FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell to Attend Veterans & Families Fair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 8080-1001 

September 24, 2013 

Odell to Attend Veterans & Families Fair

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell is expected to attend the Veterans & Families Fair on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Ramada Inn on Route 9 in Fishkill, NY. The event, which is open to all Dutchess and Putnam County veterans and their families, is sponsored by Sen. Terry Gipson (D-Poughkeepsie) and will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Honoring and helping our veterans is always a pleasure for me,” said Odell. “I applaud Sen. Gipson for hosting the fair where our veterans and their families can obtain what otherwise might be difficult to pin down information. I think the more we can do to help our youngest veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan is of critical importance. They and their families are going to need a tremendous amount of information and support and the Senator has brought representatives from numerous organizations to his event to advise them.”

The fair will feature over 60 service providers and exhibitors that offer services such as healthcare, housing, employment, education, business support and more.

“We owe our veterans and their families a great deal for their sacrifices,” said Sen. Gipson. “As a member of the New York State Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, ensuring that our veterans and their families receive the support they deserve from New York State is a top priority of mine. I hope all of our veterans and their families in Dutchess and Putnam Counties will attend this exciting event to find out about support available and get the recognition they deserve.”

During the event, the 41st Senate District Veterans Hall of Fame honorees will be celebrated and WWII veterans will be given special recognition.

The fair was made possible by the support of Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Health Quest, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and Bridgeway Federal Credit Union.

Win a Flight in a WWII Airplane, Funds to Benefit American Veterans Historical Museum

MEMORANDUM       

 

TO:              All County Employees
FROM:       MaryEllen Odell
                     Putnam CountyExecutive
DATE:        September 24, 2013
RE:              American Veterans Historical Museum Raffle

 

Win a Flight in a WWII Airplane
Funds to Benefit American Veterans Historical Museum

For the merely adventurous or for the serious vintage airplane buff, a special fundraising raffle sponsored by the American Veterans Historical Museum (AVHM) is taking flight. Literally. The owner of the winning raffle ticket and a guest will greet the wild blue yonder in their choice of either a WWII-era B-17 Flying Fortress or a B-24 Liberator. The second place prize is a ticket for two to catch the breeze in a WWI  bi-plane out of the Rhinebeck Aerodome.

 

Members of the museum, which is chartered by the NYS Education Department, (Regents), and registered by the state as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, are looking for a permanent location within Putnam County where they might house their many artifacts. Money raised by the sale of the raffle tickets will go into the group’s building fund.

 

“We have a limited number of raffle tickets left,” said Brain Benedict, proprietor of The Duffle Bag in Patterson and longtime proponent of establishing a military museum within Putnam’s borders. “The winning ticket will be drawn at our annual Militaria Show which will be held at the PattersonRecreationCenter on October 26th. As a matter of fact, for the last two years, the winning ticket was purchased by people attending the Militaria Show,” he said.   

 

The two bombers, a B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24 Liberator, are owned by the Collings Foundation which is based in Stow, MA. The aircraft are maintained and used at air shows and exhibitions across the country. According to the Collings Foundation website, the planes are “tributes to their crews and fly on as living history to enlighten future generations.”

 

Today, pilots have permission to fly these historical planes out of various airports in the Northeast. The raffle winner may choose from the listed airports which include nearby WestchesterCountyAirport in White Plains, NY, SikorskyMemorialAirport in Bridgeport, CT and the Waterbury-OxfordAirport in Oxford, CT.

 

“The first place winner will have the opportunity to choose an airport from which to take-off and land,” said Benedict.   

 

The Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber which was first developed in the 1930’s for the U.S. Army Air Corps and introduced in 1938. It was used by the U. S. Army Air Force during WWII in bombing campaigns against German military and industrial targets. It was also used to bomb Japanese air fields in the Pacific. The B-17 dropped more bombs than any other aircraft used in WWII, totaling 640,000 out of the 1.5 million tons deployed by U. S. aircraft.

 

The B-24 Liberator, named “Witchcraft” is the only restored flying B-24J in the world. Restoration was completed in 1989. Together with the Flying Fortress, these two living history museums continue soaring through the skies as part of the annual Wings of Freedom Tour and are enjoyed by young and old alike at more than 120 U. S. cities each year.

