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News and Info from members of the North Country Chamber

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet Announces Home Building Seminar

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, March 30th from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Dino’s Pizza, 795 Route 3, (next to Wilson Appliance) in Plattsburgh, NY. 

The 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 michelle@plattsburghhousing.com with their name, phone number, and number in their party. 

Participants will receive a FREE “how-to” packet, a free copy of their credit report and a discount coupon for attending the seminar.  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. 

Champlain National Bank Announces New Hires

Steven Cacchio, President and CEO of Champlain National Bank, is pleased to announce the following new hires:

Darlene Mirrer has been hired as the Vice President and Director of Consumer Lending.  Mirrer will be responsible for overseeing the consumer, mortgage and home equity programs at the Bank, focusing on providing excellent client service during the loan process for all borrowers.  Before coming to Champlain National Bank, Mirrer spent 30 years working for National Bank of Delaware County, most recently as Senior Vice President and Senior Lender.  Her banking career has included positions in business development, branch management, commercial and consumer lending, as well as training and compliance.  She enjoys running, snowmobiling, and spending time with friends and family.

Rebecca Miner has joined the Bank as the Lake Placid Assistant Branch Manager.  Miner has more than 22 years of banking experience in the Tri-Lakes and has worked in many different capacities including audit, bookkeeping, loans, and the branch.

Buck Bobbin is the new Retail Banking Specialist for the Tri-Lakes.  Bobbin comes to Champlain National Bank from a career in politics.  Before moving to the North Country, he lived in Chicago, Virginia, and his native Hudson Valley.  Buck holds a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University.  He is a lifelong canoeist, hiker, and skier in the Adirondacks.

Champlain National Bank was founded in 1909 in Essex County and is still locally owned and managed today.  It has branches located in Willsboro, Westport, Elizabethtown, Crown Point, Keene, Plattsburgh, Champlain, and Lake Placid, and has a full offering of mortgages, commercial loans, and banking products.

CITIZEN ADVOCATES ELECTS NEW BOARD PRESIDENT & DIRECTORS

Citizen Advocates' Board of Directors elected new president Martha Dishman, a slate of officers and three new Directors at its January meeting. The Board is comprised of community volunteers representing a broad range of professional backgrounds, and is directly responsible for the ongoing governance and stewardship of Citizen Advocates.

"As Board President I intend to support the mission of the organization by ensuring that all governance needs are met and by empowering the Board to be innovative, creative and strategic as we continue to grow and meet the needs of the residents of the North Country," said Ms. Dishman.

In addition to President, the new Executive Committee includes Paul Goodrow, Vice President; Christine Venery, Secretary and Nicholas Eells, Treasurer.

New Directors welcomed to the board are James Berns, a first grade teacher in the Brushton-Moira school district; Jennifer Bilow, artist and yoga instructor; and Chastity Miller, District Manager for Franklin County Soil & Water. Attorney Tammy L. Gordon and Charles Mason also continue to serve as Directors.

Two long-time board members, Laura Bessette and Sally Walrath, stepped down at the end of their terms. Ms. Dishman said  "these two individuals have contributed greatly to the success of the organization and we are deeply grateful for their service."

ATLANTIC TESTING LABORATORIES ANNOUNCES 50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Atlantic Testing Laboratories, Limited (ATL), a leading provider of testing and engineering services in the Northeast, celebrates their 50th anniversary this year.

ATL was founded in 1967 by Spencer F. Thew in Canton, New York, and this location continues to serve as the corporate headquarters today. Spencer said “I am proud of the ATL staff, and the direction ATL’s growth has taken.  I am honored to witness the 50th anniversary of ATL and wish its current leadership continued success.” Through the years, the company has grown to operate ten locations throughout New York State. Offices are located in Albany, Binghamton, Canton, Elmira, Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Watertown, NY.

ATL began as a construction materials testing firm and has evolved into a full-service engineering support firm. James J. Kuhn, President, said “The additional services that ATL has provided over time were implemented in response to the growing needs of our clients. We continue to seek out additional services that will add value for our clients. The ability to adapt and change based on the needs of our clients has contributed to our growth and long-term success.” 

ATL, a WBE certified company, employs over 250 staff members at its ten offices. Marijean B. Remington, Chief Executive Officer, said “I am very proud of our staff and of their level of commitment to ATL and our clients. We owe our success and longevity to our hard-working and dedicated employees and our loyal clients. This year, we will be reflecting on our past, celebrating our achievements, and making plans for the future.”

