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Bedford 25

In the November/December issue of Bedford Magazine, here online and at a celebration on November 7, we celebrate the 2019 Bedford 25: the dedicated, creative, influential, and intriguing neighbors who make this community our favorite place on the planet.

Bedford Magazine and Houlihan Lawrence held the  2019 Bedford 25 reception and ceremony on Thursday, November 7, at The Market at Pound Ridge Square.  The evening began at 6 pm with wine, beer, soft drinks, and hors d’oeuvres provided by The Wine Connection and The Market at Pound Ridge Square, followed by a ceremony recognizing the 2019 Bedford 25 honorees.

To nominate someone for 2020, click  NOMINATION FORM  (For any questions, please email jstahlkrantz@townvibe.com)


Deirdre Courtney-Batson She has worked tirelessly for Bedford since the 1980s as the president of the Katonah Historical Museum, chair of Katonah’s Historic Commission, and as chair of the Town’s Planning Board. As chair, she guides the Board through difficult and complex matters which require the adept application of our zoning code. This would be a different town without Courtney-Batson’s efforts to protect and preserve the semi-rural character of Bedford.  (Photo by by Amy Drucker.)

Penelope Smith Berk She is an extraordinarily compassionate animal rights activist who lives and breathes her mission. The owner of Northwind Kennels and founder of Rescue Right, a Bedford-based non-profit, she travels extensively to save animals in dangerous, inhumane conditions and works to find loving homes for them. In addition, she often boards animals in need for free, and makes sure feral cats are cared for and spayed/neutered to prevent additional needs in the future. (Photo by Vanessa Van Ryzin.)

James Best As president of the Pound Ridge Partnership, he quietly and cheerfully leads a hard-working group of community volunteers. Best led and supported the Partnership’s funding of the Town Park Amphitheater project, raised funds for streetlights, facilitated town beautification, and participates in the PRP’s Pound Ridge Pride Day, Harvest Festival, and Food Truck Friday. You’ll inevitably find him hanging banners in the morning and the last to leave at night.

Caroline Black & Emily Bushnell They founded Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship in 2014 with a handful of local participants, horses, and volunteers. Today they serve over 400 individuals with special needs, at risk youth, and veterans/active duty military with the support of 12 horses and 100 volunteers from the community. They partner with BCSD, Rippowam Cisqua, and local nursing homes. The duo make a highly successful and nimble (and locally beloved) team. (Photo by Bill Black.)

Bill & Sandy Cordiano The Cordianos have been impactful supporters of Caramoor for nearly 30 years. Sandy volunteers to build Caramoor’s archives and serves as an important advocate for the Rosen House. As a trustee, Bill serves as chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, leading critical restoration and improvement projects at the Rosen House and throughout Caramoor’s 81-acre campus, including the implementation of the Visitor Experience Project.

Sarah Douglis She inspires others to take action to mitigate climate change. As a Bedford 2020 board member, she leads development strategy and co-chaired the successful Bedford 2020 Moondance. Douglis supports the Greenlight Award, engaging local high school students in creating climate solutions, and is a founding member of Pound Ridge Elementary School’s greening efforts. She is the consummate ambassador and an inspiration.

Skip & Michaela Beitzel The owners of Hickory & Tweed, Skip is a long-time trustee of the Boys & Girls Club and member of the President’s Advisory Council of Northern Westchester Hospital; Michaela is a trustee of Westmoreland Sanctuary and Friends of John Jay Homestead. Together, they underwrite the Founders Lecture at JJH. Cheerful, and generous, they also serve as mentors to their young employees.

Heather Feldman Compassionate and mighty, she has served Bedford Fire Department as an EMT and lieutenant, and now as fire commissioner, leading the planning effort to build a new home for Bedford Village’s emergency services. She drives lights and sirens, balances the fire district’s budget, and conducts meetings and trainings. Most importantly, she’s a familiar and reassuring face in a crisis.

David Firestein & Geoff Ringler Residents of Pound Ridge and members of the ROE Scotts Corner Group, their vision and efforts towards the transformation of the former Trinity Corners Shopping Center has put the entire town of Pound Ridge back on the map! The new and improved Pound Ridge Square has helped revitalize the business district and has enhanced the overall impression of the town. (Photo by Rana Faure.)

Tina Foster When she is not selling real estate, this longtime resident of Bedford Hills volunteers on the board of the Bedford Hills Fire Department, Katonah Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps (30-year member and former captain), as a member of Bedford’s Open Space Acquisition Committee, and on the vestry of St. Mary’s. At St. Matthew’s Church, she serves as Chair of Worship and Lay Readers, Verger, and on both the Property and Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors Committees.

Luc Giner A senior at John Jay High School, this director of Sunrise Katonah, a local chapter of the national climate justice movement, has been working tirelessly to promote federal action on climate change. The Katonah resident worked with Bedford Supervisor Chris Burdick, Deputy Supervisor Lee Roberts, and the Bedford Town Board, in developing a resolution that was unanimously adopted, urging Congress and the President to take quick and decisive action to combat climate change.

