Westchester parks group elects board members

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Friends of Westchester Parks recently elected two area business leaders to its board of directors -- David Swope and Mark S. Tulis.

The privately funded organization is dedicated to promoting and supporting Westchester County Parks.

"We're thrilled to have these two influential county residents join our board. Their expertise and business acumen will surely help us in our efforts to keep the county's 50 parks beautiful and programming available and running smoothly," Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson, the organization's chairwoman, said in a news release.

Swope is the founder of Club Fit in Jefferson Valley and Briarcliff Manor. He graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School and practiced in New York City at White and Case before returning to Westchester.

Swope's family founded Teatown Lake Reservation in 1963 with a gift of 190 acres to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. He personally donated land on Blinn Road to Teatown in the 1990s. Additionally, he donated 34 acres to the Town of New Castle for its Sunny Ridge Park and with his sister Dorry, gave property on Hawkes Avenue to the Town of Ossining for the Sally Swope Sitting Park.

Swope currently serves as chairman of the Jacob Burns Film Center and the Westchester Community College Foundation, and is a director of Historic Hudson Valley as well as a trustee of Lesley University.

Tulis will be taking over the position of treasurer from Howard Arden, who is retiring. Tulis is head of the real estate tax and condemnation and bankruptcy departments at his law firm, Oxman, Tulis, Kirkpatrick, Wyatt and Geiger LLP. He is a panel bankruptcy trustee for the United States Department of Justice, Southern District of New York.

Currently, Tulis is chairman of the New York State Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee of the Business Law Section as well as chairman of the board of the Westchester County Healthcare Corporation operating the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. He was previously a Westchester County Legislator and the town supervisor and councilman in the Town of New Castle.

"We look forward to working together with these two new members as we continue to promote our county's park system and ensure that it remains vibrant, green and integral to county life," said Joe Stout, director of Friends of Westchester County Parks, in a news release.

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