August 9, 2023
A Record of Leadership Highlighted by Landmark Accomplishments
LAKE GEORGE — Eric J. Siy, president of the Lake George Association (LGA), has announced that he will be leaving his post at the end of the year. Siy successfully led the LGA through its merger with The FUND for Lake George in July 2021. Prior to his current position Siy served as executive director of The FUND since 2012.
In making the announcement Siy said, “I could not be more pleased or proud of all we have accomplished and all we are now doing to make Lake George a working model for freshwater protection. Driving our breakthrough progress is a powerful combination of partnership, innovation, education, and direct investment, guided by science. It’s a tested formula that works,” Siy said.
Siy went on to say, “With the leadership and guidance of the LGA’s Board of Directors, we have built the comprehensive programming and highly skilled team to ensure our success in keeping Lake George clear and clean.”
“Eric’s visionary leadership and exceptional record of achievement before, during, and after the merger have established the LGA as the uniquely potent force now needed to protect Lake George from intensifying threats,” said Peter Menzies, LGA Board Chairman. “Eric’s outstanding ability to create and implement programs that are not only effective but are held up as a model for other organizations, has set us on a course for lasting success,” said Menzies.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer commended Siy’s work, stating: “Under Eric’s leadership, the Lake George Association is showing how science and partnership can be harnessed to protect our nation’s most precious and threatened natural asset, clean water. Known worldwide as the ‘Queen of American Lakes,’ Lake George is leading by example in tackling the toughest issues facing our waterways, from invasive species to excessive road salt use to harmful algal blooms, a pandemic in its own right. In the critical search for solutions that keep our waters clean and safe, Lake George provides a proven model delivering the results we need, now more than ever,” Senator Schumer said.
Major accomplishments during Siy’s tenure at Lake George include establishment of the strongest aquatic invasive species prevention program in the eastern United States, as well as the North American model for reducing road salt use, considered the “acid rain of our time,” and replacement of the antiquated wastewater treatment plant at Lake George Village. The science-to-solutions approach responsible for these accomplishments is being aggressively applied to curb nutrient loading from wastewater and stormwater runoff that feeds the growth of harmful algal blooms (HABs).
A new generation of programming launched by the LGA is aimed at reducing the risk of more and bigger HABs by engaging all stakeholders as Lake Protectors. The centerpiece of the program is a new Lake Protector web-based app. This first-of-its-kind digital tool equips and empowers property owners and others with essential information and curated actions for their direct participation in protection. Building on the LGA’s success in reducing the use of harmful road salt by as much as 50%, the Lake Protector program is creating the watershed- wide commitment essential for reducing nutrient pollution at the speed and scale declining water quality demands.
Guiding this work is the advanced science and technology of The Jefferson Project at Lake George, the LGA’s unparalleled partnership with IBM and RPI that has made Lake George “the world’s smartest lake,” specifically to inform its sustained protection. Pioneering insights on harmful algal blooms and other serious threats are attracting interest from water bodies across the country and globally. Siy has served as an associate director of the Project since its formation a decade ago.
Integral to the strides being made at Lake George has been Siy’s strong working relationships with public officials and business leaders, including the longest-serving Mayor in the U.S. (recently retired) Robert Blais, who said, “Eric was more than a partner. He’s a leader who knows how to bring people together in common purpose to get things done. Creation of the S.A.V.E Lake George Partnership was a milestone achievement and masterful example of Eric’s bold approach to solving big problems, in this case, stopping aquatic invasive species from entering Lake George and reducing excessive road salt use. Together we are succeeding on both fronts, leaving a legacy that future generations will surely thank us for,” said Blais.
As expressed by State Senator Dan Stec, “What stands out most in my experience working with Eric is his understanding of the need to work across constituencies and across the aisle to make a real difference. A great example of this was Eric co-testifying at a 2019 State budget hearing with Ed Bartholomew, now deceased, former CEO and President of the Warren County Economic Development Corp. Side-by-side, they made the environmental and economic case for funding replacement of the Lake George Village treatment plant that was polluting Lake George. It was an inspiring moment we can all learn from,” said Stec. That message resonated and contributed to the necessary outcome, a state-of-the-art new treatment plant that opened in 2022.
A hallmark of Siy’s approach for enduring Lake protection has been bringing businesses together as partners in protection. By building a business constituency dedicated to protecting Lake George, the lifeblood of our regional economy, Siy has recognized the importance, and the power, of engaging all sectors as needed to secure Lake health. Through the Association’s Council of Business Advisors, Siy has gained the support of more than 150 regional businesses that have signed on to the LGA’s Business Compact on the Economic Imperative of Protecting Lake George.
Given all the progress now underway, Siy is excited about the future of Lake George protection. “The Lake is in good hands and the best is yet to come as we continue leading the way on what the future of freshwater protection requires,” Siy said. “I look forward to participating in a smooth transition and am grateful for the opportunity to have worked for the LGA, the clear leader on lake conservation in North America.”