GLENS FALLS — Bill Stock, who grew up in Glens Falls and went on to a career as an engineer and entrepreneur, returned to his hometown Friday to announce a $1 million contribution to Glens Falls Hospital.
“I think I’m just a product of the social fabric of this community, and I think it’s time for some payback,” Stock said at a news conference at the hospital on Friday.
The contribution from the Bill and Joanne Stock Foundation, a family philanthropic trust, will go toward the hospital’s $5 million renovation of The Snuggery, a project that begins next week.
Stock made the contribution in memory of his mother, Joyce Stock, a former nurse at the hospital who, with her husband, was the original owner of The Heidelberg Inn, a restaurant in Queensbury.
The hospital announced its birthing center has been renamed The Joyce Stock Snuggery at Glens Falls Hospital.
Bill Stock, who has lived in seven states and now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, said his mother taught him and his brothers work ethic, as she worked as a nurse and later opened the restaurant and continued to operate it after his father died.
“She raised three young boys single-handed. And she ran that business and put us through college,” he said.
Stock, a 1979 Glens Falls High School graduate, also praised two of his teachers, Mark Freeman and Al Cederstrom.
“This place is really special,” he said.
One-time neighbors on Garrison Avenue, where the family lived, said they are proud of Stock’s business accomplishments and grateful for his philanthropy.
“Their mother Joyce was just loved — always so gracious,” said Amy Collins, the city’s director of tourism and business.
“It’s exciting to have a young man that grew up in the neighborhood do this,” said Freda Solomon, widow of former U.S. Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-Queensbury. “We have a lot of great young people.”
Stock received a degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and worked in various management positions in the automotive industry.
In 2005, he co-founded and was chief executive officer of Power Stop LLC, a Chicago-based supplier of brake products.
He retired in 2013.
Hospital officials said Stock’s contribution is the first “seven figure” contribution the hospital received since 2005.
“What an incredible gift. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Glenda Kelman, chairwoman of the hospital’s board of directors.
“We are gratified and humbled by your philanthropy,” said Dianne Shugrue, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer.
The contribution brings contributions for the $5 million renovation project to $2.24 million, so far.
Other large contributions are $250,000 from Stewart’s Shops and the Dake family, $250,000 from The David S. and Janet R. Sheridan Foundation, $200,000 from The Sandy Hill Foundation, $100,000 from The Charles R. Wood Foundation and $100,000 from Philip and Susan K. Morse.
The hospital is still accepting contributions for the project.
“What you’re providing is not just an experience for mommies and babies and staff, but a better level of care,” said Dr. Ted Denious, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist.
Renovation will begin next week and be conducted in five phases over about a year’s time, said Frank Cheever, the hospital’s senior director of engineering.
New heating, air conditioning and ventilation infrastructure has already been installed so that each patient room in The Snuggery has individual temperature controls.