The Bedford 25 of 2017
Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential
On this page, we celebrate the 2017 Bedford 25: the neighbors who, in the past year, have helped to make this community our favorite place on the planet.
—Edited by Jennifer Moore Stahlkrantz
Ann Paul is a lifelong resident of the Town of Bedford. Her commitment to the community is equal to her passion for all things outdoors. She is the director of Westmoreland Sanctuary Nature Center and Wildlife Preserve in Mt. Kisco and served on its board from 2001-2015. During her board tenure, she served as chair of the nominating committee and then served as president of the board for two years.
Janet Jacobsen has been the driving force behind the Bedford Hills Neighborhood Association since she rescued it a decade ago. She has created events that foster a sense of community in the hamlet, volunteerism to help those in need, and fundraising for neighborhood institutions such as the library, ambulance corps, and community center.
Fred Albano began his appliance career at the age of ten, when Albano Electric in Scotts Corners was still run by his father. He started selling at 16 and became an owner in 1997. A member of the Pound Ridge Business Association board, Albano is a consistent supporter of Pound Ridge Elementary School, Library, Historical Society, and Partnership events, donating his time, treasure, and talent.
Chris Burdick is the friendly and approachable Bedford town supervisor. He works relentlessly on behalf of the people of Bedford, listening to the concerns of community members and finding solutions to problems. Whether it’s affordable housing, efforts toward paving 684, commercial sewers, sustainability, or fiscal responsibility, there is nothing Burdick will not tackle to get results.
Terrie Paladino, a founding member of Bedford Hills LIVE, tirelessly works to bring vibrancy and commerce to Bedford Hills. Together with the board of BHL, she has helped spearhead the revitalization of the hamlet by establishing the popular winter farm market, advocating for the restoration of the station, and hosting the harvest dinner—an epic annual event that brings the community together.
Jenny Weisburger is president of the Friends of Bedford Burying Grounds, a non-profit that works to conserve and preserve the 30-plus private and public cemeteries in town. Weisburger also heads up the Intergenerate Egg Coop at John Jay Homestead, co-authored the Bedford Village Walking Tour book, and is a regular volunteer with Bedford Meals on Wheels.
Atka is the ambassador wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center. A luminary in the world of wildlife conservation, Atka has won the hearts and opened the minds of hundreds of thousands as a significant player in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment. In addition to making appearances to the House and the Senate, Atka has visited schools and camps in Bedford and Pound Ridge to educate on conservation.
Melissa Vail, a longtime trustee of Friends of John Jay Homestead, has grown programs showcasing the site as both historical treasure and beautiful farm and park. She founded the homestead’s farm market in 2011, bringing local produce, artisanal food, and music to the community in the summer. Melissa has also led the Scholars Lectures since 2004, drawing world-class historians and speakers in the winter.
Peter Kuniholm serves on the board of Bedford 2020 and leads its Waste & Recycling Task Force. He was instrumental in getting single stream recycling, the Community Compost program, and a Take It or Leave It shed in Bedford. Kuniholm has also led the town in a pilot to identify public waste and recycling bins that are more effective for recycling in hamlet downtown areas.
Sarah Long has selflessly thrown her heart and soul into the development of the Bedford Playhouse so that the greater-Bedford area will have a place where people can come together and engage in a cultural community. As board chair, she has been instrumental in driving progress. Her enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication have been awe-inspiring, and her background in the arts has helped shape a rich and varied programming agenda, ranging from author events to film screenings.
Liz Taggart owns Amba Farms in Bedford Hills. Applying her experience and understanding of organic growing and horticulture, she grows fruits, vegetables, berries, and flowers, focusing on nutrient-dense and humus-rich soil. Amba supplies produce to local restaurants, markets, and community centers. Pursuing her other lifelong passion, Eastern studies, Taggart, a certified teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program, also hosts meditation retreats, farm dinners, and educational forums at her beautiful, tranquil Amba Farms.
Michelle Brier has served as a longstanding member, board member, emergency medical technician (EMT), and events coordinator for the Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps. She also recently co-founded BluePath, a non-profit organization that provides service dogs to families of children with autism thereby offering safety, companionship, and opportunities for independence. Brier is passionate about empowering people to live the best life possible and about providing the resources and support to help individualstriumph over adversity.
