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United Way Names New Board President and Vice President; Welcomes New Board Members

At its annual meeting, United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area’s board of directors voted to elect a new board president and vice president, and to add two new directors.

“We are grateful to these community leaders who have made a commitment to help lead our local United Way so we can effectively address our community’s pressing issues in education, health, financial stability, and basic needs,” said Brenda Episcopo, United Way Executive Director.

Dr. Cathleen McColgin, president at Herkimer College, was named board president. William Perrotti, a local community advocate, was named board vice president. Both will serve a one-year term ending June 2018.

“I am honored to have been selected as the incoming president of the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, Inc.,” said Dr. Cathleen McColgin. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members, United Way staff, and the numerous volunteers, donors and community agencies. Together we will continue our work and commitment to making positive changes in our communities.”

The board voted to add two new directors both to serve a three-year term ending June 2020. They are Gilbert Palladino, community advocate, and Kimberly A. VanDuren, principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Utica.

Returning directors are: Amber J. Clarke, Bank of New York Mellon; Erin M. Bushinger, Assured Information Security, Inc.; Frank L. DiLorenzo, Community Advocate; Gregory M. Morra, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.; Matthew A. Nicholl, Berkshire Bank; Jackie Romano, The Fountainhead Group; Edward M. Barone, III; Felix Cano, Berkshire Bank; Patrick J. Costello, IBEW Local 43; John H. Hobika, Jr. CLTC, M & T Securities, Inc.; Maimun N. Khan, MV Community College; Mark S. Lewandrowski, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.; Stephen T. Surace, Adjusters International; Eve Van de Wal; Excellus BC/BS Utica Region.

The board thanks outgoing directors Donald Carbone and Burt Danovitz, Ph.D.

New Board Member Bios:

Gilbert Palladino
Gilbert Palladino was born and raised in New York State; he attended elementary, middle and high school in Syosset. He continued his education at SUNY Cortland where he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Recreation Education and Administration, respectively. After two years running a village recreation program in Cazenovia, Gilbert accepted a position with the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (now the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) first as a Recreation Therapist and later moving into an administrative role. After 36 years, Gil retired in 2012 as the Director of Quality Management for its eight county system of residences, habilitation centers and clinics.

Gil has coached high school soccer, in Clinton and presently in Westmoreland, for 30 years after coaching at Utica College for two years. He volunteers not only with United Way but also for the Waterville Times; reporting on all three seasons of high school sports and writing a sports column on a bi-weekly basis. He volunteers in his granddaughter’s 4th grade and grandson’s first grade classrooms at Mott Road Elementary School in Fayetteville. Additionally, Gil and his wife are new volunteers at The Country Pantry in Clark Mills.

Gil and his wife Patricia have been happily married since 1974 and have lived in Clinton for nearly 40 years. They have two grown daughters, Jennifer and Mandy, both of whom are married and live in Fayetteville and Old Greenwich, CT, respectively. Jennifer and her husband, Patrick have two children and will be adding a third child this summer.

Kimberly VanDuren
Kimberly VanDuren’s educational background includes a B.A. in Communication Arts with minors in Elementary Education and French from Utica College. She then completed a M.S. in Education focused in Literacy Education and a CAS in School Building and District Leadership from SUNY Cortland.

Kimberly has worked in the Utica City School District since 2002 in a variety of positions – site-assistant for Young Scholars LPP, in the classroom as a Reading Teacher, in administration as Assistant Principal and Committee of Special Education Chairperson, and most recently as Principal at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School (MLK).

MLK is an incredible school made up of 29% English Language Learners and more than 93% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. The kids amaze her every day as they gain new knowledge and grow as learners and members of our community. Kimberly shared she is truly honored to work with an extremely talented staff and a great group of students.

In her free time she enjoy hiking. Kimberly is currently an aspiring Adirondack 46er and has climbed 42 of the peaks in the Adirondacks that are each over 4,000 feet. She has only 4 more to go! Another hobby Kimberly enjoys is running. Boilermaker 2017 will be her 8th time completing the 15K road race.

Kimberly shared that volunteering on various committees at United Way has taught her a lot about the community and the tremendous generosity that the Greater Utica and Mohawk Valley has for its citizens. She feels blessed to live in this area and call it her home.