Board of Directors
Mary Lou Heisennbuttel, President, is a graduate of Wagner College with a B.S. and Adelphi University with a MSW. She became the first director of Grace Smith House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children and was also the first director of the Supervised Visitation Program in Family Court. Mary Lou is presently working with Adelphi University as a Faculty Liaison for social work students doing internships. She has served on the Board of Directors and officer of a number of non-profits including the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val Kill, Mental Health America-Dutchess County, the Mental Health Association of NYS., as well as the Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Mary Lou is presently volunteering with the Dutchess Re-Entry Project, supporting women returning to the community from incarceration, is a member of a team facilitating a support group for Parkinson's Disease patients and is organizing a Domestic Violence Court Watch program with AAUW.
Jane Cottrell, Esq., Vice President, is both a lawyer and a commercial mediator. In this role she has worked with individual and corporate parties in both the US and England. In addition to he is a volunteer mediator for the Mediation Center of Dutchess County. As a lawyer she specializes in entertainment work, principally in the television industry. Jane earned her law degree at Columbia University School of Law and trained as a mediator at Regent’s College in London. She did advanced study in negotiation at Harvard University School of Law and in intellectual property at Oxford University. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Utah.
Elizabeth (Betty) Halstead, Treasurer, held numerous accounting positions over the years at St. Francis Hospital, including Accountant, Budget Director and with more than 35 years, retired in 2008 as the Director of Finance/Controller. She has served on the Finance Committee for more than 20 years at Mount Carmel Church, working on the School and Church Budgets. Each June Mount Carmel Church holds the annual Saint Anthony's Street Festival and Betty is responsible for all of the cash and the cash reports. She also volunteers as a Eucharist Minister, visiting the Valley River Nursing Home, Poughkeepsie. Betty is the Chairwoman of the Audit Committee of the Mediation Center.
Don Murphy was the CEO of St. Francis Hospital for 25 years (ret. 2000), one of two community hospitals in Poughkeepsie. Prior to assuming the CEO position, he held senior hospital positions in Worcester, MA and Albany, NY. While in Albany he also was an adjunct professor of Health Care Administration in the Graduate School of RPI. He holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy also an MBA in Health Care Administration. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association and sat on the board of Mental Health America-Dutchess County serving as treasurer. He also was elected Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Dutchess County.
Hon. Gerald V Hayes was a Dutchess County Court Judge from May 2000 until his retirement in December 2010. After graduating from Fordham Law School in 1968, he became an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, and then, a Dutchess County assistant district attorney (1971-1980). During the next twenty years, he was engaged in the private practice of law and was also a part time assistant public defender. While a County Judge, he was appointed an Acting Supreme Court Justice. His expanded duties included being the Integrated Domestic Violence Court Judge (2006-2009). Additionally, Judge Hayes was the Dutchess County Drug Diversion Judge during 2009-2010. He has been a speaker at numerous seminars and legal education programs. In addition to being a member of various legal and judicial organizations, Judge Hayes was a member of the Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council from 2000-2010.
Lori Nutting is a Professional Organizer, Time Management and Organization Workshop speaker and founder of Details by Design. With a background in advertising, marketing and education, Lori has over 20 years experience managing and working with a wide variety of people. Lori is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), serves on the Board and Fundraising Committee of the Council on Addiction Prevention & Education (CAPE) and volunteers with local community educational, recreational and children's organizations. She earned her Masters in Business Administration at Mt. St. Mary College and her Bachelor of Science at Keene State College.
Diane Jablonski retired after 37 years in management at IBM and as a consultant and director for Cap Gemini Ernst and Young. She managed organizations with responsibility for major products and offerings, including financial accountability. She held “staff” positions which required the ability to work across diverse organizations to gain agreement on key issues and direction. At Cap Gemini Ernst and Young she also worked as a consultant, negotiated contracts, and audited on-going projects. Diane spent four years as Dutchess County Comptroller, gaining a grounding in government finance, and auditing both internal organizations and groups providing services to the county. She is active in the League of Women Voters, AAUW, Dutchess Democratic Women’s Caucus, and in her church. Diane is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in Mathematics.
Anthony C. Carlini, Jr, a partner with the law firm of Handel and Carlini, LLP, has been practicing law in the Hudson Valley since 1995. A graduate of Rutgers University and Tulane Law School, Anthony has focused his practice on commercial litigation and representation of institutional clients and businesses in the area. He is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bar Associations, the past president and a current director of the Hudson Valley Bankruptcy Bar Association, and also a former Board Member of the Dutchess County Pro Bono Association. He was a lecturer of civil procedure for the Marist College Paralegal Program. Finally, Anthony is a private pilot and counsel to the members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Joan Pagones , a native of Westchester County, Joan has been a resident of Fishkill since 1971. She is the first woman elected to serve as Town Supervisor and served in that position for over twenty years. Joan is a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes H. S. She holds an A. A. Degree from Dutchess Community College in Liberal Arts and the Humanities. She is a graduate of Pace University s land Use Program and has attended Empire State College. She has been honored by Pace University with their Groundbreakers Award, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts, Our lady of Lourdes. H. S., The Exchange Clubs Meritorious Award, The American Cancer Society, Mid Hudson Patterns for Progress President’s award among others. Joan is married to D. C. Surrogate and Acting N. Y. S. Supreme Court Judge James Pagones. They are the parents of U. S. Army Captain Jordan Pagones and daughter Julia Pagones.
Rachel Flanagan, a local attorney, with a private general practice focusing on estate planning/elder law, matrimonial law, family law and general litigation. She is a graduate from Regent University School of Law and Marist College. In addition to the practice of law and serving on the board of directors, Rachel spends her time serving as the treasurer for the mid-hudson women's bar association, volunteer teaching for the center for lifetime studies, volunteering through local political organizations and offering free legal help on a pro bono basis for clients referred from Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.
Hooker Heaton is a life-long resident of the City and Town of Poughkeepsie and currently resides with his wife Carole, a Registered Nurse. They have three children, the youngest being a sophomore at Marist College. In 1972, Hooker graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a BA in Economics; in 1975, he commenced working for the Dutchess County Courts; in 1976, he was appointed the Deputy Commissioner of Jurors for Dutchess County; in 1990, he was appointed the Commissioner of Jurors for Dutchess County; and in 2010, he retired. As Commissioner, he supervised non-judicial employees and interacted with the public, Judges and their staff, court administrators and other government officials, attorneys, and the news media He participated in various management training programs, and served two terms as the President of the State Association of Jury Commissioners. From 1981-1987, Hooker served as 2nd Ward Alderman on the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council and previously served on the boards of the Vassar Brothers Institute and the Dutchess County YMCA. As a parent, I was involved in Little League, Cub Scouts, and the rowing associations for both Spackenkill and Lourdes. He believes in the mission of the Mediation Center, especially for young persons, and was attracted by the strength and dedication of the Board.