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Stuart Mitchell ICON Award

Stuart Mitchell, president and chief executive officer at PathStone Corp., is known for being a force for good throughout the region.

“Under Stuart’s leadership, PathStone has grown from a small, regional social services organization into a sophisticated, multistate delivery system affecting the lives of tens of thousands of individuals each year with services that include work-force development, housing, and community facilities, small-business lending, and family services,” says Nelson Leenhouts, president of Rochester-based Home Leasing.

A strong advocate of affordable housing, Mitchell aims to reduce resistance to affordable housing in suburban and rural communities, striving to overcome pushback against decent, safe and affordable living quarters. Still motivated after more than 50 years with the organization, he remains committed to working across racial and economic divides to create a movement to encourage community integration.

During his tenure, Mitchell and PathStone developed – and managed – 6,500 rental homes in 84 multifamily communities, helped 6,600 families obtain a first home, weatherized/rehabilitated 7,500 homes, created a small-business lending fund with a portfolio of 200 entrepreneurs and $8 million in loans, and annually graduate more than 1,200 trained workers into year-round employment. PathStone also administers Section 8 rental assistance to 5,600 families each year. The PathStone budget has grown from $350,000 in 1969 to more than $80 million annually today and operates in seven states and Puerto Rico.

Mitchell practices the principles of servant leadership, knowing that leading by serving others can be personally challenging, often humbling, and sometimes misunderstood. He says servant leadership creates organizational resiliency and a shared ownership of essential decisions being made, and has some advice for those looking to experience success.

“Engage in lifelong learning opportunities that will broaden leadership skills in order to keep up with the ever-changing environment,” Mitchell says.

“Become an excellent listener and take advantage of the expertise, passion and perspectives of everyone on your leadership team.”