10 Aug Board Corner: Ed Finnerty
Ed Finnerty, the vice chairman of the ROOST Board of Directors, has been on the board for seven years in his current stint, but his involvement with the organization goes back decades.
It’s hard to get Ed to talk about himself. He’s definitely not interested in self promotion. But he’s very willing to talk about his involvement with ROOST and all the organization has done over the years.
Ed first got involved with ROOST back when it was the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce. He was on that board in the 1980s, when the organization acted as both a chamber and a visitors bureau. When someone reached out to him to see if he wanted to join the board once more in 2009, he was pleased to get involved again.
He sees ROOST as an important organization throughout the region, not just in Lake Placid, as it has the ability to promote the brand of the entire Adirondack region rather than every community and organization attempting to do its own promotion. Since the economic impact of tourism on the North Country economy is huge, it’s important to have a strong organization like ROOST focused on tourism promotion efforts in a unified way.
He also believes that ROOST has the power, more so than any other organization in the region, to work with municipalities and organizations throughout the area to stage large-scale events like Ironman Lake Placid and the Empire State Winter Games.
He sees ROOST’s strengths only growing now and in the future. But he says the most important challenge the organization faces moving forward is keeping all the various municipalities and other interests of the region working together for the greater good.
“I think it’s crucial that this collaborative effort continue,” Ed said.
It’s also important that the counties continue to support occupancy tax legislation and the collection of it, because it’s essential to funding these marketing efforts.
Ed is uniquely positioned to see the influence of ROOST throughout the greater region, as he travels throughout the region regularly in his position as general counsel and vice president of Champlain National Bank. He regularly bounces between branches in places like Lake Placid, Elizabethtown, Willsboro, and Plattsburgh — the time he spends traveling around the region may even rival that of ROOST CEO James McKenna.
For the record, Ed grew up in Rochester and went to college there before heading to law school in Albany. He moved to Lake Placid in 1978 to be a part of the organizing committee for the 1980 Olympics. He got married while here, and he and his wife decided that Lake Placid was the best place for them to live, and they’ve been enjoying it ever since.
Ed loves the multitude of outdoor recreation options around here. He was one of the people who helped start the New York State Ski Educational Foundation Nordic program in the area, and he has served as a board member of the U.S. Ski Team, so much of his free time over the past 35 years was helping to make sure that the region’s young people would have a chance to learn winter sports.