Kevin Hansan He is leading the renaissance of Pound Ridge! Property values appear to be rising, Scott’s Corners business district has the lowest vacancy rate in years, and Food Truck Fridays draw crowds from near and far. His vision and relaxed leadership style bring people together and help bring a new vibrancy to the town. (Photo by Lisl Steiner.)

Suzanne Herbert For nearly forty years, she has lent her time and talents teaching local children, lending a hand, and sharing her homespun gifts in Pound Ridge. But most recently, you’ve likely seen her in rain, snow, and sun, dressed in her reflective safety vest, walking through the hamlet, picking up debris on the sides of the roads, tirelessly dedicated to keeping Pound Ridge litter-free. “I love our home. Please put me out of business!” she says.

Filippine Hoogland She dedicates her time, talent, and endless energy to activities for Bedford’s environmental health, including leading the CCNW’s program to make reusable bags; co-chairing the town’s Reusable Bag Task Force; managing the Bedford 2020 Take It or Leave it Shed and workshops; creating the Recyclopedia; and educating the community about healthy yard practices and the Pollinator Pathways.

Tami McCarthy From the first day she opened Kahlo Collective, her retail store in the heart of Pound Ridge, she has been spreading light, love, and positive energy throughout the community. Her eco-chic philosophy has drawn people to learn about a lifestyle with sustainability consciousness. She creates events and opportunities for us to think about the planet as we consume, and she is a community change maker with a talent for bringing people together.

MaryAnn Carr A member of the Bedford Town Board, she is chair of its Community Organization Committee and liaison to BCSD, Town Planning Board, and Recreation & Parks. During her tenure, sweeping legislation has been passed, including the Antioch Affordable Housing Project and a referendum to install new sewers and securing funds for paving I-684. With her support, the town has passed important resolutions, as well.

Jiri & Hilda Minarik Nearly every morning Jiri walks Guard Hill Road, carrying a bag to collect refuse. Hilda’s focus is on their grounds and gardens—the same place where her family has lived for four generations. Together they keep the old homestead in good repair and the road they love unspoiled. Their hearts and actions are a quiet part of a lovely community of caring.

Patrick Moore He is the Vice President of Animal Nation, a South Salem-based non-profit aimed at eliminating animal cruelty and promoting respect and compassion for all living things by educating the public and increasing awareness through community outreach. From mice, owls, and hawks to deer, cattle, dogs, cats, and even a seal, Moore rehabilitates and provides sanctuary to wildlife in our community and beyond.

John Ohnmact A fifth-time captain and EMS provider of the Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, he has treated an estimated 2,000 people and responds to calls for help 24/7. He has the same compassionate approach to every patient and has a composed, unruffled demeanor. His leadership style boosts both morale and self-confidence, and corps membership soars each time he is in a leadership position.

Steve Ricker For three decades, he has served as director of conservation and manager of Westmoreland Sanctuary, informing and touring the public through the hundreds of acres of preserved land. He leads nature classes and tours for students and families. In his free time, he volunteers for Bedford Audubon Society and the town of Mt. Kisco for conservation planning, and offers consultations to homeowners who want to attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to their property.

Varner Redmon She has been invaluable to Caramoor over the past 25 years, having led the revitalization of Caramoor’s gardens twice, including designing and installing the Sundial Garden and rehabilitating the historic Sunken Garden with the Bedford Garden Club, as well as researching and publishing a book on Caramoor’s history that serves as a trusted resource. She has also long been a champion of Caramoor’s Rising Stars program to bolster the careers of young musicians.

Bart & Diana Tyler Owners of Kelloggs & Lawrence in Katonah, they co-founded Bridges to Community 26 years ago. Bridges is a nonprofit focused on alleviating poverty in regions of Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic through health, education, housing, and economic development programs. They serve on the board and have led countless service trips, inspiring groups from Fox Lane and John Jay High Schools, Bedford and Katonah Presbyterian Churches, and Temple Shaaray Tefila to volunteer with Bridges and change lives.

Jo Voege A 40-year resident of Katonah and mother of four with a big heart, she chairs the Town of Bedford Senior Advisory Committee. With degrees in both education (B.S.) and Geriatrics, Guidance and Counseling (M.S.), Voege has done a remarkable job in leading the committee and advocating to keep Bedford’s senior citizens healthy, vital, and active. She consistently provides sound advice to the board and is a tremendous asset to the community.

Ebie Ensign Wood She moved to Pound Ridge in 1945 and has been celebrating this community ever since. Most recently, the former, longtime manager of Houlihan Lawrence Pound Ridge, has led the Pound Ridge Historical Society as president, creating hype for local heritage and spearheading initiatives to future-proof the archives, all while pulling together some phenomenal exhibitions at the museum. Her unquenchable thirst for stories, unwavering passion for Pound Ridge, and brilliant efforts to bring people together are unparalleled in this town.

Jim Perry As a 39-year Pound Ridge fireman (and former chief) who has trained hundreds of volunteers, a 22-year member of the PR Office of Emergency Management where he provides invaluable insight on disasters, a 15-year volunteer at the PR Car Show, and life-saving instructor at the town park, Perry (also PR building and fire inspector) has proven time and again the value of volunteerism, and in that capacity, has made Pound Ridge a safer and well-prepared community.


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