organization leadership


Board of Directors

Charles J. Assini

Kevin M. Curley

Daniel Dagostino

David P. Fusco

Dr. Michael L. Gelfand

Sharon Hoorwitz

Charles Kilbourne, III

Elaine Kennedy

Kathleen Kniskern

Paul K. Male

Deborah G. Mullaney

Mark Nagelsmith

Cindy Phillippe

Christy Potratz

Joseph Pryba

Darlene Schwarz

Carol Schweizer

Cynthia Shultz

Coleen Stevens

Matthew Sypniewski

Matthew Tedeschi

Nic Zarrelli


Honorary Members

Arthur A.  Bianchi

Robert J. Coan

Roger Greenwood

Carl F. Liss

Kathleen Messitt

Joann Paulsen

Kenneth C. Petersen

J. Richard Phillippe

Robert J. Sullivan

Auxiliary Officers

Barrie Handelman

Shelley DeAngelus



Linda Breault

Vice President

Debbi Kopp


Linda Reilly


Tricia Emmer





Board Officers

Anthony M. Durante


Larry Mossey

Vice President

Tom Isabella

Vice President

Sandra Buhrmaster


Peter Keigley


Auxiliary Board

Cynthia Ball

Sandra Buhrmaster

Mary Burch-Macherone

Gwynne DeLong

Rosemary Faulkner

Diana Gelfand

Sandy Kaplan

Elaine Kennedy

Janet Kristel

Marge Maas

Lorraine McConnelee

Beth Milton

Debby Mullaney

Alicia Osur

Cindy Phillippe

Sarah Schermerhorn

Carol Schweizer

Cynthia Shultz

Paula Strauss

Coleen Stevens

Patti Azar Van Valkenburgh

Meet our Board of Directors


Anthony Durante


Anthony Durante has served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady since 2012, and is currently serving as Vice President.

Anthony Durante, CPA (Florida), received his Masters of Professional Accountancy Degree from The University of Miami, in Miami, Florida and his Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from that same institution.

Mr. Durante has 12 years experience in public accounting as a certified public accountant.  Mr. Durante is a licensed CPA in the State of Florida and has been since 1994. 

Since 2004, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Capital Living and Rehabilitation Centers. The company operated seven skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities across Upstate New York, through 2017.  He is an owner in the organization as well.

For over 10 years, Mr. Durante served on various committees within the statewide nursing home associations known as NYSHFA and NYPA.  These committees involved concentrations in reimbursement, legal actions and lobbying.

Other board positions:  Since 2013, he has served on the board of VNA Home Health (Albany), and is currently the board President. Since 2017, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Albany Medical Center.

Thomas Isabella

Co-Vice President

Tom joined the BGCS Board in 1983 and has served in many capacities. Tom grew up in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood in the City of Schenectady and married his High School sweetheart, Mary Ann Hogan. They were married for 33 years before Mary’s untimely passing in 2013. Tom and his late wife have two children, Kaitlin and Sean.


After graduating Mont Pleasant High School and earning a B.A. Degree from Louisiana State University, he worked for many New York State Agencies, retiring from the Public Service Commission in 2005. Tom currently works for Synthesis Architects, LLP in Business Development.


A lifelong City resident, Tom has contributed to the betterment of the Schenectady Community in numerous ways. He was elected to the Schenectady City Council in 1979 and served for 16 years, 12 as President, chairing the Health and Recreation Committee. He worked tirelessly to improve the Parks System and the Golf Course.


Tom enjoyed coaching baseball, basketball and softball for decades, culminating with coaching softball at Schenectady High School for 13 years.

Larry Mossey

Co-Vice President

With careers in radio, newspaper and advertising behind him, Larry is a now a freelance commercial copywriter and creative writer. A former principal at Fitz & Mossey Advertising and The Mossey Group, he also served as Marketing Director at Albany Times Union, and has been privileged to write TV campaigns for national brands including Stickley Furniture, Raymour & Flanagan, and UPS’s Joe Montana campaign. Larry is a former staff member and camp counselor for the Schenectady Boys Club, and a proud club member since age six.

Peter Keigley


Peter Keigley, a 16 year veteran of the banking industry, is a Business Banking Relationship Manager for KeyBank and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. Outside of residing briefly in South Florida, Peter is a lifelong resident of the capital region where he makes his home in Saratoga with his wife and two young children.

As a child, Peter took swimming lessons at the Rotterdam Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady. While coaching and assisting with the operations of a soccer program for children with special needs in South Florida, Peter fell in love with helping children. When Peter came back to the capital region, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady was a natural fit for his passion for helping kids. 


Peter is an active member of the community and passionately serves the Board of Directors on the Finance & Communications Committees. 

