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Each year the UCIAF will name a Signore and Signora of the Year at our annual Italian Festival.

 

2015

Signora of the Year: Nina Postupack

Italian American Foundation Woman of the YearNina Postupack tells the story of how the Ulster County Italian American Foundation (UCIAF) came to become a reality. She and now President, Tony Marmo, spoke after the 2014 Houley on the Hudson and they both agreed that there should be a similar county wide organization but for Italian Americans! A meeting was called in March 2015 where 22 Italian Americans showed up at Frank Guidos Little Italy Restaurant  and the rest is history! Nina was “elected” Vice President of this new Foundation at this March meeting and went on become the 1st Vice President  at the Annual meeting in November 2015. Her dream had become a reality!

Nina was officially elected to the position of Ulster County Clerk and took office on January 1, 2006.  Prior to becoming County Clerk, Nina had 27 years experience in the Clerk’s Office starting as an Index Clerk in 1979. Throughout those years she held various positions within the office and in 1990 was appointed the Chief Deputy County Clerk.   Currently, Nina is serving her third term as Ulster County Clerk.

Throughout her tenure as County Clerk, Nina has implemented many new initiatives in the Clerk’s Office. The top priority was to bring customer service to the residents of the county.  She expanded the DMV hours by opening at 8:00 a.m. each day and offering evening hours until 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.   A computerized DMV queuing system was installed to offer convenient processing of Motor Vehicle transactions.  On June 13, 2008 Citizenship Ceremonies were returned to Ulster County after a 16 year absence. In addition, an online program was created to allow for convenient access to all County Clerk records.   And in answer to the challenges facing local government today, a campaign has been launched to keep DMV and passport fees in Ulster County.  As Custodian of the Records, Nina has created an Archival Gallery on the 2nd floor hallway of the County Office Building which is currently exhibiting “Manufacturing and Industry in Ulster County”.

In addition to her current position as 1st Vice President of the UCIAF, Nina has been actively involved in several areas of community service for many years.  Some of these services include: Past Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees for John A. Coleman Catholic High School,   Member of the Friends of Historic Kingston, member of the Board of the Senate House, Vice President and Member of the Boys and Girls Club Board, Founding member of the Leadership Council of Hopes Fund,  former member of the People’s Place Board, Member of the Health Alliance Board, Mary’s Avenue Campus, Member of the League of Women Voters, and a Member of the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce.

Nina graduated from John A. Coleman Catholic High School and Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York with a B.A. in Economics.  She lives in Kingston with her husband Duane who is a local real estate appraiser, and has two children, Dana and Drew.

 

Signore of the Year: Frank "Butchie" Guido

italian flag frankThe Ulster County Italian American Foundation is proud to name Frank “Butchie” Guido as the first recipient of the “Signore” or Man of the Year award!

There is perhaps no one more generous in all of Kingston, or in Ulster County, for that matter than our 2015 “Signore” of the Year. He is a man blessed with vision, talent, passion and kindness.  He is not afraid to take chances both in business and in life.  He makes things happen, and he shrugs off the credit for them.

Frank Guido grew up in East Kingston, arguably, the center of the Italian American population in Ulster County. He is not only a good businessman, but he’s a good neighbor—one that we really can depend on in time of need. A cancer survivor, a few years ago he decided to host a fundraiser to fight prostate cancer.  He pulled out all the stops for that one, bringing Smokin’ Joe Frazier and several other sports heroes as well as other big-name celebrities to Mariner’s Harbor, where $25,000 was raised!

Frank has gone even further. He has hosted a numerous fund raisers and benefits for needy individuals fighting cancer or other health related problems that raised tens of thousands over the last 40 years.  And it’s not just the charitable events he’s hosted.  It’s all the things he’s done to make his community a better place.

He started his restaurant career in Ulster County forty years ago, gaining notoriety and a tremendous loyal following at Mariner’s on the Hudson in Highland. In 2001, the city of Kingston lucked out when Frank came to the Rondout area and opened Mariner’s Harbor, which he co-owns with cousin, Sal, and son, Mark. Since it opened at the foot of Broadway, the business district there has been thriving.

The same can be said of Midtown.  He opened his beloved Frank Guido’s Little Italy on Thomas Street in 2007 and that section of the city is making a strong comeback. Frank also opened Port of Call in Catskill in 2009, and he has made a great impact there in a short period of time.

No matter who you are or what your circumstances, Frank and his family will always welcome you with open arms and never let you leave one of their restaurants hungry. Beyond his generosity, Frank Guido has given employment opportunities to literally thousands and thousands of high school and college students. A tough taskmaster, Frank instilled in every one of them the importance of customer service and providing a pleasurable dining experience. It is amazing how many of those former employees come back to see Frank all the time and thank him for helping them grow up to be responsible adults.