Andy Kuhn is a psychologist who also has a passion for poetry. He’s been one of the forces behind the continuing success of the Katonah Poetry Series, which brings world-class poets to read at the Katonah Village Library. How a Poem Can Happen, his book of interviews of 21 KPS poets—including three U.S. Poets Laureate, with preface by Billy Collins—is available at local bookstores. Proceeds go to KPS.
Rod Christie is the executive director of the Mianus River Gorge, an accredited not-for-profit organization protecting over 1,000 acres and conducting ecological research throughout the area. He is a wildlife biologist and works extensively in land conservation, wildlife research, and environmental education. Christie has been instrumental in countless environmental efforts throughout the region in an effort to maintain the beauty and health of Bedford and surrounding communities.
Lynn Ryan has been the executive director of the Bedford Historical Society for over 20 years. Her exceptional dedication, high standards, and commitment to excellence have enabled the BHS to bring history to life in creative and meaningful ways. She is a tremendous resource. Her genial manner, strong work ethic, can-do attitude, deep institutional knowledge, and love of Bedford make her an indispensable leader of this beloved organization.
Kirtley Cameron has a passion for the past, present, and future of Bedford that is without parallel. As the chair of Rippowam Cisqua’s board, she has aggressively and intelligently helped to drive RCS forward. As former president of the board of the Bedford Historical Society, she left an indelible imprint. She also serves on the advisory board of Bedford 2020.
Jim Renwick is a thoughtful leader who is always ready to serve this community. A lifelong resident of Bedford, he has served on the Wetlands Commission, the boards of the town, Bedford Historical Society, Bedford Free Library, John Jay Homestead, and as current chair of the Bedford Village Historic District. His dedication to preserving, protecting, and strengthening the community knows no bounds.
Louise Paolicelli is a dedicated public servant who provides activities for the senior population in Pound Ridge. She creates new and exciting programs to get them involved and out of their homes. “Cafe Conant,” a weekly senior social hour she hosts in the hamlet is a popular example. Louise can also be found working with the community youth in the St. Patrick’s religious education office in Bedford.
David Zapsky, a veteran of Desert Storm, started the Town of Bedford’s Veterans Advisory Committee to help fellow veterans and their families navigate the many organizations that offer services and to ensure these deserving men and women—both active and former military—get the recognition and support they have earned. Since its founding, the VAC has participated in charitable works and community events.
Scott Hayworth, M.D. has fostered the remarkable expansion and enhancement of the CareMount Medical Group’s services as president and CEO for the past twenty years. As an obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Hayworth has been trusted with the delivery of hundreds of Hudson Valley babies. He has also served our community as a volunteer for several years on the board of the Northern Westchester Hospital Foundation.
Joan Arnold, executive director of Allied Community Enterprises (ACE), was a founder and longtime director of A-HOME. She began ACE to develop affordable housing solutions in northern Westchester. Housing development and making housing more affordable is a worthwhile challenge. She is unafraid of tackling innovative housing models, NIMBies, or the design of septic systems. A resident of Peach Lake, Arnold has brought housing solutions to Bedford Hills, Katonah, Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, and beyond.
Ben Branch, born and raised in Bedford, has been the resident expert on keeping Bedford Village buildings historic. He knows the importance of using the right materials and how to keep Bedford’s architectural landmarks in top shape without compromising their architectural character. He has overseen renovations of the Bedford Historical Society’s buildings around the Village Green as well as the Presbyterian Church, and other private residences in the village’s historic district.
Nancy Karch has served as a trustee and chairman of the board at Northern Westchester Hospital where she has helped to ensure that our community hospital is one of the highest quality hospitals in the country. Thousands of families benefit from her leadership and vision every year. She has given generously of her time, expertise, and financial resources to ensure that NWH is well-positioned to meet the needs of our community for decades to come.
Linda de Menocal has held leadership positions for many organizations, most notably Bedford Historical Society, St. Matthew’s Church, and Bedford Chowder & Marching Club. Her generosity of time, hands-on labor, leadership, and funds have supported efforts to clean up the village, preserve local history, provide religious education, and build a children’s chapel. She was also instrumental in founding the Record-Review. The annual Christmas party she hosts with her husband, Dan, is not to be missed.
Elyse Arnow has dedicated 20-plus years to building the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy, protecting open space, and educating the community about sustainable living and treading lightly on the land. Under her leadership, the organization added substantially to its preserves, converted a house on the Armstrong Preserve into an off-the-grid headquarters and education center, and partnered with local organizations to promote conservation in Pound Ridge and northern Westchester.