'19 Graduates Of Distinction Announced

The first female to be named Ontario County attorney, and two successful leaders of vastly different enterprises, have been named as Midlakes Graduates of Distinction.

The program, established in 2016, recognizes Midlakes alumni who have made significant contributions to the community. Each of the 2019 inductees has forged successful careers while serving on a variety of community organizations. 

Ontario County attorney Holly A. Adams, telecommunications executive Paul H. Griswold and John Budd Mueller, a dairy farmer who led Willow Bend Farms' expansion efforts, were all accepted into the program by a committee of district staff, students and community members.

"We are proud to announce three new members into the Midlakes Graduates of Distinction program," said Amy Sleeman, a Midlakes teacher and chairperson of the selection committee. "Holly, Paul and John are highly successful in their given industries who care about the local community and their Midlakes roots."

Here is a closer look at this year’s inductees.

Holly A. Adams

A 1982 graduate of Midlakes High School, Adams earned a Bachelor’s Degree from State University College at Geneseo and Juris Doctor Degree from Syracuse University College of Law. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1990.

As the first woman appointed to County Attorney, Adams was put in charge of a team of 16 attorneys, paralegals and staff providing legal services to the Board and to the County. Adams previously served Clifton Springs as the Village Justice.

Adams currently serves on the board for the Child Advocacy Center of the Finger Lakes and is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic. She previously served as a board member of the Clifton Springs YMCA and was an active participant in the booster clubs of Midlakes lacrosse, volleyball, and theatre programs in addition to the Chemical Free Graduation parties.

She is also a former board member of Family Promise of Ontario County and of the William B. Hoyt Memorial Children and Family Trust Fund, after being nominated by State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Adams was recently selected as a 2019 WCNY Women Who Make America winner.  This award is given to women whose efforts enrich their local communities and help shape the nation’s identity.

Paul H. Griswold

Griswold graduated from Midlakes High School in 1981 and studied marketing at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He also completed graduate work at the School of Telecommunications at the University of Kansas.

Griswold has served as president and chief executive officer of Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc. and its parent, Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies, both having been owned and operated by the Griswold family. Finger Lakes Technologies Group was formed in 1995 to offer deregulated telecommunications services and was acquired in 2017 by FirstLight. Griswold serves as a senior advisor at FirstLight in addition to his duties at Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone.

In the community, he has served on the Victor Campus Advisory Board at Finger Lakes Community College, various committees and boards at the University of Rochester, Thompson Health Board, and is past chairman of the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce. 

Griswold has also served on the Advisory Board at Five Star Bank, as well as the boards of the Clifton Springs YMCA, Chambers of Commerce in Phelps, Geneva and Canandaigua along with numerous boards in the telecommunications industry.

John Budd Mueller

A 1982 graduate of Midlakes High School, Mueller graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Farm Business Management from Cornell University in 1986 and later became manager of the Holcomb Agway store before taking over his family’s Willow Bend Farm in 1989.

He led Willow Bend’s growth from a 600-dairy cow farm to more than 4,600 cows on 9,000 acres through acquisitions or mergers with other area farms.

Mueller serves on both the local and state Dairy Promotion boards, is past chair of the Finger Lakes Workforce Development board, past president of Ontario County Farm Bureau and serves as chair of trustees for the United Methodist Church of Clifton Springs.

He sits on the Farm Credit Customer Service Council as well as the Cornell University Agriculture Advisory Board.  Mueller has also spent countless hours as assistant scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 59 in Clifton Springs. 

Event Details

The 2019 Midlakes Graduates of Distinction will be celebrated on Friday, May 3 with a full day of activities, which will include classroom visits, lunch with students and members of the induction committee, and a tour of the school campus. 

Induction ceremonies begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3 at Warfield’s Restaurant Lounge & Bakery, 7 W. Main St., Clifton Springs.  Tickets for those interested in attending the hors d’oeuvres reception can be purchased for $20 from Monday, April 8 – Friday, April 26 at Midlakes High School, Peirce’s, or Phelps Hometown Pharmacy. 

For more details, nomination forms and other information on the Midlakes Graduates of Distinction program, go to midlakes.org/domain/2057.