Adirondack Diversity Initiative executive director steps down

October, 2022

Nicole Hylton-Patterson is leaving her post as the inaugural director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative for a leadership position at a Brooklyn nonprofit. The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) is convening a hiring committee to search for a new director.

Hylton-Patterson’s last day will be Friday, according to a news release. ANCA plans to post the job position in late October on adirondack.org.

In a phone interview Wednesday, the 48-year-old Hylton-Patterson said she will be moving to Brooklyn to be with her mother. She will be the new director of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York, a nonprofit that works with the developmentally disabled. She became emotional talking about the people she has met in the Adirondacks and the work she and community members have accomplished. From partnering with local police and sheriff’s departments on diversity training, to bringing more students of color up to the Adirondacks, Hylton-Patterson, ADI and its partners have instituted new and inclusive programs since her start in 2019.

“It’s the hearts and minds that I’ve changed, or even opened a little bit, to consider some of what we are saying or sharing of everyday folks,” Hylton-Patterson said. “That for me I think is what I’m going to miss the most, the people on the ground.”

ANCA staff highlighted a multitude of accomplishments under Hylton-Patterson’s leadership including its cultural consciousness trainings, community policing initiative and emerging stewards program. Hylton-Patterson said she was overwhelmed by the number of requests for diversity training in her tenure at ADI. Pete Nelson, co-founder of Adirondack Wilderness Advocates and ADI, said he is sorely going to miss working with Hylton-Patterson.

“Nicky is a dynamic, passionate leader and she is also my friend,” Nelson wrote, adding that “she leaves behind a strong, vital organization, with multiple initiatives that are making a real difference in the North Country.  That’s her legacy, and we will honor it by doing even more.”

Read the full story in the Adirondack Explorer.

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