The New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce held a grand retirement bash on Sunday, May 6 in honor of its retired president, Joyce Minard. The event, which was held at Mohonk Mountain House, celebrated Minard’s legacy of service to the Hudson Valley community in regal style. The evening began with cocktails in the pavilion, featuring a live performance by the Bernstein Bard Trio and a bounty of tastings from members of the Shawangunk Wine Trail, Tuthilltown Spirits and Gilded Otter Brewing Co. and two signature cocktails by Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits — the Firecracker and the Giggle (Venice Spritz), named for Minard — alongside hors d’ouvures by Aroma Thyme Bistro, Harvest Real Food Catering & Events, Henry’s Farm to Table at Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa, High Falls Café, Jamaica Choice Caribbean Cuisine and LaBella Pizza Bistro. Appetites whetted, guests moved into Mohonk Mountain House’s main dining room for a appetizer of smoked duck breast and foie gras, and an extravagant entrée of roasted sea bass and local beef.
Over desserts by Bridge Creek Catering and Moxie Cupcake, Minard’s contribution to the region was fêted with moving presentations by some of the people who know and love her best, emceed by Chamber board member Tom Edwards of Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits. Leading off the tribute, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein’s touching remarks culminated in the surprise announcement that May 7 was proclaimed Joyce Minard Day in Ulster County. Hein was followed by past Chamber board members officer Scott Schaffrick of the New Paltz Police Department and Doug Thompson of Main Street Bistro; Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce president (and Minard’s ostensible brother) Charlie North; and Christine Crawfis, New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce Director of Marketing and Communications. All five presenters used their own experiences to highlight the ferocity of Minard’s unique spirit and the tenacity with which she has applied herself to the mission of improving the quality of life for all who live, work, play, worship and visit the Hudson Valley region. Wrapping up the program was the screening of a tribute video, recorded and edited by Dr. Gregg Bray and SUNY New Paltz Communications and Media students, after which there was not a dry eye in the house.
A live auction followed and attendees ended the night by dancing the night away to Minard’s favorite band, Bill’s Toupee.