Banner Image

News and Info from members of the North Country Chamber

Champlain Centre Welcomes New General Manager

Pyramid Management Group has named Lisa Getty as the new General Manager for Champlain Centre in Plattsburgh, New York.
With a diverse mix of more than 50 tenants including shoes, apparel, entertainment, and dining, Champlain Centre is home to many top brands and top retailers. In her new role, Getty will primarily be responsible for handling on-site leasing activity, while also overseeing marketing efforts and daily operations.
Getty, who resides in Champlain, has lived in Clinton County for 25 years. Before joining Pyramid, Ms. Getty worked as a Communications Specialist for Future Electronics in Montreal, where she specialized in creating advertising campaigns, copywriting, and social media messaging. In addition to her marketing experience, she has an extensive background in shopping center management, having held similar positions with Miromar Development (based in Florida), Cabral Realty (based in New Hampshire), and Crown American (based in Pennsylvania) in prior years.
“I look forward to working with the team at Champlain Centre, and continuing to build on the mall’s longstanding history and impressive reputation as the North Country’s premier shopping and entertainment destination,” said Getty.
Ms. Getty’s predecessor, Alan Fortine, was recently promoted to the GM position at another Pyramid property, Manassas Mall in Manassas, Virginia.
For updates and information on events like these please visit our website at, like us on Facebook at, and follow us on Instagram at 

Canine Adventure, LLC now offers training for AKC Trick Dog titles

Canine Adventure, LLC now offers training for AKC Trick Dog titles.  Five local dog/handler teams who participated in the premier class were recently awarded A.K.C. Trick Dog titles.  Head Trainer Deborah Jay DeSilva, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant and approved AKC Trick Dog Evaluator will be offering this class again in the Fall.

Greg Berman, Thurston Kelly, and Shannon Eagan of Canine Adventure Receive Awards

Greg Berman, Thurston Kelly, and Shannon Eagan of Canine Adventure, LLC have been awarded the Pet Professional Guild's Pet First Aid certificate of competence.  According to PPG President, Niki Tudge, “Having Pet First Aid Skills is fundamental to our industry and to the PPG’s guiding principles. Everyone can benefit from learning some basic first aid and earning this certificate of competence not only demonstrates the member’s skill and knowledge but also shows a commitment to the pet industry profession. Our new program is very comprehensive requiring the PPG member to pass a rigorous knowledge and practical examination in order to earn the certification.”

Armstrong Earns New York State Professional Engineer License

Beardsley Architects + Engineers is pleased to announce that Chelsea Armstrong, P.E., has earned her professional engineering license in the State of New York. She is a graduate of Clarkson University and has been employed by Beardsley since 2013.

Chelsea is currently working on multiple projects for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation including a new camping loop at Southwick Beach State Park, and marina improvements at Sampson State Park.

For more information on Beardsley Architects + Engineers, visit

Mumby Joins Beardsley Architects + Engineers

Beardsley Architects + Engineers is pleased to announce that Ryan Mumby, E.I.T., has joined the firm as structural designer.

Ryan graduated from Clarkson University in 2018 with a degree in Civil Engineering. In the summer of 2017, Ryan was an intern at Beardsley working alongside the structural engineering team. At Beardsley, Ryan will be working on projects for our governmental, educational, municipal, and state clients.

For more information on Beardsley Architects + Engineers, visit

Champlain National Bank Awards $5,000 in Scholarships to Local Students

Champlain National Bank gave $5,000 in scholarship money to graduating seniors throughout Essex and Clinton Counties at graduation ceremonies in June.  Recipients of the Champlain National Bank Scholarship receive $500 towards college expenses, and were treated to a special luncheon at the Bank’s headquarters in Willsboro, where they were able to meet and chat with President and CEO Steven Cacchio.

Champlain National Bank Scholarships are awarded every year at graduation to students throughout Essex and Clinton Counties who will be attending college in the fall.


The Willsboro Central School Winner was Adam Mero, son of Paul and Tamara Mero of Willsboro.  He will be attending SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall and plans to study History.

In Westport, the Champlain National Bank Scholarship was presented to Elizabeth Stephens, daughter of Paul and Kristine Stephens of Westport.  She will be attending Hobart and William Smith College and majoring in Entrepreneurship.

In Elizabethtown, Emmalee Turner, daughter of Jonathan and Hattie Turner, won the Scholarship.  She plans to attend SUNY Plattsburgh to study Physical Therapy.

