Many non-profit organizations and educational institutions in the Adirondack region have recently welcomed new staff members/leadership, including Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES, the Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan (DMP) Committee, Champlain Area Trails, the Saranac Lake Civic Center, and the Lake George Land Conservancy. Please see below for more details on these new hires and appointments.
Champlain Area Trails Expands Community Engagement with New Team Member
Champlain Area Trails (CATS,) an accredited land trust and trails organization, is pleased to announce that it hired Torey Patenaude as its first Community Engagement and Outreach Manager, effective September 12. CATS was awarded a New York State’s Conservation Partnership Program grant to help fund this position. The Land Trust Alliance administers the Conservation Partnership Program in coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Founded in 2009, CATS has created 78 miles of trails, protected 983 acres of land, and hosted hundreds of hikes, outdoor education events, and volunteer workdays in the Champlain Valley, attracting thousands of visitors yearly. As Community Engagement and Outreach Manager, Torey will lead CATS’ community outreach and engagement efforts, including organizing educational programs, community events, and volunteer activities. Her work helps promote CATS’ mission of making trails, protecting land, and connecting people with nature in the Champlain Valley.
“We are thrilled to welcome Torey to the CATS team,” said Chris Maron, Executive Director at CATS. “Her passion for the Adirondacks and experience building community partnerships will help CATS connect more people to nature in the Champlain Valley and encourage more people to get out and enjoy the 78 miles of trails we’ve made and maintain.”
A native of Keene Valley, Torey recently returned to the area after time in Iceland and Utah. She brings a diverse background and experience in community outreach, event planning, volunteer management, and outdoor education.
“I’m excited to hit the ground running and help CATS strengthen its ties to the community,” said Torey Patenaude. “By building partnerships and promoting the benefits of outdoor recreation, we can inspire more people to get outside, enjoy nature, and support land conservation.
To learn more about Champlain Area Trails and opportunities to get involved, visit www.champlainareatrails.com
About Champlain Area Trails: Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is an accredited land trust founded in 2009. CATS’ mission is to make trails, protect land, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality in the Champlain Valley. CATS has created 78 miles of trails, protected 983 acres, and hosted hundreds of hikes, outdoor education outings, and volunteer events, attracting thousands of visitors to the Adirondack’s Champlain Valley. Learn more at champlainareatrails.com
FEH BOCES welcomes two new administrators
Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES is starting the school year welcoming two new administrators: Principal of Special Programs Rosalyn Poirier and Director of Special Programs Noelle Short.
Poirier will be based at North Franklin Educational Center, the FEH BOCES school in Malone, where she will guide an overhaul of the school’s alternative education program. She will also partner with Executive Principal Shawn McMahon to oversee the school’s Career and Technical Education programs.
Working remotely with the whole BOCES, Short is tasked with overseeing the FEH BOCES remote learning academy. She will also be responsible for managing new documentation requirements for families that school their children at home, and she’ll support the FEH BOCES component districts in data-driven decision-making processes.
“These two are insightful, motivated administrators who are bringing in a lot of fresh energy and new ideas,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Lori Tourville. “I’m excited to add them to our excellent instructional staff.”
Students at Adirondack Educational Center will also see a temporary new leader there. Principal Stephanie Murphy will be out on maternity leave for the first few weeks of school, so Social Studies Teacher Alexandria Harris, who is finishing up earning her administrative certification, will serve as interim principal.
Poirier, a Malone resident, was most recently a school counselor at Franklin Academy in the Malone Central School District.
Short lives in Long Lake and was most recently superintendent for Long Lake Central School District.
About Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES:
One of 37 BOCES throughout New York state, Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES runs two educational centers as well as a handful of satellite classrooms, teaching technical education programs that prepare students for careers and alternative education programs that find paths to success for students who don't thrive in a normal classroom setting. FEH BOCES also provides a variety of instructional support services, business services and a number of other services to the 10 school districts in its region: Brushton-Moira Central School, Chateaugay Central School, Lake Placid Central School, Long Lake Central School, Malone Central School, Raquette Lake Union Free School, St. Regis Falls Central School, Salmon River Central School, Saranac Lake Central School and Tupper Lake Central School.
Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan Committee Hires Economic Development Director
Lake Placid, NY – The Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan (DMP) Committee announces the appointment of Adam DeSantis as its Lake Placid / North Elba economic development director.
