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June 20, 2017
For Release: Immediately
Central Hudson Recognizes Volunteers, Organizations

Five employee-volunteers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., together with the Mid-Hudson Valley organizations they support, were honored this month at Central Hudson’s 28th annual Community Service Award event.

“Central Hudson employees are dedicated to the communities they serve, volunteering their time, talent and resources to improve the quality of life for many in our region,” said Sharon McGinnis, Vice President of Human Resources and Safety at Central Hudson.  “While many are active volunteers and serve our customers in their normal course of work, each year five individuals together with the agencies they serve are recognized. These employees and agencies are examples of how volunteers and organizations can work together to improve our communities.”

This year, the following employees and the organizations they serve are recognized:

  • Marc Alston, Associate District Director, has volunteered at the Andrew’s/St. Luke’s Food Pantry in the City of Beacon for three years. The organization provides low-income families with healthy groceries and non-perishable products on a weekly basis. Alston helps sort, pack and unpack food for deliveries, and is often joined by his wife, children and his mother who travels from Queens. Alston said it is important to pass on the value of volunteerism to his children like his parents did when he was young.
  • David Bailin, Gas Mechanic Welder, was honored for his service with the Gardiner Fire Department. He has volunteered with the department for more than 20 years, and the last eight as the chief. Bailin is involved in every aspect of the department, including fundraising, developing the specifications of trucks and equipment and the design of the new firehouse in 2012. He also spends much of his time training new volunteers. Bailin joined the department while he was in high school as the organization’s first cadet, and his mother served as a rescue captain.
  • Lisa Kopp, Customer Service Representative, was recognized for her service with Leptondale Elementary Parent Teacher Organization. Kopp has been with the group for eight years and served as secretary of the executive board since 2013. She has chaired several fundraising events, including craft nights, holiday events and talent shows, which are critical in supporting field trips and other programs for the students. She also helped design this year’s yearbook. Kopp hopes her dedication to the school inspires her children to do the same when they are older.
  • Erika Grey, Clerical Customer Service Representative, has served as a firefighter, fire police officer and trustee with the Pleasant Valley Fire Company since 2004, and has also been the president and treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary. Grey has been active in the community, raising money for Operation Santa in which she helped fill 500 stocking to send to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as many other community fundraisers. She also visits local schools to teach children the basics of fire safety.
  • Ernie VanDeMark, Project Director, has been a member of the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce since 1999, and has served as the president of Chamber Foundation’s board for three years. The organization helps to create and support an environment in which business can succeed and the quality of life in the community is enhanced, and the Foundation awards educational scholarships each year, recognizing unique individuals who have made a difference in the community, school, or workplace. VanDeMark is credited with helping the organization overcome challenging economic times, and spearheading the purchase of a new commercial building in 2005.


Each recognized community organization received a $1,000 contribution from Central Hudson. “We congratulate these employees for their spirit of volunteerism, and offer our support to assist the agencies they serve in achieving their missions,” said McGinnis.

For 28 years, Central Hudson’s Community Service Award has recognized employees who help improve the quality of life in the Hudson Valley. Since 1989, 140 employees and organizations have received the Award, and more than $65,000 in contributions has been donated to the recognized organizations.

For more information on Central Hudson in the community, visit


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From left, Central Hudson employees Marc Alston, David Bailin, Lisa Kopp, Erika Grey and Ernie VanDeMark were honored for their civic engagement at the energy company’s 28th annual Community Service Awards. The annual event recognizes five employees and the organizations they serve.


Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is a regulated transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 380,000 customers in portions of eight counties of New York State's Mid-Hudson River Valley; it delivers natural gas and electricity in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends from the suburbs of metropolitan New York City north to the Capital District at Albany. Its mission is to deliver electricity and natural gas to an expanding customer base in a safe, reliable, courteous and affordable manner; to produce growing financial returns for its owner; to foster a culture that encourages employees to reach their full potential; and to be a good corporate citizen. Visit for more information.