Advisory Committee

The Independent Advisory Committee is made up of individuals from our community. They are responsible on an ongoing basis for:

  • Selecting charities to receive grants from the General Fund
  • Determining the amounts to be distributed to the selected charities
  • Monitoring the actions of the Trustee

Advisory Committee Members:

Brian Straughter, Ed.D. (Chair)
Board Member since: 2016

Brian serves as President of Turf Hotels, a local hotel management company in the Capital District. As President, he is an active owner/operator of five local properties: Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown, Hampton Inn Western Avenue, Homewood Suites by Hilton Albany, Staybridge Suites Albany and Holiday Inn Resort Lake George.

He is actively involved in a number of other charities and organizations. He and his wife co-founded Jake’s Help From Heaven following the death of their four-year old son in 2011 to support those with multiple medical challenges living within 100 miles of Saratoga Springs, NY. Brian also serves on the Board of Directors of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, the Saratoga Springs YMCA and the UAlbany Foundation.

Prior to his work in hotel management,  he was principal at the Mission Hill School in Boston, MA. He relocated to Saratoga Springs in 2006 to be closer to his wife’s family and has very much enjoyed his career change.

Susan Bokan

Board Member since: 2019

Bio coming soon…

Colleen Carlson

Board Member since: 2016

Colleen Carlson is a lifelong resident of Saratoga Springs and is the Director at Saratoga Casino Hotel.

Ms. Carlson’s volunteer leadership includes fundraising and board positions on the Saratoga Hospital Foundation, Saratoga Springs Recreation Commission, Jake’s Help from Heaven, The Flower and Fruit Mission of Saratoga Hospital, and Skidmore College. Ms. Carlson and her husband Skip have three children and two dogs.

Jean Dugan

Board Member since: 2015

Jean Dugan is an Information Technology and Project Management Professional who retired after a thirty year career in the financial services industry. Jean has lived and volunteered in Saratoga Springs since 2006.

Mary Hallquist

Board Member since: 2015

Mary Hallquist is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is currently employed by Four Winds Hospital. She was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY and returned in 2013 after living in Vermont for 8 years. She currently lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband and two small children.

Philip Klein

Board Member since: 2017

Phil Klein is a recent Retiree of the Adirondack Trust Company’ Insurance Division. Phil has been involved in numerous community organizations as well as having been a member of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors for 18 years. Phil and his wife Lynne have lived in Saratoga Springs for over 40 years.

Caroline Putman (Treasurer)

Board Member since: 2014

Caroline has lived in the Saratoga region for most of her life. She has volunteered for organizations such as SPAC, Yaddo, and BH-BL High School.

While living in Irvine, California she volunteered as Treasurer and Communications Secretary on the Board of the National Charity League – Rancho Irvine Chapter, as Board Communications Chair for Operation Valentine, as Registrar for FC Irvine soccer club, and as a volunteer on multiple school projects.

Michael Spilman

Board Member since: 2017

Michael has been in the Capital District  working in the Hospitality Industry since 1984. Currently, he is the Sales Director at the Embassy Suites in Saratoga.

Originally from St. Lawrence County, Michael and his wife Lynn live in Queensbury, and have two grown sons. Currently serving on the Board of the North Country Ministries in Warrensburg, and is a past Board member of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, Glens Falls Little League, and Lake George Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Joyce Ure

Board Member since: 2019

Joyce is the Owner and President of Cudney’s Launderers & Dry Cleaners, Inc., a business run by her family for many decades. Joyce is very active in our community as a Saratoga

Springs Rotary Member and the Vice President of the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association.

Advisory Committee members are appointed for a three-year term.