George and Kathy Weiss
Elliott Auerbach is Ulster County’s first Comptroller. As a lifelong resident of the County, safeguarding its continued success and growth is Elliott’s highest goal. Since the establishment of the Office in 2008, he has challenged himself and his staff to approach each day as an opportunity to protect the taxpayer’s investment in their County government by preventing fraud, identifying waste, and reducing inefficiency.
Susan Barnett is an author and journalist who grew up in Ulster County. Currently a columnist for Ulster Publishing, Feminist.com and BookTrib.com and producer and host of WAMC’s nationally syndicated radio program, 51% The Women’s Perspective, her career in broadcast and print news has focused on helping educate the public about social issues. She is the owner of Barnett Communications, providing communication strategies and content to a variety of private, public and non-profit clients. She has worked as a teacher, teaching writing skills to college-bound students with learning disabilities both in the classroom and as a private tutor. She’s volunteered her time in her children’s schools and helped organize events to benefit education and community foundations. She lives in West Hurley with her partner and too many pets.
Rik Flynn, Co-Founder and Founding President, is a retired teacher and resident of Ulster County for nearly forty years. He served as a classroom special education instructor, was an Assistant Director of the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center and an acting director and board member for the Ulster County School To Work Partnership. He received an undergraduate degree from Marist College and Master of Science degree in Education from SUNY, New Paltz. During his tenure as a teacher at Ulster County BOCES, he was also an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz for a graduate level special education practicum requirement. He was president of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Ulster County BOCES Teachers’ Organization and a member of several state and national professional education organizations. He was also a vice-president of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation (HVALF) and officer of the Upper Hudson Area Central Labor Council (UHCLC), AFL-CIO.
Stephen Gilman is the founder and executive director of MakerState. Stephen and his son Ben started MakerState to bring fun science, technology, engineering, arts, and math building projects and experiments to all kids, schools and communities. Stephen is a founding board member of UlsterCorps, a founder of the Carnegie Learning Center, and a founding teacher and dean of Bronx Expeditionary Learning High School (now Bronx Collegiate), a public school founded in Outward Bound experiential learning. He is the author of Nightshade, an historical thriller set in 1702 about a conspiracy to expand the Atlantic slave trade. Stephen enjoys making and playing games, pottery, geocaching, fiction writing, social entrepreneurism, and creativity of all kinds.
Franny Hertz has a teaching degree and a Social Work degree. She is a teacher, coordinator and advisor at Rondout Valley High School. Her emphasis, as an educator, is to incorporate teaching her students to have a positive self-image while raising their awareness about the world in which they live.
Paula Lockshon is a social worker and has run mental health programs in the nonprofit sector for 2 decades. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Human Services Concentration at SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Ulster and has a Private Psychotherapy Practice in Kingston, NY. She has been a Program Director of the County’s Domestic Violence Shelter and Board member at Family of Woodstock, Inc. where she was instrumental in creating the first program for children at the DV Shelter in the 1980s. Her commitment to grassroots movements and community organizing remains foremost in her life. Paula lives in High Falls with her life partner and their tall 16 year old son.
Laraine Mai, has thirty-eight years of nonprofit leadership and management
experience as a founder, executive, and consultant in the fields of education, youth services, international
issues, and interfaith cooperation. From 1994 to 2007 she served as President of the International
Center for Integrative Studies, a research, education and consulting nonprofit organization. In 2002
she launched RiverTides, an ICIS leadership, education and consulting services program. Previously, she served as Vice-President of ICIS for Programs and Planning; was co-founder of The Door – A Center of Alternatives, a model multi-service center for adolescents. She also served as the first Executive Director of the Interfaith Center of New York. Civic involvement includes: Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley; International Advisory Council of CANHELP, Svenshogen, Sweden, Founders’ Council of The Interfaith Center of New York, the National Advisory Council of the New York Open Center. She also served with the Peace Corps in Venezuela from 1967 to 1969. Laraine lives in New Paltz, NY.
Deborah Schneer, Esq., has devoted her entire professional career, as an attorney and as a judge, to public service. After graduating from Tufts University, Deborah spent a year in rural Missouri as a Vista volunteer, teaching poor people how to be their own advocates. Upon graduation from NYU Law School, she worked for Prisoners Legal Services of NY in Poughkeepsie and later as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Department of Law. In 2005 Deborah Schneer was elected as Town Justice in the Town of Rochester, and in 2009 appointed Ulster County Court Judge. Deborah has practiced law for 25 years and has lived in Ulster County for 20 years. She resides in High Falls with her family and currently works in private practice in Rosendale.