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Company History


Ann Ruzow Holland, Ph.D., AICP worked in hamlet revitalization, community and environmental planning and development for over 30 years. Having established and operated the first circuit rider community technical assistance programs in Essex and Clinton Counties, she then went on to found the Friends of the North Country, Inc. a private, not-for-profit community planning and development organization. Ann was Executive Director for 21 years.   Working extensively with the counties, towns, villages and hamlets in the Adirondacks, Champlain Valley, and in other parts of the Northeast, Ann demonstrated her skill at facilitating collaborative efforts and acting as a “go between” helping to translate complicated programs and technical data to local communities.


Ann is an academic and professional expert whose practice and research focuses on participation and engagement, all forms of planning, and organizational management.  Ann developed a particular interest for creative solutions to the planning issues surrounding rural, hamlet, and multi-community community development problems.  In order to conserve what is remaining of the landscape at the local and regional level, it is essential that communities use systems logic to strategically and integratively plan and implement programs and projects. 

Ann’s assistance focused on developing and implementing regenerative planning strategies and resulted in important stand-alone community projects. Conservation-based strategies were incorporated into a full array of comprehensive land use, waterfront, Main Street, community development, economic development, strategic organizational and municipal, and Scenic Byway corridor management plans.  She raised and helped communities spend millions of dollars over her tenure for hamlet revitalization, community planning and development projects in the rural Adirondacks/North Country of New York State.  

Ann directed, rehabilitated and developed over a thousand units of affordable housing, replaced and built community water and sewer systems, parks, and other civic and historic facilities. Ms. Ruzow Holland’s training and experience in main street revitalization, micro-enterprises, affordable housing construction, historic preservation, adaptive rehabilitation and scenic byways/corridor planning has led her to receive numerous awards and recognition for her years of service to New York State. These include the prestigious Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award, Preservation League of NYS’s Power of Preservation Award, and the New York State Governor’s Office, Eleanor Roosevelt Community Service Award.