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Board of Directors Biographies

Don Gersch | President

Don Gersch has worked with people with disabilities as a special educator for more than 46 years. Much of that time was spent with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities in Delaware County. He has also worked in early intervention programs, and currently is an assistive technology evaluator and trainer. Don has served on the board of the Catskill Center for Independence for over 26 years. He lives in Afton, NY with his wife, Jan, and has two adult children, Deborah, a speech pathologist, and Robert, a genetics researcher. His interests include hiking, kayaking, photography and traveling to warmer climates.

Rich Devlin | Vice President

Retired from NJ Law Enforcement due to a disability in 1971.  Was a police and fire instructor in both NJ & NY.  Moved to NY in l973 with his wife and two children.  Owned and ran a security business until I went to work for Otsego County as their STOP DWI Coordinator.  In early 2000 went to work for the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee until my retirement in May of 2012.  Throughout my adult life I have been involved in numerous community and volunteer services.  I have previously served on the board of Catskill Center for Independence, and rejoined the board several years ago.

Lyle Smith | Treasurer

Lyle Smith is NBT Bank’s Market Manager responsible for developing and overseeing the bank’s ten offices in Otsego and Schoharie Counties.  He is based in NBT Bank’s Oneonta Wall Street office and he has been with NBT Bank since 1989.

 Nancy Morton | Secretary

Nancy graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1968 and began working as a legal secretary for Scott Greene.  In February 1969 she took a job as a typist in the Otsego County Personnel Office, rising to the position of Director.  She retired from this position in February 2006.  Nancy has served on the Board of the Catskill Center for 11 years, holding the office of Secretary for her entire tenure. She was also the Otsego County ADA Coordinator.

Jim Koury

Jim Koury is a life-long native of Oneonta and has been integrally involved in the community.  He was the City Clerk for the City of Oneonta for over 21 years and currently is pursuing many varied interests.  He is an avid writer, who strives to make it his primary vocation in life.  He is also the Editor/Publisher of Diversity Rules Magazine, an alternative focus publication that deals with issues of diversity and equality. 

Jim has always been one that respects the differences in people and believes in the inherent potential of every human being regardless of who they are or what challenges they may be facing.  He is an activist who is not afraid to ruffle some feathers. His main objective is to get people to think and think for themselves. He espouses Aristotle’s mantra, “It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.” One can believe what they wish but they also have the free will to choose to discard what does not mesh with their worldviews or life's paradigm in which they function each and every day.

Jim embraces change, albeit uncomfortable at times, and looks forward to new opportunities and challenges.  He encourages others to do the same since stepping outside of one's comfort zone is the fire that drives us all to become the person we are meant to be.

Tom Brindley

Tom Brindley is the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Oneonta City School District. Tom began his career in education in the Oneonta City School District in September of 2000. During his time with the Oneonta City Schools, Tom has taught middle school social studies, coached both football and baseball in the high school, served as the high school associate principal, then served as the high school principal, and now serves in the capacity of assistant superintendent of schools. Prior to serving the Oneonta community in this capacity, Tom served as a police officer with the City of Oneonta Police Department. Tom recognizes the value of civil service and looks forward to continuing to serve the greater Oneonta community.

 

 

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