Board and Staff


Janet Kennedy, Executive Director
Margaret Gibbs, Heritage Program Director
Gretel Schueller, Community Outreach Director
Andrew Alberti, Program Manager

Janet Kennedy, Executive Director: Janet Kennedy has served as Executive Director since the founding of the organization. As "chief imagineer," she has worked with the Board and staff to shape an organization that does inspire people to celebrate our heritage and build pride for future generations. And she’s responsible for bringing the homemade bread to the Board meetings and cookies to the office.

Margaret Gibbs, Heritage Program Director: Margaret is responsible for implementing the Heritage Center Strategy. She builds collaborations between museums and cultural institutions to create a seamless interpretive experience based on a shared heritage. As Director of the Essex County Historical Society for 14 years, she designed programs that told the stories that reveal the roots and values of the region’s land and people. She’s also responsible for bringing chocolate to the office.

Gretel H. Schueller, Community Outreach Director: Gretel edits and/or writes most of the content for our books, brochures, blogs, interpretive signs, and audio journeys—as well as press material. She’s currently in the process of helping redesign our PassagePort website and amp up our marketing strategies.  She has a Master’s in Journalism from NYU and excels at eating Janet’s cookies!

Andrew Alberti, Program Manager: Drew is responsible for website management, research/development of interpretive materials, and community relations. He holds a MA in Public History from the University at Albany. He’s also required to cook up one of his delicious meals when we have staff meetings.


Edward Bartholomew, President
Randall Beach 1st Vice-President
Peter G. Repas, 2nd Vice President
John Giordano, Treasurer
Bruce Ferguson, Secretary

Diane (Dee) Carroll
Lisa Hammerquist Hall
Kristen Hanifin
William Johnston
Marcia O. Kees
Walt Lender
Carmella R. Mantello
Peter Martin
Assemblyman John T. McDonald, III
Mo O'Connell
John Patterson
Stephanie Safka
Andrew Sajor

Robert Weible

2017-2018 Board Of Directors

Edward Bartholomew, President: Ed is President and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation in Warren County. He also serves as CEO of Adirondack Gateway Council (representing over 20 municipalities and organizations within Warren, Washington, and Northern Saratoga Counties).  One of his many previous roles was mayor of Glens Falls from 1978-1985. He also served in various capacities for Senator Ronald Stafford and Congressman Carleton J. King. Ed’s practice of law has focused on municipal, school, planning, zoning, and real estate matters.

Randall S. Beach, 1st Vice-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.

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.

John Giordano, Treasurer: John is the Director of Investor Relations for the Center of Economic Growth (CEG).  CEG is the main economic development engine for the eight counties in the Capital Region. Prior to CEG, John’s background has been in tourism, hotels, meeting planning, and travel companies. John also started New York State’s first amphibious tour service in Albany called the Albany Aqua Ducks. 

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.

Mo O’Connell, Immediate Past-President: 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.

Diane (Dee) Carroll: Dee graduated from Stanford University and has a Masters in Creative Arts Therapy from Goddard College. In Albany, she taught art in junior high school and was as art and activities therapist at the Capital District Psychiatric Center. In 1982, the Carroll family purchased the Westport Marina on Lake Champlain. Active in regional and community organizations, Dee has served on the Board of Education at Westport Central School and is a past president of the Westport Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys painting acrylic landscapes.

Lisa Hammerquist Hall: Lisa is 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.

William Johnston: 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 Corp 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.

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.

Peter Martin: Peter is a Saratoga County Supervisor, representing the city of Saratoga Springs. He has also served as Saratoga County Clerk and as director of the Arthritis Foundation, Inc., the largest voluntary health organization representing 50 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis. He serves on the executive committee of Caffe Lena, America’s oldest folk coffee house. He was General Council and Senior Vice President at The Ayco Company, L.P.

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.

John Patterson: John has lifelong connections with Clinton County, and divides his time between Chazy and Burlington, VT.  He is an Associate Professor Emeritus in American Studies and History at Penn State Harrisburg. While living in Pennsylvania, he helped found the Susquehanna Folk Music Society. He also hosted a folk music program for the public radio station in Harrisburg and continues to present an eclectic music podcast available via iTunes. John has served on the Council of the Pennsylvania Historical Association and on the boards of the Champlain Valley Festival, the Community of Vermont Elders, and the Vermont Folklife Center. 

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.

Andrew Sajor: 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.

Robert Weible: A nationally recognized professional historian and award-winning author, Bob is the former New York State Historian and Chief Curator at the New York State Museum. Before that he served as Chief of the History Division and Acting State Archivist for the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. He was also Historian at the national park in Lowell, MA. Throughout his career, Bob has been active in state and national professional organizations, including the National Council on Public History, for which he served as President.