Current Business & Job Title: Business Manager, United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc. Manager
Hometown: Mooers, New York
Age: 36
Education: B.A. in Biology from Hartwick College
Community Involvement: I am a member of our United Way Campaign Team, participate in and help coordinate our Day of Caring, a member of the ALICE Steering Committee and VOAD-ADK, along with various other committees.

With a career history taking her from upstate New York to California and back, Holly LaFountain brings her quiet fortitude and diverse life experiences to her few role as Business Manager for the United Way. Armed with a degree in Biology and Education in Naturopathy, Holly’s commitment to healthy pathways and dedication to helping those in need have proven to be a perfect fit.

What is the single most important characteristic for success?
A willingness to learn. There are opportunities out there you have never dreamed of as long as you are willing to learn.

What is your biggest professional success?
I started working at United Way eight hours a week and have since been promoted twice within a three-year span. The second time was while working remotely, homeschooling my son, and having no accounting or business background. My boss, John Bernardi, sure has a lot of faith in me.

What important lesson have you learned in your career?
Patience. I do not just mean having patience while working with other people but also patience when things are not going as planned because things will turn out the way they are supposed to in the end.

What is your dream job?
Something in the non-profit world. There is nothing like going to work and knowing you are making a difference in some way, every day.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
I moved back to the area in 2016 after having lived in Puerto Rico for a couple of years, without a job, without a home, with only what I had in two suitcases, and with a twoyear- old. Even though it was scary, I knew it was what I needed to do to have the life I envisioned for myself and my son.

What is something that no one would guess about you?
I am in the early stages of writing a book!

Write a note to your younger self…
Dear Kiddo, you know that burning inside of you? Hold onto it. You will need every
ounce of that to come out on the other side and thrive. You will go through some intense
things over the course of your young life but know that so many good things will happen
as well and because of everything you have endured you will be so strong, so determined,
so incredibly resilient and you will be so, so happy (your future kid is pretty
amazing, too). Remember that you are worthy, you are loved, and you are weird, and I
never want you to change that!

What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
Focus on bringing in more cultural events and bolster the arts, theater, and music scene. There also needs to be an emphasis on providing additional affordable housing because homeownership is not a high priority for most younger generations.