Northern New York Community Foundation to introduce leadership program for young North Country professionals
Friday, December 27, 2013 - 9:07 am

The Northern New York Community Foundation will introduce a leadership program for young North Country professionals after New Year’s.

The program is designed to give new professionals a “direct hand in community engagement and philanthropy,” according to a foundation press release.

The “LEAD Council” will allow members to participate in grant making, learn more about the work of local non-profit organizations, and develop leadership skills. “LEAD” stands for Leadership, Engagement, Access and Direction, the release said.

“This is a natural and important next step in the foundation’s commitment to helping ensure a solid leadership base for our community’s future. Keeping that pipeline of both talent and intellectual capital engaged is critical to ensure that all the good that has been done in our region for decades will continue in a vibrant way,” said Rande S. Richardson, foundation executive director.

The Community Foundation plans to have active LEAD Council participants from St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties.

The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors recently agreed to allot $5,000 from the organization’s Friends of the Foundation Community Betterment Fund to support grant making for the LEAD Council.

Other components of the program may include council meetings, site visits, social gatherings, invitations to foundation events and discussions with community leaders.

“It’s important for young professionals in our communities to be included in the discussion about how we can improve our region,” said Max DelSignore, foundation coordinator of donor services. “It is the Community Foundation’s responsibility to cultivate and develop community leaders, as well as provide them with an opportunity to participate in our meaningful work.”

The creation of this program “builds off the success of the organization’s Youth Philanthropy Council,” the release said.

The youth council is focused on leadership development at the high school level, and awarded $22,500 in grants over three years.