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SUNY Canton names John Gray distinguished citizen

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CANTON — SUNY Canton honored certified public accountant John J. Gray Jr., a longtime supporter of the college and community volunteer, with its 2013 Distinguished Citizen Award.

Mr. Gray is founder and managing partner of Gray & Gray Certified Public Accountants in Canton. He was recognized for his decades of public service and dedication to the area’s economic development.

“John Gray has worked tirelessly in the community to make Canton and the North Country a better place to live and work,” said SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner. “It is fitting that SUNY Canton is recognizing his many achievements and contributions with this award.”

Mr. Gray has helped develop long-range economic development goals for the village through his work on the Canton Economic Development Steering Committee. He also lends his financial expertise to the Canton Chamber of Commerce where he has served as treasurer since 2004.

“John has vast financial knowledge, which, over the years, he has shared generously with several volunteer organizations throughout the north country.” said retired SUNY Canton Vice President for Administration Charles F. Goolden.

Mr. Gray has sponsored numerous exhibits with the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, a not-for-profit folk arts organization in Canton, and he was instrumental in transforming an abandoned building in downtown Canton into professional office space, which houses Northern New York Newspapers, and luxury condominiums.

In addition to his position as treasurer for the St. Lawrence Childcare Council, he serves on the town of Colton Planning Board and was a member of the SUNY Canton Business Advisory Board. Mr. Gray is also actively involved in his church, where he donates his time to assist with events and acts as a consultant on financial matters.

“I feel honored and fortunate to know John Gray,” said the Rev. Raymond J. Moreau. “He is a person who has, and continues to be, involved with his church and community and has brought hope, spread joy and enlivened people - myself included.”

Mr. Gray received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clarkson University. He and his wife, Christine, have four children and live in Colton.

Since 1976, the SUNY Canton College Council has given the Distinguished Citizen Award in recognition of exceptional and distinguished service to SUNY Canton, to the community, to the state or to the nation.

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