St. Lawrence Leadership Institute graduates 11 in 2018 class
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 11:43 am

Photo by Bruce Dana

POTSDAM -- The St. Lawrence Leadership Institute at SUNY Potsdam recognized the graduates of its Class of 2018 in a special ceremony recently. They spent the past year gaining leadership experience, learning about pressing issues facing the North Country, and preparing presentations relevant to their interests.

"I was able to take away a deeper understanding of the issues facing our county, and I feel more prepared to start helping to face those issues with positive energy," said Craig Chevalier, who is NBT Bank's Ogdensburg branch manager. "The introspective work on my own leadership journey was very eye-opening and valuable."

The St. Lawrence Leadership Institute is a partnership between SUNY Potsdam and the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

"SLLI was an amazing experience. When I applied, I was concerned about the time commitment, but each month, I looked forward to the presentations and interacting with my classmates,” said Felicia Dumas, the new executive director of the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program.

St. Lawrence Leadership Institute aim is to develop in those committed to the county's growth and quality of life an awareness of the issues facing the county, and ways to dedicate themselves to self-discovery and developing leadership skills.

"The St. Lawrence Leadership Institute helped me to grow as a leader and also helped me to better understand the vast county that we live in. Our county may have unique challenges, especially as a large rural county; however, we have a lot to celebrate, too," said Nicole Conant, executive assistant to the president at SUNY Potsdam. "During the leadership institute, I had the opportunity to cross paths with many leaders, and it has helped me to think about how we can create innovative partnerships to positively shape our future."

The SLLI Class of 2018 graduates includes Craig Chevalier of Massena, Nicole Conant of Potsdam, Amy Dona of Norfolk, Felicia Dumas of Pierrepont, Jeff Gerrish of Potsdam, Bruce Green of Lisbon, Aubree Keese of Brasher Falls, Lianne Knight of Colton, Tanya Krise of Parishville, Andrea Smith of Potsdam, and Nate Smith of Potsdam.

SLLI is still seeking applications from rising leaders with a passion for serving the region to join its next set of sessions starting in the fall. Classes will begin in September and continue through June 2019.

Monthly sessions are from 4 to 8 p.m., each held in a different location in the county. The program includes curriculum developed and taught by experienced SUNY Potsdam faculty, with invited talks and panel discussions featuring community leaders.

The cost is $550, which includes all course materials, meals and a graduation dinner. Scholarships are available. Full tuition may also be paid by a student's employer or sponsoring organization.

To apply, visit, download the application, and mail all completed materials to St. Lawrence Leadership Institute at SUNY Potsdam, Attn: Admissions Committee, 44 Pierrepont Ave., Raymond Hall 204, Potsdam, NY 13676.

For more information contact SUNY Potsdam's Division of Graduate and Continuing Education at (315) 267-4722 or [email protected]. You can also visit