 

Raffle tickets are $10 apiece and are fully tax deductible. Tickets may be purchased at The Duffle Bag, a military supply store located at 1270 Route 311 in Patterson, NY.

 

The Militaria Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 26 at the PattersonRecreationCenter, 65 Front Street, Patterson, NY12563. For more information, call Benedict at (845) 878-7106.

 

Photos courtesy of the Collings Foundation.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell, to Re-Open ‘New’ Putnam County Golf Course, County Workers Highlighted in Remarks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

Sept. 20, 2013

Odell, to Re-Open ‘New’ Putnam County Golf Course
County Workers Highlighted in Remarks

Join Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, County and golf course officials, and special guest Bernadette Castro, former NYS Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 as they and others cut the ribbon to mark the official re-opening of the newly renovated Putnam County Golf Course facility in Mahopac.

Highlighting Odell’s welcoming remarks will be her announcement that the renovation was completed by the County’s own workforce, union members of the Civil Service Employees Association. 

“And a major thank you must also be given to the CSEA union leaders. I am so appreciative of the work their members have done here. Their skill sets are truly amazing. Their talent, quality craftsmanship and expertise are present in every facet of the renovation. The end result, this beautiful facility, is a perfect example of what can happen when government gets out of its own way,” said Odell.

County departments involved in the renovation included Highway, Purchasing, Finance, Law, and the Historian’s Office.

Castro first gained recognition as a four year-old child when she participated in television commercials advertising Castro Convertible sofas, the family business. As an adult, she served for 12 years as a member of Gov. George E. Pataki’s cabinet. Under her leadership, New York won the national Gold Medal Award in October 2003 as “The Best State Park System in the County.” 

Other invited guests on honor include Legislative Chairman Richard T. Othmer, Putnam County Historian Denis Castelli, General Manager Mike McCall, appliedgolf owner Dave Wasenda, Al and Joe Ciuffetelli of Homestyle Caterers, Jennifer Maher, president of the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and Margaret Bruen, producer of Bruen History Films, LLC

Putnam County Golf Course is located at 187 Hill Street, Mahopac, NY 10541.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell to Cut Ribbon for Philipstown Road Re-Opening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

September 17, 2013

Odell to Cut Ribbon for Philipstown Road Re-Opening

Major repair work done by CMC Construction Group on Snake Hill Road in Philipstown has been completed and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will meet with several officials including Commissioner of Highways Fred Pena, Deputy Commissioner John Tully, Planning and Design Supervisor Mark Rosa, Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, Project Manager Katherine Blaustein, and Project Foreman Irmantas Duda for a ribbon cutting to mark the re-opening of the important connector road between Routes 9 and 9D.

The event will take place on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. on the bridge at the point where Avery Road and North Redoubt Road intersect with Snake Hill Road. The road, whose bridge was heavily damaged during Hurricane Irene, will officially open to the public at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.

When Hurricane Irene tore through Putnam, the storm damaged 22 bridges throughout the county. Philipstown was particularly hard hit. Numerous roads were closed and several areas suffered such severe flooding that entire roads were washed out. Following a Sept. 2011 visit from Sen. Charles Schumer, Putnam was designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a county that qualified for public and individual disaster assistance.

“In the last two years, Putnam County has experienced three major storm systems that caused unbelievable damage – Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy. We have managed to deal with the destruction these storms left in their wake, but it has taken its financial toll and cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Odell. “Snake Hill Road was among the biggest of these storm related projects and while this was a model of close coordination and cooperation among numerous agencies and the County Highway Department, we were under some unusual restrictions set by outside agencies. Still, and through the efforts of Commissioner Pena and his staff, and Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, all of whom worked closely and coordinated with the numerous agencies involved, Snake Hill Road has been wholly repaired.”  

The job began on June 23, 2013 and the road was officially closed to the public on Monday, June 26. The work encompassed two FEMA funded projects and included the complete demolition of culvert 11-1 and its placement with a 6 x 12 structural plate arch culvert. The stream bed was diverted and environmental erosion controls had to be installed. Finally, the pavement was restored and marked and new guardrails were put in place. The second project involved a major stream bank restoration performed at culvert 11-2.

