One for the road

Friends, this is the column I never wanted to write. After many years, this will be my final byline for the Ballston Journal.

There is much I want to say before signing off. First of all, I hope you have been able to see how much I have enjoyed writing for this newspaper, especially the past few years as a columnist. Somehow I managed to bang out something for this space each week. [Read more…]

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Independence Day in Ballston Spa

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Patriotic song for a patriotic night.

Patriotic song for a patriotic night.

BALLSTON SPA — The Village of Ballston Spa celebrated the Fourth of July by holding an old-fashioned concert in the park featuring the Ballston Spa Community Band.

The concert on July 4th  is part of the Concerts in the Park Series put on every Thursday evening in Wiswall Park during the summer by the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association. [Read more…]

Changing Times in Saratoga County

Last week, Halfmoon Supervisor and Saratoga County Board of Supervisors member Mindy Wormuth, giving into the inevitable, ann...

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Letters, We Get Letters

Dear Readers, incredibly, June is here, which means it's been three months since we took a look at the letters in the ol' Vil...

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A Scouting Change, a Divisive Opinion

Memorial Day weekend is typically not a very newsy time, and as such the newspaper columns which follow are usually of the st...

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BSBPA Celebrates 30 Years of Community

On Monday, March 18 the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association held its Annual Meeting and Community Mixer at the Ballston Spa Elks Club. But this year’s meeting was especially notable for both the changes in the association’s leadership and it’s commemoration of a special landmark: their 30 years of serving the local business community.

The BSBPA was formed in 1983 to promote business in downtown Ballston Spa and serve the interests of the public at large. Over the years the association has grown, and now stands at 274 active members, including 195 businesses, 38 nonprofits and 41 resident members.

One of those resident members is Ellie Dillon, who was a founding member of the board of directors and is finally retiring from the association. Dillon was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the association at Monday night’s gathering, but found herself at a loss for words when accepting it.

“For the first time in 30 years, I’m speechless,” she said, then stepped away from the podium.

Outgoing association president Jim Whittredge was also presented with a certificate of appreciation. Whittredge has been president of the association since 2009, with a brief hiatus in 2011 as Dan DeFabio took over the reins. DeFabio had to step aside shortly after taking over to deal with a family health situation, and Whittredge stepped back in to finish out his term.

BSBPA executive administrative assistant Ellen Mottola, who worked closely with Whittredge during his tenure, presented the outgoing president with his certificate.

Outgoing BSBPA president Jim Whittredge being presented with a certificate of appreciation by Ellen Mottola. Photo courtesy The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County

Outgoing BSBPA president Jim Whittredge being presented with a certificate of appreciation by Ellen Mottola. Photo courtesy The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County

“I’m going to miss my daily lunchtime phone call,” Mottola said. “Every day the phone would ring and I’d answer and the voice on the other end would say ‘hello Ellen, this is James H. Whittredge.'”

Mottola recounted how Whittredge would eat breakfast at a different place each morning. “Jim has always tried to spread the wealth,” she said, before presenting Whittredge with his certificate.

For his part, Whittredge was gracious in accepting the appreciation of the association he has led for most of the past five years.

“The thing I value the most from this are the friendships I’ve developed,” he said.

Whittredge will continue with the organization as a board member and immediate past president, but the main focus of his ongoing community service will shift to the Ballston Spa Lion’s Club.

Mottola was effusive in her praise for Whittredge in an email to the Journal.

“I think the thing about Jim is his real commitment to Ballston Spa, not only through the BSBPA, but also as a longtime member of Union Fire Company and a member of the Ballston Spa Lions Club, where he is also president,” Mottola said in her message. “And he is active in these groups, not just there in name only.”

Whittredge was very much a hands-on president, Mottola said.

“Beyond being just president of the BSBPA board, he’s usually out there on most of the First Fridays, stopping in at the different venues,” she said. “He has helped run the Ice Cream Social and Annual Meetings for the past few years. He and I do the holiday parade together–it’s us at the step off area directing floats and fire trucks and marchers. He parks cars during the Way We Were Car Show every year. He and his family are sponsors for events like the concerts and the car shows. He steps in to do a lot and, as I said, he has earned a bit of a rest.”

Whittredge’s big shoes are being filled by incoming president Sam Capuano*, who is a longtime member of the association and has served as an officer and a board member of the BSBPA, most recently as the organization’s secretary.

“This association has a long history of giving to the businesses and residents of the community,” Capuano said in a statement to the Journal. “As a long time board member it gives me great satisfaction as to our role in the resurgence of the 12020 in recent times. And, looking forward I am humbled to be following in the footsteps of some great past BSBPA presidents, and excited at the challenges ahead.”

One of those challenges is continuing to grow the membership, but there are some healthy signs for the association. This year, there will be 23 members of the board, making it close to full for the first time in years.

The incoming officers are Sam Capuano, President (Sunmark Federal Credit Union); Wayne McCormick, 1st Vice President (Earth Care Plus); Roseanne Antolick, 2nd Vice President (Adirondack Trust Company); Cyndi Pastore, Secretary (Resident), and Donna Avery, Treasurer (Ballston Spa National Bank).

The new board will include Eileen Albright (T-Shirt Graphics), Jodi Almela-Monaco (Resident), Dan Barner (Prolific Marketing), Cliff Baum (Coffee Planet), Jere Blackwelder (Resident), Bill Breheny (Allstate Financial Services), Michelle Burlingame (Burlingame Orthodontics), Jim Dalpe (WAM Commercial Associates), Kelly Delaney-Elliott (Elliott Property Services), Melanie Dillman (Resident), Stephen Farnham (Resident), Dominic Garrant (Edward Jones Investments), Tina Mangino-Coffey (Mangino Chevrolet Buick GMC), Eric Seplowitz (Captured Light Photography), Steve Springer (Springer Holdings, LLC), Bernadette Van Deinse (Resident), Deanna Veet (Resident) and Whittredge (Ballston Spa Lions Club).

Barner, Blackwelder, Burlingame, Dillman, Farnham and Garrant are all new board members.

The association is planning to host 30 events this year to commemorate their anniversary, 23 of which have already been scheduled. Other initiatives include a Member Benefit Card, Map Guides for locals, tourists and transplants (around 200 of which are shipped to Charleston, S.C. for distribution to Navy personnel who are being transferred to the area), and the ongoing Gift Certificate Program and Billboard campaign.

Last year, over 90 merchants and business participated in the Gift Certificate Program for a total of $14,476 in sales and $11,615 in redemptions.

For information on the BSBPA, monthly newsletters and a schedule of events, visit them online at www.ballston.org.

*Disclosure: Sam Capuano is Senior Columnist for The Ballston Journal.

To contact the reporter and editor on this story email kevin@theballstonjournal.com

Gun control overload?

BY SAM CAPUANO
sam@theballstonjournal.com

Gun control stories, while never too far from the news cycle, have been seeming...

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A Ballston Spa Breakfast

BY SAM CAPUANO
sam@theballstonjournal.com

Last week, Vicki and I met my parents for a Sunday morning all-you-can-eat brea...

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It's just a fantasy

BY SAM CAPUANO
sam@theballstonjournal.com

Recently, on a rainy night, 10 secretive individuals armed with brief cases silent...

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The race is on

BY SAM CAPUANO
sam@theballstonjournal.com

In 1987 I competed in my second and final 5k ever. Until last week, that is, when ...

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