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.

Andy Prescott

Vice Chair

Andy Prescott is the Founder and retired Executive Principal of Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering. He served as board president of NCARB the organization that regulates the practice of architecture throughout the US. Andy also is the past board president of Adirondack Architectural Heritage and serves on the Town of Chesterfield Planning Board. He holds a B.Arch from Georgia Tech and M.Arch from RPI. Andy and his wife Kathy live in Port Douglass on Lake Champlain. They have two grown children and two grandsons. Andy’s ancestors moved from Boston to the Adirondacks in the 1830’s and the family has been here ever since. Although Andy spent the majority of his professional career in Washington DC he and Kathy have always spent as much time as possible in the Adirondacks.

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.

Anne Schoff

Secretary

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.

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.

Carol Blakeslee-Collin

Carol, a retired broadcast journalist, and her husband Jimm have been pulled to the Adirondacks since a 1992 trip. In 2004, they moved fulltime to Keeseville, NY and can often be found at their yurt in Keene Valley during the summer. Carol’s career in journalism began in local television, followed by the Watergate hearings, stints in various documentary units, ABC News 20/20, 21 years at the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and Mountain Lake PBS. She has a BA from Trinity College (DC), a Benton Fellowship from the University of Chicago, and an MA in Education from SUNY Plattsburgh.

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.

Jim Carlisle

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.

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.

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.

Mike Preis

Mike has been coming to the Adirondacks since he was a young child and is the fourth generation in his family to spend summers on Lower Saranac Lake where he maintains a seasonal home. His career included management positions at several companies, management consulting for Peat Marwick Mitchell (now KPMG), and he retired recently from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was on the marketing faculty. He is currently president of the Lower Saranac Lake Shore Owners Association and has served on the boards of several organizations. Mike graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Ph.D. in marketing from The George Washington University. Mike enjoys “simply messing about in boats.”

Elizabeth Ruscitto

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.

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.

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.

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.

Meet Our Staff

Brittany Christenson

Executive Director

Brittany Christenson was hired as AdkAction's first full-time Executive Director in 2016. Since then, she has led the organization to new heights, pioneering food security projects and increasing AdkAction's impact and visibility throughout the Adirondack region. Brittany is motivated by a desire to advance equity and improve rural quality of life. She is a driver of innovation, investment, and change. Prior to her work with AdkAction, Brittany was a farmer and farm operations manager with Fledging Crow Vegetables and a community nutrition coordinator at the North Country Healthy Heart Network. She received her Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Carroll College in Helena, Montana. Brittany serves as the Treasurer of Keeseville Community Development Corporation, Coordinator of the Adirondack Road Salt Working Group, Steering Committee Member of the Essex Farmland Protection Plan, and Co-Chair of the Adirondack Food System Network.  Brittany lives with the love of her life, Lucas, son Njorth, and daughter Lucia on 30 wooded acres on a dead-end road in Keeseville, NY.

You may reach Brittany by emailing her at brittany@adkaction.org.

Jennifer Stanton

Americorps VISTA (Double Up Food Bucks)

Jennifer is an Upstate New York-native, originally from Schoharie, NY, where she grew to love and appreciate small, rural communities. She went on to earn her BS in Environmental Science from SUNY Plattsburgh and supplemented her time learning to boulder/rock climb and taking yoga classes at Memorial Hall. Jenn also interned with the Essex County Planning Board and the Town of St. Armand, specifically focusing on needs assessments and asset mapping, was active in student government in college, and is excited to start her year as an Americorp VISTA member working with AdkAction. Jennifer and her high school sweetheart relocated to Plattsburgh last year with their pup Al and cat Lyra. She enjoys volunteering and being out in her community as well as in nature.

Kimberly La Reau

Project Manager

Kim was born and raised in the Adirondacks and although she’s left a number of times, the mountains keep calling her back. Her passion for environmental justice was sparked at Ithaca College, where she first learned about sustainability and its intersectionality with social justice issues, interned with Greenpeace, and attended the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Kim spent two years working on local food projects in the national service program AmeriCorps and started a children’s community garden with youth in public housing. She loves to travel and lived for three years in Tanzania, East Africa, where she was program director of a nonprofit community development network (and got to summit Mount Kilimanjaro!). In her recent role as Immigrant Resource Coordinator at the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO) of Clinton and Franklin Counties, Kim launched the first immigrant services program in the North Country from 2018 to early 2021. When not working, you can find Kim outdoors- hiking, running, trying her best to keep her garden alive, or playing fetch with her goofy rescue pup, Panache.

Kristina Hartzell

Communications Coordinator

Originally from Buffalo, NY, Kristina Hartzell relocated to Keeseville in 2014 after falling in love with the region’s natural beauty. She is passionate about environmental conservation and helping others through local progressive community action. Kristina believes that the Adirondack Park’s balance between the interests of the environment and people is a situation that presents unique challenges and opportunities for both. 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. When not at a computer, Kristina is likely to be found hiking or canoeing with her husband Mike, cooking, quilting, or enjoying the snow.

Samantha Osborn

Administrative Assistant

Samantha grew up in the Adirondacks and quickly developed a love for the mountains and the people within them. She attended Peru Central School where she developed a strong sense of community and passion for photography. She went on to earn an associate degree in Humanities and Social Sciences from Clinton Community College, where she studied a variety of topics including History, Environmental Science, Meteorology and Creative Writing. After college, Samantha moved to McKinney, TX to pursue a relationship with her now husband, where she worked in a naturopathic office and enjoyed exploring the surrounding areas in Texas and Oklahoma. After two years, the Adirondacks called her and her husband back to Plattsburgh where they are are active in their church. Samantha loves to go hiking, support local small businesses, make creations for her Etsy shop, and learn more history about the area.

Theresa Mitrowitz

Volunteer Coordinator

Theresa was introduced to a love of camping, canoeing and hiking in the Adirondacks by her husband, John, during the mid-1980's. A serendipitous career opportunity in 1986 allowed Theresa and John to live – and raise their two sons, Brian and Ben – in Tupper Lake. For 34 years, Theresa served people through the NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities in a variety of positions – recreation therapist, habilitation specialist and investigator. In addition, she volunteered earnestly and enthusiastically for local groups such as the LPQers Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, the Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon, the Tupper Lakes Arts Center, the Boys Scouts of America, and she organized donation collections for the Tupper Lake Food Pantry. Now widowed and retired, Theresa is dedicating her passion for the Adirondacks, its people and natural environment, through AdkAction as the group continues to address issues that are important to this region.

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