Expanding Expertise New Board Members Strengthen City of Albany Economic Development Organization

July 11, 2018

Click Here To View The Announcement’s Press Release

Strengthening its Board of Director’s wide-ranging expertise — superintendent of the City School District of Albany Kaweeda G. Adams, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State Heather C. Briccetti, and Nine Pin Ciderworks owner Sonya del Peral, announced today, have accepted appointments to Capitalize Albany Corporation’s Board of Directors.

“The Capitalize Albany Corporation board is charged with inspiring new investment in our city, and Albany’s momentum would not be as strong as it is today without the leadership behind our economic development strategies,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “Kaweeda, Heather, and Sonya are dynamic leaders taking on key challenges and opportunities through their work in our community, and I greatly look forward to the new ideas they will bring to the table to help continue this trend.”

“I’m honored to welcome our three newest board members. They each bring vital strengths to the board,” said Corporation Board Chair and SEFCU CEO Michael Castellana. “The Corporation has an ambitious agenda ahead as we continue to build from local and Regional strategic plans. Having a board room full of talented and Albany centric volunteers is a tremendous asset to the Corporation and the entire City.”

Capitalize Albany Corporation is governed by a 16-member 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.

Kaweeda Adams

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 in Nevada’s Clark County School District 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 six and-a-half years before moving into administration. She served as dean of students at the middle level, assistant principal and principal at the middle level, university instructor at Regis University, human resources director, and director of the instruction unit and facility administrator.

Heather Briccetti

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. She holds a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School.  She has won numerous honors for her leadership in the business community including City and State’s Above & Beyond award, and the Albany Business Review’s Women who Mean Business award. Additionally, she has been included in City and State’s Albany Power 100 List and profiled in the Albany Business Review, The Buffalo News and Her Life magazine. Born in Tunisia to Peace Corps volunteers, she was raised in Syracuse, New York. Attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at 16, she transferred to the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She graduated from Albany Law School at the age of 23. Ms. Briccetti currently lives in New York’s Capital Region, on a farm with her three sons.

Sonya del Peral

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, was named a Justinian Society Member, and was awarded the Nathan Burkan Memorial Copyright Award and the Selma Mintz Memorial Award. Sonya received a M.A.T. degree from SUNY Binghamton in 1984 where she was awarded the Outstanding Professional Performance Award, and her B.A. from SUNY Albany, summa cum laude, in 1980. Sonya is a fluent Spanish speaker and speaks intermediate French. She is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut.