Pictured: 2024 UDC Chairperson Virginia Dudko
NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) board elected Town of Deerpark Representative Virginia Dudko to serve as its 2024 chairperson at the non-profit organization’s annual meeting held Jan. 4th.
UDC Representatives Jeffrey R. Dexter, Damascus Township, PA, and Alan F. Henry, Berlin Township, PA, were elected vice-chairperson and secretary-treasurer, respectively.
While the election results were immediately binding, the officers will be ceremonially sworn in at the UDC’s next monthly meeting on Feb. 1.
“Ginny” Dudko is serving her first term as UDC chairperson, after being elected as vice-chair in 2023. She succeeds Shohola Township, PA Representative Aaron Robinson in the leadership role.
The Town of Deerpark first appointed her to the Council on October 17, 2011 as an alternate representative before she took over as its voting delegate in January 2022.
Dudko carries on a family legacy of UDC service, given that her father Lew Schmalzle was the Town of Highland Representative for 12 years during which she often accompanied him to meetings.
The Minisink Ford, NY native is a 1968 graduate of Eldred Central School who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Oneonta in 1972 and Master’s degree in the same field from SUNY Cortland five years later.
She taught Kindergarten in her home school district from 1972-2002 before retiring, then resumed her time in pre-K through 6th grade classrooms as a volunteer and substitute teacher in 2004.
Dudko chaired the UDC’s Water Use/Resource Management Committee for the past three years and also sits on the Operations and Project Review Committees, as well as the UDC-NPS Telecommunications Subcommittee and Personnel Subcommittee.
She serves on the Town of Deerpark Board of Assessment Review, the Bon Secours Hospital Ethics Board, is an active member of the Pond Eddy United Methodist Church, and belongs to the women’s educational society, Delta Kapp Gamma.
Dudko has been a town-appointed member of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) Committee since 2011 and was that non-profit organization’s 2021 vice-chair before switching to the alternate position in 2022.
Ginny and her husband since 1972, Bill, live on a 30-acre property behind the NYS Route 97 Hawk’s Nest in Sparrowbush. Operating as a team, Bill Dudko is the Town of Deerpark’s UDC alternate and UDSB representative.
She enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, and reading in her spare time.
The bi-state UDC alternates its chair and vice-chair positions between New York and Pennsylvania residents.
This is Jeff Dexter’s fifth stint as UDC vice-chair (2012, 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2024), and he has chaired the Council twice in 2013 and 2021. He was also the secretary-treasurer in 2015.
Serving on the UDC’s Project Review, Operations, Personnel, and Telecommunications Committees, Dexter was a 2020 co-recipient of the UDC’s Robin M. Daniels Memorial Lifesaving Award and of the 2023 Outstanding Community Achievement Award for his participation with the Damascus Township Parks and Recreation Committee.
After Damascus joined the Council in 2008, the Board of Supervisors appointed Dexter as an alternate in 2010 before becoming their UDC voting representative in 2012.
The Cochecton native, whose family genealogy traces back to relatives living at the Cushetunk Settlement, graduated from Narrowsburg Central School in 1967. He earned a 1971 Bachelor’s degree in Resources Management from the College of Forestry at Syracuse University, including one year of study at SUNY Alfred Agriculture and Technical College.
Dexter worked for the Arizona State Parks System for 31 years before retiring in 2003 and returning to the Upper Delaware River Valley. He served on the Damascus Township Board of Supervisors for a decade through 2015, including six years as chairperson. He then served as Township Auditor from 2016-2022.
Dexter has worked as a Disaster Building Inspector with the Federal Emergency Management Agency since 2005, serves on the Damascus Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps Board of Trustees, and is a member of Grace Ridge Church in Honesdale.
Jeff and his wife, Linda, have three children: Kari, Bethany, and Jonathan.
Al Henry was appointed by the Berlin Township Board of Supervisors as its UDC delegate on Jan. 3, 2012.
This is his 11th stint as secretary-treasurer following a partial term from Aug. 1-Dec. 31, 2013, a full year in 2014, his 2015 election as chairperson, then resuming this role from 2016-2024.
He sits on all three UDC standing committees, chairs its Personnel Subcommittee, and is a member of the Telecommunications and Building Subcommittees.
A native of Beach Lake, PA, Henry was employed by the National Park Service (NPS) for 32 years, all but three years of that tenure with the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, before retiring on June 1, 2009 as Chief Ranger.
The Honesdale High School graduate earned a 1976 Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Parks from Penn State University and studied Outdoor Education at the University of Northern Colorado before joining the NPS ranks in 1977.
In addition to extensive law enforcement credentials, Henry earned certification as an NAUI Divemaster, served as a volunteer firefighter, and coached baseball and soccer locally.
Henry helps maintain his family’s 300-acre Village View Farm property in Beach Lake and is a member of the Beach Lake Hunting and Fishing Club.
Al and his wife, Karen Carlson, are the parents of Dr. Alana Rickard and Dylan Henry, Esq., and they have four grandchildren.
About the UDC
Established in 1988, the Upper Delaware Council works in partnership with the National Park Service to oversee implementation of the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
The U.S. Congress designated the 73.4-mile-long, 55,574.5-acre corridor to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1978.
The UDC’s members are 13 local governments (eight NY towns and five PA townships) that have property along the river, as well as the State of New York, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Delaware River Basin Commission.
The business office is located in Narrowsburg, NY. For more information, please visit www.upperdelawarecouncil.org or call (845) 252-3022.