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The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development has announced that Les Kristt, president of Kristt Kelly Office Systems, Corp., will be honored as its 2017 Walter A. Rhulen Award recipient at this year’s Annual Meeting on October 5 at The Sullivan Event Center in Rock Hill.
Additionally, the Partnership will recognize Gary Silver, a partner with Billig, Loughlin & Silver, LLP and a member of the Partnership Board of Directors, as its Distinguished Service Award winner.
The annual Rhulen Award recognizes an individual for business excellence, community commitment, and service to humanity. Mr. Kristt, a lifelong resident of Monticello, N.Y. has worked tirelessly to grow Kristt Kelly Office Systems Corp. over the last 48 years, expanding it from the days of typewriters and mimeographs to focusing on office machines and repairs, computer services and point-of-sale solutions, office furniture, duplicating services, and The Frame Game & Art Supplies.
All the while, he has dedicated much of his free time to improving his community. Mr. Kristt is currently a member and former vice president of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and a founding director of the Community Bank of Sullivan County, now Catskill Hudson Bank, where he chaired the Loan Committee from 1994 through 2007.
He is also a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Orange & Sullivan Celebrity Dinner & Tip Challenge Committee, a 42-year member of the Monticello Rotary Club, and was chairman of Monticello’s Bicentennial Committee in 2004. Most recently, he was chairman of the committee that organized the Rotary’s 2017 Monster Run, a fundraising event that netted $12,000.
Mr. Kristt has led the Monticello Central School District Hall of Distinction Committee since its inception, and been actively involved in Catskill Regional Medical Center’s annual Heart-A-Thon for the past decade. He and his wife, Amy, are also avid animal advocates, and together the Kristts have four rescue dogs and seven rescue exotic birds. Amy is on the Board of Pets Alive.
He was named Businessperson of the Year in 2002 and honored with the 2016 Silver Anniversary Award, both by the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been honored twice by the Sullivan County NAACP, once in 1998 and again in 2003.
“I knew Walter Rhulen; I knew the values and attributes that made him a great person,” Mr. Kristt said. “To be mentioned in the same sentence with him is very much an honor.”
Mr. Silver began his legal career in 1984 as confidential law clerk to Hon. Robert C. Williams, a Supreme Court Justice in Sullivan County, before going into private practice. He is a graduate of Brandies University (1981) and Hofstra Law School, and was a partner in the law practice of Stoloff & Silver, LLP January 1995 through September 2016.
Mr. Silver is a member of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development’s Board of Directors, a member of the Bethel Woods Business Development Committee, a director and the vice president for Legal and Governmental Affairs for Operation Endeavor, Inc. (a not-for-profit humanitarian organization), and president of the Liberty Rotary Club.
Through the Liberty Rotary Club, Mr. Silver is involved in the Haiti Clean Water Program, which works to provide 1,000 water filtration systems to 1,000 families in Cap Haitien, Haiti. He wrote the Rotary Foundation Grant, which helped transform nearly $23,000 into $105,000 to fund the program for at least the next four to five years, and continues his efforts to raise money. Mr. Silver has traveled to Haiti seven times since November 2014 in connection with this program.
Mr. Silver and his wife, Diane, have raised two daughters in Sullivan County, where he has lived for the past 33 years.
“Gary Silver’s actions demonstrate an unwavering commitment to Sullivan County and its economic development,” Sullivan County Partnership President and CEO Marc Baez said. “More importantly, he’s dedicated himself to helping others – both in and outside our region.”
In addition to recognizing Mr. Kristt and Mr. Silver, the Partnership will also officially swear in six new members recently elected to its Board of Directors. Those new Board members include: Larry Wolinsky, Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP; Michael Zalkin, Birchwood Lodge, Inc.; Kevin McLaren, Catskill Hudson Bank; Abhay Jain, YO1 Wellness Center; John Brust, Delaware Engineering DPC; and Tammy Mangus, Monticello Central School District. John Conway of The Center for Discovery and Distinguished Service award recipient Gary Silver of Billig, Loughlin & Silver, LLP, both recently re-elected to the Board of Directors, will also be sworn in.
The Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 5 at The Sullivan Event Center in Rock Hill 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. To RSVP or to become a sponsor, call 845.794.1110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit scpartnership.com for more details.