United Way of Dutchess – Orange Region’s Celebrates its 80th Anniversary

United Way of the Dutchess – Orange Region will begin a year-long celebration of 80 years of creating positive change in the community at its annual Community Breakfast on Thursday, September 14th. United Way President & CEO Jeannie Montano noted that, “We’ll be celebrating our community and its leaders as well as 80 years of United Way!” She went on to say that “The three nonprofit leaders and our two Community Champions will share with all of us how to continue to create positive change through support of United Way and its initiatives.”


A committee of community and civic leaders selected this year’s two Community Champion honorees, John O’Shea of Marshall & Sterling and John Rath of Lakeland Bank, for their service to the community and leadership of their respective United Way campaigns.


John P. O’Shea is the Chariman of the Board for Marshall & Sterling Insurance, which he joined as an account executive in 1955 following his active duty service in the military. He was named Vice President in 1970, President in 1980 and Chairman of the Board in 1999. Mr. O’Shea led the growth of the company that now has 24 branches in New York, California, Florida, Michigan, Virginia  and the. U.S. Virgin Islands and is ranked among the 50 largest independent insurance agencies in the nation. He has also served on advisory boards and committees of several insurance companies both regionally and nationally. A graduate of Fordham University, after graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the destroyer USS Ingraham for 35 months, including service with the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and the Seventh Fleet in Korea. Upon release from active duty, he joined the active reserve program retiring in 1974 with the rank of Commander. He was awarded the following medals during his service: Combat Action Ribbon. World War II Occupation Medal (Europe), National Defense Service Medal Korean Service Medal, Armed Forces reserve Medal, United Nations Medal (Korean Service), ROK Korean War Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation. His involvement with United Way dates back to 1957 when he originally volunteered with the Community Chest. He has been continuously active ever since serving on the Board of Governors from 1970 – 1973 and 1997 – 2000. With his wife Nancy, they were the first chairs of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society founded in 1996, a position they held until 2002. A passionate champion for the community, his other affiliations include: Bardavon 1869 Opera House Board of Trustees (1991 – 1995), Community Foundation of Dutchess County Board of Trustees (1982 – 1989 / 1997 – 2000), Health Quest, Inc. Founding Trustee (2000), Vice Chairman (2003), Life Trustee (2005), Marist College Board of Trustees (1994 – present), Poughkeepsie Partnership Board of Directors (1992 -1997), Poughkeepsie Rotary Club (member since 1966, President 1968 – 1969), Vassar Brothers Medical Center Chairman of the Board (1987 – 1989), Board of Trustees (1980 – 2000). John and Nancy O’Shea celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this year. They have four children, seven grandchildren and one great grandson.


Lakeland Bank First Senior Vice President and Group Manager, John F. Rath III, has worked in banking since 1980. Since March 2015, he has been responsible for Middle Market and C&I lending, including Asset Based Lending and Equipment Finance for Lakeland Bank. He previously was employed by TD Bank for over 16 years as Senior Vice President and Group Manager and was responsible for Middle Market, Commercial and Small Business lending activities in the Lower Hudson Valley. Prior to then he was with The Bank of New York for 18 years. His involvement with United Way includes serving as Chairman of the United Way of Dutchess and Orange 2012 Employee Giving Campaign and the 1999 Chairman of United  Way’s Day of Caring. A passionate champion and advocate for the community, Mr. Rath is a past Chairman and current Board member for Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, Mr. Rath was the Chairman of Pattern’s 2015 successful 50th Anniversary $1 million fund raising campaign. He is a Board and Executive member of Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties; Board Member and Vice Chair of SUNY Orange Foundation; Member of the Board of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House; current Member and former Chairman for ten years of the Advisory Board for the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, as well as Co-Chairman of their previously successful Capital Campaign. Some of his prior community affiliations include: Health Quest Systems (Board Member), His Love Unveiled Food Pantry in Wallkill (organized and headed), Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp (Board Member), Orange County Private Industry Council (Chairman and Board Member), Vassar Brothers Medical Center (Chairman of the Board), among many others. Mr. Rath is a graduate of Dutchess Community College and now lives in Newburgh with his wife Deborah. They have six children and four grandchildren.


In addition to celebrating the two community champions, there will be presentations by three nonprofit partner leaders: Shirley A. Adams, Executive Director of Catharine Street Community Center, Chirstopher Molinelli, Executive Director of HONORehg, and Rachel Simons, Attorney-in-Charge of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Newburgh office . Each will elucidate how the support of the community through United Way of their respective programs makes a daily and visible difference in peoples’ lives.


Celebrating its 80th anniversary, United Way hopes that past volunteers and supporters will join with current donors, volunteers, business people, nonprofit organization leaders. Last year, the room was filled to capacity, so early reservations are suggested. To ensure your place at the celebration, go to www.uwdor.org/kickoff2017.


United Way recognizes the leadership and generosity of the top sponsors:


  • Lakeland Bank (Gold Sponsor),
  • Adams Fairacre Farms and Marshall & Sterling Insurance (Silver Sponsors),
  • Art DeDominicis Certified Public Accountants, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess Community College, Health Quest, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (Bronze Sponsors),
  • Day Seckler LLP, LCS Companies, M&T Bank, Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Rose & Kiernan, Inc. (Business Supporters),

as well as The Poughkeepsie Journal (Media Sponsor) and Q92.1 FM (Radio Sponsor) for their support of the annual United Way Community Breakfast.


The program will begin promptly at 7:30am at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. Denise Doring VanBuren, Vice President of Communications at Central Hudson, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and Q92.1 FM’s Joe Daily and Michelle Taylor will be broadcasting live from the event.


For additional information, reservations, sponsorship and advertising opportunities, go to www.uwdor.org/ kickoff2017


United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region’s 2017 Community Breakfast

When: Thursday, September 14, 7:30am

United Way will honor two Community Champion’s, Marshall & Sterling’s John O’Shea and Lakeland Bank’s John Rath, at the 2017 United Way Community Breakfast that celebrates 80 years of creating positive change in the community! In addition there will be presentations by the representatives of Catharine Street Community Center, HONORehg and Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.

Where: The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, 40 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Tickets: $40/per person. All proceeds to benefit United Way.

RSVP online: www.uwdor.org/kickoff2017


About United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community.  In 2015-16, charitable contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations to United Way’s Community Fund supported nonprofit partners in delivering services to 124,424 residents of Dutchess and Orange Counties. For more information, go to www.uwdor.org.



Leave a Reply