What does it take to enhance the appearance of Sullivan County, while awakening community pride? The goal of Sullivan Renaissance – in collaboration with the people who live and work and visit here – is to answer that question through action. To that end, the staff and steering committee of Sullivan Renaissance work hard to accomplish our mission.
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Diane has worked for a prominent landscape architect in Washington, DC and volunteered at the U.S. National Botanic Garden in its native plant garden; now lives on 15 acres of old farm land on the Yellow Breeches Creek in Mechanicsburg, PA, where she has fun and keeps fit battling invasive species and planting natives as she returns the meadow to its original state.
A mentor of Sullivan Renaissance, he helped shape the program initially and served as senior judge every year until his death in 2013. Ted Blowes was one of the founders of Communities in Bloom in Canada and judged over 175 communities in Canada, U.S., Europe, Japan and Singapore. He was the former Mayor of Stratford, Ontario, Canada and a secondary school educator for 34 years.
Birgitta Brophy is an Assistant Professor in the Landscape Contracting Program at SUNY Delhi since 1997. She is also a landscape architectural consultant to private clients and municipalities for public projects including "Main Street" revitalization studies/designs and landscape master plans.
Nicola Coddington is the Energy Conservation Coordinator, Town of Greenburgh, NY, the first town in the state to require new residential construction to meet energy efficiency standards; appointed to the New York State Renewable Energy Task Force.
Darryl David is a vocational horticultural instructor at the Wallkill Correctional Facility. He airs a weekly gardening radio broadcast every Saturday morning over a Kingston radio station.
Currently Rabbi Emeritus at Congregation Ezrath Israel in Ellenville. He was senior rabbi from 1989-2011. He is the Jewish Chaplain at Eastern New York Correctional Facility and Ulster Correctional Facility. He is also active with the Hebrew Day School of Sullivan and Ulster, the Wawarsing Clergy Association, and the Rabbinical Council of Sullivan and Ulster Counties.
Nicole Franzese is the Delaware County Planning Director since 2000; with the planning department since 1990; served as a Town Planning Advisory Service Planner for 17 1/2 years and provided technical assistance to communities.
Pete Gozza served as president of a non-profit redevelopment organization in Toledo, OH. His interactive web site assists those engaged in the redevelopment of downtown or large commercial districts.
Manna Jo Greene is Clearwater's Environmental Action Director since 2000; formerly recycling coordinator/educator for Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency; lifelong environmental professional and community activist, serves on the Rosendale Town Board.
Adrienne Hamilton served as director of construction for the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. A professional planner, she is president of the Arts Center Chamber Music Concerts in Bergen County, NJ.
Donna Harrison has judged over fifty communities with Communities in Bloom in Canada, six years provincially and nationally starting in 2000; has also been involved in the judging of The Winter Lights initiative for several years.
Lou Heimbach is the former Orange County Executive. He heads the Sterling Forest Development Corp. and was past president of Mid-Hudson Pattern for Progress.
Carson Helfrich is the principle with Community Planning and Management Associates, Paupack, PA; works with municipalities to develop comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development ordinances and tools to address growth and development issues.
Irene Lakstutis is a landscape architect at Cornell Plantations, Cornell University.
Sherwood Levitan is an accountant from Orange County and active in civic and community affairs.
Mary Lewis is the founder and principal of Barncroft, a garden design firm. She was also the Chair of Zone III 2008 Annual Meeting of the Garden Clubs of America and Past President of Orange and Dutchess Garden Club. A Cornell University graduate, she studies botanical art and illustration at New York Botanical Garden.
Jeff Maggard is IT manager for Green Design Computer Specialties.
Alice McAdams is an artist, life member of the Art Students League of New York and member of the National Arts Club. She is Past President of Orange and Dutchess Garden Club and a trustee of Friends of Mills Mansion in Staatsburgh, a state historic site.
Donna W. Moramarco is vice-president of Knowledge Network for Plant America in Locust Valley NY. She is a past president of the National Association.
Lee Nelson is a statewide horticultural speaker. She operates Lee Nelson Associates, a horticultural consulting business, which has completed beautification projects for the City of Binghamton.
John Nettleton was trained in architecture and regional planning. He directs Cornell University's economic and community development programs in NYC.
Michael Newhard is a life-long resident and four-term mayor of Warwick. He is an artist, partner in a Main Street retail store and advocate for community revitalization, historic preservation, farmland and environmental protection. Warwick was national winner of America in Bloom in 2003, and a 2010 winner of the international competition, Communities in Bloom.
Dan O'Neil is a retired Superintendent of Wayne County Schools, PA and active with the Wayne County Chamber and Greater Honesdale Partnership for Economic Development.
Linda Onofry is a retired Montessori school teacher at the Homestead School in Glen Spey who grew up and resides in Port Jervis. She has been a member of the Garden Club of Orange & Dutchess Counties for 19 years, currently serving as its President.
