THROUGHOUT 2018, we have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Saratoga County Chamber.
Knowing this significant milestone anniversary was coming, our volunteer Board of Directors and professional staff began thinking of ways to celebrate early in 2017. This process, in fact, began with some research and an effort to learn more about what the Chamber had done to positively impact our community from 1918 until today.
As you might expect, we quickly found that the Chamber’s membership, influence and impact grew significantly starting in 1970 with the hiring of Joseph Dalton as President of the Chamber. His leadership, passion and commitment as the head of the Chamber for 40 years was pivotal in revitalizing Saratoga Springs and establishing Saratoga County as one of the best places to live, work and play in all the world.
Even after his retirement, Joe Dalton continued his service to the community helping to lead the Saratoga 150 celebration and as the Chair of the Saratoga Springs City Center’s Board of Directors. He has also been a tremendous mentor to me and everyone on our professional staff visiting with us and always being accessible when we’ve needed advice or counsel.
So we recognized that a celebration of the Chamber’s 100th anniversary had to include a special recognition of the person who led the organization for 40 of those years.
That’s how we arrived at the creation of the Joseph Dalton Community Service Award.
The creation of this award by a unanimous vote of our Board of Directors in 2017 was kept a secret. We asked our Board and staff initially to offer nominations. We set up a committee from our Board of Directors and they reviewed the nominations and selected the first recipient.
The name of the first recipient was also kept a secret, which can be hard to do in this community, by the way.
And then on Thursday, January 25, 2018, in front of nearly 1,000 guests at our 100th Annual Dinner, we unveiled the decision to create this award. We then invited Joe Dalton and his family to present the first award to Steve “Sully” Sullivan.
Now this year, the process is different. We’re opening up the nominations for this award to the community.
Like Sully and Joe, the individual must be a person that has been faithful and loyal to the Saratoga County community for a minimum of 25 years. We’re looking for nominations of individuals who have proven by their actions to be honorable, ready, relevant, innovative and versatile always doing what is right for the community. Those nominated should be “forward deployed” meaning they’ve contributed to the community by volunteering their time, energy and expertise not just their money.
Once again, our Board of Directors will form a committee to review EVERY nomination we receive from the community and our members.
This time, we will announce the recipient in December of 2018 and they will be presented with this special award at our 101st Annual Dinner, on Thursday, January 24.
But what I like most about this award is that we have now ensured that the amazing work and leadership provided by Joe Dalton to this Chamber and this community in our first 100 years will be recognized and remembered for the next 100 years and beyond.
And yes, for those who know Joe, the award itself includes a handwritten note from Joe Dalton in green pen on a yellow legal pad.