Sunday, October 31, 2021

New staff added to Adirondack nonprofits

now hiringHere’s a round up of recent new hires at nonprofits around the Adirondack region:

Adirondack Council Hires Blake Neumann as Clean Water Advocate  

The Adirondack Council announced another important addition to its rapidly expanding Conservation Team team, Blake Neumann, who will fill the newly created role of Clean Water Advocate.


Blake Neumann, who will fill the newly created role of Clean Water Advocate at the Adirondack Council. Photo provided

Neumann will work with local partners to develop and implement water quality protection and aquatic invasive species management strategies for Raquette Lake and surrounding watersheds.

“This is a big step for the Adirondack Council and the Park,” said Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Our main office in Essex County makes it easy for our staff to keep tabs on what is happening in the Lake Champlain and Hudson River watersheds, but not so easy to interact with scientists, advocates and residents in the northwestern Adirondacks, where the lakes and rivers flow to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  We are also concerned with the future of the Moose River and Fulton Chain Lakes.  We are thrilled that our supporters have made it possible for us to assign full time staff to this vital task.

“It is easy to overlook just how large the Adirondack Park really is,” Janeway said.  “It is bigger, for example, than Massachusetts and Rhode Island, combined. So it is essential that the Park’s largest environmental organization have a physical presence in several locations.  We have wanted to expand into the Raquette Lake and the Old Forge/Inlet area for some time.”

Neumann comes to the Adirondack Council from Green Bay, Wisc., where he was working on water quality projects with The Nature Conservancy.  There, he was working to bridge funding gaps and guide strategic planning for flood resilience measures, on a watershed scale.

Neumann also brings expertise from his work at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, where he coordinated research and outreach activities. Neumann holds a Master’s degree in Water and Wetland Resource Studies from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a Master’s of Public Administration and Environmental Policy from Syracuse University.

Derek Rogers Joins Adirondack Land Trust Staff

KEENE — Derek Rogers has joined the staff of the Adirondack Land Trust as stewardship manager. In this role he will work to engage people in the value and benefits of protected lands, and to help landowners maintain and enhance lands conserved in partnership with the land trust.

derek rogers

Derek Rogers has joined the staff of the Adirondack Land Trust as stewardship manager. Photo provided

Rogers has worked for more than 15 years in conservation. His deep passion for bird conservation in particular has helped him connect people to nature as director of preserves for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island and, most recently, as director of development at Champlain Area Trails. Derek has guided birding and conservation field trips across eastern New York and in Central and South America.

His dedication to birding and conservation extends to volunteer and citizen science leadership roles. He is on the Northern New York Audubon board of directors and has volunteered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology eBird program for more than ten years as a regional data quality reviewer for the Adirondack and Long Island and region. As a voting member of the New York State Avian Records Committee, he also contributed to The Kingbird, a quarterly journal devoted to preserving and understanding New York State’s ornithological history.

A SUNY Plattsburgh alumnus, Rogers is thrilled to be in the North Country working to conserve this dynamic landscape. He lives in Willsboro with his wife and two daughters.

The mission of the Adirondack Land Trust is to forever conserve the forests, farmlands, waters and wild places that advance the quality of life of our communities and the ecological integrity of the Adirondacks. The land trust has protected 26,710 acres since its founding in 1984.

Bellingham, Cavanagh join the team at Adirondack Foundation
Lori Bellingham

Lori Bellingham steps into the role of vice president of community impact at Adirondack Foundation. Photo provided.

 LAKE PLACID — Adirondack Foundation recently welcomed two new staff members to its team: Lori Bellingham and Katie Cavanagh.

“Adirondack Foundation relies on its dynamic, passionate staff to serve the needs of our region’s communities,” said Cali Brooks, president and CEO of Adirondack Foundation. “We cover a vast geographic area — working with nonprofits of all sizes, and with donors who want to make a difference, which means we need to be prepared to rise to the occasion. Lori and Katie will help us do just that.”

Bellingham returns to the Adirondacks with a deep background in community work that began with City Year, an education nonprofit in Boston dedicated to helping students and schools succeed.

From there, she went on to focus on rural communities throughout Colorado, where she worked at the El Pomar Foundation and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. She brings with her experience in senior communications, marketing and development, with a demonstrated history in the philanthropic sector.

Bellingham steps into the role of vice president of community impact.

Katie Cavanaugh

Katie Cavanagh is now Adirondack Foundation’s office administrator and grants assistant. Photo provided

“Nonprofits and other community institutions reflect both the need and the promise of a community,” Bellingham said. “I look forward to using my experience to help Adirondack communities fulfill that promise.”

Cavanagh comes to Adirondack Foundation with a unique skill set, having served as a corporate sales representative at Estée Lauder Companies and, most recently, as a closing coordinator and title paralegal at a real estate law firm in Lake Placid. She attended SUNY Oneonta, where she studied fashion merchandising, including a semester abroad in Italy at Florence University of the Arts.

In addition, she recently completed her certification as a health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Cavanagh is now Adirondack Foundation’s office administrator and grants assistant.

“I love the Adirondack region,” Cavanagh said. “I’m honored to go to work every day at an organization that seeks to make a difference in our communities.”

Heart Network welcomes new school coordinator

SARANAC LAKE — The Heart Network recently welcomed Andrew Cassata as school coordinator for its Creating Healthy Schools & Communities (CHSC) program.

In his new position, Cassata will perform planning, implementation, outreach and other services supporting school partners in Franklin County. The CHSC program works to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity in schools, communities and early childcare settings.


The Heart Network recently welcomed Andrew Cassata as school coordinator for its Creating Healthy Schools & Communities (CHSC) program. Photo provided

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to support our school system,” Cassata said. “Nutrition and physical activity are absolutely essential to the social and emotional growth of students — without those two building blocks, kids and teens face a steeper climb to attain educational success.”

Cassata came to the Adirondacks in 2016 to attend Paul Smith’s College, studying sustainability and business development. He now operates his own farm and sustainable land development business in his spare time. Cassata has been involved with agriculture and the food production community since 2010, with a particular passion for teaching and infrastructure development.

In his spare time, Cassata enjoys paddling, fishing, hiking and wood working with his fiance.

“People are at the core of our work at the Heart Network,” said Ann Morgan, the Heart Network’s executive director. “To carry out our programming in a broad rural region, we need committed individuals who care about the success of our schools and communities. We’re so grateful that Andrew is bringing his passion and dedication to our team.”

In addition to CHSC, the Heart Network also administers the Health Systems for a Tobacco Free North Country program, which focuses on advancing health care providers’ efforts at identifying and treating nicotine addiction among their patients in both medical and behavioral health settings, and the North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition, a network of healthcare providers, community-based organizations,and other regional stakeholders working to replicate and expand evidence-based diabetes prevention programs across the North Country.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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