Monthly Archives: July 2014

New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium announced

Business Council members General Electric Co., IBM, and GlobalFoundries joined Governor Cuomo to announce the creation of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium.

The consortium is expected to create jobs in New York, including 500 in the Capital Region and another 500 in the Rochester area.

The New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (NY-PEMC) is a public-private partnership of more than 100 companies and universities that will help develop the next generation of materials used on semiconductors at State-owned R&D facilities.  Managed through the newly merged SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)/SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), this next generation of semiconductors will enable power devices to get smaller, faster and more efficient as the current material, silicon, has reached its entitlement.

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, chief executive officer and officer in charge, SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT, said, “Partnering CNSE’s world-class research and development resources with the combined expertise of our corporate and university partners will provide tremendous advances for the business, technology and academic communities.”

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, “GE is proud to support New York’s Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, which places New York at the forefront of the next revolution in power. By partnering, we are bringing breakthrough reliable technology to market faster and at lower cost so our customers and global industries see major productivity gains and operate at peak efficiency.”

The partnership is enabled by the START-UP NY tax free initiative, in addition to $135 million in New York State funds provided to CNSE for the establishment of the NY-PEMC facilities, which will attract $365 million in private funds for a total 5-year investment of $500 million.

Collaboration with CNSE will enable the expansion and growth of both major corporate partners and small and medium-sized enterprises within a vibrant power electronics device and systems integration eco-system.

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New leadership volunteers announced

The Business Council of New York State, Inc. and The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. recently announced the appointment of new members to their respective board of directors and board of trustees as well as appointees to The Business Council board’s executive committee.

“On behalf of The Business Council and The Public Policy Institute, I am pleased to welcome our new board members, executive committee members, and trustees,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council and The Public Policy Institute.

New Business Council board of directors

Mary Ann Christopher,MSN, RN, FAAN, Visiting Nurse Service of New York’s president and CEO.  Ms. Christopher has served as president and CEO of the VNSNY, the nation’s largest not-for-profit home- and community-based health care organization, since January 2012.  She is a leading national voice on a wide range of health care issues.

Charles Dorego, senior vice president and general counsel at Glenwood Management Corp.  Mr. Dorego brings over 30 years of diverse, hands-on, experience in all aspects of the real estate industry.  He joined Glenwood Management, one of New York City’s largest and most preeminent real estate development companies in September 2001,

Denise Gonick, president and CEO of MVP Health Care.  Ms. Gonick became president and CEO of MVP Health Care in December 2012.  She also served MVP in various positions over the years including president of operations, executive vice president, administrative services and chief legal officer.

Jeff Jacobson, executive vice president and president of Xerox Technology.  Mr. Jacobson leads the company’s technology business, which provides document technology products and services to customers ranging from small businesses to multinational enterprises.

John McAvoy, chairman, president and CEO of Consolidated Edison, Inc.  Mr. McAvoy joined Con Edison in 1980, and has served in positions of increasing responsibility including as president and CEO of Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.

New Business Council executive committee members

Business Council Vice Chair Karen Boykin-Towns, Pfizer, Inc.’s vice president, business unit public affairs.  Ms. Boykin-Towns has built a reputation as a visionary and strategic results-driver in complex business and government environments with demonstrated success in healthcare policy, advocacy, public affairs, communication, and proactive change management.  Ms. Towns’ career at Pfizer, Inc. spans 18 years.

Business Council Vice Chair Thomas F. Judson, Jr., chairman & CEO of The Pike Company, Inc. Mr. Judson began his career in construction working as a laborer and carpenter apprentice during school summer breaks for John B. Pike & Son, Inc., a general contracting company founded by his great-grandfather in 1873.  In 1985, he established The Pike Company, Inc., one of New York State’s most respected and successful construction firms.

New Public Policy Institute board of trustees

 Sheila Appel, IBM’s U.S. regional director of corporate citizenship.  At IBM, Sheila Appel is responsible for leading the U.S. team — overseeing a range of programs helping to establish IBM as a leader in a new breed of corporate philanthropy — an approach that promotes systemic social improvement.

Michael J. Masse, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., senior vice president.  At HSBC, Mr. Masse leads the bank’s D.C.-based government and institutional banking team.  He previously led a number of teams within HSBC including commercial middle market banking in Central New York/Albany; public banking throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. 



Schenectady’s Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola joins Made in New York

Schenectady, N.Y. based, Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola, recently joined The Business Council of New York State’s Made in New York program.  Made in NewYork is an exclusive benefit for Business Council members who produce or manufacture products in the Empire State.

“Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola illustrates how ingenuity and enterprise translate to success and boost Schenectady’s economy,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. president and CEO of The Business Council.  “Gatherer’s is a welcome addition to Made in New York showing that New Yorker’s don’t have to go far for healthy, delicious food options.”

“The Made in New York program offers Gatherer’s, and many other small businesses, an opportunity to tap into a deep pool of valuable business contacts without dealing with mountains of red tape,” said Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola’s founder, Alessandro Gerbini.  “For Gatherer’s, this means more sales and connections on a shorter time frame than would otherwise be achievable.”

Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola began with a family recipe, and was founded by Alessandro Gerbini in 2010 when he was just 23 years old. Since then, the company has grown, providing eleven jobs to New York’s economy and selling to retailers in eleven states, including various supermarket chains.  In August of 2013, Gatherer’s used Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website, to raise money in order to launch three new flavors. “

Made in New York provides one-stop shopping for consumers interested in boosting New York’s economy and growing local jobs, both priorities of The Business Council.  Gatherer’s products featured on Made in New York include: Squirrel Bait, Chipmunk’s Choice, Fox’s Fancy, Bee’s Knees, Badger’s Best, Turtle Tracks.  All six flavors are Non-GMO Project verified, and three are certified gluten-free.

To view the Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola Made in New York page or for more information on Made in New York, visit  Gatherer’s own website, features information on their products as well as where they are sold.

NYSERDA announces new members appointed to board of directors

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced the appointment of six new members to its board and the reappointment of two current members.

Among those appointed are representatives of Business Council member companies including Kenneth Daly, president of National Grid’s New York operations; and John McAvoy, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Con Edison Inc.

“I look forward to working with these members as the expertise they bring in the energy, environment and financial sectors will lend a very valuable voice to the authority as we aggressively accelerate the scale-up of clean energy markets,” said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York and Chairman of the NYSERDA Board of Directors.

“It is a pleasure to welcome these members to the NYSERDA Board. They bring great insight and experience in our energy systems and markets, and are thought-leaders on our energy, environment and clean-energy economy challenges,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

Kenneth Daly is President of the New York business of National Grid, which serves 4 million customers in New York State. In 1988, Daly joined National Grid’s predecessor, Brooklyn Union, which later became KeySpan and recently served the company in London for two years as Global Financial Controller. Daly graduated from St. Francis College and has earned both an MBA in finance from St. John’s University and an MS in human resource management from New York University. He achieved the distinguished Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2002.  Daly is a member of the Boards of British American Business (BAB), Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) and St. Francis College, where he has been an adjunct professor for 20 years.  Since 1992, he has been the Director of the St. Johns’ University Executive-in-Residence Program and is also a graduate of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program and a member of the Long Island Energeia Program.

John McAvoy is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Edison Inc., and CEO of its principal subsidiary, Con Edison Co. of New York Inc.  McAvoy joined Con Edison in 1980 and has served in positions of increasing responsibility. In his last position, he served as president and CEO of Orange and Rockland (O&R) Utilities Inc., a Con Edison subsidiary that operates in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Prior to his leadership position at O&R, he was senior vice president of Central Operations.  McAvoy serves on the board of directors of Con Edison, the American Gas Association, the Edison Electric Institute, The Business Council of New York State Inc. and the Partnership for New York City. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.  He holds an MBA from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Manhattan College. He is a graduate of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program.

Other new members include the Honorable Sherburne Abbott, a Syracuse University sustainability professor and a former senior science advisor to President Obama; Jigar Shah, author of Creating Climate Wealth and founder of SunEdison; Charles Bell, programs director for Consumers Union, who works on consumer policy issues, including energy and environment; and Jay Koh a managing director and partner at Siguler Guff, who previously led the federal U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp.’s (OPIC) $2.6 billion active emerging markets private equity program.

The reappointed members are Elizabeth Thorndike, an environmental policy expert, and Mark Willis, a community-development banking expert who is currently a Resident Research Fellow at New York University.


Steve Forbes to address New York business leaders at Business Council Annual Meeting

ForbesSteve2011_GD14307gAuthor and chairman/CEO of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes will be the keynote speaker at The Annual Meeting of The Business Council of New York State.

Mr. Forbes writes editorials for each issue of Forbes, the nation’s leading business magazine, under the heading of “Fact and Comment.”  A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times.  The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.

Mr. Forbes is also the author of several books including “How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today’s Economy.”

“At a time when the issue of income inequality is fueling the public debate in Albany and in Washington, Steve Forbes is a passionate and articulate voice for free markets,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council.  “I am thrilled that Steve Forbes will be the keynote speaker for our Annual Meeting.”

