SAM Welcomes New Executive Director

For Immediate Release
Contact:   Jim Letts @ 518-587-1935
Saratoga Springs, NY

After a nationwide search, the board of trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum has found the ideal candidate for the position of Executive Director in the Spa city.

“It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Jim Letts as our new Executive Director,” said Anthony Ianniello, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum. “While serving as the CEO of the Saratoga Regional YMCA for the past 12 years, Jim has had amazing success, growing the Y's membership from 6900 to 26,900 while raising many millions of dollars through capital campaigns to support and expand the Y’s facilities and activities.  We think he is a perfect fit for our extremely active, rapidly growing museum and are thrilled to have him on board for our busy summer season!”

One of the key factors in Letts joining the staff of the auto museum after his long and successful career with the Saratoga YMCA was his interest in SAM’s nationally recognized distracted driving program.

“One of the attractions of leading the auto museum was the opportunity to be involved in its mission of combating distracted driving," said Letts.  "Distracted driving is something that affects us all as we carry out our everyday activities.  The danger is something we all need to be aware of!”

The Saratoga Automobile Museum has new, state of the art driving simulators which are mobile, so the distracted driving program can be brought to other locations.  Recent “hands on” programs at local high schools and colleges have been very well received, with many more in the offing.

"The staff, museum members, volunteers and the Board of Trustees have a lot of passion for the organization,” summed up Letts.  “One of my goals is to raise the prominence of the Saratoga Automobile Museum, not only in Saratoga, but in the surrounding communities. 

“Many of the skills I have acquired working for the YMCA transfer well to the Museum.  I look forward to being responsible for increasing membership, raising money, and developing programs.  I have been in the fitness industry my entire life and a new career running the Automobile Museum will bring new energy to me while I will bring the same to the Museum.”

The first event under Letts’ management will be the annual Spring Auto Show and Family Fun Day, set for May 14th.  Along with hundreds of automobiles, trucks and motorcycles, show visitors will enjoy such family oriented activities as student show judging, dental screenings at the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a huge mobile dental facility staffed by the St. Peter’s Hospital Dental Center staff,  representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension presenting demonstrations on proper car seat installation, Saratoga County Sheriffs with a display of Patrol Car technology and members of the regional Ford Model T Club with the Model T Experience, a great look at automotive history.

“I’m excited about having a full-time Executive Director with Jim’s talent and connection to Saratoga Springs,” added SAM trustee and interim ED Kevin Biebel.  “My expectation is that Jim will be able to rally the people of Saratoga and surrounding towns to rediscover, or discover for the first time, the museum, our focus on distracted driving and our new and growing youth programs.”