Third Age 2006 Award Winners

The following were honored at the Third Age Achievement Awards dinner held at The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center on November 19, 2007.

Elsa DeBeer – Arts and Culture

Elsa DeBeer
Arts and Culture

Elsa DeBeer is the 2006 winner in the Arts and Culture category for her continued service to the Capital Region Center for Arts in Education. Formerly the organization’s president, she now serves as a member of the board, and has been involved with the Center for 17 years.

DeBeer has participated in many community organizations including Jewish Family Services, Council of Community Services, Colonie Human Services Council, and the Hudson Valley Girl Scout Council. She was a board member at both Senior Services of Albany and Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood. She is presently on the board of The Albany Symphony Orchestra and Capitol Chamber Artists.

Ms. deBeer’s greatest enjoyment is reading, and she describes her most memorable experience as that point “when a child reaches that magical moment when suddenly, he or she can read. That’s my greatest thrill.” Elsa has three daughters and five grandchildren. She loves to garden, travel, and read.

Kathleen Balthazar Heitzmann – Athletics

Kathleen Balthazar Heitzmann

Kathleen Balthazar Heitzmann

Kathleen Balthazar Heitzmann, of Climax, N.Y., is the recipient of the Third Age Achievement Award for Athletics. A varsity track and field coach and decorated athlete in her own right, Kathleen is also an author, mathematics teacher, photographer and member of the Advisory Board of the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center .

“I derive a feeling of exhilaration,” she explained, “whether as an athlete or as a coach, watching one of my athletes.”

Among many honors that have been bestowed upon Heitzmann are the Empire State Regents Challenge Fellowship and the Courselle Memorial Award, which recognizes the contributions of local runners. Kathleen has competed in a triathlon, and-though not a swimmer-completed the cycling, running and swimming events. She relied on her “dog paddle” to finish the race.

Marvin A. Freedman – Business

Marvin A. Freedman

Marvin A. Freedman, of Albany , is being recognized for his continued service to the insurance industry and his clients, and for his success in building a complete insurance and financial agency that is consistently ranked among the top 15 businesses in the area.

Mr. Freedman is the chairman and CEO of the Anchor Agency in Albany , and is also a very active community volunteer and philanthropic leader.

Freedman says, “The most important thing we have accomplished is building a core of highly trained professionals who are committed to providing superior service to many business firms and families..some going back thirty or forty years.” According to a listing in the Business Review, the Agency has been among the area’s top fifteen insurance agencies each year.

Many organizations have honored Freedman as a volunteer and for his business accomplishments. He was named Jewish Family Services Volunteer of the Year in 2005; in 1999, he was awarded small business person of the year by the Capital District Business Review. He also served as a board member of the Albany Jewish Community Center, where, in 2003, he and his wife Sherry were presented with the Pillars Award for Community Service.

Mr. Freedman and his wife have four daughters and seven grandchildren. In his leisure time, Freedman enjoys golf, tennis, swimming and exercise.

Caroline B. Mason – Education

Caroline B. Mason

Caroline B. Mason, of Glenmont, the Head of School of the Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls, is recognized for the contributions she is making in the field of Education, a field upon which Mason has been making an impact for four decades.

“I enjoy creating an environment in which students and faculty can thrive-where they can connect with one another in the classroom and outside,” she said.

Mason has served as Head of School at Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls since 2003. For the previous ten years, she was Headmistress of Albany Academy for Girls.

Among her many volunteer roles, Caroline Mason is a Fellow at the College of Arts and Sciences of the University at Albany and a member of the President’s Council at Sage Colleges. Mason also volunteers at the Church Mouse at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church. Her interests include classical music, cross country skiing, gardening, literature, and traveling. In 2005, Mason was honored by the Tech Valley Nonprofit Business Council as the first ever Nonprofit Executive of the Year.

Caroline and husband Appleton (Tony) Mason III, have two children and two grandchildren.

