Foundation for Abilities First NY and Abilities First, Inc. Announce 2022 Board of Directors Changes

Wappinger Falls, N.Y. (March 3, 2022) – Abilities First, Inc. (AFI), a nonprofit organization supporting the needs of individuals with disabilities through the Hudson Valley region, is pleased to announce the addition of four community leaders to its Board of Directors.

Those additions include:

  • William Jeffries, the operations officer & compliance officer for Mobile Life Support Services, Inc, who said, “In both my personal and professional life, I have witnessed what great achievements can be reached with compassionate, targeted, and dignified support. To me, that is what Abilities First, Inc. is all about and I am thrilled to help support that mission.”
  • Richard Kolosky, a senior vice president in commercial lending at Rhinebeck Bank in Rhinebeck, N.Y., who has years of experience in commercial lending in the local/regional area, and has been involved in the Fishkill community in a multitude of ways.
  • Dr. Rachana Tyagi, the associate director of Neurosurgery – Northern Division at Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMC Health) and an associate professor of Neurosurgery at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., who said, “As a pediatric and adult neurosurgeon, I have a commitment to caring for many patients with disabilities. I am proud to be joining Abilities First, Inc., which has a long history of serving the disabled community in the Hudson Valley. I look forward to helping many more families and reaching new milestones with the wonderful people in the organization.”
  • Deepak Vashisht, assistant vice president of Regional Branch Management for Hudson Valley Credit Union, who said, “I firmly believe each person in the community plays an essential role in the development of that community. Serving as a board member is an opportunity for me to give back to my community. I am committed to protecting the best interests of the organization and those we serve, and ensuring that donor funds are well spent.”

In addition to welcoming its newest members, the Abilities First, Inc. Board of Directors also elected member Mike Oates, president & CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development, to the position of secretary.

“Mr. Oates continues to be a vital leader and contributor to the mission with his expertise in navigating the governmental and economic environment,” said Abilities First, Inc. Board of Directors Chair Daniel Stafford.

Abilities First, Inc. Board of Directors member Chris Gibson, strategic planning coordinator at Central Hudson, has moved to the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Abilities First NY, the fundraising arm for Abilities First, Inc.

“Since joining the AFI Board, Chris has shown a commitment to securing financial opportunities for the mission from the community,” said the Foundation for Abilities First NY Board of Directors Chair Joshua Mackey. “He will be a strong advocate and valued member for the Foundation.”

In addition to welcoming its newest member, the Foundation for Abilities First NY Board of Directors also elected member Anthony Morando, Esq. of Cuddy & Feder LLP to the open position of Secretary.

“Anthony has made an exceptional personal and professional commitment to ensuring his leadership as a Board member strengthens the mission and raises community awareness to Abilities First, Inc.,” said Melissa McCoy, Chief Advancement Officer for Abilities First, Inc. and the Foundation for Abilities First NY.

About Abilities First, Inc.: Founded in 1962, Abilities First, Inc. is a nonprofit organization serving the needs of those with developmental disabilities from preschool through adulthood. With more than 600 dedicated employees committed to providing educational, vocational, residential, habilitation, and family support services, Abilities First, Inc. gives individuals with disabilities and their families the support to attain independence, self-determination, integration, and acceptance by others. In serving over 1,400 children and adults throughout the Hudson Valley region of New York State, Abilities First, Inc. holds a long-term commitment to creating a cohesive culture of compassion, empowerment, and respect for these individuals through education, exploration, and experience. For more information, visit or on Facebook at

About Foundation for Abilities First NY (FAFNY): Founded in 2018, the mission of the Foundation for Abilities First NY is to garner the financial resources necessary to meet the programmatic interests and to assure the sustainability of the mission of Abilities First, Inc.