ATL is a full-service firm offering a comprehensive line of technical support services to architectural, engineering, commercial, industrial, and governmental clients.  Services include special inspections, subsurface investigations, water-based investigations, geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and engineering, pavement engineering, nondestructive testing, and environmental services.

Champlain National Bank Receives 5-Star Rating from BauerFinancial

Champlain National Bank has once again earned the highest rating of five stars from the nation’s bank and credit union rating firm BauerFinancial.  This rating indicates that BauerFinancial considers Champlain National Bank to be a superior institution and has placed Champlain National Bank on its Recommended Report.

BauerFinancial is the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, and has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of US banks and credit unions since 1983.  No institution pays BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can any choose to be excluded.  Ratings for all financial institutions can be found by visiting their website at bauerfinancial.com.

“We are proud to receive this superior rating,” President and CEO Steven Cacchio said, “The entire staff at Champlain National Bank works hard to ensure the bank stays financially sound and to offer our community not only a local choice, but one that is rated well on a national level.”

CITIZEN ADVOCATES WELCOMES ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Deceil Moore brings clinical, leadership and training skills to new position

Citizen Advocates is pleased to welcome Deceil Moore, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, as its new Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services.

In addition to outpatient care for mental health and substance use disorder, Behavioral Health Services at Citizen Advocates include a comprehensive range of community support services for children and adults that focus on recovery and fulfilling the needs of daily life, like transportation, housing, peer support and access to healthcare.

"Deceil comes to us from Meridian Health Services in Indiana, where she lead programs supporting the developmental and mental health needs of individuals in 20 counties throughout the state," said Beth Lawyer, Director of Behavioral Health Services. "Her extensive experience with intellectual and developmental disability, mental health and crisis services are amazing assets that will greatly benefit Citizen Advocates and those we support."

As Associate Director of Behavioral Health, Deceil (pronounced Deh-seal) is responsible for day-to-day operations of behavioral health services.  In addition, she oversees professional development of staff to ensure they have the skills and knowledge base necessary to meet the health, treatment and recovery needs of the individuals and families they support.  An experienced trainer, Ms. Moore teaches extensively at major conferences including those through the National Council on Behavioral Health in areas of specialized care, which include crisis services, youth and family challenges, and care for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health needs.

"The decision to relocate to northern New York for this opportunity was made much easier after learning how highly regarded Citizen Advocates is as a leader, both regionally and statewide, in the field of health and human services,"  said Ms. Moore.  "I'm deeply honored to join such an innovative team of skilled and caring people with a strong commitment to provide exceptional, recovery-focused services."

Ms. Moore began her career in the health and human services field nearly 30 years ago as a mental health therapist supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.  After 10 years as a therapist, she took on a variety of progressive leadership positions with increased responsibility for staff, training, budget management, clinical and administrative oversight, development of specialized services and strategic planning within the realm of mental health, intellectual and developmental disability services for children and adults.

Ms. Moore joined Citizen Advocates in early December, and is in the process of relocating to the area with her husband, Dan Snyder.  Their interests include fiction and devotional writing, cooking, classic movies and experiential learning.

Out of the Norm - TWO Life Changing Jackpots at Mohawk Casino in Two Months!
Wheel of Fortune Hits for $573, 981 for Stillwater, NY Resident

John Kearney from Stillwater, NY won $573,981.33 on a wide area progressive jackpot on IGT™ WHEEL OF FORTUNE™ machine at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort. Mr. Kearney becomes the second winner of a life changing jackpot in less than two months!

Mr. Kearney was playing slots with his wife when he hit the big jackpot. It was quite the celebration with lots of jumping and shouting as they stared at the machine in disbelief.  John said that he plans to pay off student loans and buy his wife the biggest diamond ring to celebrate the $573,981 jackpot win.

Emily Lauzon, AMCR Assistant General Manager, added “It’s always exciting when not only one, but TWO of our guests hit a life-changing jackpot. Our entire team would like to congratulate Mr. Kearney on his big win!”

Players are winning big here at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort! “The recent string of jackpots began on December 6, 2016 when a player hit the Buffalo Grand top progressive jackpot for $908,687, the largest jackpot that we have had in twelve years!” said Emily Lauzon, AMCR Assistant General Manager.

CITIZEN ADVOCATES ANNOUNCES NEW CEO
Elevated to top post, Dean Johnston has extensive experience with the agency

Citizen Advocates is proud to announce an experienced and valued member of its leadership team is the health and human service agency's new CEO.

