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[Congressional Record: July 15, 2002 (Extensions)]
[Page E1254]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []



                       HON. SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, July 15, 2002

  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Richard ``Dick'' 
Sessler for his 12 years of dedicated service to the Mohawk Valley 
Resource Center for Refugees. On June 28th, 2002, Mr. Sessler retired 
from his post as Executive Director for the Refugee Center. During his 
tenure, he was instrumental in the successful resettlement of close to 
10,000 refugees from Bosnia, Russia, Vietnam, Burma, and Sudan to the 
Utica, NY area. Mr. Sessler is a visionary and a truly remarkable 
leader. Under his leadership the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for 
Refugees expanded significantly, initiated innovative services and 
formed many meaningful partnerships with a large number of community 
  Mr. Sessler's work with the center dates back to 1990 when he was 
first hired as Associate Director and later promoted to Executive 
Director in 1993. During that time the Center has grown tremendously. 
The Refugee Center now offers three well staffed and well developed 
programs that have been made more effective: a health program, an 
education program, and an excellent job placement program. In addition, 
Mr. Sessler was involved in the establishment of an on-site clinic, 
night-time English classes (ESL), a dental program, a community 
relations program and citizenship classes.
  Upon his retirement, Mr. Sessler plans to continue to offer his 
services to the refugee community. His plans include consulting and 
serving as an active member of the Lutheran Immigration Service (LIRS). 
I am confident that he will continue to offer his knowledge and 
experience and serve as a tremendous asset to the LIRS.
  Mr. Sessler's commitment to the Refugee Center should serve as an 
inspiration to all. Mr. Sessler was and will remain to be well 
respected and well liked by all that have the pleasure to work with 
him. He has touched and reshaped the lives of many war-torn men, women 
and children across the globe by helping them escape brutal religious 
and political persecution--I commend him for his efforts. I am 
confident that the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees will 
continue to maintain its excellent reputation, level of 
professionalism, and success that Mr. Sessler worked so diligently to 
instill within it.