Sunday, May 28, 2023

Recent Comings & Goings around the Adirondack Park

Several Adirondack-area establishments and nonprofit organizations such as the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the NY Federal Reserve Bank Community Advisory Group, and St. Mary’s -St. Alphonsus Regional Catholic School recently announced new hires, departures, and achievements. 

Olympic Authority Begins Search for Next President & CEO 

Lake Placid, NY –  The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (Olympic Authority) has begun planning for the retirement of its President & CEO, Michael Pratt.  Pratt is starting his 38th year with the organization and has served as President & CEO since 2017.

Under Pratt’s leadership, recent years have been among the best in the Olympic Authority‘s history.  The 2022/2023 season surpassed one million visits; it included record-breaking growth in season passes and operational revenue, as well as an expanded scope of the Olympic Authority‘s business segments and year-round activities.

Pratt oversaw extensive upgrades to its venues leading up to the FISU World University Games in January of this year, and comprehensive infrastructure upgrades are ongoing throughout the Olympic Authority‘s three ski areas, Belleayre Mountain, Gore Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain.  These include modernized snowmaking and lift systems, new and enhanced lodge facilities, and improved trail networks.  Mt Van Hoevenberg, the Olympic Center, and the Olympic Jumping Complex have also been recently revitalized and continue to be improved as year-round facilities.

The Olympic Authority operates with demonstrated commitments to sustainability, increasing four-season use of its venues, athlete development and competition, and providing recreational pursuits for persons of all ability levels.  In addition to its six venues in the Adirondacks and Catskills, the Olympic Authority manages the Lake Placid Olympic Museum and Lake Placid Conference Center.  The organization also owns the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, the U.S. Luge Association facility, and the Olympic Authority‘s Administrative offices, all located in Lake Placid.

“Our venues are well-positioned for the future,” stated Joe Martens, Chairman of the Olympic Authority Board of Directors. “Mike is always looking ahead, and, as a result, our venues are now among the best in the world.  The Board commends Mike’s outstanding leadership and wishes him the very best in retirement.”

Information for candidates interested in the Olympic Authority President & CEO position is currently posted on

About the Olympic Authority:

Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (Olympic Authority) was created by the State of New York to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. The Olympic Authority operates Whiteface, Belleayre, and Gore Mountains, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, the James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, the Olympic Jumping Complex, and the Olympic Center. As host to international, national, regional and local events, the Olympic Authority‘s venues are destinations and economic catalysts of the regions it serves.


AARCH Welcomes Wilkes Jordan as new Camp Santanoni Historic Site Manager

Wilkes Jordan

Wilkes Jordan. AARCH website photo.

Wilkes Jordan has joined the AARCH team in the newly-created position of Camp Santanoni Historic Site Manager.

After completing her undergraduate degree in history and museum studies from SUNY Brockport, Wilkes worked at Camp Santanoni as a summer intern in the summer of 2019, where she discovered her strong interest in historic interpretation. Wilkes then returned to Santanoni during the peak of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Her internships at Santanoni inspired her to continue her education as a historian. Following her second Santanoni internship, Wilkes entered the Cooperstown Graduate Program through SUNY Oneonta, focusing on historic preservation, historic interpretation, and public education at museums and historic sites. During her graduate studies Wilkes spent time working or volunteering at the Slate Valley Museum, Hanford Mills Museum, and Little Falls Historical Society. Following graduation, Wilkes worked with her father for a year at Pain in the Glass window repair, preserving historic windows across western New York.

In her free time, Wilkes pursues a number of hobbies, including rockhounding, bird watching, and visual media studies. She will be making her home in Long Lake.

This position is a continuation of AARCH’s partnership with the NYS Department of Environmental ConservationGreat Camp Santanoni is a National Historic Landmark, located in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and in the Essex County town of Newcomb. AARCH manages interpretation and restoration projects at Camp Santanoni in partnership with the site owner, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and with significant support from the Town of Newcomb.



Foundation CEO appointed to NY Federal Reserve Bank Community Advisory Group

Adirondack Foundation logo.

Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Foundation.

Lake Placid, NY — Adirondack Foundation President & CEO Cali Brooks has been appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Community Advisory Group.


The New York Fed oversees the Second Federal Reserve District, which includes New York State, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey, Fairfield County in Connecticut, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and works with other public and private institutions to foster the safety, soundness and vitality of economic and financial systems.