Peter Patel is a Horticulturist/Arborist for the Orange County Arboretum in Montgomery; Certified Arborist – International Society of Arboriculture, Cert. Nursery/Landscape Professional, and member of the Tri-County Nursery Association; he owns ArborHeights Designs, LLC.
A friend of Sullivan Renaissance, Kenneth Platt was a licensed professional planner and former director of planning and development for the City of Atlantic City, NJ.
Mike Pogue is senior forester for Region 3 New York State DEC, where he works on urban forestry.
Nancy Proyect, President of the Orange County Citizens Foundation since 2006; owned a public relations consulting firm serving the nonprofit, governmental and private sectors; active in Leadership Orange, Orange County Arts Council, Cornwall Community Cooperative, Temple Beth Jacob, SUNY New Paltz CRREO, and the Junior League of Orange County.
Donald Rakow is the director of Cornell Plantations on the Cornell Campus and professor of landscape horticulture at Cornell University.
Odette Sabourin-Dumais is a Horticulturist from St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Québec; acts as national and international judge for Communities in Bloom since 1995; has evaluated more than 140 communities in Quebec, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Japan; secretary-treasurer of the Communities in Bloom Executive Committee and chair of the Symposium and Awards.
With a degree in horticulture from McGill University, Claudette Savaria has taught at colleges, worked at nurseries and designed landscape projects throughout Canada. Since 1990, she is the Parks and Grounds Manager for the City of Westmount, Quebec. She is also a founding member of Communities in Bloom, and a founding member and judge for International Awards for Liveable Communities.
Karen Schneller-McDonald is a natural resources planner and environmental specialist for Hickory Creek Consulting, LLC, Red Hook, NY; she provides natural resources planning services to municipalities and on a project-specific basis.
Rabbi Schwab is the religious leader of Temple Sinai in Middletown, NY since 1982; President of the Greater Middletown Interfaith Council, where he helped create a winter Warming Station for street people; honored by Orange County Human Rights Commission (2007), United Way of Orange County (2009) and METNY Region of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism (2011).
Dr. Sonja Skelly is director of education for Cornell Plantations at Cornell University.
Ann Smith is an avid gardener for over 35 years; member of New York Botanical Garden, Friends of Boscobel and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; past board member of Cornwall Garden Club; garden associate specialist for Devitt's Garden & Supply in New Windsor.
Hans B.C. Spiegel is a leading community development scholar. He has directed Harvard University's International House, serving as Deputy Director of the Model Cities Program under President Johnson.
A good friend of Sullivan Renaissance, Tim Stoddard had a degree in design and pursued his interest in architecture and landscape design in Europe for several years. He worked on projects for the federal government, corporations, community and private homes. He lived on the Jersey Shore and headed his community’s Beautification and Landscape Committee.
John Story was manager of Meadowbrook Farm, the nationally recognized estate of J. Lidden Pennock.
Deborah Sweeton is the president and co-owner of Techni-Growers Greenhouses Inc. She published two books in the Common Sense Gardener series and is a past OFA board member. She chairs the Cornell Floriculture Advisory Committee and co-chaired Warwick in Bloom when it won America in Bloom in 2004. She won 1st and 2nd prize in the 2007 Kathy Puhfal container competition at Cornell University.
Michael Sweeton is the general manager/marketing director for Techni-Growers with clientele that includes the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. He holds degrees in chemical engineering and marketing, and is a NYS Certified Nursery Professional. He is also Town of Warwick Supervisor, and serves on Orange County Citizens Foundation Board and the Orange County Planning Board.
David Tetor of Clinton Corners retired as agricultural program leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County. He operates an agricultural consulting business in the Hudson Valley.
Alden Thayer owns and operates the landscape design/build firm of Alden’s Country Gardens in the Town of Denning and Earth Energy Contracting for green construction. Trained at the New York Botanical Gardens, he is certified by the Building Performance Institute as a Building Energy Auditor. He chairs the Town of Denning Planning Board.
“Country Yossi” is the name of an English-language Orthodox Jewish magazine, radio show, collection of musical albums and children's books created, composed, authored, and published by Yossi (Joseph) Toiv. The radio show has been on the air continuously since 1986. The monthly magazine has printed over 3 million copies since 1988.
Anna Lisa Dyhr Vogel is a Garden Club of America Artistic Flower Arranging Judge and has entered in numerous flower shows throughout the country, receiving many national awards. She became an active member of The Garden Club of Honolulu, Hawaii in 1990 while restoring a farm house in Beaverkill Valley. Although flower arranging is her passion, she enjoys working in her perennial gardens.
Diana Weiner was formerly superintendent of horticulture and landscaping at Mohonk Mountain House; the master gardener coordinator for Orange County; and a manager at Meadowbrook Farm. She is presently the horticultural coordinator for Sullivan Renaissance.
Richard Weir III is owner of Horticulture Solutions, a horticulture and landscape consulting business on Long Island. He has been assistant professor of horticulture with Cornell University.
Karen Wood is former President and CEO of the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce.