Community Service Awards

In 1989, Central Hudson established its Community Service Award Program to recognize those employees of the Company who not only carry out the spirit of Central Hudson into their communities but who help improve the quality of life throughout the Hudson Valley. One-hundred-forty-five employees have received the Award since 1989.

Most recent recipients


Paul Wright volunteers on the planning committee of the Onteora Central School District’s Belleayre Bash, which gives graduating seniors a memorable send-off in a safe, drug-free and alcohol-free environment during an overnight graduation party. For three years he has helped organize, facilitate and chaperone the party because he wants to help the students avoid costly mistakes, reach their potential and create a sense of community. His involvement has strengthened his relationship with his children and demonstrates how to be responsible and caring. He plans on staying involved in the event after his son graduates this year. 


For more than five years, George Harris has been volunteering with the Wappingers Falls Youth Football and Cheer organization in all areas, including coaching, designing the team’s logo, representing the organization at school open houses and fundraising. He also takes vacation time to coach winter clinics. Most important, Harris mentors the children by providing structure and support that goes beyond coaching. He provides transportation when needed and attends conferences with the principal for players who are struggling in school. 


Danielle Whiteley has been active in her community since she was a young child, and increased her volunteerism when she was in college. Whiteley’s involvement helped launch Angels of Light, a Millbrook-based nonprofit that gives gifts to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The foundation has grown from six families to more than 125 in four years. Whiteley is on the executive board and serves as the vice president. She assists with fundraising, recruits volunteers, organizes and attends community events, and shops, wraps and delivers gifts.


For seven seasons, Brett Arteta has been volunteering with the Wallkill Area Little League. He is a board member, equipment manager, division director and coach of two teams. As a coach, Arteta teaches children the game of baseball and the value of teamwork. As a board member, he helps make decisions to keep the league successful and ensures that each team has updated and safe equipment.


Ron Watkins is a board member of the FRAXA Research Foundation and the head of the Hudson Valley chapter. He joined the nonprofit in 1999, shortly after his son was diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges and various physical characteristics. He helps fundraise and decides which research grants receive funding. The events organized by Watkins and his wife have raised more than $1 million, improved community awareness and provided support for families. His goal is to find a cure and support research.

All recipients

The years listed reference the year for which the honorees were nominated. Awards are announced and presented each following year.