The position has been created to direct the implementation of the Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan 2030; with the goal of developing a collaborative approach to improving the quality of life and economic opportunities for year-round residents and visitors through the establishment of an effective economic development strategy for the region.
DeSantis’ new role as economic development director includes planning, organizing, and implementation of economic development initiatives, including business attraction and retention, aligning industry investment with regional priorities, supporting housing diversification, engaging in grant writing efforts, research, evaluating and optimizing event management, all while fostering public engagement in the process. During his tenure, he will implement policies and initiatives to attract new industries and professional services, while also leveraging regional strengths, including investments in regional sports venues and existing professional expertise to expand industry segments, ongoing investment, and clusters of professional services.
DeSantis brings extensive experience in housing development, market analysis, business management, budgeting and inter-agency collaboration to the director of economic development position. He served as vice president for a senior housing real estate development group in Albany where he assisted with securing municipal approvals, financing and construction management of numerous senior living communities in the Capital District. Most recently, DeSantis served as the manager of overlay, installations, drawings and signage for the FISU World University Games, which involved ensuring the collaboration of regional partners, including government agencies, ORDA, regional universities and local utilities to ensure successful installation of structures throughout the region in advance of the events.
I am incredibly excited about this opportunity,” DeSantis said. “I’ve learned so much about the region, its incredible organizations, its challenges and its local economy that is very much rooted in tourism. I believe that my role, bringing these organizations together to solve challenges, while enticing new business to the area and keeping the visitor and local resident experience at the core of every decision, will allow the plan to realize its potential and possibly uncover additional opportunities that have yet to be conceptualized.”
DeSantis will report to the North Elba / Lake Placid DMP Committee, with his primary points of contact being the committee co-chairs. The committee comprises representatives from a number of partner organizations, including the Village of Lake Placid, the Town of North Elba, Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid Central School, Adirondack Sports Council, Lake Placid Marathon, New York State Adirondack Park Agency, and the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).
According to Destination Management Plan Committee Co-Chair Emily Kilburn Politi, the committee’s primary objective is to ensure its plan is fully executed, leading to the creation of this important position. “The destination management plan is a well-researched and thoughtful plan, identifying many strengths and outlining many opportunities, while taking into account a variety of perspectives,” she commented. “The economic development director position is paramount to ensuring that the elements of the DMP are enacted; ultimately benefiting the region by ensuring sustainability for its residents, its business and its visitors.”
According to Mary Jane Lawrence, chief operating officer at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), the region’s destination marketing and management organization supports new community initiatives that improve quality of life for residents and the visitor experience. “Destination development and management is important for the sustainability of the region; and – a significant component of ROOST’s strategic plan,” she said. “We look forward to working closely with Adam as part of executing this plan.”
The Town of North Elba and ROOST will allocate funding for the position from the Community Tourism Enhancement Fund portion derived from the additional 2% occupancy tax, paid by those who stay in local lodging properties, implemented in 2020.
About the Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan:
The Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan provides a 10-year road map, aligning the priorities of local government, economic development, community organizations, and residents to balance the tourism industry with community needs. The goal is to ensure a quality of life for residents that complements the quality of the place for visitors.
The plan was initiated by the Town of North Elba, Village of Lake Placid, and ROOST in 2019. The years-long process included research, surveys of public and private stakeholders, focus groups, workshops, town hall meetings and review of various town and regional planning documents. Results of the process identified strengths, opportunities and challenges and developed a series of prioritized action items to ensure that DMP strategies align with and support other community goals.
The destination management plan can be accessed here.
Paul Bell Elected President of the Lake George Land Conservancy
The LGLC Board of Directors elected four new members and thanked four for their years of service
Bolton Landing, NY – The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is pleased to announce that Paul Bell has been elected President of the LGLC Board of Directors. Mr. Bell is taking over the position from past President Jeff Brozyna, who reached his term limit on the Board.
Mr. Bell joined the LGLC Board in November 2020 and had since served two years as Vice-President of Conservation. A resident of Silver Bay, New York, and Laurel Park, North Carolina, Mr. Bell is a retired senior media executive and business strategist with experience in advertising, broadcasting, marketing and publishing. He has over 30 years of volunteer service to non-profit organizations, including experience in leadership development, fundraising, and governance.
