Dr. William (Bill) Long and Richard Ferguson honored as awardees, past board chair Tara Anne Pleat thanked for service
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Gala at the 1863 Club on Thursday, bringing the Chamber community together for an evening of networking at Saratoga Race Course.
Representatives from area business and nonprofit organizations attended the springtime gala, a newly reimagined event that replaces the Chamber’s former Annual Dinner. The new trackside venue offered guests the chance to enjoy one of the New York Racing Association’s newest luxury facilities, located at the Clubhouse turn of the historic Saratoga Race Course.
Three special honorees were recognized during a ceremony at the Winner’s Circle. They were 2023 Joseph Dalton Community Service Award recipient Dr. Bill Long, 2023 Impact Sector Volunteer of the Year Richard Ferguson and the Chamber’s immediate past volunteer Chair of the Board Tara Anne Pleat of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, who was formally thanked for her service in 2022.
Dr. Long, one of the original founders of CAPTAIN Community Human Services and a significant force in the creation of what is now The Prevention Council of Saratoga County, was presented with this year’s Joseph Dalton Community Service Award at the gala.
While humbly accepting his award, Dr. Long was sure to note that he is just one among an energetic team of supporters serving the community at CAPTAIN, along with other area organizations. “It’s a privilege to have the honor of representing a whole team of volunteers that are doing good things,” he said.
Ferguson, who in addition to his professional role at Glens Falls National Bank & Trust Co. & Saratoga National Bank & Trust Co. has served with numerous local organizations over the past 30 years, exemplifies the spirit of the Impact Sector Volunteer of the Year award.
“Every single person here tonight understands what a great community that we live in, and we’re blessed to be in it,” Ferguson said after the ceremony. “One of the reasons why it's so great is the myriad of not-for-profits and community organizations and municipal organizations that work behind the scenes making this place better.”
For serving as 2022 Chair of the Board, Pleat was honored at the gala as well. She was presented with the traditional gift of a lawn jockey, painted with the logo for Leadership Saratoga, a Chamber-sponsored program dedicated to the development of leaders who will serve their communities today and in the future. Bringing the program back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic was a major goal for Pleat in her role as chairperson. “I think that program really creates a lot of strength in our not-for-profit organizations. Better board members, better boards,” she explained. “It was important to us to get it back, especially at a time when our not-for-profits need good, active, strong leaders.”
The gala also serves as a networking opportunity for eventgoers. “Beyond the celebration and recognition of Tara, Bill, and Rich for their tremendous volunteer efforts, this gala is meant to be a powerful and productive networking event for the organizations who sponsored and the individuals who attended,” Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce president Todd Shimkus said. “This is one of the Chamber’s signature events and an important fundraiser for our organization, so I want to thank NYRA, Mazzone Hospitality, our sponsors, and attendees for continuing to support the work we do to help our members and the community to succeed, grow, and thrive.”
The gala was sponsored by Ironglass Productions, Hoffman Car Wash, Adirondack Trust Company, CAPTAIN Community Human Services, MLB Construction Services, Rockefeller Capital Management, ADKtechs, AIM Services, Bond, Schoeneck & King, BPI Mechanical Service, Broadview Federal Credit Union, Capital Bank, Community Bank, D.A. Collins Companies, GlobalFoundries, JPMorgan Chase, National Grid, Phinney Design Group, River Pools, Saratoga Eagle, Saratoga National Bank & Trust Company, Saratoga Springs City Center, Ballston Spa National Bank, BBL Construction, Bonacio Construction, CEFO Advisors, Crown Castle, Curtis Lumber, Lemery Greisler LLC, Mazzone Hospitality, Performance Industrial, Pioneer, Polyset, Pursuit, Saratoga County Capital Resource Corporation, Saratoga Springs FiberCity, Stewart’s Shops, The Adelphi Hotel, Turf Hotels, UHY Certified Public Accountants, West Point Thoroughbreds and Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC.
More information about the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and its events is available online at saratoga.org.
About the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce: Since 1918, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce has been opening doors and closing deals for businesses throughout the Saratoga County community. Guided by a strong and sustainable vision, the Chamber leads the way in maintaining and strengthening a healthy business climate, initiating constructive community action, and creating a community where all can thrive.