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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 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

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

New Patroon Award will honor Tom Nardacci for Coworking Spaces

The Albany Roundtable has selected Tom Nardacci, developer of TroyInnovation Garage and the new Bull Moose Club in Albany, to receive its prestigious New Patroon Award for creating coworking spaces in Troy and Albany “where ideas run free and people have the resources they need to fully tap their potential.” The award will be presented at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, October 10.  
            When he launched Troy Innovation Garage in 2017 Nardacci brought to the Capital Region a coworking community that is as dynamic as any in the United States. The building on 4th Street in Troy that sat mostly vacant for 30 years is now is home to 115 members, with combined wages of over $7.5 million. The Garage has also hosted over 80 events, including talks about public policy, the video game industry and community development in Troy. 
This year, Tom developed and launched Bull Moose Club across the street from the New York State Capitol. The space is catering to enterprise teams that do business with New York State, associations and advocacy groups, and professionals in downtown Albany.
 “Through Troy Innovation Garage, Tom Nardacci breathed new life into a mostly vacant building and developed a hub where software developers, web designers, graphic artists, marketers, engineers, and a mix of professionals can find both focus and fun,” said Christopher Burke, President of the Albany Roundtable. “Now, he’s bringing this successful model to downtown Albany with the Bull Moose Club and providing a collaborative coworking space just steps from the New York State Capitol. We are delighted to honor him with the Roundtable’s New Patroon award.”
 The featured speaker for the October 10 luncheon is Maureen Sager, the executive director of the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy (ACE). ACE is working with cross-sector, geographically diverse individuals, private and public organizations, nonprofits, and community leadership to develop and implement programs that benefit the people, places, and creativity of the greater 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 most recent Good Patroon Award winners include the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region; journalist and director of New York Writer’s Institute Paul Grondahl; WAMC Northeast Public Radio; Historic Albany Foundation; Hon.  John J. McEneny for his career in public service; and Ruth Pelham and the Music Mobile. 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, and All Over Albany in 2014, Albany Chefs' Food & Wine Fest Organizers in 2015; the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights in 2016 and Clark House Hospitality in 2017.
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 Tuesday, October 9 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to
            “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 Tom Nardacci with this award for his efforts to support the Capital Region’s creative economy.”