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.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mayor Sheehan at the Roundtable - THU 1/14/16


***Note: meeting date changed to avoid schedule conflict***

THIS EVENT HAS REACHED CAPACITY - NO ADDITIONAL RSVPS WILL BE ACCEPTED

Mayor Kathy Sheehan will address the first Albany Roundtable luncheon of 2016 on THURSDAY, January 14 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany.  The Roundtable usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month but is changing the date of the January 2016 meeting to avoid a conflict with Governor Cuomo’s combined State of the State and Budget address. Albany Roundtable luncheon meetings are open to the public.

Mayor Sheehan became the 75th mayor of Albany in 2014.  Mayor Sheehan has dedicated her administration to unleashing Albany’s full potential, leading with a commitment to community, equity, and opportunity. She is an energetic champion of the renaissance now underway in Albany, and is working to revitalize all of the City’s neighborhoods.

Mayor Sheehan is committed to efficient and responsive government that includes diverse community voices. In her first year in office, she initiated major changes, including common sense budget savings, the launch of an overhaul to the City’s outdated zoning code, a renewal of Albany’s parks, traffic calming initiatives to make Albany’s streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and the steady transformation of the City’s downtown into a new urban neighborhood.

She is also a founding member of the Albany Promise, a coalition of community members, educators, service providers and business leaders working to ensure that every child in Albany succeeds academically.

Growing up in a large family that valued hard work and community service, Kathy put herself through college, earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism. After a five-year career in communications, Kathy attended Albany Law School on an academic scholarship, graduating magna cum laude in 1994. After working for a highly regarded law firm, she went on to become vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Intermagnetics General Corporation, a leading medical device manufacturer based in Latham.

KeyBank N.A. is the sponsor of the January 14 luncheon.

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 14 luncheon are required by Tuesday, January 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.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Carrie Hillenbrandt, BBL Hospitality - 11/10

***Note: Date Changed to 11/10 to avoid conflict with Veteran’s Day***

Carrie Hillenbrandt, Director of Sales and Marketing for BBL Hospitality - the company behind downtown Albany’s new Marriott Renaissance hotel - will address the Albany Roundtable on Tuesday, November 10. The Roundtable usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month but is changing the date of the November 2015 meeting to avoid a conflict with Veteran’s Day. 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.

BBL Hospitality is a full-service hotel management company offering hotel owners and developers a single, high-quality source for construction, financing, and asset management services. They are also the owners of multiple restaurants and 12 top-quality hotels in New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Florida.

Carrie worked with BBL Construction Services, the ownership group and designers on the transformation of the historic DeWitt Clinton Hotel to the newly opened Renaissance Albany Hotel. The hotel combines old world charm with handsome dark wood paneling and stunning marble floors, with modern touches of convenience and flair. As a part of the exclusive and upscale Marriott Renaissance label, the hotel will provide an unparalleled level of service to guests, including access to Renaissance Navigators, local experts ready to assist guests in discovering local flavors and activities.

A graduate of Siena College with a degree in marketing, Carrie began her career as a Graduate in Development Manager for Interstate Hotels, Inc.  Working in all departments of the hotel, Carrie then specialized in Revenue Management and Sales for various brands such as Marriott, Omni, and Crowne Plaza.  Carrie has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and currently leads the strategic sales efforts for BBL Hospitality’s 13 managed hotels and 13 restaurants. She plays an integrated role in working with the hotel and sales personnel to develop new opportunities and grow existing business.  With membership in industry-specific associations such as ESSAE (Empire State Society of Association Executives), and MPI (Meeting Professionals International), Carrie achieved her designation as a Certified Meeting Professional.

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 November 10 luncheon are required by Monday, November 9 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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Albany Chefs' Food & Wine Fest Organizers Honored as "New Patroon:

Award will be presented at October 14 Luncheon 

Group to be honored for providing “sustainable funding for the for the support and preservation of the not-for-profit arts community in Albany”

The Albany Roundtable has selected the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts, its founder Yono Purnomo and its organizers to receive its prestigious New Patroon Award for providing sustainable funding to the not-for-profit arts community in Albany. The award will be presented at the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, October 14.

