Monday, March 27, 2023

Adirondack area non-profits welcome new hires

Several Adirondack area non-profit organizations, including Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), Adirondack Land Trust, and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) recently welcomed new staff and officers to their teams.


Lake Placid, NY — The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) recently announced the arrival of three new full-time staff.


Jason Clark, Hospitality Director:

Last January, Jason Clark began working as ADK’s new Hospitality Director. Jason brings decades of business and marketing experience, including leadership roles with Schering-Plough Corporation and Roche Labs. In his new role, Jason oversees lodging and food service operations at the Heart Lake Program Center and Johns Brook Properties.

“With some 30,000 overnight guests every year, ADK’s overnight lodging and camping facilities play a key role in welcoming people to the Adirondack Park,” said Julia Goren, ADK Deputy Executive Director. “Jason brings a wealth of experience to the team that will help us magnify that impact.”

Jason Clark, ADK Hospitality Director

Jason Clark, ADK Hospitality Director. Photo provided by Benjamin Brosseau, ADK, Director of Communications.

Liam Ebner, Summit Steward Coordinator:

Earlier this month, ADK welcomed Liam Ebner back to the organization as its Summit Steward Coordinator. Liam previously worked in 2021 and 2022 as a summit steward and rejoins ADK after earning a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Liam will oversee the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program, including its outreach and research efforts. He made headlines last fall after re-discovering purple crowberry on Mt. Mansfield, an alpine species that had been declared extirpated from Vermont in 1908.

Kayla White, who previously held the role, was promoted to a more senior position within ADK and will continue to support the Summit Stewardship Program.

Liam Ebner, ADK Summit Steward Coordinator

Liam Ebner, ADK Summit Steward Coordinator. Photo provided by Benjamin Brosseau, ADK, Director of Communications.

Eliza Phillips, Outreach Coordinator:

In early March, ADK will expand its educational outreach efforts by welcoming Eliza Phillips to the team as Outreach Coordinator. Eliza joins the team from Ijams Nature Center with nearly four years of experience in environmental education, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and interpretation from SUNY ESF. In her role, she will lead school programs and other interpretive programming based at ADK‘s Heart Lake Program Center, Cascade Welcome Center, and Johns Brook Lodge.

“Through our numerous outreach programs, ADK works to inspire people to protect the Adirondack Park. Eliza brings a lot of great experience that will allow us to continue this important work,” said Seth Jones, ADK Education Director.

Maggie Newell, who previously held the role, was promoted to Outreach Manager and will oversee all interpretive programming and staff.

Eliza Phillips, ADK Outreach Coordinator

Eliza Phillips, ADK Outreach Coordinator. Photo provided by Benjamin Brosseau, ADK, Director of Communications.

About ADK:

Based out of the Adirondack Park in New York State, ADK is a leader in providing outdoor education, promoting responsible recreation, and organizing stewardship experiences. Since 1922, the organization has worked to increase access to the backcountry by building trails, conserving natural areas, and developing a stewardship community that supports the ethical and safe use of New York’s outdoor spaces. A member, donor, and volunteer-supported organization, ADK reaches across New York through its 27 chapters to inspire people to enjoy the outdoors ethically.


Adirondack Land Trust Welcomes New Staff

Keene, NY— The Adirondack Land Trust welcomes to its staff Olivia Dwyer, communications specialist, and Joe Scrimenti, office administrator.

Olivia Dwyer earned a BS in natural resources from Cornell University, then worked as a journalist focused on outdoor recreation, public lands, environmental issues, and the social concerns of North America’s mountain communities. Her appreciation for wild lands and waters began with the many treks of her Adirondack childhood. In addition to volunteering with her local library and town parks, she also makes time for human-powered outings on dirt, snow, and water.

“A lifetime in the Adirondacks means my health has benefited from clean air and water, protected lands have served as both classroom and inspiration, and I’ve been nurtured by the grit, creativity, and generosity of our communities,” Olivia says. “I’m thrilled to join an organization dedicated to ensuring these resources are accessible forever to everyone who loves the Adirondacks.”

Olivia Dwyer

Olivia Dwyer. Photo by Lisa Godfrey.

