“Jimmy” Reitz Was A Great Business And Community Advocate

This has been a sad week, having grieved for a dear friend and mentor who was lost in his prime at age 57.  Judge James (“Jimmy”) Reitz was one of the first friends and mentors I made in Putnam County, having shared office space for about 2 years. We would get together and discuss county issues, elections and business.


When the market crashed he provided some tough love that I really needed. He would come in and find me crying about the phone not ringing and his response would be to “suck it up and make it happen!” “Let’s kick some butt”, was one of his favorite expressions, and actions.

As chairwoman of the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce, I sought his counsel regularly. When a group of us later decided to start The Putnam County Chamber of Commerce his advice and support helped get through some very dark days, difficult public mistakes and bad personal choices. Jimmy never judged me and always had the right thing to say to get me out of a funk or feeling sorry for myself.


Jimmy was a fierce advocate for shopping local. He attended as many grand openings, chamber events and ribbon cuttings as possible. His tenacious style was infectious and one that business owners could relate to. He was a true Putnam County man who believed that Mom and Pop stores and small town living was ideal and that we were all blessed to live in such a beautiful county such as Putnam.


He supported public-private partnerships in all that he did, a bit wayward compared to a judge’s traditional role, but Jimmy touched so many lives for the positive that he was definitely on the right track. I helped Jimmy through a few campaigns and was privileged to see private messages that would come through, thanking him for saving so many people's lives and giving second and third chances to people.


The business community will miss this man greatly. Our next meeting will be on July 30th ( time and location TBD) in honor of Jimmy Reitz and all that he has done for the business owners of Putnam County. If you have a great Jimmy story, please reach out and share it with us!


-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Business Council, “A business advocacy


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