Bedford 25 for 2018
Celebrating the most dedicated, most creative, and most influential
On these pages, we celebrate the 2018 Bedford 25: the dedicated, creative, influential, and intriguing neighbors who make this community our favorite place on the planet. —Edited by Jennifer Moore Stahlkrantz
Since joining the Bedford Historical Society in 2008, Bernier has employed numerous creative strategies to make history more accessible and engaging. She is the behind-the-scenes engine that keeps the society on task. Her organizational talents, creative skills, and genial manner have helped the society bring history to life, and life to history in Bedford.
Elected to the Pound Ridge town board last year, Briggs immersed herself in understanding the nuts and bolts of running a local government; became the liaison to the Open Space Acquisitions Committee and Planning Board; initiated the creation of the new Pound Ridge Economic Development Committee; and worked to ensure the health and vitality of local businesses.
For more than 32 years, this Bedford resident has provided superior healthcare to women in our community as an obstetrician/gynecologist, as the chair of the OB/GYN department at CareMount Medical, and as the director of quality for the Institute of Robotic & Minimally Invasive Surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Cohn works with Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford Presbyterian Church, and our local community to organize mission trips for local students and adults to Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and North Carolina. He is scoutmaster of Bedford Boy Scout Troop 129, a lifetime volunteer member of the Bedford Village Fire Department, and he organizes the local Thanksgiving Dinner program.
Dochtermann founded the BCSD Elementary BikeRun, is the president of the Fox Lane Ski Club, co-parent president at Fox Lane High School, past president of the Junior League, volunteers for Northern Westchester Hospital, and is on the board of the Bedford Riding Lanes Association. She is also an expert at volunteer networking!
Esbjornson has served as executive director of the Bedford Hills Free Library for the past four years. Under her leadership, the library has set an exciting new course, engaging everyone in our community. Her creativity and vision ensure that the Bedford Hills Free Library is the heart of the hamlet and a centerpiece for lifelong learning benefitting all.
They have been the heart of the extraordinary music program at Antioch Baptist Church for four generations. Longtime Bedford residents, the tradition started with Evelyn Brown, followed by Earl, Gerard, David, Earlena, Gwen, Larry, Kyle, Andrew, and Jennifer. Bedford Hills would not be the same without Antioch, and Antioch would not be the same without the Browns!
Back in 2014, Daphne Everett saw a need in Scotts Corners for a casual café where friends could linger over a cup of coffee and an avocado toast. After transforming a central downtown location into The Kitchen Table at Pound Ridge, her efforts resulted in a popular meeting place where everyone stops by for an espresso, simple healthy food, and to catch up on community news.
Debbie Franzese & Alexandra Walsh
The duo purchased the Bedford Gourmet in 2010 and built the tried-and-true neighborhood catering and take-out boutique into a popular, upscale culinary destination. They know what Bedford wants to eat, and they deliver it with a dash of panache! We eat well, thanks to Bedford Gourmet, and their generosity is renowned.
In addition to her 16-year tenure as Bedford town clerk, Fumagalli has worked to constantly improve and support Katonah and Bedford Hills by volunteering as an active member and/or officer of the Bedford Hills Lions Club, Bedford Hills and Katonah Women’s Clubs, the Community Center of Northern Westchester, the Bedford Hills Neighborhood Association, the Westchester Christmas Dinner, the Katonah Village Improvement Society, and the Katonah-Lewisboro School Board, which she led as president for three years.
A lifelong Bedford resident, Godino has a passion for history, and his eagerness to share it has resulted in countless contributions to local organizations such as the History Hounds Club, the Bedford Farmers Club, and the Friends of Bedford Burying Grounds. He weaves his passion for history and his abiding reverence for the natural landscape into the Leatherman’s Loop 10k trail race, an event that he co-founded in 1987, and Run the Farm, a 5m trail race he founded at Muscoot Farm.
Donna Kassman Schwartz
Kassman Schwartz dedicates herself to serving the needs of our children as president of the Foundation for Bedford Central Schools for which she created a book drive that resulted in thousands of new books for classroom use and an innovative fundraising auction which led to internships and job shadows for hundreds of students. She also played a leadership role in changing the school climate through her work with anti-bullying programs.
Michaelis is a passionate photographer who gives his time endlessly to local organizations. He is past chairman, president, and trustee of the Bedford Historical Society and vice president and trustee of the Friends of John Jay Homestead. He has served on nearly every town board and is chairman of the Bedford Communications Committee and Bedford Zoning Board of Appeals—a job he does well and with great civic consideration and pride.