“The project was well designed and constructed with no major issues from the involved agencies, including NYS Parks, DEC and DEP,” said Pena.

Unusual issues which had to be dealt with included obtaining permission from NYS Parks as a portion of the land was under their control while another portion was privately owned and officials had to procure a time-consuming easement from a property owner. And then there was the most unusual issue of all.

According to the DEC, the time frame within which the work could be done had to avoid the spawning season of local trout between the months of October and April. Once that was determined, officials decided the project could not safely begin until the end of the school year. 

“Weather was mostly cooperative throughout the summer and the project moved along well,” said Pena.

Scuccimarra praised those working on the job. She was particularly impressed when school opened and construction workers actually guided the buses full of children through the work zone. 

“They were working 10 hour days and six days per week to get the job done,” said Scuccimarra “and when school opened, the workers escorted the buses through the construction site. It was really above and beyond,” she said.  

Pena said the project was well coordinated with local officials, residents, highway, fire, ambulance and police. Although the project area was not in a heavily populated segment of the road, homeowners were advised to access there properties from either Route 9 or Route 9D.

“I believe we did an excellent job of reaching out to everyone impacted and providing ample notice,” Pena said. “I would like to thank all of the county team members who help bring this project to completion and the local community for their co-operation.”

While Snake Hill Road will be open to the public after 1 p.m. on Friday, some construction will continue. The traveling public is advised to be alert as there may be alternate lane closures due to additional FEMA repair work along a stream bank wall adjacent to the Walter Hoving Home property. Construction signs will continue to be posted along that portion of Snake Hill Road until October 31, 2013.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell Attends Clover Lake Open House, Senior Living Facility Accepts Medicaid Residents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

August 16, 2013

Odell Attends Clover Lake Open House
Senior Living Facility Accepts Medicaid Residents

The Plaza at Clover Lake, a senior living facility situated on 50 acres off Fair Street in Carmel, held an Open House to showcase its renovations and to announce it could now accept Medicaid residents. County Executive MaryEllen Odell was among the guests invited to attend the August 15 event.

“Creating happy, active, healthy lives for their residents is Clover Lake’s mission and it certainly looks like they are succeeding,” Odell said as residents and guests gathered about.  

“This is such a wonderful complex. The views from here with your beautiful lake and the hillside in the background are always magnificent. I’m thrilled the Plaza at Clover Lake is here so our older residents can stay in Putnam. We want to keep our seniors among us,” she said.  

The Plaza at Clover Lake is the only facility of its kind in Putnam County and will now accept Medicaid residents as well as those who pay their own way. Previously, they accepted only those residents who were able to pay out-of-pocket for their services. Now, however, when a resident’s personal finances are depleted, they can transition to Medicaid and remain within their Clover Lake community.

Odell chatted briefly with some of the residents and staff, complimenting them on the renovations and the variety of programs and services offered at The Plaza.

“The residents here live a wonderful life,” said Odell. “I should think The Plaza at Clover Lake is a senior’s dream come true with its beautiful dining room, its charming café, the activity rooms, the library, the computer room, a beauty salon, a fitness room, and nightly movies. Nightly? Hey, what’s playing tonight? Can I come back?” she quipped.

The Plaza at Clover Lake can also offer its residents medication technicians and around the clock home health services.

“You’ve got it all!” Odell said.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell Joins Gipson for Kent Playground Donation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

Sept. 3, 2013

Odell Joins Gipson for Kent Playground Donation

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell joined New York State Sen. Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) on the grounds of the Kent Elementary School on September 3, the first day of the 2013-14 school year, as he presented a check for $100,000 to KEPTO President Brittany Alvarez. The check was the culmination of a promise Sen. Gipson made to KES 4th grader Aiden Tobin after the youngster asked for his help in building the school’s Imagination Station II playground.

Odell thanked Sen. Gipson for securing the $100,000 grant through the New York State Economic Development Assistance Program. The money will be used to rebuild the former wooden structure that once stood between Kent Elementary and Primary Schools. The former structure was torn down in July of 2010. 

“I can’t think of a better way to start the new school year than to have our Senator present a check large enough to insure that Imagination Station II gets built,” said Odell.

Odell praised Alvarez , the Carmel Rotary, Dot & Joe’s Deli, George Hartshorn Paving, and the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce who supported the effort as a Community Development Project as well as other members of the Kent community for their roles in making sure a new playground would be built for the children.    

The Imagination Station II Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation run by parents, former students and community members seeking to make sure the popular playground rises once again. Sen. Gipson first learned of the need for a new playground when he met with Alvarez and members of the Imagination Station II at his district office. He was reminded about it again when he visited KES and Tobin personally requested that the Senator help build them a new playground.

090313 Brittany, Sen. Gipson, Aiden Tobin , MEO

090313 ImaginationStation Check

090313 MEO thanks Sen. Gipson for grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Scuccimarra Holds Meeting on Cold Spring Post Office Relocation, “Constituents Fear PO Will Relocate to Garrison”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 28, 2013

Scuccimarra Holds Meeting on Cold Spring Post Office Relocation
“Constituents Fear PO Will Relocate to Garrison”

Last Thursday, Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra (R-Philipstown) convened a meeting of state, county and local officials to try to resolve the problem of where the Cold Spring Post Office should be relocated. The post office, which had a 12-year lease at its 51 Chestnut Street location in the Foodtown Plaza, was to vacate the premises by August 31st but received a three month extension to its lease at the 11th hour.

Scuccimarra said her constituents are fearful that should the United States Postal Service (USPS) relocate its Cold Spring carriers to the Garrison Post Office, they will eventually move the retail portion of its office there as well.

Scuccimarra said she, along with numerous town officials, hopes to keep the carriers and the retail portion of the post office centrally located in Cold Spring. She has been working with Cold Spring Mayor Ralph Falloon, Village Planning Board members, Philipstown trustees and developer Paul Guillaro to work out a suitable solution. The post office has until the end of November to relocate.

“The very real fear for the people of Cold Spring is if the carriers move to Garrison, the rest of the post office will follow. What we have been trying to do is put a plan in place to have temporary trailers set up on the Butterfield Project site so the entire postal department can stay in one location,” Scuccimarra said.

At Thursday’s meeting Cold Spring Planning Board Chairman Barney Molloy told representatives from Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and NYS Sen. Terry Gipson’s office that he was confident, barring any change made by Guillaro to his application, the Board would give its approval at their Sept. 4 meeting.

“Mr. Guillaro should feel confident that his present application will move forward,” said Molloy.

Rep. Maloney and Sen. Gipson have voiced their support in keeping the Cold Spring Post Office within the heart of the village. Earlier this month, Maloney wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe stating that moving the post office to Garrison would “place an undue burden on many of the residents of Cold Spring who rely on this post office for their daily needs – including many senior citizens and veterans.”

Guillaro’s Butterfield Proposal calls for a mix of retail and municipal office space including the post office, a senior center, and branches of several County offices.

Should Guillaro receive approval and agree to temporarily house the three trailer set-up on his site, something he has said he would consider, it would then be up to postal service officials to give the final approval. 

083013 photo Scuccimarra at Post Office Meeting DSC_6141 (2) 

Photo caption: Leg. Barbara Scuccimarra, (R- Philipstown), center, held a meeting on Aug. 28 to express her constituents’ fears to state representatives concerning the possible relocation of the Cold Spring Post Office from its Foodtown Plaza locale to a site in Garrison. Seated to the right of Scuccimarra are: Edward W. Bracati, District Director for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D, Cold Spring), Joseph P. Donat, Deputy District Director for Maloney, Philipstown Councilwoman Nancy Montgomery, Cold Spring Trustee Bruce Campbell, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Cold Spring Planning Board Chairman Barney Molloy, Cold Spring Mayor Ralph Falloon and Brian Keeler, Chief of Staff for Sen. Terry Gipson (D- Poughkeepsie).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Putnam EDC to Hold Gala River Cruise,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 28, 2013

Putnam EDC to Hold Gala River Cruise
Odell: “Taylor is a Rock Star in EDC Circles”

Hudson Valley business leaders are cordially invited to clear their calendars and save Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. as the date when Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) President Meghan Taylor hosts an evening cruise along the Hudson River aboard the luxury yacht Atlantica. Participants who gather at Cold Spring’s Main Dock will have the unique opportunity to enjoy fall foliage, fine food and an evening of networking with business friends old and new as they cruise along the scenic Hudson River. 

