Our Team

Courtney Strong Inc.

Lester Strong, President

As CSI’s president, Lester F. Strong’s expertise is in communication, visioning, strategic planning, change management and staff development. He provides counsel to the CSI staff on marketing communications, non-profit leadership and fundraising issues.

Mr. Strong serves on the board of Encore.org and is a trustee for America’s Promise Alliance.

Mr. Strong currently teaches at a number of Hudson Valley institutions, including the State University at Ulster County, Anahata Yoga and Healing Arts Center and Marbletown Multi-Arts Center. His current course, Pathways to Conscious Living, focuses on issues related to love, fear and death.

A Vietnam Era veteran, Mr. Strong previously had a 25 year career as a television news anchor, in Charlotte, NC, Atlanta and Boston. He is a Davidson College graduate and a resident of  Kingston, NY.

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Patrice Courtney Strong, Vice President

Patrice Courtney Strong is vice president of Courtney Strong Inc.. Based in Kingston, New York, the firm provides marketing communication services to market influencers who are leading the transition to a clean energy economy and educational services that support the arts, wellness and youth development initiatives.

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Pat deploys communication tools that translate complex ideas into strategies leading to sustainable solutions for communities. Clients include the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Capital District Regional Planning Commission and the Institute for Building Technology & Safety, serving the New York State Power Authority.  Past clients include the State University at Ulster and Orange Counties, Solar One, New York State Economic Development Council and The Solar Energy Consortium, where she served as vice president, Industry Attraction.  Earlier, she worked for six years as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rebuild America Business Partners program. This group of 200+ technology companies provided energy seminars across the U.S. to local governments, school districts and others.

Pat is a past board member and chair of the marketing communication section of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment, based in Washington, DC. She is immediate past  president of the Business Alliance of Kingston, a group of 50-plus businesses working on revitalization through formation of an arts district.

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Lisa Shields DeRuvo, Business Manager

Lisa Shields DeRuvo possesses a wide range of project management and office management experience in marketing related positions, in a variety of business environments ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small business start-ups.

For the past 10 years, Lisa has provided office management, financial management, and marketing and grant writing assistance to the Courtney Strong organization. Because of Lisa’s flexible, problem solving nature, she is able to wear many hats and assist the organization wherever needed. Lisa is also technologically adept and open to learning new skills, which make her a valuable asset to the team. Lisa is married, with one child and two pets. She moved to Ulster County eleven years ago. Prior to moving to Ulster, she lived, worked and attended school in Westchester County, NY.

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Melissa Herreria, Marketing Manager

Melissa Herreria possesses a wide range of marketing and economic development experience in both the public and private sectors. During Mayor Joseph Delfino’s $2 billion renaissance of the City of White Plains, Melissa oversaw the day-to-day operations of the City’s Office of Economic Development. As coordinator of Economic Development and Public Information for White Plains, Melissa oversaw the implementation of Phase III of the City’s revitalization plan, which focused on community building, citizen engagement/outreach activities, and quality of life initiatives. Melissa is bilingual and lives in Westchester County, but was born and raised in the South Bronx. Her professional and personal experiences promise to be great assets, which will help her to reach under-served communities. She holds a BA in Communications, and a MBA in Marketing from Pace University.

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Kevin Harjes

Kevin Harjes has worked as an intern/independent contractor for Courtney-Strong, Inc. since September 2016. During that time, he has worked with the Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium team to promote green lighting technology.  Kevin is currently pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at SUNY New Paltz, class of 2020.