R.J. Smith and Gerald & Rosemary Skoda, outstanding business and civic leaders, will be honored at this years annual reception from 5:30-8:30 pm, Wednesday, November 16, at Anthony’s Pier 9, in New Windsor. More than 400 community and key business leaders are expected to attend, where honorees will be presented with the 2016 David T. Cocks Award for Commitment to Community, an annual recognition bestowed upon those who make significant contributions to enrich the lives of people in Orange and Sullivan counties.
The evening will begin with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and networking at 5:30 p.m. The awards program, with plated desserts and table seating, follows. Event proceeds will support the Foundation’s objective to “connect people who care with causes that matter,” by helping donors establish charitable funds that award scholarships to local students and grants to support the environment, education, arts, and health and human service programs in our region.
Mr. Smith is a dedicated and respected member of the Orange County business and civic community. A commercial realtor with 40+ years of experience, he is a respected leader in Hudson Valley commercial and industrial development. In addition to his keen business acumen, Mr. Smith excels at strengthening his community. He is a visionary who helped establish a community health center in his hometown of Pine Bush and later served as a town councilman, county legislator, and on the Pine Bush School Board. He is founder, past president, and current board member for the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, where he helped establish countless funds that distribute annual charitable grants and scholarships, in addition to two of his own scholarship funds. Mr. Smith also serves on the boards of both the Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan and the Storm King Art Center. He is past President of the Orange County Citizens Foundation.
Mr. & Mrs. Skoda’s dedication stretches across Sullivan County and beyond. Though both officially “retired,” Mr. Skoda operates a large Woodbourne crop farm while running an agricultural consulting and farm tax preparation firm. He serves as President of Mid-Hudson Co-Operative Insurance Co., Montgomery, and serves on the boards of Catskill Regional Medical Center, Greater Hudson Valley Health Systems, Emerald Corporate Park, and Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan. He is a founding member of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development and has a long tenure as Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Mrs. Skoda retired as Executive Director of the USDA Farm Services Agency and has served scouts and 4-H, as well as SUNY Sullivan, and Hospice Auxiliary. She now dedicates her time to the United Way of Sullivan County. Together, they award an annual Foundation scholarship and donate fresh vegetables to Boys & Girls Clubs, CACHE Community Action, St. Andrew’s Church Food Pantry, Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless, and United Way.