Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Scott Townsend of 3tarchitects discusses reimagining Interstate 787 and the opportunities to recapture access to the waterfront





On Wednesday, March 11, join 3tarchitects’ Scott Townsend at the University Club at Noon to discuss the impact of 787 and access to the waterfront in the City of Albany. The informal, interactive discussion will focus on the evolution of the monstrosity and, in greater depth, how the breath and flames of this man-made dragon can be extinguished, once and for all. Scott will present in depth design studies showing how 787 can be transformed using case studies, financial data, and implementation timelines that illustrate the viability of such an endeavor and undertaking.

There have been discussions, concepts and rumors about 787’s transformation for years. There is no better time than now for the City of Albany to recapture and embrace its’ waterfront. Come and see how Albany and the Hudson River can interact with one another again.

Scott Townsend is the Partner and Design Director of Troy-based architecture firm 3tarchitects. The firm was founded on principles derived from a passion and drive to create socially relevant projects that transform communities, neighborhoods and buildings in need and to provide a better quality of life for those residing there.

3tarchitects provides high quality, innovative architectural designs. This is accomplished through accumulated experience, active listening, constant communication and utilizing the latest technology.

The March luncheon is sponsored by the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc. (NABA), which provides a wide range of services to individuals with visual impairments. Some of these services include training and placing legally blind adults in professional employment and providing rehabilitation services to seniors with age-related vision loss. NABA, with over a century of experience, continues to help individuals overcome the challenges of vision loss, enabling them to lead more productive, independent lives. NABA also provides free vision screening for children 18 months to 4 years old through their KidSight Program.

The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The National Register-listed University Club, located at 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany, will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the March 11 luncheon are required by Monday, March 9 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Blair Horner of NYPIRG will discuss NYS Policy Issues at the Albany Roundtable on Wednesday, February 12



ALBANY, NY –  Blair Horner, a regular commentator on New York State government, will bring more than four decades of experience in public policy to the Albany Roundtable on Wednesday, February 12. The luncheon will be held at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany, and is open to the public.

Horner is the executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). He began working at NYPIRG in the 1970s and has spent most of his career there, aside from stints at the New York State Attorney General’s office and the American Cancer Society.

In his most recent Capitol Perspective column on the NYPIRG website, Horner reviews the U.S. Surgeon General’s first report on the dangers of smoking in 1964, and how action in New York State took decades to catch up due to the Big Tobacco lobby. He notes that this lobbying powerhouse is back, on the side of flavored e-cigarettes.

At the upcoming luncheon, Horner will talk about the state’s 2020 legislative session, including health topics, education spending, environmental issues, and the prospects for political reform.

This luncheon is sponsored by Northern Rivers Family of Services, which was formed in 2012 to respond to declining resources and increasing demand for services. Northern Rivers is the parent organization to Parsons Child & Family Center (founded in 1829) and Northeast Parent & Child Society (founded in 1888). Their quality of care, depth of programs, combined size and passion for the mission make them a leader in delivering mental health counseling, special education, residential and foster care, and the community-based services that keep families safely together in their homes. Their workforce of more than 1,400 provides services for 16,000 children, adults, and families in 36 counties throughout New York state.

The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the February 12 luncheon are required by Monday, February 10 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com

Friday, December 20, 2019

Albany’s Mayor Kathy Sheehan to Address First Albany Roundtable of 2020



Mayor Kathy Sheehan will address the first Albany Roundtable luncheon of 2020 on Wednesday, January 8 at the National Register Listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany.

Mayor Sheehan became the 75th mayor of Albany in 2014. On January 1st 2018, she was sworn in for her second term. Mayor Sheehan dedicated her administration to unleashing Albany's full potential, leading with a commitment to community, equity, and opportunity. She is an energetic champion of the renaissance now underway in Albany, and is working to revitalize all of the city's neighborhoods.

Mayor Sheehan is committed to efficient and responsive government that includes diverse community voices. In her first year in office, she initiated major changes, including common sense budget savings, the launch of an overhaul to the city's outdated zoning code, a renewal of Albany's parks, traffic calming initiatives to make Albany's streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and the steady transformation of the city's downtown into a new urban neighborhood.

She is also a founding member of the AlbanyPromise, a coalition of community members, educators, service providers and business leaders working to ensure that every child in Albany succeeds academically.

