Coarc Board of Directors

Coarc Board of Directors | About Coarc

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors for Coarc, the Columbia County Chapter of NYSARC, Inc., is representative of the Columbia County, NY, community at large.

2016/2017 Coarc Board Members:

  • Dorothy Wheeler, President
  • Mary Anne VanDenburgh, Vice President
  • Mary Blass, Secretary
  • Mary Ann Harris, Treasurer
  • Denise Barry
  • John W. Craft
  • Donna Knight
  • Priscilla Moore
  • Ann Marie O’Hanlon
  • Annette Dennis
  • Karen M. Blass
  • Michael Torchia
  • Tracy Cantele
  • Doris Meier

Brief Bios:

Denise Barry, Ed.D., resides in East Chatham. Dr. Barry retired as of June, 2011, after forty years of teaching Special Education in the Hudson City School District. She had a separate “summer career”, having spent thirty years as a teacher and/or administrator in local correctional facilities. Active in the community, she was a Jefferson Award Medalist for volunteerism in the Capital District in 2010. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities for Columbia/Greene Counties and Outreach Coordinator at St. James Church in Chatham. Most recently she was elected to a three-year term on the Chatham Central School District’s Board of Education in May 2015. Dr. Barry is the longest, continuously serving, member of Coarc’s Board of Directors, having joined the Board in 1972.

Karen Blass has resided in Old Chatham for thirty-three years. She and her husband, Kenneth, have a daughter, Victoria, who attends graduate school at SUNY Albany. Ms. Blass is currently the Director of Business Development at Blass Communications LLC.  She currently serves as the Treasurer of the advisory board of the Hudson Salvation Army and on the Membership and Golf Committees of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Blass has served as the Treasurer of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, as a board member of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce for six years, as a board member of the March of Dimes, as a board member and director of the Columbia/Greene walk site for ten years and as a board member of the American Heart Association.  She was a Philmont and Hudson Rotarian for ten years.  Ms. Blass joined the Coarc Board in February of 2009.

Mary Blass resides in East Chatham. In 1966, Ms. Blass, along with her husband, became a New York State Certified Family Care Provider and provided residential services to developmentally disabled individuals ranging from adolescents to geriatrics until her retirement in 2005. She is past President, Vice‑President, and Secretary of the Coarc Board. Ms. Blass joined the Coarc Board in June of l996 and is currently serving as the Secretary.

John W. Craft resides in Ghent with his two children, Audrey and Steven. Steven is Autistic (Asperger’s). Mr. Craft has over thirty-five years of manufacturing experience, including Plant and Supply Chain Management. He currently is the Director of Global Supply Chain for Power and Composite Technologies in Amsterdam, New York, overseeing operations in Hungary, China, and the United States. His other interests and affiliations include Director and Assistant Fair Manager of the Columbia County Agricultural Society, Past-President of New York Agricultural Fair Managers Association, member of American Production and Inventory Control Society, and member of Lean Manufacturing Users Network. He has previously served as the Race Secretary of the New York State County Fair Harness Horse Racing, Board member of the Work Force Investment Board of Columbia and Greene Counties, Chairperson of Continuous/Quality Improvement Committee of the Workforce Investment Board, President of the Board of Directors of Cornell Cooperative Extension, member of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, founding Board member and Treasurer of Capital Region CSR Association, and basketball coach for Taconic Hills Youth Program. Mr. Craft joined the Coarc Board in June of 2013.

Annette (Mickey) Dennis resides in Spencertown with her husband and daughter, who is developmentally and speech delayed. Mrs. Dennis is employed at the Chatham pediatric office of Dr. Lawrence Greitzer as a registered nurse. She is the Director of Religious Education (pre-K through 6th grade) at St James Church, Chatham. Ms. Dennis joined the Coarc Board in June of 1989 and has served previously as the Board President.

