Saturday, August 14, 2021

Spirit of Generosity: Doing Business, for Good

nancy monette

Nancy Monette. Photo by Erika Bailey, provided by Adirondack Foundation

For Malone residents Bruce and Nancy Monette, their businesses are inextricably tied to the people in the Adirondack region who they have had long connections to as neighbors, employees, or customers. With their business growth came their Spirit of Generosity.

Nancy — who, in the interest of full disclosure, is a trustee of Adirondack Foundation — always finds time for a visit at her Malone office, a tiny command center tucked into a corner of one of her family’s businesses, a Mountain Mart gas station, Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, and convenience store on Route 11. The store happens to be on what was once the site of the Monette dairy farm owned by Bruce’s family. Entrepreneurial and community oriented, she and Bruce have developed with his brothers a multifaceted company that started with Adirondack Energy, a fuel oil delivery business Bruce began in the late 1980s.

Adirondack Energy is at the core of a group of Monette businesses that include, in part, nine Mountain Marts; Adirondack Propane; a Dairy Queen franchise; Adirondack Powersports, a store that sells motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and other outdoor recreation equipment; a storage container rental service; and more recently, Titus Mountain Ski Area. Not to mention ownership of a hotel, restaurant, and liquor store.

Bruce and Nancy see giving back as a necessary component of success, especially when that success is built in a community in which they have deep roots.

Over time, through their employees and local connections, they heard about more and more needs surfacing in their region, especially needs connected to children. Today, proudly displayed on their website alongside their multiple businesses is Adirondack for Kids, the charitable fund established at Adirondack Foundation in 2009 that Nancy heads.

Adirondack for Kids has become a major community resource fueled by business and individual donations primarily from an annual corporate golf tournament that has brought in hundreds of thousands of charitable dollars. This fund has directed hundreds of grants over the years to help projects big and small that provide for the wellbeing, educational, and recreational needs of children across the region.

Among the projects supported have been revitalizing a Malone recreational park, providing winter coats for children, adding an isolette at the hospital, sponsoring school ski programs, and most recently, helping the YMCA establish temporary day care centers in three towns for frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

We hope that the Spirit of Generosity that Nancy and Bruce embody inspires more business owners and entrepreneurs to use their position to give back to our communities.


All summer long, Adirondack Foundation is celebrating the Spirit of Generosity by highlighting stories about the generous people, organizations, and collaborations that enrich the lives of people in the Adirondacks. Every Saturday, Adirondack Almanack will share an essay by Cali Brooks, President and CEO, about some of the people and programs that Adirondack Foundation invests in and partners with to enhance the lives of people in the Adirondacks through philanthropy.  Readers can win the opportunity to direct a grant to an organization that aligns with the Foundation’s Generous Acts program. To enter, simply create a social media post that captures what generosity means to you and tag Adirondack Foundation’s accounts.

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Cali Brooks is president & CEO of Adirondack Foundation. After working with nonprofit organizations in Southeast Asia, Central America, and the United States, Cali returned home to the Adirondacks and worked for the HKH Foundation where she conducted a survey to assess the economic, social, cultural, and environmental strengths of the Adirondack region. She then joined the Public Affairs office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and co-founded the Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program. She and her family live in and love the Adirondacks.

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