Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Patroon Award will honor Global Institute for Health, Human Rights

Dr. Kamiar Alaie (rear, center left) and Dr. Arash Alaei (rear, center right) with Global Institute for Health & Human Rights refugees project staff at UAlbany.

The Albany Roundtable has selected the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights, its director Dr. Kamiar Alaei, and its associate director Dr. Arash Alaei, to receive its prestigious New Patroon Award for finding hope in the act of learning and teaching at the intersection of health and human rights. The award will be presented at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Thursday, January 12. The Roundtable usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month but is changing the date of the January 2017 meeting to avoid a conflict with Governor Cuomo’s combined State of the State and Budget address.
Since the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights was founded in 2013, it has fostered research, education, policy, advocacy and development, and advanced the understanding and protection of health and human rights in a theoretical, academic, practical, and ethical context. The Institute’s collaborative and interdisciplinary model engages the intersection of health and human rights from a variety of angles, integrating fields of study ranging from philosophy to urban planning to law and public health.
Chris Hawver, President of the Albany Roundtable, said, “The Global Institute has a number of ongoing international projects in the areas of drug policy, environment, international health law, criminal justice, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and human rights advocacy, research & health policy. The Founders of the Institute believe that Health and human rights are deeply interconnected. They hold that health is itself a basic human right, and it is an important precondition for the meaningful fulfillment of a wide range of other human rights. We are delighted to honor the Alaei brothers with the New Patroon Award.” 
The featured speaker for the January 12 luncheon is Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and he luncheon is sponsored by KeyBank N.A. 
The Albany Roundtable established its Good Patroon Award 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 most recent Good Patroon Award winners include WAMC Northeast Public Radio; Historic Albany Foundation; Hon.  John J. McEneny for his career in public service; Ruth Pelham and the Music Mobile; and Amy Klein and Capital District Community Gardens. Catherine Hedgeman and The Stakeholders, Inc. received the first New Patroon Award in 2011, followed by Jeff Mirel and The Albany Barn in 2012; Edwards Grimes-CarriĆ³n and Grand Street Community Arts in 2013, All Over Albany in 2014 and Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival in 2015. (The Global Institute for Health and Human Rights is the 2016 honoree, but the doctors’ travel schedules prevented them from receiving the award until January 2017.)
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 12 luncheon are required by Friday, January 6 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.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 Hawver. “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 the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights and its founders with this award.”

Friday, October 28, 2016

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden - 11/9



Patrick Madden was elected Mayor of the City of Troy on November 3, 2015. He’ll provide a recap of his first year in office and a look at Troy’s future at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, November 9 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. The meeting is open to the public.

Madden’s mayoral campaign sought to strengthen the city’s neighborhoods, confront the challenge of urban blight, improve fiscal oversight of city finances, and expand economic opportunity. Previously, Mayor Madden served for 30 years as Executive Director of the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (TRIP), a community development corporation with a strong commitment to providing a path to home ownership through financial management counseling and educational programing, helping thousands of families purchase their first home.

Born and raised in the City of Troy, Madden graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from SUNY Albany, and earned his J.D. at Albany Law School. He has previously served as a board member for numerous community organizations, including Rensselaer County ARC, the Neighborhood Risk Management Corporation, Joseph’s House and Shelter, Troy Community Land Bank, and the Rensselaer County Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.

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.blogspot.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 13 luncheon are required by Tuesday, November 8 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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Breathing Lights - THURSDAY October 13



The Albany Roundtable kicks off its 2016-17 season on Thursday, October 13 with a presentation from the project director and lead artist behind Breathing Lights – a temporary public art installation that will illuminate the windows of hundreds of vacant homes in the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy this fall. The Roundtable usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month but is changing the date of the October 2016 meeting to avoid a conflict with Yom Kippur. Albany Roundtable luncheon meetings are held at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany, and are open to the public.

This October and November, Breathing Lights will illuminate the windows of hundreds of vacant buildings in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Warm light will fill each window with a diffuse glow that mimics the gentle rhythm of human breathing. Concentrated in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, Breathing Lights will transform abandoned structures from pockets of shadows into places of warmth. Visit www.breathinglights.com/ to learn more about the project.

