Central Hudson Announces More than $1 Milliion in Grants and Community Assistance to Support Local COVID-19 Initiatives

COVID-19 Information from Our Partners at Central Hudson


Mar 26, 2020

Central Hudson Announces More than $1 Million in Grants & Community Assistance to Support Local COVID-19 Initiatives.

Utility continues to provide essential energy services while supporting communities

(Poughkeepsie, NY)

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. will provide regional organizations financial contributions to support their COVID-19 campaigns and missions, and will offer $1 million in economic development grants to assist local small businesses, many of which are impacted by the pandemic.   In addition, the utility is expanding its Good Neighbor Fund, a program that provides last resort grants toward utility bills for qualified households, funded by customers and matched by Central Hudson, by doubling its matching funds this year.

“We are in an unprecedented environment, and many community organizations are struggling to provide needed services for impacted residents in our region,” said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO of Central Hudson. “By contributing to the region’s major human services organizations, we hope to support their efforts to assist those in need.

“In addition, our local businesses and low-income households are especially impacted. Working with our community partners, this support will provide needed assistance during this emergency.”

Central Hudson will provide funding to the following organizations and initiatives:

  • $25,000 to Ulster County Project Resiliency – a countywide partnership to organize fundraising, meal delivery, and other support to those in need throughout the county following the outbreak of COVID-19. Funds raised will be used to purchase meals from local businesses and not-for-profit organizations, helping to keep dollars circulating in the local food economy.  This fund is being administered by the United Way of Ulster County.
  • $25,000 to Dutchess Responds – A coordinated effort with local agencies to respond to the needs of communities.  Established through Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, the fund provides critical needs including food, medications and household essentials to individuals experiencing hardships or quarantine restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
  • $25,000 to Orange & Sullivan COVID-19 Response Fund -The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan coordinates this fund, used to address immediate and longer-term needs of residents in Orange and Sullivan counties. This fund will distribute grants to established nonprofit organizations that provide front-line services to the counties’ most vulnerable populations – food and essentials for vulnerable families, such as prescription drug deliveries to homebound senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems.
  • $20,000 to Hudson Valley Food Bank – This organization distributes food to the charitable agency network serving disadvantaged residents. Central Hudson will also donate reusable grocery bags.
  • $5,000 to the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz for medical masks for COVID-19 mobile testing sites and the local medical community – The SUNY New Paltz Additive Manufacturing Center is using its 3-D printing capabilities to produce face shields for regional health care organizations, including Ulster County for the drive-through mobile testing station at Tech City and local hospitals and medical centers. Central Hudson was an initial funder of the 3-D Center through its economic development programs.
  • Good Neighbor Fund – Double Central Hudson’s corporate match of the Good Neighbor Fund for the next six months, for up to an additional $50,000.
  • $1 million in economic development for small business in 2020, working with county and state economic development partners.


Customer Support

“In addition to assisting communities, we are committed to supporting our customers during this challenging time,” said. Freni.

He explained that Central Hudson has temporarily suspended field collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Central Hudson’s customer service representatives will continue to work with customers who need more time to pay their bill in this challenging time. Customers who have concerns about bill payment or other Central Hudson services are encouraged to reach out using Central Hudson’s online “web chat” feature, via email through the “Contact Us” page on the website, or by phone at 845-452-2700. For payment assistance options, visit www.CentralHudson.com/account-resources/assistance-programs/.

The utility is also supporting local restaurants affected by current restrictions on dining out by offering customers a $30 gift card to the eatery of their choice to the first 200 who enroll in paperless billing. More information is available on Central Hudson’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CentralHudson.

For more information how Central Hudson is addressing the Coronavirus pandemic, visit w.ww.CentralHudson.com

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Think Dutchess Update Regarding COVID-19, March 16, 2020


Think Dutchess Alliance for Business- Update on COVID-19


Economic Development organization remains vigilant at maintaining the economic stability of Dutchess County amid pandemic.


March 16, 2020


In light of the rapidly changing current events in regard to COVID-19, we want our business community to know that Think Dutchess is committed to the health, safety and economic well-being of our community and businesses.