Growing up in a large family that valued hard work and community service, Kathy put herself through college, earning a bachelor's degree in journalism. After a five-year career in communications, Kathy attended Albany Law School on an academic scholarship, graduating magna cum laude in 1994. After working for a highly regarded law firm, she went on to become vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Intermagnetics General Corporation, a leading medical device manufacturer based in Latham.

“Key is pleased to be a long-time supporter of the Albany Roundtable, especially the Mayor’s annual address,” said Ruth Mahoney, President of KeyBank’s Capital Region Market and Regional Retail Executive. “We’re committed to supporting the Mayor’s vision for the city and region, as well as doing our part to help create thriving futures for the people and communities we serve. The Albany Roundtable aligns with all of our priorities –Neighbors, Education and Workforce Development.”

The cost for the January luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the January 8 luncheon are required by Monday, January 6 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling and leaving a message to register at 518-992-5360, or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Local Theater Leaders Discuss Partnership at Roundtable Lunch Wednesday, December 11 at University Club


ALBANY – November 21, 2019 – Proctors CEO Philip Morris and Capital Rep Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill will talk about collaboration and more at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, December 11. The luncheon will be held at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany, and is open to the public.

Founded in the 1970s and 1980s, respectively, Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre (or theREP, an affiliate of the Proctors Collaborative) have provided the very best in entertainment to the region for decades. They’re now joining forces to serve as an anchor in the development of Livingston Square, the former National Biscuit Co. building, at 251 N. Pearl Street, which will include a 300-seat MainStage, 70-seat black box theatre, full time cafĂ© and box office. Together, they’ll expand their mission "to create theatre with an authentic connection to the community." 
Mancinelli-Cahill has served as Producing Artistic Director of Capital Repertory Theatre since 1995. She has worked in regional theatre, Off-Off and On Broadway and has directed more than 100 plays, workshops and readings. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado and an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. 

Morris became the CEO of Proctors in 2002. He also heads theRep and the Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs. Previously, Morris served for 25 years as the executive director of the Arts Council for Chautauqua County. There, he established The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum and Festival of New Comedy.

This luncheon is sponsored by Discover Albany, the independent, not-for-profit corporation that serves as Albany County's Official Tourism Promotion Agency (TPA), as well as an administrator of the Capital-Saratoga Region and Hudson River Valley marketing efforts.

The cost for the December luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com.

The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the December 11 luncheon are required by Monday, December 9 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling and leaving a message to register at 518-992-5360, or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


You’ve probably seen him on TV and heard him on the radio. Doug Myers has been the spokesperson at the Albany International Airport for 20 years. Meet him and hear about all the improvements being made at the airport and surrounding vicinity at the Albany Roundtable luncheon Wednesday, November 13. The event, including a buffet lunch and presentation by Myers, will be held at the National Register-listed University Club. All Albany Roundtable events are open to the public.

Myers, the director of public affairs at the Albany International Airport, will focus his talk about the new airlines at ALB including Frontier and Allegiant, which both started servicing the airport last year. Along with new flights offered, the airport - the oldest municipal airport in the country - is also getting a $90 million makeover. Major improvements are now underway inside the terminal and construction is ongoing for a new parking garage. There will also be new license plate-reading technology incorporated into the garage. Myers will also go over a bit about the history of the airport and other new additions, including a Burger King and solar energy infrastructure.

Since it opened, the airport has had more than 57 million pass through its terminal and, with these improvements, the airport expects a jump in travelers in the coming years.

A graduate of Hudson Valley Community College, Myers is originally from Schenectady and now lives in Loudonville. Before working at the Albany International Airport, Myers worked at WPTR, WABC, WTEN, WGY, and the Department of Labor. This is actually his second stint at ALB since he actually worked as a nightshift dishwasher at the airport in the 1960s.

The luncheon’s corporate sponsor is 3tarchitects located in Troy, NY. 3t provides high quality, innovative architectural designs through their accumulated experience, active listening and constant communication. Using the latest in technology and sustainable approaches, their group of dedicated professionals delivers the best solution for the client and the community at large.

The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The University Club, at 141 Washington Avenue, Albany, will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30.

Reservations for the November 13 luncheon are required by Monday, November 11 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Downtown Development Update Launches Roundtable's 41st Season



Jeff Buell, Principal of Redburn Development, will be the featured speaker at the first Albany Roundtable of the 2019-20 season on THURSDAY, October 10. The luncheon will be held at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany, and is open to the public.