Breathing Lights was a winner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge which engages mayors to collaborate with artists on developing innovative public art projects that enrich communities and attract visitors. This unprecedented, multi-city installation will transform public streets into an evocative experience and provide a platform to reinvigorate partners around the Capital Region’s most visible symptom of decades of disinvestment.

Project director Judie Gilmore is an independent arts consultant, curator and writer who works with organizations and individuals on public projects, exhibitions, site-specific installations and project development. Prior to joining Breathing Lights, she served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program where she developed large-scale public art initiatives that focused on neighborhood economic development, behavioral health, workforce development and prisoner re-entry. She received a BA in art history from Johns Hopkins University, and an MPA, concentrating in cultural strategies and community development, from NYU where she was a Public Service Fellow.

Lead artist Adam Frelin uses art to insert emblematic moments into everyday life. In his artwork, these moments often take place at points where the natural and constructed worlds intersect. He has shown widely across the nation and has received numerous awards and residencies both here and abroad. He has published two books of photography and has had several artworks commissioned throughout the world. Frelin received a BFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. Currently he is an Associate Professor of art at the SUNY University at Albany, and lives in Troy. Learn more about his work at www.adamfrelin.com .


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.blogspot.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 13 luncheon are required by Tuesday, October 11 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 21, 2016

An Evening with Matt Tomasulo – Wednesday, May 18

“Civic Instigator” and Founder of Walk [Your City] will speak at Roundtable Annual Meeting 


In October, 2015, Albany deployed 100 Walk [Your City] signs at 16 intersections to promote the city’s heritage and walkability. In May, the Albany Roundtable will welcome the founder of Walk [Your City] as its Visiting Speaker.

Matt Tomasulo, “Chief Instigator” behind Walk [Your City], an emerging civic platform that helps cities put people first and embrace walkability through online tools, will be the featured speaker at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

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, 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.

Matt holds a dual masters degree from UNC Chapel Hill and NC State in City & Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture where he was recipient of the Wings on Wings award, the Robert Stipe Fellowship, and 3 national Student ASLA awards. Professionally, Matt has earned national and international recognition for his work in design and development, winning the Urban Land Institute’s Hines Urban Design Competition, Public Interest Design’s Global Design Award, and CORE77’s DIY Design Award. He has successfully funded two Kickstarter projects totaling $48,000 from 1,500 backers and is a Next City Vanguard, a “40 Under 40” class of new urban leaders.

Major sponsors for the event are The Capital District Transportation Committee and The Capital District Transportation Authority; with additional support from the Society of Architectural Historians, Turpin Bannister Chapter. Planners should note that this event has been approved for 1.0 AICP certification maintenance credits.

Walk [Your City] grew out of Walk Raleigh, a catalytic guerrilla wayfinding project that spread to hundreds of communities around the globe. WalkRaleigh was included in the 13th Venice Biennale and Tomasulo’s work has received numerous accolades and been featured by BBC News, TED.com, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Fast Company, NPR and many others.

“The Albany Roundtable has embraced the concepts of smart growth, New Urbanism and sustainability since it was founded in 1979,” said Chris Hawver, president of the all-volunteer 501c3 corporation. “Albany’s Walk [Your City] signs point to assets or destinations – cultural, historic, commercial, open space – that are worth walking to. We’re delighted that Matt Tomasulo is sharing his expertise with the Albany Roundtable. We hope that those who attend the program will go on to help Albany and many other Capital Region communities continue to celebrate and foster walkability.”

The Albany Roundtable’s previous Visiting Speakers have included 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 Monday, May 16. For more information, email albanyroundtable@yahoo.com or call The University Club at 518-414-3555.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lessons from the Cuban Experience - 4/13

Steven Englehart to discuss Adirondack Architectural Heritage trip to Cuba at Albany Roundtable

“Preserving Patrimony: Lessons from the Cuban Experience”

When Adirondack Architectural Heritage — also known as AARCH — took a tour group to Cuba in early 2016, it built a 1,500-mile-long bridge between the Adirondacks and the island, which has been closed off to Americans for 60 years. What members saw, learned and came to feel about the historic places - the soul of the nation - and the Cubans’ efforts to save and restore them was both surprising and familiar.

