15th Annual Ulster County Business Recognition Awards Announced

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August 20, 2019

Michael Bernholz, owner of Pine Ridge Dude Ranch in Kerhonkson and Hudson Valley Appraisal Corp. in Port Ewen, has been selected as the 2019 Ulster County Business Person of the Year.

Bernholz is one of eight honorees by the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Ulster County Economic Development Alliance in announcing their 15th Annual Business Recognition Awards. Chamber President Ward Todd said the awards annually recognize Ulster County business leaders, businesses and organizations that are leaders in their sectors, have achieved outstanding results, or shown dedication and commitment to furthering business and the quality of life in Ulster County.

Bernholz has owned the Pine Ridge Dude Ranch for almost two years and has invested more than $2 million in renovating the attraction, which has been recognized as a top family and resort location by several prominent groups and publications. Bernholz employs more than 100 people across his various businesses, including Hudson Valley Appraisal Corp., which has been in Port Ewen since 1983 as well as a marina in Kingston, a shopping plaza in Shokan and numerous other residential and commercial properties.

This year’s other honorees include:

Business of the Year—Trailways of New York, the largest intercity bus company in the state, employs more than 400 people and transports travelers more than 8 million miles a year. The company recently renovated its 1970s flagship terminal in Kingston. The terminal in Kingston handles about 40 buses a day and 250,000 passengers a year. Founded in 1926, the company today operates under Adirondack Trailways, Pine Hill Trailways and New York Trailways.

Small Business of the Year—Bailey Pottery Equipment, known around the world for its innovative and quality-built pottery equipment, began in Midtown Kingston 40 years ago this year with one employee. The company now employs 29. Jim and Anne Bailey started the company out of a rented factory space, but they grew a mail-order catalogue business into one that occupies a 28,000-square-foot business on Ten Broeck Avenue in Kingston and has expanded to more space on Foxhall Avenue.

Emerging Young Leader—Christopher Bowers joined The Reis Group in 2015 after graduating from SUNY Oneonta and has made a name for himself in the local insurance industry as someone who treats his clients and their businesses as his own. Bowers also serves on the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and is Chairman of the Membership Committee. Among his many volunteer positions is helping his mother, Rondout Savings Bank President Cheryl Bowers, run the Lions Club’s Thanksgiving dinner for the blind.

Tourism Business of the Year—The industrial-chic Senate Garage, located in Uptown Kingston, has been one of Ulster County’s premier tourist attractions since opening in 2015. The venue has hosted weddings (with the historic Senate House just outside), concerts, banquets and large gatherings since being renovated from an industrial space into a luxurious event space by owners Don and Judy Tallerman.

Commitment to the Community—Ulster Literacy Association, founded in 1979 around a kitchen table, helps 400 people a year learn to read with the help of 200 eager volunteers, many of whom are seniors. Ulster Literacy, through a variety of programs, teaches English and literacy skills on farms, in the county jail, homes and wherever someone needs help.

The Heritage Award—The Savona Family, which owns four local restaurants, has been an integral part of Ulster County’s business community for more than 40 years. Patriarch Manny Savona and his wife Ceil left Brooklyn in 1972 looking for a new place to raise their family.  They stopped after two hours in Kingston and found “home.” They opened their first pizzeria on Albany Avenue in Kingston not long after arriving and the rest is history. The family tradition of dining excellence now continues under sons Stephen and Daniel.

Len Cane Heart of Ulster County Award— Tony Marmo, the owner of Normann Staffing in Kingston, is one of the busiest men in Ulster County with a true heart for others. Besides helping people find work at his day job, Marmo’s volunteer resume is impressive: he is a 35-year member of Rotary International and is currently the Rotary District Governor Elect for District 7210, an eight-county region in the Hudson Valley. He co-founded the Ulster County Italian American Foundation and serves on the Board of the YMCA of Kingston & Ulster County and the Ulster County Workforce Development Board. He is a volunteer co-host on Kingston Community Radio and has been since 2004. His past service includes nearly a decade on the Board of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce including two years as Chairman as well as two terms on the Chamber Foundation Board. He has served on the Boards of the New York/New Jersey American Cancer Society, Ulster Performing Arts Center, Mid-Hudson American Heart Association, Junior Achievement in Ulster County and the Alzheimer’s Association. He is the former President and CEO of Kingston Hospital.

“The Chamber would like to congratulate the recipients and offer special thanks to those who provided the nominations and the independent panel for the final selections,” said Todd. “These Best of Ulster County awards are peer-driven and an excellent way for the business community to recognize outstanding efforts.”

The award recipients will be honored at the annual Recognition Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern, 25 S. Partition St. in Saugerties. Tickets are $125 each and the dinner begins with cocktails at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Chamber website at www.UlsterChamber.org. To be a sponsor of the dinner, contact Bob Hirsch at (845) 338-5100 or Bob@UlsterChamber.org.

Ward Todd, President/CEO
(845) 338-5100