Enough T-J Star nominations to fill the sky


In a year that was filled with challenges—aren’t they all anymore?—once again, Schoharie County stepped up to meet them.
Making it a challenge for us to pick just one Times-Journal Star.
Truly, it’s an honor to be nominated and we thank everyone who called or emailed us with their suggestions.
“We have more in common than we think sometimes and that’s our real strength,” said T-J Editor Patsy Nicosia, who coordinates the Star search.
“We may get kicked down, but we get back up. So many people working so hard to make this a better place…they all deserve our thanks—and support.”
The 2022 nominees:
Ethel Benninger, for a lifetime spent being there for the community, from working to deliver Thanksgiving to hosting celebrations for our veterans.
Jennifer Hicks, for being the “best manager ever” at Burger King and taking care of her employees.
Tom Nigro, whose Park Theater is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
“It’s one of the only things left in Cobleskill…He kept it going after COVID shutdowns…”
Bob Holt, “a man of so many talents.”
“He’s involved in so many things—the Schoharie Valley Singers, Historic District…he serves two churches, and I love seeing his old photos in the Times-Journal.”
Steve Harris, who’s retiring as CEO of Sterling Insurance and who oversaw the formation of The Sterling Foundation, which since 2014, has made donations to more than 50 community organizations.
Mr. Harris has also served on the boards of the Iroquois Indian Museum, SUNY Education Foundation, and Yo Scho Haro horse club—among others.
Don Airey, for “leading the charge to make sure our communities are fairly compensated…for solar.
“Don has also worked to foster cooperation with DEC and NYPA…and is working to mitigate the burden of the streambank project as much as possible for the county.”
John McMichael, who’s worked “24/7 making, packaging, and handing out his TML drops for treatment of COVID. And he did it all for free.
“During the ongoing COVID pandemic, when misinformation, disinformation, and outright political lies caused misery and death, one man came quietly to the forefront to help us.”
Pam Foland, who as Schoharie’s Town Clerk/Tax Collector, “has one of the most thankless jobs within the town,” for doing “so much extra research on her own to make sure she can serve her community,” for going above and beyond to help with everything from lost dogs to tax issues, “There isn’t a person she doesn’t try to help.”
Nick Juried, “for all the philanthropic kindness he has bestowed on numerous organizations throughout Schoharie County. He has truly made a positive impact here.”
Ron Filmer, retiring as CEO of the Industrial Development Agency.
“In the past year, Ron has worked tirelessly to attract businesses and developers to the county’s I-88 corridor, manage and award PILOT incentives, and work with local partners to move forward projects and plans for investments in industry in Schoharie County.”
Lisa Tenneson, who “goes above and beyond to promote and support businesses throughout Schoharie County.”
Joan Wissert, who, as president of MABA, has been instrumental in the revitalization of Middleburgh.
“She works tirelessly on creating new events, helps find resources for businessess…and goes above and beyond to fill in the gaps that the community lacks.”
Dave DeSando, who’s given his own time to help educate Schoharie County citizens about the value of Narcan to someone who’s overdosed.
“He has trained hundreds of individuals and EMTs over the years. He meets people where the are in they are in need of Narcan.”
SEEC, “for challenging us all to grow Schoharie County’s economy—and our future. And for the founders who stepped up with their own money to make SEEC happen.”
The late Frank Masterson.
“We’ll never be able to fill Frank’s shoes, especially when it comes to his role in teaching us all the importance of all of the parts of the Constitution.”
Fran Sossei and the Warnerville United Methodist Church, for following their Christian mission in their efforts to open the warming station—and for not giving up.
Doug Cater, for making the Cobleskill Sunshine Fair the best in the state.