Thomas F. O'Mara's Constituent stories

Linda A. Thomas

A successful small business is often the backbone and the heart and soul of a small community. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the village of Wellsburg, New York, where Linda Thomas has owned and operated the Wellsburg Diner since 1997.

In September 2011, Tropical Storm Lee swept across New York’s Southern Tier and its many small towns, causing once-in-a-lifetime flooding. The storm devastated Wellsburg, and the Wellsburg Diner was completely destroyed.

Ms. Thomas, faced with daunting financial and personal hardships, vowed to reopen her place of business, saying, “This town’s been very good to me, I wanted to stay with them...The Wellsburg Diner is more than a building. It’s a family.”

May 13, 2015

Anthony J. “Tony” Specchio

Anthony J. “Tony” Specchio, Sr. proudly served his nation upon being drafted into the United States Army in January 1953. A distinguished Korean War veteran, he has dedicated a lifetime of commitment and service to his country, his state and to the community of Watkins Glen, New York. 

May 17, 2014

Lauren R. Snyder

If, as it’s been said, good health and good sense are two of life’s great blessings, then Lauren R. Snyder has successfully devoted a lifetime as a public health professional to promoting this idea.

Born and raised in Penn Yan, New York, Ms. Snyder graduated from Penn Yan Academy, the University of Buff alo (RN, BSN) and SUNY at Brockport (MPA). She was employed at Yates County Public Health for 33 years, including 28 years as Director before her retirement in 2009. She is widely admired as the driving force behind countless achievements to protect and improve the health of Yates County’s residents.

May 13, 2014

Roswell L. Crozier, Jr.

Lieutenant Colonel Roswell L. Crozier, Jr. has dedicated a lifetime of service to his country, to his community and to Steuben County, New York. 

Enlisting in the United States Army Air Corps (later to become the United States Air Force) at the start of World War II, “Roz” Crozier served with the 443rd Troop Carrier Group and participated in many of the War’s signature battles and operations including the Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Crossbow and Operation Market Garden, as well as in the Ardennes, Rome-Arno and Rhineland campaigns. 

Among numerous military medals and campaign ribbons, Roz is a recipient of the Bronze Star, the fifth-highest combat decoration awarded by the United States Armed Forces. 

May 20, 2013

Beverly Stamp

Beverly “Bev” Stamp is widely admired as an ambassador of New York State’s nationally and internationally renowned wine and grape industry.

After graduating from SUNY Morrisville in 1958 and marrying her college sweetheart, Charles LaMont “Monty” Stamp, the couple took over the Stamp family farm, Lakewood Vineyards, with its orchards and vineyards overlooking Seneca Lake, near Watkins Glen, New York. Here they raised four children and became industry stalwarts.

May 13, 2013

J. Arthur Kieffer

J. Arthur “Archie” Kieffer proudly served his nation in the United States Army during the Second World War as a member of the Army Air Corps in Italy as a B-24 Aerial Gunner with the 459th Bombardment Group, 756th Bomb Squadron.

Archie participated in battles for the North Apennines, Po Valley, Rhineland and Central Europe and was awarded the Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the European Service Ribbon with 4 Campaign Stars. While in the military, Archie was also an Army Dog Trainer.

Upon his discharge from the Army in 1945, he held the rank of Sergeant.

May 18, 2012

Virginia Houseknecht

Virginia Houseknecht, affectionately known as “Ginny,” has been a devoted community educator throughout her career and her retirement.

For 35 years, Ms. Houseknecht served as the Family and Consumer Sciences Program Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County. She is known across the Southern Tier for her leadership and research-based education in food sciences, nutrition and health, parenting, and financial management.

May 15, 2012

Philip C. Smith

Philip C. Smith was drafted into service in the United States Army in 1951, attending leadership school at Fort Dix, and OCS and jump training at Fort Benning, returning to Fort Dix with his new bride upon completion. He was then off to Korea as 2nd Lt. with Company G 15th regiment in the 3rd infantry from January to July of 1953.     Phil was a diligent and courageous soldier and proved that in battle.  He participated in the week-long battle for Outpost Harry and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Silver Star for Valor in the successful defense of the Outpost.    

June 9, 2011

Carol Berry

Wherever Carol Berry goes, a high quality library is sure to follow. For more than three decades she has dedicated her career to developing and guiding successful library systems for schools and communities across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

After graduating from Empire State College and earning a Master’s degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo, Ms. Berry began her professional career in 1980 as the school librarian at Hornell High School.

May 11, 2011
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