In Crown Point the scholarship was awarded to Bailey Skinner, daughter of Laura Noel and Adam Skinner from Crown Point.  She will be attending SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall.

Thomas Palen, son of Ed and Teresa Palen of Keene, was the winner from Keene Central School.  He will be attending Montana State University in the fall and plans to study Business.

The Seton Catholic High School student who won the scholarship was Rachel Racette.  Daughter of Henry Racette from Cadyville, she will be attending Colgate University in the fall and plans to study Economics.

Northeastern Clinton Central School’s winner was Easton Francis, daughter of Rob and Bonnie Francis from Rouses Point.  Francis will be attending the Fashion Institute of Technology to study International Business.

Jasmine Mathis, daughter of Forrest and Gisselle Edwards of Plattsburgh, was the winner from Plattsburgh High School.  She will be attending SUNY Plattsburgh to study Marketing.

Lake Placid Central School’s winner was Jennifer Godin, daughter of Darryl and Deirdre Godin of Lake Placid.  She will be attending the University of Rhode Island to study Business.

In Saranac Lake, the Champlain National Bank Scholarship was presented to Almedina Cirikovic, daughter of Denis and Rusmina Cirikovic.  She will be attending North Country Community College in the fall and plans to study Business.

Champlain National Bank was founded in 1909 in Essex County and is still locally owned and managed today with ten branches serving the people of the North Country and Adirondacks.  In addition to tradition banking products, it has a full offering of mobile banking solutions, commercial loans and mortgages.

Glens Falls National Names Sangster Northern Region Corporate Banking Manager

Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company is pleased to announce Harrison Sangster has been named Northern Region Corporate Banking Manager.

In this role, Mr. Sangster will manage commercial lending in the Plattsburgh Region, helping to create and implement business development strategies in conjunction with the regional branch manager and business development team. Mr. Sangster joined the Bank in 2006 and most recently served as Vice President, Credit Manager at the Company’s corporate headquarters in Glens Falls. He and his family are relocating to the Plattsburgh area so he can focus on his new role.

Mr. Sangster earned his bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ, before going on to earn his master’s in business administration as well as a master’s certificate in financial management from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He is a veteran of the United States Navy, with four and a half years of service to our country.  He is also an active member of his community, working with a number of local non-profit organizations.

Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company provides banking, investment, insurance and other financial services through 30 locations in Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Essex and Clinton counties. It is rated a 5-Star Superior institution by BauerFinancial. More information can be found online at

Burnham Benefit Advisors Attend National Employee Benefit Summit

Burnham Benefit Advisors executive team, Mark Crawford, Tish Biesemeyer, Ian Coryea, Kory Hosler attended the 14th annual broker conference expo in San Diego, California.

The broker expo gathered leading industry practitioners creating a robust workshop designed to update brokers on future trends in health care, leading edge benefit cost strategies, and how to follow the best practices in the industry for employers within the regional and national markets.

Keynote speakers included:

Bobby Jindal- Governor of Louisiana (2008-2016)

U.S. Presidential Candidate 2016

Donna Brazile- Veteran Political Strategist

Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee

Gurpreet Dhaliwal-Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Expert on Human Decision Making

Burnham considers this type of event to be crucial in providing their clients with a state-of-the-art benefits program, where employers are provided the best possible benefit solutions for their employees at the most competitive cost.

Headquartered in Lake Placid, NY, Burnham Benefit Advisors has been solely focused on employee benefits since 1977, specializing in brokerage, consulting, compliance, and HR services for both public and private sector employees.

Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group Continues NY Expansion/Hires New Talent

Ryan Lee, a long–time resident of Plattsburgh has joined Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group as a Client Advisor specializing in business insurance.   “H&B brings a unique service platform to the market place including specialized loss prevention services and licensed workers compensation claims adjustment.  The training and analysis we provide to our clients results in a lower cost of insurance to them as our Insurers recognize the value added by our claims prevention and management” notes Paul Plunkett, Senior Vice President of Sales for H&B. 

Lee is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and holds his MBA from Norwich University.  He most recently led the start-up satellite office for ETS Staffing & Recruiting in Burlington Vermont, and previously served as Sr. District Executive for The Boy Scouts of America in Northern NY.   Plunkett added, “Ryan has wonderful relationships with the business community in the greater Plattsburgh area and we are thrilled to have him as part of our team”.

Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group was founded in 1821 and is headquartered in Burlington, Vermont.   They have most recently been awarded with “Best Places to Work” in Vermont, and “Best of Business” in Vermont for Property and Casualty Insurance. 

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet Announces Home Building Seminar

Plattsburgh, NY- Plattsburgh Housing Outlet, Inc. has developed a home building workshop to educate our community.

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet is pleased to announce a Home Building Seminar on  Thursday, June 12th from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Dino’s Pizza, 795 Route 3, (next to Wilson Appliance) in Plattsburgh, NY. 

The free seminar will offer guidance on topics such as: lender requirements, manufactured and modular homes, advice on finding and developing your building site, and time frames for home building.

Experts from all areas of construction will give an overview of the process and participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the second hour.

Dinner will be served during the event and there is no cost or obligation for this service.  Participants must RSVP ahead of time, as space is limited and we have been at room capacity the last several times the workshop was offered.  Adults only please.   Anyone interested in attending may call 800-794-6250/ 563-6250 or email with their name, phone number, and number in their party. 

Participants will receive a FREE “how-to” packet and a copy of their credit report.  They will leave with the information they will need to make an informed decision about new construction and home ownership.  One lucky participant will win $2500 off their building project.

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet has been providing North Country Families with quality, affordable homes since 1991.  They were named Retailer of the Year by the Manufactured Housing Institute for the Northeast/ Mid-Atlantic region in 2003 and 2013, one of four companies in the nation.

For more information, contact LaBounty at 563-6250, ext. 21.

Hickok & Boardman Network of Companies Announces
Thirteen Non-Profits to Receive Charitable Gift

The Hickok & Boardman Network of Companies is pleased to announce thirteen non-profit recipients  of their 2018 charitable gifts, including: The Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, Champlain College Single Parent Program, Champlain Valley Down Syndrome Group, a private citizen in need from Town of Fairfax, Girls on the Run Vermont, Green Mountain Animal Defenders, Intervale Center, Jeremy Paul Boquet Foundation, Maggie’s Bright Side, Mobius Inc, Stowe Mountain Rescue, Tatum’s Totes, and The Veterans’ Place.

Nearly 20 years ago, to celebrate the volunteerism and interests of their employees and associates, the Hickok & Boardman Network of Companies including Hickok & Boardman Insurance, Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty, and Hickok & Boardman Financial Planning & HR Intelligence formed a Charitable Gifts committee with representatives of each company.  Annually, each firm contributes to a fund and Hickok & Boardman employees and associates are given the opportunity to nominate a charity in which they are involved.

“The Hickok & Boardman Network of Companies, our employees and associates, have long been known for their involvement and generosity during our United Way workforce campaign,” says Scott Boardman, President of Hickok & Boardman Insurance. “The owners of all three companies recognize our team for the time, expertise, and money they contribute to many local charities all year long. The H&B Charitable Gifts program is a way to support their community service and passions.”

For a list of previous year’s recipients go to

The origins of Hickok & Boardman date back to 1821 beginning with Hickok & Boardman Insurance. In the mid to late 1900's, the company experienced significant growth to include Real Estate, Financial Planning, Retirement and Group Benefit services. Today, the companies each independently owned and operated, form the Hickok & Boardman Network of Companies with Burlington, Vermont serving as the headquarters for each firm. Combined, they employ over 220 Staff and contracted Real Estate Sales Associates.


Catamount Consulting, a leading national safety consulting firm, today announced they have added a new Mobile Hearing Trailer to their existing services.

Catamount Consulting delivers a complete audiometric testing solution for any size company in all Northeastern states. Our Hearing Conservation Programs are designed to make OSHA & MSHA compliance fast, easy and affordable. Sending your employees off-site for hearing testing consumes costly travel and labor expenses, that’s why Catamount comes to you. Our Hearing Conservation Programs include: Noise Level Monitoring, On-site Hearing Testing, Training & Education, Reporting and Data Management, Consultation and Review, Hearing Protection fitting, CAOHC-Certified professionals.

The new Mobile Hearing Trailer can provide group testing of up to 6 employees every 20 minutes, monitor ambient noise levels within booths, equipment calibration verified on a daily basis, validation retesting, immediate results available in English and Spanish, digital administrative reports sent directly to company contact.

Founded in 2005, Catamount Consulting is a national safety consulting firm with a team of dedicated consulting professionals whose practice is the implementation and execution of workplace safety and regulatory compliance programs. Services provided include OSHA training, MSHA training, general safety training, comprehensive safety services, rigging training, firearms training and safety instruction, safety audits and abatement, preparation for site inspections, citation litigation services and mobile hearing testing.

