A nonprofit incorporated organization, TAUNY is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board meets bi-monthly, usually on the third Friday of each month.
President Alan Hersker is the Director of the General Education Program, and Associate Professor of Applied Anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. His research interests include organizational anthropology, heritage management, Gender and LGBTQ studies. He and his partner, Eric King, live in Oxbow with several large rescue dogs, a few cows, some goats, and Sulli the Llama. He also serves on the boards of the Oxbow Historical Association and the Oxbow Volunteer Fire Company.
Vice President Ruth McWilliams, South Colton, co-owns and manages Catamount Lodge & Forest LLC with her husband Joe. She is a native of St. Lawrence County, raised on a family-owned dairy farm in Lisbon. Ruth is interested in sustainable approaches to community development and natural resource management. She recently retired from the US Department of Agriculture after 30 years of public service; she last served as the Forest Service’s National Sustainable Development Coordinator in Washington, DC. She also currently serves as president of a local family foundation created in honor of her parents. Ruth and Joe have a grown son who lives in Virginia.
Neal Burdick, a seventh-generation Northern New Yorker, grew up in Plattsburgh and is a Phi Bata Kappa graduate of St. Lawrence University; he also holds a Ph.D. in American Studies. A long-time resident of Canton, he recently retired as senior writer / editor at St. Lawrence, where he continues as an Advanced Writing professor. Burdick is editor of Adirondac, the magazine of the Adirondack Mountain Club; a columnist for NNY Living magazine; and a frequent contributor to Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Life magazines. He is also a husband, father and grandfather.
Chris Covert, Jr., Saranac Lake, joined the TAUNY Board of Directors in 2019, after serving for 5 years on TAUNY's Advisory Board. Chris is the broker, owner, and founder of Guide Boat Realty, LLC, which he opened in 2000 after working full time in the field for 15 years. During two terms as president of the Northern Adirondack Board of Realtors, Chris was instrumental in expanding the board's territory substantially and oversaw the Board's first implementation of a computerized multiple listing system.
Judith DeGroat, Madrid, is an Associate Professor of History at St. Lawrence University, with interests in cultural history and commitment to providing her students opportunities to learn about and meet North Country residents during their university years. She has partnered with TAUNY on several student projects over the years, which has allowed students to participate in program planning and documentation of traditional arts at TAUNY, and welcomes the chance to expand that relationship.
Kate Newell, a native of St. Lawrence County, currently makes her home in Canton. She is a former elementary school teacher, has served on numerous North Country community boards, and is a co-founder of the Sweetgrass Foundation. She’s been involved with TAUNY since the beginning and continues to be a strong supporter of the organization.
Jackie Sauter, Canton, is retired from her position as Program Director at North Country Public Radio. She is a member of a variety of community groups, with a special interest in the arts and in assisting individuals with disabilities and their families. Her particular interests include world, traditional, and folk music, which she featured on her own public radio program, Music for a Monday Afternoon.
TAUNY's advisory board contributes their expertise and strategic thinking to the organization.
Hallie Bond, Long Lake
Linda Casserly, Canton
Fred Hanss, Potsdam
Sue Ellen Herne, Hogansburg
Sandy Maine, Parishville
Allan P. Newell, Hammond
Carol Smith Pynchon, Canton
Tracy L. Robertson, Theresa
Ginny Schwartz, Canton and Upper Saranac Lake
T. Urling Walker, Watertown
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