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Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Dear Friend of the Albany Roundtable:

Since our founding in 1979, the Albany Roundtable has been an all-volunteer, not-for-profit group 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. 

We were pleased to host the following speakers before our 2019-2020 season was abruptly ended by the global pandemic:

  • October – Jeff Buell, Principal of Redburn Development –Downtown Development
  • November – Doug Myers, Albany International Airport
  • December – Proctors CEO Philip Morris and Capital Rep Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill – Opportunities for Collaboration
  •  January – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
  • February – Blair Horner of NYPIRG – NYS Policy Issues
  • March – Scott Townsend of 3tarchitects – Interstate 787 and the Albany Waterfront

The Albany Roundtable is looking forward to continuing to enrich our region’s civic life by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among people active in business, arts, not-for-profits, governments, neighborhoods, and other urban activities.

Because Albany Roundtable lunches are such a treasured professional networking opportunity, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the beginning of our 2020-21 season, which usually kicks off in October, until we can safely meet in person again.

In the meantime, we hope you will consider renewing your membership in the Friends of the Albany Roundtable using the yellow "Add to Cart" button above so we can be poised to resume our luncheon meetings just as soon as possible.

Until then, stay safe and be well.

All the best,

Christopher T. Burke, President

Friday, June 12, 2020

Amelia Colafati of Albany High School Wins 2020 Roundtable Scholarship

ALBANY, NY – June 12, 2020 – The Albany Roundtable, an all-volunteer non-profit corporation founded in 1979, recently announced the recipient of The Albany Roundtable Scholarship.

Amelia Colafati, a senior at Albany High School, is planning to attend Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts after a gap year. She was selected based on her essay describing her leadership in civic and community activities as well as a recommendation from the school’s Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator. 

“The Roundtable’s Scholarship Committee reviewed several applications and had to make a very difficult decision,” said Christopher Burke, president of the 501c3 organization. “The Committee thoroughly enjoyed Amelia’s thoughtful essay on her volunteer work with her church, particularly her assistance with community dinners for those in need. She also described her work as President of the Albany High Model United Nations and Mock Trial Clubs. Despite the school’s closure, she coordinated a Model U.N. conference to assess the possible social, economic, and political responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In her essay, Colafati also described her growing interest in climate activism. She completed “an energy audit to find ways to limit my church’s carbon footprint … then gave a presentation at church, explaining about the climate crisis, bringing the congregation up to date on the audit, and offering a few suggestions I had come up with about how to respond to the climate crisis as an ordinary citizen. I also have participated in a number of rallies with my classmates at the New York State Capitol, inspired by the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.”

The Albany Roundtable presents a civic luncheon series which is open to the public and attracts an average of 50 participants each month to hear speakers with diverse viewpoints on timely subjects relating to the region. The award is traditionally presented at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting in May, but the event was canceled due to the pandemic.

Burke continued, “The Albany Roundtable has a long history of providing a forum for civil discussion of the issues of the day. We hope that this scholarship will help Amelia join a new generation of civic leaders who will go on to contribute to their communities in ways that we cannot yet imagine.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Scott Townsend of 3tarchitects discusses reimagining Interstate 787 and the opportunities to recapture access to the waterfront

On Wednesday, March 11, join 3tarchitects’ Scott Townsend at the University Club at Noon to discuss the impact of 787 and access to the waterfront in the City of Albany. The informal, interactive discussion will focus on the evolution of the monstrosity and, in greater depth, how the breath and flames of this man-made dragon can be extinguished, once and for all. Scott will present in depth design studies showing how 787 can be transformed using case studies, financial data, and implementation timelines that illustrate the viability of such an endeavor and undertaking.

There have been discussions, concepts and rumors about 787’s transformation for years. There is no better time than now for the City of Albany to recapture and embrace its’ waterfront. Come and see how Albany and the Hudson River can interact with one another again.

Scott Townsend is the Partner and Design Director of Troy-based architecture firm 3tarchitects. The firm was founded on principles derived from a passion and drive to create socially relevant projects that transform communities, neighborhoods and buildings in need and to provide a better quality of life for those residing there.

3tarchitects provides high quality, innovative architectural designs. This is accomplished through accumulated experience, active listening, constant communication and utilizing the latest technology.

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.

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 The National Register-listed University Club, located at 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in 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 March 11 luncheon are required by Monday, March 9 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to

Friday, January 31, 2020

Blair Horner of NYPIRG will discuss NYS Policy Issues at the Albany Roundtable on Wednesday, February 12

ALBANY, NY –  Blair Horner, a regular commentator on New York State government, will bring more than four decades of experience in public policy to the Albany Roundtable on Wednesday, February 12. 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.

Horner is the executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). He began working at NYPIRG in the 1970s and has spent most of his career there, aside from stints at the New York State Attorney General’s office and the American Cancer Society.

In his most recent Capitol Perspective column on the NYPIRG website, Horner reviews the U.S. Surgeon General’s first report on the dangers of smoking in 1964, and how action in New York State took decades to catch up due to the Big Tobacco lobby. He notes that this lobbying powerhouse is back, on the side of flavored e-cigarettes.

At the upcoming luncheon, Horner will talk about the state’s 2020 legislative session, including health topics, education spending, environmental issues, and the prospects for political reform.

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.

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 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 12 luncheon are required by Monday, February 10 and may be made online, by calling 518-992-5360 or by sending an e-mail to