Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mayor Jennings to address Roundtable on 1/14/09

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings will address the first Albany Roundtable luncheon of 2009 on Wednesday, January 14.

Mayor Gerald D. Jennings is the 74th Mayor of the City of Albany. First elected in 1993, he is currently serving his fourth term as Mayor of New York's Capital City. Born in North Albany, Jennings had a 21-year career as a teacher and high school administrator for the Albany City School District and served 13 years on the Common Council representing the 11th Ward.

The Mayor has successfully established collaborative partnerships with New York State, the business community, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations that have produced new development projects representing more than $2 billion in new investment since 1994.

KeyBank N.A. is sponsoring the January 14 luncheon. "We are delighted to support the efforts of the Albany Roundtable to offer a platform for lively discussion of timely ideas and opinions," said Mitchell Miller, Senior Vice President, KeyBank. "Sponsorship of events like this is just one way that KeyBank strives to improve the quality of life and economic vibrancy of the places where our customers, employees and shareholders live and work."

Under Mayor Jennings' leadership, the City of Albany received the prestigious City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Mayor was also recognized with an Outstanding Achievement Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and by the National Council for Urban Economic Development for public-private partnerships. Albany's programs, initiatives and successes have served as models nationwide for effective local government.

Reservations for the January 14 Luncheon are required by Monday, January 12 and can be made by calling 518-431-1440 (the reservations hotline of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by e-mail albanyroundtable@yahoo.com .

The luncheon is open to the public. The cost is $12 for those who register on or before January 12, and $15 at the door. The buffet lunch begins at 12:00 noon and concludes at 1:00 p.m. It is held in the third floor former court room of the Old Federal Building, now part of SUNY Plaza at the foot of State Street.

For additional information call Colleen Ryan at 518-428-9348 or visit http://www.albanyroundtable.com/ or http://www.albanyroundtable.blogspot.com/ .

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Agenda: Nov. 12 luncheon

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Join the Friends of the Roundtable!

The Albany Roundtable, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) corporation, will celebrate its 30th season in 2009. Our civic luncheon series is open to the public and frequently attracts 60 – 80 participants each month, and attendance fees generally cover the cost of the luncheon. Accordingly, our luncheon sponsorships and “Friends of the Roundtable” memberships are channeled to a modest account which is used to offset the cost of honoraria and travel expenses for occasional special speakers.

Please consider joining at the 30th Anniversary level!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

An Appetizer for 11/12/08

To give guests an idea of some of the topics that may be addressed at meetings of the Albany Roundtable, we'll offer an "appetizer" a week or so before the luncheon. Please let us know what you think! And if this whets your appetite for more civic discussion, please RSVP by Monday, 11/10 by calling 518-431-1440 (the reservations hotline of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by e-mail albanyroundtable@yahoo.com .


Tell us about the early history of Albany Medial Center
Albany Medical College, one of the nation's oldest medical schools, was founded in 1839 by Dr. Alden March, who later founded the Albany Medical Center Hospital (then named The Albany Hospital) in 1849. In 1982, after several years of failed attempts, Albany Medical College formally united with the Albany Medical Center Hospital to form what we now know to be Albany Medical Center, the region’s only academic medical center.

Can you briefly discuss the role of Albany Medical Center in the Park South Neighborhood?
Albany Medical Center is a vested partner in the revitalization of the Park South Neighborhood, making it a better place to live and work for its 2,000 residents and the nearly 7,000 Albany Medical Center employees. The Medical Center’s investment and commitment to the Park South neighborhood is evidenced by its numerous renovation and expansion projects including:
  • the $15 million, 45,000 square foot Physicians Pavilion unveiled in 2007
  • support of the Hilton Garden Inn at Albany Medical Center, which opened in 2007, through the lease of Medical Center property
  • the leasing of 77,000 square feet of new office space currently being constructed at 22 New Scotland Avenue
  • the recently proposed $360 million expansion of Albany Med’s Patient Tower.

What efforts is Albany Medical Center making to advance the sustainability and create a greener facility?
Albany Medical Center is very proud of its environmental programs and its commitment to reducing waste and preserving natural resources. The Medical Center has received international and national recognition for its effort. Most notably in 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency honored Albany Med with its Environmental Achiever award, referring to the institution as a “catalyst for environmental change” in its community.

Albany Med’s complete environmental program includes a state-of-the-art solvent reclamation system, a SHARPS disposal program (in which used needles and other medical waste is collected in plastic containers), an electronic recycling program, a comprehensive battery-recycling program, a chemical recycling program, and a hazardous chemical waste reduction and reclamation program.

