Meet MCT's Board of Directors

MCT has 12 excellent board members, each of whom volunteer their time to move the organization and the county forward. Learn more about each person and MCT as an organization.

Officers:

President, Truman Hartshorn, Lebanon Reservoir Campground

Vice President, Andrew Hengst, Ye Olde Landmark Tavern

Secretary, Juanita Critz,  Critz Farms                                                 

Treasurer, Dan Kuper, Lincklaen House         

Directors:                                                                  

Barbara Ianuzi, Brewster Inn                                                              

Carrie Blackmore,  Good Nature Farm Brewery & Tap Room                                          

Brad Dixon, Hotel Solsville                                                               

John Mancino, Madison Bouckville Promotions                               

Rene Gabriel, State University of NY at Morrisville, Division of Hospitality & Tourism                

Kate Fisher,  Foothill Hops Farm Brewery                                        

Christine O’Neil, Oneida Community Mansion House                       

Liaison, Madison County Board of Supervisors:

Cliff Moses, Supervisor Town of Eaton


Get to Know Carrie Blackmore

.Carrie Blackmore

What is your name and professional title?
Carrie Blackmore, President and Co-Founder of Good Nature Farm Brewery & Tap Room.

Tell us about your business.
Good Nature is a homegrown, family-owned craft brewery & Tap Room. We are Madison County’s first brewery and are among New York State’s first Farm Breweries. Our mission is to contribute to a socially, economically, and ecologically thriving community, and to foster a sense of pride, ownership and a deeper connection to home through truly GOOD NATURED BEER.

What year did your business open? 
Founded as a 2 barrel Nano-Brewery in December 2010. We opened our original brewery November 2011 and our original tasting room in 2012.

What year did you join MCT as a partner business? And why did you join?
2012. The benefits for the low cost are a tremendous value as a small company.  These benefits range from national ad placements, to opportunities to host bloggers and other press, to networking opportunities.

When were you elected to the Board?
2017

Why did you choose to become involved in the board?
MCT does so much to promote our county and those efforts have helped our business in meaningful ways.  I was only too happy to be able to give back and try to help bolster those efforts with my involvement. 

What makes MCT’s mission powerful for you?
We are so proud of the place we call home. We built Good Nature around celebrating and building on our area’s heritage & culture.  Our unique history and agricultural bounty makes it a very special place to visit.  And promoting our home as part of MCT is an absolute privilege. 

What interests you most about MCT?
I have been very excited to help work on the Central New York Food & Beverage Trail, but I also have really enjoyed learning from the rest of the board about other tourism-related issues, challenges and projects outside of my industry.  

Do you have a particular area or passion when it comes to either brewing or the tourism industry?
We built our brewery around sourcing locally. We believe that the relationships we build and the buying decisions we make can have a profound impact on the economy, the environment and the social and cultural integrity of our communities. We also believe in developing a sense of pride and wonder through celebrating the unique history and cultural assets of our region.


Get to Know Juanita Critz

Juanita Critz

What is your name and professional title?
Juanita Critz, Co-Owner of Critz Farms, Inc. and Critz Farms Brewing & Cider Co.

Tell us about your business.
The farm operation centers on diversified agriculture with a family entertainment focus. We welcome visitors to the Farm from March through December to partake in our many farm-focused celebrations, pick-your-own fruits, concerts, our tasting room and more.

What year did your business open? 
1985

What year did you join MCT as a partner business? And why did you join?
I became involved with Madison County Tourism very early on, around the same time that it was formed in the early 90's. We were in our infancy as a business and we were becoming involved with a variety of organizations in order to make connections, learn and grow. It made a lot of sense to work with other local businesses to support one another.

When were you elected to the Board?
2011

Why did you choose to become involved in the board?
After being involved with Madison County Tourism as a member for some 20 years, and having gained so much through that participation, I decided it was time to give back.

What makes MCT’s mission powerful for you?
I believe in collaboration. I believe in tourism promotion. I understand the importance of tourism to our local and regional economy. Madison County Tourism brings business owners together to work toward a common goal of bringing visitors into our area. I feel that the work that this organization does is critically important and an integral part of our county's livelihood.

What interests you most about MCT?
I love that through my participation, I can learn more about other businesses and what is going on in the county. Sometimes I think I can get so absorbed in the day to day details of running a business that I can lose track of what else is going on around me and in the community. Participation helps keep me connected.

Do you have a particular area or passion when it comes to either farming, brewing or the tourism industry?
I think that providing a positive customer experience is what drives me. I see the farming, brewing and tourism aspects of the business, plus marketing and promotion, as all being intertwined. So when it comes right down to it, my passion is really with the people and working to make them happy.

Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
Reflecting on my involvement in Madison County Tourism for the purpose of this interview has made me feel very grateful. I can't believe that it has been over 25 years of working together! Critz Farms has benefited enormously from the experience and I have developed personally and professionally as well. Thank you for the opportunity.


Get to Know Kate Fisher

Kate Fisher

What is your name and professional title?

Kate Fisher, Co-Owner Foothill Hops Farm Brewery

Tell us about your business.
Foothill Hops is hop farm, home brew shop and farm brewery.

What year did your business open?
We began our hop farm in 2001. The home brew shop opened in 2008 and our farm brewery opened in November 2017. My husband, Larry, and his father have operated Fishers Electric Motors for over 60 years.

