Friday, February 2, 2018

Jill Peckenpaugh discusses work of US Committee on Refugees & Immigrants - 2/14/18

With ICE, DACA, the Wall and more in our nation’s current events, Jill Peckenpaugh, the director for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)'s Albany Field Office, sheds light on what’s real and fake in today’s news. She will talk about the good that is being done in Albany at the next Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, February 14 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

In the neighborhoods across Albany, a sanctuary city, USCRI open doors for uprooted people, helping the world’s most vulnerable rebuild their lives. USCRI is part of a nationwide network that breaks through social, cultural, and economic barriers so previously interrupted lives can flourish.

Jill Peckenpaugh is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a degree in International Relations, and Lesley University, where she earned a master’s in Training and Development. She worked for more than 10 years as a consultant, was director of Program Management at Cross-Cultural Solutions for 5 years and has been director of the USCRI Albany Field Office for about nine years.

“Our perspective is very positive and our refugees greatly improve their lives in terms of nutrition, health care, education and opportunity, particularly those who came from refugee camps,” Peckenpaugh told the Albany Times Union in 2016. “They don’t succeed overnight, but look at what our refugees achieve here is a testament to their hard work and how welcome and supportive this area has been.”

There were nearly 74,000 foreign-born individuals living in the Census bureau’s Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area in 2014.

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 14 luncheon are required by Monday, February 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.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Mayor Kathy Sheehan - THU 1/11/18

Mayor Kathy Sheehan will address the first Albany Roundtable luncheon of 2018 on Thursday, January 11 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. Albany Roundtable luncheon meetings are open to the public.

Mayor Sheehan, who was just re-elected in November, became the 75th mayor of Albany in 2014.  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 Albany Promise, 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.”

Reservations are required and seating is limited. 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 January 11 luncheon are required by Friday, January 5 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.

Friday, October 27, 2017

CEG's Andrew Kennedy to discuss Amazon HQ2 proposal - 11/8



Andrew Kennedy, the President and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), will discuss the recently-submitted proposal to lure Amazon’s HQ2 to the Capital Region at the next Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, November 8. 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.

The Center for Economic Growth is a nonprofit, regional economic and business development organization that serves as the primary point of contact for businesses interested in growing in or moving to New York’s Capital Region.

Kennedy previously served as the Deputy Director of State Operations for Governor Andrew M Cuomo overseeing the day-to-day management of New York State government, as well as developing and overseeing implementation of state policies and programs related to economic development. Prior to that, Andrew served as Governor Cuomo’s Assistant Secretary for Economic Development coordinating the development and management of the State’s economic development and housing efforts.

Before joining Governor Cuomo’s staff, Andrew worked for over a decade at the New York State Division of Budget and for the New York State Assembly where he developed a detailed understanding of New York’s fiscal and economic development policies and programs. Andrew holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and a bachelor’s degree from Siena College in political science.

The Albany Roundtable will also present its prestigious New Patroon Award to Clark House Hospitality and its co-owners Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine for creating quality experiences between people, food, and drink in Troy, and for their leadership in bringing ride hailing to upstate New York.

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 November 8 luncheon are required by Monday, November 6 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gene Bunnell - What Albany can learn from Providence, RI

Gene Bunnell, Ph. D., Associate Professor Emeritus in Geography and Planning will compare Albany and Providence, both state capitals and both cities located on a river. He will discuss planning, development and more at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, October 11 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

Gene Bunnell holds a Master of City Planning degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Ph.D. in Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University at Albany, State University at New York. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Smith College, Hampshire College and Vassar College.

Dr. Bunnell is the author of Making Places Special: Stories of Real Places Made Better by Planning (APA Planners Press 2002) and Built to Last: A Handbook on Recycling Old Buildings (Preservation Press 1977). Gene was born and raised in Buffalo, New York.


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. 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 11 luncheon are required by Tuesday, October 10 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Christopher Burke elected President of Albany Roundtable


The board of directors of the Albany Roundtable has elected Christopher Burke of Albany as its President. Burke succeeds Chris Hawver, who was elected in 2013.

The Albany Roundtable is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization that presents a unique opportunity for people from around the region and from all walks of life to gather to hear speakers with diverse viewpoints on timely subjects.

Hawver, who serves as Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, will remain on the board as Immediate Past President. Vice President Steve Boisvert of McFarland-Johnson, Inc.; Secretary Penny Vavura of Pierce Communications and Treasurer Eileen Rosen of Keller Williams Realty were re-elected to their posts.

