HUDSON — The Columbia County Association in the City of New York has announced their annual meeting will be held May 9 at Gallagher’s Steak House in New York City. The association announces that the 2019 Distinguished Citizen Award will be given to Colin Stair.
The May 9 event in New York City is open to anyone wishing to attend. Anyone wanting to attend is asked to consider joining the organization by paying the annual dues of $20 to help defray costs. The organization also provides a donation to the Columbia Greene Foundation, The United Way of Columbia Greene Counties, and The Red Cross.
Stair is the Founder and President of Stair, a full-service regional auction house, as well as a furniture restoration and conservation company.
The auction house, located at 549 Warren St., Hudson, is considered one of the country’s premier, top-20 auction houses. The auction business is estimated to be a fifty billion dollar industry, and Stair has captured a small slice of that here in Hudson, selling art and antiques around the world. Being an early proponent of innovations such as online bidding and electronic paperless catalogues has allowed Stair to reach more than one million buyers worldwide, whilst retaining the feel of a traditional auction house, by putting together dazzling and provoking exhibitions at its 15,000 square foot gallery space.
Stair Restoration was born out of Sotheby’s Restoration, which operated in Claverack from 1986 until 2001. After Sotheby’s extensive worldwide downsizing in 2001, Stair was able to purchase the restoration company from them, with all of its buildings, tools and supplies. He was also able to maintain five full-time employees at the company, at the same time as starting his new venture, the auction company. Former colleague Nigel Thomas returned from England to run the restoration company, and with him at the helm, they were able to maintain clients like world-renowned collector, Ann Getty, the Ziff Brothers, Carl Icahn, and many more of the country’s best collectors.
When opportunity came knocking in 2013, Stair was able to secure a multi-million dollar contract for the restoration of all the woodwork in the interior of the United Nations and ramped their staff numbers up by 20, training many new people in the process. It remains one of their proudest and most remarkable jobs to date.
Their involvement in the community from the beginning, even back in the early days when business was starting out, has supported many endeavors. Stair served on the Columbia County Economic Development Committee and was there for its vital rebirth. While there, he championed loans for small businesses, particularly in Hudson. He also spent many years on the Columbia County Historical Society Board, and has on many occasions, given use of the gallery to various causes.
Stair and his wife, Katrina, have given their support to Columbia Memorial Hospital, Kites Nest, Perfect Ten, The Opera House, Historic Hudson and Olana, to name but a few. Looking to the future, Stair believes that Columbia County has been rediscovered once again, but what is interesting this time, is that more young people are moving here to start businesses and families. He endeavors to create an all-inclusive approach to include everyone in all of the communities, without treading on any time honored traditions, and feels that this can be achieved by open government and community involvement.
The Columbia County Association in the City of New York has been meeting annually since 1901, the purpose of the organization is to encourage fellowship between people with ties to Columbia County and the New York Metropolitan area.
Anyone wanting to join in honoring Colin Stair should contact Julie Genovese at 518-828-2700 ext. 1102 or Nina Fingar at 518-537-6244 or mail reservations to C/O Fingar Insurance PO BOX 158, Germantown, NY 12526. There will be bus transportation leaving Columbia Greene Community College at 2 p.m. The cost of the dinner is $150. The cost of the roundtrip bus is $45.