Inaugural ‘Celebration of Leadership’ Tuesday night in Canton

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Enjoy the Outdoors Year-Round

Judy Drabicki

Northern New York has a well-deserved reputation as a great place to raise a family. Part of what makes it great are the year-round opportunities to enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities. The four seasons, combined with vast amounts of New York state lands for hiking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or horseback riding, pristine waters for fishing, and abundant wildlife for viewing or hunting set the stage for adventure, exploration, and good, quality family time. Let me be clear, my idea of family is broad and includes a couple with a dog, blended families, and all other combinations that individuals choose to define themselves as a family. Regardless, my point is this—the family that plays together, stays together.  

    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Adventure NY initiative, a multiyear outdoor recreation campaign to connect families and visitors to the outdoors, estimates that New York state lands accommodate more than 75 million visitors per year. 

    Region 6, which includes eastern Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, Tug Hill and eastern Adirondacks has 11 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) totaling 18,795 acres in Jefferson County alone. These state lands provide wildlife habitat management and wildlife-dependent recreation. Several are located within a 20-minute drive of Watertown. 

    Lakeview WMA, in Ellisburg on State Route 3, is part of the largest natural fresh water barrier beach system in New York state. Lakeview is open to the public year-round, and some of its most beautiful areas can be seen by boat. DEC has provided boat launch sites for canoes or car top boats with a 10-horsepower limit.

    As stewards of the land and the wildlife, sometimes we must carefully manage public access to state lands to provide habitat and nesting opportunities for species that depend on these areas. Perch River WMA, which encompasses 7,800 acres in the towns of Brownville, Orleans and Pamelia in Jefferson County, is one such area where we balance public access with natural resource protection. This restricted wetland and refuge area provides habitat for several of New York’s endangered and threatened species, including bald eagles, black terns, and northern harriers (marsh hawks). By late August, the nesting and brooding season is mostly complete and the fall migration period has not yet begun. That’s when we open access to the public and it’s traditionally a huge draw for bird watchers of all ages. 

    Bird watching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Young people between the ages of 12 and 18 can get involved in the State’s “I Bird NY” beginning bird challenge. This past spring, more than 100 young people completed the challenge and became I Bird NYers.

    In September, Rich Schmitt of Rochester took his 13-year old son and the child’s 14-year old friend hunting at Perch River WMA. He wrote to us in an email that the boys ended up with eight blue-winged and three green-winged teal. “It’s always fun to see the younger kids have a successful hunt,” said Mr. Schmitt.

    For the nature observer and hiker, we have many miles of well-marked trails in all areas of the five-county area of Region 6. In May, we cut the ribbon on new improvements at the John Young trail, which make it more accessible to visitors. This newly accessible, 2,000-foot trail is located within the Tug Hill State Forest at Barnes Corners. Our focus is on inclusion, and accessibility improvements invite people with mobility issues and families with children in strollers to our state lands.

    Camping is an amazing opportunity to live off the “grid” for a short amount of time. Visitors can choose from three DEC campgrounds in Region 6; or find primitive camp spots on state lands. Even teenagers sometimes reluctant to spend time with their families enjoy sitting around the camp fire after enjoying a meal cooked over a propane camp stove or sitting quietly around the fire taking time to gaze at the stars. And don’t forget, every fourth grader in New York is eligible to visit one of the state’s day use areas at a DEC campground for free.

    These opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, and many more, can be found on our DEC website, at www.dec.ny.gov where a drop-down menu under Recreation provides a treasure trove of information about available opportunities. Our regional office is also more than happy to take your phone calls at 315-785-2239 to help visitors find a great place to recreate with their families.

                Whether it’s active or passive, back country or front country, on land or water, I recommend that all New Yorkers—and visitors, too—do their family’s physical and mental health a favor and enjoy New York’s great outdoors!

2017 Class of 20 Under 40 Announced

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Excelling in Leadership: Personal and professional growth bonds NNY businesses, communities

AMANDA MORRISON / NNY BUSINESS
Kylie Peck, President & CEO of the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce, helps to coordinate the Jefferson Leadership Institute .

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June 20 Questions: Josh LaFave

CHRISTOPHER LENNEY / NNY BUSINESS
Joshua J. LaFave, Executive Director of Graduate and Continuing Education.

The St. Lawrence Leadership Institute has restarted after a six-year break. The program is run by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with SUNY Potsdam. NNY Business sat down with Josh LaFave, executive director of graduate and continuing education at SUNY Potsdam and discussed his work with the Leadership Institute and it’s path forward.

