Women Voters. She is currently seeking a seat on the College Council.
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Cheryl Bowers
Cheryl Bowers is the president and CEO of Rondout Savings Bank joined the mutual bank 18 years ago. Her in depth knowledge of the area and commercial banking experience was key to her role as a founding member of the bank’s business banking department. Bowers has been integral part of Rondout Savings Bank’s executive team since 2008 and has taken her leadership role as the bank’s first female president and CEO in 2018. She has a strong track record of supporting technology advancements and strengthening consumer and business relationships.

She is a high honors graduate from the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa., and attended Wharton Business School, where she earned her Leadership Certificate. Cheryl is an active participant with the New York Bankers Association, where she serves on the Education Committee and Women in Banking Conference Committee and is a regular speaker at the Annual Women’s Leadership Conference.

Cheryl’s leadership and volunteerism have been recognized throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. She serves on the boards of the Ulster Community College Foundation, Kingston Boys and Girls Club, Lions Club of Kingston, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center and is past board chair of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is a past honoree of the YWCA Tribute to Women and was named Volunteer of the Decade by Gateway Community Industries. In April of 2018, she was named Business Person of the Year and was inducted into the SUNY New Paltz Business Hall of Fame. In October 2018, she was an honoree at the annual SUNY Ulster Community College Foundation Gala and was named Signora of the year by the Ulster County Italian American Foundation. Cheryl is a life-long native of Kingston, N.Y., where she resides with her husband and two children.
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Christine Brunie '86
Major: Business Administration

Christine Brunie ’86 is currently a member of the leadership team at The Oakleaf Group (“Oakleaf”). Oakleaf is a premier advisory firm with expertise in risk management and financial modeling, serving the financial services industry. Christine is a managing director who leads Oakleaf's Modeling & Analytics and Mortgage Services groups. In 2018, Christine was recognized by Housing Wire Magazine as one of the mortgage and housing industry’s top “Women of Influence.”

During Christine's 25-year career, she has held numerous capital market positions relating to credit, underwriting and operational risk. Her areas of expertise include a wide variety of asset classes including residential and asset backed structured securities both domestic and international.

Prior to joining Oakleaf, Christine held diverse positions in various organizations, consisting of asset management, consumer finance, banking, insurance and rating agency entities.
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Dr. Kelly Cassano '86
Major: Communication Studies
Dr. Kelly Cassano is an Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine and works as the Chief of Ambulatory Care for Mount Sinai Downtown and the Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System.

Dr. Cassano wears multiple hats within the Health System. Her ISMMS duties are closely intertwined with her roles as chief of ambulatory care at Mount Sinai Downtown and medical director of Mount Sinai Downtown-Union Square. As chief of ambulatory care, Cassano is directly responsible for the medical group that represents a clinical footprint that includes nine faculty practices with 81 physicians and more than 178,000 primary and specialty visits annually. The Union Square facility encompasses an additional 29 faculty practices with 350 physicians and 530,000 annual visits. Cassano has been instrumental in physician recruitment and retention, consolidation of clinical practices, and the launching of new ambulatory care sites. She has also been essential in the implementation of clinical quality and financial improvement initiatives across the downtown campus.
Prior to assuming her roles at Mount Sinai Downtown, Cassano was senior medical director of the Continuum Medical Group for Continuum Health Partners. There, she was responsible for clinical, operational and financial oversight for 10 primary care and specialty practices while also serving as the medical director for the West Park Medical Group, which she transitioned from a private practice to a hospital-owned model while expanding the specialty footprint, streamlining operations, and implementing cost-control measures.

Cassano continues to see patients as a primary care physician for the MSHS in downtown Manhattan.
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Françoise Dunefsky
Françoise Dunefsky was president and CEO at Gateway Community Industries (GCI), Inc. from February 2004 till her retirement in December 2014. GCI, Inc. is a leading independent, non-for-profit organization serving individuals with mental, developmental, physical, and other disabilities in Ulster and Dutchess counties.

