• Leadership Adirondack (LADK) Logo - A community leadership program of the ARCC
  • Thank you to our Leadership Adirondack 2019-20 Sponsors

    Six Flags Great Escape Theme Park & Lodge Logo                           Upstate Agency Insurance logo


    The Leadership Adirondack (LADK) Program Class of 2019-2020 has partnered with WSWHE BOCES and the Employment Training for Adults Program (ETA) to provide a scholarship to help increase the number of skilled trade workers needed in our region. The ARCC Leadership Adirondack Scholarship is intended to help individuals 18 years or older to start or extend their careers within the BOCES Skilled Trades curriculum. The scholarship will provide financial assistance to eligible students in the ARCC’s service area who wish to enroll in one of the skilled trades programs. The class plans to raise awareness of the labor shortage for skilled trades in our region and has launched a campaign to raise funds for the scholarship.


    Leadership Adirondack Scholarship Program Updates

    ARCC Leadership Adirondack Class of 2020 Awards Scholarships to Three WSWHE BOCES Students
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - (Glens Falls, NY) June 10, 2020 - The Leadership Adirondack (LADK) class, of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce (ARCC), has awarded scholarships to three deserving students. Each year, the LADK class chooses a community project, which in past years consisted of raising money for a local nonprofit organization. This year the LADK class of 2019-20 chose to partner with WSWHE BOCES and the Employment Training for Adults Program (ETA) to provide a scholarship to help increase the number of skilled trade workers needed in our region. This scholarship is intended to help individuals 18 years or older to start or extend their careers within the BOCES Skilled Trades curriculum and will provide financial assistance to eligible students in the ARCC’s service area who wish to enroll in one of the skilled trades programs. 
    “These scholarships were 100% funded by our local business community. Many thanks to all those who donated to support individuals who want to live, learn and work in our region, says Michael Bittel, President & CEO of the ARCC.
    Before completing the Leadership Adirondack program in February 2020, the LADK class designated a scholarship committee to review applications and determine scholarship recipients. Scholarships are awarded quarterly, for $2,500 total. The scholarship committee determines whether to award the whole amount to one recipient, or to split it among a few.
    “During a period of record unemployment, I am proud to be a part of the LADK Scholarship Committee with an eye on the future of our local community and thankful to all the local businesses and individuals who came together to support our program. Thanks to them, over $26,000 will be available to assist the upcoming generation of our skilled trades workforce,” says Christopher Ristau, Manager of The Park Theater.
    The scholarship committee split the $2,500 scholarship between three recipients:
    • Dody Dupre, who is currently seeking a Class A CDL
    • Michael Mellini, who is currently seeking certification in Welding I, Welding II, Welding III
    • Yvonne VanDesveer, who is currently seeking a Class A CDL

    The LADK Scholarship Committee consists of: Christopher Ristau (The Park Theater), Jason Hunt (Hunt Companies, Inc.), Stacy Smith (Hudson Headwaters Health Network), Megan Bishop (Lehigh Cement), Lisa Baker (Warren Washington Association for Mental Health), Brice Amsden (The VMJR Companies), Kasey Norton (Glens Falls National Bank), Jocelyn Blanchard (Southern Adirondack Independent Living (SAIL), Sean Dion (Mr. Electric of Queensbury), and Lisa Fish (The Sagamore Resort).



  • About About

    Leadership Adirondack is a dynamic, interactive program that provides skill development and community immersion experiences that enables participants to grow personally and professionally as they explore issues and opportunities in Warren & Washington County.

    Through a series of thought-provoking sessions, Leadership Adirondack develops the leadership potential of participants and builds a solid foundation of informed, action-orientated, productive employees and citizens.

    The program begins in September with a Get Acquainted Reception where the current class has a chance to meet each other, and past alumni come to encourage them on this five month, life changing, journey. The following week, participants are bused to a two-day overnight retreat where they are provided dynamic leadership training, personal development, and team-building skills.

