Board and Staff

Meet Our Board

Steve Maikowski

Board Chair

Steve and his wife Andrea live on Upper Saranac Lake. Their two grown children, Alex and Claire, and grand daughters Vivienne, Noa, and Sloane visit the Adirondacks as often as possible. Steve retired as Director of NYU Press in 2014 after almost 40 years in academic book publishing. He has a BA in political science from the University of North Texas, and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University. He traces his love of the outdoors to becoming an Eagle Scout while growing up in Michigan. When not out hiking, paddling, swimming, cycling, curling, or snowshoeing, he pursues his passions of reading, food and wine, international travel, and soccer. He is a recent 46er and a “one-time-only” 90 Miler. He is a past chair of the Environmental Committee of the Upper Saranac Lake Association, and is the current Treasurer of the Lake Placid Curling Club.

Jim Carlisle

Vice Chair

Jim Carlisle and his wife Caroline spend about five months a year at Camp Graystone in Westport, where they enjoy sailing, golf, hiking, swimming, cooking, entertaining and hanging out with their two daughters, Jenn and Steph. Having grown up in a small farming town in Northern Missouri and later on the West Coast of Florida, Jim has hiked and camped in nearly every National Park and hiked and rafted the Grand Canyon. He is an Eagle Scout and attended the National Scout Jamboree in 2017. He hosts the Hidden Quarry CATS Trail at his camp. A former competitive windsurfer, Jim still races J24s and other sailboats. Jim retired in 2005 after a career in research, consulting, decision support software, and venture capital. He taught in the graduate schools at Yale and USC and has done research at RAND, the Wharton School and a DARPA think-tank, before founding and running three technology startups. He remains a partner at Timmaron, LLC and Innovation Through Technology, LLC, which advise private equity firms. Jim holds an Engineering Degree with Honors from Princeton and earned his PhD from Yale in Organizational Behavior and Operations Research. For the past few years, Jim has worked with the Economic Development Committee of the Westport Chamber. When not in New York, he and Caroline reside in Colleyville, Texas.

Lee Lamparski

Treasurer

Lee is a retired CPA. She and her late husband, Paul, made Lake Placid their forever home in 2016. Paul was the first in the family to hold the treasurer spot at AdkAction and upon his passing Lee took up the reins. Lee began her career, after graduating from Michigan State University, with Coopers & Lybrand, one of the original “Big 8” accounting firms. She moved to southeastern Pennsylvania to continue her career, get married and raise two girls. In 1993 she obtained a tax practice to assist small business and individuals, retiring in 2017. Lee has been on the board of various charities and is a founding member of the Lake Placid, NY, Rotary Foundation. In addition she currently volunteers for AARP providing free tax preparation for many in the Tri-Lake area. Lee is an avid skier, hiker and equestrian and has begun taking RV trips with her dog around the country.

Elizabeth Ruscitto

Secretary

Elizabeth grew up in Syracuse, New York, and spent many summers with family and friends around the Adirondack Park. Like many others, she kept getting called back to the mountains and moved to the Old Forge, New York area in 2020. She is a venture capitalist, consultant, and angel investor focused on the intersection of data, technology, and communities. For the last 16 years, she's worked with hundreds of startups, not-for-profits, and SaaS companies to build platforms for highly active and diverse communities with millions of members in more than 180 countries. She is known for being a community champion using data-driven frameworks and storytelling to scale impact, innovation, and member engagement.

Andrea Baer

Andrea Baer was born on the island of Jamaica and has been a US Citizen for over thirty years.  Andrea is the owner and president of Adirondack Baer Antiques and Collectables in the Town of Keeseville where she resides with her husband Steven Baer and their twelve-year-old son Cortland Baer. Before relocating to upstate NY,  Andrea worked as the Director of Events for Orange County Chamber of Commerce and also worked for over twenty years in the banking industry in various capacities such as; Branch Supervisor, Business Development Specialist, and Business Development Officer.  Andrea is an active member at her church and serves as a Treasurer for the Gideons International Zone 9 New York. She is also serving on the Board of Trustees for the North Country Underground Railroad and the Governance Committee. Andrea is enthusiastic and enjoys working with people.  Two of her favorite hobbies are fishing and power walking along the beautiful Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain.

W. Buck Bobbin

W. Buck Bobbin is a native of the Hudson Valley, Buck Bobbin was first connected with the Adirondacks while attending Curtis S. Reed Boy Scout camp near Brant Lake. He has canoed much of the Raquette River, finished Boy Scouting as an Eagle Scout and went on to graduate from George Washington University with a degree in International Affairs. Buck worked as a ski instructor in California and New York, and then in electoral politics in Virginia, Illinois, and most recently in the North Country and Adirondack Park of New York. He is currently a regional representative for the New York State Department of Labor, and remains active in environmental conservation, responsible and deliberate economic development, and local Democratic politics. He lives on the Saranac River in Cadyville, NY.