A 2006 Binghamton University graduate, Taylor earned her master’s degree in Business Administration in 2010 at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh. Taylor came to Putnam from her position as Director of Business Attraction for the Orange County Partnership. There she worked closely with key federal, state and local elected officials, corporate executives, real estate developers, site selectors, brokers and strategic partners to attract, retain and expand businesses in that county. In her three years as director, Taylor is credited with creating marketing programs that attracted or expanded 48 companies, creating more than 1,300 new jobs and bringing in over $500 million in new investment monies to Orange County. Taylor said she expects to do much the same in Putnam.

“I want a broader base of Hudson Valley business leaders to know the assets Putnam County has to offer,” said Taylor, a 2012 Orange County Rising Star Award recipient. “Putnam is moving in a very positive direction right now and the idea for gathering everyone together for an evening is to showcase the recent successes of the EDC and its partners and to highlight the many economic and employment opportunities there are in Putnam County right now.”

Odell welcomed Taylor to Putnam less than 100 days ago. She said the young EDC president had gained a reputation as a rock star in EDC circles.

“Meghan is a highly motivated and intelligent entrepreneur whose enthusiasm and energy has already attracted the attention of business leaders and representatives,” said Odell. “In the short time she has been with us, Meghan already has Putnam blinking on the map. We look forward to sharing some of her successes during the cruise and to give area business leaders the opportunity to meet her in person.”

The PCEDC is a non-profit organization incorporated in New York to act as an external marketing organization for the economic and employment development of Putnam County. The organization fosters an environment conducive to the creation and retention of businesses thereby delivering an enhanced quality of life for Putnam residents.

To register online for a seat on the Atlantica, visit: www.pcedcannualgala.eventbrite.com. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Meghan Taylor for more information by calling: (845) 808-1021.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Legislature to Hear from STAR Experts at Sept. 3 Meeting- Odell Urges Residents Seek Update on Exemptions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 26, 2013

Legislature to Hear from STAR Experts at Sept. 3 Meeting
Odell Urges Residents Seek Update on Exemptions

Representatives from the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF) will give a brief presentation to the Putnam County Legislature about the Basic School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption registration program during their Sept. 3 meeting. The re-registration is part of a new initiative to protect New Yorkers against inappropriate or fraudulent STAR exemptions.

NYSDTF Southern Regional Director John Wolham said those already registered for the STAR exemption will have to re-register.

“Resident homeowners who currently receive the Basic STAR exemption must register again in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years,” Wolham said. “They will not have to re-register every year.”

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell would remind resident homeowners to check out all exemptions they may be entitled to use.

“I would ask that all resident homeowners check to see if they qualify for further tax reductions,” said Odell. “You may be eligible for additional tax relief from exemptions such as the Aged All Exemption for those who are 65 years of age or older and who meet the low income requirement.”

Odell said senior homeowners must re-apply annually for their Enhanced STAR benefit and participate in the Income Verification Program. She noted there are other exemptions including those available to Putnam veterans who own homes.

“There are veteran exemptions for those who are honorably discharged from military service and who served in combat situations or were disabled. It’s important that everyone know that these exemptions exist,” Odell said.  

Homeowners presently receiving the Basic STAR exemption for 2013 should receive a letter in the mail along with complete instructions on how to re-register. The letters are scheduled to be mailed out during the week of September 9 -13. The letters will include a STAR code that homeowners will need in order to register.

“The fastest and easiest way for homeowners to register is through the Tax Department’s website, www.tax.ny.gov,” Wolham said. “They will need to have their STAR code and provide some basic information about their eligibility.”

Wolham said along with knowing their code, homeowners will have to confirm the property address; provide names and Social Security numbers for all owners of the property and spouses; confirm that the property is the primary residence of one of the owners (married couples with multiple residences may only claim one STAR exemption); confirm that the combined income of the owners and their spouses who reside at the property does not exceed $500,000; and confirm that no resident owner receives a residency-based tax exemption from another state.

Those unable to register online can register by phone at (518) 457-2036.