    Beginning in early October and ending in January, nine sessions are held one day a week followed by a graduation ceremony in February. Sessions are themed around various elements of our community/region which serve as a catalyst for expanding awareness in areas such as: Agriculture, Arts & History, Tourism & Hospitality, Corporate Citizen/Board of Director Training, Education & Work Force Development, Healthcare, Manufacturing & Economic Development, Communications & Media, and Government & Legal.

    Components of the sessions include tours, keynote speakers, Q&A discussions, and interactive learning opportunities. Each session offers a unique opportunity for participants to gain an inside look at some of the area’s most innovative organizations, connect with influential business owners/operators, government and civic leaders, and enhance their professional networks.

    Leadership Adirondack unites individuals from diverse fields and backgrounds to learn more about themselves as leaders and how to best serve their organizations and community where they live, work and play. Leadership Adirondack, in it's 27th year, is proud of the legacy it continues to build with each graduating class.

    Advisory Committee Advisory Committee

    A volunteer Advisory Council contributes each year to the direction of the program. In addition, each application is reviewed and approved by the council before the candidate is selected to participate. The council is made up of the Chamber President/CEO and program Alumni. 

    Advisory Committee Members

    Name Company Alumni Year
    Russell Antonacci TD Bank 2016
    April Boucher Community Work & Independence, Inc. 2018
    Bates Childress Glens Falls Hospital Foundation 2016
    Jeremy Deason Associates of Glens Falls Insurance 2016
    Margaret DeVries WAIT House 2018
    Michael Gerarde KEENA 2016
    Stephen Porto Cool Insuring Agency 2015

    Eligibility/Commitment Eligibility/Commitment

    Eligibility: Individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their respective careers and have a strong desire to be a part of the community/region are encouraged to apply. Individuals must be willing to devote the time necessary to be a full participant in the Leadership Adirondack class experience. Dedication to the community in the form of significant volunteer service is essential. 

    How to Apply: Click here to download the program application. Application deadline is July 31, 2019.

    Commitment: True leaders are serious about their commitments. Your commitment as an applicant to fully participate in the program is essential. Participation at the two-day overnight retreat is mandatory. In addition, to graduate, participants are not permitted to be absent from more than two of the nine sessions. Participation and completion of an agreed upon class project, attendance at a day of caring volunteer effort, and observation of a non-profit board meeting of your choice, is also required. By being a member of the Leadership Adirondack class you and/or your employer are making an investment in you, in your business and in the future of our region. This experience, therefore, requires a commitment by you as a participant as well as from your employer.

    Program Tuition: $1,500 for members of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce. Tuition covers program costs for the Get Acquainted Reception, 2-day retreat, all nine sessions, meals, resource materials and the graduation ceremony.

    Benefits Benefits

    Participant Benefits

    • Increased understanding of the critical issues and opportunities affecting the community/region.
    • Gain new and lasting friendships from a network of participants who come from different backgrounds and diverse interests.
    • Gain access to top leadership in the region.
    • Achieve the inspiration to address community challenges and produce change.
    • Strengthen leadership skills and management techniques through personal development training.


    Employer Benefits

    • A more informed employee with enhanced business opportunities via broadened community/region exposure and networking.
    • Awareness and appreciation of diversity in the workplace.
    • A new camaraderie with community leaders with access to decision making circles.  


    Community Benefits

    • Informed and enlightened citizens.
    • A talent pool of trained leaders who can be called upon for collaborative decision making.
    • Citizens who are motivated to serve and make a difference.  

    Leadership Adirondack Alumni Leadership Adirondack Alumni

    Strong communities are built and sustained by effective local leaders, and our community/region is a testimony to this. The Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to the development of leaders who will serve their communities now and in the future. Many of our program graduates have been appointed to the most senior positions in their organizations and to numerous commissions and boards. Over the span of the past 28 years, the program has graduated more than 350 community leaders. Their voices are among the most influential in our region.

    The Alumni Association continues to work together to fund scholarships to the program and performs a variety of community service projects throughout the year. For a list of program alumni click here.