Dean Johnston, who was most recently Citizen Advocates' Chief Operating Officer, was unanimously selected as CEO by the agency's Board of Directors at its December meeting.  The Board made its decision following a months-long, nationwide recruitment effort that was narrowed to a competitive pool of six highly-qualified candidates from a broad range of backgrounds. 

"Following a thorough interview process, the board recognized Dean's years of experience, his impressive understanding of services and healthcare reform, along with a deep passion for the organization among the many attributes that make him uniquely qualified to lead Citizen Advocates," said Chuck Mason, Chair of the Citizen Advocates Board of Directors.

Johnston succeeds Susan Delehanty who served as CEO since 2009. She announced her retirement plan in early 2016, and left the position as CEO on Dec. 31, 2016.

"We are eternally grateful for Sue's leadership and service at Citizen Advocates," said Mason. "She has been instrumental in moving this organization to the next level, and since Dean was such a key part of Sue's leadership team we expect a very smooth transition as he takes over his new duties as CEO."

Johnston first joined Citizen Advocates in 1997 as Chief Financial Officer, and held the position of COO since 2009.  His first official day as CEO was Jan. 3.

"Throughout the region and on the state level, Citizen Advocates is known as a leading-edge organization with a solid reputation for making a positive difference in the lives of so many North Country residents," said Johnston. "I am deeply honored to have this opportunity, and look forward to working with the skilled and caring individuals who focus daily on our mission to provide exceptional, high-quality services to the individuals and families we support."

With administrative offices in Malone, Citizen Advocates provides developmental, behavioral health and substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services throughout Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties.  The agency employs 725 health professionals and support staff who provide a broad range of services to 6,500 individuals on an annual basis.

The diversity of services offered by Citizen Advocates has given Johnston nearly two decades of administrative experience working with a multitude of state agencies, including the Office of Mental Health, Department of Health, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

During his tenure as COO, Johnston built a cohesive team of directors, clinicians and support staff who share a mission-driven approach to sound fiscal stewardship resulting in positive growth at Citizen Advocates through reinvestment in new services, training for staff and modern treatment facilities.

The positive growth includes a 126 percent increase in agency operations, and the creation of 190 new full-time jobs (from 425 to 615) since Johnston joined the leadership team.

Johnston has been a steadfast advocate for the agency's commitment to provide quality, person-centered programs and services to those it supports by achieving accreditation through the Council on Quality and Leadership, a national organization that evaluates and identifies measurable steps to enhance quality of life and quality of services.

Johnston began his professional career as a Certified Public Accountant with McKee & Empsall, CPAs, PC in Malone.  His affiliations currently include serving as Trustee on the boards of University of Vermont Health Network, Community Providers Inc. and UVMHN Alice Hyde Medical Center.  He served as Board Chair of Alice Hyde Medical Center from 2011-2014.  Johnston serves on the board of the New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA) and is a member of the NYSRA and New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies Managed Care Council.  He is also a member of the Adirondack Health Institute Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment-Performing Provider System Finance Committee.  He is also a past member and President of the Malone Rotary Club and past member and Assistant Chief of The Malone Callfiremen.

A Malone native, Johnston resides in North Bangor with his wife Melissa and their children, Jennifer and Jacob.

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet Announces Home Building Seminar

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, January 19th from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Dino’s Pizza, 795 Route 3, (next to Wilson Appliance) in Plattsburgh, NY. 

The 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 michelle@plattsburghhousing.com with their name, phone number, and number in their party. 

Participants will receive a FREE “how-to” packet, a free copy of their credit report and a discount coupon for attending the seminar.  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. 

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) Receives Grant for
A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the nonprofit historic preservation organization for the region, has received a major grant to support the publication of its new book, A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks. 

The $5,000 Local Heritage grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership will help underwrite the publishing cost of the first book to document the architecture of the twelve counties in the Adirondack region. A significant portion of the area covered by the guide lies within the Lake Champlain watershed.

"We are thrilled and very grateful to CVNHP for their generous support and confidence in this project," said Steven Engelhart, AARCH Executive Director. "The Guide will be both a unique travel companion and a major contribution to the documented history of the Adirondacks. Residents, visitors, researchers, historians and travelers will find it a 'must-have' book to keep in their cars and on their bookshelves."