Resident homeowners applying for STAR for the first time will not be affected by this year’s registration procedure. New applicants must use Form RP-425, Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption which is available on the Tax Department’s website and then file the application with their local assessor.

Registration opened August 19, 2013 and will continue through December 31, 2013. Homeowners who have not registered by deadline will receive reminders in December and January 2014. In February, Wolham said the Tax Department will notify assessors and give them the names of homeowners who failed to register or who were determined to be ineligible for STAR.

 “These homeowners will then have the right to a an administrative review by the Tax Department, and review before the State Board of Real Property Tax Services,” Wolham said.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Putnam, Mercy College Partner in Leadership Alliance, County Leaders and College Faculty Gather for Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 23, 2013

Putnam, Mercy College Partner in Leadership Alliance
County Leaders and College Faculty Gather for Announcement 

Leaders from Putnam County and Mercy College School of Business gathered last Thursday at the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac to announce their collaboration in offering undergraduate and graduate courses within Putnam County.

In welcoming the elite faculty and staff from Mercy’s Dobbs Ferry campus, County Executive MaryEllen Odell noted Putnam is a county of first responders and the two classes now being offered would enhance emergency preparedness among first responders and stakeholders within the business community. She reminded those gathered to welcome Mercy College that bringing higher learning to Putnam also fulfilled a campaign promise she made to her constituents.   

“This is a first for Putnam County,” Odell said. “Through our collaboration with Mercy, we can now offer an undergraduate Certificate Program in Corporate and Homeland Security and a 12-month graduate program where participants can earn a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Emergency Management and Security. In reaching out to the private sector and inviting them to participate, we are transforming not only the educational process but our approach to handling emergencies.” 

Mercy College School of Business Dean Dr. Ed Weis presented an overview of Mercy’s innovative approach to education and explained why, after a career in the business world, he chose to return to the field of education.

After graduating college at age 17, Weis said he went on to earn a master’s degree in Accounting, a law degree and his Ph.D. in Finance by age 24. While completing these degrees, Weis said he worked as a teaching assistant. Discouraged by the approach to teaching business he had encountered, Weis left teaching for successful careers at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. He said when he chose to return to the teaching profession, he meant to change how business was taught.

“The teaching process had to change,” said Dr. Weiss. “I saw from my own experience as a student learning from Ph.D.s who had no experience in the business world that a new framework for educating had to be put into place. As a teacher, I wanted to become a facilitator in a team building process of education.”

Weis’ framework included bringing into the classroom as teachers some of the most successful business world leaders. 

Weiss said he was truly excited about the end result of The Leadership Alliance program.

“This program’s end result is to have a working plan ready to be executed. This approach is a first,” he said.

The working plan Weis referred to is the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (MJHMP). The MJHMP will identify risks while developing mitigation, preparedness and response plans.

Bruce Walker brought almost 20 years of emergency management experience in private industry with him when he became Putnam’s deputy county executive in November of 2011. Working to form ties between the public and private sector was not in his field of expertise. 

“That changed once I took office and the County Executive gave us our charge of creating these kinds of partnerships,” he said.

It didn’t take Walker long to build those kinds of strong working relationships and when Super Storm Sandy struck, response from the whole was, in his words, “truly excellent.” Still, there were lessons that were learned. In meetings held post-Sandy, problems were identified and documented. Among the suggestions made in these follow-up discussions were the ideas of training stakeholders from the private sector together with those from the municipalities and having in place a working plan that would be “cutting edge in the industry.”

Several faculty members involved in teaching the courses were present as were representatives from stakeholder businesses. Among the Mercy staff in attendance were Dr. Matthew Miraglia, director of Mercy’s Corporate and Homeland Security program, Victoria Roberts Drogin, Esq., executive director of the School of Business, Professor Christopher Salute, associate dean of the School of Business, Assistant Professor Benjamin Manyindo and Dr. Gazmen Xhudo.

Stakeholder businesses in attendance included Putnam Hospital Center, the Paladin Center, Central Hudson Gas & Electric and New York State Gas & Electric as were representatives from Putnam’s Bureau of Emergency Services.

Courses will begin on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 and will be held at the Putnam County Emergency Services Training and Operations Center in Carmel.

For registration information, call 877-MERCY-GO or e-mail: admissions@mercy.edu.