Mary Ann Harris resides in Ghent with her husband, David. She is the parent of a son, Mark, who has Down Syndrome. Mark lives in Chatham with his wife in a COARC supportive apartment. Mrs. Harris retired from the medical field as Kaiser’s Office Manager/Administrator. She currently works in the offices of Ghent Wood Products and Meltz Lumber Co. She has been active with the Challenger baseball league. She has served as President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Coarc Board of Directors and currently serves as Treasurer. Ms. Harris joined the Coarc Board in June of 1999.

Donna Knight lives in Canaan with her husband Jeff and three children, one of whom has Cerebral Palsy and developmental delays. She is a graduate of Springfield College and for eleven years was the IS Manager for Country Curtains. For the past ten years, she has been a parent advocate for the Committee on Special Education for the Chatham Central School District. She served on the Canaan Planning Board from 1996-2008. Ms. Knight currently volunteers for the Adams Point Beach Association and the Ghent Playhouse. She is a parishioner of St. James Church in Chatham. Mrs. Knight joined the Coarc Board in June of 2009.

Priscilla Moore resides in Hudson for the past 38 years as a Family Care provider with TDDSO. She currently has two ladies residing with her in her home. Mrs. Moore is the 5th Ward Alderman on the Common Council in the City of Hudson and was voted in for the term of 2016-2018. She is a member of Holy Trinity Church in Hudson where she is also a member of Catholic Daughters of America, a volunteer, Pink Lady at CMH and Second Show thrift shop. Ms. Moore also volunteers for the Salvation Army as a bell ringer and is a member of the VFW Auxiliary. Ms. Moore joined the Coarc Board in June of 2007.

Mary Anne VanDenburgh resides in Stockport with her husband, Paul.   She is a current member of the NYSARC, Inc., Board of Governors.  Ms. VanDenburgh retired from Taconic DDSO in 2010.  From 1974 to 2010, Ms. VanDenburgh worked out of the Valatie office in Columbia County for CDDSO and then Taconic DDSO.  She worked with adult day program, as a case manager, case management supervisor, Family Care Coordinator, Family Care Home Liaison, and trainer.  Part of her duties included membership on Coarc’s Residential Screening Committee.  She was employed by Coarc briefly from December 1978 to April 1979 at the Germantown residence as a houseparent with her husband.  She was a den leader in Cub Scouts for both of her sons.  Ms. VanDenburgh joined the Coarc Board in July of 2010 and is currently Vice President.

Dorothy (Dodie) Wheeler resides in Ghent. She has two sons, one of whom is developmentally disable. She is employed by NYS OTDA as the Director of the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance. She is a current member of the NYSARC, Inc., Board of Governors. Ms. Wheeler has been active in youth sports in the Chatham area for many years. Ms. Wheeler joined the Coarc Board in June of 2008 and is currently President.

Michael Torchia resides in Hudson. He is part owner of Sickler, Torchia, Allen & Churchill CPA’s. Mr. Torchia has been a CPA for over 20 years. He joined the Coarc Board in June of 2015.

Ann Marie O’Hanlon resides in Freehold, Greene County, NY with her husband and three children, all of whom attend Greenville Central School District. Ms. O’Hanlon has been employed at Taconic Biosciences, Inc. for 19 years and is currently an Associate Director Human Resources. Ms. O’Hanlon joined the Coarc in June, 2016 where she serves as Chairperson for the Personnel Committee.

Tracy Cantele resides in Ghent. She has a nephew that has autism. She is employed by Ginsberg’s Foods as the Marketing Manager. She is co-owner of the local UPS Store. She is a current member of the Workforce Development Board of Columbia & Greene Counties. She is a member of the leadership team the Columbia County Relay For Life. Ms. Cantele joined the Coarc Board in February of 2017.

Doris Meier resides in East Chatham with her husband Alan. She has three sons, all of whom reside in Columbia County. She has over 25 years of experience in health care currently employed at Berkshire Health Systems as the Information Technology Director of Physician Practices. She is CPHIMS certified and served for two years on the HIMSS Ambulatory and Patient Engagement Committees. Ms. Meier joined the Coarc Board in March of 2017.