Expanding AbilitiesOne Person at a Time


The Board of Directors for the Columbia County chapter of the The Arc New York is representative of the community at large.  It consists of the following persons:

Denise Barry, Ed.D.

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, Outreach Coordinator at St. James Church in Chatham and has served on the Chatham Central School District’s Board of Education.  Dr. Barry is the longest, continuously serving, member of Coarc's Board of Directors, having joined the Board in 1972.

John W. Craft

John W. Craft resides in Ghent. John is a widower and has two adult children, Audrey and Steven.  Mr. Craft has over forty years of manufacturing experience, including Plant and Supply Chain Management.  He currently is the Plant Manager of Power and Composite Technologies two facilities in Amsterdam New York.    His other interests and affiliations include Director and Assistant Fair Manager of the Columbia County Agricultural Society, First Vice President of the New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs, 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, Mr. Craft joined the Coarc Board in June of 2013.

Mary Anne VanDenburgh

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.

Annette (Mickey) Dennis

Annette (Mickey) Dennis resides in Spencertown with her husband and daughter, Melissa.  Mrs. Dennis was 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 and Secretary.

Mary Ann Harris

Mary Ann Harris resides in Ghent with her husband, David.  She is the parent of a son, Mark, who lives in Chatham with his wife in a COARC supportive apartment.  Mrs. Harris retired from the medical field as Kaiser’s Office Manager/Administrator and 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, Treasurer and Secretary of the Coarc Board of Directors.  Ms. Harris joined the Coarc Board in June of 1999.

Donna Knight

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.  She has served as 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.

Dorothy (Dodie) Wheeler

Dorothy (Dodie) Wheeler resides in Ghent.  She has two sons, one of whom is developmentally disable.  She was employed and has since retired from the 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 has served as Treasurer, Vice President and President.

Tracy Cantele

Tracy Cantele has been Columbia County resident her entire life. She joined the Coarc Board to advocate for the people and services Coarc provides to individuals like her autistic nephew. She is employed by Ginsberg’s Foods serving as their Marketing Manager for over 20 years. She is the former co-owner of the local successful UPS Store. She has served as a member of the leadership team for the Columbia County Relay For Life. She shares her love of reading by being a mentor in the Hudson Reads School Power Lunch program. Ms. Cantele joined the Coarc Board in February of 2017.

Doris Meier

Doris Meier resides in East Chatham with her husband Alan and has three sons. She has over 30 years of experience in ambulatory healthcare and works on a consulting basis for healthcare organizations. 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.

Karen Blass

Karen Blass has resided in Old Chatham for thirty-three years. She and her husband, Kenneth, have a daughter, Victoria. 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, took a leave of absence and has rejoined in August 2018.

Karen Engel

Karen Engel and her husband, Steve, live in Chatham with their son and daughter. She retired after 35 years as a Special Education Teacher for the Hudson City School District. They are Founding Board Members for Hands and Voices of NY, an organization that serves families of children with hearing loss. She is a member of Zonta of Upper Hudson Valley and the Chatham Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. She was Chair for Jaime's Run for People with Special Needs and Member of Sean's Run Planning Board, as well as, founding Advisor of Hudson High School's Gay Straight Alliance. Ms. Engel joined the Coarc Board in 2017.

Christopher Nardone

Chris Nardone resides in Philmont with his partner Sam and three children Ben, Emilie, and Madeline. Madeline has Autism and previously received services at The Starting Place.  Mr. Nardone is currently the Director of The Workforce Investment Office at Columbia-Greene Community College where he oversees the public workforce development system for Columbia and Greene Counties, and the Columbia-Greene comprehensive one-stop career center. Prior to taking his role at Columbia-Greene Community College he served as Program Manage of Employment Services at COARC for five years. Mr. Nardone also serves on the Board of Directors of Columbia Re-entry, an organization dedicated to supporting people that have been formerly incarcerated and represents Columbia and Greene County on the New York State Coalition to Prevent Addiction and Support Recovery in Employment. Mr. Nardone joined the Coarc Board in 2022.

Daniel Rockefeller

Daniel Rockefeller is a native of Columbia County, born and raised in Germantown. I currently live in Hudson and am currently disabled. I have four grandchildren, two daughters and two sons-in-law. I am a graduate of Germantown Central School and Hudson Valley Community College. I have worked in our family owned restaurant business in Hudson, at a locally owned dealership as a service technician with Ford/Lincoln/Mercury, then as a Master Technician for Ford/Mazda for a career spanning 40 years. I am currently enrolled in Penn Foster College pursuing a new career in Medical Coding/Billing. My current affiliations are with Columbia Opportunities and Columbia County Fair Housing. Mr. Rockefeller joined the Coarc Board in 2022.