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Several community members receive state Senate commendations

Posted 11/4/22

Several members of the community were honored with New York State Commendation Awards by state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo.

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Several community members receive state Senate commendations

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UTICA — Several members of the community were honored with New York State Commendation Awards by state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, in a ceremony Thursday at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee St.  

Those honored included: 

  • Rocco Arcuri, president and CEO of Adirondack Bank;
  • Marcelline Bilton, retired educator and community advocate;
  • Boyd Bissell, partner in Heidelberg Bread Company;
  • Pierre Bedard, partner in Heidelberg Bread Company;
  • Mark Bolos, musician and business owner;
  • Shelly Callahan, executive director of The Center;
  • Laura Casamento, president of Utica University;
  • Alicia Dicks, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties;
  • Bruce Hairston, branch director at the Rome YMCA;
  • Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation representative and CEO of its enterprises;  
  • David Grow, attorney;
  • Rick E. Lewis, arts advocate;
  • Yvonne McClusky, former executive director of the North Utica Senior Citizens Community Center;
  • Stephen Merren, media professional;
  • Rev. Maritza Perez, pastor of Maranatha Church in Rome;
  • John Pitarresi, retired Observer-Dispatch sportswriter and outdoors columnist;
  • Ben Simons, farmer and agriculture advocate;
  • Louis Tehan, president and CEO of Upstate Caring Partners;
  • Angela Vanderhoof, former executive director of the Oneida-Lewis ARC; and
  • Kelly Walters, executive director of 50 Forward Mohawk Valley.  

Honorees received a personalized plaque and commendation coin as part of the ceremony. 

“It is a great pleasure to recognize these individuals,” Griffo said. 

“Each has shown remarkable commitment and dedication to improving their communities. Their exceptional work has truly made their communities and the region a better place for all.” 

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