Since their inaugural event in 2010, the Albany Chefs have presented a 3-day food and wine-themed festival that promotes local restaurants, chefs, and their innovative cuisine; educates consumers on healthy, sustainable agriculture; and donates all net income directly to deserving non-profit arts organizations. In 2015, the group made a record-breaking donation of $127,927 and boosted their six-year total contributions to $534,656.

Chris Hawver, President of the Albany Roundtable, said, “According to Kaid Benfield, author of People Habitat and the Roundtable’s visiting speaker in May, 2014, ‘one of the indicators of a healthy community – the kind of place that is likely to be loved and endure – is good evidence of creative expression. Whether it’s painting, photography, music, dance, sculpture, performance or something else, people like being around artists …’ The Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival gives hundreds of people the chance to show their support for our city’s beloved arts and cultural organizations. We are delighted to honor the organizers of this event with the New Patroon award.”

The featured speaker for the October 14 luncheon is Jeff Mirel, Executive Vice President at The Rosenblum Companies and Board President of the Albany Barn. The Albany Barn, a creative arts incubator and community art center in Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood, has been a recipient of funding through the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival. “This is an incredibly exciting time for our region, and demographic trends favor the continuing revitalization of our urban centers,” said Mirel. “But with that momentum comes hard questions about how we can remake the urban ‘renewal’ of the twentieth century, and align public, social, cultural, educational, industry and technology resources for more equitable, sustainable development.”

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 Historic Albany Foundation; Hon.  John J. McEneny for his career in public service; Ruth Pelham and the Music Mobile; Amy Klein and Capital District Community Gardens; Maude Baum, Artistic Director of eba Dance Theatre; housing and social justice advocates Roger and Maria Markovics; and Christine M. Miles, Director of the Albany Institute of History and Art. Catherine Hedgeman and The Stakeholders, Inc. received the first New Patroon Award in 2011, followed by Jeff Mirel and The Albany Barn in 2012; and Edwards Grimes-CarriĆ³n and Grand Street Community Arts in 2013, and All Over Albany in 2014.

The October 14 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, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.blogspot.com. 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 13 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.

“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 Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts, its founder Yono Purnomo and its organizers with this award.”

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jeff Mirel of Rosenblum Companies, Albany Barn - October 14


Jeff Mirel, Executive Vice President at The Rosenblum Companies and Board President of the Albany Barn, will address the Albany Roundtable on Wednesday, October14. 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.

Mirel joined The Rosenblum Companies, a developer and manager of premier properties in the Capital Region, in 2014.  Rosenblum’s Great Oaks Office Park in Guilderland is one of the most desirable office locations in the Albany area and the company’s inaugural residential project, 17 Chapel, is downtown Albany’s first and only luxury condominium building. The Albany Business Review recognized 17 Chapel as one of “50 Projects That Are Reshaping Life and Business in the Capital Region.” 

Mirel also founded Albany Barn, Inc. and led the non-profit’s successful efforts to establish a creative arts incubator and community art center called The Barn, partnering with the Albany Housing Authority and the City of Albany to repurpose a 40,000+ square foot former school building in the city’s Arbor Hill neighborhood. The Barn, which opened fully in late April 2014, consists of 22 affordable live/work apartments and over 13,000 square feet of highly subsidized work and rehearsal suites, a recording studio, and ample exhibition, performance and programming space.

Previously, Jeff spent seven years as a senior manager at FirstLight Fiber (formerly Tech Valley Communications), implementing the company’s municipal wireless broadband program, which included Albany FreeNet, a free WiFi Internet access service available in distressed City of Albany neighborhoods. 

“This is an incredibly exciting time for our region, and demographic trends favor the continuing revitalization of our urban centers,” said Mirel. “But with that momentum comes hard questions about how we can remake the urban ‘renewal’ of the twentieth century, and align public, social, cultural, educational, industry and technology resources for more equitable, sustainable development.”

Mirel is a BSBA graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (cum laude).  He served on the Community Engagement and Empowerment Committee for Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s Transition Team, the City of Albany 2030 Comprehensive Plan Board, the Arbor Hill Implementation Team, and the Albany County District Attorney’s Community Accountability Board.

The Roundtable’s New Patroon Award will be presented at the October luncheon to the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival:Wine & Dine for the Arts, its founder Yono Purnomo and its organizers for providing sustainable funding for the support and preservation of the not-for-profit arts community in Albany. The festival has provided more than $500,000 to arts and culture organizations since its inception in January, 2010.


