Remembering Edward M. Bartholomew, Jr.
To Our Members, Investors and Supporters:
Last week, the Economic Development Corporation of Warren County and our regional community lost a leading light with the unexpected death of our president, Edward M. Bartholomew Jr.
Ed was a towering figure in our organization and our community. He had led EDC since 2013. He was tireless in his pursuit of economic growth and opportunity for every community in Warren County. With his signature enthusiasm and energy, he secured federal, state and local funding for major public works projects and large and small businesses, including the first $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant awarded in the state, to the City of Glens Falls. At the time of his death, he had been working virtually around the clock to help local businesses and industries recover from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Ed spent most of his professional life in public service, beginning in 1977 when he was elected mayor of Glens Falls, at just 28 years of age. The Glens Falls Civic Center was under construction and mired in political controversy when he took office. He was laser-focused on making it a success and a source of community pride. Ed recruited a big-name Civic Center director in Union College's legendary hockey coach Ned Harkness, then landed an American Hockey League team in the Adirondack Red Wings. Journalist and historian Mike Kane said, "It was a brilliant move. It changed the landscape of sports in the Capital District.''
As mayor, Ed built a modern ballpark and brought professional baseball to Glens Falls. He brought new industry to Pruyns Island and an intermunicipal sewage project to the Upper Hudson River. He helped establish the Greater Glens Falls Transit System. He set the course for the revitalization of Downtown Glens Falls. And for every one of the marquee projects he led, Ed also helped secure financial lifelines and provided advice to many small businesses - entrepreneurs just getting started and established businesses facing challenges. His faith and confidence in the people, institutions and enterprises of Warren County knew no limit.
Ed was a lifelong Republican, but he made friends for our region wherever he went, and bipartisan tributes have poured in all week. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said: "The Glens Falls region has lost an irreplaceable public servant ... (and) like so many of you, I have lost a good friend." Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said: "Ed Bartholomew was an extraordinary leader for the Warren County community and beyond .... He was also incredibly kind and will be greatly missed.''
"He put his heart and soul into every single project that he worked on,'' said Sen. Betty Little. Lynne Boecher, Warren County Democratic Chair, called Ed "a consummate professional, genuine optimist and kind gentleman.''
We, the EDC Board, are very mindful of our responsibility to carry on Ed's work and that of the EDC. We know if Ed were here today, he would be telling us to get on with the work.
We are pleased to announce that a member of our board, Jim Siplon, has graciously agreed to our request to serve as Interim President. Jim is the former JUST Water Chief Operating Officer. We count ourselves very fortunate to have in him an experienced executive and board member ready to continue Ed's work. This is a critical time for EDC and for our community, as so many local businesses, local governments and local organizations continue to struggle with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 shutdown. Jim will step down from his current seat on our board but remain a board member as Interim President of EDC.
Working all over the world in large businesses and small startups, Jim served as Managing Director of FIJI Water and as a senior executive at MCI, GE, Roll International and Teleflora. He also founded Rethinkh20, a consulting firm that helps large-scale water users reduce water consumption.
We share in the deep sadness our community feels at the sudden loss of Ed Bartholomew, but we count ourselves so very fortunate that Ed chose to stay here and devote most of life to making life better for the people of Warren County. We are grateful for the work he started and the example he provided, and we are as excited as he was about the economic growth opportunities that lie ahead. We, the board and staff of EDC, will carry the torch of opportunity in Ed's honor.
We thank you for your continuing support and encouragement. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, I hope you will call me or drop me an email.
Matthew Fuller, Chair
EDC of Warren County
On Behalf of the Board of Directors:
Chris Barden, Vice Chairman
Chief Operating Officer, North Country Janitorial, Inc.
Judy Calogero, Secretary
President, Calogero Partners LLC
Representing City of Glens Falls
Mitch Amado, Treasurer
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Glens Falls Hospital
Kristine Duffy, Ed.D
President, SUNY Adirondack
Laura Ladu, CPA
Whittemore, Dowen & Ricciardelli LLP
President & CEO
Olympic Regional Development Authority
Chief Financial Officer
Finch Paper/Atlas Holdings LLC
Supervisor, Town of Horicon
Representing Warren County
Jim Siplon, Interim President, EDC
Supervisor, Town of Queensbury
Representing Town of Queensbury