Columbia County woman to be honored by State Senate

Senator Kathy Marchione proudly announces Deborah “Deb” Simonsmeier as her 2017 “Woman of Distinction” for the 43rd Senate District

Deborah Simonsmeier devoted her entire life to serving others and making her Columbia County community a better, safer place, served as Senator Kathy Marchione’s Columbia County Director of Constituent Service and Town of Kinderhook Councilwoman


Albany, NY – Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C,I,Reform-Halfmoon), Chair of the Senate’s Local Government Committee, today proudly announced her selection of Deborah “Deb” Simonsmeier as her 2017 New York State “Woman of Distinction” for the 43rd Senate District.


A proud resident of Columbia County, Deborah Simonsmeier devoted her entire life to serving others and making her community a more affordable, better and safer place to live, work and raise a family. Senator Kathy Marchione awarded today’s Woman of Distinction honor to Deborah Simonsmeier posthumously.


“Deb Simonsmeier lived her values, was deeply passionate about public service, and forever focused on helping others. Whether it was her skill, dedication and courage as a first responder, mentoring Columbia County’s EMS personnel, promoting volunteerism, serving Columbia County as a member of Kinderhook’s local government, or as my Director of Constituent Service, Deb was fiercely loyal and deeply devoted to her family, community, and the principles of public service. Deb Simonsmeier will forever be remembered as a ‘Woman of Distinction’ and a great, dear friend to me and countless Columbia County residents whom she served, mentored and helped,” Senator Marchione said.


Established by the New York State Senate, the Woman of Distinction Program showcases outstanding women living and working in New York State whose personal and professional contributions have greatly enriched the quality of life in their communities and beyond.


Deborah Simonsmeier was announced as Senator Marchione’s 2017 Woman of Distinction for the 43rd Senate District in Albany this evening as the State Senate honored all of the 2017 Women of Distinction from each of the 63 Senate Districts during a special public recognition ceremony.


Deborah was a lifelong member of the Valatie Rescue Squad founded by her father and operated from their family home – where Deb would often answer emergency calls as a teenager.

Deborah earned the distinction of serving as the squad’s first female officer when she took the helm as Assistant Captain, ultimately rising to become Chairman of the Board.


In addition, Deborah served as Senior EMS instructor at Columbia-Greene Community College and co-coordinator of the Columbia & Greene County Stress and Emotional Relief Team. Deb is remembered fondly for her mentorship of many Columbia County first responders.


Deborah’s commitment and steadfast service to her community was continually recognized and honored. In 1989, Deborah received the first annual “Person of the Year Award” from the Columbia County Emergency Medical Association. In 1990, Deborah was appointed by then Governor Mario Cuomo as Columbia County’s representative to the Governor’s Task Force on Volunteerism. In 2014, the Columbia County Board of Supervisors honored Deborah for her years of dedicated, faithful community service.


Elected to the Kinderhook Town Board in 2011, and re-elected in 2015, Deborah was a devoted public servant and a passionate, vocal advocate for programs and activities that supported at-risk children, senior citizens, active military personnel, veterans, their spouses, members of law enforcement and first responders.


In late 2012, New York State Senator Kathy Marchione named Deborah as her Director of Constituent Service for Columbia County. Serving in this important capacity, Deborah continued her emphasis on being responsive and attentive to the needs of Columbia County residents, represented Senator Marchione at many public events.


As part of her special recognition as a Woman of Distinction today, Deborah Simonsmeier’s picture and biographical information were included in the Senate’s statewide 2017 Women of Distinction printed program, website and gallery on display in the Well of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

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