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Board of Directors

Chair – Michael Castellana, President & CEO, SEFCU
(Elected 12/15/15 – 12/15/18)

Currently serving as SEFCU’s President & CEO, Castellana joined SEFCU in 1988 as a member of the executive management team and during his tenure has seen the credit union grow both geographically and in overall size. Currently the largest credit union in the Capital Region and the seventh in the state, Castellana has successfully negotiated and completed six mergers throughout the Capital Region, the Southern Tier of New York, and the Buffalo Region. Read more.

Vice Chair – Anders Tomson, President, Capital Bank
(Elected 12/16/14 – 12/16/17)

Since 2010, Anders has been President of Capital Bank, a division of Chemung Canal Trust Company (CCTC).  As regional executive, Anders has direct oversight of all business activities for the bank in New York’s Capital Region.  Responsibilities include commercial lending, retail and branch banking, consumer loans, compliance, CRA activities, regulatory affairs and community activities.  In addition to his regional responsibilities, Anders represents the bank on a six member executive management team. Read more.

Treasurer – Dr. R. Mark Sullivan, Director, Sullivan Institute for Leadership in Higher Education, Professor in Higher Education, College of Saint Rose (Elected 12/16/14 – 12/16/17)

R. Mark Sullivan served as the eighth President of The College of Saint Rose from 1996 to 2012. Dr. Sullivan holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University, a masters degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a bachelors degree from the University of Rhode Island. Prior to his appointment at Saint Rose, he was Executive Vice President and chief operating officer of Marist College from 1987 to 1996. Read more.

Secretary-Dorsey Whitehead, LTC, Retired as Consultant, New York State Minority Program (Elected 12/16/13 – 12/16/16)

A native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Dorsey graduated Virginia State University in 1958 in Biology/Chemistry and entered the United States Army as a 2d Lieutenant. He attended Field Artillery, Air Defense, Ranger, Airborne and Aviation Schools. Graduate degrees in Public Administration and Business were subsequently obtained from Webster College and Northwestern University. He is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College. Read more.

Robert M. Curley, New York State Chairman, Berkshire Bank
(Elected 12/16/14 – 12/16/17)

Robert M. Curley, a career banker, community activist, and respected mentor, is currently chairman of Berkshire Bank in New York, in addition to Capitalize Albany he also serves on the Board of Directors of Berkshire Hills Bankcorp. Mr. Curley’s distinguished career in the banking industry began in college as a bank teller. He was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Key Bank of Long Island at the age of 37. Read more.

Michael M. Fancher, Vice President of Business Development and Economic Outreach, University at Albany CNSE (Elected 12/16/14 – 12/16/17)

Michael Fancher serves in the role of Vice President of Business Development and Economic Outreach, and Associate Professor of Nanoeconomics at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). He also serves as the Executive Director of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials (CATN2) and oversees the SUNY Small Business Development Center for the Mohawk Valley Region. Read more.

John S. Harris Esq., Partner, Brown & Weinraub, PLLC
(Elected 12/16/14 – 12/16/17)

A partner at Brown & Weinraub, a government relations and full-service law firm, Mr. Harris focuses his practice on the intersection of law, business and government. He has significant experience working with clients on environmental, energy and government affairs matters. Mr. Harris has also represented clients before state and local agencies in connection with the regulatory review, permitting, financing and development of projects such as residential apartment complexes, solid waste and recycling facilities and generation projects. Read more

James D. Linnan Esq., Partner, Linnan & Fallon
(Elected 12/15/15 – 12/15/18)

Mr. Linnan has dedicated his career to being a Trial Lawyer in both civil and criminal litigation. He has tried several high profile federal and state trials in both New York and Vermont and has tried over 100 cases to a verdict obtaining several verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 Million Dollars for people who have been injured by Medical Malpractice, Work Place Accidents, Chemical Exposure, Motor Vehicle Accidents and other types of negligence. Read more.

