Press Releases

Adirondack Council Welcomes Michael Barrett as New Exec. Dir. of Adirondack Mountain Club

Longtime Exec. Dir. Neil Woodworth to Remain CEO for Now

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- The Adirondack Council today welcomed Michael Barrett as the new Executive Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), while recognizing more than 30 years of leadership by current Executive Director Neil Woodworth, who is stepping down soon as director of the park’s largest outdoor recreation organization.

Barrett is an attorney who formerly worked for the NYS Assembly as well as New York Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson before moving to Missouri, where he also held several government positions.

Woodworth will remain as ADK's chief executive officer for a period of time after Barrett takes over.

“We welcome Michael Barrett to the Adirondacks and we look forward to working with him in the years ahead,” said William C. Janeway, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council. “His experience will serve him well as we all work to protect the park’s ecology, beauty and wilderness, and improve public recreation.”

In making the announcement, ADK noted that Barrett is a former foreign language interrogator for the United States Army. He went on to obtain his law degree in 2002 before serving as an attorney to the state Assembly Codes Committee. He later held positions in both the Spitzer and Paterson administrations.

After moving to Missouri, he worked as counsel to the Department of Natural Resources before becoming Deputy General Counsel to Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon, a position he held for three years before being selected as the Director of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. For the past four-plus years, Michael served as the Director of the Missouri State Public Defender System, which included functioning as both the systems’ lobbyist and public information officer.

“For more than 35 years, Neil produced results through his dedication, passion, expertise, knowledge, vision and ability to lead volunteers and staff,” said Janeway. “Neil has had an incredible positive impact on the preservation of wildlands, protection of and opening to the public of waters such as Little Tupper Lake, the Boreas Ponds, and education of outdoor enthusiasts. We also recognize his wife Holly, for all she has done and helped Neil accomplish, for the Adirondacks, New York and the Adirondack Mountain Club.

“It has been a pleasure to know and work with Neil as he progressed through every level of ADK’s leadership over the past 35 years,” said Janeway, whose work for ADK began immediately after college.  “He was a volunteer leader and chair of the Conservation Committee when I came to the Adirondack Mountain Club in 1985. He became Deputy Director and Counsel, then Executive Director and counsel. I worked with him at ADK, when I was with the Nature Conservancy, and when I was a Regional Director for Department of Environmental Conservation in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. Neil has been a leader of the Club for as long as I’ve known him.”

The Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. The Council envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, and vibrant communities. 

The Adirondack Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action to ensure the legacy of the Adirondack Park is safeguarded for future generations. Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

For more information:

John Sheehan, Director of Communications, 518-441-1340

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019

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