Our Team is United by One Mission

Our Mission

The MHW mission is to 'train and provide employment opportunities for veterans, disabled, and low-income individuals'. Our leadership team and board of directors are focused on leading the mission to provide the greatest impact on the lives of those we serve.

Our Leadership Team

Laura Kiesbye

Executive Director

Laura Kiesbye is the current Executive Director of Mid Hudson Works and she started this role in May 2022. Laura has spent most of her career in for-profit corporate environments where she primarily focused on the Finance and Accounting field. Laura loves to work with numbers and has a passion for finding reconciliation discrepancies. She has held a variety of positions that include the construction and real estate world, Universities/Colleges, and most recently held the position as Regional Finance Manager for Sports Facilities Management (SFM). She loves mentoring and training, along with utilizing her skillsets in the finance, accounting, and human resources fields. Her career at Mid Hudson Works started when she accepted a role as the Finance and Office Manager in 2020. She left Mid Hudson Works in May 2021 and pursued another construction opportunity, but quickly realized a short year later that her heart and passion stayed behind at Mid Hudson Works. At that time, she returned to take on the challenge of being the Executive Director of Mid Hudson Works, with her main focus on creating positive change, promoting organization growth, promoting a positive work culture, and progressing the organization towards financial stability. Laura believes the clients and community members we serve through our work become an extension of our family and loves the community impact that this role fosters. Laura continued with her secondary education immediately following High School. She participated in the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) testing and scholarship program and was granted a full scholarship to The Cittone Institute where she earned a Certificate in Computerized Accounting. She later continued her education at Middlesex County College in Edison, NJ where she earned an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Marketing Concentration from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Laura also earned a Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM) Degree from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Laura was recently accepted to Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and plans to pursue a second Master’s Degree, starting in the Fall of 2023, for Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in nonprofit management. Growing our programming and workforce development capabilities, introducing new and important technologies, and increasing the clients we impact are a top priority on Laura’s list as Executive Director! Laura is also laser focused on building improvements, capital improvements, and equipment needs that will make the workshop an enjoyable place to visit for all of those we serve. On a personal note, Laura enjoys gardening, taking cruises with her family in their classic car, and loves to spend time with family and friends.

Ronald Ferris

Business Development

Ron is a graduate of Salem State College and has worked in the distribution and logistics field for over 20 years. While in school, Ron worked as a part-time truck driver running line-haul at Boston’s Logan Airport. He worked his way into tradeshow freight and eventually owned his own airfreight trucking company based in Boston. Ron also has over 12 years’ experience managing teams for large scale distribution centers in both Massachusetts and New York. Ron was presented with the opportunity to leverage his experience in logistics, distribution, and leadership in 2021 when he left the corporate world to join Mid-Hudson Works. “Coming to MHW was a gift for me, I get to work every day with an amazing team of individuals all while helping our clients scale their businesses. This is truly a Win-Win for everyone.” Ron enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, and extended family and friends which now stretches from New Hampshire to The Hudson Valley. On weekends, Ron can be found taking his wife out on drives to lunch dates in their Jeep, skiing the East with their son, and rock climbing and hiking The Gunks with their daughter.

Our Board of Directors

Steve Mazzuca

Board Chair

Steve Mazzuca is currently the Board President of Mid-Hudson Works. He has a technical background that combines hands-on expertise in data analysis, quality management, process improvement and Lean Six Sigma which he uses to drive continual improvement in targeted business operations. Amazingly, he holds eight patents and has degrees in Physics, Italian, and Electrical Engineering. Moreover, Steve has worked with teams around the world to help them implement sustainable improvements in their business processes. He is a retired IBM Principal Data Scientist and Executive Project Manager with 36 years of experience implementing organizational transformation.

Robert Edge, Jr.