What is the most exciting and promising research going on right now at Albany Medical Center?
At Albany Medical Center, scientists are engaged in many exciting areas of biomedical research including infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, addiction, cancer, and neuropathy. Their never-ending quest for knowledge may one day lead to important discoveries and medical innovations to be used right at the patient’s bedside. Recent grants issued to Albany Med faculty have included:

  • A $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (National Institutes of Health) to continue studying whether lessening the immune response to a deadly form of bacteria could actually prevent death.
  • A $5.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to explore the development of a “universal” vaccine for flu, including avian flu that would protect individuals from all forms of influenza, regardless of the latest strain or mutation.
  • A $960,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to examine what role the oncogene WWP1 could play in future breast cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and target therapy treatments.

What could be done to enhance the relationship between Albany Medical Center and the community?
Albany Medical Center is deeply invested in the community and committed to serving its wide array of needs. From offering regional programs that are not available elsewhere in the region (HIV/AIDS treatment; heart, kidney and pancreas transplantation; child cancer services and the Children’s Hospital) to actively engaging in promoting public health, health education and conducting various health screenings, Albany Med has firmly established its partnership with the community.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Albany Med CEO to Address Roundtable on 11/12

James J. Barba, President and CEO of Albany Medical Center, will address the Albany Roundtable at a luncheon on Wednesday, November 12.

Mr. Barba oversees the medical education, biomedical research and patient care activities of northeastern New York 's only academic health sciences center. The Albany Medical Center, which has approximately 7,000 employees, consists of the Albany Medical Center Hospital ; the Albany Medical College; the Albany Medical Center Faculty Group Practice; and the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc. It also owns the former Child's Hospital, now the Albany Medical Center South Clinical Campus.

In July 1994, Mr. Barba was named chairman of the Medical Center 's Board of Directors, and in March of 1995 was named president and chief executive officer. Mr. Barba served as the Medical Center's board chair for twelve years, stepping down in June 2006. He was formerly senior counsel to the Albany law firm of Hiscock & Barclay. He is an expert on banking law, corporate law, trust and estate law and employee benefits law.

Hiscock & Barclay is sponsoring the November 12 luncheon. "Jim Barba will undoubtedly highlight the strategic relationships between the Albany Medical Center and the neighborhood, city and region," said Thomas J. O'Connor, Managing Director of the firm's Albany office. "Our support of the Albany Roundtable serves to underscore Hiscock & Barclay's local insight and perspectives, as well as our regional capabilities."

Mr. Barba, who graduated summa cum laude in 1966 from Siena College , received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School, graduating cum laude in 1969. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and holds a number of other civic and private appointments.

Reservations for the November 12 Luncheon are required by Monday, November 10 and can be made by calling 518-431-1440 (the reservations hotline of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by e-mail albanyroundtable@yahoo.com .

The luncheon is open to the public. The cost is $12 for those who register on or before November 10, and $15 at the door. The buffet lunch begins at 12:00 noon and concludes at 1:00 p.m. It is held in the third floor former court room of the Old Federal Building, now part of SUNY Plaza at the foot of State Street.For additional information call Colleen Ryan at 518-462-1900 or visit www.AlbanyRoundtable.com.


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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Breaking bread helps the Capital Region

Paul Bray's monthly column in the Times Union provides a history of the Albany Roundtable

First published: Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Albany Roundtable lunch forum is a civic ideal I guided as president for three decades. With Colleen Ryan, an outstanding Albany civic leader, as the new Roundtable president, I can think back about how it got started and about the couple of hundred luncheons and programs it has sponsored.

I vividly recall how the lunch forum idea developed. In the 1970s, a good time for Albany, I was on the board of the now-defunct Albany League of Arts, a civic organization supporting local arts. At one meeting, the wife of a banker said in a huffy way that her husband's work was too important for him to offer any of his time to a community activity the League was planning. What a shame someone, no matter how important he or she is, could not give a little time to support the community.

These days, I hear it called being in silos when units of business, government or community are isolated or not functioning well with each other. I saw the arts and business communities in Albany in their own separate silos. I didn't see the town square in Albany where community members could meet and exchange ideas.

These thoughts led to the notion of organizing a civic lunch forum where a cross-section of people from business, media, education, arts and neighborhoods, among other interested citizens in Albany, could have lunch together and listen to a community leader speak. The seed may have been planted in the 1950s, when I was president of the Key Club at Albany High School and was invited to attend Kiwanis Club luncheons.

Organizations like the Rotary Club and the various chambers of commerce offer a fair share of breakfast and luncheon programs. The Roundtable was intended to be different in the sense that it was public with a simple agenda of fostering an informed sense of community.

