Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced a number of new appointments in his administration Wednesday.
Johanna Contreras will serve as Deputy County Executive. Contreras had worked in New York City’s Office of Management and Budget since 2013, most recently serving as the Assistant Director for Education. Contrerars holds a Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at The New School and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Nicholas Hvozda will serve as director of the Department of the Environment. He has served as the department’s deputy director since 2017 and spent more than a decade in the U.S. Navy as a staff officer and pilot.
Hvozda holds a MBA in Sustainability from Bard College, is a certified energy manager and earned his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy. His appointment is pending confirmation from the Ulster County Legislature.
Kenneth Juras will serve as Ulster County’s Director of Budget and Innovation. He comes to Ryan’s administration from SUNY Ulster where he has served as the Dean for Administration – Operations and Human Resource Management since 2019. Juras is no stranger to the county, as he previously worked in the Ulster County Department of Finance serving in the roles of Deputy Budget Director and Deputy Commissioner of Finance. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University at Albany, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and earned his undergraduate degree from Marist College.
Christopher Kelly was appointed Deputy County Executive. Kelly has previously served Ulster County as the Deputy Budget Director and the Deputy Commissioner of Finance. Before that he worked at the New York State Bridge Authority where he held the positions of Director of Electronic Toll Systems, Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff. Kelly holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Marist College and earned his undergraduate degree from Siena College.
Laura Nordstrom will serve the County as Director of Research and Operations. Nordstrom previously worked for the town of Hyde Park as a Legislative Aide, the office of Assemblymember Kevin Cahill as a District Office Representative, and as a Youth Development Director at the YMCA of Kingston. She is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from Marist College and earned her undergraduate degree from SUNY New Paltz.
Kayleen Scali was appointed as Assistant Deputy County Executive. Scali has served as Ryan’s Director of Research and Operations, Confidential Secretary, and most recently as the County Executive’s Chief of Staff over the past 2.5 years.
Scali obtained her Business Administration degree from SUNY and thereafter traveled to Italy where she worked for several years as a teacher. After returning to Ulster County, Scali worked as the Marketing Manager for the Emerson Resort & Spa before being recruited to work as a confidential secretary for the Director of the Ulster County Department of Economic Development.
Ryan also appointed Sharon Williams as the director of the County’s Office of Employment and Training. Williams previously worked as the Hudson Valley Director of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York and before that served as the Executive Director of Big Brother Big Sisters of Orange County. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School, a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management from the Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy New School University, and received her undergraduate degree from Pace University. Williams appointment is pending confirmation from the Ulster County Legislature.
“For the past two years, we have managed the pandemic while developing innovative policy around mental health, housing, equitable economic initiatives, and more,” County Executive Pat Ryan said in a news release. “Ulster County is a phenomenal place to work, and we continue to attract diverse, talented and experienced individuals to serve in critical roles in County Government.”