Hewitt Joins Beardsley Architects + Engineers

Beardsley Architects + Engineers is pleased to announce that John E. Hewitt, P.E., has joined the firm as mechanical engineer.

Mr. Hewitt has 38 years of experience in the design of systems for commercial, industrial, educational, healthcare, governmental, and large residential projects. He offers design solutions categorized by innovation, cost efficiency, soundness of design, constructability, and a commitment to thorough design documentation. He demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of construction processes and utilizes a holistic approach in the resolution of complex problems.

For more information on Beardsley Architects + Engineers, visit  


North Country providers team up to enhance quality of care, lower costs

New York State has awarded Citizen Advocates a $1.7 million grant to implement a tightly connected system of physical and behavioral health services by collaborating with a broad range of North Country agencies and healthcare providers.

The funding support is part of a statewide program to assist mental health and addiction service providers transition to a system of Value-Based Payment.  Embracing a Value-Based Payment system focuses on enhancing both the quality of care and health outcomes through the delivery of more cost-effective services.  The partnership of providers, referred to as a Behavioral Health Care Collaborative, have a shared responsibility to improve the “whole health” of each individual.

“By collaborating with an extensive range of providers, our mission is to improve the health and wellness of those we serve through the delivery of highly efficient, coordinated care,” said Dean Johnston, CEO of Citizen Advocates. “This means we will treat the physical and behavioral health needs of each person, and identify how we can support individuals when housing, employment or education challenges present barriers to overall well-being.”

The collaborative includes multiple community-based organizations, health and human services agencies and hospitals.  Acting as lead, Citizen Advocates applied for the funding on behalf of the roughly 40 agencies and organizations operating in Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Warren, Washington, Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties. 

“The investment by the state shows a real confidence in the ability we have as a collaborative,” said Mr. Johnston. “Each organization in our collaborative has a proven track record of results, and a firm commitment to our shared goal of improving the health of our communities through meaningful changes in the healthcare delivery system.”

Although Citizen Advocates is the lead for this project, the entire network of agencies and organizations in the collaborative plan to use the funds for Information Technology upgrades, advancing shared services and administrative capacity, data analysis, and other connected resources that enhance quality of care and cost effectiveness in the region.

In addition to Citizen Advocates, 19 other Behavioral Health Care Collaboratives throughout the state received funding for integrating care across the entire spectrum of behavioral and physical health services.

AES Announces New Director of Civil Engineering Division

AES Northeast, a leading provider of civil engineering, land surveying and architectural services, announced the hiring of Kevin Farrington, PE as Director of AES’s Civil Engineering Division. Mr. Farrington’s career spans more than 27 years in civil engineering design and construction. As Director of Civil Engineering at AES, Mr. Farrington will supervise all aspects of planning and preparation of construction documents for civil, planning and site development projects and will support business development efforts. “It is rare to find a professional civil engineer with the breadth and depth of experience that Kevin brings to our organization from both the private consulting side and the municipal government side.”, said AES Managing Partner Scott Allen. “We are very fortunate to have him join our team.” Farrington previously served as City Engineer for the City of Plattsburgh for 15 years and before that was senior design engineer at URS Consultants in Buffalo, NY. His expertise includes highway, complete streets, drainage, floodplain management, marine, shoreline, environmental restoration, ADA compliance, green stormwater infrastructure, water, wastewater, planning, zoning, GIS and construction management. Farrington earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Buffalo and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from SUNY Fredonia. He is a registered Professional Engineer in New York. Among his professional strengths is his ability to integrate into every project, safety, quality and good communication from project inception through completion. AES Northeast provides a wide range of services for municipal, commercial, and residential projects throughout Northern New York including civil, environmental, water/wastewater, architectural, mechanical, electrical and construction phase services.

Champlain Telephone & PrimeLink Announce Selection of Director of Outside Plant Operations

Greg MacConnell, Vice-President and CFO of Champlain Telephone Company, has announced the selection of Steve MacNerland as the Director of Outside Plant Operations at Champlain Telephone, and sister company PrimeLink.  MacNerland brings a diverse background to the position including experience as an Installer, Cable Splicer, Central Office Technician, Level 3 Internet Technician, and most recently the Manager of Unified Communications.  Steve has been with Champlain Telephone and PrimeLink since 2006.  His major accomplishments include Metaswitch Training Certification, Nortel Specialist Certification, Core Cisco Switch installation and provisioning, and the development and launch of the Hosted PBX product for the companies.  MacNerland is an alumni of SUNY Canton where he studied Electrical Engineering.  

