Golf Honoree: James W. Taylor, Jr.
James (Jim) W. Taylor, Jr. is a native of Newburgh, NY who still
resides in the town with his wife, Eileen.
Jim founded Taylor Biomass Energy, LLC in 2005 as part of his
family’s business commitment to waste reduction, recycling, and
reuse. He built the first of these businesses, Taylor Tree, Inc.,
his father’s business founded in 1956, into one of the Hudson
Valley’s largest land clearing and tree service companies. Jim is
an industry visionary with the practical contracting experience to
manage projects of any complexity.
Taylor Recycling Facility, LLC disposes wood from other
businesses and is a leading recycler of construction and demolition
debris. The company’s reputation grew exponentially after the firms
around-the-clock work for nine months at the Fresh Kills Landfill
sorting debris from the World Trade Center disaster on September
11, 2001. Taylor received a commendation from the Army Corps of
Engineers’ lead contractor for their “tremendous contribution.”
This project was completed in less time than expected and under
budget, and with the highest degree of performance.
Jim has since retired from and serves as Chairman to Taylor
Recycling Facility. The family-run business is now run by his three
children, James W. Taylor III, Hans E. Taylor, and Tonyalynn
Taylor. Jim’s mantra is “we need to stop wasting our waste; waste
is a resource and has value. We can no longer continue to build
these great big mountains of debris, above and below the ground
(landfills), that are never, ever, ever going to go away in our
kids' kids' kids' time.”
Currently, Jim is responsible for leading the Taylor team in
designing, building and operating the world’s first commercial size
biomass gasification plant using the organic fraction of municipal
solid waste and construction and demolition debris as the feedstock
to produce renewable electricity. Taylor Biomass Energy, LLC owns
the patented technology, the world’s first of which will be
constructed in Montgomery, Orange County, New York.
Jim literally travels the world as an expert in his field giving
numerous speeches and debates from leadership to recycling for many
different types of organizations.
Jim has also lead and supported numerous local community groups,
including The Viking Aquatic Club, churches, schools, Veteran of
Foreign War clubs, Little Leagues, Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and
fire departments. He is directly responsible for the purchase of
the current Maybrook Fire Department’s command truck. Taylor
Recycling donated nearly $300,000 for the Orange County World Trade
Center Remembrance Walkway and Garden Memorial located at The
Ottaway Arboretum in Orange County’s Thomas Bull Memorial Park.
Jim believes in giving back to the community that has given him
so much. He has served on the boards of the Construction Materials
Recycling Association, Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Orange
County Partnership, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, Hudson Valley
Economic Development Corporations, Hudson Valley Regional Economic
Development Council, Hudson Valley REC=DC, City of Newburgh
Planning Board, New York State Pesticides User Council, and the New
York State Arborist Association.
Jim has received the following awards from the community:
- Mount Saint Mary College – Honorary degree of Doctor of
- The Orange County Chamber of Commerce – 2004 Business of the
- Orange County Partnership – Recycling, Quality of Life, and
Spirit of Innovation Award
- Occupations Foundation at Occupations, Inc. – Vision of Hope
Tennis Honorees: Nancy and Chuck Benfer
Nancy and Chuck Benfer are lifelong residents of the Hudson
Valley. Nancy has worked at Bishop Dunn Memorial School for the
past nineteen years, beginning as a Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
and is now the Assistant Principal. Nancy graduated from Mount
Saint Mary College with her undergraduate degree as well as her
Masters of Science in Education: Childhood/Special Education. She
is a highly respected adjunct professor in the Mount’s Education
Department. Nancy, an innovative educator, spearheaded a project
with her co-teacher Kim Lynch and 4th grade Bishop Dunn students to
write a book about the history of Mount Saint Mary College entitled
"Teach Me Truth."
Nancy has collaborated on several presentations thoughout the
Hudson Valley and beyond, from subjects on “Inspiring 21st Century
Learners: Informational Writing through Children’s Literature and
Media” to “Diversifying the Common Core Text Exemplars.” She
recently presented at her first national conference for the
Literacy Research Association (LRA). Her passion for providing all
students with books in which they can see themselves inspired her
to coauthor “How Common Core’s Recommended Books Fail Children of
Color” with Mount professor Dr. Jane Gangi. She also authored an
article, “Don’t Forget the Pictures: Using Graphical Devices to
Learn About Space,” with Mount professor Dr. Rebecca Norman and
Mount graduate Meghan Bauer. The article is currently under review
with the editors of the Michigan Reading Journal.
Nancy is a member of the Mount's Collaborative for Equity in
Literacy Learning (CELL), and spends her summers supervising MSMC
teacher candidates at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. In her free
time, she loves to play tennis, and is currently the tennis chair
on the board of The Powelton Club.
Chuck began his radio career in 1989 with Beacon Broadcasting as
an Account Executive. Chuck joined Rob Dyson’s WEOK Broadcasting in
1992 and worked his way up their corporate ladder until they were
sold in 2000. Chuck stayed on with heirs Aurora Communications and
Cumulus Media where he became a Market Manager. In 2009, Chuck
became the General Manager for Pamal Broadcasting in Albany, NY
where he stayed until December of 2012 when he began as Market
Manager for then Clear Channel of the Hudson Valley. Today, Chuck
is the Market President of iHeart Media (formerly Clear Channel) in
Northern New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and the Hudson
Chuck is the recipient of numerous local, regional, and national
awards and recognitions including The Heart of Gold Community
Service Award from Occupations Incorporated (now Access Inc.),
JDRF’s Hope Award, as well as awards from the American Heart
Association, The Alzheimer’s Association, and the March of Dimes.
Chuck was named one of Radio’s 20 Best Managers by Radio Inc.
Magazine, and is a two time winner of Radio Inc. Magazine’s coveted
Market Manager of the Year Award. Most recently, Chuck was awarded
the Rutberg Breslow Community Service Award for his outstanding
efforts in supporting our local community and in November was
awarded the Most Outstanding Philanthropist Award by The
Association of Fundraising Professionals for his work towards
advancing the mission for 78 not-for-profit organizations
throughout the region.
Chuck’s commitment to local businesses and charitable
organizations goes back to his childhood and the example set for
him by his parents. Chuck’s parents taught him from an early age
the importance of giving back to the community. Nancy and Chuck
have raised their children likewise.
Nancy and Chuck have been married for 30 years, are proud
parents of Mount Saint Mary College's Head Coach for the Men’s and
Women’s tennis teams, Elora. Their daughter Eliza just finished the
first semester of her freshman year at Mount Saint Mary College,
and son Charles IV is a junior at Marlboro High School. They reside
in Milton, NY.