Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Annual Meeting 2019 - Affordable Housing as a tool for Neighborhood Revitalization



Three decades ago, George H. W. Bush was elected president. A gallon of gas cost less than a dollar. If you went to see “Die Hard,” “Rain Man” or “A Fish Called Wanda,” your movie ticket cost $3.50. The median price of an existing home was $90,600 and the average annual income was about $24,000. And in 1988, Habitat for Humanity Capital District was founded as an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.

On Wednesday, May 15, the Albany Roundtable will welcome Christine Schudde, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Capital District to discuss “Affordable Housing as a tool for Neighborhood Revitalization” at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting.

The event is open to the public and will be held at the University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street. The meeting will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and will feature a social hour with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a short update on the Albany Roundtable Civic Luncheon Series, the presentation of the Good Patroon Award, the presentation the Albany Roundtable Scholarship for Civic Leadership, and a discussion of Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to promote neighborhood revitalization. Tickets are $40 and include light fare and open bar.

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity International began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The farm’s commitment to racial justice, complete equality and shared generosity laid the foundation for Habitat’s model of partnership housing. Habitat has since grown to become a global nonprofit housing leader.

Habitat welcomes people from all walks of life to partner in serving families in need and creating a better community for everyone. Habitat for Humanity affiliates are local Habitat for Humanity organizations that act in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International. Each Habitat affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its area.

Habitat for Humanity Capital District’s service area includes Albany, Rensselaer and Southern Saratoga counties, where they have built over 130 homes in partnership with local families.

“The Albany Roundtable has fostered civic engagement across disciplines – and over lunch – since it was founded in 1979,” said Christopher Burke, president of the all-volunteer 501c3 corporation. “We convene our monthly luncheon meetings so people from around the region and from all walks of life can gather to hear speakers with diverse viewpoints on timely subjects. We hope our annual meeting’s speaker will inspire us to create strong, productive and mutually-beneficial partnerships with like-minded organizations in service of a common vision – a community where everyone has a decent place to live.”

The Albany Roundtable’s previous Visiting Speakers have included Daniel D’Oca (The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion); Dr. Larry Paska, executive director of the National Council for the Social Studies; Matt Tomasulo, “Chief Instigator” behind Walk [Your City];  Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, author of Urban Alchemy: Finding Joy in America’s Sorted Out Cities; Kaid Benfield (People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities); Jeff Speck (Walkable City); John Norquist (CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism); Janet Flammang (The Taste for Civilization); Colin Beavan (No Impact Man), Jaime Correa (planner, architect and professor at the University of Miami) and others.

Tickets for the reception must be purchased by Friday, May 10. For more information, visit www.albanyroundtable.com, email albanyroundtable@gmail.com or call 518-992-5360.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Explore Innovative Solutions for Capital Region Housing - 4/10




ALBANY, NY – With nearly 50 years in the business of developing, financing, constructing, and managing affordable housing, Duncan Barrett will discuss innovative solutions to the Capital Region’s housing needs at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, April 10. The luncheon is open to the public.

Barrett, President of BeaconCommunities Development LLC – New York, has developed more than 2,000 units of housing and directed the financing of more than $100 million in real estate development projects throughout New York State.

Beacon is a privately-owned real estate firm that develops, acquires, invests in, and manages a wide range of multifamily housing. They also invest in and purchase affordable housing companies and portfolios of multifamily developments.

Held at the University Club of Albany at 141 Washington Avenue, the cost for the April luncheon is $20 and may be paid at the door or online 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 p.m.

Reservations for the luncheon, sponsored by The Chazen Companies, are required by Monday, April 8th and may be made by prepaying online, by leaving a message at 518-992-5360, or by e-mail at albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

About Beacon Communities Development
Beacon owns and manages approximately 18,000 apartments including affordable housing, market rate housing, and mixed income-housing. Their developments range from new construction, to historic adaptive reuse, to the renovation of existing housing. They take on challenging developments and make them succeed. Their driving passion is to create well-designed, healthy homes that improve the quality of life of residents and enhance the neighborhoods in which they are located.

About Duncan Barrett
Mr. Barrett has provided commercial and multi-family housing developers, community development groups, and financial institutions a full range of real estate services, including mortgage brokerage, grant preparation, equity syndication, investment analysis, and market determinations. Before establishing Taconic Capital Corp, in 1979, Mr. Barrett served as Executive Director of the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, Inc. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, and the author of Using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit in Special Needs Housing, a primer published by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal with the support of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


About the Luncheon Links Sponsor
Founded over 70 years ago, The Chazen Companies is an employee-owned, multi-disciplinary firm providing civil engineering, land surveying, planning, environmental and safety consulting, code services, landscape architecture, construction services, transportation planning and traffic engineering to clients in the private and public sectors. Chazen’s 140 employees proudly collaborate with municipalities, state agencies, developers, landowners, utility companies, and industrial, healthcare, education, and nonprofit clients from project concept to completion, taking a customized approach to every project. With offices in Glens Falls, Troy, Poughkeepsie and White Plains, NY; Nashville and Chattanooga, TN; and Portland, OR, Chazen delivers world class performance focused on creating effective, long-term partnerships with its clients.

