On Tuesday, the Unified Military Affairs Council appointed Ray Gagnon as its new chairman. Gagnon is a retired Marine Corps master gunnery sergeant and the founder, president, and chief consultant of the Clifton Park-based training and consulting company B.O.S.S. Inc.
The Chamber of Schenectady County created UMAC to “highlight the importance of the military presence in the Capital Region and Tech Valley,” according to a recent press release. Local military presence includes the Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, the Navy Operational Support Center in Glenville, the Watervliet Arsenal in Albany, the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa, and Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, among other units.
UMAC keeps the community informed of new and ongoing ways that local military members contribute to the Capital Region — for instance, volunteer work at the Yates Elementary School mentorship program, at American Red Cross blood drives and taking part in Salvation Army holiday food basket delivery, to name a few. According to the same press release, the economic impact of these military units exceeds $1 billion.
“I think it’s important that we increase public knowledge of the great economic impact they make and work to ensure their sustainability,” Gagmpm said of local military units.
25 years in Marines
Gagnon served in the Marine Corps with distinction for 25 years. In addition to his certification as a master trainer for the U.S. Department of Defense., he has received international recognition as a business builder, trainer, leader and mentor. Gagnon and his wife, Robin, have been married for more than 22 years and have two sons.
Chuck Steiner, president and CEO of the chamber, described Gagnon as “a strong leader for the group” because he “understands the importance of our military.”
Steiner added that the chamber had “been fortunate to have excellent leadership in the past. Both Roger Hannay of Hannay Reels and David Apkarian, our past chairs, have helped UMAC become a strong regional council.”