A protector of the Bedford environment, Mitchell’s tireless efforts and deep commitment have had a direct impact on the protection of natural resources in our community. She is a dedicated member of Bedford 2020’s Waste/Recycling and Water/Land Use Task Forces, leader of zero waste efforts at Bedford 2020 events, co-founder of Leave Leaves Alone, member of the Town of Bedford’s Wetlands Control Commission, and co-chair of the Leaf Blower Task Force.
She personifies the mission of the Community Center of Northern Westchester: to improve the well-being and self-sufficiency of neighbors in need. Under her warm and compassionate leadership, CCNW helps 2000 local families each year by providing food, clothing, and programs to enhance employment opportunities. Murray can be seen out in the community seeking new ideas and taking time to listen to her clients, volunteers, and donors alike.
Jeffrey P. Haydon
Haydon serves as CEO of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. He has engaged the Caramoor trustees, staff, and volunteers to launch new initiatives, expand programming, and revitalize the historic Rosen House. He is the charismatic, innovative energy behind the great music experience that makes Katonah so special.
Family law attorney by day, Kimmel started Almost Homemade, a local baking business that caters to food allergies. She also serves as one of the youngest presidents in Temple Shaaray Tefila’s history where her focus is on creating a vibrant, modern place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to learn and experience their own version of spirituality.
Ryan has been police chief in Pound Ridge since 2000. In addition to supervising his officers and working directly with community members on health and safety issues, Ryan lends his expertise on difficult subjects ranging from human trafficking to domestic abuse—all in an effort to keep us safe. His supportive, can-do attitude is appreciated by all. Ask him, “How are you?” His reply? “Living the Dream.”
A longtime resident of Katonah, Scott served as commissioner of both the Bedford Wetlands Commission and the Katonah Fire Department until his election as a Bedford town councilmember in 2014. He also worked tirelessly for the community in his roles as president of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District and as a board member of the Katonah Village Improvement Society.
As vice-chair and treasurer of the Bedford Playhouse, Speegle quietly took on the enormous task of budgeting and tracking the complex, multi-million-dollar renovation. Had it not been for her tireless focus and dedication throughout the process, perhaps the iconic Playhouse doors would never have reopened. According to the board, she is quite literally the only irreplaceable member of the Playhouse team.
Schwartz has served the community for more than two decades through her volunteer work with the Pound Ridge Newcomers Club, PRES PTA, Fox Lane Middle School Association, Pound Ridge Library, Jewish Family Congregation, Bedford Youth Soccer, Katonah Softball League, Pound Ridge Girls Recreational Basketball league, Pound Ridge Boy & Girl Scouts, Pound Ridge Swim Team, Pound Ridge Land Conservancy, Pound Ridge Office of Emergency Management, Neighbor to Neighbor, and Pound Ridge Lions Club.
Simons is the founder of Pound Ridge Organics, an award-winning food coop and farm market on her property in Scotts Corners where she raises heritage ducks and chickens whose eggs are organic, animal-welfare-approved, and certified-humane. She endeavors to educate her community on the benefits of good, clean food by selling everything from 100% pastured meats to organic produce, pies, and desserts.
Martha & Simon Skolnik
A dedicated duo, Martha has served as both a founding member and president of the Katonah Historical Museum, and she produced and edited the award-winning film, “Katonah” about the move of Old Katonah to its new location. Meanwhile, Simon has been chairman of the Bedford Conservation Board since 1995, and has been responsible for numerous town initiatives, including Tree Preservation Ordinance, Biodiversity Study and Map, and Dark Skies and Steep Slopes Ordinance.
Nancy & Roger Vincent
For over four decades, the Vincents have epitomized Bedford’s volunteer spirit. Nancy has served on the Bedford Historical Society, as president of the Mianus Gorge Preserve, president of the Bedford Garden Club, and the first and only female Sutton Clockwinder. Roger has served as president of the United Way of Northern Westchester, commissioner of the Bedford Hills Fire District, trustee of Rippowam Cisqua School, senior warden of St. Matthew’s Church, and is currently active with the Bedford Hills Free Library and the Bedford Farmers Club.
Born and raised in Bedford, Klein has served as a Bedford police officer since 2006, and also as president of the Bedford Police Benevolent Association. A 26-year member of the Bedford Fire Department, he was one of the youngest Bedford fire chiefs in the history of the department and currently serves as First Assistant Fire Chief. Klein has saved countless lives and always has a wave and a smile for everyone in the community.