LGLC Executive Director Mike Horn said, “Paul has a great sense of what has made the LGLC successful and what is needed to carry this organization forward to best fulfill our mission of protecting the land that protects the lake. I am very much looking forward to working with him as President of the Board.”
“I’m humbled yet excited to be selected by my peers to serve as president of the LGLC Board of Directors,” said Paul Bell. “It will be a great honor to work alongside volunteers and friends from all around the lake’s watershed.”
Mr. Bell continued, “I’m especially indebted to our incredible and highly professional staff team, led by Mike Horn. They’re well known and respected all around the lake. I’m looking forward to partnering with them. Likewise, I’m grateful for the service of my immediate predecessors, Jeff Brozyna and Mike O’Reilly. They’re steadfast supporters of the LGLC. With their continuing counsel our board and staff will move ahead boldly with our mission to protect the land that protects the lake. “
Outgoing Board President Jeff Brozyna joined the LGLC Board in 2011 and served 10 years as Vice-President of Development before stepping into the President position in September of 2022. He also volunteered to lead the LGLC as Interim Executive Director from October through December 2022, while a search for a permanent executive director was underway.
Mr. Horn said, “Jeff has worked tirelessly to advance the Lake George Land Conservancy. His efforts are reflected in the more than 3,000 acres of land permanently protected during his 12-year tenure on the Board, and also in the overall strength and stability of our organization. I am glad that he will join our Advisory Board and continue his relationship with us.”
Other changes and additions to the LGLC Board of Directors include the election of Tracey Clothier, William K. Bixby III, Diane Marr Asiel, and Michael Barrett to the Board; and the appointment of Elizabeth Avery, Ed Becker, Jeff Brozyna, Elizabeth Guest, and Elizabeth Meigher to the Advisory Board. Mrs. Avery is new to the LGLC, while the other four are continuing their involvement after completing the maximum number of years of service as a Director.
In addition, the Board elected Sheryl Arenholz as Vice-President of Conservation and Stewardship, and Tracey Clothier as Vice-President of Administration. George Morris will continue to serve as Vice-President of Finance and Treasurer, Patty HasBrouck as Vice-President of Development, and Bobby von Werne as Secretary.
Mr. Horn said, “Our outgoing Directors have done tremendous work. We are incredibly grateful for their generous contributions over many years, and also for their desire to continue on with our Advisory Board.”
New Directors Joining the Lake George Land Conservancy
Diane Marr Asiel first came to Lake George as a young child and then, as a teenager, worked on the summer staff of the Silver Bay YMCA. She has been coming to the lake ever since. With her husband, John, she now spends most of three seasons at their home in Arcady Bay in Hague. Mrs. Asiel has had a 40-year career in journalism, media relations, and public health communications that included working as a newspaper reporter, university journalism instructor, college public speaking instructor, speechwriter, and 25 years with the New York State Department of Health, from which she retired as deputy director of public affairs. She then went on to serve as vice president of communications for the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a nonprofit research institute. Mrs. Asiel earned a BA degree in English Literature from Elmira College and a MS degree in communication from RPI. She enjoys tennis, boating and hiking around Lake George.
Michael Barrett has been coming to Lake George for over 50 years. His family built a house in Clark Hollow Bay, opposite Clark Island, in 1970. His family, and now their sons’ families, have shared a lifelong love of the lake. Mr. Barrett founded and ran his own lobbying firm, Barrett Associates, for 42 years, representing a variety of business organizations and trade associations before the NYS legislature and various state agencies. He was previously President of the Troy/Albany Youth Hockey Association and is currently Chair of the Finance Committee of Vanderheyden School which serves troubled youth in the Capital District. He is a graduate of Wagner College and holds a MS degree from RPI. Now retired, Mr. Barrett and his wife, Ruth, split their time between Albany and their lake home.
William (“Will”) K. Bixby III is part of a seven-generation Lake George family and a long-time supporter of the LGLC, including as an Advisory Board member since 2012. Recently retired, Mr. Bixby spent his career working in the private equity sector, typically as the first institutional investor in family or owner-operated companies. Most recently he spent over 13 years at Trinity Hunt Partners, building world-class companies across several business sectors. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Economics, Mr. Bixby also received an MBA, with a concentration in Finance, from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Mr. Bixby and his wife, Stacey, have three daughters and split their time between Lake George and Dallas, Texas.