In an effort to control the spread of this disease our staff is working both on-site and remotely. At the moment, our offices are open to assist you and answer any questions you may have during these unprecedented times. We ask that you call 845.463.5400 before you visit the office to assure that the right person is available to help, or email info@thinkdutchess.com to be directed to someone that can assist your business

As we enter a new phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to note that Think Dutchess Alliance for Business is working closely with our partners to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date information. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the recommendations of Dutchess County and NY State Government as well as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Think Dutchess will remain vigilant in bringing together our partner organizations and resources to assure the economic stability of our Dutchess County businesses and nonprofits during, and after, this pandemic. We are actively collaborating and seeking solutions to support our community during, and in the aftermath of this extraordinary event. To further support our business community our Alliance partners have come together to bring you the Dutchess Business Notification Network. Subscribers to the Think Dutchess newsletter may receive important communications and information via the BNN in an effort to share important updates, guidelines, and information that our businesses and community will need going forward. If you wish to receive these communications you can do so by emailing : Contact@DutchessBNN.com. Additionally, we will continue to provide you updates via our social media channels and newsletter.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

And thank you for “Think”ing Dutchess.


For more information about COVID-19 and what Dutchess County is doing to prevent the spread visit:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The New York State Department of Health

Dutchess County Government




About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business is the one-stop shop for business development needs and activities in Dutchess County, New York. A business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation, Think Dutchess’ mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention, expansion and attraction; financial counseling and deal structuring; zoning and permitting; commercial real estate; innovation and technology; strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit www.thinkdutchess.com

These Dutchess County Destinations Drive Economic Development

Dutchess County- Visit. Play. Start. Stay.

According to a recent Forbes article, the Hudson Valley is one of the top places to visit in 2020. While Dutchess County residents have long been aware of the many historic, cultural and culinary treasures to savor in the area, it’s important to note the role tourism plays in our economy. Generating more than $600 million in spending, creating jobs, and attracting visitors and other related businesses, tourism is part of our economic engine driving investment.

From historical spots like Locust Grove, Val-Kill and the FDR National Historic Site, to outdoor amenities like Mt. Beacon, Dover Stone Church and everything in between, our one-of-a-kind destinations have spawned successful industry clusters and communities as a result of tourism. Take a look at a few of the top destinations that drive economic development in Dutchess County.


At the forefront of revitalization. Dia:Beacon’s transformation of a long-vacant manufacturing facility re-energized the city of Beacon. As artists came to admire the works at Dia:Beacon, other creatives discovered the benefits of combining proximity and location with an unsurpassed quality of life. Visitors and entrepreneurs like Niche Modern were drawn to Dutchess County to build a booming craft manufacturing industry and revitalize the city of Beacon.

The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park-

An educational institution known to outsiders as the go-to spot for fine dining, famous graduates include the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Cat Cora and Duff Goldman, just to name a few. While outsiders come to visit a culinary destination, we see it as an engine for tourism and talent. This educational facility infuses talent into the local, regional and worldwide food scene that have given Dutchess County restaurants like Mill House Brewery and Charlie Palmer’s Willow at the new Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Rhinebeck. As a key partner in the food and beverage industry the Culinary’s partnership in the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Summit brings access to educational networking opportunities for local food and beverage producers. Additionally, soon-to-open sake brewery, Asahi Shuzo noted that the CIA was a key factor in locating their new business in Dutchess County.

The Dutchess County Fairgrounds– 


While the Dutchess County Fair attracts approximately 500,00 visitors each year, the grounds are more than just the signal of summertime’s end. The second-largest fair in NY supports the agribusiness industry with hundreds of agricultural and horticultural booths, displays and events.  Additionally, it is home to the Sheep & Wool Festival, Food and Wine Festival, and the County Living Fair.  These events offer local farms, craft manufacturers and entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase and grow their businesses.

The Walkway Over the Hudson

The world’s second-longest pedestrian bridge hosts more than 500,000 visitors each year. While the bridge offers amazing views and healthy lifestyle options with its connections to the Dutchess, Hudson Valley and Empire State Rail Trail systems, it also helped draw attention to another city primed for redevelopment– Poughkeepsie. The river views have brought attention to the city’s waterfront and ease of travel to and from major metros. As new residents arrive, new housing developments like The Water Club and One Dutchess are building a luxurious waterfront community.  Additionally, nearby developments like 40 Canon and Queen City Lofts are building new community spaces and attracting additional options that enhance work, life and play like Fit Social and Revel 32.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur living in Dutchess, an existing business looking to expand, or you’ve visited Dutchess County and are thinking of relocating- Think Dutchess is your one-stop-shop for business development. Contact us with any questions: info@thinkdutchess.com.




