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Board of Directors and Staff
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Randall Beach, President
- Andy Sajor, 1st Vice President
- Peter G. Repas, 2nd Vice President
- William Johnson, Interim Treasurer
- Bruce Ferguson, Secretary
- Lisa Hammerquist Hall
- Kristen Hanifin
- Marcia O. Kees
- Walt Lender
- Carmella R. Mantello
- Assemblyman John T. McDonald, III
- Mo O’Connell
- Stephanie Safka
Randall S. Beach, President: A native of Plattsburgh and now a resident of Schenectady, Randall is an attorney with Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP. He became a partner in the firm in 2007 and concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial real estate and real estate development. Prior to joining Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, he was the Director of Legal Affairs for Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation.
Andrew Sajor, 1st Vice President: A retired educator, Andy taught physical science, earth science, and physics in the Peru School district and spent his summers doing research and developing curriculum for the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies Discover Earth program. Currently, he is a reviewer of education products seeking NASA endorsement and a part-time rigger for Doyle Sailmakers Champlain.
Peter G. Repas, 2nd Vice President: Peter served as the Executive Director of the Association of Public Broadcasting Stations of New York from 2003 – 2016. Prior to his employment with APBS of New York, Peter was a member of New York State Senator Ronald B. Stafford’s staff for 31 years. Born and raised in Plattsburgh, Peter currently resides in Castleton, New York.
William Johnston, Interim Treasurer: Bill was the Essex County Planner/Planning Director for nearly 30 years. He is a founding board member of Lakes to Locks. In addition to his experiences as a planner, Bill taught in New York City public schools and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. He has served on the board of a long list of nonprofit organizations—and helped found several, including Adirondack Architectural Heritage, Ballard Park Foundation, and the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County.
Bruce Ferguson, Secretary: Bruce is a graduate of the Cornell College of Agriculture and served eight terms as Salem Town Supervisor. He has served on the Warren and Washington County Industrial Development Agency, Board of the Washington County Tourism Association, Washington County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, Chairman of Washington County Empire Zone Administrative Board, and several others. He is a current Board Member of the Adirondack North Country Association. Bruce resides on his family farm in Salem, which has a part-time beef operation.
Lisa Hammerquist Hall: Lisa is the publisher of the Lake George Mirror, a newspaper established in 1880 to serve the resort community. Prior to becoming a full-time publisher, she was a clothing designer and maker of home furnishings, working for Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, and many other private and corporate clients. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Martha Stewart Living, the New York Times Magazine, Victoria, and Town and Country. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She also is vice-president of the Marcella Sembrich Association and of the Bolton Historical Society. She lives in Bolton Landing.
Kristen Hanifin: Kristen is currently the Special Events and Convention Bureau Director at Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & Convention Visitor Bureau. Previous positions include Director of Marketing at New York State Canal Corporation, Community Cultural Liaison for the Department of Defense Education Activity, and MVP Health Care Community Relations/Public events specialist.
Marcia O. Kees: Marcia worked for 35 years with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, where she served as Coordinator of the New York State Heritage Area Program. She is a recognized expert on the development and management of state and national heritage areas. Marcia is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany and serves as a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Masters in Regional Planning Program.
Walt Lender: Walt is the Lake George Association’s executive director. A resident of Ticonderoga, he lives on the northern end of Lake George with his wife and three children. Previously, Lender was employed by Fort Ticonderoga as the Director of Development/Government and Corporate Relations Officer. He currently also serves as President of the Board of PRIDE of Ticonderoga, Inc, a rural preservation company working to preserve and revitalize Ticonderoga, where he once held the post of Executive Director. In all, he has nearly 20 years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector.
Carmella R. Mantello: Carmella currently serves as Troy City Council President and a Research Analyst for the New York State Legislature. Previously, she served as an Eastern New York Regional Business Development Representative for Barton and Loguidice, where she promoted, developed, and marketed the firm’s professional engineering and planning services. Her previous positions include Director of the New York State Canal Corporation, Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council, Executive Director of the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley, Inc., and Director of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Additionally, she worked 12 years as Legislative Director to a New York State Senator, Executive Director of the New York State Senate Labor Committee, and six years as a Troy City Council Member.
Assemblyman John T. McDonald, III: John has a long record of civil service. The Mayor of Cohoes for 13 years, he became a Member of Assembly for the 108th Assembly District in 2012. In 2013, he was appointed to the Albany Convention Center Authority board, which is charged with instituting a coordinated program of convention activities in the city of Albany and undertaking economic development projects in the historic downtown area. A practicing pharmacist, he is also the owner of Marra’s Pharmacy & Medical Equipment in Cohoes and teaches part-time at the Albany College of Pharmacy.
Mo O’Connell: Mo holds over 20 years of experience in various aspects of theatre, museum management, event management, civic involvement, and volunteer coordination. He manages all museum-related and new business sales for Adirondack Studios. His previous positions include director of the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs and House Manager at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. He is also on the board of the Feeder Canal Alliance.
Stephanie Safka: A Whitehall resident, Stephanie is a co-owner of Fort Ann Antiques and Nicholas Auctions. Stephanie is a founding member and past president of Washington County Tourism and past president of the Hudson Falls/ Kingsbury Chamber of Commerce. Stephanie is currently on the Whitehall Town Board.