After a year at the helm of the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, Barbara Brassard is headed for new horizons.

Brassard will become the program coordinator for Essex County Retired Senior Volunteer Program starting Sept. 1.

RSVP offices are located in the Moriah Town Hall, a mile from Brassard's home, compared to about 20 miles to Ticonderoga, and she said it's going to be a much more pleasant drive in the winter.

"The driving part of it was a no-brainer. But it was a serious decision I had to make. In the end, it was a job opportunity that I couldn't refuse."

She said she'll miss collaborating with the chamber staff, Board of Directors and the community.

"While I enjoyed working with everyone here, I'm looking forward to my new position. I'm looking forward to the new opportunity."

She said she'll still be on hand to train her replacement as executive director of the chamber and will offer her continued support to the group.

The chamber director's job is being advertised now, with resumes to be submitted by Aug. 6.

At RSVP, she'll replace Patsy McCaughin, who is retiring after 35 years as head of the non-profit community-service group.

"Patsy has done a fabulous job," Brassard said. "I'm fortunate that there will be a transition so I can benefit from Patsy's experience."

McCaughin said she's leaving the agency in good hands with Brassard.

"I think she's going to be a very important asset to the program. She knows what RSVP is all about. I'm very pleased to see Barb take over."

RSVP is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and Catholic Charities. In Essex County, it has about 465 volunteers who annually log a combined 62,000 hours of service at 95 sites.

The salaries for the two organizations are fairly close, in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, Brassard said, but the shorter drive is what really made the difference.

Brassard said she'll be staying long enough to coordinate many of the chamber's summer events, such as the Annual Ticonderoga Car Show in Bicentennial Park and others.

The Essex County Retired Senior Volunteer Program celebrated its 35th year this year.

E-mail Lohr McKinstry at: lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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