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News Release    

April 21, 2004      

County Executive Names Veterans Director

Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus is pleased to announce his selection of Nelson Eddy Rivera as Dutchess County Director of Veterans Affairs.

The County Executive stated, “Mr. Rivera has demonstrated solid skills, understanding and compassion in serving our local veterans and the community at large. His commitment to his constituency and their families is an important link to the services offered by county government through our Department of Veterans Affairs. Since the retirement of the former Director, Mr. Rivera has overseen the day-to-day responsibilities of the Department and I have every trust and confidence he will do an excellent job in this position.”

Mr. Rivera is a 20-year veteran of the United States Navy and attended the University of Maryland and Dutchess Community College. He chose to pursue a career in public service as Deputy Director of the Dutchess County Department of Veterans Affairs in 1999. In addition to his position with the County, Mr. Rivera serves on Congresswoman Sue Kelly’s Veterans Advisory Committee, the VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System Castle Point Veterans Advisory Council and Patient Satisfaction Sub-Committee, the American Legion of Beacon, NY, serves as Sergeant-at-Arms for the County Veterans Service Officers Association of New York and is a Service Officer at the Dutchess County American Legion.

“I am honored County Executive Steinhaus has selected me to be Director of a department that I am so dedicated to and I appreciate his confidence and support. I look forward to working with the Executive Office, county departments and the Legislature to address the many needs of our veteran population,” Rivera said.

The Director of the County’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs is responsible for informing, advising and assisting veterans, service personnel and their families in obtaining benefits provided by federal, state and county government. The Director also performs many hours of outreach to seek out the needs and concerns of area veterans.

“He (Rivera) is an excellent communicator and is known as a problem solver and gets to the root of the issues, offering up real solutions,” said Director Michael Sabo, VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System, in a statement. “He holds the utmost of integrity in character, and is highly respected here at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System and throughout the local veterans community,” Sabo added.

Donato A. Grella, Hudson Valley Veteran Coordinator, New York State Department of Labor stated, “Other counties have tried to replicate Dutchess County’s Veterans Information Day organized by Nelson Rivera. Nelson impressed me with his unselfish and ‘Can Do’ attitude on servicing Veterans.”

Mr. Rivera, age 47, and his wife of 24 years, Christina DeLourdes Canete Rivera are the parents of two daughters, Lokelani in junior high school, Kawalani, who attends community college and a son, Lance Corporal Lanakilo A. Rivera who is currently serving the United States Marines at Camp Fuji, Japan.

The position became vacant with the retirement of former Veterans Affairs Director Don Rice. Mr. Rivera’s appointment is subject to approval by the Dutchess County Legislature.



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Last Updated: 8/13/2004