North Country Regional Economic Development Council announces appointment of new co-chairs

POTSDAM, NY — The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today announced that James McKenna, CEO of the Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) and Dr. Ty Stone, Jefferson Community College President, have been appointed Co-Chairs of the Council. They succeed Garry Douglas, North Country Chamber of Commerce President, and Dr. Anthony G. Collins, Clarkson University President, who served as Co-Chairs since the inception of the regional councils in 2011.

“The Regional Economic Development Council process has invested in projects to revitalize communities, attract more visitors, and improve the economy and quality of life in the North Country,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils. “With the appointment of Jim McKenna and Dr. Ty Stone as the North Country REDC’s new co-chairs, the council will continue to work together with leaders in academia, business and nonprofits to ensure continued economic growth and success across the region.”

NCREDC Co-Chair and ROOST CEO James McKenna said, “It has been my privilege to serve on the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, and I’m honored to assume one of the Council Co-Chair positions. Over the past eight years, the Council’s collective efforts have supported sustainable economic growth by encouraging new investments and job creation across the North Country, and I look forward to working with Dr. Stone to ensure that we continue to build on that momentum.”

NCREDC Co-Chair and Jefferson Community College President Dr. Ty Stone said, “I’m honored to be named as co-chair of the NCREDC and look forward to working with James McKenna to continue the important work in bringing attention to and securing resources for critical economic and workforce development initiatives in North Country. Our region has institutional assets that — when appropriately connected, leveraged, and resourced — are poised to make significant advancements and contributions to our economy and community. I am excited to engage our college and our community in this essential work.”

Garry Douglas, North Country Chamber of Commerce President, said, “Having the opportunity to join with Tony Collins in leading a great team from across the region to engage in economic development in an entirely new way was a privilege and an honor. It’s easy to lose sight after eight years of just how much Governor Cuomo changed things for us, empowering us to set our own strategies and trusting us to establish our own priorities. Most of all, the REDC process brought the seven county North Country together in common purpose and partnership, bringing benefits to this region on a routine basis through shared support. My thanks to the Governor for his confidence these past eight years, to Tony Collins for the remarkable experience of working with him as a true partner, and to all the REDC members and volunteers for all their teamwork. And finally, best wishes to our successors who I know will lead the process to further heights.”

Dr. Anthony G. Collins, Clarkson University President, said, “Eight years ago, Governor Cuomo introduced a ground-breaking approach to economic development that leveraged the unique attributes of each region in the Empire State. Through unprecedented public participation across communities and sectors, the North Country created a sustainable shared vision that has elevated global recognition of our region as one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study. With Garry Douglas – who I met for the first time through this process – we are grateful to all the NCREDC board members, elected representatives, agency staff and community citizens who have advanced innovative workforce opportunities and invigorated the quality of life here and for all New Yorkers.”

For the past 37 years, Mr. McKenna has served as the President and CEO of ROOST, a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation that promotes regional tourism and economic growth in Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. He represented the Village of Lake Placid at nine Olympic Winter Games and continues to deliver national and international presentations about the region’s Olympic heritage, while serving as a founding delegate to the World Union of Olympic Cities. Mr. McKenna engineered the formation of ROOST and supports its efforts to balance strategic tourism marketing with destination planning initiatives to encourage sustainable economic growth for the region.

Dr. Stone began her tenure as the sixth president of Jefferson Community College in July 2017. She holds a doctorate in organization and management from Capella University, a master’s in business administration from Trinity University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Union College. Prior to joining Jefferson, Dr. Stone served as vice president for strategic initiatives at Sinclair Community College in Ohio, where she was recognized for leading the innovative and successful Enrollment by Design initiative. Dr. Stone has recognized the importance of partnerships as cornerstones of a viable community throughout her career and continues to develop strong ties with leaders of various disciplines in the North Country through volunteer work and board participation.

Through eight rounds of the REDC initiative, the North Country has secured $614.3 million in state funding to support more than 600 projects. The NCREDC is composed of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

For more information about the NCREDC, please visit