Thursday, November 21, 2019

Local Theater Leaders Discuss Partnership at Roundtable Lunch Wednesday, December 11 at University Club


ALBANY – November 21, 2019 – Proctors CEO Philip Morris and Capital Rep Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill will talk about collaboration and more at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, December 11. 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.

Founded in the 1970s and 1980s, respectively, Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre (or theREP, an affiliate of the Proctors Collaborative) have provided the very best in entertainment to the region for decades. They’re now joining forces to serve as an anchor in the development of Livingston Square, the former National Biscuit Co. building, at 251 N. Pearl Street, which will include a 300-seat MainStage, 70-seat black box theatre, full time cafĂ© and box office. Together, they’ll expand their mission "to create theatre with an authentic connection to the community." 
Mancinelli-Cahill has served as Producing Artistic Director of Capital Repertory Theatre since 1995. She has worked in regional theatre, Off-Off and On Broadway and has directed more than 100 plays, workshops and readings. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado and an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. 

Morris became the CEO of Proctors in 2002. He also heads theRep and the Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs. Previously, Morris served for 25 years as the executive director of the Arts Council for Chautauqua County. There, he established The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum and Festival of New Comedy.

This luncheon is sponsored by Discover Albany, the independent, not-for-profit corporation that serves as Albany County's Official Tourism Promotion Agency (TPA), as well as an administrator of the Capital-Saratoga Region and Hudson River Valley marketing efforts.

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 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 December 11 luncheon are required by Monday, December 9 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, October 15, 2019


You’ve probably seen him on TV and heard him on the radio. Doug Myers has been the spokesperson at the Albany International Airport for 20 years. Meet him and hear about all the improvements being made at the airport and surrounding vicinity at the Albany Roundtable luncheon Wednesday, November 13. The event, including a buffet lunch and presentation by Myers, will be held at the National Register-listed University Club. All Albany Roundtable events are open to the public.

Myers, the director of public affairs at the Albany International Airport, will focus his talk about the new airlines at ALB including Frontier and Allegiant, which both started servicing the airport last year. Along with new flights offered, the airport - the oldest municipal airport in the country - is also getting a $90 million makeover. Major improvements are now underway inside the terminal and construction is ongoing for a new parking garage. There will also be new license plate-reading technology incorporated into the garage. Myers will also go over a bit about the history of the airport and other new additions, including a Burger King and solar energy infrastructure.

Since it opened, the airport has had more than 57 million pass through its terminal and, with these improvements, the airport expects a jump in travelers in the coming years.

A graduate of Hudson Valley Community College, Myers is originally from Schenectady and now lives in Loudonville. Before working at the Albany International Airport, Myers worked at WPTR, WABC, WTEN, WGY, and the Department of Labor. This is actually his second stint at ALB since he actually worked as a nightshift dishwasher at the airport in the 1960s.

The luncheon’s corporate sponsor is 3tarchitects located in Troy, NY. 3t provides high quality, innovative architectural designs through their accumulated experience, active listening and constant communication. Using the latest in technology and sustainable approaches, their group of dedicated professionals delivers the best solution for the client and the community at large.

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, at 141 Washington Avenue, Albany, 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 13 luncheon are required by Monday, November 11 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Downtown Development Update Launches Roundtable's 41st Season



Jeff Buell, Principal of Redburn Development, will be the featured speaker at the first Albany Roundtable of the 2019-20 season on THURSDAY, October 10. 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.

Buell, along with his partners John Blackburn and Tom Rossi, is rehabilitating nearly 500,000 square feet in downtown Albany including the former Kenmore Hotel and Steuben Club on North Pearl Street; the former Knickerbocker News building at 16 Sheridan Avenue; the former Kennedy Garage at 43-47 Columbia Street; the parking garage with spiral ramp at 111 North Pearl Street; and 39 Columbia Street on Tricentennial Park. They have developed more than $100 million in properties in mostly urban areas in the last five years.

Buell previously served as owner of Sequence Development; Development Executive at United Group of Companies; and worked six years for the City of Troy in economic development and communications positions. He holds a B.A. in Communications and History from the College of St. Rose in Albany.

The Albany Roundtable will also present its prestigious New Patroon Award to Soul Fire Farm in Grafton for their efforts to end racism and injustice in our food system, and to bring diverse communities together to support sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health and environmental justice.

 The luncheon has two corporate sponsors: Harris A. Sanders, Architects, P.C., an architecture planning, design, and construction administration firm that has been servicing the architecture needs of Capital Region clients for over 60 years; and NAI Platform Realty, NAI Platform is a multifaceted real estate brokerage specializing in office, industrial, land, retail, investment, nonprofit, and multi-family services.

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 October 10 luncheon are required by Monday, October 7 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.com.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Soul Fire Farm in Grafton will receive 2019 New Patroon Award



The Albany Roundtable has selected Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, to receive its prestigious New Patroon Award for their efforts to end racism and injustice in our food system, and to bring diverse communities together to support sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health and environmental justice. The award will be presented at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on THURSDAY, October 10 (note date change to avoid conflict with Yom Kippur).


The farm was founded by Leah Penniman and her partner Jonah Vitale-Wolff in 2006 after they moved from Massachusetts to Albany’s South End. The farm works to involve more black and brown people in sustainable agriculture. Out of New York State’s 33,000 farms, only 106 have a person of color in a decision-making role.

Among Soul Fire Farms strategic goals for 2019 are:
  • Grow 20,000 pounds of vegetables, fruits, and plant medicine and 250 chickens intensively on 2 acres of land using low-till methods and sequestering 2,400 pounds of carbon.
  • Train 130+ new farmer-activists through their BIPOC FIRE (Black-Indigenous-People of Color Farming in Relationship with Earth). At least 50% of graduates go on to work as growers and/or food system changemakers.
  • Strengthen connections between the local community and the land by providing daylong food justice programs to more than 250 BIPOC youth, community farm days to more than 300 intergenerational community members, and “Soul Fire in the City” lawn-to-garden workshops.
  • Provide affordable, doorstep delivery of farm fresh organic vegetables, herbs, eggs, and meat to 80 families through their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

“When Soul Fire Farm reconnects people to the land and restores pride and honor to the act of growing food, they’re not just fostering farmers, they’re building community,” said Christopher Burke, President of the Albany Roundtable. “While addressing food sovereignty and food security issues, they’re modeling agency and involved citizenship. We are delighted to honor them with the Roundtable’s New Patroon award.”

The featured speaker for the October 10 luncheon is Jeff Buell, principal of Redburn Development. Redburn is leading the next generation of real estate development through their commitment to social responsibility, resiliency and community partnerships across the 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 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 Monday, October 7 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to albanyroundtable@gmail.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 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 Soul Fire Farm with this award for their efforts to reconnect people with the source and production of the healthy foods their bodies need and deserve.”

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.