Crowd listening to a speaker

North Country Symposium

Contact Information

The 17th Annual North Country Symposium
"Movement in the North Country"

Eben Holden Conference Center, St. Lawrence University
November 18th 2019

Supported by St. Lawrence University’s Ellen C. Burt ’42 Endowment for North Country Education

The 17th annual North Country Symposium, was held at St. Lawrence University’s Eben Holden Conference Center on November 18th.  Participants explored “Movement in the North Country.”

With our region seeking to recruit residents as entrepreneurs, workforce, and civic leaders, Symposium participants looked at national rural migration patterns and the elements of community development that must be addressed to successfully recruit residents to our North Country communities: place-making, downtown redevelopment, housing, recreation, arts and culture, and more.  We also heard from the leaders of emerging initiatives that have our region ‘on the move.’

See the program!

The Symposium featured the following program elements:

  • Welcoming Remarks by Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at St. Lawrence University.
  • Opening Remarks by Ben Dixon, Coordinator of Regional Development at St. Lawrence University and Coordinator of the North Country Symposium
  • “Living in the Middle of Everywhere” resource mapping exercise.  
  • Keynote Address by Ben Winchester, Researcher and Educator of Community Economics at the University of Minnesota Extension, on “Rewriting the Rural Narrative.” 
  • Remarks from guest speaker U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
  • Presentations on Emerging Initiatives, with roots in the North Country Symposium, that provide hope for the sustainability of our rural communities:
  • The Launch of a Resident Recruitment Program in St. Lawrence County

    • Patrick Kelly, CEO, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency
  • The North Country Center for Businesses in Transition

    • Dani Delaini, Business Transition Program Coordinator, Adirondack North Country Association
  • The St. Lawrence County Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership CORE program

    • Lenore Vanderzee, Executive Director for University Relations, SUNY Canton
  • Panel of Newcomers and Returnees to the region, who shared their thoughts on why they moved to the North Country:

    • Heidi Ames, Grants Manager, St. Lawrence County Planning Office
    • Alex Hazard, Community Relations & Lifestyle Host, WWTI ABC50
    • Mike Frazer, Owner, Frazer Computing, Inc.
    • Brooke Rouse, Executive Director, St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
    • Hagi Bradley, VP and Dean of Student Life, St. Lawrence University
  • Engagement Sessions led by Mr. Winchester that explored ways to get the North Country “On the Map,” how to push resident recruits “Over the Edge,” and how to “Welcome Home” those who decide to move to the region.
  • Networking and Discussion Time