News & Insights

SC Partnership Announces Senator John J. Bonacic as 2018 Walter A. Rhulen Award Recipient

County Manager Josh Potosek to be honored with Distinguished Service Award

The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development has announced that New York State Senator John J. Bonacic will be honored as its 2018 Walter A. Rhulen Award recipient at this year’s Annual Meeting on October 4 at The Sullivan Event Center in Rock Hill.

Additionally, the Partnership will recognize Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek, who also serves on the Partnership’s 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. Senator Bonacic represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County, a large part of Orange County, and parts of Delaware and Ulster counties. Over the years, he has brought significant funding from Albany for projects in the district, and was arguably the strongest advocate of bringing a casino to Sullivan County.

Senator Bonacic serves as Deputy Majority Leader for State and Federal Relations as well as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering. In the Senate, Senator Bonacic has championed causes relating to healthcare, property tax relief, and housing.

Senator Bonacic has secured millions in funding to support the advancement of Sullivan County, including most recently a $1 million Infrastructure and Economic Development grant for The Center for Discovery. He also led the effort to affiliate Catskill Regional Medical Center with Orange Regional Medical Center, and created a public-private partnership to make substantial improvements to Catskill Regional Medical Center’s emergency room services. He was the original Senate sponsor of the Women’s Health and Wellness Act, a bill seeking to correct inequity regarding access to healthcare, leading a four-year effort within the Senate to pass this comprehensive legislation.

In August 2018, Senator Bonacic was named the Most Productive State Senator by FiscalNote, a provider of issues management services related to business and government. The recognition was based upon a review of his success at crafting legislation and getting substantive policy changes enacted.

“It has been a pleasure working with Senator Bonacic for the better part of 20 years,” said Sullivan County Partnership President and CEO Marc Baez. “He has always been a champion of the private sector, the small business community, and the everyday hard-working people of our county. Thanks to the attention and dedication he has given us, he will leave office having positively impacted the Sullivan County economy for years to come.”

Senator Bonacic has lived in the area since 1968. He resides with his wife, Pat, in Mount Hope, Orange County. After two decades of representing the district, Senator Bonacic will retire in December.

Joshua Potosek, an employee of Sullivan County for 11 years in various management titles, has served as the County Manager for the past five years.

Mr. Potosek is an inaugural member of the Sullivan County Land Bank Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on undertaking, promoting, and facilitating the return of vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties to productive use to eliminate the harms and liabilities caused by such properties and to combat community deterioration in the County.

The Corporation’s focus is on real estate development and management, real estate project finance, and other community-based economic and human services development activities.

“This past fiscal year especially, County Manager Josh Potosek has demonstrated – by virtue of his personal time and financial commitments – that economic development is one of the most important priorities for Sullivan County,” said Baez. “Whether lending guidance to ad hoc committees, or taking a pro business stance on matters of greater significance, Josh has stayed true to our comprehensive vision and taken necessary risks in order to help continue our economic resurgence.”

Mr. Potosek is member of the Emerald Corporate Center Board of Directors, and an ex-officio member of both the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and Sullivan County Visitors Association.

Prior to working with Sullivan County, Mr. Potosek worked in the private sector. Mr. Potosek graduated from SUNY Binghamton with Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Management, and attended Marist University, where he earned his Master of Business Administration.

Mr. Potosek, a longtime Sullivan County resident, lives in the hamlet of Livingston Manor with his wife and two children.

The Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 4 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 [email protected].