Looking back 24 years, Jeremy Martelle said, “Growing up in Granville was truly a great experience. Although if you had asked me if I enjoyed it at the time, I would have said I wanted out of a small town. During high school, I had the opportunity to travel to Spain and live abroad for the summer. This exposed me to so much more than a small town. I remember listening to the stories of World History teacher Mr. (Robert) Johnson and his travels during summer break.” He knew then that he wanted to see the world.
After graduating and spending a semester in liberal studies at Cobleskill which he described as “rather boring,” Jeremy decided he wanted to travel and pursue a career in aviation.
“I joined the Air Force in 1991 and traveled to Europe, lived in Italy, worked in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, and traveled extensively in the United States.
“While in the Air Force, I studied aviation with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, then completed my bachelor’s degree in business and economics at SUNY Empire State College.”
When Jeremy left the Air Force, his lifelong friend, Shane Gernand, suggested that Jeremy join him on a part-time basis in the New York Air National Guard in the field of airfield and operations management.
“In this capacity, I continue to travel with the military visiting New Zealand, the arctic in Greenland, Antarctica every year from 1997 to 2006, and the South Pole in 1998.” Jeremy currently serves at the Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia with the rank of Master Sergeant.
“In 1997 I was hired as the day-to-day manager of operations and security at Albany International Airport and stayed for 10 years. I wanted to broaden my horizons, so I joined the Louis Berger Group in 2008 where I am Senior Aviation Planner and Project Manager in the firm’s Global Aviation Practice.”
Jeremy provides planning, engineering, management and economic development services for public and private clients both domestically and internationally. He works in the firm’s Albany office.
This past summer Jeremy flew to Istanbul for Berger and found himself on the edge of an angry anti-government demonstration in Takisim Park.
“My hotel was only about 1,000 feet from the action. I went down right near it. It was a pretty neat experience.
“I met my wife Paula at Albany Airport. She worked for a non-profit organization that helps people with learning disabilities find work. They had an office at the airport. Paula, Jeremy Jr., (11) and Julia (9) and I live in Bethlehem, a suburb of Albany. I enjoy traveling, skiing, shooting and spending time with my family.”
Jeremy gives to his community in many ways. Since settling there 14 years ago, he volunteers his time with many organizations. He is vice president of the library Board of Trustees, president of the Soccer Club, first vice-commander of the American Legion, and advocates for aviation across New York State on the New York Aviation Management Association Board of Directors.
Reflecting on his school years, Jeremy said, “I really enjoyed school, although I didn’t see myself as the studious type. I generally liked most of my teachers, but the most influential person in my life was my grandfather, Richard Freed Sr.
“Life is not without its challenges. Whether you grow up in a small town or a large city, you rely on community to help you get through them. I am proud to have grown up in such a beautiful place with such genuine and kind people. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”