Community Foundation of Putnam County Launches Dyson Challenge

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Nathaniel Prentice, Nancy Rossi Brownell and a newly formed advisory board are on a mission to raise at least $100,000 this year for the Community Foundation of Putnam County, thanks to a matching challenge grant of $100,000 from the Dyson Foundation.

“We are proud to announce that we have passed the halfway point to our goal, thanks in part to significant gift commitments from prominent local donors,” said Nat Prentice, a Garrison native and Chair of the growing Putnam advisory board that includes members Robert Cotter, T. Jefferson Cunningham III, Anne E. Impellizzeri, Kenneth Kearney and Frederick H. Osborn III. “We are actively adding new members to our advisory board and roster of those who have established donor-advised funds with the Community Foundation. We especially seek individuals who wish to make a difference in Putnam County with their personal philanthropy, and who will lend their support to meeting this generous challenge from the Dyson Foundation. When the challenge is met, we can begin to make program-related and capacity-building grants to nonprofit organizations that apply and meet the eligibility criteria. This puts money right back into the community where it is needed most.”

Established in 2008, the Community Foundation of Putnam County is an affiliate of Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. Monies raised for Putnam County for the Dyson Challenge will stay in Putnam County. The board’s goals are to increase philanthropy, raise funds for community needs, establish new endowed funds and make grants to nonprofits that improve quality of life in Putnam County. The Community Foundation of Putnam County currently administers nine funds totaling $246,000 in assets. Now, with the Dyson Challenge, the board expects to add more than $200,000 to support an endowment and Community Response Grants to nonprofit organizations operating in Putnam County.

“There are many reasons why people may choose to give to the Community Foundation of Putnam County,” said Nancy Rossi Brownell, a Cold Spring native who was recently named Vice President, Putnam, following two years as Board Chair of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. “Donors find that establishing a fund with us can be an effortless way to accomplish their charitable goals and dreams, while ensuring an impact that will last forever.”

“Individuals and families who choose to establish a donor-advised fund through any of our Community Foundation affiliates in Putnam, Dutchess and Ulster counties receive the simplicity and tax advantages of a public charity, combined with the personal recognition, involvement, and flexibility of a private foundation,” said March S. Gallagher, Esq., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. “Our well-managed investment practices and low overhead costs are a benefit to donors, and the Community Foundations’ expert staff can provide the highest level of strategic thinking on ways to meet community challenges. We want to help our donors make their charitable contributions as meaningful as possible.”
For more information about the Community Foundation of Putnam County, to establish a fund, or to become more involved, please contact Nancy Rossi Brownell at or visit

New Putnam County Staff

Nancy Rossi Brownell, a Cold Spring native, was recently named Vice President of the Community Foundation of Putnam County and is responsible for the Foundation’s asset development, marketing and outreach efforts. She served the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley as a volunteer for ten years, and spent the last eight years as a member of the Board of Trustees, including two years as Board Chair, during which time she led the President/CEO search committee. Brownell’s professional experience includes service as a regional sales manager for a radiology equipment company, advertising sales consultant, director for a French foreign exchange program and broadcast journalist.

Brownell brings years of marketing, development, management, public speaking and community foundation experience to her roles as Vice President of the Community Foundation of Putnam County and as a community volunteer. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Vassar Brothers Medical Center Foundation, as Recording Secretary for the Garden Club of Orange and Dutchess, and as Vice President of the Pride Parents Association at Trinity Pawling School. She previously served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Powelton Club and as a volunteer with Riverkeeper, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Manitoga and Arts Mid-Hudson.

A new member of Professional Women of Putnam, Brownell holds an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from Ithaca College. She is married to Rick Brownell, owner of Freedom Ford in Beacon. They have two sons, Tyler and Justin.

Advisory Board Members of the Community Foundation of Putnam County

Nathaniel S. Prentice of Garrison is Chair of the Advisory Board for the Community Foundation of Putnam County. As a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), Prentice is a member of the Altium Wealth Management team. His career has included positions with JP Morgan, UBS Financial, Alex Brown & Sons and M&T Bank. Prentice serves on the board of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, as secretary of the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and as treasurer of the Highlanders Youth Lacrosse Program. He is a graduate of Trinity College.

Robert J. Cotter of Cold Spring is a life-long resident of the Hudson Valley. He volunteers for Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown, as well as F.I.S.H in Philipstown. Cotter retired after 30 years with IBM, where he served as the Director of Customer Service for Large Clients. He holds an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College.

T. Jefferson Cunningham III is the Chairman of Magnolia Capital Management and a director of M&T Bank Corporation. He also serves as a trustee of Open Space Institute. Cunningham previously held top positions with Premier National Bancorp, Kissinger Associates and Orion Bank. He has also served as a director for Midland Bank, Crocker National Bancorp, Home Holdings Inc. and E.F. Hutton Group. Cunningham is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a graduate degree in business administration from Stanford University.

Anne E. Impellizzeri serves on the Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan in Cold Spring, where she resides. Her previous positions include Executive Director of Manitoga, The Russel Wright Center; President and CEO of the Blanton-Peale Institute; and Vice President of the New York City Partnership. Impellizzeri worked with MetLife for twenty years, including tenure as Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. She is a Smith College Trustee and a trustee of the Nuveen Mutual Funds Board.

Kenneth Kearney, a Mahopac native, is the founder and President of The Kearney Realty & Development Group, a leader in developing and managing senior and affordable housing across the Hudson Valley. He has guided affordable senior housing and workforce housing projects in Beacon, Catskill, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Red Hook, Somers and Yorktown, among other locations. Kearney serves on the board of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, who recognized him as Developer of the Year in 2009. He works with St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Mahopac as an active project organizer. Most recently, he was honored by the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation with a 2015 Business Excellence Award.

Frederick H. Osborn III of Garrison is President of his family’s EASTER Foundation and a Commissioner for the Taconic Region of the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. He and his wife Anne are stalwart philanthropists and community champions, serving on some twelve not-for-profit boards between them. His not-for-profit career began in the northeast headquarters for the Episcopal Church and later the National Episcopal Church Foundation, among other organizations. Osborn graduated from the Episcopal Academy, attended Princeton University for two years, and was drafted. He earned the Army Commendation Medal for service in Vietnam from 1966-1968. Later, he earned his undergraduate degree in economics and business administration from Colby College in Maine.


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