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Leveraging non-positional authority

Columnist Tracy Leonard

Tracy Leonard

Entering the workforce as a young professional may sometimes cause one to doubt. Perhaps thoughts or feelings may surface suggesting that you cannot lead because of your youth or limited tenure in your position or company. I encourage you to stop and think again. In fact, youth and limited tenure may be exactly what makes you an asset!

Young professionals may not necessarily bring years of experience or significant expertise at the onset, but they can bring energy, new ideas, fresh education or academic principles, a knowledge and understanding of new and advancing technology, and a renewed perspective.

Being a leader doesn’t mean you have to be in a position of power or have an executive-level title. In fact, if you exercise your leadership skills as a young professional with genuine care, respect and passion, your self-fulfillment and contributions to others or a cause are likely to be much more desirable, effective and valuable. Your positional power does not determine your ability to be successful and happy.

Here are several ways that anyone can cultivate and exercising his or her leadership skills:

Lead by example. Do the best you can do, ask questions and try to achieve or succeed expectations. Those who give it their best and seek quality are seen as leaders.

Find a mentor. This trusted advisor can teach and guide you in a constructive partnership. Watch, listen and learn. You, as their protégé, learn from your mentor’s experience, while your mentor can also grow, learn and benefit from your fresh perspective, new ideas, knowledge and exuberance. If your organization doesn’t have a formal mentoring program, take the initiative to seek and find one on your own — choose wisely.

Step up to take on an initiative or lead a project. Some leadership opportunities, such as facilitating a committee, are engrained into the organization’s governance structure, while other organizations may require you to step up and volunteer for this role. Leading a group through a project can increase your exposure to other leaders and managers both in and outside your organization. Networking, collaboration, and two-way communication are all benefits of this type of work. While leading or facilitating an initiative may require you to come out of your comfort zone, it almost always results in some type of growth.

Speak or write about your work. Nothing establishes you as a trusted expert on a subject faster than communicating about it in a public forum. Seek out opportunities to speak at conventions, conferences or symposiums. In the office, host an educational session over lunch for your co-workers about your area of expertise. You can also share your expertise and good work by writing articles for a business magazine or journal, or even your company newsletter. Do your research, frame your presentation appropriately for your audience and be confident yet humble. This extra effort can provide a lot of extra career mileage and it will also help you grow in many ways.

Be humble, kind, honest and credible. Nothing will undermine your leadership efforts more than being a source of gossip or negative talk. Rather than complaining or pulling others down with you, step up your efforts to lead. Handle the situation in a focused and professional manner which will in turn have a positive ripple effect with those around you. Genuine positive energy yields greater productivity, increased satisfaction and improved overall morale.

Recognize, respect and show appreciation for those around you. While it may not always be easy to share the spotlight, it is important and necessary. As the common cliché goes, “there is no ‘I’ in team.” The skills, abilities and accomplishments of those working with you ultimately contribute to your success. Leverage this and help maximize their potential for the greater good. Recognize and seek to understand what it is that others have done to achieve or accomplish greatness. Thank and respect them. Show them that you care and try to emulate the positive qualities they possess.

Ask for advancement opportunities.Once you identify your passion, skills and desires regarding the next logical step for your career advancement, make it known to your supervisor. Your supervisor’s success is directly and positively affected by your success, so in most cases, your supervisor will be receptive and want to help you be successful. Work with him or her to assess your situation, identify goals and determine what you can do to position yourself for success.

These are only a few examples of things you can do to lead without positional power, but if you cultivate and exercise these things, you may find your co-workers, your supervisor and your community responding to you as a leader.

As you move up the career ladder, don’t forget to continue practicing these things. Pass them on to your coworkers, your peers and to other young professionals. After all, successful leaders are committed to the success of the people around them.

Twenty young professionals are encouraged to use potential to better the north country

AMANDA MORRISON / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES Shane Simser poses with his parents at the conclusion of the 20 under 40 luncheon, at which he was one of the honorees.

AMANDA MORRISON / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES
Shane Simser poses with his parents at the conclusion of the 20 under 40 luncheon, at which he was one of the honorees.

By MARCUS WOLF
MWOLF@WDT.NET

Keynote speaker Ruth A. Doyle encouraged emerging young leaders to embrace their potential and use it to improve the north country at the 20 under 40 luncheon Wednesday at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The St. Lawrence County administrator stressed the importance of remaining humble and sharing knowledge with the aspiring leaders at a time when the idea of the traditional workplace is “being challenged.” She said the young leaders should “maintain perspective” and accept the opportunities that were meant for them whether they involve their current organizations or other careers.

“It is no surprise that you have chosen fields that impact the world around you,” she said.