Prior to joining GCI, Inc. she had a thirty-year progressive career in the Hudson Valley hospital industry holding positions ranging from staff nurse to vice president. A native of Belgium, Françoise received a master’s degree with distinction from Pace’s University’s Lienhard School of Nursing. She has held adjunct faculty positions at both the undergraduate and graduate level teaching healthcare finance and leadership and management at SUNY New Paltz and Mount St. Mary College, has several publications on quality in healthcare to her credit, and has given multiple presentations in her career.

An active volunteer throughout adulthood she currently is the chair of the board of directors for the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID), serves as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and as a trustee at SUNY Ulster. She will continue her active volunteerism in her retirement.
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Leslie Gordon '93
Major: Sociology

Leslie leads Feeding Westchester in its mission to provide good food and eradicate hunger. Prior to joining Feeding Westchester, Leslie served as a key executive at City Harvest, where she led plans to improve food access and nutrition for 500,000 low-income New Yorkers and she pioneered a new strategy that doubled the food distributed annually from 30 to 60 million pounds. Earlier, Leslie was Founding Director of Made in the Hudson Valley, and served under General Colin Powell as National Director of America’s Promise-The Alliance for Youth. A fourth-generation resident of Tarrytown, Leslie is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a degree in sociology. She is a frequent guest speaker at various organizations addressing issues of hunger, including the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine on Seniors & Hunger. She is also a guest lecturer of Fordham University’s Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership program.
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Lynne Hayden-Findlay '72
Major: Theatre Arts

After graduating with a B.S., Lynne moved to New York City, hoping to become the next Julie Andrews. When that didn’t happen, her “day job” turned into her first career in advertising time sales for Canadian radio and television, working in the New York City branch office of a Toronto firm where she rose from sales secretary to sales rep and then East Coast Divisional Manager (and, coincidentally, was one of the few women in the industry at the time). After completing an MBA with honors in strategic management at Pace University, she changed careers, spending the next twelve years in academic fundraising for LaGuardia Community College and Brooklyn College.

The next transition found her back in school at The Mannes School of Music where she resumed training to become a professional opera singer while also working part-time running a scholarship program at the CUNY baccalaureate program. She sang professionally with several major choral groups in NYC as well as San Diego Opera, held a church soloist job in Riverside Conn., for twelve years, and performed regularly in Italy each summer. In 2004, she and a singer friend co-founded the Chelsea Opera, now in its 15th season where she managed fundraising, grants, special events, budgeting, database management, etc. while also serving as the company’s production stage director and costume designer.

In 1972 she was selected as the first student to direct a major-budget production (Celebration) at SUNY New Paltz. Now retired from Chelsea Opera but not the working world, Lynne has been teaching English as a second language since 2001 and currently works part-time at University Settlement. She also serves as a volunteer tutor in English and reading at the Fortune Society, and is about to enter her third summer as a volunteer history tour guide on Governors Island. When time allows, she can be found researching her own family history.
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Evelyn Heinbach
Evelyn Heinbach is the managing director and founder of Heinbach Business Consultants. Evelyn has over 25 years of professional experience in senior-level management, strategic business advisory and economic development. She has a global and diverse industry background in Big Four consulting, financial services, and manufacturing in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is experienced in leading large teams and collaborating across multiple disciplines and functions to achieve relevant and meaningful results. Throughout her career, she has been passionate about developing junior talent through training and mentoring to enable each individual to excel.
In addition to starting her own consulting business in 2017, Evelyn also joined Ulster County’s Office of Economic Development as senior economic developer. In her role with Ulster County, Evelyn looks to attract and assist new businesses seeking to locate in Ulster County. She also maintains and grows business relationships to support economic growth in Ulster County, N.Y. and the Mid-Hudson Region.
Previously, Evelyn was part of Deloitte’s Advisory Practice for 17 years and as managing director focused on strategic risk management and compliance for global financial services firms.
Evelyn earned an M.B.A. from NYU’s School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from the Business Academy in Stuttgart, Germany.
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Jennifer Hurson '93
Major: Journalism

Jennifer Hurson is a managing director at Blicksilver Public Relations. In this role, she is responsible for developing proactive, reactive and crisis public relations programs for the world’s leading private equity firms to support mergers and acquisitions (M&A), fundraising, and portfolio company developments. Current clients include J.C. Flowers & Co., Clearlake Capital, Vestar Capital, AE Industrial Partners and StepStone Group.

