The Explorer team

We’ve been growing our team–and our ability to cover Adirondack issues important to you.

Tracy Ormsbee

Tracy Ormsbee


Tracy Ormsbee has been with the Adirondack Explorer as publisher, overseeing all operation of the magazine, its websites and book publishing, since March of 2017.

Prior to her role at the Explorer, she was a Senior Editor at the Times Union, Albany, NY (2002-2017), overseeing Features, Sports, the Sunday report and the newspaper’s magazine division. 

She and husband Jim have two grown daughters and, as empty-nesters, spend more time hiking, paddling and skiing and have become those people who bring their dog with them wherever they go. 

Contact:, 518-891-9352, Ext. 1021.
Text: 518-542-3385

Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong

Director of operations

Michael has worked for the Explorer since February of 2014, responsible for managing the daily finances, human resources, and office systems that support the Explorer’s operations.  

As a long time resident of the Adirondacks, Michael enjoys getting outside with his dog Chloe and exploring!  He also enjoys playing ukulele.  

Contact: Call 518-891-9352, Ext. 1024.

Jim Odato

James Odato


In a journalism career rooted in watchdog reporting, James M. Odato has been cited as one of New York’s top news hounds covering state government, gambling, and abuse and waste of public money.

As a staff reporter for five daily newspapers, including the Albany Times Union and Buffalo News, Odato has received more than 30 awards from the Associated Press, New York Publishers Association, New York Legislative Correspondents Association and other media organizations.

In October 2021, the University of Massachusetts Press released his book, “This Brain Had a Mouth, Lucy Gwin and the Voice of Disability Nation.”

Contact:, 518-891-9352, Ext. 1022

Chris Radey

Customer relations manager

Chris Radey joined the Adirondack Explorer team in September of 2021. As the customer relations manager, Chris oversees the subscription/donor database with an eye toward retaining and growing circulation and revenue.

Prior to joining the Explorer, Chris worked as an Integration Data Lead for Vacasa, an Oregon-based short term vacation rental operation. Chris has lived and worked in a variety of locations both domestically and internationally and is now permanently based in Keene, New York with his wife, Lisa. 

In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling, hiking, live music, trail running, and reading. He often finds himself lost in obscure Wikipedia articles.

Contact:, 518-891-9352, Ext. 1020

melissa hart wearing an explorer hat

Melissa Hart

Digital editor

As the Explorer’s digital editor, Melissa Hart oversees all the Explorer’s digital offerings. She serves as the editor of, and helps manage the Explorer’s website, newsletters, social media and community engagement. 

An upstate New York native with Adirondack roots, Melissa worked for newspapers in Ithaca (NY), Fairbanks (AK) and Burlington (VT) before settling in the Champlain Valley.  In addition to time spent as a reporter and editor, Melissa has worked in nonprofit communications.

She enjoys gardening, hiking, camping, and kayaking with her husband and their twin daughters.

Contact:, 518-891-9352, Ext. 1026

mike lynch

Mike Lynch

Multimedia reporter

Mike Lynch has been a multimedia reporter for the Explorer since 2014 and can often be found hiking mountains, paddling rivers, or skiing down slopes. His photos complement many of the stories throughout the magazine and website, and he regularly writes recreation features. 

Mike has worked for various newspapers in New York and California. He has been a reporter in the Adirondack Park since 2006, having worked seven years as the outdoors reporter for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. 

Mike has also worked as a licensed outdoor guide and thru-paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. He is the author of 12 Short Hikes on Preserves near Lake George. 

Contact:, 518-891-9352, Ext. 1025

Gwendolyn Craig

Gwendolyn Craig

Environmental policy reporter

Gwendolyn Craig covers environmental policy impacting the Adirondacks made by the state Legislature and Adirondack Park Agency. She not only covers the decision makers, but also the people and places their policy affects. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer. 

Previously, Gwen worked for several years as a newspaper reporter in Glens Falls and in the Finger Lakes covering local governments and the environment. She also worked as a videographer and web editor for a communications firm representing nonprofits in the D.C. Metro area.

During her free time, Gwen can be found teaching ice skating or hiking. 

Contact:, 518-524-2902 (cell) or 518-891-9352, Ext. 1027. On Twitter: @gwendolynnn1.

zachary matson

Zachary Matson

Water reporter

Zachary Matson has been the water reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park.

Zach grew up in Kansas City, lived in North Carolina and Arizona and has visited over two dozen national parks across the country. He now calls the southern Adirondacks home.  

Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady. He spends his free time hiking, kayaking, cooking and gardening. He lives in Corinth with his wife.

Contact:, 518-847-9671 (cell) or 518-891-9352, Ext. 1028. @zacharydmatson on Twitter

chloe bennett

Chloe Bennett

Climate reporter

Chloe Bennett is a climate reporter based in Lake Placid, New York. Originally from North Texas, Chloe has always been drawn to the natural world.

In 2022, she graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY where she focused on environmental reporting and audio production. She grew a deep appreciation for the Adirondack Park while interning for the Explorer last summer.

As of Jan. 23, 2023, Chloe lives in the park full-time and is reporting on its changing environment.

Contact:, 518-891-9352 x 1029 On Twitter: @chloelizbennett

Sarah van Rijsewijk

Sarah van Rijsewijk

Office administrator

Sarah van Rijsewijk aids in magazine subscription upkeep, has a hand in the constant mail flow in and out of the office, and helps with the Adirondack Almanack. 

Her work experience is an eclectic combination from different school settings, freelance writing and even the banking industry. She is an aspiring author with a focus on children’s books – inspired by her two daughters. She has written for Adirondack publications over the past decade and recently contributed work to Mushing Magazine out of Alaska. 

Sarah and her family spend a lot of time on the back of dog sleds and carts, exploring trails on their property and caring for their animals. She lives with her husband and their daughters in a beautiful old farmhouse just north of Elizabethtown.


Betsy Dirnberger

Associate publisher

518-891-9352, Ext. 1023