CHERRY VALLEY – Graham Humes, 86, once referred to as the “dean of investment banking in Philadelphia,” died on Sept. 26, in Cherry Valley.
He served as a board member of Hyde Hall mansion, the National Historic Landmark, and was a retired board member of Brunschwig & Fils, the George M. Leader Family Corp. and emeritus board member of the Committee of Seventy in Philadelphia.
Graham and his wife, Elizabeth Hershey Humes, raised six children, which he considered the most important accomplishment of his life.
My legal name is Christina Linderman, and my modeling, Screen Actors Guild Union, and professional poker player “stage” name is Christina Lindley. I have known Victoria Pressly since I was 24, and I turned 38 this week.
I called Victoria from Tennessee out of the blue where I lived at the time at 24, after my research online showed that a model I looked up to had worked with her. I told her I wanted to leave Tennessee and pursue a career in Hollywood. I asked her if she would represent me as my publicist. She said to call her again when I got to Hollywood.
I did, she represented me, and over the course of roughly six years of working together she personally booked me on several of what I deem to be my greatest stepping stones in my career as a model, actress, and professional poker player including, but not limited to, the following:
A Maxim magazine feature that led to two years of paid promotional appearances, which helped me make a living in Hollywood while I was pursuing acting and poker full time
A Playboy non-nude celebrity pictorial called “Babe of the Month”
“Fear Factor,” the TV show’s “models edition”
Cover of Fitness RX magazine and pictorial which helped me book paid fitness spokesperson multi-year contracts with national brands such as Muscletech, Bodybuilding.com, and BSN by boosting my profile within the fitness industry
A guest appearance on “Home James,” a VH1 reality show
The cover of Poker Pro magazine
A contract with Foxwoods Casino, representing their World Poker Tour televised $10,000 event, along with all of the press surrounding the event, as well as Foxwoods paying the $10,000 buy-in for me to play in the tournament
Photoshoots with some of the best photographers I have ever worked with for my modeling portfolio that wound up published in magazines around the world
The cover of Australian Poker Weekly
I have been out of the entertainment industry for several years and am now working in the business sector. Regardless of this, Victoria has continued to stay in touch for years wishing me well.
We have become friends over the years, and in my personal experience of my time working with Victoria, the value she brought to the table, and what she achieved for me in bookings and press across all three of my professional entertainment endeavors of acting, modeling and professional poker playing, far outweighed what I believe to be very reasonable costs she charged as a professional publicist.
She was an enormous asset to me in my professional pursuits, and I am confident I would not have gotten to where I did without her help.
I am writing on behalf of Victoria Pressly, who has been a friend of mine for the past 10 years.
If I had to think of one word to describe Victoria, it would be “passionate.” She is passionate about life. She is passionate about her family. She is passionate about her clients and career.
Victoria’s career has required a significant amount of travel, and yet when I think of her, I think of the mom who is at every soccer game, school play and concert. She not only cares deeply about her children, she is incredibly supportive and involved in their lives.
Victoria is also dedicated to her clients. Living in Upstate New York, there are many challenges that must be overcome to build a thriving career, and yet Victoria managed to do just that while raising a family. I have often heard her speak about her clients with both the fierce determination to help them succeed and the protectiveness of a mother hen. It has always been obvious that she cares deeply.
My children and Victoria’s children are similar in age so I understand fully the time and emotional commitment involved in being a mother. I also work full time and know the challenges of managing family and career. Victoria has always impressed me with her ability to not only manage, but thrive and remain passionate about both.
I have known Victoria Pressly since July 2012. She was professionally known as Victoria Talbot back then. She was recommended to me by my former acting agent Noel Palm. He told me if I hire her she would get me a lot of good press which would help advance my career in showbiz. I was on a prime time NBC show called “Stars Earn Stripes” and wanted to capitalize on the notoriety the TV series was garnering.
I subsequently hired Victoria and she did in fact get me a lot of great press, including the cover of Millennium magazine, “Fox and Friends” twice, Sirius XM national radio tour, Channel 12 News interview, and several high-profile photo shoots with expensive photographers such as Jim Malucci who were for free for me since I paid Victoria $1,500 and she was friends with him. Jim is Miami-based and usually charges $7,500 a shoot and does various covers.
From the moment I met Victoria Talbot Pressly she proved she was a serious connector whose impressive Rolodex has played an integral part in the growth and sustainability of Millennium Magazine.
I met Vicky while standing in line for drinks at a doctor’s summer penthouse party on Manhattan’s Eastside in 2011. She was standing in front of me when I stepped up and she turned around to say, “Hi,” and introduced herself. She told me she was a publicist and I told her that I was a magazine publisher and that we should talk.
Minutes later she introduced me to her friend Lauren, who covered the Hamptons for another magazine out East. I welcomed her to join my venture, and Vicky’s friend proved to be such an outstanding contributor to Millennium I later made her editor at large.
CHERRY VALLEY – Victoria Pressly’s agency promised models and actors all over the country she could get them into magazines and onto the red carpet, said Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl.
But it wasn’t always so, he said.
“She talks a good game, holds herself out as someone who has connections and can get models and actors onto the red carpet, exclusive events, photo shoots and interviews,” said Muehl. “But the complaint is she gets the retainer up front and doesn’t do anything.”