Prior to joining Blicksilver PR, Jennifer was an associate director at KPMG. During her seven years at KPMG, she was responsible for external and internal communications for the firm's advisory (consulting) function. Previously, she was a vice president at Citigate Dewe Rogerson, overseeing public relations and investor relations activities for corporate clients.

Throughout her career she has written brochures, white papers, newsletters, annual reports, advertising and direct mail copy, primarily for financial and real estate clients. Jennifer graduated magna cum laude from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
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Katie Innamorato '12
Katie Innamorato '12
Modern-day Anubis
Major: Scupture

Katie Innamorato is aiming to preserve and honor the deceased in their afterlife. She has been professionally trained and competes at state and world level championships. She travels and teaches, she has teamed up with The Field Museum for an educational video, taught classes for the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked with the SVA in NYC for classes as well. She has supplied pieces to Bergdorf Goodman, featured on tv, profiled in the book Taxidermy Art, along with coauthoring the book, "STUFFED ANIMALS."​​ Katie also offers a diverse amount of options for pet after care.
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Sandra Jackson ’86
Major: Business Administration

Sandra Jackson believes that “the success of an organization is contingent upon the engagement level of their employees.” During her 20+ year career at Covanta, where she held progressively responsible roles in human resources, Sandra exhibits strong leadership and strategic planning and execution ability as she helps Covanta navigate through their changing organizational needs. In her role, Sandra provides vision and guidance to business leaders in the areas of employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, mergers and acquisitions and leadership development.

Sandra earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from SUNY New Paltz and a master’s degree in organizational development from Fordham University. In addition, she is a certified senior human resources professional and a certified diversity professional. Sandra is a board member of Grace Smith House, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
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Camille Jacobs '91
Major: Communication Media

Camille Jacobs is a progressive educator and leader. Her empathy and passion are the driving force behind her continual discovery of new and imaginative approaches when helping young people succeed. Currently serving as an assistant principal of a secondary school in Jamaica, N.Y., Camille has spent the last 12 years advocating for students, with a niche in supporting African American males in high school successfully transition into college. She has presented at national conferences on her research in this area and continues this work as the founder of a thriving Male Initiative Program at Queens Collegiate High School.

Camille is a member of several professional organizations focused on educational equity and access. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication media from SUNY New Paltz, a master’s degree in education/school administration from Cambridge College, and an additional master’s degree in media studies from Queens College. Camille currently resides in Queens, N.Y. and is a proud wife and mother.
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Vicki Koenig '82
Vicki Koenig '82
Nutrition Consultant & Certified Health Coach
Major: Visual Arts

Sometimes a journey takes unexpected twists. After studying with professional artists, Vicki transferred to SUNY New Paltz to finish her degree in metalsmithing. In the course of her studies, it became clear that a life shift was occurring. After taking numerous courses in Women’s Health as well a lot of art history, Vicki received a BS in Visual Arts from SUNY New Paltz in 1982. She continued on to Virginia Tech to study nutrition.

Graduating in 1987 with an MS in Human Nutrition and Foods, there were no independent Registered Dietitians…yet. Vicki “hung out a shingle” as an RD in private practice and worked in many clinical areas honing her skills as a credentialed Nutritionist. She has worked in a nursing home, hospital, homecare agencies, Program Director of a Dietetic Internship, and as consultant to healthy companies like Stonyfield yogurt and Newman’s Own. She continues to speak on Probiotics and health topics and works as a consultant to Head Start and schools. In her practice, she coaches clients and health professionals with a clinically proven Optimum Health Weight Loss program.
Vicki has truly designed a business that helps people choose and create health in their lives.
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Linda Jolly '94
Major: Women’s Studies

Linda Jolly serves as vice president of securities and governance, and corporate secretary of Corning Incorporated. In addition to her responsibilities as the corporation’s secretary and work with the board of directors, Linda oversees all securities and corporate governance related legal matters for Corning.

She joined Corning in 2007 as assistant secretary and division counsel. In that role, she provided legal counsel to various staff functions, including treasury, accounting, tax, compensation and corporate real estate, with a focus on public company reporting and disclosure, securities law, real estate, financial and other corporate matters.

