CATS hires director

WESTPORT — Champlain Area Trails has hired on Derek Rogers as its first development director. 

Champlain Area Trails, or CATS, is a nonprofit organization that creates and maintains hiking and cross-country ski trails in the Champlain Valley, with the goal of linking communities, connecting people with nature and promoting economic vitality. CATS is also an accredited land trust, working to conserve natural communities, farmland, clean water and scenic vistas.

The development director position was supported by funding from both the New York State Conservation Partnership Program and New York’s Environmental Protection Fund. The Conservation Partnership Program is administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Rogers graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh before working for the Nature Conservancy on Long Island for 11 years, where he participated in donor development and cultivation efforts. Rogers moved to the Adirondacks earlier this year and now has a house in Willsboro Point with his wife Elizabeth and their 14-month-old daughter Phoebe.

In his new position, Rogers will play a major role in raising the funds for CATS to advance the organization’s mission to save land and make hiking trails that link communities, connect people with nature and promote economic vitality.

“I’ve admired the work that CATS does for some time and I’m thrilled to help the organization grow and achieve its goals,” Derek said. “I can hardly wait to hike all the trails and I’m especially pleased to help expand the programs into Clinton County and then into the southern part of the valley.”


Business after hours

PLATTSBURGH — The next North Country Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event will be hosted by the Northeast Group. 

The Northeast Group is a family-owned printing, mailing and distribution company that services an international customer base from its Plattsburgh headquarters. At the Thursday, Oct. 17 event, the distribution group will be celebrating 40 years in business. 

The Business After Hours, featuring hors d'oeuvres, complimentary drinks and business card drawing, will be held at the local facility at 12 NEPCO Way in Plattsburgh from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

The event is open to all chamber members and their employees. Future members are encouraged to contact the chamber for a one-time guest pass. Admission is $3 with an advance reservation and $4 without. 

For more information, or to make reservations, please visit or call the Chamber of Commerce at 518-563-1000. 


Women in Business event

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Chamber of Commerce will host its 8th Annual Celebration of Women in Business event on Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Side Ballroom.

This event is an opportunity for everyone, both men and women, to celebrate the women at work in the North Country. It will start with the Boot Camp for Women In Business sessions, including, "Unleash Your Superpower," "A Different Kind of Selfie," "Can Technology Improve Your Work-Life Balance?," "Build Your Confidence and Become a Better Negotiator," and "#METOO: Is It Changing the Business World?"

The event will end with a luncheon featuring keynote Stacy Frederick Spector. Frederick Spector is an attorney in Glens Falls, a member of the Catamount Consulting Team, the COO of Be a Hero LLC and a co-creator of the Sweethearts and Heroes program. She is a mother of two boys and a professional physique competitor.

Tickets are $75 for chamber members and partners and are $90 for non-members. Attendees will be entered in a drawing to win $500. More information can be found at, or by calling the North Country Chamber of Commerce at 518-563-1000. 


Ti Chamber welcomes new business

CROWN POINT — The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting for the new Creekside Therapeutic Massage location at 17 Miller Drive in Crown Point.

The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that serves, markets and promotes Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Hague, Moriah and Putnam. Its vision is to be the leading advocate for business, serving as a driving force in the economic vitality of the area, uniting communities and maximizing resources. 

Creekside Theraputic Owner & Operator Sierra Harrington is a New York state certified massage therapist, with an AS in massage therapy and AAS in physical therapy. Harrington has over 10 years of experience and offers deep tissue, hot stone, thai massage, fibromyaligia and positional release techniques.

“I am excited to be offering an array of massage services in our new location in Crown Point," she said. "The space offers a private, relaxing and professional atmosphere for clients. I encourage community members and visitors to contact me to see my new space and book your next appointment."

Ticonderoga Chamber President & CEO Matthew Courtright said the group was thrilled to welcome Creekside. 

"Sierra’s new space is beautiful and will truly offer a great massage experience," he said. "We look forward to working with Sierra for many years to come as we serve, market, and promote Creekside Therapeutic Massage."


Ti networking event

TICONDEROGA — Eddie’s Restaurant will host Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce's October After Business Mixer and Networking Event.

The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that serves, markets and promotes Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Hague, Moriah and Putnam. Its vision is to be the leading advocate for business, serving as a driving force in the economic vitality of the area, uniting communities and maximizing resources. 

The Chamber’s “After Business Mixers” provide a networking forum for chamber members and area business people in addition to showcasing the site of the host as well as promoting the door prize sponsors. Networking is a key component of chamber membership and marketing your business. 

The event will double as a "New Beginnings" event giving chamber members, businesses, organizations and our new Young Professionals network a chance to meet the new North Country Community College President Joe Keegan, who was appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees earlier this year. A former NCCC student, Keegan started his professional career at the college as an adjunct instructor in 1994. He went on to become an associate professor, coordinator of the college’s human services programs and served as the vice president for academic affairs from 2014 until his appointment as president.

"I know that many of us have been positively impacted by having the college in our community, whether it is part of our own journey in higher education or we had family or friends who attended and earned their degree with us," Keegan said. "Regardless, I look forward to meet and hear from you how the college can continue to be an essential part of the vibrant community that is the Ticonderoga area."

The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Eddie's Restaurant at 68 NYS Route 9N in Ticonderoga. 

“We are excited to host the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce and North Country Community College for this event," Co-Owner & Operator Beth Iuliano said. "We are proud to be a TACC member and support all of their efforts."


Champlain National promotions

CHAMPLAIN — Champlain National Bank has promoted Michelle Lafountain to mortgage loan specialist and Stephanie Coulombe to the Champlain branch manager. 

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

Lafountain started with the bank as a teller  in 2003. In 2008, she was promoted to branch manager of the Champlain branch. In 2017, she also took over management of the Plattsburgh branch, where she was responsible for overseeing both locations. In her new role, Lafountain will remain in charge of the Plattsburgh branch, in addition to handling mortgage loan originations. Lafountain also volunteers as the North Country Youth Hockey Organization treasurer and enjoys camping and spending time with her family and friends.

Coulombe started at Champlain National Bank in 2008, working in the Lake Placid branch before moving to the Champlain location. She became assistant branch manager in 2017.  In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and two children Landon and Leah. 


Legal assistant hired

PLATTSBURGH — Attorney Mark Schneider has hired Kayla Hebert MSW as a legal assistant/paralegal.

Schneider has been practicing law since graduating in 1981. He opened his Plattsburgh law office in 1996, after many years of representing workers, immigrants and farmworkers. He appears in New York State courts, the United States District Court in Albany, the United States Court of Appeals in New York City and the United States Supreme Court. His office is located at 57 Court St. in Plattsburgh and provides legal services to people in Clinton, Franklin, and Essex Counties. 

After 38 years of practice, Schneider now focuses on representing claimants in Social Security and SSI appeals. Hebert will be assisting with these cases, by interviewing clients, filing appeals, completing forms, obtaining medical records, preparing for hearings and helping claimants navigate the complicated Social Security appeal system. She is in the process of becoming an accredited representative by the Social Security Administration.  

Hebert was born and raised in Keene Valley, where her family has lived for many generations. She graduated summa cum laude from St. Lawrence University in 2015 and recently completed her master’s degree in social work at Smith College School for Social Work. Having always been focused on helping people, Hebert is proud that she is now using her social work skills to help support Social Security and SSI claimants in obtaining disability benefits. 

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