Premiere Cares Urology Center Adds State-Of-The-Art Healthcare to A Growing Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       

Kristin Delia

Impact PR & Communications


(845) 462-4979




The 27,000 sq-ft. Medical Practice Marks the First Business to Open at Eastdale Village

POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK (January 14, 2020) – Local community members and elected officials joined Premier Urology to open its new headquarters location at Eastdale Village on Friday, January 10. The opening marks significant expansion for the urology practice in the Hudson Valley and for Eastdale Village, Poughkeepsie’s dynamic new community with residential, commercial and retail offerings on deck throughout 2020.

Premier Medical Urology Center Ribbon Cutting
Pictured from left are Giovanni Palladino (Kirchhoff Companies), Jon Jay Baisley (Town of Poughkeepsie Supervisor), Sue Serino (New York State Senator), Marcus Molinaro (Dutchess County Executive), Dr. Jason Krumholtz (Managing Partner of Premier Urology), Joseph Kirchhoff (Kirchhoff Companies), John Hettinger (Kirchhoff Companies), Sarah Lee (Think Dutchess Alliance for Business), Dr.Daniel Katz (Premier Medical Group).



On Friday, January 10, 2020, Eastdale’s first property opened for business- The Premier Medical Group’s Urology Center.  The 27,000 s/f facility will serve as the urology headquarters for the practice. The Urology Center will continue to place healthcare as a fast-developing industry and employment generator in Dutchess County. Adding 64 permanent jobs at opening— and more to come— the patient-centered facility will see 400 patients a day and serve as an industry leader bringing multiple sub-specialties, along with research, all under one roof to provide a seamless experience for patients.

For more information about Premier Medical Group Urology visit: https://www.premiermedicalhv.com/

For more information about Eastdale Village visit: https://www.eastdalevillage.com/

Announcing the Winners of the 2019 Business Excellence Awards

Winners showcase the behind-the-scenes heroes and leaders in our business community that leverage inclusion and diversified practices to achieve competitive advantage.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – August 20, 2019 — Think Dutchess Alliance for Business is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Business Excellence Awards. Each fall, the annual awards recognize key businesses and nonprofit organizations of all sizes and industries that are making a significant economic impact on Dutchess County.

This year’s awards celebration will be held on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  A selection committee, comprised of Dutchess County business leaders, determined winners based on a variety of criteria which contribute to overall economic development including innovation, creativity, community engagement and total impact made in their respective industry.

“This year’s winners all shared common missions, strategies, and practices which support a diverse business climate and build strong company cultures that strengthen economic development,” says Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess. “It’s a great honor to recognize these individuals and companies that enhance our community and truly make a Dutchess a great place live and work.”

The premier business event of the year will honor the following Dutchess County businesses:

  • Innovator of the Year: AccessadoorFor Dana Jones the day-to-day challenges of accessing doors inspired revolutionary technology. Together with a fellow Dutchess Community College student, Accessadoor was born in 2018 to change decades-old technology and create access for millions of differently-abled people everywhere. Now entering the manufacturing stage, these young innovators are a testament to the valuable educational resources and talent that exists in the area;
  • Nonprofit of the Year: Dutchess SCORE No community can survive without a strong entrepreneurial and small business sector. Subsequently, no small business can succeed without the support of mentors who provide guidance and education when it’s needed the most. SCORE’s free advisory services, provided by an all-volunteer team, helps encourage a diverse small business base and support our overall economic vitality;
  • Small Business of the Year: Earth, Wind & Fuego Operating out of the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, this gluten-free restaurant offers more than just tasty, healthy food. This woman-owned business provides innovative workforce re-entry solutions that work to include marginalized workforce groups and bring new skills to the local economy;
  • Large Business of the Year: S&O Construction Services, IncFor 32 years, locally owned S&O Construction Services, Inc. has been dedicated to generating and creating a qualified labor field in the trades through education, training and inclusion. Combined with a strong philanthropic commitment, S&O’s focus on fairness and giving back to its community has built a formula for success;
  • The Grand Award: iPark 84Since acquiring the former IBM East Fishkill Campus in 2018, the food hub at iPark 84 has already grown to include 8 significant tenants that support the county’s strong food and beverage industry and created opportunities to enhance the tech sector. Home to more than 2,700 employees on-site, the company seeks to develop the property further into the office of future attracting and retaining motivated and well-educated employees.
  • Special Recognition Award: Charles Daniels III– This year, Think Dutchess will also recognize Charles R. Daniels III of Rose & Kiernan in appreciation of his leadership in business, commitment to the community and his contribution to economic development in Dutchess County.

