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ANCA announces 3 new board members

(Photos provided)

SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack North Country Association announced three new board members at its 2020 Annual Meeting, which focused on the importance of centering racial equity in economic development efforts across the region.

The new directors are Brittany Davis, executive director of the Lewis County Economic Development and Industrial Development Agency; Lee Evans, sales director for US Light Energy; and Ty Stone, president of Jefferson Community College.

Board President Jim Sonneborn opened the Sept. 18 virtual meeting, which was attended by more than 70 people. Sonneborn, attorney at Bousquet Holstein PLLC, welcomed the new directors, acknowledged outgoing board members and reinstated the board’s slate of officers.

He also announced the board’s adoption of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resolution, which can be found on the ANCA website at www.adirondack.org/DEI-Resolution.

“Brittany, Lee and Ty bring unique professional and personal experiences to the board that will strengthen our organization during this pivotal time for our region and our economy, “ ANCA Executive Director Kate Fish said in a press release. “Their insight and expertise will help advance ANCA’s mission to increase equity, opportunity and resilience in the face of three current crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, structural racism and climate change.”

Brittany Davis manages the Lewis County Economic Development and IDA’s daily operations, business development initiatives, strategic planning, and coordination with local, regional and state partners, and oversees marketing and public relations. She serves on boards and committees including the Pratt-Northam Foundation, the Village of Lowville Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee, the New York State Economic Development Council Board of Directors and Drum County Business. She holds a master’s degree in organizational performance and leadership from SUNY Potsdam and is currently working to become a certified economic developer.

“Since I started my career in economic development, I have looked to ANCA for creative inspiration in programming, initiatives and community development,” she said in the release. “Serving on the ANCA board connects myself, and Lewis County, with regional and statewide experts, creative consultants and leaders who share the same passion for growing and promoting this beautiful place we call home.”

Lee Evans currently serves as sales director at US Light Energy, a community solar developer based in Latham, near Albany. Prior to taking on this position in August, he was a senior partner at ReWire Energy in Saratoga Springs, where he oversaw business development and sales. He co-founded the family-owned solar company in 2016. Evans also has 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He holds a master’s of business administration from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY Albany.

“ANCA’s work is especially relevant during our current times,” he said in the release. “The organization is well positioned to respond to the challenges our communities are facing with programs that are appropriate and effective for this unique region. As a new board member, I look forward to supporting ANCA’s efforts in the clean energy sector as well as its growing leadership around issues of diversity and inclusion in the North Country.”

Ty Stone has served as president of Jefferson Community College in Watertown since July 2017. She has professional experience in higher education and nonprofit sectors including fiscal management, strategic planning, enrollment planning, instruction, human resources, fundraising and facilities management. She currently serves as co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Economic and Workforce Development. She also serves on the boards of Jefferson-Lewis Workforce Development and Advocate DRUM, the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization. She holds a doctorate in organization and management from Capella University, a master’s in business administration from Trinity University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Union College.

“The work of ANCA to bring communities together and work collaboratively on initiatives that spur economic growth and support local businesses of all sizes is vitally important, as it ultimately brings prosperity to the entire northern New York region,” Stone said in the release. “I am both excited and honored to join the ANCA Board of Directors and become part of this transformational organization.”

In addition to welcoming the new board members, Sonneborn thanked outgoing directors Cathy Dove, former president at Paul Smith’s College, and Stephen Stofelano Jr., business teacher at Wells Central School. He also announced the board’s vote to reinstate the following executive officers for another year:

¯ President: Jim Sonneborn, attorney, Bousquet Holstein PLLC

¯ Vice president: Kelly Chezum; director of external relations, Clarkson University

¯ Treasurer: Chris Hunsinger, director, Warren County Employment and Training Administration

¯ Secretary: Katie Malinowski, executive director, Tug Hill Commission

¯ Capital Region vice president: John Bartow, executive director, Empire State Forest Products Association

¯ North Country region vice president: Brendan Owens, attorney, Stafford Owens PLLC.

The annual meeting featured presentations about racial equity in the economic sectors of food and agriculture, clean energy and entrepreneurship, led by Adam Dewbury, local food system coordinator at ANCA; Bryana DiFonzo, director of new economy at PUSH Buffalo; and Valerie D. White, executive director at LISC NYC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation of New York City).

“There are a lot of people who are genuinely interested and want to make the situation better,” Sonneborn said of meeting participants.

“We sit at a moment of opportunity. The region is at a moment of opportunity,” he said, citing the ANCA community’s vision for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the North Country. “We have the opportunity to set examples that can be emulated everywhere. It will take us and our efforts as individuals to make the changes we need to make.”

ANCA is a nonprofit corporation committed to building prosperity across northern New York.

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