Chris Cohan

Chris has enjoyed The Adirondacks all his life.  Chris and his wife, Rita, split their time between Upper Saranac Lake and Rye, New York.  He has degrees in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture and a Masters in Planning.  As a licensed Landscape Architect, he has designed both private estates and public parks in New York City, Westchester County, and has also managed the Parks & Recreation Department in Stamford, CT. He writes a regular garden column as well and contributes to various magazines. He is a 90-Miler, and hopes to someday be a 46er.

Eric Holmlund

Eric Holmlund is a Professor of Environmental Studies in the Environment and Society Department at Paul Smith’s College. He is also the Director of the Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program, which works to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species on waterways across the Adirondack region. Holmlund also steers a multi-year sustainable development collaboration with the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Appenines in Italy. Holmlund has served as Interim Dean at Paul Smith’s College, as the Director of the Outdoor Education Program at St. Lawrence University, as a senior instructor for the Wilderness Education Association (WEA) and as instructor and Course Director for the New York Outward Bound Center. Holmlund is the author, with Jack Drury, of The Camper’s Guide to Outdoor Pursuits, a book published in 1997.Eric Holmlund holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Dartmouth College, a Master’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation from Southern Illinois University, a Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education from the State University of New York at Potsdam, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England. His research interests include narratives of environmental attachment and socio-political conflict, and aquatic invasive species spread networks via overland transport of recreational watercraft.

Daniel Kiefer-Bach

Daniel grew up in Rochester, New York, and has lived the last 8 years in Longmont, Colorado.  Daniel's partner, Tayler is from Old Forge, New York and it is through her and her family that he found himself relocated to Eagle Bay in 2021.   Daniel's background has predominantly been in Not-For-Profit Management and Social Program Creation. As the current Community Development Specialist for LivingADK (livingadk.org), Daniel spends most of his time out in the community shoring up small town needs such as healthy food access, affordable housing solutions, broadband expansion and year-round sustainable economies resistant to climate change.  Just like everyone else in the Adirondacks, you can find Daniel out canoeing, hiking, camping and xc skiing whenever possible.

Seth McGowan

Seth was born in the Bronx, NY, and resides in Tupper Lake with his wife, Susan. He and his wife raised their three grown children, Laura, Scott, and Sarah in Tupper Lake. He started his career in 1987 in education as an instrumental music teacher in Indian Lake. He took the same position with the Tupper Lake Central School District in 1990 where he later became the computer technology coordinator for the District, elementary school principal, high school principal, and served as the Superintendent of Schools from 2007 until his retirement in 2020. In addition to his membership in Rotary and Kiwanis, Seth is the vice-president of the Adirondack Public Observatory and Chairperson of the Education Committee.

Lisa Salamon

Lisa Salamon retired to the ADKs several years ago to pursue her love of nature, hiking and macro photography.  Now a resident of Minerva in southern Essex County, Lisa moved to the ADKs from Westtown, PA where she lived for 30 years.  Lisa was active on several non-profit boards while leading public relations and investor relations departments for publicly traded healthcare and nuclear utility companies. Lisa and husband Ken, have two daughters in their late 20’s (who are gainfully employed) and live in a hand-hewn cabin on Minerva Lake with a Portuguese Water Dog and Tabby Cat.  Lisa’s close-up photos are frequently featured in NCPR’s Photo of the Day. She is active in several organizations in the Minerva and North Creek communities.

Anne Schoff

Anne grew up in Schenectady, vacationing with her family on Sacandaga Reservoir. She and her husband Jim purchased their summer home on Upper Saranac in 1987. Her educational background, BS in Radio-Television (Ithaca College) and MEd (John Carroll University,) has led her professional career to span both public relations and teaching (grades 1-8) in Cleveland, Ohio. Her board experience in Cleveland includes The Near West Theatre and City Year Cleveland. In the Adirondacks she has served on the Pendragon Theater board and is active with the Birth To Three Alliance through the Adirondack Foundation. Anne and Jim count their ten grandchildren as their greatest contribution to the future of the Adirondack Region.

Ruth Smith

Originally from the Boston area, Ruth came to the Adirondacks with her husband, Craig, to relax at the Smith’s summer camp on Upper Saranac Lake after they completed graduate degrees in 1974.  Since they both enjoyed the many outdoor experiences this region offers, it wasn’t long before they decided that Saranac Lake was the place to call home. Ruth is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, with a B.A. in Biology, and earned a M.S. in Microbiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.  After initially working in biomedical research, Ruth taught environmental microbiology and other science courses at Paul Smith’s College from 1977-2011. Ruth’s community activities include past membership and Board positions in the Saranac Lake Women’s College Scholarship Club, and BluSeed Studios. Inc.  She is currently a Board member of the Upper Saranac Lake Association, and had previously served on its Environmental Committee.  At the Trudeau Institute, Ruth serves on the institutional committee overseeing animal use and care.

Cindy Szeflinski

Cindy started visiting the Adirondacks a few years ago when her fiancé was training for the Ironman in Lake Placid. They fell in love with the area and when the opportunity presented itself last year, they moved up to live in Lake  Placid full time.  Since moving to the area, Cindy has made it a priority to get involved in the community – volunteering with Ironman Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Film Festival, and most recently with AdkAction’s Food Security Projects. 

