EDITORIAL: April 27, 2018
Retiring Bright Light Is
Inspiration To Rest Of Us
A touching and inspiring event happened at Gilbertsville’s Major Inn last weekend: 150 wellwishers, from almost every town in Otsego County and as far away as London, England, packed the landmark mansion to express appreciation to a special lady, Erna Morgan McReynolds.
For the past 30 years, Erna has been an investment counselor in Oneonta for Morgan Stanley (and its half-dozen predecessors), and thousands of clients have been drawn to her by her savvy, certainly, but also her humanity. Everyone who knows her can attest, she cares. The result: Their security.
But that hardly scratches the surface of her accomplishment. Raised a poor girl in Gilbertsville, she graduated first in her class, broke into journalism locally with anyone who would accept her offerings, and by her late 20s was a popular writer at The Dominion, New Zealand’s largest newspaper.
In her 30s, she moved to London and TV broadcasting, then to New York, where she was a producer of some of NBC’s top news shows. Recognizing TV is a young person’s business, she followed her husband, Tom – an accomplished personality in his own right – into investment counseling in Oneonta, where she flourished as she helped her Otsego County neighbors flourish.
She embraced the Girls Scouts as a cause, and – with Tom – Hartwick College and the Catskill Symphony Orchestra (the couple is credited with saving it and guiding it to its current success), and much more.
Over the years, her abilities were recognized well beyond her natal place. Year after year, Barron’s listed her among the Top 100 Women Financial Advisers in the nation, and in December 2016 she was at the United Nations, presenting “The Business Case for Women’s Leadership in Public Institutions.”
If you know Erna, you can be sure the transition of Oneonta’s Morgan Stanley office to the Table Rock Group, headed by veteran Morgan Stanley executives Daniel and Kathleen Grasmeder, from Glens Falls, will be as seamless as possible, with her client/friends front of mind.
Erna says she hasn’t decided quite what her retirement will be bring – happily, she plans to be even more active on the Glimmerglass Festival board.
Regardless, in a time of out migration when Otsego County faces particular challenges, we can look at Erna Morgan McReynolds and say, with assurance, Horatio Alger lives – and lives here.