Enough local residents shared my enthusiasm to organize the nonprofit Albany Roundtable. Some stalwarts, like Realtor Mary Alice Leary and banker Mark Patten, have served from the beginning. The state Education Department offered use of the members room at the State Museum. We were ready to go.

Albany continues to be above all else a political city; City Hall casts a large shadow. Even though the emphasis was on the civic realm, I bowed to reality by inviting then-Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd to be the speaker at the first Albany Roundtable Luncheon in 1979. Corning enthusiastically accepted the civic lunch forum and he agreed to speak.

With Corning's appearance we started the practice of having the city's mayor give a state of the city talk each year, a practice that ended last year. During the few years before his death, Corning spoke each January and brought news of some new project that was going to happen. He also attended luncheons when he wasn't the speaker.

Initially about 35 people, who usually knew the speaker or came from the same sector as the speaker, attended. When the mayor spoke, attendance spiked to 50, representing a wide cross-section of interests. Here was another example of how Albany's mayor was involved in every aspect of city life.

The pattern changed when we moved to larger quarters at State University Plaza that could accommodate a hundred people. Today's audiences, ranging from 60 to a 100, are a mix coming from business, professional, government and nonprofit sectors. We also have a small, loyal contingent of retirees who want to stay in touch with what is happening in the city.

The Roundtable succeeded by keeping to the basics of its original purpose of offering a luncheon opportunity for community networking and to see, meet and hear leaders talk about their work.

Paul M. Bray is Founding President of the Albany Roundtable civic lunch forum. His e-mail is secsunday@aol.com.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Agenda: October 8 Luncheon

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Chris Miles to receive Good Patroon Award on 10/8

ALBANY, NY – September 30, 2008 – The Albany Roundtable has selected Christine M. Miles, Director of the Albany Institute of History and Art, to receive its prestigious Good Patroon Award for her commitment to making the museum a broadly accessible cultural and educational resource. This annual award was established in 1988 to recognize outstanding contributions to the community by institutions and individuals.

“Chris has done so much to solidify the important connection between the arts and business,” said Colleen M. Ryan, President of the Albany Roundtable. “When a delegation from Albany traveled to Austin, Texas in 2003 to determine how the predicted growth in high technology might affect our community well-being, Chris was there. And when the Upstate Artists Guild launched ‘First Friday’ in Albany, Chris advocated for the Institute’s participation in this cutting-edge approach to arts and culture. The continued success of the Albany Institute over two decades of momentous change is a testament to her visionary leadership, and we are delighted to honor her with the Good Patroon Award.”

Wally Altes, host of The Bottom Line with Wally Altes on WMHT – Channel 17 and former President of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, will present the Award at the first meeting of the Albany Roundtable’s 30th Anniversary Season on Wednesday, October 8th. The luncheon’s featured speaker is Robert Altman, President and CEO of WMHT Educational Telecommunications.

“Over the years, the Albany Institute has worked with the corporate and business sector to garner support for many high impact projects, the most successful to date being the GE-funded Excavating Egypt which drew record crowds from all over,” said Miles. “Visitors to Albany and our area ate in our restaurants, stayed in our hotels and shopped in our stores. Our current exhibition, Impressionist Giverny: American Painters in France is built on a similar model. As Jan Smith of GE Power Systems said while speaking at an Albany Institute Corporate Breakfast, ‘... projects like Excavating Egypt are a win-win situation for the public, our businesses and the arts -- our whole community.’ ”

The Albany Institute of History and Art is a cultural and educational institution dedicated to public service. As a museum, it mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the art, cultural and history of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley Region in a global context from the 17th century to the present. In 2009, the Institute will feature “HUDSON RIVER PANORAMA: 400 Years of Art, History and Culture,” based on new research and largely drawn from the Institute’s vast holdings, documenting life in the Hudson Valley.

Prior to coming to the Capital District, Christine Miles worked in New York City and Washington, DC at a number of museums. She has a BA in Art History from Boston University and an MA in American Culture and Museum Studies from George Washington University. Miles has been active in the museum and arts community state-wide and served as President of two boards: Museum Association of New York State and Gallery Association of New York State. Miles is active in the community, and currently sits on the board of the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was born in Madison, Indiana and grew up living in the mid-west, the east coast, and England. Christine and her husband, Jake Kelliher, live in downtown Albany.

