CHEFS' NIGHT HONOREES

As some may know, the Community Preservation Committee's Annual Chefs' Night Dinner was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19. The fundraiser was created over 24 years ago for the community to get together and enjoy camaraderie, dinners from local chefs and restaurants, and to honor different people who go above and beyond for our community. This year, we would like to virtually honor Sheriff David Gould, Nancy Hussey posthumously, Elizabeth Koenig, Larry Liberatore, Pat Messina and Bob Steigerwald for their contributions to our community!

Read their biographies below:

SHERIFF DAVID GOULD

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Retired Sheriff David Gould was born and raised in the Village of Cayuga and attended Union Springs Central School, graduating in 1965. In 1967, while attending college, Dave entered in the United States Army serving overseas in the 4th Armed Division as a Field Artillery Fire Direction Computer Operator. Upon leaving the Army, Dave joined the New York State Police in 1970. He completed a nearly 35 year career with the State Police in 2004.


Dave has had a highly decorated career, receiving dozens of honors, including several Troop and Superintendents’ commendations. Some of these awards were for saving lives during his time as a Hostage Negotiator. After retiring from the State Police, Dave was a Special Investigator for two years at the Seneca County District Attorney’s Office and obtained his Private Investigators License. in 2005, Dave was approached by numerous members of the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department and was asked to run during the 2006 Sheriff’s race. After much discussion with his wife, Suzanne and his daughter, Kaitlyn, he did throw his hat in the Sheriff’s race. In November of 2006, Dave easily won the election and on January 1, 2007 he was sworn in as the Sheriff of Cayuga County by his good friend Cayuga County Judge, Tom Leone. The best part of January 1, 2007 is that Dave married his longtime companion, Suzanne, on that day also. Dave completed three terms, 12 years, as being Sheriff and the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Cayuga County.


Dave has served on over 37 Boards, Committees and Foundations in our county and continues to serve on many of them today. Dave has received too many awards and commendations from Federal State and the Community to put in print for this bio. Dave’s motto throughout his life has been “Respect should never be demanded, respect should always be earned.”

 

NANCY HUSSEY (POSTHUMOUSLY)

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Nancy Hussey left us on September 21, 2020, leaving a legacy of easygoing charm and love that will be immeasurably missed by her family, friends, and community. Born Nancy Jean Farrell, she hailed from Troy, NY, made Auburn her home, and was proud of her Irish heritage.

Nancy formed lifelong friendships at Auburn High School and Auburn Community College. She graduated from McGill University, where she began her partnership and adventures with her husband Tom. They were married in Auburn in 1978, travelled throughout the USA and Europe, and lived in Washington State throughout the 1980s. Discovering and exploring diverse experiences in the urban and natural world, through the curious eyes of two young sons, was a source of great joy for her. She and her family returned to her roots in Auburn in 1991. Nancy pursued a law degree from Syracuse University while raising a family and working full time as a paralegal and was awarded Juris Doctor in 1998.

Nancy served as Assistant Corporation Council for the City of Auburn and principal Court Attorney for Judge Thomas Leone, New York State Unified Court 7th Judicial District. She enjoyed the camaraderie, respect, and friendship of her colleagues in both capacities. She was active in her community, including as a volunteer for Special Olympics and as a board member of the Community Preservation Committee. Nancy was a t-ball coach and proud of learning to successfully rebuild a six cylinder carburetor on her own. She was strong in her convictions, compassionate to strangers, and eternally loyal to her friends.

 

ELIZABETH KOENIG

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Elizabeth’s work experience started in New Zealand, where she was the Director for Youth at Risk, a Jailer, a Volunteer Coordinator at Hospice, and a Literacy Volunteer for the New Zealand Prison.  Elizabeth moved to Auburn in 2015 from New Zealand, where she continued her busy work ethic. She was the Director for a Residential High school equivalency Migrant program through SUNY Oneonta, Deputy Director for The Center for Social Responsibility and Community at SUNY, and Former proprietress of the 1840 Dulles Inn. Her former community service includes being President of the Auburn Public Theater, Vice president of the  Merry Go Round theater, Vice President of Orpheus Theater, Board of Directors of the Cayuga Museum, PR Committee for the Auburn Community Hospital, the Rescue Mission Advisory Board, and so much more.