Dan Dagastino

A graduate of Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, Dan is an attorney in the Case Management Unit of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP, and supervises the firm’s Worker’s Compensation and Social Security Disability Departments. A member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and BNI (Latham Branch), Dan is also a board member of the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group, a national organization dedicated to representing the interests of workers and their families who suffer the consequences of work related injuries. A sports enthusiast, Dan has also coached in the Tartan Youth Basketball Program since 2007.

Michael L. Gelfand, M.D.

Dr. Michael Gelfand has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1997 and is currently a member of the Advancement Committee.


After retiring from the clinical practice of vascular surgery and some general surgery in March of 2005, Dr. Gelfand took a part-time position with the NYS DOH Office of Professional Medical Conduct.


Dr. Gelfand and his wife, Diana, travel extensively, including trips to China, Alaska, France, Italy, and the Caribbean. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2015.


He currently resides in Niskayuna, NY part-time and Buckhead, GA part of the year where they can be close to their daughter and four grandchildren. He also visits his son and two grandchildren in Denver, CO frequently.


Dr. and Mrs. Gelfand are proud members of The Heritage Club and the Great Futures Council.

Charles Kilbourne, III

Charles E. Kilbourne is Managing Director and Secretary of the Corporation of FSVC.  He is a member of FSVC’s management group and directly oversees FSVC’s fiscal policy programs, and the programs in Albania, Moldova and Somalia.  He is an officer of the Corporation and the liaison to the Board of Directors.

Before joining FSVC in 2002, Mr. Kilbourne served as Vice President of the Financial Services Forum.  He previously worked in several capacities on housing and urban policy for the State of New York.

Mr. Kilbourne is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY).  Mr. Kilbourne serves as an Independent Director, and as a Public Interest Director.

He received a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Kathleen Kniskern

Kathleen Kniskern, an enthusiastic volunteer devoted to her community, joined the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady in 2016.

After volunteering for the Campership Campaign for many years, Kathleen is excited to co-chair this year's Campership Campaign with her husband, Paul Male.

Owner and President of Kniskern Music, Inc. since 2003, her professional experience includes working as a middle school and alternative High School teacher and guidance counselor. Kathleen's business roots began as a youngster working in Hermie's Music Store, her father's business. 

Kathleen is on the Board of Directors for the Lake George Music Festival. She also volunteers as a piano teacher, religious education teacher, Eucharistic Minister and church lector.  Kathleen also participates and helps plan various events for her Condo Association in Florida.

Kathleen shared, "I have, through teaching and guidance work in Hamilton Hill's Washington Irving School, seen kids who, while so desperately wanting to succeed, just lack the necessary life skills. Subsequently, many fall back into their previous life cycle. BGCS opened my eyes to great and continued success with these same kids where so many efforts have failed."

Having grown up in Schenectady County, Kathleen is a graduate of Niskayuna High School and attended Russell Sage College earning her Bachelor of Science in Education. She then went on to SUNY at Albany to earn Master of Science degrees in Educational Psychology & Statistics, School Guidance Counselor and School District Administrator.

Kathleen's hobbies included producing a musical at Proctor's Theatre and playing in a Rock 'n' Roll band, 'Happy Daze'.  She currently enjoys traveling with her husband Paul, flute playing in St. Petersburg's "Awesome Original Second Time Arounder's Marching Band", daily lap swimming and spending summers with family and friends at her Sacandanga Lake Camp.

Paul Male

Graduating from Niskayuna High School, Paul Male grew up in Niskayuna, NY. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Union College and his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, he became a Licensed Professional Engineer & Land Surveyor. Paul worked for CT Male Associates from 1976 to 1995. Paul then was a Saratoga Springs City Engineer through 2011.


Paul joined the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady in 1981 and is a Past President. Paul is excited to Co-chair, with his wife Kathleen Kniskern, the Campership Campaign this year. Paul is also Past President of the ASCE and the APWA. During his time with the Wilton Fire Department, where he was a firefighter and Secretary, he was also Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wilton Emergency Medical Services as well as an Emergency Medical Technician and a CPR Instructor. Paul currently serves as the Stillwater Town Engineer.


Paul and Kathleen spend winters in St. Petersburg, FL.

Deborah Mullaney

Deborah Mullaney has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Boys and Girls Clubs for many years and has served on its Executive committee.  She also has been Chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs Auxiliary.

Mrs. Mullaney has provided leadership to numerous community organizations over the years including  Ellis Medicine, as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of The Foundation Trustees; Board member and vice Chair of The Schenectady Foundation; past President of the Junior League of Schenectady; past President of Northeast Parent and Child Society; past President of the Schenectady Theatre for Children Guild Board; past Chair of Court Appointed Special Advocates and worked extensively as a member and past President of Niskayuna Schools PTOs.