David A. Parente, Director, McVeigh Funeral Home Inc.
(Elected 12/15/15 – 12/15/18)

David has extensive experience as a funeral service professional, serving Albany area families for more than 30 years. David is very active in related business associations, as well as within the wider community. He currently serves as president of the Capital District Funeral Directors Association; member and trustee of Blessed Sacrament Church, Albany; past president of the Parish Council at Blessed Sacrament Church, Albany; and board member and vice president of The Community Hospice Foundation. Read more

Jeffrey Sperry, Associate Broker, CBRE – Albany
(Elected 12/15/15 – 12/15/18)

Mr. Sperry practices a multi-disciplined real estate strategy for his clients, providing brokerage and consulting services for corporate and public clients in the Capital Region. Over the past 32 years, Jeff has assisted many clients in occupancy planning, acquisition and disposition, build-to-suit, and leasing assignments. Prior to joining CBRE-Albany, Jeff was president of a trucking and public warehouse company in the Capital Region. Read more

Michele Vennard, President & CEO, Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Elected 12/16/14 – 12/16/17)

Michele Vennard is the President and CEO of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau; she joined the Bureau in January of 1992.  As the president she oversees and directs all bureau operations, which focus on promoting Albany as a convention, group tour and leisure travel destination. Previously, in July of 1987, Ms. Vennard was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Development, NYS Department of Economic Development, and Division of Tourism. Read more.

John Vero Esq., Partner, Couch White LLP
(Elected 12/15/15 – 12/15/18)

Mr. Vero is a member of Couch White’s Banking, Corporate Transactions, and Government Contracts and Real Estate practice groups. John furnishes legal services to new, emerging and established businesses, commercial entities, not-for-profit and tax exempt organizations, religious organizations, healthcare organizations, municipal entities, professional service entities, civic groups, business organizations and individuals in the formation, merger, restructuring, sale, acquisition, capitalization, management, operation and financing of real and personal property, including contractual, licensing, reporting and compliance matters. Read more.

Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York
(Elected 12/15/15 – 12/15/18)

In 2009 Nancy L. Zimpher became the 12th Chancellor of The State University of New York. With nearly 463,000 students and 64 campuses, SUNY is the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education. The system’s headquarters is located in the landmark SUNY Plaza, or “D&H Building,” in downtown Albany. Chancellor Zimpher leads a diverse set of initiatives at SUNY in several areas, including research and innovation, energy, health care, global affairs, and the education pipeline. Read more.

 

Susan Pedo, Adjunct Professor, UAlbany, Communications & Public Affairs Consultant (Elected 12/16/13 – 12/16/16)

Susan Pedo is a communications and public affairs consultant specializing in economic development, health and safety. She is an adjunct instructor at the University at Albany’s School of Business and has held many positions in state and local government, including director of economic development for Albany County. Susan is active on the boards of many non-profit organizations including Senior Services of Albany and the Albany Lacrosse Club. Read more.

Matt Peter, Albany Parking Authority Executive Director
(Elected 12/16/14 – 12/16/17)

Matthew Peter currently serves as the Albany Parking Authority’s Executive Director. Prior to serving in this capacity he served as Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s Chief of Staff.  In May of 2008 Matthew joined the NYS Office of Taxation and Finance as a tax policy analyst. When the NYS Senate Democrats took control of the chamber for the first time in more than 50 years, Matthew joined the Senate Finance Committee as a fiscal analyst. In his three and a half years with the Senate, Matthew became the principal analyst on Economic Development and Tax Policy. Read more.

 

ABOUT THE BOARD

Capitalize Albany Corporation is governed by a sixteen member Board of Directors elected by Corporation investors to three-year terms. The Board of Directors terms are staggered.  Elections are held at each Annual Board Meeting. The Board of Directors drive Capitalize Albany Corporation’s mission and set the course to pursue an integrated approach to economic development in order to maximize results, leverage resources and create efficiencies.