Linda is the corporate secretary and lead counsel for both the Corning Incorporated Foundation and the Corning Museum of Glass. She is a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Advisory Council. She is also former board chair of Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes and former board member of the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways.

Before joining Corning, she was general counsel to two privately-held companies in Syracuse, N.Y. Prior to that, she was vice president of legal compliance at Blaylock & Partners LP investment banking firm in New York City, and worked from 1998 to 2003 as an associate in the Global Finance Group of the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York City.

From 1985 to 1997, Linda was an aircraft mechanic in the U.S. Air Force and New York Air National Guard. She was stationed at air bases in South Korea, Virginia, and New York, and
achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.

Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies. She received her law degree magna cum laude from New York Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. She is also a member of the New York and Connecticut Bars.
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Myra Kressner ’76
Major: Secondary Education

Myra Kressner has 38 years of publishing and marketing experience focused in the retail and foodservice industries. After beginning her publishing career in 1976 at a New York-based firm publishing 30 consumer titles, Myra found her niche in trade media and communication in 1978 at Lebhar-Friedman, Inc., a leading trade publisher. In 1981, Myra co-launched Retail Insights and Retail Marketing Group, publishing and consulting businesses as an early pioneer, and establishing the value of electronic media and relationship networking. In 1990, Myra co-founded CSP Information Group, which would become the convenience and foodservice industries leading media company. After building an impressive portfolio innovating media in print, web-based, and conference/trade show communication, CSP Information Group was sold to Winsight Media in 2012.

In January 2016, Myra started Kressner Strategic Engagement (KSE). With over 30 years of knowledge and expertise cultivated by strong relationships, KSE brings value to the marketplace by developing and facilitating strategic engagement for suppliers and operators in the convenience and foodservice channels.

Myra graduated cum laude from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in English. She serves on the SUNY New Paltz Foundation Board, and resides in Bayside, N.Y. and Stockbridge, Mass.
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Christine Kuhnke '79
Major: Dance
Christine Nalini Kuhnke is a former dancer and choreographer. She is a practicing acupuncturist, bodyworker, lifestyle counselor, certified esoteric color therapist and yogini.

Her experience includes work as a senior practitioner of acupuncture, senior clinical faculty member at the former Tristate College of Acupuncture, and yoga teacher. She has always been interested in promoting healing and wellness in others and continues to explore, learn and share new modalities.

She holds a B.S. degree in dance and graduated cum laude from SUNY New Paltz.
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Lara Hope Levine '06
Major: Journalism

Lara Hope Levine ’06 is a full-time, award-winning, touring musician and band leader of Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones. Lara fell in love with Ulster Country after attending college here, and currently resides in Kington, N.Y. She spends much of her time on the road touring both the U.S. and Europe. She played over 200 shows in 2018.

She has had to wear many hats in order to find success, working as a booker, promoter, graphic designer, writer, publicist, merchandiser, tour manager and musician.

In 2017, Lara won an Ameripolitan Music Award for "Best Female Rockabilly" artist. Her band has been named the "Best Up-And-Coming" group by Hudson Valley Magazine, and two music videos have been official selections in the Woodstock Film Festival.

In late 2018, the band spent six weeks on the road, opening up for one of their musical heroes, Brian Setzer, performing in some of the most prestigious and legendary venues across the country.
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Teresa Mandrin ’17 ’19g
Major: Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies/Humanistic Multicultural Education

Teresa Mandrin has a bachelor’s degree in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from SUNY New Paltz. She is currently pursuing her Master of Professional Studies degree in humanistic multicultural education, also at SUNY New Paltz.
Teresa always wanted to work with students from diverse backgrounds and was very excited to connect with a fellow SUNY New Paltz alumna, who introduced her to the BRIDGES Program at SUNY Orange. She is currently an instructor in the BRIDGES Program, where she educates students with developmental and intellectual disabilities on various life skills. Teresa leads classes on current events/issues, social skills and cooking. She also assists in other classes as needed. Working with students who have disabilities is incredibly fulfilling for Teresa, and she strives to be both a role model and support system for her students.