The Annual Meeting will be held September 17 – 19, 2014 at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, N.Y.  Mr. Forbes will speak on Wednesday evening, September 17.

Under Mr. Forbes’ leadership, the company has launched a variety of new publications and businesses.  They include ForbesLife, the dedicated luxury lifestyle and culture magazine; Forbes Europe; Forbes Asia; and Forbes licensee editions published in over 30 countries.  The company also publishes a number of investment newsletters. 

In 1996, Mr. Forbes entered the new media arena with the launch of  Through March 2014,, a leading business website, reached 27 million unique visitors, according to comScore worldwide.  Other Forbes Media websites include:;; and

The company’s flagship publication, Forbes, is the nation’s leading business magazine, with a circulation of more than 900,000.  Forbes combined with Forbes Asia, Forbes Europe and the company’s licensee editions together reach a worldwide audience of more than 5 million readers. 

More information on The Business Council’s Annual Meeting can be found at

Business Council CFO wins outstanding CPA award

Suzanne Jensen, CPA, The Business Council’s chief financial officer, was recently awarded the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (NYSSCPA) Outstanding CPA in Industry Award.

Each year, NYSSCPA recognizes outstanding certified public accountants for distinguished service, industry leadership and excellence in education.

In the video below, she outlines her philosophy on nonprofit oversight and how her work benefits Business Council members every day.

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Focus on New York’s middle market

New York’s Middle Market was the focus of a panel discussion yesterday facilitated by The Business Council’s Vice President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky and led by Executive Director of National Center for the Middle Market Thomas A. Stewart.

Panelists included Simmons Machine Tool Corporation President & Chief Operating Officer David William Davis, Hannay Reels, Inc. Chairman of the Board Roger Hannay, Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. Chairman & CEO Thomas O’Connor, Jr., and The Center for Economic Growth’s Executive Vice President Jeff Lawrence.

New York has one of the largest middle market sectors in the U.S. with at least 10,000 businesses, employing more than 4 million New Yorkers, or 30 percent of the New York workforce.  Defined as companies with annual revenues of $10 million to $1 billion, these companies also generate 18 percent of the state’s total revenue, approximately $500 billion in annually.

Executive Director of National Center for the Middle Market Thomas A. Stewart told The Albany Business Review’s Krystle Morey that middle market companies are “the unsung heroes of American  business.”  While most of the buzz surrounds large companies or the small business, Stewart says middle market companies account for approximately one-third of jobs and one-third of GDP.

Research from the National Center for The Middle Market highlights the diversity of the middle market that is comprised of business services (32 percent), manufacturing (14 percent),finance, insurance and  real estate (12 percent), wholesale (13 percent) and retail (10 percent).  Other industries comprising the middle market include transportation, communications, utilities, construction and healthcare.

The National Center for the Middle Market is a collaboration between GE Capital and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Visit for more information.

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State high court upholds zoning bans on gas drilling

In a 5-2 decision, the state’s highest court, The Court of Appeals, has ruled that the current state law regulating oil and gas drilling operations does not supersede local zoning laws.  In effect, the decision upholds lower court rulings that held communities can use local zoning laws to effectively ban natural gas development.

Writing for the majority, Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote that state law allows local governments to control their zoning codes to allow or disallow activities within their boundaries. The case involved bans in two upstate towns, Middlefield in Otsego County and Dryden in Tompkins County.

Industry supporters said the bans were a “huge obstacle” to the additional investment in the New York Marcellus Shale formation. The bans had been challenged by an organic dairy farmer near Cooperstown that held a natural gas lease on its farm, and the bankrupt Norse Energy Corp., which held gas leases in Dryden.

Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York, told the Albany Times Union that should the state decide to allow fracking, it would force companies to “navigate a patchwork of red lights and green lights.”

That would be enough to discourage some companies from coming to the state, he said. “Some companies have been waiting on the sidelines, watching for this decision,” he said. “Some people will not come to New York and spend money, or they will leave.”

The Business Council of New York State had joined with the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc., the National Association of Royalty Owners, NARO-NY, the Upstate New York Towns Association, Inc., and Southern Tier Residents for Economic Independence to file an amicus brief urging the court to overturn the lower court rulings in the case.

That brief argued the state has an overriding interest in the development and promotion of its oil and gas reserves, and that there is a need for uniformity across the state with a comprehensive state law that supersedes restrictive and inconsistent local laws and ordinances.

Industry supporters could seek state legislation pre-empting the local zoning decisions, but the prospects for enactment of such a law is highly unlikely to occur.

Chief Judge Lippman and Judges Read, Rivera and Abdus-Salaam concurred with Judge Graffeo’s decision. Judges Pigott and Smith dissented.