POUGHKEEPSIE – The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley announced Kimberley S. Williams as its new chair, along with several newly elected trustees and officers.

Leading citizens from across the Hudson Valley serve on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. These Board Officers and Trustees represent all regions of the Community Foundations’ service area and are chosen for their expertise in matching resources with new challenges and opportunities.

They bring a wide range of skills in business, finance and marketing to managing the foundation’s community-focused charitable assets and grant-making activities.

“The Community Foundations is equally fortunate and grateful for the exceptional volunteers that comprise its Board of Trustees,” said March S. Gallagher, Esq., President & CEO. “These individuals are deeply committed to the community, as demonstrated by their professional work and personal avocations. Our newest appointees will further enhance the wealth of knowledge and perspective this body has to grow the Foundations and best serve our region.”

In addition to the election of Kimberley S. Williams as Board Chair, Trustees elected several new officers from its current cohort, including: Darlene L. Pfeiffer, as Chair of the Ulster County Advisory Board; Brenda K. Santoro, as Chair of the Audit Committee; Chip Simon, CFP, as Chair of the Garden Party Committee; Thomas J. Murphy, as Chair of the Development Committee.

of Dutchess County is well-known throughout the region as the Vice President for Retail Operations at Williams Lumber and Home Centers. With a career spanning over three decades, Kimberley has helped transform Williams into the largest family owned home center in the Hudson Valley and one of the largest ACE Hardware’s in America. She is as dedicated to growing her family’s business, as she is to improving the community – evident through her participation on numerous non-profit and advisory boards and, through Williams Lumber, sponsorship of many community-oriented events and fund raisers. She served on the board of the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce for 6 years, and was an integral part of the Northern Dutchess Hospital renovation, helping to bring a $10 million capital campaign to fruition, which supported a $22 million building and renovation project that transformed the delivery of healthcare in the region. She has been recognized through several organizations for her contributions, including: the Next Generation Award from the Dutchess County

Regional Chamber of Commerce; the Family of the Year Award from Family Services; the Business of the Year award from Abilities First; honored by the Claudio Cares Foundation; Lumber Person of the Year by Mid Hudson Lumber Dealers Association; Top Women in Business by Hudson Valley Magazine; and others.

The Foundations also appointed the following new Trustees:

Aziz M. Ahsan, Esq is a Patent, Trademark, Internet, and Intellectual Property Law Attorney. He was born in Pakistan, and became a US Citizen in 1984. Mr. Ahsan received his BS (Aeronautical Engineering), MS (Mechanical Engineering), and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He later received a Juris Doctorate degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He has written numerous articles and opinion pieces on a variety of issues for local, regional, national, and international publications. Many of his works have also been used by many educational, and other institutions, including an award winning book. Mr. Ahsan is a 9/11 survivor, and was a subject of two PBS TV documentaries, one NBC TV documentary, and one MSNBC TV documentary. Mr. Ahsan is a recipient of numerous honors, awards,and patents. He believes strongly in community engagement and serves, or has served, on a variety of boards: Trustee Mid-Hudson Islamic Association; Advisory Board of the Poughkeepsie Journal; Board Member of Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum; Chairman and Member Town of East Fishkill Zoning Board of Appeals; Member Town of East Fishkill Planning Board; and Board Member Eastern New York Intellectual Property Law Association. Additionally, he was elected President and Trustee for the Wappingers Central School District, 2009-2012.

Mellany Bagtas, CFP is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor at the Poughkeepsie Office of Merrill Lynch. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mount Saint Mary College with a degree in Business with a concentration in Finance. In addition to being a Certified Financial Planner, she also holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (sm) (CRPC®) designation, awarded by The College for Financial Planning. Before joining Merrill Lynch, Mellany was a Banker at JP Morgan Chase. Ms. Bagtas serves as the Immediate Past President on the Board of Directors for Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council and served on the board of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Foundation. She is also the Founder and President of the Hudson Valley Physician Families Alliance. She is a recipient of the “Orange County Rising Star” award and a proud graduate of Leadership Dutchess.

Michael Fleischer served as President of Holby Valve Company, Inc., a worldwide seller of water temperature control devices for 30 years. Concurrent to leading Holby Valve Company, he managed several family-owned buildings in Manhattan. Prior to those engagements, Michael spent time as a Superintendent for Operations at Suffolk County Parks Service, managed political campaigns and spent five years as a classroom teacher. Mr. Fleischer has a Bachelor of Science from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and a Master of Arts from Stonybrook, NY. He serves as the Director of the William Brown Foundation, and on the boards of Walkway Over the Hudson and the Arthur B. Brown Trust in New York City.

About The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Serving all of Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster counties, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley is a driving force in philanthropy in the region, distributing funds from thousands of donors to connect people who care with causes that matter.

Administering more than $60 million in assets, we work with donors to provide grants and scholarships, establish endowment funds for nonprofits and other charitable causes, and collaborate with government, private foundations and local leaders to address current and emerging needs.

Learn more at www.CommunityFoundationsHV.org.

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