February 2019

Lewis County Emerging Professionals Meeting Minutes 02/06/19


Brittany Davis, McKenzie Lehman, Lydia Young, Gerry Hanelin, Jared Thisse, Caree Turck, Elora Clemens, David Steltz, Amanda Nguy
Guests: Kristin Aucter (Lewis County Chamber of Commerce), Christie (Leadership Academy)


  • Brain Drain/Brain Gain discussion for Lewis County initiative
  • Upcoming Events
  • Board Business
  • Lewis County NEWS

Brain Drain issue / Brain Gain initiative

  • Discussion at the Business Leaders Breakfast last month, raised questions regarding LCEP’s role in county
  • Many have volunteered to become more involved to help attract and retain people in Lewis County
  • Goal is to help clarify our role in this, importance of our organization, what would it look like if we were doing this well in our community

Discussed importance of:

  • Having opportunities for networking, different kinds of entertainment and events, with an emphasis on professional development
  • Growing membership required for better volume, though still a fairly new and unkown organization, still trying to determine focus
  • Members are currently subscribed to the newsletter, though ideally more people (everyone in Lewis County) would know who we are, local businesses and employers, not just young people in the area
  • People would be involved in helping make opportunities AND be willing to participate/volunteer, which can prove to be challenging

Attract & Retain:

  • Our group is about connection, once people are in our area, though we can look to attract them in earlier to various events
  • Regarding our role to retain people is best executed by getting them involved, show them what is here and available recreationally, economically, socially
  • Social: Get together with people, networking larger groups and other Community organizations
  • Keep people in our area by sharing common values: integrity, trust
  • Need to be Making deliberate connections with folks and organizations that will bring them to us
  • Partnership needed with local organizations, including variety of professions, teachers*

What is LCEP?

  • We connect people in Lewis County
  • We believe anyone who has a job who contributes to our society is a professional that we want to get to know
  • We value our community, locals who grew up here, who want to come home, and also other people who aren’t familiar with the area
  • Not just Lowville, include all towns in Lewis County
  • Negative mentality that there is nothing to do here just isn’t true
  • Focused on WHO the people are, WHAT they do here, and help people find their place (stage of life, who they are here, what is here, etc.)
  • Members should feel like they have a “family” of people to get connected to
  • Join us, attend our meetings and events, feel successful and connected and find their place
  • Ask those people who chose Lewis County, Why? What can we learn from them?


Brain Gain part 2 meeting, re-start the conversation surrounding:

  • Marketing and recruitment
  • Working with legislators
  • Fort Drum, veterans, retirement and/or civilian workforce entry

LCEP Board Business


  • Bank account established, can sign up for a Stripe account, can do cash transactions
  • We can still take payments, it’s just paying others that is a challenge until we sort out 3rd party payment system
  • Discussed option to apply for 501C3. Benefit: would be our own organization. Downsides: legal fees, processing paperwork takes time, at least $1,000
  • Attorney mentioned: Candace Randall ?


  • David noted our webpage does not show up when you Google us
  • Going to check SEO things

Upcoming Events

EVENT: AdiRunDuck race, on Sunday April 28th

  • Need volunteers to help with race logistics and man the table
  • Benefits Oswegatchie

EVENT: JULY Garden Party at 1812 House, July 12th

  • Fundraiser for Renee Beyer Fund
  • Networking opportunity, signature event
  • Logistics still need to be ironed out. Determine alcohol, outdoor cash bar, hire a bartender?
  • Catered or not? Price them out per person
  • Per person ticket price of $?
  • LOCATION: Chris Buckingham needs deposit to book venue… Pinetree? RJ’s? Fancier hors d’ouevres

EVENT: Snowshoe Hike at Oswegatchie – rescheduled for Sunday Feb 10th, 1pm

  • Extra snowshoes will be provided, s’mores and bonfire to be enjoyed after the hike

Other actions needed

  • Put NNY Business article on our website nnybizmag.com
  • Membership and Messaging need to be priorities this spring, follow up with new members that day or following
  • Garden Tour with the Library
  • Constable Hall
  • Gym membership perk needs to be discussed at next meeting. 10% off or donate?

March Event – Sushi Night, LCEP Board


TO DO: Share our STORIES – personal connections, WHY we joined LCEP and WHAT it has done for our lives professionally and socially, send to David to add to the website.

Christie's summary:

EP’s Focus on Connection and Retention in the Brain Gain initiative

  • Be a family helping people find their place, know what’s here, giving them reasons to stay
  • Welcoming and open, intentionally inviting others to formal and informal gatherings, remembering that the personal ask matters
  • The Brain Gain people might be new to the area, coming home or wanting to stay home – either way, it’s about building a network of connections that make people know they are welcomed

Partnerships & Communication

  • We need the community to know we are here as a resource (educating employers, community organizations, etc.)
  • Leverage multiple communication channels so that we can get to new people early – get our message out]
  • Consider opportunities to reach out to people now – ie. new teachers? New lawyer and spouse

Next steps:

  • Invite Business Leaders Breakfast Brain Gain volunteers to the March EP
  • Consider a follow up Brain Gain 2 at/after the next Business Leaders Breakfast
  • Update Website and FB page
  • Make connection to new lawyer

NEXT LCEP MEETING DATE: Wednesday March 6th, 5:30pm, followed by happy hour

EP Logo

The Lewis County Emerging Professionals network was established to attract and retain professionals by enhancing the social, professional, and community outreach opportunities available to emerging professionals within Lewis County and to increase the opportunity for communication, shared knowledge and interaction between those individuals, uniting them in a common cause to promote community development and service.

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