Cindy has experience working across product development, technology and client management in the finance industry. In her current role, she leads the product roadmap for iOS and Android mobile apps, working with engineers to build new capabilities, and collaborating with clients and stakeholders on launching these features to customers in market. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Business Management and minor in International Relations.  She looks forward to bringing this experience as well as her passion for food security and environmental sustainability to her work with AdkAction. 

Cindy enjoys hiking, kayaking, skiing, and exploring all the amazing things that the Adirondacks have to offer in her spare time.  

Dave Wolff

Dave is a Saranac Lake native and lives at the family homestead on Lake Kiwassa. He is married to Holly and they have two grown boys, Dj and Stephen. He retired from IBM in 2006 after 31 years in sales and consulting. Both Dave and Holly are “46ers”; he has served on the Board of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum; and he is the President of the Lake Kiwassa Shoreowners Association. Dave graduated with a BS in Physics from Trinity College (CT) and earned an MBA from Dartmouth College and an MS in Computer Science from VPI. He served two terms as Chairman of AdkAction and is the Chairperson of the Broadband Committee.

Diana Zais

Diana Prescott Zais, a native of Keeseville, recently moved back to Augur Lake with her husband Gregory and one of her sons Daniel. Her second son Sam enjoys taking in all the Adirondacks have to offer when he visits on his vacations twice a year.

Diana earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s Degree from the Hotel School at Cornell University. She spent the first part of her career in the hospitality industry working for Hyatt and Westin Hotels. In 1991 she left the hotel business to devote her full attention to raising twin sons. Over the next 30 years though the family’s permanent residence was Needham, MA the Zaises escaped to the family home in the Adirondacks whenever possible for long weekends, summer and winter holidays. It was truly their second home.

In 1999, Diana joined Babson College’s Advancement Division assuming the role of Vice President for Development in 2010. She recently retired following the management of two capital campaigns, $216M and $300M respectively, and is enjoying her return to the North Country. Diana continues her involvement in the hospitality industry serving on the Board of Directors of Resort Enterprises, Inc. in Rumney, NH and the AuSable Chasm Company, AuSable Chasm, NY.

Meet Our Staff

Sawyer Cresap

Executive Director

Sawyer joins AdkAction with significant experience and expertise in local food systems and access in rural communities, environmental justice, community engagement, land conservation, and working with organizations and communities across the Adirondack Park.

Following a stint as an Adirondack wilderness guide, Sawyer served two terms in AmeriCorps across New England, implementing natural resource conservation and community development initiatives, managing statewide service projects, and teaching environmental education. At the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy in Albany, she served as the Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator, where she managed 18 public nature preserves, led a team of over 100 volunteers, and directed land management and restoration projects. At the Blue Mountain Center, she helped launch and direct the Center’s “Hamilton Helps” initiative. Sawyer is an avid outdoors person, having hiked the Appalachian and Northville Placid Trails and many Adirondack fire towers.

Hannah Grall

Food Security Projects Coordinator

Originally from Michigan, Hannah's love for the outdoors started at a young age growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan. This passion for our planet and her desire to spend time outdoors led to a wonderful program at Michigan State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sustainability. Since graduation from MSU, Hannah has spent time working on an organic farm using sustainable agricultural practices, engaging communities, educating others, and organizing/coordinating events. Her love of hiking and trail running eventually led her to the Adirondacks, where she has grown to love the community of people and the incredible landscape this area offers. Additionally, she is inspired by the diverse local food system we have here in the Champlain Valley and the resilience of the farmers and communities in the Adirondacks. Hannah earned her Master’s in Natural Resource Conservation with a concentration in Sustainable Communities at Paul Smith’s College. Hannah currently lives in Lake Placid.

 

Kristina Hartzell

Communications and Operations Manager

Kristina relocated to the Adirondacks in 2014 after falling in love with the region’s natural beauty. She is passionate about environmental conservation, and believes that the Adirondack Park’s balance between nature and human communities is a situation that presents unique challenges and opportunities for both. Originally from Buffalo, she is a graduate of Alfred University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 7 years, telling stories through social, digital, and print media. Kristina resides in Keeseville with her husband Mike and cat Thora.

Kendall Taivalkoski

Kendall is originally a Wisconsinite from the Waukesha/Milwaukee area. She grew up with an environmental activist mother which spurred her initial interest in community involvement and action and in visiting many local museums she discovered her love of studying history. She gained her undergraduate education in History at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point where she walked for hours in the local nature reserve and during which she studied abroad in England and Cuba. Kendall's passion for bringing history to public audiences brought her to the University of Massachusetts - Amherst to obtain her Master of Arts degree in history with a certificate in Public History. During her studies there, she gained an interest in Sport History which led her to intern at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. While working in Lake Placid and living in Saranac Lake over the summer of 2018 she fell in love with the area and moved to Lake Placid following her graduation from UMass Amherst. Kendall is eager to give back to the communities of the Adirondack Region and helped contribute to the North Elba Historical Society's oral history project, North Elba Narratives. When she's not working she enjoys listening to music, going on hikes, and cooking with her partner Nolan.

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