Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress Add New Members to Board of Directors

Real Estate In-Depth | August 2017

A hospital president, corporate business executive and environmental lawyer are the newest members of Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress’ Board of Directors. The new directors are Joan Cusack-McGuirk, president & CEO of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, Aimee J. Vargas, director, state affairs (Northeast) for Anheuser-Busch Companies, and David Cooper, a partner in the law firm of Zarin & Steinmetz of White Plains.

“The expertise and contributions of these energetic, public-service-oriented leaders will help Pattern continue its important work enhancing quality of life in the Hudson Valley,” said Pattern President and CEO Jonathan Drapkin. “Their varied experiences and perspectives further round out a board already diverse professionally and geographically.”

Cusack-McGuirk, who will serve a three-year term, has 40 years of experience in health care, including more than 30 years at St. Luke’s Cornwall. She was instrumental in finalizing the partnership between St. Luke’s and the Montefiore Health System, announced in 2016. As senior vice president and chief nursing officer, she oversaw integration of two patient-care cultures into a singular model. She was promoted to interim president and chief executive officer and soon after was appointed permanent president and CEO. She graduated as a registered nurse from St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City, received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from SUNY New Paltz, a master’s degree at New York University and is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business Fellow Program.

Vargas, also on the board for three years, has an extensive public-service resume. She has been chief government and community affairs officer for the Metropolitan Transit Authority; director of downstate intergovernmental affairs under Gov. Andrew Cuomo; and mid-Hudson regional director and the executive director of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council for Empire State Development. She was formerly associate counsel at the state Department of Environmental Conservation and director of finance for the Town of Clarkstown in Rockland County. Vargas is a member of the Rockland Community Foundation’s Advisory Board and is a graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Cooper is a 2015 graduate of Pattern’s Fellows Program, which sharpens skills that advocate regionalism to improve the Hudson Valley’s quality of life. He will serve a one-year term representing the Fellows Program. At Zarin and Steinmetz, Cooper handles land use, environmental compliance and civil litigation for private, municipal and non-profit organizations. He also counsels clients before state and federal agencies in wetland and water-quality permitting and enforcement actions and has appeared before the United States Court of Appeals. Prior to joining Zarin and Steinmetz, he served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted felony-level crimes from arrest to verdict. He received his law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2003 and his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 1998.