Board Vice-Chair

Robert “Bob” Edge is the Vice Chair at Mid Hudson Works. He’s been a Supply Chain Executive with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and 35 years of diverse experience in all aspects of supply chain operations (supply/demand, capacity planning, engineering, quality, procurement, manufacturing, & logistics). Bob is also an expert in leading global organizations to optimize productivity and profitability by identifying continual process improvement opportunities, and quality performance in our products. He has a proven ability to lead, manage, design, and implement creative organizations for IBM hardware & solutions missions. Bob has been recognized for outstanding operations management and delivery performance, as well as unique and creative solutions to achieve all business opportunities. Bob has proven leadership, communications, and global staff development skills. Bob has received numerous professional awards from the IBM Corporation, including recognition for people management, new product planning leadership, and Corporate Technical Recognition (CTRE) for Technology leadership and innovation.

Stephen Pollicella

Board Treasurer

Stephen Policella is currently serving as the Board Treasurer for Mid-Hudson Works since January 2023. His dedication to the organization and commitment to its financial stability make him a valuable asset to the board. Stephen joined the MHW Board in 2022, bringing with him a wealth of experience and expertise. Prior to his retirement, he had a successful career at IBM Corporation, where he made significant contributions in his professional role. Having worked at IBM Corporation, Stephen has gained extensive knowledge in areas such as technology, business operations, and financial management. His experience in a prominent corporation like IBM equips him with a deep understanding of organizational dynamics and strategic decision-making processes.

Meredith Cavanaugh

Board Secretary

Meredith Cavanaugh is the highly valued Board Secretaty of MHW, having joined in October 2022. Her extensive experience, academic background, and commitment to the organization make her an asset to the board and its various committees. Meredith holds a degree in Industrial Engineering, which serves as a testament to her expertise in the manufacturing field. This educational foundation equips her with a strong understanding of engineering principles and problem-solving methodologies. Before joining the MHW board, Meredith enjoyed a successful career at IBM, where she dedicated 30 years to various engineering and management positions. Her experience in both technical and leadership roles at IBM showcases her versatility and ability to navigate complex challenges.

Board Members

Sean Griffin

Board Member

Sean H. Griffin is the President of Cornerstone Services, Inc. [please use this hyperlink for the business: www.crst.net] in New Paltz, NY and resides with his family in Kingston NY. He has served on both national and regional boards of directors and is past-president of two international not-for-profit organizations; and his service experience includes the past-presidency of a local, Hudson Valley chamber of commerce. His professional experience includes corporate finance at the Bank of Nova Scotia and private banking at JPMorgan Chase Bank. Having been born and raised in Poughkeepsie, and a longstanding member of the Hudson Valley community, Sean believes in the mission of Mid-Hudson Works and the "win-win" proposition that MHW brings to the region and beyond.

Rick Stark

Board Member

Since 1996, Rick Stark has been an esteemed and dedicated member of the Board of Directors at Mid-Hudson Works. His long-standing commitment to the organization demonstrates his passion for its mission and the impact it has on the community. In addition to his role as a Board Member, he has also served as the past Board President for the Mid-Hudson Works, Board of Directors. As the Board President, he provided strong leadership, guiding the organization towards its goals and fostering a collaborative and productive environment among the board members. Outside of his involvement with Mid-Hudson Works, he contributes his expertise and skills in the Sales Department at Stephen Gould Corporation. His professional experience in sales showcases his ability to build strong relationships with clients and drive business growth.

Nancy Forrest

Board Member

Nancy Forrest is the Board President for the Poughkeepsie Kiwanis Club. Her extensive background in this industry has provided her with a deep understanding of business operations and sales strategies, making her a valuable asset to the Kiwanis Club. Having semi-retired from her professional career, Nancy now dedicates her time and energy to leading the Poughkeepsie Kiwanis Club and is also serving as a Board Member on the Mid Hudson Works Board of Directors since 2019. Her commitment to the club’s mission and her extensive knowledge of the community makes her a highly respected figure among the members and the community at large. Nancy’s dedication to service, both in her professional career and within the Poughkeepsie Kiwanis Club, exemplifies her commitment to making a difference. Her passion for community involvement and her extensive background in business make her a remarkable leader and an inspiration to others. With Nancy Forrest at the helm, the Poughkeepsie Kiwanis Club is well-positioned to continue its important work in serving the community and making a lasting impact on the lives of those in need.