AARCH’s executive director Steven Engelhart will explore what the group learned about Cuba’s history, culture, and preservation efforts, and what it taught them about our own history and preservation challenges. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 13 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. Albany Roundtable luncheon meetings are open to the public.

Steven Engelhart is the Executive Director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the regional historic preservation organization of the Adirondack Park. AARCH's mission is to promote better public understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the region's built environment. Among AARCH’s many activities are: sponsoring a series of tours of historic places during the summer and fall; conducting workshops; giving slide presentations on a variety of subjects; publishing a Newsletter; staffing Camp Santanoni, and providing technical assistance to individuals, organizations and local governments.

Steven is a native of the region and has a B.A. degree from SUNY Plattsburgh and a M.S. in historic preservation from the University of Vermont. He is the author of Crossing the River: Historic Bridges of the AuSable River, a small book about bridges and local history of the AuSable Valley. He resides in Wadhams.

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 April 13 luncheon are required by Tuesday, April 12 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dr. Karl Lawrence - Enabling Tomorrow's Workforce - 3/9/16

Dr. Karl Lawrence to address Enabling Tomorrow’s Workforce at Albany Roundtable
“How Industry and Academia can help close the Skills Gap”


Dr. Karl Lawrence, dean, Excelsior College School of Business and Technology, will explore the intersection of higher education and the private sector, and the role academic-industry partnerships can play in supporting our region’s competitiveness in the global economy. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, March 9 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. Albany Roundtable luncheon meetings are open to the public.

His talk, “Enabling Tomorrow’s Workforce: How Industry and Academia Collaborations Can Help Close the Skills Gap,” will show that properly leveraged, academic-industry partnerships can accelerate the skilling and upskilling of the region’s workforce, facilitate knowledge transfer and ultimately lead to social and economic gains. Dr. Lawrence will offer several insights, including a broader acceptance of workforce training for college credit, new federal education-workforce development programs, and competency-based education.

Dr. Karl Lawrence is a trained financial economist who previously served as assistant professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, where he headed up the University’s Wall Street Initiative, which was geared toward preparing students for careers in investment banking. From 1996 through 1999, he served as risk manager for Florida’s $125 billion pension fund. Dr. Lawrence also served as associate dean of Business at Excelsior College, chair of the Business and Economics Department at Fort Valley State University, and as an assistant finance professor at American University of the Middle East.

Application forms will be available for The Albany Roundtable Scholarship during the luncheon. The scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded 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. Applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, April 1, 2016, and the scholarships will be awarded at the Roundtable’s Annual Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18 at the University Club of Albany.

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 March 9 luncheon are required by Tuesday, March 8 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Political strategists Greenberg, Bellafiore on Wednesday, 2/10

“Politics in 2016: a peek into the crystal ball, or perhaps through the looking glass”


Albany veterans, strategists and pundits Steve Greenberg and Bob Bellafiore will provide insights and prognostications for what will be the most interesting year in state and national politics since at least 2015. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 10 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany. Albany Roundtable luncheon meetings are open to the public.

Steven Greenberg is the founder and principal of Greenberg Public Relations, and has more than 30 years of political and communications experience. His 12 years in the New York State Assembly culminated as Press Secretary for two former New York State Assembly Speakers – Mel Miller and Saul Weprin. For nine years, he was Communications Director for former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall. Steve appears weekly on “The Insiders” segment on Capital Tonight, which airs nightly on Time Warner news stations across New York. He also appears regularly on “New York Now,” a statewide PBS public affairs program.

Bob Bellafiore began his career as a journalist and covered New York State government and politics for The Associated Press before joining The Business Council as Communications Director in 1991 and later joining Gov. George Pataki’s staff as his first Press Secretary. Bob later served as President of the State University of New York’s Charter Schools Institute, and spent nearly eight years leading Eric Mower and Associates’ successful public strategy practice. Before founding Stanhope Partners in 2012, Bob served as Vice President of Partner Services and Strategic Initiatives for National Heritage Academies, a national charter school management organization, where he was chief development officer and a member of the executive management team. He appears regularly on YNN’s popular nightly public affairs program “Capital Tonight” and public radio’s “The Capitol Pressroom.”

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 February 10 luncheon are required by Tuesday, February 9 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-431-1400 (the Capital Region Chamber) or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@yahoo.com.