Burke is the fourth president of the civic luncheon forum, which was founded by Paul Bray in 1979. He served as president for 30 years and was succeeded by Colleen Ryan in 2008.

Chris Burke is Executive Director/CEO Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc. where he has worked since 2003. Prior to that he served as Director of Business Development for the American Red Cross; Project Manager for the New York State Science and Technology Foundation; and as a Budget Analyst for the New York State Assembly Ways & Means Committee. He serves on the board of NYS Employment Resources for People Who Are Blind; the Blind Employment Network of New York; the University Club Foundation and the Albany Parking Authority. He served previously on the Albany

County Legislature, and holds a Master of Arts in Business from the State University of New York Empire State College and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Burke will preside over the first Albany Roundtable meeting of the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, October 11, when the featured speaker will be Gene Bunnell, author of Transforming Providence: Rebirth of a Post-Industrial City. The lunches are held at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, or to RSVP visit the Roundtable’s website at www.albanyroundtable.com .


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Social Studies in Democratic Society - Thursday, June 15

Lawrence Paska, Ph. D., Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), will discuss the role of civic education and civic engagement in a democratic society at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting at the University Club. Evening includes social hour with light fare and open bar, presentation of scholarship and Good Patroon award. Join us! 



Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said, “The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens.” In June, the Albany Roundtable will welcome the Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) as our Visiting Speaker. Lawrence Paska, Ph. D., will discuss the role of civic education and civic engagement in a democratic society at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

The event is open to the public, and will be held at the National Register-listed 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 to journalist, author and educator Paul Grondahl, the presentation the Albany Roundtable Scholarship for Civic Leadership, and a talk by the Visiting Speaker. Tickets are $40 and include light fare and open bar.

“The 2016 elections were marred by hoaxes, misinformation and outright lies – and it appears that many citizens did not have the tools to distinguish reality from ‘fake news,’” said Colleen Ryan, Immediate Past President of the Roundtable and organizer of the event. “Many Americans – especially students – would benefit from a renewed focus on civic education and critical thinking.”

Social studies is at the heart of civic education, as it integrates the study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, the primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. In essence, social studies promotes knowledge of and involvement in civic affairs. And because civic issues--such as health care, crime, and foreign policy – are multidisciplinary in nature, understanding these issues and developing resolutions to them require multidisciplinary education. These characteristics are the key defining aspects of social studies.

Dr. Larry Paska began his career as a middle school social studies teacher and later served in multiple roles at the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Among his contributions at NYSED were serving as a P-12 state social studies specialist and establishing the Office of Educational Design and Technology in P-12 Education. Prior to joining NCSS , Dr. Paska served as the Director of Professional Development for the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), where he and his team provided instructional programs and services for 32 public school districts in the greater New York City region. He earned a B.A. in History and an M.A.T. in Social Studies from Union College (NY) and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University at Albany (NY).

“The Albany Roundtable has fostered civic engagement across disciplines – and over lunch – since it was founded in 1979,” said Chris Hawver, president of the all-volunteer 501c3 corporation. “We convene 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 that those who attend this program will be inspired to participate more deeply in civic life, and create opportunities for young people to become engaged. The future of our democracy depends on it.”

The Albany Roundtable’s previous Visiting Speakers have included 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 Tuesday, June 13. For more information or to RSVP, follow this link, email albanyroundtable@yahoo.com or call The University Club at 518-463-1151.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco of The College of Saint Rose - Wed. 4/12

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco, the 11th president of The College of Saint Rose, will discuss the institution’s 2020 Strategic Plan and her vision for the future at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, April 12, at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

This past Fall, The College of Saint Rose welcomed the largest first-year class in its 96-year history, and began implementing its ambitious, new strategic plan called "To the Second Century." It consists of five goals that position Saint Rose for national and international recognition as a comprehensive institution with high-quality, academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Although this is a period of historic upheaval in higher education, Saint Rose remains committed to its founding mission, to student success, and to the Capital Region.

Dr. Stefanco previously served as vice president and chief academic officer at Agnes Scott College in metropolitan Atlanta. Prior to her service there, she held leadership and teaching positions at two institutions in the California State University system, at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Stefanco earned her doctorate in history from Duke University, a master’s degree in history from Binghamton University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a trustee of the American University in Bulgaria, is a board member of the Center for Economic Growth, and Hearst’s Women@Work, and serves on the Executive Committee of Albany Promise. She has played leadership roles in many American higher education organizations, and speaks and writes regularly about a variety of educational issues. Her research focuses on women and leadership.

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 April 12 luncheon are required by Monday, April 10. and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com.