Thursday, October 29, 2015

Owens, Paine Usher Changes At Adirondack Foundation

Peter Paine and Bill Owens - Courtesy Adirondack FoundationFormer North Country Congressman Bill Owens has returned to the Adirondack Foundation’s Board of Trustees. At the same time, the foundation has bid farewell to longtime Trustee Peter Paine of Willsboro.

Owens, who lives in Plattsburgh, was one of the community foundation’s founding trustees, originally serving on the board from 1997 to 1999.

Owens is the senior partner in the Plattsburgh law firm Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher & Trombley. He also serves on the board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and North Country Thrive, a partner of Adirondack Foundation’s Birth to Three Alliance.

Owens graduated summa cum laude from Manhattan College in 1971 with a degree in business administration. He earned his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1974. He served as a captain in the United States Air Force for over three decades, and was stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Upon the base’s closing in 1995, Owens helped establish the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation to reuse the space.

In Congress, Owens was a member of the House Appropriations Committee and belonged to a number of caucuses, including the Northern Border Caucus. He represented, as  a Democrat, New York’s 23rd District in 2009-2012 and a redistricted 21st District in 2013 and 2014. He declined to run for re-election for the seat, now held by Republican Elise Stefanik.

Peter Paine Honored

Peter Paine was honored at the foundation’s Oct. 23 board meeting for his nine years of service.

“There could be volumes written about Peter’s service to the Adirondacks—from his work on Governor Rockefeller’s Temporary Study Commission and the Adirondack Park Agency onward,” John Ernst, chair of Adirondack Foundation’s Board of Trustees said in a statement sent to the press. “The foundation has been fortunate to be associated with someone who has been critical to the formation, classification and preservation of the Adirondack Park. He has been a visionary, energetic and deeply knowledgeable board member, chairing the ad hoc legal committee and helping to foster the growth of Adirondack Foundation for nearly a decade. Though the foundation will maintain an important link with him through his continued service on the legal committee and through his philanthropy, his presence will be sorely missed.”

New Exec For Birth To Three Alliance

The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance (BT3), a project of Adirondack Foundation, has hired Susan Mack as its executive director.  Mack comes to the area from Los Alamos, N.M., where she was executive director of Family Strengths Network since 2005.

The BT3 Alliance formed last April when Adirondack Foundation convened 36 resource providers for children from the ages from birth to three, and their families, in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties and the St. Regis Mohawk Nation. The program is expanding to include organizations that provide resources to the BT3 contingent, including county government, public schools, libraries, and doctors – in effect, everyone who touches the lives of young children. A steering committee has been meeting bi-weekly to establish structure and set strategic goals. BT3 has joined the North Country Thrive network, which aims to support people from cradle to career.

Funding for BT3’s first two years is being provided by private donors. To encourage giving, the Cloudsplitter Foundation has offered a matching challenge of $150,000. Adirondack Foundation thanks Cloudsplitter and all of the people and foundations who have already given. For information about making a gift to BT3,  visit or call Mel Eisinger (518) 523-9904.

Photo of Peter Paine (l) and Bill Owens provided.

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