Teresa has a background in development and special events. She was previously a development assistant in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at SUNY New Paltz. There she assisted the program coordinator with planning and organization of special events, such as previous Women’s Leadership Summits. She also held the role of interim alumni engagement coordinator in the same office, where she worked with the director of alumni relations to plan Alumni Reunion 2017. She spends her free time studying for class, playing with her cat, and binging the latest Netflix series.
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Ann Marrott
Ann is a strong advocate for community: community colleges and community banks. A graduate of SUNY Ulster, she obtained her bachelor’s degree from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in journalism and her master’s degree from Iowa State University in health communications. She returned to the classroom at 53 years old to earn her doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College.

Ann joined SUNY Ulster 27 years ago at the director level, progressing to her current title. She was one of the first two women selected to join the Ulster Savings Bank Board of Trustees in 1998 and was elected chair recently, the first woman to hold the role. Prior to her current roles she worked for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation in employee relations and for the New Jersey-based Prudential Insurance Company of America in health promotion and disease prevention.
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Iliana Menesick '08
Major: Finance and International Business

Iliana Menesick serves as an AVP business relationship manager at J.P. Morgan Chase., where she has worked for nine years. She was promoted to business relationship manager in 2014, where she was assigned a portfolio that shifted her responsibilities to improve the lives of her clients and well-being of their businesses through financial solutions, education and advice. Part of her responsibilities include coaching the bankers and working alongside the branch managers to establish strategies that are geared to growing their book of business and retaining their existing clients.

Iliana graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor’s degree and double major in finance and international business. She was part of the client experience council where they established different strategies to help the client experience increase in their respective branches.
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Lisa Morris
Lisa Morris has been part of the credit union industry for over 20 years. As assistant vice president of public relations and corporate communications for Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, she is responsible for all PR efforts, financial literacy programs, community outreach, and governmental relations across the credit union’s four-county field of membership in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, and Putnam).

Lisa’s past experience includes marketing for a variety of industries including PR consulting, television on-air sales, manufacturing and engineering. Lisa has also provided marketing and public relations leadership for many Hudson Valley non-profits such as the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Foundation, the American Heart Association, March of Dimes, Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Center and New Horizon’s Resources Inc. She currently serves as a Board Member for Miles of Hope raising awareness and funds for families dealing with breast cancer.
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Katie O'Connor '12
Majors: Marketing and Management

Katie O’Connor is the director of marketing at Hunter Mountain, where she has spent five years after graduating from Cal State Long Beach with her MBA. Upon returning to New York, she spent several months interning at a sustainability consultancy in New York City before accepting a position as marketing and communications manager at Hunter Mountain. After two years she was promoted to director of marketing and now leads the marketing and communications strategy for the tri-state area’s premier skiing destination and four-season venue for renowned festivals, concerts and events.
Katie is a native of the Hudson Valley region and proud alumna of SUNY New Paltz class of 2012, where she dual majored in marketing and management and was a member of the AMA. She participates frequently on the Tourism Advisory Committee for Greene County and is on the Board of Directors for the Greene County Chamber of Commerce.
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Keisha Parker '00
Keisha Parker '12
Major: Black Studies & Communication Studies

Keisha A. Parker is an attorney at Cornell Grace, P.C., where she handles all aspects of product liability, construction accident, educational institution and school liability litigation matters. Keisha has extensive experience in handling all stages of complex civil litigation and product liability matters on behalf of manufacturers and distributors of various powered industrial machinery, such as forklifts, drill presses, interior high-speed doors and commercial food processing equipment. Keisha has been involved with a number of catastrophic injury and death cases in which a product was alleged to have been defectively or negligently designed. She has defended automobile manufacturers in high consequence design defect, crashworthiness and warranty matters, and defended utilities and other companies faced with wrongful death, personal injury, and property damage lawsuits in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition to her practice, Keisha is committed to community and pro bono legal service.

