Ulster County is attracting diverse, talented leaders to serve in critical roles in County Government
“For the past two years, we have managed the pandemic while developing innovative policy around mental health, housing, equitable economic initiatives, and more,” County Executive Pat Ryan said. “Ulster County is a phenomenal place to work, and we continue to attract diverse, talented, and experienced individuals to serve in critical roles in County Government. These proven, dedicated leaders will help us go even further in delivering results for Ulster County residents. I am proud to have them as members of my administration and of Team Ulster County.”
Johanna Contreras has been appointed Deputy County Executive. Contreras previously worked in the Office of Management and Budget in New York City since 2013, most recently serving as the Assistant Director for Education. She holds a Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at The New School and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Nicholas Hvozda has been appointed Director of the Department of the Environment. Hvozda previously worked as the Deputy Director of the Department of the Environment since 2017 and served in the United States Navy as a pilot and staff officer for nearly a decade. He holds a MBA in Sustainability from Bard College, is a Certified Energy Manager and earned his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy. His appointment is pending confirmation from the Ulster County Legislature.
Kenneth Juras has been appointed Director of Budget and Innovation. Juras previously worked at SUNY Ulster as the Dean for Administration – Operations and Human Resource Management since 2019. Prior he worked in the Ulster County Department of Finance serving in the roles of Deputy Budget Director and Deputy Commissioner of Finance. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University at Albany, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and earned his undergraduate degree from Marist College.
Christopher Kelly has been appointed Deputy County Executive. Kelly previously worked for Ulster County as both the Deputy Budget Director and the Deputy Commissioner of Finance. Prior he worked in the New York State Bridge Authority where he held the positions of Director of Electronic Toll Systems, Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Marist College and earned his undergraduate degree from Siena College.
Laura Nordstrom has been appointed Director of Research and Operations. Nordstrom previously worked for the town of Hyde Park as a Legislative Aide, the office of Assemblymember Kevin Cahill as a District Office Representative, and at the YMCA of Kingston as the Youth Development Director. She is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from Marist College and earned her undergraduate degree from SUNY New Paltz.
Kayleen Scali has been appointed Assistant Deputy County Executive. Scali obtained her Business Administration degree from SUNY and thereafter traveled to Italy where she worked for several years as a teacher. Upon returning to Ulster County, Scali’s success as Marketing Manager for the Emerson Resort & Spa resulted in her recruitment by the Director of the Ulster County Department of Economic Development as Confidential Secretary. For the past 2.5 years, Scali has worked alongside the County Executive as his Director of Research and Operations, Confidential Secretary, and continues to be the County Executive’s trusted Chief of Staff.
Sharon Williams has been appointed Director of Office of Employment and Training. Williams previously worked as the Hudson Valley Director of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York and previously served as the Executive Director of Big Brother Big Sisters of Orange County. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School, a Masters Degree in Non-Profit Management from the Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy New School University, and received her undergraduate degree from Pace University. Her appointment is pending confirmation from the Ulster County Legislature.