Elizabeth’s recognition includes being awarded the Small Business of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce, Shell Oil National Award for commitment to volunteering, The Chancellors Award for student excellence at SUNY Albany, where she also received Board member of the year, Volunteer of the year 3 times and the Presidents Service Award for volunteering and demonstrating commitment in the community by example. But her favorite will always be receiving the Ten-Year Service Award for leadership and volunteering at the Auburn Community Hospital, where Nelson Mandela himself stated “It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead” To Elizabeth Koenig “Our Difference Maker”.


Currently, Elizabeth is on Planning Board for the City of Auburn, the Board of Directors for

 H E A L, the Heroin Epidemic Awareness League, Vice President of the Ladies Auxiliary, and a Wedding Officiant! When Elizabeth isn’t giving back to the community, she enjoys being with her best friend Paul and spending time with her family and four grandsons. She also likes canning food for the winter months, painting with watercolors, art quilting and working out!

 

LARRY LIBERATORE

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Originally from Seneca Falls, Larry and his wife, Beth, moved to Auburn in 1977 and have resided here ever since. Together they raised their 3 sons and have a total of 7 grandchildren!  Larry retired as the Principal and Senior Architect of the Beardsley Architects Engineers. From 1984 to 1994, Larry was the full and part-time instructor at the Cayuga Community College. After that, he became the Adjunct Professor at the Syracuse School of Architecture until he retired in 2019.


Larry’s past involvement includes being a Sacred Heart Social Ministry volunteer, President for the YMCA Board, President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Central New York Chapter, Secretary of the AIA New York State Board, and was Chairman during the purchasing, fundraising and preservation of Willard Memorial Chapel by the Community Preservation Committee.


Currently, Larry is on the Seymour Library Board of Trustees as President and Building Committee Chair, the YMCA Board Building Committee Chair, Town of Owasco Planning Board as Vice Chairman, Owasco representative for the Cayuga County Planning Board, Meals on Wheels volunteer with his wife Beth, and a volunteer for the preservation and restoration of the Emily Holland Opendore.


The Board of Directors and Staff of the Community Preservation Committee extend their deepest gratitude to these honorees.

 

PATRICIA MESSINA

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Patricia “Pat” Messina was born and raised in Irondequoit, New York. After graduating from SUNY Potsdam in 1967, Pat settled in Auburn with 4 of her friends. She taught kindergarten for 2 years and first grade for 32 years at Herman Avenue School.


Apart from schooling, Pat’s community service involves being a RSVP volunteer for Bluefield Manor, Owasco School and Genesee School, a docent for Historic House Tours in Auburn, a lector and volunteer at Sacred Heart Church. She has also been a part of the Cayuga County Retired Teachers Association, Westminster Women’s Group, and she helped rehab houses for Habitat for Humanity. Her leadership positions include being Secretary and Chairperson for the RSVP Advisory Council, and 12 years representing the Town of Owasco as a Trustee on the Board at Seymour Public Library, serving as President and Secretary. Pat was recognized as the Cayuga County Senior Citizen of the Year in 2019!


Pat is now the Commissioner at the Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum and has recently become the Secretary for Sew What! A new non-profit fabric, yarns and notions shop located at Willard Chapel. Apart from continuing her community service and leadership positions, Pat enjoys reading, quilting, knitting, gardening and visiting her grandchildren.

 

ROBERT STEIGERWALD

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Born and raised in the Finger Lakes region, Robert “Bob” Steigerwald has been involved with the community for as long as he can remember! He retired from banking after having 40 years of service. His last position was President and CEO of Cayuga Savings Bank and Iroquois Bankcorp. Apart from banking, Bob also worked at the Unity House, where he served in case management and was the House Manager for 108 South St.


Bob has served on many different boards, including the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, where he was chairman, the Booker T Washington Community Center Board, Homestead Savings & Loan Association Board, and the United Way of Cayuga County where he served as campaign Chairman. He has served on various St. Mary’s Church committees, the Cayuga Museum of History and Art Board, The Centers Board, the E John Garvas Foundation. He was a SCORE mentor and past Co-President, as well serving as the Vice President at the Cayuga Community College Foundation.

Some of Bob’s recognition includes receiving the Patron of the Year Award from the Cayuga County Arts Council, Senior Citizen of the Year Award from the Office for Aging, and he received the Appreciation Award from the Italian Heritage Society of Auburn and Cayuga County. Bob continues to go above and beyond for his community. He currently is serving as chairman on the SCAT Van Board of Directors, as well as serving as Secretary on the Board of Faatz-Crofut Home for the Elderly.