Tickets are on sale now for the October 24th event at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie.





Visit www.thinkdutchess.com to purchase tickets or find out about sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

Why Investment Continues to Grow in Dutchess County, NY

Located in the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County is quickly becoming one of the top business locations in New York. As the northernmost suburb of New York City, Dutchess County offers an affordable alternative to New York City living that is attracting the attention of young talent and businesses alike.

If you’re wondering what makes Dutchess a prime location for people and companies here are just a few benefits to living and working here:

The Perfect Location


Businesses and residents all agree that the quality of life in Dutchess is unsurpassed. Just 70 minutes to Beacon via MetroNorth Rail Road, and with easy access to major interstates, Dutchess is perfectly positioned to enjoy relief from lower metro area costs and congestion.  Additionally, rich in history and outdoor amenities, Dutchess provides an unsurpassed quality of life with access to myriads of recreational activities.

A Diverse Economy

Diverse Job Opportunities in Dutchess County

Our growing and healthy economy provides a wide range of jobs in many different industries from manufacturing and tech to agriculture and hospitality. Supported by a robust tourism sector, small businesses thrive in our revitalized cities and growing towns proving the strength of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Local growth is equally important to outside investment in creating our vibrant communities.

A Strong Support Network

Build your Dutchess County Workforce

Think Dutchess’ unique ability to connect small and large businesses to the services and support they need, helps companies of all sizes to succeed. Our partners provide access and resources to the business development, workforce development, education opportunities and capital a business might need.

An Inclusive Culture

A number of young professional organizations and community development initiatives, like First Friday provide ways to become a part of the network and leverage business and personal capabilities for a greater good. Additionally, community organizations, government initiatives, and even entrepreneurs like Innovation Challenge Winners Unlimited Tomorrow and Accessadoor, are part of a growing network of leaders expanding opportunities throughout the region.

A Revitalization Mindset

New construction and projects working to repurpose existing commercial and industrial spaces for new tenants, especially in our urban cores like the City of Beacon and the City of Poughkeepsie, are on the rise. Meanwhile, properties like 40 Cannon, Eastdale Village, Queen City Lofts, and more throughout the county expand affordable living options and provide city-style amenities.

All of these factors not only make Dutchess an attractive place to do business, they are also drawing young talent who are embracing the economic advantages living outside of big cities. Over the last few years, Dutchess County has seen an influx of out of state and foreign direct investment including New York’s largest sake brewery, Asahi Shuzo, in Hyde Park, NY. Want to see more of the success? Take a look at a few other businesses that have found success by choosing to Think Dutchess.

If you’re looking to expand or locate your business in Dutchess County, or are want to learn more about Dutchess County, contact

Sarah Lee



2019 Innovation Challenge Winners


Two Young Start-ups Impacting Underserved Industries Win Second Think Dutchess Innovation Challenge

High tech manufacturer, Unlimitted Tomorrow, and app company, Accessadoor, take first and second place in a close competition among cutting edge start-ups and social enterprises.




Last week, four semi-finalists competed in a live pitch competition at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, NY. The competitors represented industries from aviation, manufacturing, and the food and beverage sectors. Each presented a ten-minute pitch of unique products and solutions to a panel of well-established investment and business professionals. A cash and services prize package valued at more tha$5,000 was presented to the first and second place winners.

High-tech manufacturing company, Unlimitted Tomorrow, took first prize presenting an impressive initial funding round full of high profile investors and a compelling story of how the 3-D scanned and printed product came to life. The company, which produces 3-D printed Prosthetic limbs was founded by Easton LaChapelle. What began as a fascination with robotics and 3-D printing at age 13, garnered the attention of President Obama and backer, Tony Robbins. Today, 23 year old LaChapelle and Unlimited Tomorrow create an affordable solution for limb-loss patients using 3-D printing and scanning technology. After a successful crowd-sourced funding campaign, the company is ready to start production and pitched judges to assist in the process.

“This is a really exciting event to be a part of,” said LaChapelle of winning first prize in the Innovation Challenge. “It’s great to see Think Dutchess bring so many start-ups together and see the community support them like this.”

