Tess McKinley

Tess McKinley

Executive Director

Tess took the helm of CCE Steuben in September 2019 and has brought her welcoming and transparent leadership style to create a comfortable, safe, and productive work environment. These same characteristics have helped establish solid working relationships and build confidence in our mission and programing throughout the community.

Right off the bat in her position, she led us through a difficult pandemic with ease. She leads by example in that she encouraged our staff to all participate in the community by volunteering to help out at COVID 19 vaccine clinics and she endeavored to do at least one a week herself. She gets involved with our organization’s work in a very personal way – she is always interested to meet farmers, she is a 4-H parent, and she encourages staff get togethers for holidays, birthdays, and crafts. She even loans out the “barn” at her home for staff parties and Rotary meetings. She scouts out grant opportunities to fund our programming, she is skillful at speaking on our organization’s behalf at event, and as a young mother she balances her family life well with her professional life.

Tess lives in Bath just down the street from our organization and she is very involved in her community. She is secretary of the Dormann Library Board of Trustees, President of the Bath Rotary Club for 2022, a board member of the Institute of Human Services, Inc., serves on the Steuben Human Services Committee, is a member of the Steuben County Farm Bureau and the Finger Lakes Farm Country committee.She invests herself thoroughly with any trainings we offer at CCE Steuben such as becoming a Master Money Mentor in our Financial Education Program (10 hours of training) and becoming a Master Gardener in our Agriculture Program (24 hours of training and 100 hours of volunteer give-back time). She was selected to the Appalachin Leadership Institute for the 2021-2022 class. Only 40 people in 13 states are selected for this honor and she is traveling to different parts of the Appalachian area for the seminars in 2022 to train her on how to better support and grow various industries in our region.

In Tess’ background she worked her way up in three years to Director of Turning Point, Catholic Charities of Steuben where she oversaw six locations with 22 staff and 50 volunteers. She managed Communications and Volunteers at the Institute for Human Services for two years. She was a Prevention Educator at the Steuben Council on Addictions, Catholic Charities for five years and a tennis director for the John Southard Youth Recreation Commission, Catholic Charities for seven years.

Tess received her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from SUNY Geneseo and her Master’s of Science in Management from Keuka College. Tess has a ILSS Green Belt Certification, has been on the Food Bank of the Southern Tier Advocacy Committee and the Advisory Committee of RSVP of Steuben County. She has also won several awards:

  • Paul Harris Fellow Award, 2020 – honors an individual who meets the high professional and personal standard exemplified by Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary International.
  • Rookie of the Year, Bath Rotary, 2019 – recognizes the outstanding contribution and efforts of a new Rotarian who has exemplified the motto “Service Above Self” in her community.
  • The Robert Turissini Award, 2009 – an award given to a single employee within Catholic Charities of Steuben on an annual basis for excellent service.