Jim Witt's HOPE for Youth Foundation
The HOPE for Youth Foundation continues to have a profound and lasting impact on children.
Founded in 1986, the Foundation, a 501(c)(3), has proudly distributed more than $5.2 million to better the lives of local youth in the Hudson Valley by funding worthy charities (with a focus on children), scholarships to local high school students and local programs that promote healthy academic, emotional or athletic programs.
Founding members of HFYF are Gary Pease, former owner of WHUD/WLNA radio, and Jim Witt, former owner of Fleetweather Inc. and former educator.
Clare very recently moved to Cortlandt Manor after living in Briarcliff Manor for 48 years with her late husband Paul. They have two married children and two wonderful granddaughters.
Clare spent her entire 47 year professional career working with children both in her private practice as a clinical psychologist and in schools, first as a school psychologist and later as an assistant superintendent retiring in 2016. Clare has always been involved with volunteer-work including serving on ethics boards in the Village of Ossining and previously in the Village of Briarcliff Manor and on the Westchester County Pychological Association’s (WCPA)ethics committee and was the president of WCPA. She is currently the Education Committee Chair at Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff and a member of the synagogue’s Board of Trustees.
John W. Burke
John was born in Peekskill and is a graduate of Peekskill High School. He currently resides in Peekskill with his wife Jan, along with her mother Peggy and their cat Maggie Mae.
John received a scholarship to the Art Career School that was located in the Flat Iron Building in Manhattan. Upon graduating, he began his career as a Commercial Artist. After many years commuting, he became an Art Director at Mastandrea Studios in Mt. Kisco, NY. In 2004 he joined CitationAir, a private jet company in Greenwich, CT as their Accounting Specialist and Customer Relations Representative.
He is an Elder of the Peekskill Presbyterian Church and has served on their Session and on their pastoral search committees. He was chairperson of their Stewardship Committee for many years. He also served on the Board of Directors at Stonegate Apartments. John has been involved with the Hudson Valley Weather Calendar as a volunteer for the past 17 years. He initially worked with Joe Deutsch in choosing the photos and on the production of the calendar. He now handles all aspects of the calendar each year from start to finish until it is delivered to the printer.
Joel is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at New York City College of Technology, a branch of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, located in Brooklyn. He began his teaching career at the City College of New York (CCNY) in 1970 and joined the faculty of City Tech in the fall of 1972. Prior to teaching in CUNY, Joel was a member of the U.S. military serving as a Truck and tank mechanic and rising to the rank of Specialist 5th class.
Joel holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from CCNY and has taken additional course work at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Joel and his wife Jill moved to the Village of Croton on Hudson in 1977 and have lived in the area ever since. They have been actively involved in many charities in the Westchester area, raised their daughters there, and love their Teatown neighborhood.
Mike Dardano brings 43 years of marketing and sales experience to BuzzPotential. His company focuses on making a positive difference for his clients that includes increasing profitable sales and enhancing community give back efforts.
Prior to forming BuzzPotential, Mike was a Senior Vice President at Co-Communications where he oversaw day-to-day operations, account management, strategic and new business development, media planning, research, and event management. Mike held senior positions in marketing and advertising sales at Burst! Media, Editor and Publisher, Media Passage, and The Los Angeles Times.
Mike is an active member of The Business Council of Westchester, Armonk Chamber of Commerce, Eastchester Tuckahoe Chamber of Commerce, Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce and Tuckahoe Environmental and Sustainability Committee.
Mike believes in supporting local charities and has recently helped raise funds for WestCop, Cluster Community Services, Latino U College Access, Support Connection, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, March of Dimes, Homes For Veterans, Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, Scarsdale Public Library and North Castle Public Library. He and his wife Susan, were awarded the Support Connection Maria Rubino Jennings Spirit of Caring Award for their charitable work on behalf of the Yorktown based charity.
Chapman Manzer (Chappy) is owner/President of Manzer’s Landscaping Design & Development, in Peekskill, N.Y., with extensive experience managing construction and large landscaping projects. Previously Chappy worked at Cantor Fitzgerald in Operations and holds a Master of Science in Physical Education. Besides running a successful business, Mr. Manzer spends his time and energy giving back to others through involvement in community events in and around the City of Peekskill including, Support the Troops, Gift of Life, and coaching wrestling at the pee wee, middle school and high school levels. In addition, Manzer’s has donated materials and labor for 100 cherry trees to the City of Peekskill to commemorate Peekskill Rotary’s 100th Anniversary, VA Quiet Garden, Peekskill Riverfront Green 911 Memorial, and several memorials for fallen friends and police officers of the local community. Chappy has served as President of the Peekskill Rotary Club and is a member of the Peekskill Chamber of Commerce.
Most recently, with the onset of Covid-19 and the devastating financial implications, he has devoted himself to organizing programs that provide food and donations to those in need.
John McCann has been in Sales and Sales management for over 35 years. In his current position he is a Business Performance Advisor with Insperity Corporation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Mercy College. John’s previous non-profits include Vice President of Philipstown Little League and Vice President of Haldane Booster Club. John has also been involved in many community projects in Philipstown.
John currently resides in Garrison with his wife of 35 years, Renee and together have three adult sons and a dog named Yogi. He is very excited to be part HFYF and looks forward to helping with the organization.
Deb has a 40+year career in Marketing and Sales. Deb worked as a Writer/Producer at CBS from 1976-1989, as VP of Marketing for Guide Communications from 1991-2007 and District Sales Manager at Yellow Book USA from 2007-2010.
She has served as President of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce since 2010 bringing her years of business relationships and marketing background to the position. Over the last 11 years, the chamber has grown from 324 members to 500+. New programs and initiatives have been added including the creation of a non-profit 501c-3 whose focus is Workforce Development, Scholarships and Tourism. The Chamber is now the number one business voice of Northern Westchester County.
Deb has an extensive background of community service and has been recognized by the Westchester County Board of Legislators, State & Local elected officials, for community service.
Ronald G. Worth, DDS, FAGD
Dr. Ronald Worth has been practicing dentistry in Cortlandt Manor, New York since 1988. Dr. Worth has been recognized by his colleagues to be included in the database of topDentists and listed in Westchester Magazine as such since 2011. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, member of the American Dental Association, New York Dental Association, Ninth District Dental Association and Past President of The Peekskill/Yorktown Dental Society.
Dr. Worth graduated with honors from Binghamton University and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine. He was president of the dental school in his 3rd year and received numerous awards upon graduation. After a General Practice Residency at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, he joined a group practice in Cortlandt Manor. Dr. Worth became the owner of the dental practice in 1995 and continues to provide dental care to the area residents.
Ron learned the value of community service early in life while growing up in Newburgh, New York. He became an Eagle Scout in a very active Boy Scout Troop 27. He was a committee member of Troop 238 in Shrub Oak, New York, for seven years while his son Matthew was a member and earned his Eagle Scout Award. Ron is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Peekskill where he led fundraising efforts to support numerous organizations including large donations for the support and treatment of opiate dependency. Ron received a Paul Harris award from the Rotary Club of Peekskill and has been an active board member for numerous years. Ron lives with his wife, Deborah and 3 college age children in Mohegan Lake, NY. He enjoys time with his family in the Adirondacks hiking, kayaking, skiing and relaxing in the mountain air.
John C. Sullivan, Esq.
John is is the founder of the John C. Sullivan P.C. a law firm in Yorktown Heights. He represents clients in a variety of legal matters, including real estate, wills, trusts & estates, business law and litigation.
Prior to founding the firm in 1992, Mr. Sullivan was an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He received his law degree from New York Law School in 1988. He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and is a member of the New York State Bar Association.