Three Women Moving Greenville Forward

Greenville is a town with a deep history, but it is also a community on the move, with people of many talents and interests.

By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media

Dr. Elizabeth Boomhower
Dr. Elizabeth Boomhower, owner of Catskill Valley Chiropractic.
Debra Danner
Debra Danner, the Catskill regional manager for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties.
Genn Howley
Genn Howley, co-owner of GNH Lumber and Home Center

GREENVILLE — Greenville is a town with a deep history, but it is also a community on the move, with people of many talents and interests.

Residents of the town work, study, volunteer and contribute to their community in a myriad of ways, some traditional and others on the cutting edge.

For three women, all of them running businesses in the town, their backgrounds and approaches may differ, but they all have one thing in common — they are women on the move, and they are helping to move Greenville forward as the community builds its collective future.

Dr. Liz Boomhower, Deb Danner and Genn Howley are just three of the town’s residents who are building their future in Greenville.


Dr. Liz Boomhower’s interests in natural and holistic practices began at an early age.

Born and raised in Greenville, Boomhower decided to transform her early interests into a career, and after completing her education and training, wanted to bring her expertise back to her hometown community.

“I went to Greenville Central Schools and when I was in high school, I started developing my interest in holistic practices,” she said. “At the time, it was just my interest or hobby — looking into nutrition and running and trying to be as healthy as I could. It started to wake me up to certain things like yoga and different practices to make yourself well.”

As her interests grew, she found there were limitations to what was available locally.
“In this area there is little opportunity for wellness practices, so I was really alone in that and I didn’t find much community here for those things,” Boomhower said.

Dr. Elizabeth Boomhower working on a patient.
Dr. Elizabeth Boomhower provides chiropractic care at Catskill Valley Chiropractic.

After graduating from Greenville High School, Boomhower attended Western New England University for her undergraduate work, where she was initially a pre-pharmacy major.

“I realized early on through a research project how sometimes that mode of care is not necessarily addressing the root cause of dysfunction in the body,” Boomhower said. “A lot of times it just masks symptoms that are signaling something much deeper. From that first research project, I realized this was not where I was personally aligned with based on my own values. I had to trust my instincts and switch things up, so that’s why I changed to a social work major.”

After earning her undergraduate degree, Boomhower decided chiropractic was the field of care she wanted to pursue and she attended the Northeast College of Health Sciences. She still uses the skills she learned as a social work major in her chiropractic work.

“The skills that I learned in my undergraduate program set me apart from the chiropractor who is my colleague — they are not necessarily as in tune with more subtle contributions to pain. Rather, they are focused on what is wrong with the skeletal system,” Boomhower said. “I found that was something I bring into my practice as a chiropractor, which I think helps a lot.”

Boomhower opened Catskill Valley Chiropractic in June 2022 on Country Estates Road, and offers a range of holistic services that complement chiropractic care, including yoga, Reiki, massage therapy, infrared sauna and group fitness classes.

“Whether they come to me or another practitioner here, we all work together and I think that is what is special about what I have been able to build with the other people in my community,” Boomhower said. “We filled a gap that I found when I was younger. I came back and I want to offer these unique services to the community.”

Boomhower specializes in myofascial release techniques, or muscle work techniques, in her chiropractic care, using a gentle approach, which she believes is essential to getting long-term relief from pain and other maladies.

“It’s a great way to introduce chiropractic care to the body, if you just do gentle muscle work and adjustments,” she said. “In my practice, I find that more and more people are frustrated with the standard medical system. Once you enter it, you are in this whirlwind and sometimes it just covers up what is happening in the body.”

Boomhower’s “practice members” — the people who come to her for care — seek relief for a range of conditions, from shoulder, neck and back pain to headaches.

Returning to the community where she grew up, and offering a range of services that may not have been available in one space, has been gratifying, she said.

“It feels great — I am so happy to be back,” Boomhower said. “I love having my family close. It’s been overwhelming how great it’s been to be back in the community and be someone who is helping people.”

Greenville is a town where opportunities continue to grow, she said.

“I think our town has so much potential as far as building things locally so no one has to commute to Albany or to Glenmont or Kingston or Catskill,” Boomhower said. “I think a lot can be built up here with that community support. There’s a lot of potential in Greenville that is very unique to this area, and I am very happy to be a part of it.”

Coldwell Banker Prime Properties exterior front.
The offices of Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, of Route 32 in Greenville.


Debra Danner came to live in Greenville through a different route — she moved here from New York City many years ago, and came to love the community she has called home for decades.

“I lived in Brooklyn for 34 years. We actually had the largest tow truck company in Brooklyn, with 14 trucks, so we had a big business going there,” Danner said.

But while Brooklyn offered financial opportunity, Danner and her late husband found they wanted something more.

“We moved up here because we wanted more quality of life for our children when they were getting to be of school age,” she said. “We knew we had to get out of Brooklyn — you can make a ton of money there, but we really wanted to have a more quality, country, easy life.”

As a child, Danner’s aunt owned a boarding house in the town of Catskill, so she and her family came up for vacations in the summer. She grew to love the area and when the time came to relocate to offer her family a rural way of life, Danner knew the place she wanted to call home.

“Upstate here was a vacation for me — I would come up here and play with cows, I worked in the little farm next door. You couldn’t do that in Brooklyn,” Danner said. “I had the best of both worlds — I had the city life and I had the country life. But I knew that once I got old enough, I wanted that for my children. I wanted the country life.”

So Danner and her husband returned to the area she had known as a child and looked for the place where they would build their future.

“We found land in Greenville and we purchased 100 acres,” she said. “For four years, we just had a camper and we would come up every weekend and stay in the camper until eventually we decided to sell our business and build our dream home, so we came up here to live full-time.”