Image credit: Albany Business Review

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Capital Region’s Startup Landscape: What We’ve Done and What We Still Need To Do




As the attorney behind many of Capital Region’s biggest business deals over the last several decades, Rich Honen continues to serve as power broker for the next wave of startups. Honen, a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP and leader of the Albany Office, will give a brief history of the region’s startup business scene and dive into the tough topic of failure as a requirement for future success as the speaker at the Albany Roundtable on Wednesday, March 13th.

Held at the University Club of Albany, the cost for the March luncheon is $20 and may be paid at the door or online 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 p.m.

Reservations for the luncheon, sponsored by the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc. (NABA), are required by Monday, March 11th and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-992-5360, or by e-mail at albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

This will be the last luncheon to offer application forms for the Albany Roundtable Scholarship for Civic Leadership. A $1,000 scholarship is being offered to a high school senior who is recommended by a member in good standing of the Albany Roundtable. The application must be submitted by a student in his or her senior year of high school and will be awarded contingent upon acceptance an attendance at a two- or four-year college or university. The deadline for application is March 31, 2019, and the scholarship will be awarded at the Roundtable’s Annual Meeting in May at the University Club of Albany.

About Richard E. Honen

Richard E. Honen is the Venture Capital & Technology Practice Team Leader and Partner in Charge of Phillip Lytle LLP’s Albany office. He focuses his practice in corporate, finance and venture capital law, as well as complex commercial litigation. Honen provides corporate counsel to a broad spectrum of companies from start-up to Fortune 50 and has lectured extensively, particularly on topics of corporate law, venture capital and angel investing. He also represents companies in complex commercial litigation matters. Honen has served as an adjunct professor at Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University), where he taught Business Law to MBA candidates, and has guest lectured at Albany Law School of Union University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University at Albany, Ithaca College and Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. He can be found on Twitter at @RichHonenPL and on LinkedIn.

About Phillips Lytle LLP

Phillips Lytle LLP is a premier regional law firm that is recognized nationally for its legal excellence. With offices in New York State, Washington, D.C., and Canada, their attorneys serve a multinational client base, including FORTUNE 1000 companies, global and regional financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, middle market companies, startups, entrepreneurs and individuals on important matters affecting their businesses and personal wealth. For more information, visit www.phillipslytle.com.

About the March Sponsor

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.


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2/19 - CDPHP President/CEO Dr. John Bennett: A Healthy Start to 2019




***Note: Meeting date changed to avoid schedule conflict***

The health care landscape is changing faster than most people can keep pace with. Join us as CDPHP president and CEO Dr. John Bennett discusses current events and how social factors can have a substantial influence on a person’s health. The talk will take place on Tuesday, February 19 at the University Club. Roundtable luncheon meetings are open to the public.

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP was named president and CEO of CDPHP in July of 2008 after serving more than 10 years as chair, vice chair, and board member of the Capital Region’s leading not-for-profit health plan. During this time, CDPHP has been recognized as one of the top-rated plans in the nation and has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York for 11 consecutive years.

Prior to joining CDPHP, Bennett served as founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. During his tenure, he co-led a team of 25 cardiologists and helped grow the practice from three employees to a 100-physician multi-specialty group.

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.

Bennett is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with subspecialties in internal medicine and cardiology. He earned his medical degree at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a Bachelor of Science degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bennett completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians.

Bennett serves as board chair for the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP). He also serves on the boards of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the Healthcare Information Xchange of New York (Hixny), the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, Colonie Senior Service Centers, Center for Economic Growth, New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), Palace Theatre, and The Sage Colleges. In 2015, Bennett was appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to serve as a member of the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council.

An outspoken critic of the rising cost of health care, Bennett was awarded the 2016 Marketer/Communicator of the Year award by the Capital Region chapters of the American Marketing Association and Public Relations Society of America. That same year, Bennett was also awarded the 2016 Promoting the Advancement of Technology in Healthcare (PATH) Award from the New York e-Health Collaborative (NYeC).

The cost for the February 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. 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 19 luncheon are required by Friday, February 15 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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan to discuss future of New York’s Capital City - 1/16



***Note: meeting date changed to avoid schedule conflict***
Mayor Kathy Sheehan will address the first Albany Roundtable luncheon of 2019 on Wednesday, January 16 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The Roundtable usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month but is changing the date of the January 2019 meeting to avoid potential scheduling conflicts with other anticipated area events. Albany Roundtable luncheon meetings are open to the public.

Mayor Sheehan became the 75th mayor of Albany in 2014. On January 1st 2018, she was sworn in for her second term.  Mayor Sheehan has 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.”

Please note that the date of the February luncheon will also be changed to avoid a schedule conflict. The Roundtable will welcome Dr. John Bennett, president and CEO of CDPHP, on Tuesday, February 19.