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 advancewith 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 October 14 luncheon are required by Tuesday, October 13 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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

An Evening with Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove - Thursday, 5/21

Author of Urban Alchemy: Finding Joy in America’s Sorted Out Cities will speak at Roundtable Annual Meeting 

What if divided neighborhoods were causing public health problems? What if a new approach to planning and design could tackle both the built environment and collective well-being at the same time?

Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, author of Urban Alchemy: Finding Joy in America’s Sorted Out Cities (New Village Press – June 4, 2013) will be the featured speaker at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

REGISTER

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 of two Albany Roundtable Scholarships for Civic Leadership, and a talk and book signing by the Visiting Speaker. Tickets are $40 and include light fare and open bar. Books will be available for $20 (including tax) courtesy of the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

Dr. Fullilove is a board-certified psychiatrist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She uses her unique perspective as a public health psychiatrist to explore and identify ways of healing social and spatial fractures simultaneously. Citing the work of French urbanist Michel Cantal-Dupart and the American urban design firm Rothschild Doyno Collaborative and using urban restoration projects from France and the US as case studies, Fullilove has identified nine tools that can mend our broken cities and reconnect our communities to make them whole.

Corporate sponsors for the event are: The Capital District Regional Planning Commission; The Center for Economic Growth; and the Society of Architectural Historians, Turpin Bannister Chapter.

Dr. Fullilove began her research career examining the AIDS epidemic among people of color in the US. As it became clear that AIDS was related to place not race, she began a series of studies on the psychology of place. Her theories on place and human well being provide the framework for her current work on the long-term consequences of urban renewal. This work has made her keenly aware of the environmental challenges that face American cities.

At the evening reception, the Albany Roundtable will present its Good Patroon Award to Historic Albany Foundation for the organization’s unwavering commitment to protecting Albany’s built environment for more than 40 years. The Good Patroon Award was established by the Albany Roundtable in 1988 to recognize outstanding contributions to the community by institutions and individuals.

The Albany Roundtable will also present two $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors for demonstrated civic leadership.

“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. “When Mayor Kathy Sheehan launched ReZone Albany – a major new initiative to update and streamline the city’s antiquated Zoning Code – we wanted help inform the discussion. We’re delighted that Dr. Fullilove is sharing her 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 reach their full potential.”

The Albany Roundtable’s previous Visiting Speakers have included 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 18. For more information, email albanyroundtable@yahoo.com or call The University Club at 518-463-1151.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Christopher Spencer, Director of Planning for the City of Albany to address Albany Roundtable - 4/8/15


Christopher Spencer, Director of Planning for the city of Albany will address the Albany Roundtable luncheon on Wednesday, April 8 at the National Register-listed University Club, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street in Albany.  This luncheon is sponsored by NAI Platform.

In December 2014, Mayor Sheehan announced the start of ReZone Albany -- a major initiative to update the city’s antiquated Zoning Code. This two-year effort will streamline procedures for project development and promote sustainable design.  The existing Zoning Code, all corresponding laws, environmental and development regulations, along with sustainable and conservation practices, will be reviewed and combined into one consolidated Unified Sustainable Development Ordinance (USDO).

“NAI Platform is pleased to provide our support to the efforts of the city of Albany to spread the word about ReZone Albany,” said Felton McLaughlin, associate broker for NAI Platform. “This is the first time in 50 years that the city has performed a comprehensive updating of its zoning laws. This effort will be educating all citizens as to what sort of development is desired in every neighborhood, as well as clearly identifying what would not be a good fit. This clarity should streamline the development process and hopefully encourage additional investment activity. We are delighted to sponsor the upcoming Albany Roundtable presentation by Chris Spencer.”

Spencer was named Director of Planning for the city of Albany in September 2014.  He previously served as a campus planner at the University at Albany and prior to that, as a town planner for Tiverton, Rhode Island.  He received a bachelor's of science degree in historic preservation from Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI) and and a master's degree in city planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), where he focused on city design and development. Spencer is also on the Board of Directors of the Albany County Land Bank Corporation

The cost for the luncheon is $20. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card at www.albanyroundtable.com or paying at the door. 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 8 luncheon are required by Monday, April 6 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