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J. Mullen and Sons named 2022 Ulster County Business of the Year

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KINGSTON, N.Y. — A Saugerties-based construction company that has worked with hundreds of organizations across the Hudson Valley and the state has been named Business of the Year, the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce announced.

J. Mullen and Sons Inc. will be feted at the annual Ulster County Business Recognition Awards Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 27, along with seven other honorees named by the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance, according to a press release. The awards recognize Ulster County businesses that are leaders in their sectors, have achieved outstanding results, or have shown dedication and commitment to furthering business and the quality of life in the community.

The other honorees include: Charles Blaichman of CB Developers as Business Person of the Year; Peekamoose Restaurant and Tap Room in Big Indian as Small Business of the Year; Rail Explorers of Phoenicia as Tourism Business of the Year; Scanlon’s Dry Cleaners of Kingston for the Heritage Award; Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties for the Commitment to the Community Award; and Taylor Bruck as Emerging Young Leader. The Len Cane Heart of Ulster County Award will be presented to Thomas Struzzieri, owner of HITS in Saugerties.

John Mullen launched his company in 1982 with a skeleton crew, according to the release. The company has since grown to more than 100 employees working in areas such as commercial demolition, new construction, construction management, excavation, site utilities, site concrete, site masonry, structural concrete, architectural masonry and finishes, interior framing, drywall and construction, and foundations for the public, private, industrial, and institutional sectors.

J. Mullen and Sons has worked for hundreds of organizations ranging from retail centers and hospitals to churches and schools, the release said. The company is working alongside Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. as the construction partner in a five-year project to install new natural gas distribution mains and services in the utility company’s multi-county territory.

Blaichman has been developing, building, and managing real estate for more than 30 years, the release said. He is known locally for his Hotel Kinsley, a campus of four boutique 19th-century buildings with 42 guest rooms, two restaurants, and a bar in Kingston’s historic Stockade District. The project was the first destination hotel to open in Uptown in 2019.

Peekamoose Restaurant and Tap Room is known for its New American cuisine, award-winning beverages, and laid-back atmosphere, the release said. Owned by Devin and Marybeth Mills, the restaurant is a destination and community hub for locals, weekenders, and tourists, and is known for its seasonal farm-to-table menu. The restaurant operates out of a former farmhouse, employs 32 people, and regularly gives to community causes and events.

Rail Explorers features pedal-powered bikes that ride the tracks of the historic Ulster and Delaware Railroad, the release said. The tourist attraction, which launched in 2018, enables passengers to take an eight-mile round trip that runs alongside the Esopus Creek and through the woods of the Catskill Mountains.

Scanlon’s Dry Cleaners is a three-generational, family-owned business that has served Kingston and the surrounding areas for more than 60 years, the release said. Bob Scanlon founded the company in 1956, and today it operates at four locations, two in Kingston, one in Rhinebeck, and one in Red Hook. The business is a full-service company that offers dry cleaning, wash-and-fold services, window treatment and area rug cleaning, and onsite upholstery cleaning.

Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties has had a presence in Ulster for 40 years and serves thousands of residents each year regardless of their religion or ability to pay, the release said. The agency provides a variety of bilingual services to individuals and families that include case management, information and referrals, and emergency assistance for rent, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, and advocacy. Catholic Charities also helps those fighting drug addiction, as well as immigrants navigating the journey to citizenship.

Bruck, the Ulster County archivist, became the city of Kingston historian in 2018 when Ed Ford retired, the release said. Bruck, 32, grew up in Kingston and studied under Ford for years. He has been part of several groundbreaking initiatives in Kingston, including recreating two missing lunettes in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall, working with the History Alliance of Kingston to build a Black history database, and planning Kingston’s 150th anniversary celebration. The Association of Public Historians of New York State will also hold its three-day conference in Kingston this September for the first time due to Bruck’s efforts.

Struzzieri is known throughout the region as the businessman with big vision and an equally big heart, the release said. Known for his equestrian company HITS, Struzzieri helped transform Saugerties into a vibrant destination. The horse shows, which run from May through September, attract thousands of equestrians, spectators, and tourists each year, boosting the local economy. Struzzieri also is known for his philanthropy which includes funding a feeding program for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and other causes throughout Ulster County.

The awards dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 27, at the Wiltwyck Golf Club, 404 Steward Lane, Kingston. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities and tickets, contact the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce at (845) 338-5100 or online at

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