A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks is written by Richard Longstreth, one of  America's best-known architectural historians. His project to research, visit, document and photograph hundreds of historic structures in over 100 towns and hamlets in the Adirondacks took five years and nearly 10,000 miles of driving throughout the region,

Longstreth is the director of the Historic Preservation program at George Washington University and the author of eleven previous books on architectural history. 

The book is expected to be available in June 2017 and is published by Adirondack Architectural Heritage with design and marketing support from Adirondack Life.


CITIZEN ADVOCATES CEO HONORED WITH RURAL HEALTH CHAMPION AWARD
Accolade given to individuals for outstanding leadership on rural health issues

Citizen Advocates, Inc. is proud to announce that CEO Susan Delehanty was named a 2016 Rural Health Champion by The North Country Behavioral Healthcare Network.

"Ms. Delehanty has been a key figure in delivering and shaping behavioral health for over four decades throughout the North Country," said Barry Brogan, Executive Director of the North Country Behavioral Healthcare Network. "She has been tireless in her work to strengthen services for individuals with developmental disabilities, addiction and mental illness."

"Such an honor for her work and advocacy on behalf of others comes as little surprise," said Charles Mason, Chair of the Board of Directors for Citizen Advocates. "Throughout her highly accomplished career, Sue has brought communities together to build consensus and create enduring solutions that have made the North Country a better place to live for those we support, their families, friends and so many others."

Since 2009, Ms. Delehanty has served as CEO and Executive Director of Citizen Advocates, the leading provider of health and human services in the North Country for more than four decades.  Under her leadership, the organization provides innovative, high-quality services with dignity and respect to 6,500 individuals on an annual basis.

In addition to her work at Citizen Advocates, Ms. Delehanty served as Vice Chair and Treasurer/Secretary on the Adirondack Health Board of Trustees for eight years; Board Member of the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID);  First Vice Chair and Chair for NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors (CLMHD); Governor Appointee to the Mental Health Services Council of the NYS Office of Mental Health; as well as being a member of several councils throughout Franklin County and New York State.  Ms. Delehanty also served as Board Chair of the North County Behavioral Healthcare Network with her most recent term ending in June 2016.

Ms. Delehanty earned a Master's degree in social work from Catholic University, and served as the Director of Community Services for Franklin County  from 1987 to 2009. Her extensive career also includes positions at Sunmount DDSO, Essex County ARC, Mercy Healthcare Center in Tupper Lake and Franklin County ARC. She has also participated in various teaching and internship engagements with North County Community College, Albany School of Social Work and Adelphi School of Social Work.

The Rural Health Champion honor, which recognizes outstanding leadership on rural health issues, is bestowed in conjunction with National Rural Health Day celebrated annually on Nov. 17.

Local Business Owner, Tedra L. Cobb Named to NSBA Leadership Council

Tedra L. Cobb, President of Tedra L. Cobb & Associates, was recently named to the National Small Business Association (NSBA) Leadership Council. NSBA is the nation’s oldest small-business advocacy organization, and operates on a staunchly nonpartisan basis. Ms. Cobb, a recognized leader in the small-business community, joins the NSBA Leadership Council alongside other small-business advocates from across the country as they work to promote the interests of small business to policymakers in Washington, D.C.

“As a small-business owner, I see daily the importance of being involved and active when it comes to laws and regulation,” stated Cobb. “Joining NSBA’s Leadership Council will enable me to take our collective small-business message to the people that need to hear it most: Congress.”

Tedra L. Cobb is the president and owner of the consulting firm Tedra L. Cobb & Associates where her specific areas of expertise are program and organizational development, personal and professional development through one-on-one coaching and the presentation of highly effective, interactive educational workshops.

Ms. Cobb joined the NSBA Leadership Council as part of her efforts to tackle the many critical issues facing small business, including tax reform, regulatory issues, health care costs and how the Affordable Care Act will increase access to healthcare while also impacting small business. The NSBA Leadership Council is focused on providing valuable networking between small-business advocates from across the country while ensuring small business a seat at the table as Congress and regulators take up key small-business proposals.

“I am proud to have Tedra Cobb as part of our Leadership Council,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “She came to us highly recommended and I look forward our coordinated efforts for years to come.”

Please click here to learn more about www.tedracobb.com.

For more on the NSBA Leadership Council, please visit www.nsba.biz/leadershipcouncil.

Tedra L Cobb & Associates is a dynamic NY State Certified Woman-Owned-Business Enterprise that is recognized in the U.S. and internationally for organizational and personal capacity building and consulting services. Tedra L. Cobb & Associates designs and implements staff and leadership training, provides English Language coaching, and leads companies in strategic and organizational development.