Local Dutchess Community College grad and Marist College student, Dana Jones of Accessadoor took home second prize showcasing her smartphone application. Born with a rare physical disability, Dana’s experience led her to solve her own challenges. Jones pitched a product to replace the technology in “blue-button” handicapped doors. Using impressive beta partners and showing a strong go-to-market strategy, Accessadoor was close second place winner.

“This has been a great experience,” said Jones of the coaching and support preparing for the Innovation Challenge. “I’m a Dutchess County native and want my business to start and stay here. Opportunities like this make that possible.”

Veteran owned and female-led aviation manufacturer, United Aircraft Technologies and local gluten-free restaurant, Earth, Wind and Fuego presented compelling pitches as well. Showcasing a novel solution to an aviation clamp the would reduce total aircraft weight, save companies millions of dollars in fuel costs, and increase worker safety and efficiency- UAT is bound for success and is certainly a company to watch. Additionally, local gluten-free restaurant, Earth, Wind and Fuego was a crowd favorite with their innovative social enterprise approach to solving employment issues for those encountering boundaries to employment.

“It was a really close race. The contestants this year really gave compelling pitches for some incredible products and services,” said Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess. “The Innovation Challenge was designed to encourage startups to plan their enterprises better and engage with local and regional support services. So, it’s exciting to see the number of entrepreneurs here in Dutchess ready to take advantage of these opportunities.”


More Photos Below

Contact Information:

Rachel Welch

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business




About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

A business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation, Think Dutchess’ mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention, expansion and attraction; financial counseling and deal structuring; zoning and permitting; commercial real estate; innovation and technology; strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit www.thinkdutchess.com

You Be the Judge

Meet the Judges of the 2019 Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge is right around the corner! On Wednesday, June 5 at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, four contestants will pitch their products and services for a chance at landing big investors and a cash and services prize package valued at nearly $9,000.

You can be part of the decision-making team. Those in attendance will help our esteemed judging panel select the first and second place winners in a live vote. Tickets are selling out fast to support leading Hudson Valley innovators. Purchase your tickets here to secure your seat!


Our judges:

Sheila Appel- U.S. Regional Director, Corporate Citizenship at IBM

Ms. Appel is responsible for leading the US team and overseeing a range of programs helping to establish IBM as a leader in a new breed of corporate philanthropy — an approach that promotes systemic social improvement largely through investments of technology, services, employee skills and volunteerism. Holding various management roles at IBM throughout her career, Ms. Appel is recognized as one of the top 100 women leaders in the Hudson Valley region and a key leader throughout New York State.

Ms. Appel was appointed by the New York State Commissioner of Education to serve on the NYS Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, appointed by SUNY Chancellor to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee for Higher Education in New York State, and serves on the NYS Education NextGen Science Standards committee and a member of the Empire State STEM Network.  Ms. Appel is the past Chair for the United Way of New York State and currently a board member of the Public Policy Institute of New York State. She also serves as board chair of the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, board member of the Westchester Business Council, Women’s Enterprise Development Corporation and was recently appointed to serve on the board of trustees for Dutchess Community College.

Ms. Appel has been recognized for numerous professional and community accomplishments including New York State “Woman of Distinction”; Future Business Leaders of America with the “Business Person of the Year”, YWCA Salute to Women Award, Dutchess Community College Hall of Fame Alumni of the Year in 2009; Marist College President’s Award in 2011, and received an award from Pattern for Progress, for a career supporting innovative education programs such as P-TECH schools to give high school students access to technical skills training.

Johnny LeHane- Managing Partner, Hudson Valley Start-up Fund; Head of Growth, Accel7; Co- Owner/Co-Founder, Co.; Co-Owner, Director of Sales and Operations; CLUBWAKA

Johnny is the Managing Partner of Hudson Valley Start-up Fund, Head of Growth at Accel7, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Co. co-working space in Rhinebeck, and the Director of Sales and Operations at CLUBWAKA. A proven leader in business and technical vision, creating and managing partnerships and assisting in the development of culture, brand image and service, Johnny excels at understanding and developing business solutions, helping technical and non-technical people understand each other, advocating ideas and bringing people of diverse backgrounds and philosophies together to achieve common goals. His specialties include: Business planning and development, process improvement, due diligence, brand identification, technical infrastructure, mobile workforce, social media, technology in education, franchising, online and offline social networks.

Chris Shaw- Vice President, Commercial Banker Mid-Hudson Region Chase Bank

Chris is a relationship banker for Hudson Valley-based middle market companies.

Before joining Chase, Chris founded CORE Leader, a leadership development company. While running CORE, Chris also founded the NYC chapter of Bunker Labs, a national non-profit that helps veterans start and grow businesses.

Previously, Chris served in the U.S. Army as an aviator in the 82nd Airborne Division. He flew OH-58D armed reconnaissance helicopters and deployed twice to Afghanistan.

Chris earned a BA from Cornell University in History and an MBA from NYU Stern. He lives in Garrison, NY with his wife, Alison, and son, Henry.

Noa Simons- Executive Director of Upstate Capital Association of New York.

Noa is the Executive Director of Upstate Capital Association of New York, a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to capital in Upstate New York. In her role, she manages a robust membership network and convenes events on technology, trends and best practices for deal-making to a wide-ranging audience including investors, entrepreneurs, service providers and professional advisors. In 2018, she took over running the statewide intercollegiate business plan competition (NYBPC), which lays the foundation for entrepreneurship for students. She is also co-founder and manager of the Hudson Valley Startup Fund, a member-managed seed capital fund investing in companies with high growth potential. Prior, Noa was a partner at TD Growth Capital based in Shanghai, China. Her investment work included worldwide technology sourcing, market analysis and diligence on deals both inside and outside China. Before joining that firm, Noa was interim CEO at Norton Motorcycles in Portland, Oregon and built and launched the digital archive housed at the Mary Ferrell Foundation.  She holds a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Economics and Latin American Studies from Brandeis University.

The Prep Team

Our semi-finalists had assistance from the following leaders who generously donated their time while preparing for the competition:

Eric Egeland

Mr. Egeland and Capacity Consulting have been helping clients accelerate success since 1999. We have consulted on and/or conducted hundreds of engagements in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. A published author and thought leader; Eric’s personal values are Caring, Candor, and Confidence. He insists on honesty and accountability and has an innate “need to know”.


Tony Fareed

With over 25 years of broad experience as a corporate executive & intrapreneur, deal-maker, advisor, entrepreneur, and investor, Tony Fareed spent the first 16 years of his career as a capital markets professional working within dynamic global financial institutions, including The Northern Trust Company, CME Group, and Société Générale Group.  In 2007, Fareed founded Bridge Global Capital Group, an independent investment banking and strategic growth advisory firm focused on assisting companies of all sizes and stages optimize market positioning, substantiate value, obtain capital, accelerate growth, and achieve successful exits.  To provide clients with more complete solutions, Fareed spun out 360accel, which is an innovative consulting platform that provides value creation solutions for companies, investors, and boards. Clients leverage 360accel’s proprietary system and pool of domain experts to help assess opportunities, design winning strategies, build stronger businesses, and accelerate sustainable growth.

He taught Entrepreneurship at Marist College (Adjunct Professor) and is an Advisor to and SUNY New Paltz’s HV Venture Hub. He also volunteers as a mentor to Marist College’s IDEA Center and USMA/West Point’s entrepreneurship program.  Fareed has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois; he is also a Certified Public Accountant and holds FINRA registrations 7, 24, 63 and 79 equivalent.

Thomas Hendrix

Thomas Hendrix is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Decisive Point, a venture advisory firm providing bespoke Government Contracting expertise to the DoD Innovation Community. Previously, Thomas was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Zx Ventures and has served as an advisor to multiple early stage ventures.  He began his career in the private sector as an Analyst at Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager and before that served in the U.S. Army for nearly 10-years as an Infantry and Special Forces Officer.  Thomas earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and holds a BS in American Legal Systems from the United States Military at West Point.

Helene Lesterlin

Helene Lesterlin is the Managing Director of Programs and Startup Services at The Trillions Co. and Idealab NY, focusing on impact investing and social innovation startups; Co-Founder and Managing Director of CO., a co-working co-op in Rhinebeck NY; advisory board member and mentor for Start.coop, an accelerator for cooperative startups; volunteer and parent at Primrose Hill School; former professional curator, artist, and producer in the contemporary arts and performance.

