The John D. Hamilton Community Service Award is given annually to one individual who has shown dedication, leadership and support in furthering community spirit and enhancing life in the Chautauqua Region. This year’s recipient, Dudley R. Ericson, has continually demonstrated these traits and exemplifies the purpose of the award.
Mr. Ericson’s life has been highlighted by several personal, professional, educational and civic activities and achievements. He graduated with honors from Michigan State University in 1957 with a B.A. in production management. While at Michigan State, Mr. Ericson was president of Beta Alpha Psi and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and the Green Helmet university honor society. He was also cadet Colonel and commander of a 2,000 student Air Force ROTC Wing and was active in the university’s athletics as the Spartan Spirit Commissioner and the university mascot, Sparty.
Upon graduation from college, Mr. Ericson was commissioned as a United States Air Force officer. From 1957 to 1960, he served as a captain with the 5th Bomb Wing of the Strategic Air Command. When his military service concluded in 1960, he joined Blackstone (Valeo) Corporation as Assistant Director of Personnel. In 1964, Mr. Ericson was named Director of Human Resources at W.C.A Healthcare Center, a position he held until 1996. During his tenure, W.C.A saw the staff size increase from 300 to 1,800 individuals.
Mr. Ericson has served as the Interim Director of the American Red Cross Chautauqua Chapter in 1996, and presented new visitor orientations and conducted public tours for Chautauqua Institution’s marketing department from 1997 to 2003.
Mr. Ericson’s civic and community-related memberships, affiliations, and activities have also distinguished him. For 40 years he has been a member of the American Red Cross, serving the Chautauqua County, Buffalo Region, and New York & Penn Blood Region chapters and as a member of the National Advisory Council. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Jamestown for 34 years and has served as president, Rotary Foundation Chairman, membership chairman, and assistant district governor. He has assisted the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County for 20 years, having served as vice president and campaign chairman, member of the board of directors and executive committee, and chairman of the public service division.
Mr. Ericson has also been active in the Jamestown Jaycees, Chautauqua Lake Association, Jamestown Audubon Nature Center, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, First Baptist Church and Judson Fellowship, New York State Hospital Association, Private Industry Council, and School and Business Alliance. He is past president of the Jamestown Safety Council, Jamestown Personnel Association, and Western New York Hospital Personnel Association.
He is the past recipient of the Jamestown High School Alumni Association’s Young Man of the Year Award, the Outstanding Member Award from The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources and the Western New York Human Resources Association, and the Exceptional Service Award from the American National Red Cross and Jamestown Rotary Club.
He has also been honored with the Dewitt Clinton Masonic Award.
Dudley R. Ericson has truly proven himself as a outgoing, dedicated and active leader, which makes him more than worthy of the John D. Hamilton Award for Excellence in Community Service. While his community service spans a lifetime, his unselfish works, past and present, are what make him an asset to the community and all whose lives he has and will continue to touch.