Coe Joins Beardsley Architects + Engineers

Beardsley Architects + Engineers is pleased to announce that Jason B. Coe, R.A., has joined the firm as Architect.

Mr. Coe has over 17 years of experience in architectural design for projects ranging from educational institutions, administrative office buildings, medical offices, and private residences. Mr. Coe’s experience has provided him with a detailed understanding of building design requirements through all phases of design and construction.

For more information on Beardsley Architects + Engineers, visit www.beardsley.com.  

Beardsley Project Receives Prestigious AIACNY 2016 Design Award

Beardsley Architects + Engineers, in its pursuit to raise their bar on design excellence, is pleased to announce that the Inside-Out Adirondack Camp located in New York’s Adirondack State Park has been selected by the AIA Central New York chapter to receive a 2016 design award in the residential category. The awards program recognizes outstanding achievements in architecture for recently completed projects by architects and firms based in Central New York. This year’s ceremony was held at the newly renovated Marriott Syracuse Downtown (formerly the Hotel Syracuse) on November 4.

Michael N. Reynolds, RA, AIA, Brian Levendusky, and John MacArthur, P.E., teamed to capture the essence of this unique home located in the remote High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park, which is a direct reflection of the owner’s love and respect for nature. Each design decision made on the path to this inclusive house design required a connection to, and protection from, nature’s powerful influence to coexist as one.

Architectural detailing was drawn from the owner’s love of medieval Scandinavian architecture, and appreciation for the traditional Japanese Mountain Homes from the Muromachi period, where design resistant to earthquake and sheltered against heavy rainfall and summer heat was employed. The architectural design is characterized by its horizontal lines, battered walls, low-pitched roofs, enormous overhanging eaves, and open plan, allowing the occupants to live in what is essentially an inside-out shelter.

For more information on Beardsley Architects + Engineers, visit www.beardsley.com

CITIZEN ADVOCATES WELCOMES PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT TO CARE TEAM

James Van Ness brings combined experience in primary care, behavioral health

Citizen Advocates is pleased to announce the addition of James Van Ness, certified physician assistant, as the newest member of the agency’s psychiatric clinical care team.

Mr. Van Ness has already gained unique experience in private practice providing both primary care and behavioral health treatment to more than a third of the patients under his care.  In order to treat both physical and mental health, he has learned how open communication between medical professionals working as a team can benefit each individual patient.

“Understanding the connection between physical and mental health as it relates to the whole patient helps provide more informed treatment options,” said Mr. Van Ness. “The opportunity to apply my experience caring for individuals in need of primary care, behavioral health, or both, through a team-based approach is something I am looking forward to continuing in my new role at Citizen Advocates.”

“Jamie is a perfect fit with our initiative to enhance quality of care, improve access and link primary care more closely to behavioral health.” said Beth Lawyer, Director of Behavioral Health Services for Citizen Advocates. “As the healthcare delivery system evolves, we will continue to advance best practices that integrate and focus on the overall well-being of the people we serve.”

Prior to being a healthcare professional, Mr. Van Ness worked for over a decade as a Research Scientist studying pharmaceuticals for Trudeau Institute, Genaissance, Bayer, and lastly Wyeth (Pfizer) before returning to school for his Physician Assistant studies.

Mr. Van Ness earned his Masters’ degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Clarkson University, and he completed clinical rotations in psychiatry, emergency medicine, orthopedics, internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, family practice, OB/GYN and ambulatory medicine.  His psychiatry rotation was completed at Citizen Advocates under Psychiatrist Dr. Joshua Frank.

His most recent professional experience focused on the delivery of urgent and primary care at Adirondack Medical Practice in Peru.  Additionally, he provided mental health care to about 35 percent of his patients through initial assessments, medication management for a variety of conditions, along with ongoing treatment and care.     

Mr. Van Ness is seeing patients at Citizen Advocates’ Malone-based Behavioral Health Services clinic Monday through Thursday and at the Saranac Lake clinic on Fridays.  Other members of the care team include Psychiatrists Dr. Frank and Dr. Jane Maxwell, Dr. Craig Richards, Internal Medicine, and Janine Stomboly, a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.  At this time, Mr. Van Ness is providing care for patients currently receiving support and treatment through services offered by Citizen Advocates.

