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Board of Directors

Chair – Michael Castellana, President & CEO, SEFCU
(Elected 12/2015 – 12/2018)

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, Chemung Canal Trust Company President & CEO (Elected 12/2017 – 12/2020)

In December of 2016 Anders Tomson was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Chemung Canal Trust Company (CCTC), the oldest community bank in New York State founded in 1833.  CCTC now has 32 branches spread across 13 counties in NY and PA.  Prior to being named President of CCTC, Anders held the title of President and Chief Operating Officer at the bank, where he had regional oversight of the Capital Bank Division in the New York Capital Region.  From 2010-2015, Anders served as the President of Capital Bank, and was instrumental in facilitating the merger and acquisition of Capital Bank by Chemung Canal Trust Company. Read more.

Treasurer – John S. Harris Esq., Partner, Brown & Weinraub, PLLC
(Elected 12/2017 – 12/2019)

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

David A. Parente, Director, McVeigh Funeral Home Inc.
(Elected 12/2015 – 12/2018)

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

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany President
(Elected 12/2017 – 12/2020)

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez was appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees as the 20th president of the University at Albany in June 2017. He took office in September 2017 with more than 25 years as a leader in higher education. Before coming to UAlbany, he served as the Founding Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). He also served as President, Ad Interim, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA). Read more. 

Heather Briccetti Esq., The Business Council of New York State President & CEO (Appointed 3/2018 – 12/2018)

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Business Council of New York State, Inc., the primary, statewide association advocating for New York’s business community. Ms. Briccetti is a dynamic leader, trusted advisor and champion for economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York.  Ms. Briccetti joined The Business Council in 2007, as vice president of government affairs, overseeing the organization’s legislative and pro-growth agendas. Read more.

Jeffrey Sperry, Associate Broker, CBRE – Albany
(Elected 12/2015 – 12/2018)

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

John Vero Esq.
(Elected 12/2015 – 12/2018)

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.

Karen Torrejon, Glauconix Founder & CEO (Elected 12/2017 – 12/2020)

Karen Is the Founder & CEO of Glauconix,  a start-up company that owns a patented technology geared toward facilitating the discovery of glaucoma therapeutics. Karen’s company uses technology invented at SUNY’s Polytechnic Institute and utilizes it to test glaucoma medication for effectiveness. She received her Ph.D. in Nanoscale Engineering at the University at Albany (SUNY) where her research focuses on tissue engineering. Read more.

Kaweeda Adams, Superintendent of the City School District of Albany (Appointed 3/2018 – 12/2018)

Kaweeda G. Adams is Superintendent of the City School District of Albany. She leads a diverse urban school district of nearly 9,700 students in New York State’s capital city. Adams joined the district on Aug. 14, 2017. A third-generation educator, she served in increasing levels of responsibility for 28 years the in the Clark County School District in Nevada before accepting her position in Albany.  Adams began her career in education as a secondary-level English teacher, working at the middle and high school levels for 6½ years before moving into administration. Read more.

Matt Peter, Albany Parking Authority Executive Director
(Elected 12/2017 – 12/2019)

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.

Michael M. Fancher, Vice President of Business Development and Economic Outreach, University at Albany CNSE (Elected 12/2017 – 12/2020)

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.

Michele Vennard, President & CEO, Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Elected 12/2017 – 12/2018)

Michele Vennard is the past President and CEO of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau; she joined the Bureau in January of 1992.  As the president she directed 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.

Robert M. Curley, New York State Chairman, Berkshire Bank
(Elected 12/2017 – 12/2019)

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.

Sonya del Peral, Nine Pin Ciderworks Proprietor and Manager (Appointed 3/2018 – 12/2018)

Sonya is a proprietor and the Manager at Nine Pin Ciderworks, a New York craft cider company located in Albany’s warehouse district. Sonya is also a Partner of Bowers & del Peral, PLLC and her law practice focuses on intellectual property, real estate, alcohol industry licensing and wills. She spent the first five years of her legal practice in large law firms in New York City and Albany. In 1996, she opened her practice in Columbia County. Sonya received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Albany Law School in 1991, where she served as an Editor of the Albany Law Review. Read more.

Susan Pedo, Adjunct Professor, UAlbany, Communications & Public Affairs Consultant (Elected 1/2017 – 12/2019)

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.

Officers
Sarah Reginelli – President
Thomas Owens – Corporation Counsel, Secretary

 

ABOUT THE BOARD

Capitalize Albany Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors elected by Corporation investors. 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.