|Steve Densmore, President and Founder
Steve Densmore has spent the last 25 years working as a communications professional in the Hudson Valley. An award winning writer and journalist, Steve spent much of that time working in the trenches for several weekly newspapers and magazines, serving as a reporter, editor and publisher (sometimes all at the same time!) Steve’s career path evolved substantially in 2005 when he began working as a communications consultant for several Hudson Valley nonprofit organizations. This grew to include the Dyson Foundation and the Walkway Over the Hudson nonprofit organization, where he has spearheaded public relations and grant writing for the last several years. Steve launched Choice Words in 2010 in response to an increasing call for supportive communications services among Hudson Valley nonprofits. He has served on various boards of directors during his career including the New York Press Association, the Vassar Warner Home of Poughkeepsie, the Barrett Art Center, and the environmental advocacy organization, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. He lives in Montgomery.
|Briana Maloney, Vice President
Briana Maloney is a research and information specialist with experience in social media and web design. She has previously worked as an academic librarian at Rockland Community College, Mount Saint Mary College, and at the New York State Library as a public information advocate where she sought funding for various statewide public education programs. She fills a variety of roles at Choice Words including tech support, administrative assistance, grant writer and researcher, and social media guru. She is President of the Board of Lederman Children’s Center in Stone Ridge. She currently resides in Accord, NY.
|Larry Hertz, Public Relations Specialist
Larry Hertz handles public relations and communications, specializing in support for non-profits for Choice Words. He is a veteran journalist and longtime resident of the Hudson Valley. He was reporter and columnist at the Poughkeepsie Journal for 36 years until his retirement in April. He currently works part-time at Vassar College writing for their publications. He lives in Highland, NY.
|Jennifer Gutman, Senior Grant Writer
Jennifer Gutman graduated summa cum laude from SUNY New Paltz with an M.A. in English Literature in 2011. Since then, Jennifer has worked as the assistant editor at Luminary Publishing, publisher of Chronogram magazine, as well as a freelance writer and research assistant. In addition to her work with Choice Words, Jennifer is an Adjunct Instructor in the English Department at SUNY New Paltz.
|Emily Vanston, Grant Writer
Emily Vanston joins Choice Words after a 10-year career in publishing and marketing in New York City. She served in a variety of capacities at Bookspan, LLC, including acquisitions editor, copywriter, director of member services, and print and online marketing manager. Previously she served as market research manager for a division of News Corp. Emily is on the board of directors of the Vanaver Caravan dance company, and throughout her career has worked closely with a number of nonprofits and arts organizations. She is a graduate of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.
|Aaron Fumarola, Grant Writer
Born and raised in the Finger Lakes town of Homer, NY, Aaron is a 2007 graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he studied political science and philosophy. In 2010 he completed a Masters of Professional Studies in Environmental Policy from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY. After working for three years as Development Coordinator for Lime Hollow Nature Center in Cortland, NY, he transitioned to Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, NY, where he worked for nearly two years as the organization’s sole grant writer. With an lifelong enthusiasm for the arts and humanities, he joined Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in 2015, where he was responsible for cultivating and soliciting donations from new and existing donors in support of arts and education programming. In April of 2017 he transitioned to ChoiceWords on a part-time basis to research and write proposals on behalf of a number of our clients.
|Teryl Mickens, Grant Writer
Teryl is a seasoned grant writer experienced in both non-profit and for-profit business sectors. Over the last 12 years she has secured federal, state and private sources to fund projects ranging from affordable housing, community development and the arts. In addition to grant writing, Teryl specializes in procuring federal and state historic preservation tax credits. Teryl is a current board member of Ulster County Habitat for Humanity, the Business Alliance of Kingston and has served as a panelist for Arts Mid-Hudson. She is a former Kingston Landmarks Preservation commissioner and was appointed to serve on the Kingston Comprehensive Plan committee. Originally from Manhattan, she now resides in Kingston.