GLENVILLE — Two more honors have been conferred on late chamber of commerce leader and tireless Schenectady advocate Chuck Steiner.
The New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing has named the new conference room in its headquarters building at Stratton Air National Guard Base for the longtime Capital Region Chamber president.
In addition, Maj. Gen. Anthony German, New York’s adjutant general, presented Steiner’s widow and son, Marcy and Matt, with the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal, which is given to those who distinguish themselves by exceptionally meritorious service in a capacity of great responsibility.
The plaque in the 109th Airlift Wing's new wing conference room, which was dedicated to Chuck Steiner, president of the Capital Region Chamber, who died in April. (Senior Master Sgt. William Gizara/U.S. Air National Guard)
Both honors were conferred in a ceremony Friday at the base, and both were in recognition of Steiner’s advocacy for the area's military personnel and the facilities they staff.
The citation for the medal reads, in part:
“Through dedication and leadership, and keen insight and perceptive discourse, Mr. Steiner greatly assisted in securing the future, viability and stability of the 109th Airlift Wing in Glenville, the Navy Operational Support Center in Glenville, the Niskayuna Army Reserve Center in Schenectady, the Navy Support Activity in Saratoga Springs, the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Schenectady and the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa.”
German said: “Chuck was as much a member of the militia as the folks who do wear the uniform, because he fought it on a different battle.”
He added: “It’s an honor to be able to recognize him. I miss him, and think about him often. He was just such a good person.”
Charles P. Steiner died in April at age 66 due to a rare brain disease. The Wisconsin native made a lasting impression on those who worked with him and a lasting impact on the Schenectady area after starting with what was then the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce in 2003.
His colleague at the Capital Region Chamber, CEO Mark Eagan, said the honors extended Friday were fitting, considering Steiner’s patriotism and his efforts on behalf of servicemembers.
“I think this recognition today really speaks to the impact of his work, and how much the military valued that work,” he said.
“I wanted to thank Marcy and Matt and the rest of the family for allowing Chuck to share a great deal of his time for this base,” said Col. Shawn Clouthier, commander of the 109th Airlift Wing. “We never really had a large conference room in this building for our headquarters, it means a lot to this base to get this. It only seemed fitting that we name it in honor of Chuck.”
About 50 people attended Friday’s ceremony, including state Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville; Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam; and Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, New York Air National Guard command chief.