Upper Delaware Council elects 2021 officers
NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) elected Damascus Township, PA Representative Jeffrey R. Dexter as its 2021 chairperson of the board at the organization’s annual meeting held virtually on Jan. 7.
UDC Representatives Susan Sullivan of the Town of Tusten, NY, and Alan F. Henry of Berlin Township, PA, were elected vice-chairperson and secretary-treasurer, respectively.
This is Jeff Dexter’s second stint as UDC chairperson, with the prior experience in 2013. He succeeds Town of Cochecton Representative Larry H. Richardson in the leadership role.
During his 11-year tenure on the board, Dexter served as vice-chair four times (2012, 2016, 2019, and 2020) and as secretary-treasurer in 2015. He is a member of the UDC’s Project Review and Operations Committees, and the Personnel Subcommittee.
Dexter was instrumental in Damascus Township’s decision to join the Council effective July 21, 2008. The Board of Supervisors appointed him as a first alternate representative in January 2010 before he took over as the UDC representative in 2012.
The Cochecton, NY native who can trace his family genealogy back to relatives who lived at the Cushetunk Settlement graduated from Narrowsburg Central School in 1967. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Resources Management from the College of Forestry at Syracuse University in 1971 and studied one year at SUNY Alfred Agriculture and Technical College.
Dexter worked for the Arizona State Parks System for 31 years before he retired from that career in 2003 and returned to the Upper Delaware River Valley.
Dexter served his local government on the Damascus Township Board of Supervisors for a decade until 2015, including six years as chairperson. He was appointed to a six-year term as Township Auditor in 2016.
Very active in his community, Dexter volunteers with the Damascus Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps (recently sharing the honor of a 2020 UDC Robin M. Daniels Memorial Lifesaving Award for a river rescue), is the Volunteers-in-Mission Team Leader for disaster recovery projects through the Damascus Methodist Church, the sponsor’s representative to the Northeast Council of the Boy Scouts of America for Troop 122 in Damascus, and belongs to numerous local historical societies.
Dexter has responded on short notice and for extended stays to numerous emergency situations across the country in his work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a Disaster Building Inspector since 2005.
Jeff and his wife, Linda, built a log home on 19 acres in Damascus, where he enjoys working on his wood lot, building rock walls, picking blueberries, making maple syrup, and tending to a vegetable garden. The couple has three children: Kari, Bethany, and Jonathan.
Susan Sullivan was elected as UDC vice-chairperson for the second time, having previously filled that role in 2015. She also serves on the Project Review Committee.
Sullivan joined the Council 12 years ago as the Town of Tusten alternate on October 13, 2009, before becoming the representative in January of 2010.
The Queens, NY native settled in the Upper Delaware River Valley in 1987, changing careers from a radio-marketing consultant in the state of Florida to earning a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling & Human Services from SUNY Sullivan and Empire State College in 1995, then working for the CMP Drug and Alcohol Commission in Wayne County, PA until 2007.
Sullivan became a registered yoga teacher in 2008 and obtained certification as a yoga therapist in 2015, specializing in the Phoenix Rising Method. She currently offers individual yoga therapy sessions, and is providing yoga and meditation classes at The Lodge at Woodloch and at the Chi Hive in Narrowsburg.
Always interested in community issues and the environment, Sullivan regularly attends meetings of the Tusten Town Board, and formerly served as a member of the 2007 Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Tusten Conservation Council.
Susan and her husband, Chris Holden, reside in a farmhouse/guest house in Lava that is over 100 years old. She is the mother of Michael Duffy, a circus performance artist selected for the cast of various Cirque du Soleil shows. Hobbies include yoga, swimming, boating, hiking, and gardening.
Al Henry was appointed by the Berlin Township Board of Supervisors as its UDC delegate on Jan. 3, 2012.
Henry chaired the Council in 2015 after having served as its secretary-treasurer from Aug. 1-Dec. 31, 2013, then again in 2014, and consecutively for the past five years of 2016-20. He sits on all three UDC committees (Water Use/Resource Management, Project Review, and Operations) and chairs its Personnel Subcommittee.
A native of Beach Lake, PA, Henry was employed by the National Park Service (NPS) for 32 years, all but three years of that tenure with the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, before retiring on June 1, 2009 as Chief Ranger.
The Honesdale High School graduate earned a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Parks from Penn State University in 1976 and studied Outdoor Education at the University of Northern Colorado before joining the NPS ranks in 1977.
In addition to extensive law enforcement credentials, Henry earned certification as an NAUI Divemaster, served as a volunteer firefighter, and coached baseball and soccer locally.
Henry helps maintain his family’s 300-acre Village View Farm property in Beach Lake, and is a member of the Beach Lake Hunting and Fishing Club.
Al and his wife, Karen Carlson, are the parents of Dr. Alana Rickard and Dylan Henry, Esq. They have three grandchildren: Beau, Penn and Vivian.
About the UDC
The Upper Delaware Council works in partnership with the National Park Service to oversee implementation of the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Visit www.upperdelawarecouncil.org for more information.