Meet the Board of Trustees

Pete Suttmeier

Name: R. Pete Suttmeier

Joined the Board: 2017

Appointment: Essex County

Position with the Board: Chair

Degree: A.B. (Dartmouth College); PhD in political science (Indiana University)

Employment: Retired

Employment History: Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon, 1990-2010
Professor of Government, Hamilton College, 1970-1990; Beijing Representative, National Academy of Sciences, 1987; Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, 1985-86

Volunteer History: Keene Valley Library Association (served as treasurer and president) Board member; High Peaks Educational Foundation member; NCCC Foundation member.

Mr. Suttmeier grew up and attended public high school in Queens, New York. Following his graduate study, he joined the faculty at Hamilton College which also marked the beginning of his love affair with the North Country. Through the hospitality of a senior colleague at Hamilton, Mr. Suttmeier became acquainted with Keene Valley and bought his house there in 1986. Through his research and teaching over the years he has been focused on China and its modernization. In retirement (after 2010) he has ski’d and hiked less and canoed more!



Name: Daniel F. Kelleher

Joined the Board: 2016

Appointment: NYS Governor

Position with the Board: Vice Chair

Degree: Master of Regional Planning, Cornell University; B.A. SUNY Plattsburgh

Employment: Special Assistant for Economic Affairs, NYS Adirondack Park Agency

Years of Experience: 9

Work History: Special Assistant for Economic Affairs, NYS Adirondack Park Agency; Co-Founder, Chief Financial Officer and Board Member, Create Orthotics and Prosthetics (Acquired by PVA Medical); Business Development Manager, Downtown Albany Business Improvement District

Volunteer History: Trustee/Secretary, Adirondack Health (Adirondack Medical Center) Foundation; Trustee, North Country Community College; Former Member; Treasurer, Barkeater Trails; former member, Alliance/Adirondack Ski Touring Council; Former Board Member; Chairman Tendercare Tot Childcare Center.

Mr. Kelleher currently serves as the Special Assistant for Economic Affairs at the NYS Adirondack Park Agency where he advises the Agency and local stakeholders on economic development strategies and impacts.  He previously served as the Business Development Manager of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District where he was responsible for managing business recruitment and retention programs as well as encouraging the transformation of downtown Albany into a 24/7 residential community.  In 2015, Mr. Kelleher co-founded medical device manufacturer Create Orthotics and Prosthetics which enabled clinicians to fit amputees with custom prosthetics at an average 60% reduction in cost; the firm was acquired by PVA Medical in 2019. Mr. Kelleher has served residents of the North Country as the Secretary and Trustee of the Adirondack Health Foundation, as a Trustee of North Country Community College, as a Treasurer and Trustee of the Barkeater Trails Alliance/Adirondack Ski Touring Council, and as Chairman and Board Member of the Tendercare Tot Childcare Center. 


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Name: Todd LaPage

Joined the Board: 2023

Appointment: Franklin County

Position with the Board: Secretary

Degrees: C.A.S. – Educational Leadership (SUNY Plattsburgh), Masters – Special Education, B.S. Industrial Labor Relations/Economics (SUNY Potsdam)

Employment: Brushton-Moira Central School – Superintendent of Schools

Volunteer History: Franklin County Agricultural Society Board of Directors, Harness Horse Breeders of New York State Board of Directors

Mr. LaPage is the proud father of four children and the youngest of twelve.  He attended elementary and high school at Brushton-Moira Central School and continues to reside in the community.   He attended SUNY Potsdam and majored in both Industrial Labor Relations and Economics.  Shortly after completing college he started as a substitute at the school and enjoyed the educational field so much he pursued a career in education.  He has been a Teacher, Director of Instructional Support Services for FEH BOCES, Director of Special Education, and High School Principal and is currently Superintendent of Schools. 

He has a passion for Harness Horse Racing.  He operates a harness horse farm in the town of Moira. Mr. LaPage is a 3rd generation horseperson. He has competed in harness racing at all levels throughout the US and Canada.  


