Clarkson University Honors Retired ANCA Executive Director Kate Fish with Bertrand H. Snell Award for Community Service

Clarkson University’s highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Kate Fish, retired executive director of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) at a reception in her honor hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University Trustees on October 15, 2021.

Kate Fish and President Tony Collins

Fish’s unyielding optimism and energy, coupled with a contagious vision for the future helped drive ANCA to be seen as a leading organization looking to strengthen and identify new opportunities in the region. Prior to her recent retirement, Fish was recognized as a leader who led ANCA to becoming an innovative and responsive organization that produces tangible results for every sector on which the organization focused.

“Kate Fish worked relentlessly during her term as executive director of the ANCA to develop a skilled staff and board, to establish a sustainable clean energy program, to identify and secure new sources of revenue and to fast-track the organization’s entrepreneur and small business programs,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University. “Kate left an eternal legacy at the organization, as well as the Adirondack North Country. Her vision, her innovative way of thinking and her penchant for achievement has helped ANCA to become a real leader in sustainable economic development.”

Fish joined the organization as executive director in 2010 and quickly identified renewable energy as a critical path to developing more resilient local economies. She focused ANCA’s strategies on creating stronger local economies, including a clean energy economy. In addition to building a professional and efficient organization with an outstanding staff, she helped to attract millions of dollars in investment into the region. ANCA’s Clean Energy Program and Center for Business in Transition – developed under Fish’s leadership – have become models for other rural areas.

Prior to joining ANCA, Fish served as the managing director of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in Europe, a global nonprofit that works to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions. Headquartered in Paris for six years prior to moving to the North Country, her experience developing social responsibility strategies for major multinational corporations, developing climate policies and clean energy transportation strategies and leading complex collaborations between companies and other stakeholders has served ANCA well.

Before BSR, Fish was vice president of Public Policy for the Monsanto Company. There, she directed the company’s global stakeholder engagement program and its global biotech advisory council, both very sensitive and complex challenges.

Fish was a member of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority board of directors and a former member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Community Advisory Group. She also served on the executive committee for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and was a member of the Common Ground Alliance Core Team.

Fish received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Mills College in Oakland, Calif., and her master’s degree in education from St. Louis University. She moved to Vermont upon her retirement to be near her two daughters and six grandchildren.

Fish along with Garry F. Douglas, long-time President and CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce; Betty Little, former New York State Senator; Ellen Rocco, longtime station manager for North Country Public Radio (NCPR); and the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, including former Director Dana McGuire and Interim Director Jolene Munger were honored at a ceremony during dinner with the Board of Trustees on October 15 in the Caporali Atrium in Snell Hall on Clarkson University’s Hill Campus. The Bertrand H. Snell award honors Congressman Snell’s service to the community, Clarkson and the nation. It was created by the University’s Board of Trustees in 1981 to assure the remembrance of Clarkson’s patron while recognizing a new generation of leaders who share his commitment to the University’s greater community. Recipients of the award are chosen for their professional, business or educational accomplishments, combined with demonstrated integrity and concern for the community. To learn more about past award recipients, click here:

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