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Clarkson University official elected ANCA board’s first female chair

The board of directors of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has elected Kelly Chezum as its first female chair. Chezum is the vice president of external relations at Clarkson University in Potsdam in St. Lawrence County. (Photo credit: Adirondack North Country Association news release)

“We are so grateful to have Kelly at the helm during this exciting time at ANCA,” Elizabeth Cooper, executive director of ANCA, said. “During her 11 years on our board, Kelly has been an instrumental team member who consistently demonstrates remarkable leadership, insight and open-mindedness. She is a strong leader and positive example for our board and staff as we work together to grow economic opportunities throughout the Adirondack North Country.”

Chezum joined the ANCA board in 2011 and has served as its vice president for the past seven years alongside outgoing chair Jim Sonneborn. She has over 25 years of experience as a creative marketing professional and administrator in the public, private, nonprofit, and government sectors.

“The Adirondack North Country is a special place for residents and visitors alike,” Chezum said. “ANCA’s energetic team collaborates with local communities to have a positive economic impact. It’s an organization that makes a real difference. As a board member supporting ANCA’s mission, it’s important to me — as a parent as well as a colleague and local business patron — that we have opportunities to advance the quality of life for our friends and neighbors and create opportunity and prosperity for future generations.”        


The ANCA board also confirmed a new slate of officers and one new board member at its quarterly meeting held Sept. 23. The meeting directly preceded ANCA’s annual meeting at The Wild Center, where over 120 people gathered to learn about the organization’s current programming and impacts.

In addition to Chezum, officers include Noah Shaw of the New York City office of Foley Hoag LLP as vice president; J. Daniel Mohr of Adirondack Bank as treasurer; and Katie Malinowski of Tug Hill Commission as secretary.

Antonio DeSpirito, managing director of BlackRock and chief investment officer of its U.S. Fundamental Active Equity program, was elected as ANCA’s newest board member, ANCA said.


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