Mary Irene Lee

Name: Mary Irene Lee

Joined the Board: 2012

Appointment: NYS Governor

Position with the Board: Member

Degree: BS Art Education, Buffalo State College

Employment: Retired

Years of experience: 35

Work History: Polk County School Board, Polk Museum of Art, Sargent Art Materials (representative)

Volunteer History: United States Girl Scouts, Minerva Service Organization, Minerva Historical Society, and Tanner Pond Gallery Committee. Currently, Member of NCCC Board of Trustees.

Mrs. Lee was born and raise in Minerva, NY.  She studied art education in Buffalo, NY.  She spent 35 years working in Florida and came back to retire in Minerva on family land since 1851.  Even in retirement, she is hard working and passionate about art and student success in education. She enjoys the Adirondacks when it is not snowing.


Seth McGowan

Name: Seth McGowan

Joined the Board: 2023

Appointment: Franklin County

Position with the Board: Member

Degree: C.A.S. Educational Leadership, SUNY Plattsburgh  - M.S. in Education, Instructional Technology, SUNY Potsdam - M.S. in Education, Administration & Supervision, SUNY Plattsburgh -B.S. in Music Education, SUNY Fredonia 1987

Employment: Retired Superintendent of Schools

Work History: Tupper Lake Central School District

Volunteer History: Rotary, Kiwanis, and ADKAction Board member. President of the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory.

Seth was born in the Bronx, NY, and resides in Tupper Lake with his wife, Susan. He and his wife raised their three grown children, Laura, Scott, and Sarah in Tupper Lake. He started his career in 1987 in education as an instrumental music teacher in Indian Lake. He took the same position with the Tupper Lake Central School District in 1990 where he later became the computer technology coordinator for the District, LP Quinn Elementary School Principal, Middle/High School Principal, and served as the Superintendent of Schools from 2007 until his retirement in 2020. He spends much of his time doing astronomy outreach to schools and communities, and deep-space astrophotography.


Name: Donna L. Wadsworth

Joined the Board: 2019

Appointment: Essex County

Position with the Board: Member

Degree: Bachelor of Arts – English.  Advanced Studies – Organizational Leadership

Employment: Communications Manager, International Paper

Years of Experience:  40

Work History: Branch Campus Director, NCCC Ticonderoga; Communications Manager, Int’l Paper

Volunteer Current/Active: Director/Instructor, American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program; North Country Regional Economic Development Council; North Country Alliance Board of Directors; Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act, Agriculture & Forestry Panel.

Ms. Wadsworth grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Washington and California and have lived in five states.  She is the mother of three adult children and grandmother of five.  Her greatest pleasures include time with family, open-water swimming, and spending time with her dog.  Being part of a learning environment at work and in the community is very important to her.



Name: Linda Beers

Joined the Board: 2023

Appointment: Essex County

Position with the Board: Member

Employment: Director of Public Health, Essex County Health Department

In addition to serving Essex, Linda continues to advocate for policies addressing the health and human services needs of underserved populations throughout the region and state.  Her professional affiliations and active memberships include:

  • Essex County Heroin Opiate Collation (ECHO) – Co - Chair
  • Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Early Intervention Coordination Council
  • Adirondack Health Foundation  (Birth to Three) Steering Committee
  • Adirondack Health Institute Committees – DSRIP, Work Force Development, and Adirondack Rural Health Network
  • NYS Health Foundation- Community Advisory Committee
  • New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) – Vice Pres.
  • NYSAC- Co- Chair of the Public Health and Mental Health Standing Committee

She has been nominated for and received multiple awards including the ‘Advocacy of the Year Award’ from the NYS Traumatic Brain Injury Foundation and the Mountain Lake Services ARC ‘Citizenship Award’ that recognition by her colleagues as a true champion. Multiply Leadership awards from NYSACHO, AHI, and NYSPHA.


Name: Vacant (July 1, 2023)

Joined the Board: pending

Appointment: NCCC Students

Position with the Board: Student Member