SCHENECTADY — Golub Corp. Chairman and former CEO Neil Golub has long been among the Electric City’s biggest boosters.
But on Tuesday he suggested to the Schenectady City Council that the city needs a new nickname — ”Schenectady Metro” — in recognition that the accomplishments of the last 30 years make it much more than the city built around the fortunes of General Electric.
In a nearly hour-long presentation called “Strengthening the Future of Schenectady,” Golub cited nearly a dozen ways in which the city has become a center for excellence: medicine, the arts, business, education and entertainment, among other fields.
Indeed, he said the city really deserves to have a national reputation in a variety of fields.
“As the Wendy’s commercial used to say, ‘Where’s the beef?’ Well, Schenectady has a lot of beef,” Golub said.
A new nickname as “Schenectady Metro” would capture all of that and also convey a sense of something larger, Golub said. “What we’re doing in Schenectady is making a national reputation,” Golub said during the meeting, which was held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Golub, as the head of the company that owns the Price Chopper/Market 32 supermarket chain, has been a lifelong supporter of the city, and as a founding member of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Development has played a central role in the city’s rebound from the doldrums of the 1980s, when GE was dramatically scaling back employment at its Erie Boulevard campus.
He has roles on the boards at Ellis Medicine, at the MiSci museum of science and in other community institutions, and said he’s been working with all of them on ways to raise their profiles. “What we’re doing for Schenectady is making a national reputation,” Golub said.
Among his proposals:
— Rebranding Ellis Medicine as Metro Medical Center, given the number of services and quality provided at Ellis Hospital and other medical facilities owned by Ellis.
— MiSci, which has a vast array of archival industrial materials from GE’s early days, would develop a travelling exhibit that could be lent to other museums around the country and provide a source of revenue, since he said donor museums receive a share of revenue from admissions to traveling exhibits.
— Work with the Schenectady County Convention and Tourism Bureau, “Discover Schenectady,” to promote everything the city has to offer.
— He said Bill Patrick, a writer and the husband of City Council member Carmel Patrick, is writing a book about Schenectady’s transformation that he hopes to see published this fall. The book would show how Schenectady’s redevelopment model could be followed elsewhere.
Golub didn’t ask for anything from the City Council on Tuesday except feedback on his idea for a new city nickname.
“We’re excited, and I hope we can get more information going forward,” said Council President John Mootooveren.