She has been honored for her service with such awards as the New York State Senate 2015 Woman of Distinction, The Hospital Association of New York State 2015 Leadership and Advocacy Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement, the Junior League of Schenectady Volunteer of the Year, and is an inductee into the Niskayuna High School Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Mullaney and her husband, Michael, live in Niskayuna and have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.  Mrs. Mullaney earned a master's degree in history from the State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY, and her bachelor's degree in American history from Connecticut College in New London, CT.

Cindy Phillippe

Cindy Phillippe has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2011 and served as President for 3 years.  She has also been a member of the BGCS Auxiliary board since 1993.  She graduated from Niskayuna High School and Skidmore College, where she majored in economics and business.  After working in finance she chose to focus on raising 3 children and pursuing a volunteer career.


Cindy has volunteered for over 25 community agencies and organizations and has served as President, as chairman of fundraising or in other leadership positions for most of them.  She has been the recipient of several volunteer awards and was also elected to the Niskayuna High School Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named a recipient of the Trailblazer’s Award by the Women’s Fund of the Capital Region.


Cindy commented, “I truly believe there is no more important organization positively impacting children in the Capital Region.  It is a privilege to serve our most vulnerable population through my association with BGCS.”

Darlene Schwarz

Darlene is a lifelong Schenectady resident and business owner. After supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady for over 25 years, she was honored to become a board member in 2011. Darlene is  "so proud to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady for its outstanding record of providing thousands of children in our city with joy-filled moments and support in all aspects of their developmental years." She has also served as an Alumni Board Member at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.

Carol Schweizer

Carol grew up in Galway, lived in Charlton for 51 years, and now resides in Galway again. She is a graduate of Green Mountain College and has been a small business owner for over 33 years. Carol and her husband, David have two daughters and four grandchildren.


Carol has presided over the Galway Preservation Society twice, was a volunteer with the Junior League of Schenectady, and was board member of Proctors Theatre Guild for many years.


Carol has been a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady for 24 years. She began as an Auxiliary member and served on the Board of Directors for many years. She has chaired the Auxiliary twice and served on many committees of the Auxiliary and Board. She was part of the Search Committee to hire the current Executive Director of BGCS.

Coleen Stevens

Coleen Stevens joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and currently serves as Chair of the Advancement Committee.


Inspired by the life-changing work of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, Coleen joined the Auxiliary Board in 2011. She has served as Co-President of the Auxiliary Board, on the Fall Fling Silent Auction Committee, as Youth Fund Drive Chairperson and as the Great Futures Club Board Ambassador.


Coleen Stevens is a principal at Dimension Fabricators, Inc., a reinforcing steel fabricator and engineering firm in Glenville, NY.  She and her husband, Scott, are also actively involved in advancement at the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Coleen is a professional cross country ski instructor, and former high school ski coach.  A graduate of the University of Buffalo, she enjoyed a long career as a physical therapist at Sunnyview Hospital, Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady, and Director of the Physical Therapy Services at the Visiting Nurse Association of Albany. Mr. and Mrs.  Stevens have three sons and two grandchildren.


Coleen and Scott are proud members of the Lifetime Giving Society and Great Futures Council of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady.

Hon. Mathew J. Sypniewski

Hon. Matthew J. Sypniewski was born and raised in Schenectady and resides there with his wife Diane and daughter Eva. Judge Sypniewski is a graduate of Schenectady High School and was the first member of his family to go to college, graduating magna cum laude from both the University at Albany and Albany Law School, where he was an Executive Editor for the Albany Law Review. After serving a one year term as Court Attorney for the Appellate Division, Third Department, Judge Sypniewski joined the law firm of Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells in New York City. In 2004, he joined the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office, where he rose to the level of Major Crimes Bureau Chief, prosecuting hundreds of violent crimes.  In 2011, Judge Sypniewski was elected Schenectady City Court Judge and, in 2014, was elected Schenectady County Court Judge, where he now presides over felony criminal cases and the Schenectady County Drug Court Program.  

Nic Zarrelli

Nic Zarrelli joined the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady in 2016.  He is currently the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. Previously, he was the Dean of Academic Planning and Resources and the Director of Purchasing & Finance at Union College, Senior Associate of Systems and Process Assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Finance Director at ICG Commerce (currently Accenture), and

e-Commerce Senior Analyst at GE Power.  Nic received his master’s degree in business administration from Union Graduate College (currently Clarkson University Capital Region Campus), and graduated from Union College where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Economics. 

Call Us: (518) 374-4714    Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady   PO Box 466 Schenectady, New York 12301