Point Positive receives 2024 Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award

Melinda Little, Point Positive Coordinator, is pictured with Farm Credit East Board Chair Laurie Griffen, CoBank Executive Vice President Brenda Frank and Farm Credit East CEO Mike Reynolds. (Provided photo)

SARANAC LAKE — Point Positive, Inc., an angel investment organization serving the greater Adirondacks, recently received the 2024 Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award from Farm Credit East in recognition of its efforts to revitalize rural communities in the Northeast.

“Thank you to Farm Credit East for recognizing organizations like ours and providing the support needed for aspiring entrepreneurs to start or accelerate their businesses and create jobs that also help regional communities to thrive,” Point Positive Co-Founder Adele Connors said. “We are honored to receive this award.”

The award was created by Farm Credit East’s Board of Directors in 2020 to recognize former Farm Credit East CEO Bill Lipinski and aims to recognize innovative and transformational efforts to revitalize Northeast rural communities.

Lipinski was an advocate for Northeast rural communities. During his tenure, he witnessed the economic success of some rural areas while others faced hardships, including real or perceived lack of job opportunities/loss of key employers, declining populations/demographics, et cetera. Lipinski understood that the long-term success of Farm Credit customers depends on not only the vitality of their individual business, but also on the health of the rural communities where they are based, and he felt Farm Credit East could do more to combat this disparity among rural communities. That is why the Farm Credit East Board of Directors established the Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award upon his retirement — to grow the organization’s support of rural communities in his honor.

“There is a significant need for investment in rural areas,” said Tom Cosgrove, Farm Credit East executive vice president. “Point Positive is not only providing capital to drive economic growth, but the coaching and mentoring it provides will help position these businesses for long-term success.”

In 2023, Point Positive reached the $5 million milestone in its effort to leverage private investment to achieve economic impacts through entrepreneurship in the greater Adirondacks. Launched in 2014, the organization has vetted over 100 ventures and financed 13 companies, none of which are directly based on tourism, providing a stronger diversified economy in the Adirondacks. Point Positive estimates that the investments have triggered millions in additional capital and more than 145 new professional jobs to date, and 40 to 50 jobs in the coming year.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region has grown significantly over the last 5-10 years,” said Melinda Little, Point Positive coordinator. “This award is testament to the commitment of our member investors and their private capital working in tandem with loans, education, outreach, and mentoring to move rural economies forward.”

The $25,000 award is made possible by contributions from Farm Credit East matched by its strategic partner, CoBank, and will be utilized for additional outreach, education and mentoring.


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