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 16 luncheon are required by Monday, January 14 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, November 20, 2018

Capital Roots CEO Amy Klein discusses efforts to SQUASH HUNGER - 12/12


Capital Roots has grown and evolved over its four decades of service to the great Capital Region community. This is especially true for the past 21 years that Amy Klein has been at the helm of the organization. On Wednesday, December 12 we will hear about Klein’s part in the journey of the Capital District Community Gardens becoming Capital Roots.

Klein joined the nonprofit organization in 1996 as Executive Director. She was one of just two employees at the time, sharing a small office in the basement of an old brownstone on 8th Street in Troy. Under her leadership, the organization grew by leaps and bounds. The year she arrived, Capital Roots, or CDCG as many knew it, served the Troy community with community gardens and street tree plantings with a $66,000 budget. However, as her years with Capital Roots grew, so too did the organization’s offerings. Today Capital Roots serves hundreds of thousands of people in four counties through 12 distinct programs, providing neighbors with access to fresh, affordable and often local food.

Klein successfully manages a $2 million budget and a constantly growing organization today while at the same time building, maintaining and growing strong community partnerships. Innovation and calculated risks are the keys to her success. Klein developed the original model for mobile markets when she created the organization’s Veggie Mobile in 2007. This model of bringing fresh affordable food directly into communities lacking food security is now used nationwide across countless American communities. Klein opened the doors to the Urban Grow Center in December 2014, a project 10 years in the making.

In addition to her leadership at Capital Roots, Klein is the founder and co-chair of the Capital Region Healthy Communities Coalition, a board member of Troy 20/20, member of the Capital Region Diabetes Task Force, and part of the Albany & Schenectady Strategic Alliance for Health, the Rensselaer County Wellness Committee and Troy’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative.

Guests are encouraged to share the warmth of the season with our neighbors in need by bringing a contribution for Capital Roots’ SQUASH HUNGER program, which collects and distributes more than 40 tons of fresh produce annually to the region’s food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Typically, most donated food is canned and dry goods. Though processed foods can be nutritious, fresh food empowers people with the energy they need to lead healthy, productive lives. Any produce is acceptable, but the most desired items have a long shelf life, and include: Potatoes/Yams; Squash; Apples; Carrots; Beets; Oranges; Onions/Garlic; Turnips; Melons; Peppers; Cucumbers; Bananas.

This luncheon is sponsored by architecture+, a design and service-oriented architectural, planning and interiors firm located in the city of Troy. Founded in 1984, they have evolved into one of New York's most respected firms. For architecture+, serving people and their communities is a conscious choice that leads not just to great buildings, but to meaningful places that reflect their clients’ best aspirations.

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. 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 12 luncheon are required by Monday, December 10 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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Assemblymember John McDonald discusses the Opioid Crisis - 11/14


ALBANY, NY – October 16, 2018 – Opioid abuse is by far the fastest growing crisis across New York State. Addiction can happen to anyone, in any family, at any time. New York State Assemblyman John McDonald will talk with the Albany Roundtable about his efforts to address the Opioid Crisis on Wednesday, November 14 at the University Club of Albany.

As a practicing pharmacist, McDonald knows firsthand the challenges individuals face with prescription opiate abuse and street heroin abuse. He has sponsored legislation that was signed into law that provides treatment for opioid addiction. The bill authorizes the creation of a demonstration program with the goal of diverting those who do not need in-hospital treatment to more appropriate services and facilities for detox. This will reduce emergency room costs, provide alternative short-term care, and test the effectiveness of new approaches to treatment options. He has also sponsored and supported legislation to address other longstanding issues including insurance reforms to improve treatment options for individuals suffering from addiction, measures to increase penalties on those who sell or provide opiates or heroin illegally, provisions to provide naloxone, which is an overdose antidote, to those who need it, and a public awareness campaign to further educate and share the message to prevent drug abuse.

McDonald is serving his third term in the New York State Assembly representing the 108th Assembly District, which consists of parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. It includes Cohoes, his hometown where he previously served as Mayor for 13 years. A life-long resident of Cohoes, John is a practicing pharmacist and the President of Marra's Pharmacy. As a member of the Assembly, John serves on the Aging, Alcoholism & Substance Abuse, Cities, Higher Education, Real Property Taxation and Ways and Means committees. He has worked on legislation pertaining to reducing unfunded mandates to local governments, containing property taxes, job growth and creation, sensible health care and an aggressive and complete attack on the heroin/opioid crisis that is ravaging our state and our communities.

This luncheon is sponsored by Hinman Straub - Attorneys at Law. For more than 80 years, the firm has been a leader in providing individual, institutional and corporate clients with a comprehensive array of legal and government relations services that few other firms can match. Located in the heart of New York State Government, they offer clients a wide range of practice expertise, from health law to health insurance, life insurance to financial planning, and labor to education and government relations.

The cost for the November 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 November 14 luncheon are required by Monday, November 12 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