Pressly, 53, owner of Victoria Pressly PR Celebrity Agency and HYPEPRnow in Cherry Valley, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny, third degree, and Scheme to Defraud, first degree, following an investigation by the District Attorney’s office.
According to the complaint, between Nov. 5, 2018, and Jan. 15, 2019, Pressly “did steal property valued in excess of $3,000.”
According to Muehl, aspiring models paid her a retainer with the understanding that she would be able to book them for photo shoots, red carpet appearances and interviews in national publications.
“She advertised herself as a PR person,” he said.
However, the clients alleged that she never delivered on any of the promised services, and when they complained, she blocked them on social media and stopped returning calls.
Emmy Adams, the 2016 Miss Nevada, claimed she was one of Pressly’s scammed clients in a post on her Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.
“Being new to Hollywood, this woman told me she could elevate my career but instead she SCAMMED me and has been scamming other models and actresses for thousands and thousands of dollars!!!” she wrote. “She scammed me out of $4,300!!!”
She also encouraged victims to share the post and report their experiences with Pressly. “She has been getting away with this for 20+ years and it’s time for her to stop.”
Pressly was also charged with scheming to defraud clients, with the indictment alleging that she “did engage in a scheme constituting a systematic ongoing course of conduct…by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises.”
At present, Muehl said, she is being charged with taking $4,500 from clients without booking them any of the promised promotional appearances.
Muehl said “several” of the clients have already come forward.
COOPERSTOWN – A Cherry Valley woman was charged with fraud after several out-of-state models claimed they paid her to help them book photo shoots and interviews, but never received any of the services promised.
Victoria Pressly, 53, owner of Victoria Pressly PR Celebrity Agency, was indicted and charged with Grand Larceny, third degree and Scheme to Defraud, first degree, following an investigation by the Otsego County District Attorney’s office.
CHERRY VALLEY – In a unanimous vote, the Village Board Monday evening approved a ban on farm animals, excepting “fowl and chickens,” within village limits “to protect the health and welfare of residents.”
The law, Local Law 1 of 2019, notably allows property owners to apply for a waiver by the Village Board “if required for religious purposes,” which was added to the law after some village residents accused trustees of using the law to discriminate against the Amish.
CHERRY VALLEY – Mildred Wolny, 92, who operated the Friendly Corner Store here for 12 years, passed away on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, at Palatine Nursing Home.
Born in Brooklyn, in 1927, Mildred spent her early life with her family in Queens. She graduated from Newtown High School studying business and interned at Tiffany’s in Manhattan. She attended Barbizon School of Modeling and also modeled jewelry while at Tiffany’s.
CHERRY VALLEY – A herd of 80-100 Buffalo reported on the loose in this town’s Honey Hill Road section for almost are still at large and worrying neighbors, according to a post by Lisa Hershey, who lives in the town.
“This is real and serious,” she said, adding that people are carrying shotguns in the event they need to protect themselves.
By JENNIFER HILL & JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
CHERRY VALLEY – The good news is: Romeo will not be banished.
Beyond that, it appears likely the Village Board at its next meeting, Monday, Aug. 19, will likely ban farm animals within village limits.
The way Mayor Lou Guido sees it, chickens will stay, but roosters will go. Romeo is “grandfathered” so can stay but, when he eventually passes to that pasture in the sky, owners Lew and Sue Warner won’t be able to replace him.
Horse owners won’t be asked to pick up their mounts’ droppings, but will be encouraged to be neighborly and do so. “We have laws on dogs and cats,” Guido explained. “If your dog poops, you clean it up.”
April Long, above, daughter of Bill and Lynne Compton, new owners of the former Clough’s Bookstore in downtown Cherry Valley, points out a timely artifact that surfaced as her parents were sorting some-15,000 volumes in what is now the Cherry Valley Bookstore: the front page of the New York Times from July 20, 1969. That’s 50 years ago today, as Apollo 11 astronauts were preparing to land on the moon. Bill put it in the front window of the rechristened Cherry Valley Bookstore, but wasn’t sure what it’s worth; he was researching that today. The Comptons, inset photo, purchased the store last month from Franzen Clough, who had owned it some 20 years. The couple of bought a home in Richfield Springs, moved there from Bristol, R.I., and are getting the inventory organized to their liking. Asked what the collection contains, Bill, most recently town planner in Tiverton, R.I., described it as “all encompassing,” from history to mysteries to Shakespeare to a stack of varied dictionaries and Bibles. The children’s collection, he said, seems particularly strong. Daughter April is visiting this weekend from New York City, where she is beauty editor on Town & Country magazine. The store is open Wednesdays through Sundays, from late morning to early evening. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
CHERRY VALLEY – Twenty citizens addressed a proposed law that would ban farm animals in the village at a public hearing last evening before the Cherry Valley Village Board.
After the hearing’s close, Local Law #1 – titled “A Local Law to Repeal Local Law #2 of the Year 1986, as Amended by Local Law #2 of 1994, and to Prohibit the Harboring of Farm Animals and Fowl” – was tabled to be discussed at the Aug. 19 trustees’ meeting.