The Community Advisory Group is composed of leaders of nonprofits, community organizations, foundations and anchor institutions; its primary goal is to provide the New York Fed, including President John C. Williams, with a real-time view of the economic issues faced by a diverse set of communities and individuals.


“I am honored to bring to the New York Fed the views and perspectives of the economy and monetary policy held by people and institutions in the Adirondack region,” Brooks said.  “As the community foundation serving the region, we play a key role in identifying and addressing  challenges, such as food insecurity, lack of child care, housing shortages, barriers to college and limited access to vocational training and workforce development. These are just some examples of what will be shared.”


Before joining the Foundation, Brooks served in the public affairs offices of both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. She has served on the Membership Committee for the Council on Foundations, the New York State Attorney General’s Leadership Committee on Nonprofit Revitalization, New York Funders Alliance Board of Directors, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, Common Ground Alliance Core Team and the North Country Health Systems Redesign Commission. She is a 2014 recipient of the Hudson Headwaters Health Foundation Community Champions Award.


For more information on the Community Advisory Group, including a list of the full membership, visit To learn more about Adirondack Foundation, visit

St Mary’s – St Alphonsus Regional Catholic School (SMSA) announces appointment of new Principal, Patrick Gormley

St Mary’s – St Alphonsus Regional Catholic School's (SMSA) new Principal, Mr. Patrick Gormley.

Patrick Gormley. Photo provided by Megan Seeley, Marketing, St Mary’s St Alphonsus School.

Glens Falls, NY – St. Mary’s-St. Alphonsus School (SMSA), in partnership with the Catholic School Office of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, has announced the selection of a new principal, Mr. Patrick Gormley. Gormley is a parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish, graduate of St. Mary’s School in Ballston Spa and Saratoga Central Catholic High School, and veteran educator at Queensbury High School. The appointment takes effect July 1, 2023.


The selection comes following an extensive interview process in collaboration with the pastor, parish community representatives, teachers, and school board members.


“God has brought a true renaissance man to lead SMSA through our next chapter,” said Fr. Scott VanDerveer, Pastor of St. Mary’s Church. “Patrick’s broad education background, along with his coaching and freelance writing and illustrating, make him uniquely qualified to fill our children with a love of learning and pursuing virtue.”


A certified school administrator and certified teacher of English and Art, Mr. Gormley has taught a variety of English courses at Queensbury, including a senior elective on Adirondack Literature that he conceived and designed himself. In addition, Gormley has coached all levels of boys and girls sports, including varsity, JV and modified football; boys and girls lacrosse; and boys and girls basketball. He is a published writer and illustrator with a celebrated talent for drawing caricatures.


“I am so grateful for the opportunity to become the next leader at SMSA,” said Gormley. “I am excited to begin the next chapter of my educational journey and to work collaboratively with Father Scott, the School Board, and with the devoted faculty and staff. As the incoming principal, my first priority is to listen. I intend to learn as much as I can by talking with everyone invested in the success of our great school. As a teacher for the past 30 years, I don’t remember a year when I wanted the summer to end sooner than it did. I can’t wait for September!”


Gormley earned a BA at SUNY Cortland, a Masters in Education at Canisius College in Buffalo, and did his post graduate studies in Educational Leadership at SUNY Plattsburgh. He is the father of Liam, who graduates this spring from Cornell University, and Aiden, who begins officer training at The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, this summer.


The parish and the school will be hosting “Meet the Principal” events throughout the summer to provide members of the community and families an opportunity to welcome Mr. Gormley. St. Mary’s-St. Alphonsus School recently celebrated its 140th anniversary of providing excellence in education in the city of Glens Falls.


About St Mary’s – St Alphonsus Regional Catholic School:
St. Mary’s – St. Alphonsus is the only Catholic elementary school between Saratoga Springs and Ticonderoga. Celebrating its 140th Anniversary this year, the school was started by the Sisters of St.
Joseph of Carondelet in 1883 to serve the families of St. Mary’s parish. Now staffed entirely by laypersons, SMSA is the only Cognia-accredited school in Warren and Washington counties. SMSA serves students from more than 10 local school districts. You can find out more information by visiting or following us on Facebook or Instagram.

Photo at top: ORDA logo. Photo courtesy of Darcy Rowe Norfolk of ORDA.

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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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