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TDC Announces Newest Board Members

This fall, TDC welcomed six new community members to our Board of Directors. These individuals, George Barnett, Linda Brienza, Deb Cleary, Courtney Chandler DeLaura, Dr. John Kowal and Christina Ubl, all bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our organization. We will be introducing them in two installments; now get to know Linda, Courtney and John, and read about their positive impacts to the community and what they will bring to TDC!

Welcome Linda, Courtney and Dr. John Kowal! 

Linda Brienza, President of Triangle Electric, Inc.

Linda Brienza is the President of Triangle Electrical Systems, Inc., a commercial and industrial electrical contracting firm specializing in traditional installations as well as solar. She has been responsible for running the daily financial and administrative operations of the business for over 29 years. She also has been responsible for leading the sales operations of the solar division.

Linda is also actively involved with the Plattsburgh Noon Rotary Club

What positive changes are you looking to see in our community?

I would like to see more walking/cycling trails developed in the area and better use of our access to the waterfront.

Why did you agree to become a TDC board member and which committee are you hoping to serve? 

I agreed to become a TDC board member so I can contribute to the growth of the area. I would like to see the continued growth of new companies coming into the area that require a skilled workforce and provide livable wages for the community, so our youth are able to remain in the area after graduation.

Linda is interested in assisting the TDC in whatever area is most needed.  The committees that most interest her would be, Building and Real Estate, Business Attraction and Retention, Education and Workforce Development and Finance.

What do you think is unique about the Greater Plattsburgh area?

Plattsburgh is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.  Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains make Plattsburgh a unique environment. You are close to boating, hiking, fishing, biking, and skiing.

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Courtney Chander DeLaura, CPCU, CIC, VP of Agency Insurance Brokers, Inc.

Courtney Chandler DeLaura is Vice President of Agency Insurance Brokers.  She holds both a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation.  After graduating from Plattsburgh State University, she began her career in insurance working at Kemper Insurance Company in Jacksonville, FL.  In 2008 she joined Agency Insurance Brokers, her focus is on continued growth of their 4 locations while maintaining the highest level of customer service.  Courtney currently serves on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Plattsburgh, the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and as Vice-Chair of the Plattsburgh YMCA Board of Directors.

What positive changes are you looking to see in our community?

I would like to see our community continue to evolve into a highly desirable place to live and work.  We are already on that path; we are a welcoming community located in a unique area.  We just need to continue to highlight our assets and bring more businesses and families to our region.

Why did you agree to become a TDC board member?

The TDC is helping to attract businesses and grow our community.  I am excited to do what I can to aid in that process.  When our area is growing, we all benefit.

What do you think is unique about the Greater Plattsburgh area?

The people of our area really care about their neighbors.  They are always finding ways to help others whether individually or through one of the many service organizations.  In addition, geographically we have the Adirondacks, Lake Champlain, and we are within easy reach of multiple larger cities and have the advantage of living in a safe and beautiful rural setting.  Few other communities in our Country have that to offer.

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John J. Kowal, Ph.D., President of Clinton Community College

Dr. John Kowal is President of Clinton Community College and was appointed to the position in March 2022. Previously he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs for three years and prior to his appointment as President, he served as Administrator-in-Charge. As Vice President at CCC, Dr. Kowal has successfully led the development of 17 new articulation transfer pathways to CCC programs, comprehensive transfer agreements with SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Empire State College and a dual admission agreement with SUNY Plattsburgh, the first of its kind for CCC. Dr. Kowal guided the development and secured approval of four new academic programs including the first Associate in Occupational Studies degree at CCC. In working closely with local school districts, Dr. Kowal has facilitated significant growth of the College Advancement Program. Dr. Kowal has also led a participative and inclusive process for writing and implementing Clinton Community College’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

Dr. Kowal is committed to providing access to education and resources to the communities served by the College. This includes collaboration with business and education partners, supporting the development of new workforce development programs in welding and robotics to meet local industry needs, and partnering with a regional veterans center to provide on-campus services to local veterans.

Dr. Kowal holds a Doctor of Philosophy in educational administration from the University at Albany, a Master of Science in plant and soil sciences from the University of Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

What positive changes are you looking to see in our community?

One of my goals is to help increase community awareness of the value of an associate degree or certificate for enhancing one’s skills and knowledge for the diverse employment opportunities throughout the region, whether in advanced manufacturing, health services, etc.

Why did you agree to become a TDC board member and which committee are you hoping to serve? 

I accepted membership on the TDC Board with enthusiasm because I see it as a wonderful opportunity for working with leaders of various organizations for the benefit of our community and its residents and in helping to make Plattsburgh a great place to live and work.

I would like to serve on the Education and Workforce Development Committee because I place a high value on creating educational pathways for students into promising careers. Potential membership on this committee would afford me the opportunity to work with partners in business, industry, government, and education to meet the educational and training needs of employers and their employees.

What do you think is unique about the Greater Plattsburgh area?

Since I moved to Plattsburgh with my family to take on a new job at Clinton Community College, I have found the people of the Plattsburgh area to be very welcoming, friendly, and helpful. In serving as Vice President of Academic Affairs and now as President of the College, I have been and continue to be impressed with the strong spirit of collaboration in my interactions with all our North Country partners with whom we work. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, I deeply appreciate the natural beauty of the Plattsburgh area and enjoy spending time with my family at the beach on Lake Champlain, going cross country skiing on local trails, and on my frequent bike rides along the lake.

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