Wesp Leaves Boards, Heads Into Retirement

Dave Wesp, left, poses with his family in front of the family boat, “Wild Wild Wesp.” Wesp has resigned from community boards and intends to soon retire from his full-time career at the Chautauqua Chemicals Company. From left, his daughter, Chelsea; his wife, Carolynn; and his son, Brady, are pictured. Submitted photo

BEMUS POINT — Dave Wesp has given his helping hands to many organizations over decades, and now he is ready for retired life.

For his last time May 9, Wesp fulfilled his roles as board member for both the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance and the town of Ellery. He did not attempt to have his board member status renewed at the Lake Alliance, and he officially announced his resignation from the Ellery Town Council the same day. Town Supervisor Arden Johnson appointed Steve Hayes the same evening to fill the vacant seat.

“You’ve been an excellent board member for a number of years,” Johnson said before the meeting’s conclusion.

Wesp has served the town for about 20 years. He was also a founding member of the Lake Alliance, which is a countywide body that assists in allocating funding for organizations that maintain Chautauqua Lake.

As a proponent of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Chautauqua Lake Weed Management Consensus Strategy and a former councilman for the only entity that did not sign onto it, Wesp shared how he’s been pushing for further collaboration and compromise amongst lake stakeholders for years.

Wesp, a past president of the Chautauqua Lake Association in 1999 and 2000, mentioned his hopefulness for the future of the lake.

“We’re all here to make the lake better,” he said.

It isn’t just community service Wesp is saying farewell to. At the end of the month, he plans on semi-retiring from his position in technical sales for the Chautauqua Chemicals Company. Through the remainder of 2019, he plans to remain there as a consultant.

“Hopefully, all the stars are aligned properly,” Wesp said. “I’m excited.”

With his wife Carolynn having retired four years ago, Wesp intends on spending more time with his family, including his son Brady, who works at Cummins, and his daughter Chelsea Cheney, who works for PwC, a Buffalo-based accounting firm. He said money doesn’t equal time or happiness, and while he feels like he could always contribute more to work, the town and the lakefront community, Wesp expressed confidence that it was time to retire.

In his lifetime, Wesp was also a founding member of the Lawson Center on Chautauqua Lake. He worked previously as a general manager in Jamestown at Associated Healthcare, a company that has provided medical equipment for hospitals and health centers.

For the past 20 years, Wesp has worked at Chautauqua Chemicals, formerly known as Chautauqua Metal Finishing. He thanked his fellow councilmen in Ellery for their service. Wesp said he is looking forward to making the most of his retirement.

Follow Eric Zavinski at twitter.com/EZavinski