Fabio Danisi, MD

Board Member

Dr. Fabio Danisi is an esteemed professional in the field of neurology, currently serving as the Associate Director of Neurology at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical. His expertise and dedication to patient care make him a valuable asset to the medical community. In addition to his role at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital, Dr. Danisi holds the position of Center and Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at New York Medical College. This dual role allows him to contribute both to the academic and clinical aspects of neurology, further enriching his knowledge and expertise in the field. Dr. Danisi’s commitment to serving the community extends beyond his medical practice. In 2022, he joined the board of Mid-Hudson Works (MHW), demonstrating his dedication to supporting the organization’s mission and making a positive impact on the community.

Jenna Kelly

Board Member

Jenna Kelly is a Hudson Valley native who is passionate about her community and relationship building as she has seen firsthand how its members show up for each other in unexpected ways, every day. She has been with Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions for 11 years, where she’s staffing for Industrial, Medical and administrative positions for Hudson Valley companies and is currently the Business Development Manager. Her professional experience has provided her with insights into the local job market and well as recruitment and retention strategies. Jenna has been volunteering for various organizations since a very young age thanks to her family for always being involved and bringing her along. Jenna currently serves as a Board Member for Angels of Light, The Chamber Foundation, and Mid-Hudson Works, as well as Co-Chair of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Committee, committee member for the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, Rock of Angels and a day of volunteer for many other events. Her primary role in all that she is involved in is spreading awareness, event planning and fundraising via events. Jenna received her bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY New Paltz and was named a Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce 40 Under 40 in 2019.

Debra C. Clinton

Board Member

Bio to follow...

Cliff Scholl

Director Emeritus (as of 5/15/23)

Cliff Scholl: A Multifaceted Leader in Community Advocacy and Music Cliff Scholl's remarkable journey is defined by his commitment to community service and his unwavering dedication to the arts. With a career spanning over six decades as a professional musician and the esteemed proprietor of The Complete Sound in Music, Scholl has made an indelible impact on both the music industry and the communities he serves. In 1982, Cliff Scholl joined the Mid-Hudson Workshop Board of Directors, where his leadership and strategic vision propelled the organization forward until his retirement in 2022, culminating in his tenure as Vice President. His dedication to empowering veterans and individuals with disabilities, as well as driving forward the organization's mission, has forged a lasting legacy characterized by inclusivity and opportunity. Scholl's dedication to community service extends beyond his role with the Mid-Hudson Workshop. As President of the Poughkeepsie Kiwanis Club and New York State Lieutenant Governor of the Kiwanis Club, he has spearheaded numerous initiatives to uplift and support those in need. Additionally, his service on the Board of Directors of the Poughkeepsie Salvation Army has been instrumental in furthering their mission of providing essential support to the community. Scholl's exemplary service has garnered widespread recognition, including the prestigious 2006 Salvation Army Community Service Award, honoring his outstanding contributions to the betterment of society. Academically, Scholl's achievements are equally impressive. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance and a Master's Degree in Composition from The Juilliard School of Music, where he honed his craft and developed a profound appreciation for the transformative power of music. Through his multifaceted endeavors as a musician, community leader, and advocate, Cliff Scholl continues to inspire others to strive for excellence and make a positive impact in their communities. His enduring legacy of service and leadership serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come.

Larry Miller

Director Emeritus (as of 6/11/23)

Larry has 30 years credited at IBM, with three and a half years of those 30 serving as a Navy Officer at the Naval Security Group Headquarters in Washington, DC. For the other years at IBM, Larry was the Engineering Manager of Development for Large System Diagnostics and later a Manager of Performance Management for Large Airline Reservations Systems. Larry’s last five years were spent as the Executive Assistant to the IBM Director of Corporate Education. At Mid-Hudson Works, Larry served on the Board for 18 years. Larry served several years in the role of Board Treasurer.