Hon. Lucille M. McKnight – Government

Hon. Lucille M. McKnight

The Hon. Lucille M. McKnight, of Albany , will be honored with the Third Age Achievement Award for Government. McKnight is an Albany County Legislator, representing the residents of the 2nd Legislative District including most of the City of Albany ‘s South End, the lower Corner Preserve, Lincoln Park , the Executive Mansion , Mansion Hill neighborhood and the historic Schuyler Mansion . She is a member of the Conservation and Improvement and Health Committees.

President-Elect of the New York State Association of Counties, McKnight holds numerous volunteer positions, including chair of the Albany County Youth Bureau. For Ms. McKnight, public service is both rewarding and challenging. She enjoys working in government because her work allows her to apply her passion for helping to make life better for others. She has been doing just that since 1992, when her constituents first elected her to office.

When not working or volunteering, Lucille McKnight can be found gardening in Albany ‘s South End Community Garden or in the garden of her own 1864 dwelling in the South End. She is a proud mother, mother-in-law, and soon-to-be grandmother.

Henrietta Messier – Health and Human Services

Henrietta Messier
Health and Human Services

The 2006 Third Age Achievement Award honoree for Health and Human Services is Henrietta Messier of Green Island, an advocate for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. Messier has drawn her inspiration from daughter Cherie, who was born with Down Syndrome. Together, mother and daughter have are trail blazers who have opened doors for countless disabled individuals.

Messier’s determined advocacy in the 1970’s helped lead to the establishment of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). Since then, Henrietta has worked to expand and improve services for individuals like her daughter. She continues to educate lawmakers about the challenges facing disabled New Yorkers.

“To this day,” writes her nominator, Albany County Executive Michael Breslin, “Henrietta remains the most articulate, persistent and effective voice, advocate and champion for this population, most of whom cannot speak for themselves.”

In addition to daughter Cherie, Henrietta has 5 other children, 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. She is an avid ice skater and reader.

Miriam Maccoby Netter – Law

Miriam Maccoby Netter

Miriam Maccoby Netter, of Delmar, an attorney specializing in business contracts, is the 2006 Third Age Achievement Award honoree in Law. In addition to practicing law, Netter is a frequent lecturer, a member of numerous professional organizations, and an avid volunteer, serving the on the boards of several local nonprofits.

Currently, she is a member of the NYS Women’s Bar Association, Albany County Bar Association, Advisory Board of the Science and Technology Center at Albany Law School , and serves as an attorney member of the Surrogate Decision-Making Committee on Quality Care for the Mentally Disabled. She serves as a member of several additional committees dealing with legal issues as well.

Among the many honors that Ms. Netter has accumulated are the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award, Wildwood Program Community Partner Individual Award, and the Governor’s Award Excellence in Lighting.

Ms. Netter has two adult children, a son, Mark and a daughter, Beth, M.D. She also has two grandchildren.

William and Sandra Tatem – Volunteerism

William and Sandra Tatem

William and Sandra Tatem of Loudonville are being honored with the Third Age Achievement Award in Volunteerism. A couple whose dedication to their church community totals more than nine decades, Sandy and Bill are both ordained Deacons in the Episcopal Church.

A member of the Episcopal Counseling Service Board of Directors and Assistant Treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, Bill considers his ordination a memorable and uplifting experience. He has said, “The most enjoyable part of volunteerism is being able to help others to enjoy life.I have come to know and enjoy many people across a broad spectrum of society.”

The other half of this couple, Sandra Tatem, was ordained just months ago, but was told once by her Bishop, “Sandy, you’ve always been a Deacon. We just need to make it official.” As a Deacon, Tatem’s major role is to “take the church into the world-ministering to the poor, the widows and the orphans.” She assists her parish priest with all services, conducting services in his absence, preaching the Gospel and visiting the homebound and the hospitalized.

The Tatems, who celebrated their 50 th wedding anniversary this year, enjoy traveling. They especially look forward to visiting their three children and two grandchildren.