Keisha holds a Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University School of Law, and a Master of Law (LL.M.) in Trial Advocacy from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. She is also a graduate of the ABA TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy. Keisha has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in Personal Injury–Products Defense. Keisha was also an inaugural recipient of the SUNY New Paltz 40 Under Forty award.
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Dana Radzicki '16
Major: Biology: Cellular/Molecular
In Dana Radzicki’s current role as senior chemist in analytical and quality control, she focuses on medicinal cannabis; profiles, data trends, analytical testing and method validation. One of Dana’s most proud accomplishments thus far has been establishing and validating a standardized method for analyzing cannabinoids and terpenes.
She earned her B.S. degree in biology, with a minor in mathematics.
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Andrea Reynolds
Andrea Reynolds is the president and CEO of the Dyson Foundation, a private family foundation serving the Mid-Hudson Valley. In 2018, the Foundation granted almost $12 million. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was president and CEO of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. Under her direction, the Community Foundations - which initially was the Community Foundation of Dutchess County - grew to include Ulster and Putnam counties, increased its total assets from $22 million to $53 million and administered 530 charitable funds with annual grants of $3.5 million. Before returning to the Hudson Valley, Andrea worked at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis for 10 years, holding a variety of positions which culminated in her being executive vice president and chief operating Officer of the then $250 million organization. Previous to her work in the community foundation field, she was a senior associate in allocations for United Way of the Mid-South helping to allocate $5 million annually to nonprofits.

Andrea received her M.S. in social work administration and planning from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Memphis Branch. Her undergraduate work was completed at Hartwick College, where she majored in business management and minored in music and sociology, with a concentration in psychology.
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Linda Richichi ’94
Major: Fine Art

Soon after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, Richichi received a scholarship from the Pastel Society of America to attend the Art Students League in New York City and then studied extensively under modern masters. Since 1999, Linda has earned many awards at national and international exhibitions. One of her paintings that received a Best of Show was at the International Plein Air Painters World Wide Paint Out in Ontario, Canada. Notably, in 2012 Richichi was voted as National Best Intuitive Artist. Linda began as a portrait painter, but in 2001 she turned to Plein Air painting (out in the open air).

Linda’s work has exhibited extensively around North America including the prestigious National Arts Club in New York City with the Pastel Society of America. She taught art as an adjunct at SUNY Orange from 2002 to 2015. In 2018, the Jack Richeson Art Company chose Richichi to have her own signature 80-piece hand-rolled pastel set called “Color & Energy.” Linda is a current member of Oil Painters of America and a signature member of the California, New York & International Plein Air Painters and the Pastel Society of America.
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Jamille Shands-McGuire '07
Major: Music Therapy

Jamille R. Shands-McGuire runs a financial services practice through New York Life Insurance Company where she has worked for the last four years. In her capacity as a financial services professional, she helps individuals, families and businesses maximize their health and wealth by minimizing their risk and capitalizing on her ability to provide primer strategic solutions in divergent circumstances. Jamille has been included as a subject of biographical interest in the Marquis’ Who’s Who in America. Recently, she was also recognized as the 2018 Investment Annuity Leader at New York Life’s Westchester General Office.

Jamille holds degrees from University of Rochester (B.A.), SUNY at New Paltz (B.S.), and Barry University (M.S.). She has been published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), made a research discovery in the area of arterial Tortuosity Syndrome, and is currently in the process of completing her medical degree.
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Donna Suchan Smeland ’93
Major: Communications Media

Donna Suchan Smeland has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry. She has produced countless hours of television for networks such as ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS, MTV, VH1, IFC, Sundance Channel, and Comedy Central. Donna specializes in production management and although she has experience in both reality shows in the field and taped studio based programming, her passion is live television events. Among her notable projects are NBC's critically acclaimed live musicals Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert, Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live! She has also produced live New Year’s Eve broadcasts in Times Square for FOX with Steve Harvey and NBC with Carson Daly. Since 2017, she is proud to be a Producer on the Annual Peabody Awards, which recognize excellence in all genres of media. She is a member of the Paley Center for Media, as well as a voting member of the Television Academy (The Emmy’s).