In the role of Director of Outside Plant Operations, MacNerland will be responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Outside Plant Department to accomplish network construction, maintenance, operations support, and project activities in a timely and cost-effective manner.  He will provide leadership in programs and directives to maintain and improve all facets of the Champlain Telephone and PrimeLink telecommunications network infrastructure.  Greg MacConnell recently stated, “We are very pleased to have Steve continue to grow on our management team.  We are confident that he will cultivate the tradition of excellence that our customers have come to expect.”

The Champlain Telephone Company is a regulated telecommunications company providing local residential and commercial telephone service to Champlain, Mooers, Mooers Forks, Rouses Point and Altona. With more than 100 years of experience providing service to upstate New York, CTC is well established in the communities it serves.  PrimeLink, its sister company, was established in 1997 and is a full-service telecommunications company providing a wide array of advanced telecommunications services, including broadband internet access, local and long- distance telephone service, hosted and traditional phone systems, and collocation facilities.  PrimeLink gives its customers access to some of the most advanced communications services through its fiber optic network and continues to introduce products and technology that lead the industry.

Northern Insuring Agency, Inc. is #7 among the Best Companies to Work for in New York

Northern Insuring Agency, Inc. is pleased to announce that it is #7 among the top 46 small/medium employers in the state, according to the New York State Society for Human Resource Management’s (NYS-SHRM) annual Best Companies to Work for in New York State awards program.

Created in 2007, this annual program evaluates and ranks the best places of employment in the State based on employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies. It is unique because employees’ survey responses count for 75% of the ranking formula.  The Best Companies to Work for in New York State program is a partnership between the NYS-SHRM, The Business Council of New York and Best Companies Group.

“Receiving the award is dependent on employees both nominating Northern Insuring Agency and giving survey feedback,” explained Deena Giltz McCullough, President & CEO of Northern Insuring Agency.  “Feedback that we take to heart and that helps us to become an even better place to work.  It’s extremely powerful to know that Northern team members, for the second time, have stepped up to make this award happen.”

Northern Insuring Agency celebrates their 87th anniversary in June and specializes in Business, Personal and Life Insurance and Employee Benefits Services.  The largest locally-owned, independent insurance agency covering the Northern New York Region, Northern Insuring was recognized in the 2016 Press-Republican Reader’s Choice Awards as the best insurance agency and by Reagan Associates and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) as a 2016 Best Practices Agency.

Citizen Advocates welcomes newest member of leadership team
Experienced human services professional has North Country roots

Citizen Advocates is pleased to welcome an experienced human services professional to its leadership team as the Division Director of Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services.

As director, Laura Pennington Gawel is responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the developmental disabilities programs at Citizen Advocates. She will oversee and direct program directors to ensure quality services and supports, maintain programmatic and regulatory compliance, and remain actively involved in agency efforts to prepare for managed care in the developmental disability field, among other duties.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to be part of the Citizen Advocates team.  The organization provides such innovative and varied supports to people, and makes such great contributions to the local economy and the people living in the North Country through its partnerships with other not-for-profit organizations,” said Ms. Gawel.  “I look forward to collaborating with the Citizen Advocates family so we are well positioned to meet the emerging needs of those we support and the community.”

Ms. Gawel grew up in Potsdam, so she is no stranger to the North Country.  She attended Plattsburgh State where she received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education-Social Sciences.  One of her first jobs following college was with the Clinton County Arc, and since then she has held several progressive leadership positions at a variety of health and human service agencies throughout the state. 

She would eventually go on to earn a Master of Arts in Education: Developmental Disabilities Leadership from Niagara University.  Laura most recently served as Vice President of Employment, Day, Transportation and Transition Services at Aspire of WNY in Getzville, NY, where she was responsible for a broad range of programs and as team leader for several successful initiatives. 

Ms. Gawel has been in her new position at Citizen Advocates since October, and she looks forward to reconnecting with family and friends locally, as well as pursuing her own interests in North Country history and its generations of residents.   She is especially looking forward to having her husband and family join her so together they can explore all that life in Franklin County and the Adirondacks has to offer.


      Events & Programs





good life




Sign Up for Chamber Email

Privacy Policy