She never looked back. Danner and her family moved to Greenville in 1990 and she has been here for the past 32 years.

Once they had their dream home, the Danners looked around for ways to make a living in their new community. Danner’s late husband bought transporters — 10-car carriers used to transport automobiles — and she opened an ice cream shop named Scoops.

“That was fun,” Danner said. “My husband then opened a little car lot right next to the ice cream shop to sell used cars. Shortly into it, I saw that he would sell one car and I would have to scoop a hundred cones. So I needed something bigger — bigger than cones. That’s how I got into real estate.”

She joined Coldwell Banker Prime Properties and hasn’t looked back since.

“That was over 20 years ago and I never left,” Danner said. “It’s an amazing company. I can’t say enough about it. They are a big corporation but they are owned by a family, so everything is just so family oriented.”

The real estate firm is big and continues to grow — and so do Danner’s opportunities with the company.

“Over the years, I went from managing one office to two offices and now I am the Catskill regional manager, so I run nine offices,” she said. “They are the No. 1 Coldwell Banker in the state of New York for 13 years in a row. They sell more dollars in real estate than any other Coldwell Banker in the state and they rank fourth in the Northeast and 10th in the nation, so I work for the biggest, baddest Coldwell Banker, and I sit right here in Greenville. It’s awesome.”

In addition to her real estate work, Danner has been an active volunteer in the community for decades, as a Life Member of the fire department auxiliary, and a nearly 20-year member with Community Partners of Greenville. She joined the former after she witnessed the work volunteer firefighters do when there was a brush fire on her property, and the latter when the town park was being built.

“I wanted to volunteer and help in any way I could,” Danner said, adding that over the years she has volunteered for Meals on Wheels, she was director of the local Chamber of Commerce, and served as a volunteer for various community events like Greenville Day and the Balloon Festival, and now is co-chair of the Greenville Planning Board.

“I just try to do what can, when I can,” Danner said. “It’s not easy to balance everything — my family life, my job and my volunteer work. It’s important to be a part of the community and not just speak up when things are wrong — I want to be one of those people that has a voice and tries to make things better.”

GNH Lumber and Home Center front exterior.
GNH Lumber and Home Center on Route 32 in Greenville.


For Genn Howley, co-owner of the family-owned GNH Lumber and Home Center, Greenville has been home to generations of her family, and she lives in a house just a short distance from the home where she grew up. And that is the way she likes it.

“GNH was started by the Ingalls family in 1916 by my great-grandfather, Stanley L. Ingalls,” Howley said. “My great-grandfather’s father had a mobile steam sawmill so it goes back to the 1900s, and his son thought it would be a great idea to have a store that sold lumber and hardware because they were actually cutting timber in Greene County and delivering it by what they referred to back in the day as the Teamsters. Teamsters back then were wagons, so they pulled all that lumber down and sold it under the GNH namesake.”

The store’s name was originally Greenville-Norton Hill Lumber. In 1937, the name was shortened to GNH, and the business’s signature logo — the letters “GNH” with a roofline atop them — was created. It still graces the store’s signage, website and more.

“The first store was started in Norton Hill. That was the only location that we had,” Howley said. “When Stanley L. opened that it was started in their house — they owned the house that was attached to their property and started the storefront after that.”

The Greenville location was opened in 2004, on a site on Route 32 that had previously been owned by Ames Department Store, which went bankrupt.

“We now have three locations,” Howley said. “Technically, Greenville is our flagship store, then we have a location in Windham and a location in Latham.”

When Howley was working towards her bachelor’s degree at SUNY Plattsburgh, majoring in marketing and communications, she did not intend to work for the family business. But an unexpected offer would turn into a lifetime devotion.

“My dad offered me an opportunity to do my internship with a lumber company, doing their advertising and marketing,” she said. “Once I started working at the family business through that internship, I really enjoyed what I was doing and upon graduation, my father offered me a full-time job doing specifically the marketing and advertising.”

Since her start with GNH, Howley has expanded her knowledge base and found she loved the family business.

“When you are in a family business, you learn to wear multiple hats, so over the years, I learned how to sell lumber and building materials, I learned how to sell windows and doors, and I currently oversee all the marketing and advertising for all locations, as well as I do kitchen and bath design,” Howley said. “Most people know me now as the voice of GNH — I record all of our radio spots just to keep it very human, to make a connection to the small town that I grew up in and I try to keep it at that level, instead of making it feel like it’s corporate.”

Over the years, she found she had a special affinity for the design aspect of the business.

Howley now co-owns the store with two other family members.

“We work alongside all of our employees,” she said. “Every single one of us who is in ownership does that. We don’t assume that we have a role or title — we just go in every day and do our job. We are probably as low key as you can assume anyone would be — it is just something that we are passionate about.”

Howley grew up in Greenville and lives in Freehold now, two miles from the house where she grew up. Leaving Greenville was never even considered, she said.

“I never had a thought in my mind that I would leave here, and I raised my children here,” Howley said. “I think the best thing about Greenville is the fact that it hasn’t lost its small-town feel. It truly is a place where people smile, hold doors, are very much community focused. And when people move here and are new to the community, they’re welcomed. It’s a place where people start to recognize you as part of the community, and the community becomes part of your family.”

“That is one of my absolute favorite things about this area,” she added. “Whether or not you are related to everyone or you are transplanted here, you become part of the community and people recognize you or your children, and we’re all connected by that.”

NYVT Media
Author: NYVT Media

Moving? Looking to relocate and need to learn about the area. Trust the Community Guide Books to lead you in the right direction. We are the Guide that is in your reach, that is reaching out to you. Everything you need to know at your fingertips.