Mr. Van Ness was born and raised in Malone, and currently resides in Peru with his wife and three children.  Together they enjoy boating and hiking the mountains of New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  

Promotions Announced at Champlain National Bank

Steven Cacchio, President and CEO of Champlain National Bank, is pleased to announce the following promotions:

Yvonne Alterie has been promoted to a Commercial Loan Officer and is now responsible for business development for the Bank.  Yvonne joined the Bank in 2004 as a teller, and in 2006 transferred to the Deposit Operations Department.  In 2008 she was promoted to Office Supervisor of the Willsboro branch, before moving to the Plattsburgh branches in 2009 where she continued her Office Supervisor role.  During this time, she was also responsible for training all new branch hires.  From 2012 – 2013 she was the Willsboro Branch Manager and in 2013 she became a Credit Assistant for the Commercial Loan Department helping to close loans and foster long-term relationships with clients.  Yvonne is a member of the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club, a coach for the Keeseville Youth Programs, and serves on the Donation Committee for the Ausable Valley Booster Club.

Renee Darrah, Vice President, has been promoted to Tri-Lakes Manager.  In her new role, she will be responsible for the management of the Lake Placid branch in addition to developing new business for the Bank in the Tri-Lakes region.  Renee started with Champlain National Bank in 2015 as the VP and Director of Consumer Lending.  Prior to joining Champlain National Bank, Renee worked for more than 10 years in banking in Saranac Lake as a Branch Manager and Mortgage Loan Originator.  She is also the Treasurer for the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

Melanie Porter, Assistant Cashier, has been promoted to Keene Branch Manager, and will be responsible for the consumer and residential lending in the Keene/Keene Valley area in addition to branch management.  Melanie became part of the Champlain National Bank team in February 2007, and has held a variety of positions during her time with the Bank.  She graduated with an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Clinton Community College and currently serves on the Board of the Keene Business Association.  Melanie, who grew up in Keene, now resides in Keene Valley with her husband Matt, and their children, Nora Jane and Matthew.

Cindy Caner has been promoted to Assistant Branch Manager of the Elizabethtown branch.  Cindy joined the Bank in 1998 and worked in the Keene branch, where she has served our clients until her recent promotion.  She is also a member of the Keene Business Association.  She resides in Keene Valley with her husband Nathaniel, and is an avid scrap booker.

Medara Sherman, Elizabethtown and Westport Branch Manager, has been promoted to Assistant Cashier, which makes her an Officer of the Bank.  She joined the Bank in April 2013 as the Willsboro Branch Manager and became the Westport Branch Manager in October 2014.  In April 2016 she assumed the role of Branch Manager of both the Elizabethtown and Westport branches.  Prior to joining Champlain National Bank, she worked as a General Manager for Ruby Tuesday Restaurants in the Midwest, and for her family-owned business in Westport: Champlain Valley Milling.  She attended Siena College where she was awarded a BA in Psychology.  Her community involvement includes being Secretary of the Westport Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Westport Bicentennial Committee, and she is Vice Chair of the Westport Federated Church Council.  Medara has three children and lives with her husband in Westport.  She enjoys camping with her family, horseback riding, and is currently remodeling an old house.

Champlain National Bank was founded in 1909 in Essex County and is still locally owned and managed today.  It has branches located in Willsboro, Westport, Elizabethtown, Crown Point, Keene, Plattsburgh, Champlain, and Lake Placid, and has a full offering of mortgages, commercial loans, and banking products.

CITIZEN ADVOCATES WELCOMES NEW COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Citizen Advocates, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Joe Riccio as the organization’s new Director of Communications and Government Affairs.

In the newly created position, Mr. Riccio is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic communications in support of advancing Citizen Advocates’ mission and business goals.  His responsibilities also include working with local, state and federal officials to convey the importance or urgency of issues requiring legislative or regulatory action.

“We are very excited to have Joe on board with us,” said Susan Delehanty, CEO of Citizen Advocates. “Our organization has grown significantly over the years to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities, behavioral health or substance abuse challenges.  Given the depth of services we provide to the North Country and a very complex healthcare environment, it is critical we provide clear, effective communications to the individuals we support, their families, our staff and the broader community.”

Mr. Riccio holds a Bachelors Degree in English from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., and was most recently the Director of Communications, Marketing and Government Affairs at Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake for 10 years. There he was responsible for marketing, brand image, social media presence, internal and external communications, media and government relations, and more.

He resides in the Village of Malone with his wife Joanne, and together they enjoy cooking, kayaking and travel. The couple also has an adult daughter, Ciara, who currently resides in southern California.

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