The October 8 Roundtable Luncheon begins at 12:00 noon and is held in the third floor former courtroom of the old Federal Building, now part of SUNY Plaza at the foot of State Street. The cost of the Luncheon is $12 for those who register on or before October 6, and $15 at the door. Reservations are required by Monday, October 6 and can be made by calling 518-431-1440 (the reservations hotline of the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by e-mail albanyroundtable@yahoo.com. For additional information call Colleen Ryan at 518-462-1900 or visit www.AlbanyRoundtable.com.

The most recent Good Patroon Award winners include Parsons Child and Family Center and its Executive Director Raymond Schimmer; Capital Repertory Theater and its Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill; and the Albany Housing Authority and its Executive Director Stephen Longo.

“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 Ryan. “The Good Patroon Award is the Albany Roundtable’s primary means of honoring those leaders who make our community a better place to live. We are so pleased to be able to present Chris with this award.”

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Robert Altman to address Roundtable on 10/8

ALBANY, NY – September 19, 2008 – Robert Altman, President and CEO of WMHT Educational Telecommunications, will address the first meeting of the Albany Roundtable’s 2008-2009 season on Wednesday, October 8.

Robert Altman has been at the helm of WMHT since December, 2007. WMHT provides public television and radio services that reach more than half a million households in Eastern New York and Western New England as well as a suite of educational services designed to enhance learning opportunities for the region’s residents.

Previously, Mr. Altman designed and directed the Public Television Major Giving Initiative, a project funded by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting to increase major and planned giving to public television stations.

Prior to his work in public broadcasting, Mr. Altman served as Managing Director of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey and General Manager of the Pennsylvania Ballet. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College, he holds a Masters Degree from the Catholic University of America.

The Roundtable’s Good Patroon Award will also be presented at the October Luncheon to Christine Miles, director of the Albany Institute of History and Art.

Reservations for the October 8 Luncheon are required by Monday, October 6 and can be made by calling 518-431-1440 (the reservations hotline of the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by e-mail albanyroundtable@yahoo.com .

The cost of the Luncheon is $12 for those who register on or before October 6, and $15 at the door. The buffet lunch begins at 12:00 noon, and is held in the third floor former court room of the Old Federal Building, now part of SUNY Plaza at the foot of State Street.For additional information call Colleen Ryan at 518-462-1900 or visit http://www.albanyroundtable.com/.


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After 30 years, new leadership for Albany Roundtable


Colleen Ryan succeeds Paul Bray as President of Civic Lunch Forum

ALBANY, September 10, 2008 -- The board of directors of the Albany Roundtable has elected Colleen M. Ryan of Albany as its President. Ryan will succeed Paul Bray, who has served as President since founding the group in 1979.

The Albany Roundtable, Inc. is a non-profit civic lunch forum that presents speakers with diverse viewpoints on timely subjects relating to the Albany region. It is supported by the Friends of the Albany Roundtable.

“Paul’s visionary leadership of the Albany Roundtable has enriched our civic life for three decades by providing a venue for the exchange of ideas and information among people active in business, arts, not-for-profits, governments, neighborhoods and other urban activities,” said Ryan. “I’m looking forward to charting a course for the future by incorporating social media and other technology tools, while continuing the spirit of the Albany Roundtable as a professional networking opportunity.”

According to Bray, “the strong civic interest of Albany residents and neighbors and the willingness of leaders in the community to be Albany Roundtable speakers” have contributed to the success of the forum.

“In addition to being a Friend of the Albany Roundtable for many years, Colleen has experience in not-for-profit, government and business communications and new media,” said Bray. “She is well suited to take this organization to the next level, and I’m looking forward to participating in upcoming Albany Roundtable events.”

Bray will remain on the board of the Albany Roundtable as Founding President. Vice President Mary Alice Leary, GRI, of Roberts Real Estate and Treasurer Mark Patten of Wilber Bank were re-elected to their posts. Lori Harris of the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal was elected Secretary.

Ryan will preside over the first Albany Roundtable meeting of the 2008-2009 season on Wednesday, October 8, when the featured speaker will be Robert Altman, President and General Manager for WMHT Educational Telecommunications. The buffet lunch begins at 12:00 noon, and is held in the 3rd floor former court room of the Old Federal Building, now part of SUNY Plaza at the foot of State Street. For more information, visit the Roundtable’s website at http://www.albanyroundtable.com/ .

A lifelong resident of Albany County and a graduate of the College of St. Rose, Ryan is Director of Public Relations for the Preservation League of New York State. Previously, she was Director of Communications for Malkin & Ross, an Albany lobbying firm; Executive Director of the Capital Region’s first not-for-profit Internet provider, CRISNY; and has held positions with the New York State Senate and Assembly. She served as President of the board of Historic Albany Foundation from 2002-2004.


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