News & Insights


The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development has announced an exciting lineup of speakers and honorees – most all of whom are Sullivan County natives – for this year’s Annual Meeting on October 10th at The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in Monticello, N.Y.

Leading the lineup as this year’s keynote speaker will be The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark’s director of sales and marketing, Dan Paradiso. Mr. Paradiso is an Eldred, N.Y. native and has 20 years of executive experience in hotel sales and marketing. Prior to joining The Kartrite team, Mr. Paradiso was the global director for memberships east for Club Quarters Hotels. He also served as the director of sales and marketing for Millennium Hotels & Resorts at ONE UN New York.

Mr. Paradiso has served as president of the Greater New York Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and is a past board member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Greater New York Chapter. He is also a former adjunct hospitality instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Mr. Paradiso is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of East Stroudsburg University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. He earned his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation from the Events Industry Council. Paradiso is a member of the Sullivan County Visitors Association.

This year’s honorees are also Sullivan County natives and include Walter A. Rhulen Award winners Sims Foster and Kirsten Harlow Foster and Distinguished Service Award winner Michael Zalkin.

Sims, a Sullivan County native, and his wife and business partner, Kirsten, own and operate Foster Supply Hospitality and manage Western Properties, LLC. Their businesses consist of a group of boutique hotels and restaurants in the Sullivan Catskills including well-known names such as The Arnold House and The DeBruce in Livingston Manor, N.Y., The North Branch Inn in North Branch, N.Y., The Cabin at Hessinger-Lare in Jeffersonville, N.Y., and Piccolo Paese and the Sullivan County Golf and Country Club in Liberty, N.Y.

Michael Zalkin is a Woodridge, N.Y. native with a long history of success in the travel industry in Sullivan County. Mr. Zalkin was an assistant professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind. for five years before returning to Sullivan County to take over his family’s camping resort, Birchwood Acres. In 2013, Michael sold the park to Sun Communities, an NYSE-traded REIT. Currently Michael oversees real estate and other investments held in his sub-chapter S Corp, Birchwood Lodge, Inc. He also dedicates a significant portion of his time to his community.

“Dan and Sims are examples of a trend that has just begun in Sullivan County where we are seeing a ‘brain gain’ of professionals coming back to our area to plant roots,” said Marc Baez, president and CEO of the Partnership. “The new career opportunities and positive entrepreneurial environment that we have created in Sullivan County will help its continuation into the future.”

“And Michael, a member of the Partnership’s Board of Directors and chairman of the Partnership’s Membership Committee, has helped the Partnership and positioned the organization to better serve our members moving forward,” Mr. Baez added.

Other speakers at the Partnership’s annual meeting will include Sullivan County Democrat Publisher Fred Stabbert III, a member of the Partnership’s Board of Directors and chairman of the Partnership’s Marketing Committee, along with Mr. Baez.

The Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 10th at The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. To RSVP or to become a sponsor, call 845.794.1110 or email Jen Cassaro at [email protected].