Ernenwein Named June Citizen of the Month

GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has recognized Paul Ernenwein as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for the month of June.

A lifelong Newburgh resident, Ernenwein was honored for his many contributions and dedication to the City and community. He is the organizer of the popular Newburgh Illuminated Festival. This year’s seventh annual event, held on June 1st, attracted close to 40,000 people.

“Paul cares deeply about Newburgh and has had a positive impact on the city and its residents,” Neuhaus said. “He has a unique ability to bring people together for important causes and for the betterment of the community. Paul is selfless, a true go-to guy who is deeply respected by his peers. I’m proud to recognize him for helping to make Orange County a better place to live.”

Ernenwein grew up in Newburgh and spent much time in the city’s downtown area, where his father, Richard, owned Rosenbaum’s gift and jewelry shop on Liberty Street. After graduating from Newburgh Free Academy in 1987, he attended Albany University, and went on to law school. Ernenwein, a fourth generation Newburgh resident, served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, but his heart always remained in the city on the banks of the Hudson River.

Ernenwein returned home in 2000 and is a partner at a local law firm. He immediately immersed himself back into Newburgh and is the chairman of the Dutch Reformed Church Preservation Society, the second chair of the Newburgh Palatine Dog Society and is on the board of trustees of Cornerstone Family Healthcare.

Ernenwein has become most passionate about the Newburgh Illuminated Festival, which he helped start in 2013 at the urging of then City of Newburgh Mayor, the late Judy Kennedy. The event celebrates Newburgh and its culture, featuring music, art, dance and food. The festival attracted about 22,000 people in 2018 and approximately 17,000 a year earlier.

Ernenwein and his wife, Hyun Chin Kim, have two daughters, Isabel, 17, and Emily, 15. They reside in the Town of Newburgh.

“To try to play a small part in the continued renaissance of Newburgh and Orange County has been a thrill to me,” Ernenwein said. “It is especially meaningful as I am trying to honor generations of my family before me who gave so much to create a place where their kids would stay and raise their own families. Being a part of the fabric of the community is wonderful and I thank County Executive Neuhaus for this recognition.”

Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January of 2017. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.

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