Central Hudson employee Organization
Paul Wright Onteora Central School District
George Harris Wappingers Falls Youth Football and Cheer 
Danielle Whiteley Angels of Light
Brett Arteta Wallkill Area Little League
Ron Watkins FRAXA Research Foundation
Central Hudson employee Organization
Marc Alston St. Andrew's/St. Luke's Food Pantry
David Bailin Gardiner Fire Department
Lisa Kopp Leptondale Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization
Erika Grey Pleasant Valley Fire Company
Ernie VanDeMark New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce
Central Hudson employee Organization
Eric Kiszkiel Cub Scouts
Karen Lo Chamber Foundation's Youth Leadership Program
Donna Medici Vassar Warner Home
Barry Henck Kingston Area Soccer League
Gary Cassaro Community Missions Program
Central Hudson employee Organization
Derek Apa Coxsackie-Athens Little League
Amy Dittmar Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie
Jeff Johnson Nimrod Lodge No. 96 Free and Accepted Masons Prince Hall
James Jolly Kingston Swim Club
Carrie Kahela-Warren Sacred Heart Youth Group
Central Hudson employee Organization
Jean Cady Salt Point Volunteer Fire Company
Dan Harkenrider Triple Threat AAU Basketball
Lauren Lawlor Gateway Community Industries Foundation
Douglas Lewis Esopus Fire Department
Hal Turner Millbrook Youth Hockey Association
Central Hudson employee Organization
Sean Cross New Windsor Little League
Paula Ferretti American Cancer Society
Suzanne Ostrander Town of Newburgh Ambulance Corps.
Mary Ann DePew Plattekill Veterans Committee
Shawn Heppner Ulster Hose Company
Central Hudson employee Organization
Steve Burger Transformation Life Center
Darlene Clay Hudson Valley Knights
Tim Hayes Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Teresa Leske Silver Starlites Baton Twirling Team
Robert Miller Kiskatom Fire Department
Central Hudson employee Organization
Sandra Brady Wappingers Falls Historical Society
Joseph Croshier Dutchess County SPCA
David Dittmann Town of Poughkeepsie Little League
Jocelyn Swart Cub Scout Pack 70
Paul Tesoro Food Bank of the Hudson Valley
Central Hudson employee Organization
Denise Bliss Cystic Fibrosis
Kyle Bragg Highland Fire Dept
Ralph Frisenda Red Hook VFW 7765
Stanley Kardas Poughkeepsie Farm Project
Barbara MacIsaac Boy Scout Troop 182
Central Hudson employee Organization
Kevin Casey Marlboro Youth Baseball & Softball
Nancy Ellis Millerton Fire Co. Rescue Squad
John Borchert Cub Scout Pack 93
Mike Lennon Cairo-Durham Little League
Chris Thomas United Way of Dutchess County
Central Hudson employee Organization
Hans Schick Rebuilding Together – Dutchess County
Peggy Libonati Ladies Auxiliary – Marlboro Hose Co. No. 1
Karen Kosack Hudson Valley Autism Society – Chapter #512
Sephir Hamilton The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
Betty Lassi Puppies Behind Bars
Central Hudson employee Organization
Bill Brandt Saugerties Cub Scouts
Kevin Umhey Kairos Prison Ministry
Marc Alexander Gardiner Fire Department
Luis Herrera Poughkeepsie Little League
Chris DeRoberts Boy Scouts Troop 1 Carmel
Central Hudson employee Organization
Mike Spector Junior Achievement NE NY
Cynthia Crowley St. Joseph’s Mother Group Glasco
Dan Moruzzi Glasco-East Kingston Little League
Dave Sunderlin   New Windsor Girls Softball League
Don Beesmer Ulster Fillies Fast Pitch Team
Central Hudson employee Organization
Donna Johnson  Beulah Baptist Church Youth Group and Choir
Diana Taber Dutchess First Quilters
John Maserjian Poughkeepsie Children’s Museum
Lauren Lewis Hyde Park Pop Warner
Central Hudson employee Organization
William Cotting Rhinecliff Fire Dept.
Paula Ferretti Brownie Troop 175
Timothy Hayes Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Joseph Landi St. Remy Fire Dept.
Margaret Whalen Girl Scout Troop 556
Central Hudson employee Organization
Frederick A. Dorrer, Jr. Rhinebeck Volunteer Fire Dept.
Lorraine M. Gilbert American Red Cross
Ronald C. Roberts Christmas in April
Tina J. Romaine Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School
Leonard T. Shustack Hudson River District – Boys Scouts of America
Central Hudson employee Organization
Gail Carney Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Ulster County
Tara Earley Pals for Preemies
Michael Hogan Croft Corners Fire Company, Inc.
James Malloy Orange County Farmer’s Museum
Paul Tesoro American Heart Association
Central Hudson employee Organization
Karen M. Aguiar Autism Directory Service, Inc.
David P. Carnright Cornwall Youth Football League
Gary J. Courtney Hyde Park Baseball, Inc.
Susan J. Murray Puppies Behind Bars
Thomas J. Occhiogrosso Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County
Central Hudson employee Organization
Anna M. Cannon & American Cancer Society
Louise B. Costello  
Martin W. Daley Red Hook Little League
Catherine M. Doyle Mental Health Association of Dutchess County
Thomas R. Forrester Hudson Valley Council – Boy Scouts of America
Susan R. Tokle Cub Scouts – Rondout Valley School District
Central Hudson employee Organization
Theodore S. Bickert St. Remy Fire Department
Kay A. Clairmont Project Linus
Thomas G. Eastwood Cornwall Cooperative Extension of Putnam Co.
Christopher J. Staiger Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9595
Bernard Gillick, Jr. Cornwall Little League
Central Hudson employee Organization
Robert Gosda Storm King Fire Engine Co. #2
Richard McDonald Wallkill Area Youth Soccer Club Inc.
Mark Mulpeter Literacy Volunteers of America – Dutchess
Michael Kinsch Habitat for Humanity – Ulster
Diane Stone American Cancer Society
Central Hudson employee Organization
Valerie Delmar American Heart Association
Peter Lavezzo Kingston HS Booster Football Club
Michael Moshier Hyde Park Baseball League
Robert Olivet LaGrange Fire Department
Carlo Scagnelli Rhinebeck Lions Club
Central Hudson employee Organization
Wayne Chernek City of Newburgh Little League
Marianne Grace American Field Service Intercultural Programs
Gordon Janow Rhinebeck Fire Department
Andrew I. Lenec American Heart Association
Larry Yarter Boy Scouts of America – Rip Van Winkle Council
Central Hudson employee Organization
Dan Brown Kingston American Little League
Roberta DeMaio We’ve H.A.D. (Highland Against Drugs) Enough!
Dave Merte Community Services Programs, Inc.
Sue Naitza Town of Poughkeepsie Soccer Club
Cathy Stortini Town of Poughkeepsie Soccer Club
Central Hudson employee Organization
Thomas Bradway CYO Basketball
Thomas Brocks Regina Coeli CYO Basketball
Charles Farcher Cub Scout Pack #37 in Saugerties
Linda Pierce Vassar Brothers Hospital Mother’s Club
Rosella Woody Newburgh Interfaith Emergency Housing
Central Hudson employee Organization
Russell Bevier City of Newburgh Auxiliary Police
John Fariello New York Special Olympics
Joe Newman Hudson River Housing – Gannett House
Neil Richter Highland Little League
Charles Tuttle Pleasant Valley Fire Department No. 1
Central Hudson employee Organization
Jackie Chatfield American Cancer Society
Terry Martin Beacon Recreation Commission
Robin Moore Dutchess County YMCA
Rich Sansbury Valley Central Youth Football League
Barry Worth Hudson Delaware Council Boy Scouts of America
Central Hudson employee Organization
Ted Lorenz Saugerties Babe Ruth League
Carol Marquard-Young Poughkeepsie Children’s Home
Gerda Peralta Mental Health Association
Sylvia Rorschach Clintondale Friends Meeting
Barbara Weiss Vassar Brothers Hospital
Central Hudson employee Organization
Connie Flickenschild Hudson Delaware Council Boy Scouts of America
Bob Hansut Kingston City Hospital
Fred Schmalberger Literacy Volunteers
Barbara Taylor Business & Professional Club of YMCA
Viv Williams The Mended Hearts