Buell, along with his partners John Blackburn and Tom Rossi, is rehabilitating nearly 500,000 square feet in downtown Albany including the former Kenmore Hotel and Steuben Club on North Pearl Street; the former Knickerbocker News building at 16 Sheridan Avenue; the former Kennedy Garage at 43-47 Columbia Street; the parking garage with spiral ramp at 111 North Pearl Street; and 39 Columbia Street on Tricentennial Park. They have developed more than $100 million in properties in mostly urban areas in the last five years.

Buell previously served as owner of Sequence Development; Development Executive at United Group of Companies; and worked six years for the City of Troy in economic development and communications positions. He holds a B.A. in Communications and History from the College of St. Rose in Albany.

The Albany Roundtable will also present its prestigious New Patroon Award to Soul Fire Farm in Grafton for their efforts to end racism and injustice in our food system, and to bring diverse communities together to support sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health and environmental justice.

 The luncheon has two corporate sponsors: Harris A. Sanders, Architects, P.C., an architecture planning, design, and construction administration firm that has been servicing the architecture needs of Capital Region clients for over 60 years; and NAI Platform Realty, NAI Platform is a multifaceted real estate brokerage specializing in office, industrial, land, retail, investment, nonprofit, and multi-family services.

The cost for the luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30.

Reservations for the October 10 luncheon are required by Monday, October 7 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Soul Fire Farm in Grafton will receive 2019 New Patroon Award



The Albany Roundtable has selected Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, to receive its prestigious New Patroon Award for their efforts to end racism and injustice in our food system, and to bring diverse communities together to support sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health and environmental justice. The award will be presented at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on THURSDAY, October 10 (note date change to avoid conflict with Yom Kippur).


The farm was founded by Leah Penniman and her partner Jonah Vitale-Wolff in 2006 after they moved from Massachusetts to Albany’s South End. The farm works to involve more black and brown people in sustainable agriculture. Out of New York State’s 33,000 farms, only 106 have a person of color in a decision-making role.

Among Soul Fire Farms strategic goals for 2019 are:
  • Grow 20,000 pounds of vegetables, fruits, and plant medicine and 250 chickens intensively on 2 acres of land using low-till methods and sequestering 2,400 pounds of carbon.
  • Train 130+ new farmer-activists through their BIPOC FIRE (Black-Indigenous-People of Color Farming in Relationship with Earth). At least 50% of graduates go on to work as growers and/or food system changemakers.
  • Strengthen connections between the local community and the land by providing daylong food justice programs to more than 250 BIPOC youth, community farm days to more than 300 intergenerational community members, and “Soul Fire in the City” lawn-to-garden workshops.
  • Provide affordable, doorstep delivery of farm fresh organic vegetables, herbs, eggs, and meat to 80 families through their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

“When Soul Fire Farm reconnects people to the land and restores pride and honor to the act of growing food, they’re not just fostering farmers, they’re building community,” said Christopher Burke, President of the Albany Roundtable. “While addressing food sovereignty and food security issues, they’re modeling agency and involved citizenship. We are delighted to honor them with the Roundtable’s New Patroon award.”

The featured speaker for the October 10 luncheon is Jeff Buell, principal of Redburn Development. Redburn is leading the next generation of real estate development through their commitment to social responsibility, resiliency and community partnerships across the Capital Region.

The Albany Roundtable established its Good Patroon Award in 1988 to celebrate outstanding contributions to the community by institutions and individuals. While the Good Patroon Award has traditionally honored organizations and individuals with a long record of service to the community, the Roundtable launched its New Patroon Award in 2011 to highlight and encourage the work of newer organizations.

The October 10 Roundtable Luncheon begins at 12:00 noon and will be held at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany at 141 Washington Avenue. The luncheon is open to the public and the cost is $20. The University Club will serve lunch from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations are required by Monday, October 7 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

“When he died in 1839, Stephen Van Rensselaer III was remembered as ‘The Good Patroon’ for his benevolent attitude toward the residents of Rensselaerswyck,” said Burke. “The Good Patroon and New Patroon Awards are the Albany Roundtable’s means of honoring those leaders who make our community a better place to live. We are so pleased to be able to present Soul Fire Farm with this award for their efforts to reconnect people with the source and production of the healthy foods their bodies need and deserve.”