Meet Our Ambassadors

Shelby Adrian- Kirchhoff Companies


Profession: 

Marketing Associate

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I have always been naturally attracted to Dutchess County, as I’ve lived here my entire life and so has my family. There is such a wide variety of things to do and a huge sense of community.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? 

I’ve always appreciated the small, organically grown communities that flourish within Dutchess County, and it’s been a dream of mine to one day be involved. My position at Kirchhoff Companies allows me to give back and get involved with these communities.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

The Dutchess County Fair is the ultimate Dutchess County activity. It’s something I’ve looked forward to every year since I was a child and will continue to look forward to for many years to come.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

While there are so many delicious and impressive eateries in Dutchess County, my newfound favorite would have to be Barbaro in Millbrook. They have a rigatoni dish that is phenomenal and I crave it constantly.

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? 

Dutchess County has the perfect mixture of greenery, suburbs, and even city. I think that someone visiting Dutchess County would be truly surprised at how diverse and versatile the outdoor scenery can be here. Within 30 minutes you can go from the City of Poughkeepsie to a dairy Farm in Millbrook.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? 

Dutchess County is a wonderful home for any business. There is a true sense of community here, even amongst those who you might consider competitors. Especially during this time, you can just see the overwhelming support from business owner to business owner.

 

Geoff Brault- Walkway Over the Hudson

Profession:

Director of Marketing and Communications, Walkway Over the Hudson. Play-by-Play Broadcaster, Marist College Athletics

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I fell in love with the Hudson Valley while attending Marist College. Upon graduation, I spent several years working freelance and traveling quite a bit, but always kept my base in Poughkeepsie.  I’m yet to find a reason to leave a place that’s within two hours from essentially every conceivable activity in the world.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? 

I’ve lived in Dutchess County longer than anywhere else in my life, and this is the first place I discovered a real sense of community. People here work together to accomplish big things – they’re forward-thinking, creative, and ambitious.  It’s gratifying to be in a place with that kind of spirit, and it has certainly made me better both personally and professionally.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

You mean when not trekking back and forth 212-feet above the Hudson River on the Walkway Over the Hudson, taking in the one-of-a-kind views on the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge that you can’t find anywhere else? I can usually be found playing a round of golf at The Links at Union Vale, one of the top-rated public courses in New York State, then meeting friends for a post-round beer at one of our award-winning breweries.  Seasonally, I don’t miss the Hot-Air Balloon Festival, Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival, and Dutchess County Fair – the second-largest in the state!

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

It is very unfair to ask me to pick only one, and I’m glad I don’t have to. The food scene here, highlighted by the Culinary Institute of America, is world class. There’s a reason the New York Times AND Esquire Magazine have hailed the Hudson Valley as “the Napa Valley of food”.  You won’t find a sandwich in your lifetime better than the one at Rossi Deli. For a casual night out with fare that’s anything but, Mill House Brewing Company. Trying to impress? Head to Rhinebeck and sit down at Terrapin, Gigi Trattoria, or Willow.  

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? 

How varied your options are. Whatever you’re into, you can find it here.  We have history at the FDR Estate, Vanderbilt Mansion, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, and the like. We have a burgeoning art scene highlighted by DIA:Beacon and the galleries on Main Street. If you’re outdoorsy, you can hike through mountain house ruins and up to fire towers, or enjoy kayaking on the river. Indoorsy people can spend a weekend at a five-star bed and breakfast and relax with spa treatments before sipping cocktails on a roof deck or riverfront patio. We have outdoor gardens, turn-of-the-century mansions, wineries, horse stables, NCAA Division I football and basketball, a professional baseball team, and even a zoo too!

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? 

Stay longer than you think you should.  Whatever is primarily drawing you to the area, there’s so much more to see and do and eat and discover just around the corner. You’ll never regret the extra night or two.

 

Kelly Lyndgaard- Unshattered

Profession: Founder and CEO of Unshattered

What attracted you to Dutchess?  Close enough to NYC to enjoy it but still rural enough to live in nature and be outdoors!

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role?  I moved here as an executive with a worldwide corporation and ended up resigning from my career to begin a small nonprofit and invest in my community. 

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity? Hiking

Favorite Dutchess County eatery? Tomas Tapas

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? How rural we are yet how close we are to many big cities and events. 

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? You won’t find a better mix of city mindset but country life. There are so many incredibly talented people doing incredibly amazing things all hidden in plain sight. You don’t have the hustle normally associated with high achievers but you still have the great businesses and resources that high achievers create. 

 

Nicholas Mauro – Marist College

Profession: Manager of Recruitment and Workforce Development at Marist College.  Owner, YourCareerSpark LLC, an HR consulting and career services firm.

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, and after college graduation I moved around the NYC area and New Jersey.  While away, I came to appreciate Dutchess County and looked for an opportunity to return.  I have called Dutchess County home again for the last 10 years.  During that time, I have found many opportunities personally, professionally and in volunteering in the community.  I will continue to call Dutchess County home for many years to come.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? 

Marist College is a leading higher education institution and I have been fortunate to be mentored by the College’s senior leadership.  Marist College is a special place to build a career.  There is also a strong business community in Dutchess County with a many talented, innovative, and ambitious leaders and entrepreneurs.   I was inspired by my participation in the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce program – Leadership Dutchess.  Leadership Dutchess is a unique opportunity to learn, grow and become involved in the community and the future of the region.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

One of my favorite past-times is an early morning bike ride on the Dutchess County Rail Trail across the Walkway Over the Hudson.  In the spring, summer and fall, First Friday in Poughkeepsie is a great outdoors festival and celebration of local businesses and restaurants.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

There are too many great eateries to choose from in Dutchess County.  For Italian check out Rossi’s Deli.  Craft beer and cocktails its Melzingah’s in Beacon or Schatzi’s in Poughkeepsie.  A night out for dinner, its Terrapin in Rhinebeck, Trattoria Locanda in Fishkill, or one of the great restaurants at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? 

Dutchess County is a diverse community that is large enough to have something for everyone but small enough to have a strong sense of community.  Dutchess has some of everything that makes New York State great, all in one county.  We are a train ride to New York City, we have farms and great tourism to experience, world class restaurants, breweries & wineries, the arts, and a wide variety of cities, towns, and villages to explore, each with their own character.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? 

Visit the towns and cities – head south and go north.  Meet the team at ThinkDutchess.  Have dinner at a restaurant with your favorite cuisine and talk to the owner.  Talk to the businesses in the county that compliment yours.  Give yourself plenty of time to explore Dutchess, there is much to see and experience.

 

Dana Jones- Accessadoor

Profession: Founder and CEO of Accessadoor, LLC

What attracted you to Dutchess? I was born and raised in Dutchess County. After being able to experience the area as a resident first I knew it was the exact environment I needed to be in to start my company.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? After growing up here and having a solid foundation of family and friends, it has allowed me to explore different interests and passions which eventually led me to becoming an entrepreneur. With all of the available resources available to small businesses and those just starting their entrepreneurial journey I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity? One of my favorite things to do in my free time is explore all the new restaurants and breweries in the area. It is a great way to spend time with friends and find new places to visit.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery? My favorite eatery in Dutchess County is Lola’s

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? Well growing up in the area I think the one thing that has surprised me over the years is its ability to attract large corporations in addition to its constant ability to evolve and improve the area for people of all ages and interests.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? For anyone looking to do business in the area, reach out to other business owners. Everyone is extremely helpful and willing to help each other. It is a really tight-knit community and we all want to see each other succeed so don’t be afraid to ask around and get first-hand feedback.

ONE UNIFIED VISION

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.