Joe Scrimenti was introduced to the Adirondacks while obtaining a BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new summits, playing music, and watching movies. Scrimenti has worked in stewardship, interpretation, and education roles at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Yosemite Conservancy, Asbury Woods Nature Center in Pennsylvania, and 350Vermont. He brings community outreach and coalition building skills from political campaigns to his burgeoning conservation career.

“The Adirondacks have a special way of remaining with people long after a first visit. For me, that was six years ago, and I’ve known since then that I wanted to return,” says Scrimenti. “After establishing my environmental conservation background in other states and parks, I am fortunate to now call the Adirondacks home. I look forward to contributing to the beauty and vibrancy of this land and the communities it sustains.”

Joe Scrimenti

Joe Scrimenti. Photo by Lisa Godfrey.

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. Since 1984, the land trust has protected 27,606 acres at 100 sites in 43 towns across the Adirondacks.

To learn more, visit or contact, (518) 576-2400.


Regional Office Of Sustainable Tourism Announces 2023 Board Of Directors And Officers

Lake Placid, NY – The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) Board of Directors elected new officers at its recent annual meeting. The board has also added two ex-officio members this year, as much of its work includes communities throughout Essex County.

Mary Jane Lawrence, ROOST chief operating officer, explained the importance of adding representation from Essex County. “This year, ROOST has created two ex officio board seats, specifically for members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors. Town of North Hudson Supervisor Stephanie Dezalia, along with Town of Jay Supervisor Matt Stanley have joined the board to share their local knowledge and expertise regarding county- and community-specific challenges and needs,” she said. “As we continue to focus on destination management, representation from the Essex County board of supervisors will be very helpful.”

Newly appointed officers, elected by their fellow board members, include Nick Politi, chair; Chandler Ralph, vice chair; Marc Galvin, treasurer; Hillarie Logan-Dechene, secretary.

Nick Politi is a lifelong resident of the Lake Placid area. His professional background focused on real estate sales within the Adirondacks; offering expertise regarding local economic and housing trends. Nick currently owns and operates Merrill L. Thomas, Inc., along with his family. He represents the Lake Placid area.

Chandler Ralph is the former chief executive officer at Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake. During her 21 year career at Adirondack Health, Ms. Ralph oversaw a growing network comprising health centers, a hospital, nursing home, and physical therapy center. Her tenure saw the rapid and significant change of healthcare within the upstate New York region, along with its role as an economic driver. Ms. Ralph represents the Saranac Lake region

Marc Galvin is the owner of The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid. Marc’s retail and business expertise offers ROOST a unique perspective regarding retail in the Adirondack region and specifically, within Lake Placid. He represents the Lake Placid region.

Hillarie Logan-Dechene is the deputy director of the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Her expertise in tourism-oriented venues within the Adirondacks provides an important context when discussing tourism and visitor experiences within the region. Ms. Logan-Dechene represents the Hamilton County region.

Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) officers will serve in their executive role for one year; each term is three years, and ROOST board members can serve a maximum of three terms. Each board member represents a different industry and region of the Adirondacks.

According to ROOST CEO Jim McKenna, the board of directors is responsible for setting the organization’s overall direction. “The board focuses on ROOST’s strategic goals and on its high level initiatives,” he said. “This mission of the organizations is always at the forefront of decisions and plans that are developed and implemented.”

Additional ROOST board members include: Lisa Hess-Marks from Schroon Lake, Karen Dalton from Willsboro, Joe Gehm representing Tupper Lake, Jodi Gunther from Saranac Lake, Charles (Chip) Grundon from Wilmington, Mark Jessie from Tupper Lake, Leslie Karason from Saranac Lake, James Lemons and Garrick Smith both from Lake Placid, and Mariann Rapple representing the Lake Champlain region.

Sarah Wilson, who served nine years on the board, reached the end of her term after serving as board chair in 2022.

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the destination marketing and management organization for Hamilton and Essex counties, including the communities of Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, all located within the Adirondacks in New York state.

Related Stories

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

2 Responses

  1. Stephen Stofelano Jr. says:

    There is obviously great talent in all of these hires, yet with all of the efforts of late for the Adirondacks to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive these organizations appear to have missed this needed initiative.

  2. stephen stofelano says:

    While there appears to be a great deal of talent in these hires the diversity, equity and inclusive initiative efforts going on throughout the Adirondacks seems to have been missed here?

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