Lauree Ostrofsky

Lauree Ostrofsky helps women leap into meaningful careers and businesses. Clarify what they want and feel more confident putting themselves out there. She is the founder of Hudson Valley Women in Business with 2400 members in the region, and growing. Her books are, “SIMPLY LEAP: Seven Lessons on Facing Fear and Enjoying the Crap out of Your Life,” a happy how-to about reinventing yourself, and “I’m scared & doing it anyway,” about reinventing her own life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Find out more about her writing, speaking and hugging at SimplyLeap.com and @SimplyLeap on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


This event would not be possible without our sponsors:

Partner  Sponsors   

Innovation Challenge Leader Sponsor Central Hudson

Advocate Sponsors

Innovation Challenge Advocate Sponsor

Event Sponsors

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Fortune 500 Company to Develop its Largest State-Of-The-Art Semiconductor Factory in Dutchess County

Arizona chip fab manufacturer plans to add nearly 150 new high-tech jobs at East Fishkill, NY facility

Fortune 500 company ON Semiconductor recently announced that it will expand operations in Dutchess County, NY by purchasing and preserving the existing GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 10 manufacturing facility located in East Fishkill, NY.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ON Semiconductor will enter into a foundry supply arrangement whereby GLOBALFOUNDRIES will manufacture ON Semiconductor-specific chips at Fab 10 from mid-2019 through 2022 as ON Semiconductor increases staff and equipment installations each year.

With this decision, ON Semiconductor has committed to invest more than $720 million over 10 years in the East Fishkill facility. The company’s expansion is also backed by an investment to add nearly 150 high-tech jobs and retain a minimum of 950 existing jobs in Dutchess County.

ON Semiconductor’s decision to locate in East Fishkill will put the company alongside a number of other high-tech and fast-growing companies, including IBM, Gap, Sloop Brewing Co., More Good, Crepini and more. East Fishkill is also home to iPark City: a 300-acre branded mixed-use tech/flex redevelopment that supports growing technology companies from all fields, including digital-based, clean room and laboratory users, as well as offers retail, hotel and residential components.


“This is an exciting announcement for Dutchess County, and we are grateful to Empire State Development for brokering the expansion of ON Semiconductor, a U.S.-based, public traded Fortune 500 company, in New York State and Dutchess County,” said Dutchess County Executive, Marcus J. Molinaro. “Dutchess County continues to be where innovation happens, and we are excited to welcome ON Semiconductor into our community and shepherd in the latest technological innovations for automotive electrification, 5G mobile networks, alternative energy and more.”

ON Semiconductor has received support from various partners in its expansion decision. Empire State Development Corporation has offered to provide up to $17.5 million in grants toward the purchase of the Fab 10 property, facilities and certain manufacturing equipment and $22.5 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits related to its investment, new hiring and research and development over ten years.


Source: NY Gov


2019 Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced

Think Dutchess LogoRGB

Think Dutchess Announces Four Start-Ups to Compete in Pitch Competition

Four semi-finalists to pitch innovative business concepts to a live audience for a valuable prize package in the second competition hosted by Think Dutchess. 


POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – March 19, 2019 — Think Dutchess Alliance for Business has announced the  semi-finalists in the 2019 Innovation Challenge. Four pioneering startups will receive mentorship and coaching leading up to a live pitch event where they will compete for a valuable prize package of cash and business services. This year’s competition will be held at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 4:30-7pm.

“The Innovation Challenge supports companies in the process of creating and evaluating new business and social ventures,” says Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess. “In only its second year, this event has drawn the attention of high-tech businesses across the region with the potential to significantly impact a wide range of industries including advanced manufacturing, technology and social entrepreneurship. We are excited to watch the growth and success of an extremely talented pool of semi-finalists after this competition— but more importantly, to feel their impact both locally and globally.”

The applicants represent the ideals of Think Dutchess to highlight and develop the role of entrepreneurs and small businesses in creating jobs and attracting future business. This year’s semi-finalists are: Unlimited Tomorrow and Earth, Wind and Fuego, Accessador and United Aircraft Technologies. Think Dutchess will share more about the companies as they progress through the coaching and mentoring process on their website and social media channels.

A panel of esteemed judges and a live audience will determine the winner. Tickets are on sale now at https://thinkdutchess.com/innovation-challenge/.




About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business


A business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation, Think Dutchess’ mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention, expansion and attraction; financial counseling and deal structuring; zoning and permitting; commercial real estate; innovation and technology; strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit www.thinkdutchess.com


A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 11 agency partners creating a one-stop shop for your site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking needs.