Beyond television, Donna has managed events for organizations including Microsoft, Ty Inc. and the Museum of the Moving Image. A lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Donna is currently the chair of the board of directors of the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication media with departmental honors, cum laude, from SUNY New Paltz and recently joined the board of directors of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. She is an active member of her local church and the head of its fundraising committee. Donna is also a member of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and travels the country as part of the pit crew for her husband, Val, a Pro Stock Driver in professional drag racing. In her spare time, she and Val reside in East Yaphank, N.Y. with three unruly cats.
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Tamah Wiegand
Tamah Wiegand was born on the south side of Chicago. She graduated from Evanston Township High School, receiving the League of Women’s Voters Citizenship award, recognizing the work that she had done tutoring younger students, helping to establish a day camp for Native American children in Chicago, and campaigning for equal housing on the north shore of Chicago.

After graduating from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Tamah began teaching at the Brearley School in New York, NY: an independent school for girls in K-12. She started as an assistant teacher in the fifth grade and 31 years later, retired as the head of the middle school. In between, Tamah taught fifth grade history and geography, sixth grade English grammar, fifth through seventh grade English, and tenth grade American history.

Since retiring, Tamah has served as the vice president of the Gardiner Library Board of Trustees and has continued to tutor. She enjoys reading, gardening, and traveling, and has been especially fortunate to have traveled to every continent. For her, traveling is like being in another classroom where she has learned to appreciate diverse cultures, while, at the same time, recognizing that we share the same basic values.
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Tanisha Williams '95
Major: Accounting

Tanisha Williams serves as the compliance and business integrity officer for VA Hudson Valley Health Care System, where she has worked for more than 20 years. Throughout her career with the VA she has worked diligently to advance her career from a starting position of secretary to my current position as Compliance Officer. She was promoted to role of business manager for the Geriatrics and Extended Care Line in 2008, where she was responsible for the day to day operations to include human resources, general administration, facilities management and an annual budget of over $15 Million.

In 2018, she was again promoted to become the compliance and business integrity officer for the facility. Throughout her career, she has become an expert in accounting and auditing, hospital administration, organizational development, project management, budgeting and finance, and most recently revenue compliance. She currently provides strategic direction for organizational change, risk management, revenue cycle compliance, education and training for all VA Hudson Valley sites to include two main campuses and seven satellite clinics, totaling approximately 1,500 employees. She has been involved in the facility mentorship program both as a mentor and a mentee and served on an advisory committee to create a preceptor program for new supervisors.

Tanisha later furthered her education by obtaining an MBA in Finance from Long Island University. She was a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and continues to to do community service with the organization to uplift her community as a part of the local Mid-Hudson Valley Alumnae chapter.
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Dominique Yvette '10
Sociology: Criminology

Dominique Yvette ’10 is a practicing clinician in Brooklyn N.Y. In her role as a school social worker, she provides individual and group counseling for students who experience disabilities and/or trauma. Dominique facilitates workshops for parents and professionals in NYC and abroad. These workshops center around healing childhood trauma and doing the work to create healthy relationships. She is the author of the first therapeutic self-help book titled “20 Something Sundays”. When she is not working, she can be found at her tiny space in Brooklyn, curled up with a book, listening to 90’s R&B. Dominique is passionate about personal and spiritual development through human connection.
Dominique graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a B.A. in sociology: criminology. She went on to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. This inspired her to pursue travel as a means to connect with youth globally. As she returned to the U.S., she went on to obtain her M.S. in social work from Stony Brook University.
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Hong (Helen) Yang '90g
Major: Educational Administration (Masters)

Hong (Helen) Yang serves as senior director of Information Technology Resiliency for New York Power Authority (NYPA), the largest state electric utility in the nation. She leverages technology to innovate the organization and helps develop and execute the strategic digital transformation plan. Yang started her nearly 30-year career at NYPA as an intern in her 30’s. She later held positions as a nuclear planning engineer, IT programmer, lead system analyst, senior project manager, director of IT product support, director of application services, senior director of IT business transformation and acting CIO. Yang is a watercolor artist and a volunteer as program manager for International Swimming Hall of Fame.

In 1971, she was a teenager and lived in China. She didn’t have the opportunity to receive an education during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1977, but she had a dream that someday she would immigrate to the United States to further her education. From 1988 to 1992, Yang received two master’s degrees in educational administration and supervision from SUNY New Paltz, and in computer science from Pace University.
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