Tracey Clothier has rejoined the Board after being on the Advisory Board for one year. Prior to that, she had served nine years on the LGLC Board, including seven as Secretary. Mrs. Clothier operates her own certified Woman-Owned Business with professional memberships in the American Institute of Certified Planners, American Planning Association, and Capital District Planners Association. She oversees the permitting of special projects and the development of comprehensive plans, watershed management, local waterfront revitalization, open space, recreational needs analysis, environmental impact statements, economic impact analysis, zoning regulations, and grant applications. Mrs. Clothier previously spent 28 years as a senior planner at The LA Group. She resides in the Town of Lake George with her husband, Dale.
About the Lake George Land Conservancy:
Protecting the Land that Protects the Lake since 1988. The LGLC is an accredited, non-profit land trust dedicated to working with willing landowners and other partners to protect the world-renowned water quality of Lake George and to permanently preserve the natural, scenic, historic and recreational resources of the Lake George region.
Since its inception, LGLC’s land protection program has worked directly and with partners to permanently protect 12,180 acres of Lake George wilderness and more than 7 miles of shoreline, and owns and/or manages 15 featured parks and preserves that are open to the public year-round with nearly 40 miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and, at some preserves, hunting and snowmobiling. More information: lglc.org.
Saranac Lake Civic Center Announces Appointment of Officers to its Board of Directors
New members and retiring members also announced
Saranac Lake, NY – The Saranac Lake Civic Center announced today the election of its officers, appointment of three new board members and retirement of two board members. This brings the number of board members to 12.
Three officers — President Ollie Burgess, Secretary Amy Chapin and Treasurer Nancy Heath — have all been re-elected. Victoria Sturgeon is now a newly elected Vice President. She has been a longstanding board member and transitions to that role to replace former vice president Brian Huyck, who retired from the board.
“Being re-elected as the President of the Board during such an exciting time for the Civic Center is an honor,” Burgess said. “I am grateful to the retiring board members but also delighted to welcome such a strong group of new board members.”
The new board members began their year-long term with Saranac Lake Civic Center effective September 12, 2023.
The new board members are:
Tyler Ellithorpe – owner, 1892 Bar & Grille and Tippy Canoe Productions. He has a background in professional, for-profit business ventures. Born and raised in Lake Clear, Tyler has played hockey since he was 5, including at the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
Katherine Healy – recently retired to Saranac Lake 4 years ago, after retirement as an IT Project Manager at United Health. Kathy formerly lived in Connecticut and has been a long-time visitor to the Saranac Lake area with hobbies such as curling.
Stephanie Colby – owner/broker, Acre ADK, with a prior 20-year career in fundraising for entities such as Paul Smith’s College and Northwood School. Stephanie grew up just a few steps from the Civic Center and was an almost daily visitor until she graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1993.
“My husband and I love this area and chose to live here for its wonderful community. I curled at the old [Saranac Lake Civic Center] facility, and volunteered at the World University Games,” Healy said. “I was impressed with the new facility and can see it has great potential to serve the community very well.”
The retiring Board Members, Dalton and Huyck, served the Civic Center for a combined total of more than two decades – each helped to lead the Civic Center through its modernization.
“On behalf of the board, I want to express our gratitude to Darren Dalton and Brian Huyck who have concluded their service as valued board members,” Burgess said. “We wish both of them the best in future endeavors, and we look forward to seeing them at the Civic Center socially.”
About the Saranac Lake Civic Center:
The Saranac Lake Civic Center is a year-round, not-for-profit recreation and events facility, serving the residents and visitors of Saranac Lake and the surrounding Adirondack community. The Saranac Lake Civic Center serves residents and visitors from across the region and beyond. Its regular users include local youth hockey, high school players from Saranac Lake and Lake Placid Central Schools, women’s and men’s adult recreational hockey, Lake Placid Curling Club, Paul Smith’s College, Northwood School and more. Expanded users include tournament users (such as Can-Am Hockey, Canadian Hockey Enterprises, Empire State Winter Games) and exposition organizers to take advantage of the event space.
Photo at top: Torey Patenaude, Community Engagement and Outreach Manager at CATS. Photo courtesy of Champlain Area Trails.