Home > History > Chapter 18


Chapter 18 of the International Right of Way Association

On January 10, 1957, twenty-one years after the founding of the Southern California Right of Way Association, the American Right of Way Association’s Empire State Chapter 18 held its charter dinner at the Brass Rail Restaurant in New York City. Richard H. Taylor served as the Master of Ceremony. Ambrose J. Winder, President, Pennsylvania Chapter 9, presented the newly formed chapter with an American Right of Way Association banner. Dean M. Acres, Jr., Past President, Los Angeles Chapter 1 spoke on the educational benefits of the AROWA. Frank C. Balfour, the Association’s National Chairman, provided a history of the American Right of Way Association.

The Chapter’s first officers were:
President: George A. Berryman
Vice President: Burr A. Towl
Second Vice President: Sidney Richter
Secretary: Elizabeth Van Kuyk
Treasurer: V. B. Siems
Directors: William Young & John Gage

On February 7-8, 1958, Chapter 18 joined the other Region 4 chapters (Chapters 9, 14, 15, and 16), for the AROWA’s first Regional Education Seminar. Over 300 people attended the Atlantic City, New Jersey conference.

 

The years 1963 and 1964 witnessed the one time in the chapter’s history when a member, Joseph J. Rofrano, SR/WA was re-elected as Chapter 18 President. In 1975, Chapter 18, under President S. Robert Weston, SR/WA, hosted the 19th Annual American Right of Way Association Education Seminar in New York City. Regional Forums held in Chapter 18 include 1978, Albany (Earl L. Nelson, SR/WA, President); 1982, Rochester (Robert W. Graves, President); 1983, Niagara Falls (Richard F. Laitenberger, SR/WA, President); 1986, Albany (Gene F. Gaesser, President); 1988, Canandaigua (Joseph A. Fogarty, SR/WA, President); 1992, Syracuse (Cletus A. Benjamin, SR/WA, President), 1996 West Point (Adele Ann Coombe, SR/WA, President), and 2003 (Francis N. Mengel, Jr., SR/WA, President).

To recognize outstanding professional achievement, in 1979 Chapter 18 established its own Professional of the Year Award. The first winner (1978) was Richard F. Laitenberger, SR/WA. In addition to “one-time” recipients, Richard F. Laitenberger, SR/WA received the award three times and Cletus A. Benjamin, SR/WA, David M. Champagne, SR/WA, Patti Darch, SR/WA, and James E. Konopelski, SR/WA received the award twice. The award is now named the “Richard F. Laitenberger, SR/WA Professional of the Year Award”.

In 1982, the chapter celebrated its 25th Anniversary at a three-day event held at the Thousand Island Resort, Alexandria Bay. Robert H. Ashley, SR/WA chaired the 25th Anniversary Committee. As part of the Spring 1992 Region 4 Forum, the chapter celebrated its 35th Anniversary in Syracuse. James E. Konopelski, SR/WA chaired both the Forum and 35th Anniversary Committees.

In 1986, the Chapter introduced its Chapter Scholarship, an annual award presented to Chapter member family members to pursue higher education opportunities. In 2004, the scholarship was named in honor of long-time member, David Layne, SR/WA.

During the chapter’s early years, principal membership activity came from the New York City area. However, in the mid-1960s, the chapter’s membership base expanded through upstate New York. While the membership is currently fairly evenly divided between the New York metropolitan area and upstate, primary organization control has shifted upstate. (There has not been a member of the Board of Directors from south of Albany since 1987).

A series of individual chapter member honors has been received during the fifteen years.

American Right of Way Association Newsletter Award:
1977 Harold K. Seymour, Editor, First Place
1978 Richard F. Laitenberger, SR/WA, Editor, Second Place

International Right of Way Association’s Newsletter Award:
1982 Joseph A. Fogarty, SR/WA, Editor, Third Place
1983 Joseph A. Fogarty, SR/WA, Editor, First Place
1984 Joseph A. Fogarty, SR/WA, Editor, Second Place

International Right of Way Association Chapter History Contest
1998 David Layne, SR/WA, Editor, Third Place

Region 4 Carl S. Mussen Memorial Professional of the Year Award
1996 Richard F. Laitenberger, SR/WA
1997 James E. Konopelski, SR/WA
1999 David Layne, SR/WA
2004 Francis N. Mengel, Jr., SR/WA

Finalists Frank C. Balfour, Professional of the Year Award
1979 O. Dudley Kay, SR/WA
1983 Herbert D. Putman, SR/WA
1985 Richard F. Laitenberger, SR/WA
1987 Joseph A. Fogarty, SR/WA
1990 Cletus A. Benjamin, SR/WA
1991 David Layne, SR/WA
1994 James E. Konopelski, SR/WA
1996 Joseph A. Barnes, SR/WA
2000 Gerry K. Schulitz, SR/WA
2004 Francis N. Mengel, Jr., SR/WA

Recipients Frank C. Balfour, Professional of the Year Award
1979 O. Dudley Kay, SR/WA
1991 David Layne, SR/WA

 
 
 
 

 

 

Chapter 18

Historical Officers:

1957 - 1970
1971 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000
2001 - 200
6