2007-2008 Volunteer of the Year

By Deni Charpentier, 2007-2008 Chapter Chair

One of the final duties that I have the pleasure to fulfill as outgoing Chair is to choose a person to honor with the "Adirondack Mountain Club Genesee Valley Chapter Chair's Award" for 2007-2008. On the plaque that the honoree's name is engraved upon it says 'To the person that has contributed the most this past year'. Our Chapter is blessed with an abundance of people who contribute in a tremendous number of ways, so this is not necessarily an easy choice to make.

The person that I have chosen to recognize with this award for 2007 to 2008 is Dave Harrison.

Dave has a long history of service to ADK. He was elected as Secretary for 2 terms (2000-2001 and 2001-2002). He then served as Conservation Chair for 2005-2006 and has been Conservation Co-Chair since 2007.

Dave has been an invaluable presence on the Executive Committee. The Chair depends upon the members of the Executive Committee in ways that I didn't fully appreciate until I was in that position. I served with an absolutely wonderful EC and Dave was a standout participant on the Committee. Dave is one of the most articulate people I know and I could always rely on Dave to cut to the heart of the matter at hand and help us to reach a general agreement and decision.

Whenever sensitive and potentially controversial issues have arisen Dave has been instrumental in handling them. His contributions have included forming a sub-committee to build a consensus and write a policy statement regarding mountain biking issues in Monroe County Parks. He has authored many a letter and position statement on behalf of our Chapter and has attended numerous hearings and meetings with planning boards and other agencies and groups as our representative.

Dave is active in trail stewardship in our adopted West Canada Wilderness area and has been involved in many trips to the area for assessment and trail work and other tasks including (most recently) replacing roofs on lean-tos.

In addition, Dave is always a person who steps up when volunteers are needed for a wide range of needs – from volunteering to man a table at an outreach opportunity to being on a subcommittee to determine the distribution of donations given to the chapter. The actual list of his contributions is much longer than this and I won't try to list them all. I'm certain there are many I am not even aware of as Dave is not a person to "blow his own horn".

Dave is a person whom I admire for his abilities and dedication, and to top it all off, he is one heck of a nice guy. It is my very great pleasure to be able to honor Dave with this award.