What year did you join MCT as a partner business? And why did you join?  
We have been members for about 15 years. When we joined, we had a dream that a hops history and beverage trail could bring visitors to our area and we believed we could be a cornerstone for that experience. MCT’s marketing programs linking our county’s agricultural history to food and craft beverage tourism via the Travel Guide and the CNY Food and Beverage Trail has helped many local businesses grow.

When were you elected to the Board?
2019

Why did you choose to become involved in the board?
I participated in the strategic planning meeting this winter and through that experience, recognized that I wanted to be more fully involved in plans to promote our county and provide exceptional benefits to both our visitors and our business partners. One area that I am especially interested in exploring is collaboration between partners in the form of events or tours.

What makes MCT’s mission powerful for you?
As a rural area, our economy can struggle. MCT’s promotion of diverse small businesses, rural experiences, natural beauty, influential history, creative arts, and exceptional educational institutions has and will continue to help our communities grow and prosper. 

What interests you most about MCT?
I love the networking aspects of the organization. As business owners, we are often tied to our place of business and cannot get away to patronize and converse with other entrepreneurs who are working toward the same goals of strengthening our county economy and showcasing our many historic and natural attractions. The MCT meetings give us a chance to learn what’s new, gather information to share with our patrons, enjoy the company of new friends, and celebrate each other’s successes.

Do you have a particular area or passion when it comes to either brewing, farming or the tourism industry?
The face-to-face interaction with our customers and sharing Madison County history are at the top of our list. Each conversation with a visitor to our tasting room gives us an opportunity to make a new friend and share our passion for “the whole hop experience” - from the first commercial hop plantings in Bouckville and the explosion of the local hops industry in the 1800’s, to the return of hops and malting barley production in New York and the success of the many new craft breweries in our area today. Of course, the fresh air, science geekiness, and beverages are all fun, too!

Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
Whenever I travel, I always return with the realization that “there is no place like home.” I encourage everyone who reads this to take a slow drive through an area of our county that you are not familiar with. Appreciate its natural sights and sounds, explore a cultural gem, visit a small business, take and share a photo. There are so many great things to see and do in our own backyard. Let’s tell the world!


Get to Know Rene Gabriel

Rene Gabriel

What is your name and professional title?
Rene Gabriel, Assistant Professor at SUNY Morrisville’s Division of Hospitality & Business

Tell us about your business.
Our program offers several degrees, including Resort and Recreation Service Management, Gaming & Casino Management, Travel & Tourism, Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts.

What year did your business open?
1908

When were you elected to the Board?
2018, filling the board position left vacant by Joan Johnson’s passing.

Why did you choose to become involved in the board?
I want to support the thriving tourism industry of the county and region. Having served as the Executive Director of MCT for 2 years in the mid-90’s, I'm very familiar with the efforts of the organization and how MCT does make an impact. Also, the organization's founders (Joan Johnson and Emily Marshall) remain very dear to my heart - I continue to be grateful for their initial passion, which lead to the creation of the DMO. 

What makes MCT’s mission powerful for you?
This is the only organization that promotes tourism as an important and viable industry for this beautiful, rural area. And I appreciate the hard work of both Scotts, my fellow board members and the partners of the organization. Together we are taking tourism to new heights.

 

Get to Know Truman Hartshorn

Truman Hartshorn

What is your name and professional title?
Truman Hartshorn, Owner of Lebanon Reservoir Campground

Tell us about your business.
Lebanon Reservoir Campground is a family operated RV Park located on historic Lebanon Reservoir in the town of Lebanon. The 130-acre Reservoir is a favorite fishing, boating and swimming area. The 100-acre campground includes extensive water frontage on the Reservoir and many of our 135 campsites offer a water view.

What year did your business open? 
1963

What year did you join MCT as a partner business? And why did you join?
The early 1990s. As a business owner dependent on attracting both local and more distant customers, I understand the importance of marketing to reach a targeted audience. The marketing program of MCT offers great potential to capture the family market focus of the camping industry.

When were you elected to the Board?
2014

What makes MCT’s mission powerful for you?
MCT, by promoting its 200-member partners, provides a considerable economic development force in the county. By showcasing the broad array of economic, educational, cultural and historic resources in the area and partner business offerings, MCT offers an invaluable resource. Promoting the small town and rural locations of our partner businesses in their picturesque settings among rolling hills and valleys, canal and lake environments and scenic byways, creates increased economic development opportunities.

What interests you most about MCT?
The opportunity to meet and work with the various partners associated with the tourism industry in the county has been very gratifying. The staff is doing an excellent job in developing the most effective marketing program with the use of technology and bringing new opportunities to our partners.

Do you have a particular area or passion when it comes to either the camping or the tourism industry?
My passion as a campground operator focuses on the opportunities the outdoor hospitality industry offers to bring families together to experience the great outdoors. It is particularly important to get our youth to learn what nature has to offer and camping is a great way to help them appreciate the environment. Located as we are on Lebanon Reservoir, built as a feeder for the Chenango Canal in the 1830s, an opportunity exists to tell the story of the historic nature of our setting as well as to take advantage of the recreational opportunities the water offers for boating, fishing and swimming as well as provide many other activities in the park.

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