Family, coworkers, employers and industry leaders applauded as 20 emerging leaders under the age of 40 were honored with awards at the sixth annual 20 under 40 luncheon, hosted by NNY Business, a magazine owned by the Johnson Newspaper Corp.

The 20 were selected from 62 nominees with nearly 100 nominations and reviewed by a committee of Watertown Daily Times and NNY Business personnel, Michelle L. Capone, director of regional development for the Development Authority of the North Country, and Timothy P. Sweeney, general manager for Tunes 92.5/104.5 FM WBLH Radio and a member of NNY Business magazine’s 20 under 40 Class of 2012.

Mrs. Doyle said the 2016 class and its “depth of professionalism” showcased how small businesses, health care providers and municipal governments throughout the north country help young workers develop their abilities. She complimented organizations like BOCES and DANC, the banking industry and school districts in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties for fostering leadership and talent among young professionals.

“I must say, you are a mightily impressive group,” she said. “Indeed, a class to be proud of.”

Several members of the 20 under 40 class of 2016 said they were able to achieve success within the region by seeking out opportunities and communicating with local industry leaders.

Emily Hermon, 24, manager of the Scrub Hub and the youngest member of this year’s class, said the professors she had while attending Jefferson Community College helped her thrive in the local economy. Jake Moser, 38, who owns Moser’s Maple, Croghan, said that the north country’s ideals and virtues and the importance of tradition and family ties provide a support system for emerging leaders to develop their talents.

“Young people should look to get actively involved and give back to their community,” said Nathan P. Hunter, 36, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Northern Credit Union.

Also honored were David Adsit, 38, Kinney Drugs; Jennifer A. Barlow, 35, Children’s Home of Jefferson County; Todd J Burker, 36, Carthage Central School District; AmberLee Clement, 32, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County; Shawna Cutuli, 39, Watertown Family YMCA; Daniel D. Daugherty, 33, City of Watertown Fire Department; Rebekah L. Grim, 26, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES; Kyle R. Hayes, 29, Gram’s Diner; Erica A. Leonard, 36, University Suites.

Also, Dr. Matthew Maynard D.O., 31, of North Country Emergency Medicine Consultants; Ashley E. Meade, 32, Community Bank N.A.; Sarah Parker-Ada, 29, Indian River High School; Korin Scheible, 39, Mental Health Association of Jefferson County; Melissa C. Schmitt, 28, Samaritan Medical Center Wound Care Center; Hartley Bonisteel Schweitzer, 29, DANC; Shane Simser, 33, the Morgia Group at HighTower Advisors, and Katy E. Troester-Trate, 36, of Jefferson Community College.

In six years, NNY Business Magazine has honored 123 emerging leaders who made an impact as rising stars in their professions and communities. The Times also honored 40 leaders younger than 40 in its 2009 Progress Edition.

In addition to the Morgia Group at HighTower Advisors, the presenting sponsor, event sponsors were the Northern New York Community Foundation, Watertown Savings Bank, New York Air Brake, RBC Wealth Management, Jefferson County Economic Development, Slack Chemical Co., Thousand Islands Young Leaders Organizations, the YMCA, Association of the United States Army NNY-Fort Drum Chapter, Timeless Frames, Decor and Expressions, Hilton Garden Inn, Watertown/Thousand Islands, Tunes 92.5/104.5 FM WBLH Radio, WBLH Radio and the Watertown Daily Times.

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2016 20 Under 40 award winners announced

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For retiring CEO, board chairwoman, legacy is leaving firm in great care

Pamela S. Beyor, chairwoman of the board of directors at Bernier, Carr & Associates, and Bernard H.  “Bernie” Brown Jr., CEO, pictured in March, will retire in December after a combined 57 years with the firm. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

Pamela S. Beyor, chairwoman of the board of directors at Bernier, Carr & Associates, and Bernard H. “Bernie” Brown Jr., CEO, pictured in March, will retire in December after a combined 57 years with the firm. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

Pamela S. Beyor, chairwoman of the board of directors at Bernier, Carr and Associates, jokes that she’s worked with Bernard H. “Bernie” Brown Jr., the company’s chief executive officer, longer than she’s been with her husband.

When the pair’s professional career — a combined 57 years of service and leadership of a firm that has been part of many prominent north country developments in its 43 year history — ends at the close of 2013, they do so with complete confidence in the capable and talented team of leaders they’ve mentored.

And, with neither planning to leave the area they’re entrenched in professionally and personally, the two say they’ve managed to keep glimmers of sadness and nostalgia at bay with the prospect of continuing on as chairwoman and CEO emeritus, respectively, delving into hobbies and community service. [Read more…]