In Memoriam: Dennis Dammerman

In Memoriam: Dennis Dammerman

Dennis Dammerman
Dennis Dammerman

July 26, 2013

Dennis Dammerman, trustee emeritus of Skidmore, died Tuesday, July 23, 2013, at Saratoga Hospital. He was 67.

Dennis was well known in Saratoga Springs and beyond for his involvement with local civic and business enterprises as well as for his 38-year career at the General Electric Co., where he served as vice chairman of the board and an executive officer.

He joined the Skidmore Board of Trustees in 2003 and served on its financial, investment, strategic planning, and audit committees. In 2005 he gave the 21st annual F. William Harder Lecture in Business Administration, which he titled “Forty Years Later—Lessons Learned Along the Way.”

Dennis joined the Financial Management Program at GE Appliances in 1967 after graduating from the University of Dubuque. He subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility with the corporate audit staff, GE Lighting, GE Capital Services, and GE’s Consumer Products businesses. He was named senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer in March 1984. In 1994 Dammerman was elected to the board of directors, and subsequently was named vice chairman.

In 1998 CFO magazine awarded Dennis the inaugural “Lifetime Achieve-ment Award for CFO Excellence,” noting that the award recognizes “someone who, over the course of his tenure, has effectively changed the perception of what finance is and what it can be, and who is universally respected and admired by his peers.”

Dennis and his wife, Marsha, were initially drawn to Saratoga Springs through their mutual love of horses, she as an accomplished equestrienne and both as owners of thoroughbreds. They quickly immersed themselves in the community, where they maintained a summer home. He joined the board of Adirondack Trust Co. in 2010 and also served on the board of the New York Racing Association as well as the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

In 2007 Skidmore inducted the Dammermans into its Parnassus Society, which recognizes individuals, families, and foundations who have donated more than $1 million to the College.

Much of the Dammermans’ philanthropy at Skidmore focused on their twin interests of horses and scholarship. They were benefactors of the Skidmore Classic Horse Show and hosted a regular event to introduce the College to members of the equine community at their home in Florida. They also contributed generously to the College's financial aid program both through the Fund-a-Future Scholarship initiative and by establishing the Dennis and Marsha Dammerman Scholarship Fund. 

He once said, “What is not to like about Skidmore? Marsha and I both graduated from small liberal arts colleges where the intimacy with faculty and fellow students build relationships which can last a lifetime.”

Survivors includewife Marsha Finn Dammerman of Wellington, Florida; mother Louise Lichtenstein and stepmother Viola Dammerman, both of DeWitt, Iowa; mother-in-law Phyllis A. Finn of Frankfort, N.Y.; son David (Judith Dore) of Saratoga Springs; daughter Heather Dammerman (David) Wesoloski of Fairfield, Connecticut; sister Carol Galloway of Grand Mound, Iowa; brothers Randy (Joanne) Burmester of Saratoga Springs, Russ (Leona) Fey of Phoenix, Arizona, and Douglas (Sandra) Burmester of Stanwood, Washington; three grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 26, at the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs. The funeral service will be private. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of his life at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, in the Ladd Concert Hall at the Arthur Zankel Music Center, followed by a reception with the family.

Tags: Campus Life, Community, Zankel Music Center, Dennis Dammerman, Parnassus Society, Skidmore Classic Horse Show, General Electric Co.