Historic Hudson River Towns (HHRT), a non-profit consortium of riverfront municipalities which has served as a leader in tourism promotion, community advocacy, waterfront redevelopment and downtown revitalization in the Hudson Valley for nearly 30 years, has announced the appointment of Burns Patterson as Executive Director.
Patterson, founder of the Tarrytown-based agency HudsonPR, has an extensive background in national and international tourism development and community relations, along with many years of experience in the Hudson Valley region.
The announcement was made by HHRT’s president Dana Levenberg, Supervisor of the Town of Ossining, who noted that Patterson replaces Nancy Gold who has led the organization since it was founded in 1995 and is now retiring. “We are fortunate to have found a worthy successor for Nancy in Burns Patterson,” said Levenberg. “He brings just the right mix of marketing savvy, creative thinking and knowledge of the area that HHRT requires.”
Patterson commented, “This is such an exciting time in the Rivertowns on both sides of the Hudson, from thoughtful and economically vital development of former industrial sites along the waterfront, to downtown revitalization and enhanced outreach focused on sustainable tourism. We have a great opportunity to build on recent successes and I’m honored to serve at Historic Hudson River Towns. I’d particularly like to thank and salute Nancy Gold, who has served as a founder and director of the organization in multiple roles over the last 27 years and who has positioned HHRT well for the future.”
Patterson first served in the region as director of public relations and new media for the non-profit educational organization Historic Hudson Valley, where he worked for nine years, including leading the PR roll-out for the opening of Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate. He went on to roles in community relations for Cablevision in the Hudson Valley region, and as director of public relations, sports properties, for Madison Square Garden. He worked for ten years at Middleton & Gendron Brand Communications in New York City, a leading travel and hospitality focused PR agency where he became chief operating officer and directed account teams for global hospitality clients. In 2016, Patterson launched his own agency, HudsonPR, naming his firm for the river that has served as a touchstone throughout his life.
Historic Hudson River Towns was created through an inter-municipal agreement (IMA) that now includes all the Hudson riverfront communities in Westchester County from Yonkers to Peekskill, and Nyack, Haverstraw and Piermont in Rockland County. Most recently, HHRT has worked closely with the NYS Thruway Authority to create a series of GPS-enabled audio tours.
The free tours are available by downloading the TravelStorys app or going to www.hudsonriver.com. Users can listen to walking and biking tours when crossing over the Hudson on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Shared Use Path or when visiting communities near the bridge including Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Nyack and Piermont. A driving tour that extends on both sides of the river from Yonkers to the Bear Mountain Bridge adds to the visitor’s enjoyment of all 16 HHRT member towns.
Patterson will continue as principal of HudsonPR, while adding responsibilities through his part-time role as Executive Director of HHRT. HudsonPR clients include commercial real estate projects such as the mixed-use, transit-oriented Edge-on-Hudson development in Sleepy Hollow, and Potomac Shores in Virginia, as well as hotel, healthcare and non-profit clients. Local clients have included healthcare providers such as Ossining-based Open Door Family Medical Centers and St. Mary’s Children’s Healthcare System in NYC; hospitality clients such as The Quin Central Park by Hilton Club and The Central at Fifth; and non-profits including the environmental organization Save the Sound. He has volunteered locally for Phelps Hospital Northwell Health, The Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown Trails Committee, and for fundraising initiatives including the Leukemia Society’s “Light the Night” campaign, the Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon, and the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon, produced by Rivertown Runners.
Burns and his wife Ruth live in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with their dog, Luna (the kids have flown the coop).