L. Clifford Van Wagner was named the 2022 Joseph Dalton Community Service Award recipient and will be honored during the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce’s 103rd annual dinner on May 17.
He will also be joined by Julie Stokes who received the award in 2021. This will be the first time in two years the Chamber has hosted its annual dinner in person. Due to the pandemic, Stokes was unable to accept her award in person last year and will be appropriately recognized this year.
Currently the director of pharmacy at Wesley Health Care, Van Wagner first joined Wesley in 1976 and became the director of pharmacy in 1978.
He joins a distinguished set of past recipients, Steve Sullivan (2018); Tom Roohan (2019); John Munter, Sr. (2020); and Julie Stokes (2021) as award recipients.
“It’s my great pleasure to congratulate and honor Cliff for his outstanding service and dedication to Saratoga County for more than 40 years,” said Todd Shimkus, Chamber president. “Cliff’s servant leadership, extensive community involvement, and gracious support of many organizations throughout the county exemplifies and solidifies his passion and commitment to making Saratoga County a great place to live, work, and visit.”
During his tenure, Van Wagner has provided for Wesley residents, patients, and staff through leadership and service but has also been the project coordinator for $28 million worth of expansions and renovations, including the addition of Woodlawn Commons.
On top of his responsibilities as the director of pharmacy and project coordinator, Van Wagner served as Wesley’s corporate compliance officer from 2000 to 2006. He has also been instrumental in fundraising for Wesley and is one of eight steering committee members who’ve helped raise nearly $5 million for construction and renovation of the Springs building, part of Wesley Health Care Center.
Among his extensive volunteer experience is his support of Franklin Community Center. In 2015, he served as the chairman of the fundraising committee for the Center’s expansion of its food pantry. And in 2018, he served as chairman for Franklin Community Center’s $1 million capital fund drive to support an additional expansion to the center. His dedication to the organization was recognized in 2016 when Van Wagner was named the recipient of the Outstanding Service Project Community Award.
Van Wagner served as chairman of the Chamber board in 1995. He has also been involved in the American Red Cross Saratoga County Chapter, acting as chairman of the board from 1987 to 1990; and the Saratoga Springs Zoning Board, holding serving two tenures as vice chairman.
An alumnus of the Leadership Saratoga Class of 1988, Van Wagner was given the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1991 and is the only recipient of the Leadership Saratoga Alumni Exemplar Award in 2011.
Stokes has spent more than four decades serving Saratoga County, advocating for communities throughout the county through historic preservation, land conservation, and trails planning. Among her many accomplishments, she helped preserve the Canfield Casino in the 1970s; was the first executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation; served as the founding director of Saratoga PLAN in 2003; has represented the towns of Saratoga and Northumberland on the Champlain Canalway Trail Committee since 2005; and played an instrumental role in restoring Schuylerville’s Canal Towpath.
“Julie has been a vital advocate of our Saratoga County community,” said Shimkus. “From her efforts leading Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation to participating on the Champlain Canalway Trail Committee, Julie’s dedication to making this region as vibrant as possible benefits our residents today, as well as tomorrow.”
For more information on the Chamber dinner, to reserve a table, or become a sponsor, visit https://bit.ly/3Omr4XO.