How to Nominate a Volunteer of the Year

Like many volunteer-based organizations, the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club is only as strong and healthy as the volunteer efforts of its membership. Because of the recent extraordinary work of so many members, our current Chapter has never been stronger and is unquestionably one of the healthiest in all of ADK.

Each year we honor a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the Genesee Valley Chapter of ADK. That contribution can be an extraordinary amount of time and energy spent on the Chapter, in general; or a discrete contribution that has been particularly noteworthy. If you know someone who meets this measure please send their name and a brief description of this contribution to the Chapter Chair at chair@gvc-adk.org. Nominations must be made by 30 November."

2017 Volunteer of the Year - Shirley, Jackson, Rich and Brad

Recognition Picnic, 22 October 2017
Pictured: Shirley Thomas, Bill Lindenfelser (GVC Chair), Jackson Thomas
Not present: Rich Sensenbach; Brad Alexander

There were a lot of good things done by a lot of good, dedicated people this past year, and we celebrated that at our first annual Volunteer Recognition Picnic on 22 October 2017. But there were four individuals who deserve special recognition, and we did just that:

Shirley and Jackson Thomas, nominated by Bill Lindenfelser

I’m nominating both Shirley and Jackson together because so much of what they do is done together. They’ve been very active for years, have served as our GVC Directors on the ADK Board of Directors for the past two years, and went well beyond in their efforts to put on our very successful 50th Anniversary Celebration in December 2016. There are myriad other ways in which both continually serve the Genesee Valley Chapter. Whenever there is a call for someone to get some task done, there is usually a Thomas hand raised. Great thanks to both of them.

Rich Sensenbach, nominated by Jackson Thomas

Rich has served GVC  in many capacities over the years, as Chair of our Executive Committee, Publicity Chair, and, most importantly, the motivating force behind our very successful string of more than 20 annual Outdoor Expos, something that he continues to Chair. This is the biggest GVC activity of the year involving close to 100 volunteers, attracting an estimated 1,000 visitors each year to Mendon Ponds Park. It is held by the main club as an exemplary example of what ADK does. It does not happen without Rich.

Brad Alexander, nominated by Larry Telle and Joan Hoover

Brad revived our Saturday hike program, which is immensely popular. This is an activity that is very close to the core of what the Chapter is about, and Brad did us all a great service in bringing it back. Thanks, Brad.

2015 Volunteer of the Year - John Atkins

John Atkins would like to be a behind-the-scenes guy. But there are many of you who aren't going to let him stay back there and out of sight anymore! When I found out last year that the 2015 Volunteer of the Year was my honor to award, I let John's wife, Sally know who I had chosen … John.
Since then, I have received many requests from folks who asked me to find a way to thank John and honor him for the myriad things he does for everyone. So with my great happiness and with a buncha' folks behind me, it is OUR pleasure to award John Atkins with the 2015 Volunteer of the Year Chair’s Award!

John has proven himself to be the backbone of all the waterways events, trips, projects and outings for multiple years. He assists in planning, mapping, timing and execution in any situation and if there is a snag, his middle name is “Solution.” The only person to come close to John's bag of tricks is Charlie!

There is no way to mention all of the things John does for us, so I asked Charlie and Peg Warrick to help me get as much down as we could. Be sure to know that there is much, much more!

Boat Maintenance: Re-stringing deck lines; cleaning waxing & repairing hulls; fixing skeg boxes; building boat stands and a custom kayak car rack; season wrap-ups; built, repaired and added a sail to canoe. (Remember, “Warranty stops at the end of the driveway!”)
Teaching: Anything anyone wants to know
Flexible: Helps anyone who needs help 
Mentoring of the Greenland Paddle-Building Classes; built many Greenland paddles for others, including a donation for fundraising. 
Newport Yacht Club Safety Practices/Rescue Sessions
Assisted in paddles/Assistant Leader 
Multiple years of being an integral part of the Expo Beach Team including workshops and beach activities planning
GPS Trip Track on most paddles including sharing with all on the trip
Trip Photographer not only sharing pics with those on the paddle but highly published in The Geneseean
PTFL: Close to completion in early 2016
KST: Strong Kayak Safety Team member
Introduced Marine Radios to many Waterways folks including all on the KST

Congratulations John on receiving a well earned reward from all of your kindness recipients!
Nancy Donny, Past Chair

2014 Volunteer of the Year - Nancy Donny

This award goes to the person who, in the past chair’s opinion, has contributed the most for our chapter in the past year. Since so many chapter members contribute their time and talents to making the Genesee Valley Chapter a success, this is a difficult choice. This year, I’ve chosen a shy, retiring woman. Someone who has supported the chapter for several years, lending a hand whenever asked.

Nancy Donny has been a support to me as Chair during the prior two years. Nancy is an organizer, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit.
The reason our Chapter Meeting and the presentations at the RMSC auditorium have an improved look is due to Nancy. It was her idea and her follow through with RMSC to get it done — and at significantly less cost to the chapter.

She conceived and led an ad hoc marketing committee in 2013/2014 — whose role was to improve our signs and posters. And, to establish advertising guidelines for The Geneseean. For the past couple of years, Nancy has been the Program Chair and Vice-Chair of the chapter — and she’s been the Champion, the supporter, for about 80% of our presentations. Currently Nancy is both Chapter Chair and Program Chair. In prior years, Nancy had been Education chair. She is active in waterways activities. I do have to caution you all, however: Do not touch her kayak! (even on land.)

It’s been a pleasure to work with Nancy during the past several years, and a pleasure to continue to do so. I admire her dedication and abilities. It’s my great honor to designate Nancy as the 2014 ADK-GVC volunteer of the year.

Jack Schroeder, Past Chair

2013 Volunteer of the Year - Jeff Patterson

2013 Volunteer of the Year: Jeff Patterson

by Jack Schroeder, Past & Current Chair

This award goes to the person who, in the past chair’s opinion, has contributed the most to our chapter in the past year. Since so many chapter members contribute their time and talents to making the Genesee Valley Chapter a success, it’s a difficult choice.

Jeff stepped in as Treasurer in 2012 and helped us in that transition year to redefine our operating and fiscal years to match that of the Main Club (as calendar year instead of academic year). Jeff lends a quiet, sure, thoughtful presence to our Executive Committee meetings.

Jeff leads, typically, Sunday hikes, where he sets a pace that gives everyone good exercise. His favorite energy source when hiking: Diet Mountain Dew.

He completed his 46 high peaks in 2012. He loves cross-country skiing — and perhaps regrets the end of snow.

It’s been a pleasure to work with Jeff during the past year, and a pleasure to continue to do so. I admire his dedication and his abilities. It’s my great honor to designate Jeff Patterson as the 2013 ADK-GVC volunteer of the year.