20 Under 40 recipient Nathan Lashomb talks leadership in the North Country.

 

Nathan Lashomb is a man of focus.

As a professional photographer and owner of Forevermore Studio Photography in Massena, Mr. Lashomb focuses on bringing out the best in clients during photography sessions. And as executive director of the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce, a position he’s held since mid-June, he focuses on bringing out the best in Massena to attract tourists — and potential businesses — to the north country.

“When I photograph people, I show the best parts of them and boost confidence and reduce insecurities. As a chamber director, I am able to share my experience of success and failures to help other businesses succeed in their endeavors,” Mr. Lashomb said.

In addition to his role as business owner and head of the chamber, Mr. Lashomb finds time in his schedule to focus on other endeavors, some in the quest to move Massena forward.

He is a founding member of the Massena Visionaries, a group of professionals who want to create a bright economic future for the Massena community.

He is also a board member for the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce and vice president for the Massena Arts and Theater Association, a non-profit group that’s working to revitalize and reopen the former Schine Theater in downtown Massena. The theater, located in the center of the downtown corridor, closed in 1991, just one month shy of its 60th anniversary.

Mr. Lashomb also serves as a committee member for Cub Scout Pack 31 in Massena. In addition, he is a committee member for a new initiative established by Mayor Timmy J. Currier called the Moving Massena Community Forward Coalition. Mr. Currier has said the coalition, which was announced following Alcoa’s decision to close its Massena East smelter and idle its Massena West smelter, would shape a vision for the town’s future using the expertise of residents like Mr. Lashomb and other volunteers.

He said a chance to make a difference is what keeps him active in the community.

“A sense of accomplishment and knowing what I do will help our community for the better,” Mr. Lashomb said.

That’s what gets him out of bed each morning, he said.

“Without sounding too cliché, (it’s) the chance to make a mark on this world to do something good,” Mr. Lashomb said. “They always say first impression is everything. I say lasting impression is forever.”

With his focus in so many different directions, Mr. Lashomb said being successful is a matter of taking it one step at a time.

“Multi-tasking doesn’t exist. Focus on one task and master that,” he said.

Being successful also takes time, he said.

“Spare time left with nothing to do is idle time and ‘ain’t nobody got time for that,’” Mr. Lashomb said. But, he added, “I have learned that if the journey is hard, then it’s totally worth it.”

It takes a collective effort to make things happen, something he’s learned along the way, according to Mr. Lashomb.

“I don’t really know it all. It’s a collective group of people. You can’t take all knowledge from one. That makes you a direct copy,” he said.

Those people are also who he turns to when he’s seeking advice.

“There isn’t just one person that I rely on. (It’s) my close friends and family,” Mr. Lashomb said.

He said he wants to be a part of moving the north country forward. But it will take a special focus.

“Stay relevant and more forward thinking. Our youth can have some of the best wisdom and honestly, we need to embrace that,” he said.

Or, to quote St. Louis wedding photographer Sal Cinotta, whom Mr. Lashomb said offered him the

best advice, “Innovate or die.”

It’s important not only for the community, for his family,

which Mr. Lashomb said he wants to see grow up in an area

that he loves and embraces.

“I wanted to raise my children here and have that comfort of

home that you won’t find in other areas,” he said.

— Bob Beckstead

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Nathan_Lashomb_WEB

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