Yates Cooperative Extension names new director

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
Arlene Wilson, second from right, with Cornell Cooperative Extension staff (from left) Jennifer Clancey, Barb McGuffie, and Elizabeth Newbold.

The Yates County Cooperative extension has appointed Arlene Wilson it’s new executive director. Wilson comes to the position from the American Diabetes Association where she served as Field Director for Mission Delivery since 2011 in the major East Coast and Midwest markets.

She brings her experience providing training and writing grants for community outreach for diabetes prevention and education. She also oversaw staff technical support for the ADA Camp, and provided outcomes-based programming in the ADA’s outreach to underserved people, particularly African American, Latino, and Native American populations.

Wilson has a bachelors degree in sociology from the Ohio State University, an MS in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, and is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Phoenix. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Her work here will be in grant writing and programming, but she also sees part of her mission as bringing local expertise to Cornell. “Yates County is a great secret,” Wilson says, “and needs to be shared with other Cooperative Extension programs.”

A resident of Rochester and an avid gardener, Wilson’s first familiarity with Cooperative Extension came from her long association with 4-H through the involvement of her youngest son, Isaiah, now 20 and a junior at Clarkson, who participated in the Vets-to-Be and Dressage programs. Her familiarity with the area began several years ago when Isaiah attended Creation Week Camp run by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at Camp Koinonia here in Yates County. Her husband of 25 years, Tony Clyde Wilson, is a computer engineer and works as a software manager in Rochester. Her older son, Jerel, works in customer service for Sutherland Global.

Wilson’s first day at work in Penn Yan was the anniversary of the Flood of ’14, and she remarked on the recovery efforts she heard about and the sense of community she felt here. Wilson says she looks forward to getting out to meet more of the community, and to “continuing the great work the (YCCE) staff have been doing.”