head shot of Stephen Alessi

Welcoming Stephen Alessi to the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) is pleased to announce that Stephen Alessi has joined the Center as Associate Director, effective June 3, 2024. In this role, Alessi will lead the NERCRD’s outreach and Extension-oriented activities by fostering and strengthening the Center’s relationships with Northeast land-grant universities and rural development partners, and by identifying and responding to opportunities for cross-state collaborations and sharing of programs.

Alessi brings a wealth of experience within the Cooperative Extension System. Before joining the NERCRD, he served for seven years as a Client Relationship Manager for Penn State Extension, overseeing six counties in northeastern PA. In this role, he worked with Extension stakeholders to raise awareness of the breadth of Extension products and services available, to identify local issues and needs, and to assist program teams in bringing the full resources of Extension to address these issues. He also serves as an adjunct instructor in marketing and entrepreneurship at Wilkes University and Keystone College. Previously, he worked for 11 years with the Sherwin-Williams Company, where he held various management and marketing positions.

“I am delighted that Steve is joining the Northeast Center,” noted Stephan Goetz, Director of the Center. “In addition to his rich set of prior Extension stakeholder-related experiences as a Client Relationship Manager, Steve has a broad skill set and interests in entrepreneurship and small business development, as well as community development more broadly. By filling this key position, we expect to be able to significantly expand the Center’s outreach portfolio while also strengthening ties to our collaborators in the region and beyond.”

Alessi currently lives in the Wilkes-Barre, PA, area with his wife, Karen, and their two children, where they enjoy traveling and spending time outdoors together.

Alessi earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Geneva College, and a master of business administration degree from Wilkes University.