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Rockland Community Foundation Announces 2024 Signature Awards Reception Honorees; Rockland County Completes Deficit Bond Payments; Briefs

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Rockland Community Foundation Announces 2024 Signature Awards Reception Honorees

The Rockland Community Foundation (RCF) will honor three recipients at its annual Signature Awards Reception on March 28, from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (Atrium Area), 3 Executive Blvd, Suffern, NY.

The event celebrates individuals, funds and businesses who have made a positive impact on the community through philanthropy.

This year’s honorees are:

Steven T. Breen, Community Champion of the Year: Steven is Vice President and Business Banking Relationship Manager at M&T Bank. He has dedicated much of his life to giving back to the Rockland County community through his board work at the Salvation Army of Rockland, Treasurer at VCS and the President of the Board at Bridges. He has also served as the Secretary and President of the Rockland Business Exchange and is involved with the Master Networks New City Chapter for the last 8 years. Dedicated to his family and local community, he has served as a volunteer Little League baseball coach, CYO basketball coach and has been involved in raising funds for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Fund for East Ramapo’s Public School Students, Fund of the Year: The Fund for East Ramapo’s Public-School Children, established by Latham & Watkins LLP, is a donor-advised charitable fund benefiting the East Ramapo Central School District in the Hudson Valley area of New York. Over the past two years, the fund has granted more than $185,000 to local East Ramapo organizations, including CANDLE, the Gerome Momperousse Center for Education, the Martin Luther King Multipurpose Center, the New York Civil Liberties Union, The Susan G. and Edmund W. Gordon Community Partnership, VCS Inc., and Wonder Girls.

Latham & Watkins, Fundholder of the Year: Latham & Watkins delivers innovative solutions to complex legal and business challenges around the world. From a global platform, our lawyers advise clients on market-shaping transactions, high-stakes litigation and trials, and sophisticated regulatory matters. Latham is one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono services, supports initiatives designed to advance diversity within the firm and the legal profession, and promotes environmental sustainability.

The Fund for East Ramapo’s Public School Students was established by Latham, through the RCF, using court-awarded attorneys’ fees that were the result of the successful voting rights lawsuit against the East Ramapo Central School District.

Tickets for the event cost $150 per person and are available. Attendees are treated to cold and hot hors d’oeuvres, dessert, complimentary wine or beer; the event also includes a silent auction, prizes, and more!

For more information visit

RFC is seeking event sponsors as well as journal ads for the event, offering a variety of sponsorship and advertising packages. For sponsorship questions or additional information, contact Julie Sadowski,

Rockland County Completes Deficit Bond Payments

Rockland County has made its final payment on the $96 million it borrowed through the sale of bonds to cover its massive deficit from a decade ago.

In 2014, the county was $240 million in debt and running a deficit that hit $138 million. Between 2012-14, Moody’s revised its outlook to “negative” and the county’s credit rating stood only one level above junk bond status. Rockland was rated the state’s most fiscally-stressed county.

“When I was first elected to serve as County Executive, the New York State Comptroller’s Office listed Rockland as the most fiscally stressed County in the entire state and our bond rating was one step above junk status,” Ed Day said. “This achievement reaffirms Rockland becoming one of the fiscally strongest counties in the entire state, transforming from worst to first.”

“This is an important day for the County and its reputation,” Deputy Budget Director Steven Grogan said. “I thank all our employees and taxpayers for their continued confidence in our administration and our joint efforts to keeping our County prosperous and sound.”

Grogan pointed out that the county’s bond credit rating now is one grade away from being the best in the state.

Deirdre Smith Sworn in As Chief of Detectives for the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office

Deirdre Smith has been sworn in as the Chief of Detectives for the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office. She is the first female to serve in that position.

Smith is a graduate of Manhattan College. She started her law enforcement career in 1993 with the NYPD and spent five years with the department before joining the Suffern Police Department.

She served 22 years with the Suffern PD, retiring at the rank of Sergeant. Chief Smith was the first female supervisor in the department’s history. During her career with Suffern PD, she received the prestigious Medal of Honor Award for Valor from the Rockland County PBA.

Chief Smith hails from a family with a long history in law enforcement. Her father is a retired Inspector from the NYPD, and her sister has served with the FBI for 25 years.

In 2020, Chief Smith retired from the Suffern PD and joined the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office where she served as the first female Confidential Investigator to the District Attorney in Rockland County DA history. She has worked on many high-profile cases during her time with the office.